Backpacking Serbia

Serbia is something of a hidden gem among the European countries – for now! There is so much to discover here. Its landscape is absolutely beautiful and there are five national parks, 20 nature parks, and 590 nature reserves in total. The country also has a fascinating history. Have fun exploring our backpacking route through Serbia!


Important Basics

Official Language ( Serbian )
EnglishSerbian
HelloЗдраво zdravo
Goodbyeздраво zdravo
Thank youХвала hvala
Yesда da
NoНе Ne
Capital City

Belgrade

Form of Government

Parliamentary Republic

Phone Country Code

+381

Best Time to Visit

June to August

Fun Facts

The word “vampire” is of Serbian origin.

There are a lot of elderly people in Serbia.

Hospitality is very important in Serbian culture.

Cities

Tara National Park

The first stop on your trip is in the west of Serbia. To get to the Tara National Park, we would recommend hiring a car in Belgrade and then making your way towards the border.

Founded in 1981, the park boasts 37,000 hectares of mountains, canyons, and lakes. It’s between 250 m and 1,500 m above sea level. Three quarters of the park are covered by dense forests, and its diverse ecosystem is one of the most important ones in Europe. The woods are also an interesting site for scientists, who study the rare animal and plant species that live here. The Serbian spruce, for example, can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

Something you definitely shouldn’t miss out on in the national park is a boat tour through the deep canyons. It’s an exciting experience you won’t forget any time soon!

Not far from the Tara National Park, you can find the heritage railway Šargan Eight. Formerly used commercially, the train is now part of a museum and will take you past some of the most beautiful spots in the area.

You can also stay in the Tara National Park overnight, with a bed in a 4-person dorm costing around €13.

Zlatibor

The next stop on your trip around Serbia is Zlatibor, a low mountain range in the west of Serbia. It forms part of the Dinarides and is bordered by two rivers. Zlatibor’s highest mountain is Tornik with a height of 1,496 m.

Depending on the season and your preferences, you can also visit a spa or go skiing here! The biggest ski center is in Tornik, about 9 km away. It covers an altitude of 1,110 m to 1,490 m. You can also go hiking, horseback riding, or sledging in Zlatibor.

The area is perfect for relaxing, and it is a very popular health resort. The clean mountain air is said to have a healing effect, especially for bronchial and thyroid diseases. In addition, the weather tends to be very nice in Zlatibor. There are about 2,000 hours of sunshine per year, and – thanks to the region’s mild winters – the annual average temperature is around 18 °C.

In the area around Zlatibor, there are a few more sights you might enjoy. Why not visit the waterfall in Gostilje, which is only about 25 km away? It is an absolutely beautiful sight, which we cannot recommend enough. Alternatively, you could explore the 2,000 m-long Stopica Cave. It’s situated on the right bank of the Pristevica river near the village of Rožanstvo. There’s even a small waterfall inside the cave.

You can find accommodation for the night in Zlatibor, where a bed in a dorm costs around €10.

Sjenica

From Zlatibor, continue towards Sjenica, a small town in the southwestern Serbian mountains. It lies at an altitude of about 1,000 m and is situated on the northern slope of the Pešter plateau. The surrounding mountains are called Jadovnik, Ozren, Giljeva, and Javor. Sjenica is part of a municipality of the same name in the county of Zlatibor. The municipality has a population of 26,000 people.

As Sjenica is one of the highest towns in Serbia, it can be quite cold sometimes – on average, there are 134 days with sub-zero temperatures per year. It usually starts getting cold at the end of September and lasts until the beginning of May. In the summer months, the days are warm and humid, but the nights are cold, whereas in winter the air is dry and always very cold. Don’t forget to prepare yourself appropriately according to the season during which you’re visiting Sjenica.

The town is located in a plain, which is also called Sjenica. It was formed by the two rivers Uvac and Vapa. To the south of the municipality is the Pešter plateau.

