12 Reasons to Travel To Serbia

For the Last Time, it’s NOT Syria or Siberia


6/25/20233 min read

Serbia or Srbija was the heart and soul of the former Yugoslavia. India was a strategic ally of Yugoslavia and the historical ties between the two countries were very strong. Yugoslavia went through a tumultuous time in the 1990s. It disintegrated into Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Kosovo. There were NATO bombings on Belgrade and several wars fought on ethnic lines.

As the Balkan region started to come to terms and revive in the 2010s, one of the most interesting events that strengthened the bilateral ties between India and Serbia (the heart of former Yugoslavia) was the ‘’Visa Free’’ entry to Indians for 30 days for the purpose of tourism starting from 2017. Then the famous Bollywood movie ‘’Uri’’ was shot in Serbia. In fact, Serbia became the first European country to grant ‘’Visa-free’’ entry to Indian citizens. Yes, you can visit Europe without a visa or with just an Indian passport.

In April 2022, I visited Serbia for 2 weeks. In this blog post, I am going to share 10 reasons why Serbia should be on your bucket list.


Delicious and cheap food. Serbia has a lot to offer when it comes to food. I went to Jedno Mesto in Belgrade for breakfast. I order a Serbian Breakfast and Coffee. It was a massive platter with Fried Omelette, 1 large Garlic bread, Ajvar (it’s like chutney made from chilies, bell peppers, and brinjal/eggplant), bacon, sour cream, sausage, salads, and fried Salami (Sremska Salama).

The photo above is of the breakfast I had at Jedno Mesto. The entire breakfast cost me less than €3 or INR 240. This is a nice restaurant in Belgrade, not any street food stall. A cup of coffee in Ireland would cost me more than €3. Getting such a cheap but delicious breakfast in Europe feels like heaven.

I forgot to talk about the portion size of the meals in Serbia.

The portion size of this breakfast in Jedno Mesto was so huge that I couldn’t have lunch that day. Serbians believe that if a guest can eat everything you put on the plate, maybe you aren’t a good host. You didn’t cook enough for your guest.

There are takeaways or street food stalls where I had Ćevapi (Grilled Meat) or Döner Kebab for less than €2.50 or INR 200. Yes, you can have lunch or dinner in Serbia for just INR 200.

Even the fancy fine-dining restaurants in Serbia are affordable for the average Indian Middle-Class. In a fine dining restaurant (Pizza Bar) near St. Sava in Belgrade, a large Pizza cost me €11 (INR 900) and I had to share it with Guru (my friend). The pizza was larger than your average Domino’s Pizza and was sufficient for the two of us.

2. Serbian Hospitality

Hospitality is a key thing if you are traveling abroad. If you visit countries in Western Europe like Germany, France, Spain, or Italy, you are unlikely to be treated or served in the same sense as they serve a white person. The racism aspect in Western Europe is not loud as in the USA or institutional as in Zimbabwe. It’s subtle and you would feel it as you live in a place for more than a month.

However, in Serbia (and even in Montenegro), the people were really hospitable. I didn’t feel discriminated against at any place, be it bars, restaurants, pubs, museums, public transport, or malls. People were open and welcoming. I observed that an average person in Belgrade knows more about India (both good and bad) than an average person in a city in Ireland, Germany, or France.

There are anecdotes that if your car breaks down in Germany, there wouldn’t be anyone who would stop there to help you. Not in the Balkans. Someone would stop by and try his best to help you out.

Balkans know how to treat their guests well. This sounds so much similar to the philosophy behind hospitality in India: ‘’Athithi Devo Bhava’’, which means Guests are like gods.