• S.R.

Serbia travel advisory

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

If you plan to visit Serbia, check out this travel risk advisory assisting you in travel arrangements.

SERBIA TRAVEL RISK: Level 4, do not travel due to COVID-19 and exercise increased caution in the country due to crime [source: US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs].


IMPORTANT NOTICE: Kosovo and Serbia have agreed to end border tensions [read more about this here]. However, it is recommended to stay alert when traveling to the southern region.


Serbia Facts


After decades of wars and devastation, Serbia is finally a peaceful country, paving its way for EU integration, attracting lots of foreign capital, and increasing tourist visits every year. Located in the West Balkan heart, Serbia is a landlocked country with strategic geolocation, enjoying considerable economic growth; it has become a hotspot for foreigners looking for a profitable investment. Serbia has beautiful scenery, a long history with a rich culture, monuments, music festivals, holiday resorts, and tasty traditional cuisine.


Security Risks


Political Stability


Some unresolved sociopolitical issues could affect the security situation and political stability in the region. The two primary security concerns are the burning Kosovo question and the ongoing refugee crisis. The former is related to persistent tensions between Kosovo and Serbia, which can always spark a full-scale war. The latter refers to the influx of migrants attempting to get to the EU countries via Serbia, deteriorating the country's safety because the crime rate has increased since Europe's migrant crisis [especially street crime, burglaries, hijacking, and robberies].


Civil Unrest


Protests are possible throughout the country and in the capital, disrupting traffic and public transportation. The latest antigovernmental demonstrations were in Belgrade in 2020 [click to learn more], turning violent and lasting several days.


Crime


There is a surge of violent crime, roadblocks, demonstrations, and gang-related and politics-oriented assassinations in the northern Serb-majority municipalities in Kosovo [read more about the assassination of prominent Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic in Kosovo]. It would help if you exercised increased caution in larger cities since a substantial part of organized crime and violence is linked to a mob. Street crime—including armed robberies, hijacking, and pickpocketing—is common and can occur in all areas at any time. Foreigners are potential victims of street crime since the criminals assume that foreigners carry a large sum of money. Likely targets of carjacking are luxury vehicles; burglars often attack high-end residencies. Assaults on people using ATMs and credit card fraud are common.


Terrorism


Although there is a heightened risk of terrorism in Europe, a terrorist threat in Serbia is unlikely; there is no recent history of terror attacks.


Safety Risks


Natural Disasters


Serbia is located in an active seismic zone; the 2020 earthquake rocked neighboring Croatia, causing damage and several deaths, and the tremor was felt in Serbia.


Forest fires are common in the summer months [June, July, and August], particularly in the tourist area [mountains, camping sites, hiking trails].


The risk of floods is potential near big river basins [Danube, Sava] in autumn [September, October, and August], causing significant road damage and landslides [view more about severe floods in Serbia].


In winter [December, January, and February], heavy snowstorms may block transportation routes and knock down power lines.


The best time for visiting Serbia is from May to September.


Health Risks


Healthcare


Adequate public medical care and facilities are limited in Serbia [especially during the Covid-19 pandemic]. A better alternative is the use of private hospitals located in the capital and larger cities. Immediate cash payments are required for health services. Medical evacuation may be needed in the event of severe medical conditions. Thus, consider taking a travel insurance policy covering medical evacuation.


Diseases


If planning outdoor activities in summer, be sure to take preventive measures against tick bites [wearing clothing to cover the arms and legs, using DEET-based insect repellents] to avoid the risk of Lyme disease.


Travel Vaccinations


Tetanus and rabies vaccination shots are recommended.


Coronavirus in Serbia


There are country-wide measures from the Serbian Government in effect, such as follows.

  • Only drugstores and gas stations may function without restrictions.

  • Wearing face masks is mandatory indoors [public areas and transportation].

  • A distance of 1.5m is required outdoors.

  • Public gatherings are forbidden.

  • A negative COVID-19 test not older than 48 hours is required for entering the country.

  • The Serbian Government has approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use.

Visit the official Covid-19 website for the latest info.


Transport Risks


Road Safety


Secondary roads are in poor condition. The main roads [highways] are better, but there is traffic congestion. The Ibarska Magistrala road is dangerous since it is poorly maintained and hectic.


Highways busy with foreigners are full of [corrupt] traffic police patrols. There have been incidents in which police have targeted cars with foreign plates, demanding immediate cash payments for alleged traffic violations. Check out our secure transportation services.


Public Transportation


Buses and trains are often overcrowded, in particular in Belgrade. Trains are slow since railway infrastructure is old and poorly maintained. Private buses for international transport services are modern and well-maintained. It is advisable to use only officially marked taxis and to pre-negotiate fares to avoid being overcharged.


Useful Information


  • Language: the official language is Serbian, a younger population can communicate in English and German, and elders can speak Russian.

  • Currency: The Serbian Dinar (RSD).

  • Climate: the country has a continental climate with cold winters [-20/0 °C] and hot summers [30/40 °C].

  • Religion: Serbia is mainly a Christian Orthodox country [85%], followed by Catholics [5%], Muslims [3%], and others [7%].

  • Driving side: Serbia is a right-side-driving country.

  • Country code: +381.

  • Voltage: 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.

  • Plug type: C and F.


Conclusion


If you want to travel with peace of mind to Serbia, my company can help you. Nemesis Protection Global is a leader in producing security risk, travel, and crisis solutions, protecting private and public sector clients worldwide. Our close protection services in Serbia can ensure your security and safety professionally and indisputably. Check us out and get in touch for a non-obligatory quote today.

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