Serbia Driving Guide
Serbia is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit
The Republic of Serbia, or Serbia, is a country found in the Balkan Region of Southeastern Europe. This landlocked country is home to historical landmarks and rich history, luring everyone with its simple charm. But do not be fooled; Serbia is also home to many heart-pumping adventures and lively cities that are known for their nightlife and romantic atmosphere. Truly, Serbia has a lot to offer to tourists of any age.
Serbia is also a common stop-over for people going on Baltic road trips. Drop by the various monuments and majestic churches before you drive to your next country. But before you go, don’t forget to drive by various fortresses, hike to stunning gorges and canyons, eat and party until your heart’s content, and fall in love all over again.
How Can This Guide Help You?
Traveling to a foreign country may sometimes be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time or if you’re having difficulty in planning. This guide will provide you with the necessary information you need to keep in mind when planning your trip to Serbia. Learn about the country and the places you can go to, the legal requirement you will need for driving in Serbia, and even the country’s driving rules and etiquette.
Serbia is a landlocked country found in Southeast Europe and is known as “The Bad Boys of the Balkans." Despite its namesake, Serbians are known to be friendly and welcoming people. It is also the home country of many famous people like Nikola Tesla, tennis superstar Novak Djokovic, and Milutin Milanković.
As part of the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe, Serbia is home to 7.2 million people, with Belgrade’s city as its capital. Serbia is a landlocked country surrounded by beautiful rivers, gorges, and mountains. Its neighboring countries are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, The Republic of Macedonia, and Montenegro. Serbia also shares borders with Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania, making it the perfect country to start your cross-country road trip.
Serbian is the official language of Serbia and is spoken by 88% of the country’s population. Serbian can be written in both Cyrillic and the Latin alphabet. There are also regional and minority languages in Serbia like Bulgarian, Hungarian, Bosnian, Slovak, and Albanian. These languages are spoken by more than 15% of the population, making Serbia a diverse country. Aside from the mentioned languages, English is also very widely spoken throughout Serbia, so there’s no need to worry about language barriers.
Excluding Kosovo, Serbia’s land area is 77,474 km² and is about the same size as the Czech Republic. The highest peak in Serbia is Midžor, one of the peaks found in the Balkan Mountains. Serbia has a diverse geography, and it is known as one of the centers for biodiversity in Europe. Here, you can find 297 endemic species of flora and fauna and several endangered animals.
Serbia was once part of Yugoslavia, a unified country consisting of now Serbia and Montenegro. Its capital was Belgrade, and it was once plagued by financial hardships and anti-government movements. A war broke out in opposition to the Yugoslavian government by military resistance forces, which eventually led to the NATO bombing by the USA. Eventually, negotiations were made, and Serbia and Montenegro were acknowledged as independent countries.
In the 1990s, Serbia’s relationship with Kosovo deteriorated, igniting threats to internal instability. Kosovo wanted to be recognized as a separate state, and Serbia did not allow that. Dissent arose throughout the country as forces of the Kosovo Liberation Army started attacking Serbian police forces. Eventually, negotiations were made, and Russia and Finland played a part in mediating both states.
Serbia’s type of government is a republic. The country has both a president and a prime minister. Before, Serbia only allowed one political party during elections, namely the League of Communists of Yugoslavia. However, other branches of the government became more assertive, thus making changes to the constitutions and allowing other political parties to run for office.
There are many tourists visiting Serbia. In 2018, it was recorded that about 3.4 million people visited the country; this shows an 11.2% increase in tourism compared to 2017. Today, Serbia continues to aim for more tourists visiting their country. The local government has proposed different programs that could help boost the tourism industry in the country.
Driving in Serbia can be fun and easy as long as you have the necessary documents with you. An International Driving Permit or IDP is a necessary document you will be needing when driving in foreign countries. Below are other things you need to know about IDP in Serbia.
Is a Local Driver’s License Valid in Serbia?
Foreigners are allowed to drive in Serbia as long as they have their local driver’s license and IDP with them. You need to bring your IDP, local driver’s license, passport, and other necessary documents when driving in the country. Similarly, for tourists who plan on driving in Serbia with an Indian driving license, your local driver’s license can only be considered valid if you are carrying an IDP. This also applies to visitors who plan on driving in Serbia with a U.S. driving license.
For tourists who plan on driving in Serbia with a U.K. driving license, your local driver’s license is considered valid for single-entry trips for six months. The same goes for visitors who plan on driving in Serbia with a UAE driving license. Despite this, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Serbia still recommends driving in Serbia with an IDP. This is to ensure a more hassle-free driving experience in Serbia as car rental companies and local authorities might ask for one during inspections.
How Long is an IDP Valid in Serbia?
We offer IDPs that are valid for one to three years. An IDP, regardless of your chosen validity period, can be used in Serbia for six months from the day you arrive in the country. You will also need to bring your local driver’s license, passport, and car rental documents if you opted to rent a car. If you are planning on staying longer than six months in Serbia, you will need to apply for a Serbian driving license.
Does an IDP Replace Your Native Driver’s License?
An IDP does not replace your native driver’s license. An IDP is essentially a translation of your local driver’s license and is considered a supplementary document. You will still need to carry your native driver’s license along with your IDP and passport when driving in foreign countries.
Can I Use my IDP Outside Serbia?
Our IDP can be used in more than 150 different countries. If you are planning on going on a road-trip across the Balkan region, be sure to check each countries’ legal requirements for driving. The driving in Serbia requirements may differ from other countries. Some countries you will be driving to might ask for additional documents and have varying validity dates for your IDP.
