Arriving in Belgrade


In the past 20 or so years, Belgrade has become much more accessible. Whether by car, train or plane, many routes have been opened and renewed, making travel much less of a hassle.

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After the local Airline, JAT Airways, was bought by Etihad Airlines, Thus making it Air Serbia, many new routes emerged. Currently, there is 28 airlines commuting to and from Belgrade, a lot of which are low cost. Most European cities are covered by these, yet there are still many more planned.

By boat

The Danube River flows through Serbia, providing 588 km of navigable waterway. You can arrive in Belgrade on-board a Danube cruise boat (almost 400 boats docked in Belgrade Port in 2007) or in your own yacht. Via the Danube River and the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, Belgrade is connected to the North Sea and the Black Sea.
The passenger dock of the Belgrade Port, including the international border crossing, is located on the right bank of the Sava River, near Branko’s Bridge. The dock features an exchange office, ATM, a souvenir shop and tourist info centre. The Belgrade Fortress is within walking distance, and if you want to go elsewhere in Belgrade, the simplest way is to take a taxi. You can either call one or hail it in the street in front of the dock.

By bus

Belgrade has an excellent network of long-distance buses, connecting it to all parts of Europe. The Central Bus Station, one of the ugliest structures to be seen on entering the city, sits next to the Central Railway Station, so the same warnings about pickpockets and taxi crooks apply here. The same goes for the info on how to get to the city centre. The station features exchange offices, ATMs and left luggage office. Arrivals are physically separated from the station building, they are located across the street, next to a park. You can find a tourist info centre at the neighbouring railway station.

By car

Belgrade lies at the intersection of E-70 and E-75 motorways. Foreign drivers in Serbia need an international driving license, vehicle registration certificate, and insurance policy. The valid insurance policies are issued by signatory countries of the “Vehicle Insurance Convention”, and citizens of other countries are required to buy an insurance policy on entering Serbia. You cannot miss Belgrade, because the motorway runs through the city. The speed limit in the city is set at 60 km/h unless otherwise indicated by speed signs. Permitted Blood Alcohol Level is 0.2 g/l.

By plane

Nikola Tesla Airport is located some 18km west of the city centre, near a place called Surčin. The arrivals hall houses car rentals, a 24-hour exchange office, several ATMs, and a currency exchange machine available in Terminal 1. There is no difference in currency exchange rates at the airport and in the city.

Jat Airways lost luggage is handled by Su-Port service, (+381) 11 267 63 74, and the lost luggage of other air carriers by Lost & Found airport service, (+381) 11 209 48 54, which will deliver the found luggage to any address in the city.

You can call home from a Halo telephone booth, using Halo magnetic cards, available at news stands at the airport. The Terminal 2 departure hall features a post office and an internet café, open 07:30 - 18:30, Sat 08:00 - 14:00, Closed Sun.

The cheapest option for getting to the city centre is bus 72, which leaves from right in front of the Departures hall (one level above arrivals). The bus terminates at Zeleni Venac, which is only a couple hundred metres from Terazija Square, and costs 100 RSD - don't forget to punch the ticket in the automat! It's best to ignore the pushy taxi drivers accosting travellers at the arrivals hall, because chances are they will rip you off. The best advice is to call a taxi (or ask someone to do it for you) and your taxi will arrive in front of the terminal building in a few minutes. The ride to the Old Town takes about 20 minutes, and the price should not exceed €14 (except on weekends and public holidays). Some taxi companies give a 20% discount if you order a taxi by phone. The number of passengers or amount of luggage should not affect the price of the ride. Some taxi companies: Lux taxi, tel. (+381) 11 303 31 23, Beotaxi, tel. (+381) 11 970, Beogradski taxi, tel. (+381) 11 9801.

By train

Back in the days of the Orient Express, a journey by train was the best way to get to Belgrade. The building of the Central Railway Station dates back to 1884 and is located near the Old Town. Besides the Central Bus Station, this is probably the only place in town where you should beware of pickpockets and sharpers.
The station offers exchange offices, ATMs, left luggage office, and a tourist info centre. When you leave the station, you will have to fight your way through the line of importuning taxi sharks, waiting in ambush in front of the station building. Ignore them, and if you want a taxi, hail one a little down the street, or to make sure you dont get ripped off, just call a taxi.
There is a tram stop outside the station building, and line N°2, which circles round Old Town, may be the most convenient. You can purchase your fare before climbing aboard, at a kiosk, at a flat price of 29 dinars, or on board, from the driver, for 40 dinars. If the prospect of a steep 300m climb does not seem too daunting, you can walk up Balkanska Street and reach the very centre of the city - Terazije.

Street smarts

street - ulica
square - trg
boulevard - bulevar
highway - autoput
road - put
quay - kej
bridge - most

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