Written by the Travel Safe team
*Based on research and crime data
* Note 83 / 100 based on 74 User reviews.
Serbia: Safety by city
Serbia is located on the Balkan Peninsula, with plains to the north and mountains with popular ski resorts to the south.
The capital, Belgrade, is the reason why tourist flow has increased significantly over the past decades, as its nightlife and extremely friendly locals are so welcoming and quirky that more and more tourists come to Serbia every year, especially during the summer months. .
Of course, the political situation has a lot to do with the increase in tourist numbers, since it has finally calmed down after many, many years of war.
Serbia has always been something of an unknown surprise, even to people in Europe, who are always rightly surprised by how welcoming its cities and culture are.
It is a cradle of many cultures and steeped in history, making it a true gem for any tourist.
And because its people are so friendly, this country is considered very safe.
Warnings and dangers in Serbia
OVERALL RISK: WEAK
Serbia is generally very safe. It is ranked 31st out of 162 on the list of safest and most dangerous countries. Its locals are very kind and happy to help, and tourists in particular should not encounter any bigger problems in Serbia.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: WEAK
Transportation in Serbia is generally safe. Just be on the lookout for pickpockets on public transport and check to see if the taximeter is on when you enter a taxi.
RISK OF PICKPOCKETS: WEAK
Pickpocketing and snatching are the most common form of street crime in Belgrade, so if you run into problems it will likely be pickpocketing which mainly occurs on public transport . Be extremely careful when getting on a bus in the capital of this country, because its pickpockets are very skilled and you will not notice anything until you get off the bus.
RISK OF NATURAL DISASTERS: WEAK
Over the past two years, the only natural disaster to seriously affect Serbia has been large, even fatal, floods. Apart from this, Belgrade is in the seismically active zone (level 2a), but earthquakes of any kind rarely occur.
RISK OF Aggression: AVERAGE
Assaults exist but are rare. There have been reports of kidnappings, either because a person failed to pay a debt or by rival criminal organizations. Crimes like these do exist, but they have decreased significantly over the past decade and are unlikely to happen to a tourist.
RISK OF TERRORISM: WEAK
Terrorist attacks are more likely to occur in the most popular European capitals, such as Paris, London, etc., than in Belgrade. There is a risk of a terrorist attack, but it is very low.
RISK OF SCAMS: AVERAGE
Any newcomer runs the risk of being scammed when visiting a new country, and the same goes for Serbia. The most common scams are people ripping you off at bars or clubs, or street vendors, and drinking at strip clubs.
RISK FOR WOMEN TRAVELERS: WEAK
Serbia is very safe for female travelers. Attacks rarely, if ever, occur, but be on the lookout at all times, especially at night, or in deserted areas, empty, poorly lit streets, etc.
So… How safe is Serbia really?
Serbia is known for its warm and welcoming nation, and even more so for its tourists, so it often happens that the main tourist impression of Serbia is the friendliness of its people.
It is therefore not surprising that this country is considered very safe for any tourist.
However, like anything, there are places to avoid, and if you take basic precautions, your trip should go smoothly.
Although the main concern of visitors is pickpocketing, it should be noted that the crime rate in Serbia is high, due to the activity of organized criminal groups, who constantly fight for important areas and whose Conflicts often end in violence.
As for its nightlife, very popular in Serbia, it is the most popular place in Belgrade, as it is full of clubs, bars and places called “splavovi” (which basically means a club floating on the ‘eau) which are open until early in the morning.
However, these floating clubs usually belong to Balkan criminal organizations and if a confrontation occurs there, it usually ends in violence. So, although these places can be very attractive to newcomers, it is best to avoid them.
Serbs are very involved in sports and are usually avid fans of one of the two most popular rival clubs: Red Star or Partizan.
Attending their matches could be potentially dangerous for tourists (and not only), as there have been cases of foreigners being attacked by fans of these clubs, known in Serbia as “hooligans”.
They are most often linked to criminal groups or ultranationalist organizations. So be very careful when attending sports matches, especially since the rivalry between these two teams is extremely intense.
When it comes to street crime, the most dangerous thing that can happen to you is pickpocketing, usually on public transportation, in crowded places like city bus stations (the most popular bus station of Zeleni Venac is known for its pickpockets) and the main pedestrian street of Belgrade – Knez Mihailova.
Other areas of concern in Serbia are:
- vehicle theft – when renting a car, avoid renting Volkswagen, Opel and other cars most prone to theft and never leave your valuables in plain sight in the car
- conflicts with Syrian refugees – since they transit through Belgrade, they tend to stay there for days and many altercations with them have been reported, so try to avoid the main bus stations in Belgrade where they reside and stay at the away from any suspicious activity
- a high degree of corruption – corruption is so common in Serbia that it has become something of a norm, especially in the healthcare system and the political system. However, tourists rarely have the opportunity to encounter this problem in Serbia.
How does Serbia compare?
A visa is not required for stays of less than 90 days. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months from the date you plan to return to the country you are visiting. However, if you are unsure of your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will tell you whether or not you need a visa based on your nationality and the country you wish to visit.
The Serbian Dinar (RSD) is the currency used in Serbia. To avoid street money changers and exchange your money at official exchange offices, you will find the best rate at the National Bank of Serbia. You can also withdraw RSD at a local ATM.
Serbia is known for having very hot summers (up to 40℃) and very cold winters (down to -15℃). The Serbian climate is considered mild.
Serbia’s busiest airport is in Belgrade, Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport (BEG). Another large airport is located in the city of Niš.
Like anywhere else, we recommend purchasing travel insurance when traveling to Serbia, as it covers not only costs related to medical issues, but also theft and loss of valuable items.
Weather averages (temperatures) for Serbia
Average high/low temperature
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