Can I Drive to Serbia?
Driving to Serbia from different Balkan countries is not uncommon. Road-trips are a must, especially within Serbia, as they let you see the sights and wonders this country has. You can drive to Serbia in your own car, but you will still need an IDP, your local driver’s license, and your passport. You are also legally required to bring the following items:
- A warning triangle
- Headlamp converters
- Winter tires and snow chains when visiting from November to April
- Car insurance and registration papers G.B. sticker, unless your car’s license plate is an E.U. numbers plate that shows the country code
You also need to keep in mind that using a car that is not registered in Serbia will have a higher toll fee.
What Are the Documents I Need to Bring When Driving?
When driving in or through Serbia, you are required to bring your IDP, valid driver’s license, car insurance documents, and car registration papers or car rental papers – if you are renting a car. International Drivers Association can ship your IDP worldwide, but we recommend applying for an IDP before arriving in Serbia.
Driving licenses from the U.K. are considered valid without an IDP for six months upon arrival. The same also applies to tourists who are planning to drive in Serbia with a UAE driving license.
However, if you are planning on renting a car, keep in mind that rental companies will ask for an IDP and some traffic enforcers and toll authorities. Driving in Serbia with a U.S license or Indian license is also not valid without an IDP.
Renting a Car in Serbia
When you are exploring Serbia, the easiest way to get around is by driving a car. Navigating your way through public transportation may get a bit tricky and time-consuming. Getting around by car would give you more control and comfort during your trip, making your visit to travel more worthwhile. Remember to consider the type of the car, its size, and its features when choosing the vehicle that would fit your Baltic adventures. Below are things you need to know before renting a car in Serbia.
Car Rental Companies
There are various companies that offer car rental bookings online; this will make comparing prices and specifications easier. Most of the car rental companies also have offices at the airport, allowing you to pick up your rental car the moment you arrive in Serbia like Europcar and Rental Cars.
Some car rental companies allow walk-in bookings, but it is recommended to book your car ahead of time. Companies such as Auto Europe, Oryx Car Rental Serbia, and Thrifty Car Rentals are some popular options for tourists, especially during the winter months, so be sure to check regularly for availability.
In order for you to be able to rent a car in Serbia, you will need to present your local driver’s license, IDP, passport, and debit or credit card. If you are planning on driving in Serbia with a U.K. driving license, you would still need an IDP, your local driver’s license, and your passport when renting a car, as it is a required document for the car rental companies. This also applies to tourists who plan on driving in Serbia with a UAE driving license.
The legal driving age in Serbia is 18 years old, but you need to be at least 21 years old and have at least two years of driving experience in order to rent a car. If you are planning on staying and renting a car for more than six months, you will need to apply for a Serbian driving license. Remember, even if your driving license is from the U.K. or UAE, most car rental companies will still look for an IDP when you are renting a car.
Car rental companies offer different vehicles that will fit your adventures in Serbia, from small compact cars to family SUVs. Most of the vehicles they offer are compact manual cars, but they also offer automatic cars l at a higher price. You need to consider the capacity and size of the car, as road toll rates in Serbia will also depend on the size of your car.
Car Rental Cost
A rental car in Serbia can cost $23 a day for manual transmission cars and $38 for an automatic transmission. The type of vehicle, the car’s size, the insurance, its type of transmission, and when you are renting it are all factors of the rental cost. Availing extra add-ons like car seats, GPS, and WiFi will also add to the car’s rental cost.
Other factors that can also affect your car rental are its fuel policy, One-Way Airport Rates, Unlimited Mileage plans, and more. Here are estimated rental prices for each type of vehicle you can rent in Serbia (for manual transmission):
- Small cars: $23/day
- Medium cars: $25/day
- Large cars: $43/day
- Estate cars: $49/day
- Premium cars: $54/day
- People carriers: $99/day
- SUVs: $54/day
Although the legal driving age in Serbia is 18 years old, the minimum age requirement for renting a car is 21 years old with two years of driving experience. If you are under 25 years old, some car rental companies may charge you with a young driver surcharge or will ask for a bigger deposit. Young driver surcharge is when companies make the car rental fee a bit higher. Car rental companies are sometimes hesitant in allowing younger drivers to rent their cars because they tend to get into more vehicular accidents than older drivers.
Car Insurance Cost
Insurance can provide ease of mind when driving in a foreign country. There are many unwanted things that could happen, so it’s best to be prepared. Car insurance costs may vary depending on the car rental company and its coverage. There are some companies that offer insurances like the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), Personal Accident Insurance (PAI), and theft protection.
Car Insurance Policy
Fire and third-party liability insurance are mandatory in Serbia. Some car rental companies already include those types of insurances in their rentals, while some may ask for an additional fee. Additional car insurance coverages you can include in your rental are CDW and theft protection. Your car insurance policy and cost may be affected when you are planning on driving outside of Serbia, so be sure to check with your car rental company first.
Road Rules in Serbia
Before you get behind the wheel and start your Baltic adventure, you need to be aware of the important regulations and driving rules in Serbia. Following driving rules will not only help you avoid unwanted situations with the police, but they also help in protecting you and those around you when driving.
Driving rules in Serbia apply to both tourists and locals; Serbian authorities are rigorous in implementing them. Failure to follow these regulations will result in serious consequences for penalties and fines. In worst-case scenarios, it may even result in injuries or death. Below are the important regulations you need to follow.