You can find a place for the night in Sjenica, where the price for a double room starts at around €10.

Studenica Monastery

Your journey is far from over, and your next stop is a particularly special one – it’s the Studenica monastery! It is said to be the place where the Serbian kingdom was born, and it was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.

The Studenica Monastery is also one of only three Serbian Orthodox monasteries that are lavras. The other two ones are the Hilandar Monastery in Mount Athos (Greece) and the Žiča Monastery near Kraljevo (Serbia).

You can stay in a double room in Studenica for about €17 per night.

Belgrade

The final stop of your trip through Serbia is the country’s capital, Belgrade. The city is home to about 1.6 million people, making it the third-largest city on the Danube. It is divided into 10 neighborhoods and seven suburbs. There are also two state universities and an academy here.

Belgrade has over 7,000 years of history and is therefore one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in Europe. It has also been the location of many wars and conflicts, however, so the cityscape is quite modern overall. Today, Belgrade is a vibrant and dynamic city full of energy and exciting contrasts.

There are many sights for you to discover in Belgrade, which is why we recommend starting your time here with a guided tour of the city. Don’t miss out on the breathtaking ruins of the massive fortress that once surrounded the city. They’re called Kalemegdan and now serve as the city’s main park.

The Temple of Saint Sava, one of the largest Orthodox cathedrals in the world, is also worth a visit. Another sight you should make part of your trip is Tašmajdan Park, a beautiful garden in the middle of the city center.

If you’d rather go shopping, however, Belgrade won’t disappoint you either. The pedestrianized zone on Knez Mihailova Street offers all the shops you could wish for.

After an eventful day, you can regain your strength by trying some of the local specialities. Belgrade is famous for its grilled dishes, such as Cevapcici or Pljeskavica.

To experience the capital’s nightlife, make your way through the city’s many clubs. Belgrade is also home to a very special type of establishment, the “splav”. These bars are floating on the river Danube – just choose one and dance the night away!

You have a lot of choice when it comes to hostels in Belgrade. A night in a 10-bed dorm will usually cost you around €13 per person.


Tara National Park

Tara National Park

The first stop on your trip is in the west of Serbia. To get to the Tara National Park, we would recommend hiring a car in Belgrade and then making your way towards the border.

Founded in 1981, the park boasts 37,000 hectares of mountains, canyons, and lakes. It’s between 250 m and 1,500 m above sea level. Three quarters of the park are covered by dense forests, and its diverse ecosystem is one of the most important ones in Europe. The woods are also an interesting site for scientists, who study the rare animal and plant species that live here. The Serbian spruce, for example, can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

Something you definitely shouldn’t miss out on in the national park is a boat tour through the deep canyons. It’s an exciting experience you won’t forget any time soon!

Not far from the Tara National Park, you can find the heritage railway Šargan Eight. Formerly used commercially, the train is now part of a museum and will take you past some of the most beautiful spots in the area.

You can also stay in the Tara National Park overnight, with a bed in a 4-person dorm costing around €13.

Zlatibor

Zlatibor

The next stop on your trip around Serbia is Zlatibor, a low mountain range in the west of Serbia. It forms part of the Dinarides and is bordered by two rivers. Zlatibor’s highest mountain is Tornik with a height of 1,496 m.

Depending on the season and your preferences, you can also visit a spa or go skiing here! The biggest ski center is in Tornik, about 9 km away. It covers an altitude of 1,110 m to 1,490 m. You can also go hiking, horseback riding, or sledging in Zlatibor.

The area is perfect for relaxing, and it is a very popular health resort. The clean mountain air is said to have a healing effect, especially for bronchial and thyroid diseases. In addition, the weather tends to be very nice in Zlatibor. There are about 2,000 hours of sunshine per year, and – thanks to the region’s mild winters – the annual average temperature is around 18 °C.

