Getting to Serbia
- Belgrade The main airport of Serbia is Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport (BEG), just a few kilometres from downtown Belgrade. Major European airlines fly to Belgrade. Serbian national airline Jat Airways flies to all major cities in Europe, northern Africa and the Middle East. These are the following airlines that fly to Belgrade:
- Aeroflot ( Moscow -Sheremetyevo),
- Aerosvit Airlines ( Kiev -Boryspil, Sofia),
- Air France ( Paris - Charles de Gaulle),
- Alitalia ( Milan -Malpensa , Roma ) ,
- Austrian Airlines ( Vienna),
- British Airways ( London -Heathrow),
- CSA Czech Airlines ( Prague),
- Gazpromavia ( Moscow -Vnukovo, Sochi),
- GermanWings [( Cologne / Bonn, Stuttgart),
- Jat Airways ( Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Basel /Mulhouse, Banja Luka, Beirut, Berlin -Tegel, Brussels , Cairo (seasonal),Copenhagen, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Gothenburg -Landvetter, Hannover, Hamburg, Istanbul -Ataturk, Larnaca, Ljubljana, London -Heathrow, Malta , Moscow -Sheremetyevo, Monastir, Munich , Oslo, Paris -Charles de Gaulle, Podgorica, Prague, Pula, Rome -Fiumicino, Sarajevo, Skopje, Stockholm -Arlanda, Stuttgart, Tel Aviv, Thessaloniki, Tirana , Tivat, Trieste, Tripoli, Tunis, Vienna, Zurich ),
TIP : Licensed taxi service fare from the airport to the city has a flat rate of RSD 800 (ˆ10). Travel time to the city centre is approximately 20 minutes. Incoming taxis have constant radio communication with airport authorities. This ensures passengers a better alternative. Should there be any problem finding taxi you should address the staff of the Tourist Organisation of Belgrade in the Arrivals Hall to call a taxi for you. All taxis working at the airport are comfortable limousines in top-notch condition.
Using taxi services for destinations outside metropolitan Belgrade is unwise, as prices are unreasonably high. All licensed taxi drivers have a badge, an oval blue license plate with a serial number, and the Belgrade Coat of Arms displayed on the roof. Make sure that the taximeter is switched on. Tarif 1 is the correct one Monday to Saturday from morning till 10AM. Tarif 3 is the 'trick' fare used to scam out of obscene amounts of money . Or better take one of the several bus lines, check the Belgrade section.
Several international trains from Belgrade to Budapest and Vienna and to Zagreb-Ljubljana-Munchen/Zurich. Usually, they should not be too late (seldom more than 1/4 of an hour). The night train to Budapest was very regularly overcrowded in summer 2005 (only 1 sitting car). Furthermore, there are direct (day or night) trains from Belgrade to Skopje - Thessaloniki (Belgrade-Thessaloniki ˆ30/seat+20euro/bed one way at 2 beds compartment). Trains to Sofia and Bucarest however tend to be often quite late (about an hour). Trains to Macedonia (Greece), Bulgaria and Romania are allegedly reported to oftenly consist of old, not very comfortable, cars.
Be sure your Green Card has an uncancelled "YU" or "SRB" box. Coming in from Hungary, the Szeged/Horgos border crossing is notorious for its congestion. If crossing the border from Hungary, try the Tompa/Kelebija crossing point, about 20km west.
On the two-lane E75 between Szeged, Hungary to Belgrade, please note that cars over-taking will often use the unofficial "middle-lane". Exercise caution and pull over to the hard shoulder on the right to let them through safely. The dual-carriageway should be completed in 2009 to eliminate this risk.
The highway between the Croatian border and Leskovac (via Belgrade and Nis) is tolled, but the toll is no longer higher for foreigners than for Serbs. In 2010, Serbia is scheduled to introduce a vignette system.
Police are generally stationed at major junctions or at underpasses to control traffic and speed. Drivers commonly warn others of a police presence by flicking the high-beams on two or three times.
Note that traffic law is very strict. No person under age of 14 must not ride in the front seat, seat belts are obligatory for those who sit in the front, alcohol is not tolerated at all, rookie drivers need to have an experienced driver in the car if their driving career is less than 5 years and fines are from ˆ100 for smaller violations up to 60 days in prison and ˆ5000 for causing a larger traffic accident (both locals and foreigners). IMPORTANT! If you are driving on country and local roads pay attention to the tractors and other heavy agricultural machines especially at night! They can be without proper light signalization and hard to see so slow down at night.
Vienna - Buses leave from Vienna International Busterminal (Erdberg) almost every day. For destinations south of Belgrade, Zoran Reisen coaches leave at 3PM on Friday, and charge around ˆ45 for a one-way trip.
Hungary - When you take an international bus from Belgrade towards Germany, don't surprised when a collection is held inside the bus for paying the Hungarian border guards a fee to let the bus go faster over the border. This is what you would call a bribe. On your way into Serbia it seems 'cheaper', though the Hungarian border guards will demand all passengers sign a form declaring they 'offered no gift, cash or otherwise, to Hungarian border police' whether they paid a bribe or not.
There are boat tours, which pass through Belgrade. These are English Trafalgar Tours which cruise along the Danube and have a two day stopover in Belgrade.