Serbia imposes a 0.02% blood alcohol limit on locals and tourists. However, there is a zero alcohol limit for professional and commercial drivers. Serbia is constantly lowering its blood alcohol limit, aiming to reduce the vehicular accident rate in their country. Because of the vehicular accident rate rising, especially with the young drivers, authorities are constantly monitoring the roads in the country.
Drunk driving is considered a grave offense. If you are caught exceeding the imposed blood alcohol limit, you will be fined from 50 Euros (5,876 RSD) to 300 Euros (35,254 RSD), depending on the severity of your violation. In worst cases, you will be imprisoned for a minimum of 15 days. For visitors that are from the E.U., the same penalties are imposed, but with the addition of 14 penalty points or the option to revoke your driver’s license.
Parking in Serbia is limited in built-up areas. This means that parking is only available in places that have a lot of buildings such as towns and cities. You need to pay attention to where you park, as parking spaces in Serbia have time limits, depending on the color. Generally, parking spaces require payment if you are parking between 7 AM to 9 PM from Monday to Friday and on Saturday mornings.
Below are the different parking zones and their parking limit duration. Keep in mind that if you do not extend your parking limit on time, your car will be towed, and you will be fined.
- Red zone – 1 hour
- Yellow zone – 2 hours
- Green zone – 3 hours
Using Your Horn
There are places in Serbia where you are not allowed to honk your vehicle’s horn. In built-up areas, you are not allowed to use your horn from 11:30 PM to 7 AM. For places away from the built-up areas, horns are required to indicate that a vehicle intends to pass. Additionally, regardless of the area, you are not allowed to honk your horn if your vehicle is stationary. If you are unsure whether you can use your horn in an area, be sure to take a look around. Usually, there will be road signs indicating if you can use your horn in a certain area or not.
In Serbia, you are legally required to turn on your vehicle’s dipped headlights throughout the day, even when it is sunny. If your headlights cannot be adjusted, you are required to bring headlamp converters with you. Headlamp converters are stickers placed on the headlights that prevent you from dazzling motorists. If you are caught driving without your headlights turned off, you will be fined from 300 RSD to 1500 RSD.
Driving to Kosovo
When planning on driving to Kosovo from Serbia, it’s important to enter the country via Serbia. Serbia does not recognize the border between them and Kosovo. That is why if you enter Kosovo using the unofficial Serbia-Kosovo border, you will not need any additional requirements, as there are no checkpoints. You only need to bring the same driving in Serbia requirements to Kosovo.
When entering Kosovo via the unofficial Serbia-Kosovo border, it is important to exit the country via Serbia. If you exit Kosovo using other official border crossings, like with Macedonia or Albania, you will not have a Serbian exit stamp on your passport. Not having a Serbian exit stamp on your passport will cause future immigration problems, as they may charge you for overstaying the country.
Driving Through Serbia with Pets
If you are driving through Serbia with pets in tow, you need to meet the general requirements and bring with you the necessary documents for entry. Depending on your pet’s country of origin and species, the requirements for pet entry might differ. Listed below are the requirements and restrictions on traveling with pets in Serbia.
For domesticated cats, dogs, and ferrets
1. Pet microchip with an ISO 11784/11785 compliant pet microchip. If your pet’s microchip is non-ISO compliant, you will need to bring your own microchip scanner. The microchip number and implant dates must be stated on the E.U. Health Certificate.
2. Proof of vaccination for anti-rabies: You will need to bring documents from a veterinarian that state your pet has been vaccinated using the WHO standard anti-rabies vaccine. If your cat or dog is less than 12 weeks old, they may not be vaccinated.
2.1. Rabies titer test: If your pet is entering Serbia is from an E.U. classified high-rabies country like Afghanistan, Macao, and the Philippines, you will need to microchip your pet then vaccinate it for anti-rabies. After 30 days, they must be administered with a rabies titer test or Fluorescent Antibody Virus Neutralization (FAVN).
The blood samples for the FAVN must be sent to an EU-approved laboratory. If your pet’s test results are up to standard, they will need to enter Serbia within 90 days from the day the blood was drawn.
3. Health certificate: You will need to submit a Non-Commercial Health Certificate Form that was accomplished and issued by a vet if you are traveling with up to 5 dogs, cats, or ferrets. If you are traveling with more than five pets, you will need to submit a Commercial Health Certificate for Serbia Form. Both forms mentioned should be accomplished and issued by a licensed veterinarian. The forms can be found on the European Commission website.
3.1. If your pets are traveling from the U.S. or Canada, the veterinarian that will accomplish the form should be approved and endorsed by the USDA or CFIA. If your pets are traveling from countries outside Europe, Canada, and the U.S., your pet’s health certificate form should be endorsed to your local government agency responsible for live import and export.
3.2. E.U. Pet Passport: If you are from a European Union Member State, you will need to obtain an E.U. Pet Passport from an official veterinarian.
4. Point of Entry: Your pet is only allowed to enter Serbia through the following border crossings:
- Mali Zvornik-Sremska Raca
- Nikola Tesla Airport
- Veliko Gradiste
For other animals such as amphibians, birds, reptiles, tropical fish, and other mammals:
1. Certificate from a certified veterinarian confirming the animal has met all veterinary-sanitary conditions and requirements for non-commercial travel
2. Health Certificate: You will need to submit a Certificate for Non-Commercial Movement of Other Animals Form that was accomplished and issued by a licensed veterinarian. The form must also be endorsed to your local government agency responsible for live import and export. The said forms can be downloaded from Serbia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
3. Verification: You need to verify if the pet you are traveling with is not protected under the Conservation of International Trade In Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). You will also need to apply for additional permits if they are part of the protected species.