In the area around Zlatibor, there are a few more sights you might enjoy. Why not visit the waterfall in Gostilje, which is only about 25 km away? It is an absolutely beautiful sight, which we cannot recommend enough. Alternatively, you could explore the 2,000 m-long Stopica Cave. It’s situated on the right bank of the Pristevica river near the village of Rožanstvo. There’s even a small waterfall inside the cave.

You can find accommodation for the night in Zlatibor, where a bed in a dorm costs around €10.

Sjenica

Sjenica

From Zlatibor, continue towards Sjenica, a small town in the southwestern Serbian mountains. It lies at an altitude of about 1,000 m and is situated on the northern slope of the Pešter plateau. The surrounding mountains are called Jadovnik, Ozren, Giljeva, and Javor. Sjenica is part of a municipality of the same name in the county of Zlatibor. The municipality has a population of 26,000 people.

As Sjenica is one of the highest towns in Serbia, it can be quite cold sometimes – on average, there are 134 days with sub-zero temperatures per year. It usually starts getting cold at the end of September and lasts until the beginning of May. In the summer months, the days are warm and humid, but the nights are cold, whereas in winter the air is dry and always very cold. Don’t forget to prepare yourself appropriately according to the season during which you’re visiting Sjenica.

The town is located in a plain, which is also called Sjenica. It was formed by the two rivers Uvac and Vapa. To the south of the municipality is the Pešter plateau.

You can find a place for the night in Sjenica, where the price for a double room starts at around €10.

Studenica Monastery

Studenica Monastery

Your journey is far from over, and your next stop is a particularly special one – it’s the Studenica monastery! It is said to be the place where the Serbian kingdom was born, and it was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.

The Studenica Monastery is also one of only three Serbian Orthodox monasteries that are lavras. The other two ones are the Hilandar Monastery in Mount Athos (Greece) and the Žiča Monastery near Kraljevo (Serbia).

You can stay in a double room in Studenica for about €17 per night.

Belgrade

Belgrade

The final stop of your trip through Serbia is the country’s capital, Belgrade. The city is home to about 1.6 million people, making it the third-largest city on the Danube. It is divided into 10 neighborhoods and seven suburbs. There are also two state universities and an academy here.

Belgrade has over 7,000 years of history and is therefore one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in Europe. It has also been the location of many wars and conflicts, however, so the cityscape is quite modern overall. Today, Belgrade is a vibrant and dynamic city full of energy and exciting contrasts.

There are many sights for you to discover in Belgrade, which is why we recommend starting your time here with a guided tour of the city. Don’t miss out on the breathtaking ruins of the massive fortress that once surrounded the city. They’re called Kalemegdan and now serve as the city’s main park.

The Temple of Saint Sava, one of the largest Orthodox cathedrals in the world, is also worth a visit. Another sight you should make part of your trip is Tašmajdan Park, a beautiful garden in the middle of the city center.

If you’d rather go shopping, however, Belgrade won’t disappoint you either. The pedestrianized zone on Knez Mihailova Street offers all the shops you could wish for.

After an eventful day, you can regain your strength by trying some of the local specialities. Belgrade is famous for its grilled dishes, such as Cevapcici or Pljeskavica.

To experience the capital’s nightlife, make your way through the city’s many clubs. Belgrade is also home to a very special type of establishment, the “splav”. These bars are floating on the river Danube – just choose one and dance the night away!

You have a lot of choice when it comes to hostels in Belgrade. A night in a 10-bed dorm will usually cost you around €13 per person.

Serbia Route Map

Itinerary and Stops.