General Standards of Driving
When driving in a foreign country, it is important to know and observe the general standards of driving. Following the general standards of Serbia will help you drive like a local while avoiding road accidents and complaints. We have listed below the things you need to know to drive in Serbia like a real Serbian.
Serbia is strict in its implementation of speeding laws. While driving down the road, you may spot traffic officers positioned at random areas with a speed gun, while some may be hiding inside unmarked traffic patrol cars. Areas like big highways and city centers are installed with cameras that could also check your car’s speed.
The speed limits in Serbia differ depending on the place. If you are caught speeding, fines will also differ depending on your speed, ranging from 3,000 Serbian Dinar (RSD) to 120,000 RSD. Listed below are the speed limits in Serbia.
- City: 37 mph/60 kph
- Highways: 74 mph/120 kph
- Open Roads: 62 mph/100 kph
Like most countries, laws in modern Serbia require the use of seatbelts. Everyone riding the car, even those seated at the rear, is legally required to wear a seatbelt. Anyone caught without a seatbelt on will be pulled over and fined. You will also be fined if you are wearing the seatbelt improperly.
The Road Traffic Safety Agency in Serbia conducted a study on the percentage of seatbelt use in their country for 2016. Studies show that Serbia’s use of seatbelts is comparatively lower than other developed countries like France. Because of this, Serbia is aiming to surpass the seatbelt use percentage, making the enforcement of this law more rigorous than before.
Roundabouts in Serbia have gained quite the reputation in Europe, with quips about you never leaving the roundabout ever again. Roundabouts, especially in Uzice, are hotspots for traffic violations, despite the presence of 60 road signs and clearly marked lane markings. Locals would often drive as they please; they are often caught cutting through lanes or driving on the wrong lane, confusing the other drivers in the roundabout.
Remember to follow the proper road signs and use proper signals when driving in the roundabout. Before entering the roundabout, choose the lane that would lead you to your desired exit to avoid cutting through lanes. If you want to leave the roundabout via the nearest exit, enter the roundabout using the right lane and continue driving on the outermost lane. If you want to leave via one of the furthest exits, enter the roundabout through the left lane and keep driving on the inner lanes until you reach your exit, or you need to change lanes.
Traffic Road Signs
Most road signs in Serbia may seem familiar to you, as they are similar to other countries. Road signs in Serbia are categorized into five: Warning signs, Priority signs, Prohibitory signs, Mandatory signs, and Information signs. Failure to follow these road signs may result in fines and penalties, or worse, accidents. Below is a short guide on Serbia’s road signs.
Warning signs in Serbia are placed to warn drivers of potentially dangerous situations. These signs usually expect you to slow down and be cautious of the surroundings as they may be falling rocks, cattle on the road, and steep descent. Other warning signs include:
- Railroad crossing signs
- Roadworks sign
- Falling rocks sign
- Low-flying aircraft sign
- Roundabout ahead sign
- Slippery road signs
- Pedestrian crossing signs
Priority signs tell drivers who has priority on the road and who has to give way. Priority signs include:
- Stop sign
- Uncontrolled crossroad warning sign
- Give way to oncoming drivers sign
- Oncoming drivers need to give way
- Begin of a priority road
- Roundabout sign
- Mandatory direction for roundabout
- End of priority road
Prohibitory signs, on the other hand, inform drivers of certain actions that they are not allowed to do in the area. They usually have a red circle surrounding the image. Information signs include:
- Entry prohibited sign
- Cyclists prohibited sign
- Pedestrians prohibited sign
- Overtaking prohibited sign
- Using of horn is prohibited sign
- No U-turn signs
Mandatory signs impose to everyone who uses the road an obligation or command. These signs are usually color blue. Examples of mandatory signs are as follows:
- Snow chains mandatory sign
- Driving straight ahead sign
- Mandatory path for equestrians sign
- Mandatory left sign
- Mandatory passing right sign
Lastly, Information signs inform drivers of the start or end of a traffic situation. They are usually blue and are either shaped like a square or a rectangle. Examples of information signs are as follows:
- Begin of an advisory speed limit sign
- One-way road sign
- Parking is allowed sign
- Dead end street sign
- Road narrowing ahead sign
- End of a lane sign
Right of Way
One of the important things you need to know when driving in a foreign country is the right of way. This will save you time from unwanted arguments with other drivers and pedestrians. At road junctions, vehicles on the right lane will have the right of way. At roundabouts, all drivers need to give the right of way to vehicles approaching from the right, as well as yield to all incoming traffic from the right. Lastly, when there is a tram approaching, the tram will always have the right of way.
Legal Driving Age
Like most of the world, Serbia’s legal driving age is 18 years old. However, car rental companies will only allow you to rent a vehicle if you are 21 years old, with two years of driving experience. Most car rental companies will even impose a young driver’s fee if you are under 25 years old, regardless of your driving experience.
Laws on Overtaking
Overtaking in Serbia might be confusing for other drivers. In Serbia, you will be driving on the right side of the road and overtaking on the left. Before overtaking, remember to use the appropriate turn signals. You will also need to be aware of the road signs because there are some places that prohibit you from overtaking.
There will be places in Serbia that have only two lanes. Before overtaking, be sure you have enough space to make the turn. As much as possible, don’t overtake a vehicle unless it is absolutely necessary. Lastly, you are not allowed to overtake a school bus when they stop to board or alight children.
Like most of the countries in the world, Serbia drives on the right side of the road. It is essential to follow this in order to prevent road accidents and traffic. If you are coming from a country that drives on the left side, you might have a hard time adjusting. It is best to practice defensive driving and to take it easy. Choose a car from the rental company that you think is more comfortable and easier to use.
Driving Etiquette in Serbia
Knowing the road rules in Serbia may sometimes not be enough, especially when faced with an unwanted situation. It is best to be prepared and learn about the driving etiquette in Serbia so you will know what to do. Here are some unwanted situations you may face while driving in Serbia and tips on how to overcome them.
An unwanted car breakdown may happen at any time, so it is best to know what to do. If your car breaks down, try to see if you can get your vehicle off the road. You will need to place the warning triangle to warn other drivers. You will be responsible for changing flat tires; depending on your car rental, you may be provided with a spare tire and 24/7 roadside assistance. For major car breakdowns, call your car rental company immediately and inform them of the situation. You can also call the police by dialing 112 for assistance. Listed below are some contact details of roadside assistance companies in Serbia.
- Roadside Assistance Serbia: +381 69 1140000
- Auto Pomoć Doo Preševo-Road Assistance Serbia: +381 69 8701400
- ACJ Šlep i Pauk Služba Beograd: +381 63 205348
If the police stop you during your drive, remember to keep calm and cooperate with them. Serbian authorities are known to be somewhat aggressive; they might start yelling so try to not match your voice with theirs and answer their questions calmly. Have your documents on hand with you at all times, such as your passport, local driver’s license, IDP, car rental documents, and car insurance papers.
Despite being known as the “Bad Boys of the Balkans,” Serbians are known for being friendly and welcoming. Don’t be afraid to ask for road directions from the locals as most of them are also fluent in English. You can try to greet them properly by saying Zdravo, which means hello, or Dobar dan for good day. The locals will appreciate your effort, and you might just make a friend along the way. You can also try downloading or purchasing a driving map for Serbia.
Checkpoints can also be found throughout Serbia, whether near border crossings or in random places in the city. During checkpoints, the authorities might randomly perform a breath-analyzer test on drivers to make sure no one is going above the alcohol limit. If the authorities ask for forms of identification, don’t forget to show them your passport and have your local driver’s license and IDP ready.
During your adventure in Serbia, you might also encounter other driving situations which can be scary, especially when you are in a foreign country. Preparing yourself will help you overcome these situations with ease and could reduce your worries. Here are some practical driving tips in Serbia.
Driving at Night
As much as possible, you should avoid driving at night. Always keep your dipped headlights on, and only use your high beam when necessary. You are only allowed to use your high beam if the road in front of you is clear to avoid dazzling other drivers. You are also not allowed to use your horn at night except during imminent danger and emergencies.
In Case of Accidents
In case of accidents where someone is injured, call the emergency number 112. This number is the emergency hotline used throughout Europe, and you will be connected to the police or emergency medical services. Tell the operator the situation as calmly as you can, as well as all the necessary information like the names of all those involved and your location.
You can also dial the local emergency hotlines in Belgrade: 192 for the police, 193 for the fire department, and 194 for emergency medical services. If there is no one injured, but your car was damaged, call your car rental company and the local authorities. The car rental company will also help you verify if the accident is covered by the mandatory third-party insurance or not.
Driving Conditions in Serbia
Aside from the driving rules and etiquette in Serbia, it is best to also learn about the driving conditions of the country. Some conditions and situations may come as a surprise to you. Learning about them before you start driving in Serbia can help prepare you for possible difficulties and situations you may face.
Vehicle accidents in Serbia have declined thanks to the continuous road improvements and strict implementation of traffic and road laws. From 2000 to 2018, Serbia experienced a 48% decline in vehicular accidents and a 40% decline in road fatalities. The most common causes of accidents in Serbia are excessive speeding and drunk driving.
Young drivers are usually the ones caught violating the driving laws in Serbia, making the authorities reluctant to let them drive without supervision. Because of this, Serbian authorities tend to pull over the young drivers to check their condition before letting them drive back on the road. Random checkpoints are also present in places known to be hotspots for driving accidents.
The common vehicles you will see in Serbia are compact sedans, especially in built-up areas. Serbia’s roads are not as wide as those in the other European countries, that’s why the locals opt for a smaller car for easier parking and road access. Most of the cars in Serbia are also manual transmission, giving the locals more control when driving in snow. Family SUVs can also be seen in urban areas, especially in Belgrade.
Toll roads are present in Serbia, and the fees would vary depending on your vehicle. Road toll fees are based on the vehicle’s height, the number of wheels, and its mass. Serbia’s Public Enterprise website provides a toll calculator, so you can prepare your money in advance. The tolls accept Serbian Dinars and Euros, and you can pay using either cash or credit card.
There are five vehicle categories used to determine your toll fee. We have listed below the corresponding toll fees in Euros for each vehicle category per toll road.
Category 1a is for motorcycles, quads, and three-wheelers. The height of the vehicle should be equal to or lower than 1.3 meters from the first axle.
- E75 from Subotica to Novi Sad: 1.5 EUR
- E75 from Novi Sad to Belgrade: 1 EUR
- E75 from Belgrade to Nis: 3.5 EUR
- E75 from Nis to Presevo: 1 EUR
- E70 from Belgrade to Sid: 1.5 EUR
Category 1 is for cars and vans with two axles, with their respective heights not exceeding 1.3 meters and 1.9 meters from the first axel. The weight of the van should not exceed 3,500 kg.