Tag
Route/Station
Transport
Unterkunft
1. Home – Tara National Park
Home – Tara National Park
Flight + Rental car
50
4-bed dorm
13
2. Tara National Park
Tara National Park
-
4-bed dorm
13
3. Tara National Park
Tara National Park
-
4-bed dorm
13
4. Tara National Park – Zlatibor
Tara National Park – Zlatibor
Rental car
Dorm
10
5. Zlatibor
Zlatibor
-
Dorm
10
6. Zlatibor – Sjenica
Zlatibor – Sjenica
Rental car
Double room
10
7. Sjenica
Sjenica
-
Double room
10
8. Sjenica
Sjenica
-
Double room
10
9. Sjenica – Studenica Monastery
Sjenica – Studenica Monastery
Rental car
Double room
17
10. Studenica Monastery
Studenica Monastery
-
Double room
17
11. Studenica Monastery – Belgrade
Studenica Monastery – Belgrade
Rental car
10-bed dorm
13
12. Belgrade
Belgrade
-
10-bed dorm
13
13. Belgrade
Belgrade
-
10-bed dorm
13
14. Belrgrade – Home
Belrgrade – Home
Flight
50

Total price.

Flights 100,00
Transportation 120,00
Tours 0,00
Accommodation 162,00
Total382,00

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Dos and Donts, Food & Drinks, Costs.

Breakfast

Bakeries: Serbia’s countless bakeries offer different types of bread and pastries and therefore everything you might need for a typical Serbian breakfast.

Soups

Pasulj: this bean soup is a Serbian specialty. It is served with root vegetables, garlic, and – depending on your preference – meat.

Riblji paprikaš: on’t miss out on this fish soup when you’re in Belgrade!

Main Courses

Sarma: sarma is a cabbage roll made from white cabbage that is soured and cooked with sauerkraut and meat. It’s a true Serbian specialty!

Djuvec: many people consider djuvec the Serbain national dish. It’s made from rice that is stewed with peppers and other vegetables.

Ajvar: this is a purée made from peppers and often also from eggplants. Thanks to a lot of spices, ajvar can be quite a hot condiment. It is often served alongside potatoes and meat.

Ražnjići: these meat skewers are a BBQ classic. You can also get them with vegetables instead of meat. They’re ideal as a side dish or, served with potatoes, as a main course.

Pljeskavica: this dish consists of small fried meat patties that served with a creamy, spicy sauce.

Drinks & Snacks

Baklava: This typical Serbian dessert consists of puff pastry pockets that are covered in syrup. You’ll usually have them together with a cup of coffee.

Jelen Pivo: this is Serbia’s most popular beer and therefore a must for every backpacker.

Kruškovac: this is a delicious type of pear liqueur that many Serbians make themselves.

Serbia

The exchange rate for din100 is about €0.85 (as of March 2020). See prices for certain products and the cost of living below.

Cost of Living

Food

Free time

Personal Hygiene

Dos

Toasting: in Serbia, a toast is given before each drink, and not doing so can be considered rude or even offensive.

Appreciating the landscape: of course, you can’t visit every sight on a single trip, but we really recommend making some time to explore Serbia’s magnificent countryside.

Nightlife: this might not come as a surprise, but Serbs really know how to party! Make sure you have at least one fun night out!

Don'ts

Talking about politics: you can talk about a lot of things in Serbia, but maybe skip discussions about politics and violent conflicts while you’re here.

Sitting at the corner of the table: sitting at the corner of a table is considered to be bad luck in Serbia!

Leaving your shoes on: if a Serb invites you into their home, don’t forget to take off your shoes before you enter.

Photographing the ruins: due to the recent wars, there are still some ruined buildings in Serbia. Don’t take photos of them, however, as this is considered disrespectful.

Visa, Visa, Passport & Vaccinations

Passport

Yes

Temporary passport

Yes

National ID

Yes

Temporary national ID

No

Child’s pass

Yes

Visa

(Not necessary)

Vaccine

Robert Koch Instituts

Additional Remarks.

Travel documents have to be valid for the entirety of your trip. Please also find out about the current entry regulations regarding COVID. You can find further information at your country’s Foreign Office.

The team at Backpacker Trail wishes you lots of fun and an unforgettable trip!

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