- E75 from Subotica to Novi Sad: 2.5 EUR
- E75 from Novi Sad to Belgrade: 1.5 EUR
- E75 from Belgrade to Nis: 6.5 EUR
- E75 from Nis to Presevo: 1.5 EUR
- E70 from Belgrade to Sid: 3 EUR
Category 2 is for cars and vans with the same dimensions as Category 1 but are carrying a trailer. The total weight of the van should not exceed 3,500 kg with the trailer. Additionally, vans with two axles whose height exceeds 1.9 meters also fall in this category.
- E75 from Subotica to Novi Sad: 4 EUR
- E75 from Novi Sad to Belgrade: 2.5 EUR
- E75 from Belgrade to Nis: 10 EUR
- E75 from Nis to Presevo: 2.5 EUR
- E70 from Belgrade to Sid: 4.5 EUR
Category 3 is for vans or buses that have two to three axles whose height exceeds 1.3 meters from the first axel and weighs over 3,500 kgs. Vans with two axles and a trailer whose total height exceeds1.9 meters also fall in this category.
- E75 from Subotica to Novi Sad: 8 EUR
- E75 from Novi Sad to Belgrade: 5 EUR
- E75 from Belgrade to Nis: 20 EUR
- E75 from Nis to Presevo: 5 EUR
- E70 from Belgrade to Sid: 9.5 EUR
Lastly, Category 4 is for vehicles with four or more axles, whose height exceeds 1.3 meters from the first axel and weighs up to 3,500 kgs.
- E75 from Subotica to Novi Sad: 16 EUR
- E75 from Novi Sad to Belgrade: 10.5 EUR
- E75 from Belgrade to Nis: 40 EUR
- E75 from Nis to Presevo: 10.5 EUR
- E70 from Belgrade to Sid: 19 EUR
The roads in Serbia are in good condition, especially those in major cities and highways. The Serbian local government is constantly looking for ways to improve the road conditions of their country, especially those in rural areas. Despite this, you may find little potholes or tiny cracks on the road, but this should not affect your driving entirely.
One important thing you need to remember is that you should always stay on the road, especially in rural areas. Don’t go outside the road and always walk on the designated paths. This is because there still might be landmines and unexploded devices in farther areas. Although the local authorities are constantly trying to locate all the explosives, there is still the risk that you might run into one.
Serbian people are known for being friendly, even towards strangers and foreign nationals. However, they are also known for being hot-headed and impatient when placed behind the wheel. Suddenly overtaking, blocking the driveway, and sometimes even counterflowing are just some things these drivers are infamous for. You need to always be cautious, especially when driving on roundabouts and narrow roads, in order to avoid unwanted arguments and accidents.
There are also a few things you need to keep in mind when planning on driving in Serbia. These things will surely help you have peace of mind during your trip. Read below to know more details and driving tips in Serbia.
Driving Outside Serbia
Some visitors in Serbia would want to experience the full Baltic trip, driving from one country to another, taking in all the beauty Southeastern Europe has to offer. Before driving to another country, make sure you check with your car rental company if it is allowed. Some companies will not let you drive to Albania, Bulgaria, and Kosovo due to cases of car vandalism and other safety concerns. Other companies will not let you drive outside Serbia without purchasing additional insurance coverage.
When the documents with your car rental company are settled, you will also need to prepare the necessary driving documents for the countries you are planning on driving to. Generally, international driving requirements would include your local driver’s license, an IDP, your passport, and car and insurance documents. However, it would be best to double-check if the country has additional requirements. Once everything is settled, you can even drive through Serbia to Greece.
Things To Do in Serbia
There are a lot of things you can do in Serbia that could keep you busy. Other than visiting the country as a tourist, with the proper documents and procedures, you could stay in Serbia for a very long time. You will need to consider your employment and requirements for residency before taking the plunge and relocating to this beautiful country.
Drive as a Tourist
Tourists are allowed to drive in Serbia as long as they have the proper documents and have met the age requirements. You will need to apply for an IDP, have a local driver’s license, passport, car rental documents, and car insurance papers before you can hit the Serbian roads. Having an IDP is one of the main requirements for you to be able to drive and rent a car in Serbia. You also need to be over 21 years old and have two years of driving experience to be able to rent a car.
Work as a Driver
The most common driving job you can apply for in Serbia is truck driving. Truck drivers in Serbia typically earn as much as 41,000 RSD per month. Of course, your salary will depend on the job offer made by your employer; the lowest salary you can earn as a truck driver is 21,700 RSD, while the highest is 62,400 RSD. Your salary will also be based on the years of driving experience you have and your level of education.
You will also need to apply for a driving licence in Serbia or convert your local driver’s license, a work permit, and a temporary residence permit. Applying for a work permit is done by your employer. This process may take time, as the National Employment Services in Serbia would still need to verify with the employer your application details. The need for a work permit also applies to citizens from other European countries.
Work as a Travel Guide
Do you know Serbia like the back of your hand? Why not work in Serbia as a travel guide. Travel guides in Serbia can typically earn 87,200 RSD per month. Your salary would depend on the years of experience you have, level of education, and even gender – with women generally earning a bit more in this industry. The lowest salary you might receive is 41,000 RSD per month, and the highest is 138,000 RSD.
If you are planning on applying as a travel guide, you will need to undergo the same procedures and requirements or job hiring for foreigners. You will need both a work permit and a temporary residence permit. Your application will also be reviewed first by the National Employment Services to ensure that you are the perfect fit for the position.
Apply for Residency
Do you want to stay in Serbia for good? You can apply for a residency in this wonderful country. You need to have a temporary residence permit which can be obtained in various ways. The most common way of obtaining the permit is applying for one after you have been granted a work permit. You can also apply for a temporary residence permit if you are staying in Serbia for business, education or research, family reunification, owning a property in Serbia, and other justifiable reasons.
Once you’ve been granted a temporary residence permit, you are allowed to stay for one year upon issuance of the permit; the validity of the permit can be extended for an additional year. If you have stayed in Serbia for a total of 5 years or longer, or if you are married to a citizen of Serbia for at least three years, you are then qualified to apply for permanent stay. Application for permanent stay in Serbia is done by submitting the necessary forms and documents to the Police Directorate for the City of Belgrade in Belgrade.
Other Things to Do
There are still a lot of things you could do in Serbia if you’re planning on staying in the country a little longer. If you want to go on more adventures or want to start living like a local, Serbia is waiting for you with open arms.
How to Convert Your Driver’s License in Serbia
For people who want to stay and drive in Serbia longer than six months, you can convert your local driver’s license to a Serbian driver’s license. All you need to do is submit the required documents and pay the fee at the Ministry of Interior office. The required documents are as follows:
- Your valid local driver’s license and a translation of it that was certified by a court interpreter
- Valid identification card (like your passport and other valid documents)
- Health certificate for driving motor vehicles
- A recent passport-size photo (50x50 mm)
- Proof of payment for the application for the driving license in Serbia
- Proof of payment for the republican administration fee
- Proof of approved stay in Serbia for more than six months
Your local driver’s license should indicate what type of vehicle you can drive. If it is not indicated, you will need to provide a document showing which vehicles you can drive. All the necessary forms for your application can be found at the Ministry of Interior’s office. All payments for your driving license in Serbia are paid through a bank deposit.
Where Can You Practice Driving in Serbia?
You can enroll in a driving school in Serbia if you are still hesitant to hit the roads or practice. A driving school in Serbia will help you get used to the road directions, traffic road signs, and even the driving culture of the locals. By the end of the driving lessons, you will surely be driving through Serbia like a true Serbian.
Before you arrive in Serbia, you will need to apply for an IDP if you want to drive around the country. Applying for an IDP with us, the International Driver’s Association, is easy and straightforward. You will only need to fill in the online form, which asks for your basic information like name, nationality, etc. For shipping purposes for the printed copy of your International Driver’s License in Serbia, a zip code on your address is essential. You will also need to upload two passport-sized photos and wait for confirmation.
The Top Destinations in Serbia
Serbia is perfect for trips filled with adventure, nature, and learning. Travel back in time and learn about the rich history of Serbia while enjoying the beauty of the architecture and Mother Nature. We have listed below the top destinations in Serbia you shouldn’t miss out on your visit.
Kalemegdan is the biggest park in Belgrade and is home to the historic Kalemegdan Fortress. Explore the historic fortress, which was once a Roman stronghold, a Byzantine castle, the capital of medieval Serbia, and finally, an Ottoman artillery fortification. Here you can also find the symbol of Belgrade, take a romantic stroll, visit the local church, and even interact with exotic animals.
- From Nikola Tesla Airport, head north on E75.
- Continue to follow E75 until the exit to Milentija Popovića.
- Take Milentija Popovića.
- Turn right at Bulevar Mihajla Pupina.
- Continue onto Brankova.
- Turn left onto Stambeni kompleks Brankova 37 toward Pop-Lukina.
- Continue on Pop-Lukina until you reach Pariska St.
- Turn left at Sky Gradnja until you reach Kalemegdan Park.
Things to Do
Here is a list of things you could do while visiting Kalemegdan Park:
1. Explore Kalemegdan Fortress
See the historic fortress and learn about the city’s history. Kalemegdan Fortress is a part of the must-see attractions when visiting Belgrade as it also offers a stunning view of the surrounding river and the city. There is also a planetarium and museums found inside the fortress, with real tanks and cannons on display.
2. Go to the Zoo
You can find the Zoo of Belgrade inside Kalemegdan Park. Zoo of Belgrade is known to be one of the oldest zoos in Europe and is located in the heart of Kalemegdan Park. The zoo is home to dozens of animals like elephants, peacocks, hippos, penguins, and one of the world’s largest collections of white lions.
3. Take a romantic stroll
Kalemegdan Park is known to be one of the most romantic places in Belgrade. Surrounded by lush greenery and beautiful monuments, your trip to the Kalemegdan will surely be unforgettable. After a romantic stroll, you can eat at one of the many restaurants inside the park.
4. Visit Victor
Victor is a bronze statue standing 14 meters high and is a symbol of Belgrade. You can find Victor near the upper part of Kalemegdan Fortress overlooking the river Sava and Danube. It is one of the most famous monuments found in Belgrade.
5. Check out the art
Oftentimes Kalemegdan Park hosts many open-air art exhibits all throughout the park. There you can see featured artworks made by the locals. Sometimes, the park also hosts open-air concerts. Be sure to check out the local schedule when visiting the park.
Đerdap National Park
Đerdap National Park (pronounced as Djerdap) is Serbia’s largest national park. This national park is also known as the Iron Gates of the Danube because of the striking cliffs and gorges that naturally form a gate-like border that separates Serbia from Romania. It is said that this natural border is so ethereal, it is often described as “a border designed by a deity.” Đerdap National Park is also home to historical man-made structures that you can explore and enjoy while learning about Serbia’s history.
- From Nikola Tesla Airport, head north.
- Continue onto E75.
- Once you reach the toll road, take A1.
- Continue onto Route 33.
- Take the ramp to Route 34.
- Turn right onto Route 108a.
- Route 108a will merge with Maršala Tita, continue on the road.
- Turn left onto Route 162.
- Turn right.
- Turn left.
- Turn right at Post of Serbia onto Veljka Vlahovića.
- Continue to follow Route 34.
- Route 34 will merge with Cara Lazara, turn right and continue on the road.
- Continue going following Route 34 until you reach Đerdap National Park.
Things to Do
There are a lot of things you can do and find inside Đerdap National Park. We have listed down below some of the things you have to do when visiting this national park.
1. Hike to the viewpoint
One of the best ways to see the beauty of Đerdap National Park is by hiking to one of the viewpoints called Veliki Štrbac. This viewpoint will give you the perfect view of the gorges, mountains, and the narrow section of the Danube river, giving you the best scenic view of the national park that you could possibly imagine.
2. Check out Golubac Fortress
Golubac Fortress is a fortress surrounded by mystery and legends. Given the title of “The Guardian of the Danube,” this lonely fortress has stood near the entrance of Đerdap Gorge since the 14th century. There is no clear historical writing saying how and why this fortress came to be, but it is said that Golubac Fortress has witnessed countless battles during the Ottoman Empire.
3. Visit an archeological site
You can find one of the most important archeological sites in Serbia called “Lepenski Vir” inside Đerdap National Park. Lepenski Vir was a settlement made near the banks of the Danube during the Stone Age period in Europe. You can check out this historical site and its museum to learn more about the history and development of early Serbia.
4. Go cycling
The EuroVelo 6 Cycling Route is a famous cycling route that travels from the Atlantic coast to the Black Sea. This cycling route passes through 10 countries, each with different topographies and views – including Serbia’s Đerdap Gorge. You can join other cyclists in this 4,450-kilometer journey, or you can go on a short cycling trip alone along the Danube. Either way, Đerdap National Park is the place for you.
Stara Planina Nature Reserve
Stara Planina Nature Reserve is a beautiful nature reserve filled with miles of untouched nature. Here you can find many picturesque climbing spots, long rivers, deep canyons, and diverse landscapes. You can find many things to do here while enjoying the beauty of Serbia.
- From Nikola Tesla Airport, head north on A1.
- Take the exit toward Nis and continue onto A4.
- Once you reach the toll road, take Route 8.
- Keep left and stay on Route 8.
- At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit to Route 18.
- Take the ramp to Varna/ Burgas/Svilengrad/Ruse/Vidin.
- Continue to Route 6.
- Follow Route 6 until you reach Stara Planina Nature Reserve.
Things to Do
Stara Planina Nature Reserve is one of the best places you could go if you are an adventure-junkie or a nature lover. We have listed down some of the things you can do while visiting the nature reserve.
1. Go waterfall climbing
During winter, you can climb the frozen waterfalls until you reach the top. The Stara Planina is home to many waterfalls you can climb, but you need to pace yourself as it may get steep and slippery. Extreme climbers love to challenge these frozen falls, and Tupavika Waterfalls remains one of their favorites.
2. Visit the ski center
Stara Planina Nature Reserve also has a ski center near the top of the mountain. You can ride the cable car to reach the ski center and enjoy the amenities. There is also an artificial snow maker at the ski center so you can enjoy the winter feeling all year round.
3. Go fishing
Zavojsko lake is one of the clearest mountain lakes you can find in Serbia. Resting at the foot of Stara Planina mountain, you can go fishing with the locals and catch yourself a pike, catfish, or carp.
4. Enjoy the scenery
Stara Planina Nature Reserve is also home to endemic plants and endangered animals. Try to spot a golden eagle and horned larks during your visit. As a monumental heritage site, you can see prehistoric, Roman, and medieval architectural remains and ethnic objects throughout the reserve.
Nis is the third-largest city in Serbia and is filled with diverse attractions for all ages. Here you can step back in time and get a glimpse of Serbia during the Ottoman Empire. Learn the important history, eat great food, and go on extreme adventures; Nis will surely surprise you with how much this city has to offer.
- From Nikola Tesla Airport, head north to A1.
- Take A1 and continue until the exit towards Nis.
- Forward on A4 until the exit towards Bulevar 12.
- Continue on Bulevar 12 until the exit to Route 35.
- Follow Route 35 until the exit to Nis.
Things to Do
Nis offers a wide variety of things you could do in this beautiful city. We have listed below the must-see and must-do things in Nis.
1. Visit the Skull Tower
The Skull Tower is a unique monument made out of stone and skulls of the Serbian soldiers during the battle of Cegar. Most of the original skulls are now missing, but the local government was able to preserve parts of the tower, with now 59 skulls remaining. The tower is open every day and can be visited for a fee of 2 Euros.
2. Go paragliding
Nis is one of the best places you can go paragliding in Serbia. Climb up the mountains surrounding the city and paraglide down below with an experienced guide. Paragliding in Nis would typically cost 40 Euros per person.
3. Eat the local cuisine
The city of Nis is also known for being the city with some of the best food in all of Serbia. Try their local cuisine, from the street vendors to upscale restaurants. Nis is a paradise for all food lovers out there. Meat lovers, in particular, will find this charming city a food haven.
4. Visit Oplenac church
The Church of St. George, or more commonly referred to as Oplenac, is one of the most impressive churches in the region. Inside, you will see more than 40 million colored glass to form mosaics. The church also acts as a mausoleum for members of the Karađorđević dynasty. Oplenac church can be found between Belgrade and Nis.
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