Country profile

Serbia: About the country

Despite its turbulent recent history, Serbia is a friendly, welcoming place to visit, with much to offer those with the open mind and sense of adventure to give it a try.

Embroiled in the Balkan wars of the 1990s and not formed as a separate country until as late as 2006, Serbia is now a safe and secure place to visit as it fights its way back from the troubles of the past, both military and economic. Bordered by all five of its fellow former Yugoslav republics, as well as Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, Serbia has many different cultural and ethnic influences, creating a varied and fascinating society rich with customs and traditions and fierce with national pride.

The capital, Belgrade, is a highly popular destination for both medical tourists and anyone else who wants to have a good time. This is a city that doesn’t sleep, with a nightlife that is famous across Europe. Recommended by many of the leading travel guides as a city full of fun, Belgrade doesn’t just party at the weekend, and it can be hard to tell what night it is from the raucous crowds in the city centre.

Other cities across Serbia reflect its position at the crossroads of East and West, with Nis blending oriental influences, while Subotica in the North has all the baroque charm of a classic Central European city.

Away from the cities, Serbia is full of surprises. It may not be internationally known for its wines, but that is only because they are produced on a small scale by individual vineyards. The emphasis here is on quality over quantity, and these boutique vineyards are well worth seeking out on the many ‘wine routes’ drawn up by the tourist board.

Similarly, Serbia does not share the same reputation as Austria or Switzerland when it comes to skiing and ski resorts, yet for those in the know, Kopaonik is one of the finest ski resorts in Europe. The fact that it is such a well kept secret only serves to make it better, with none of the crowds of the more well known slopes. Skiing or not, the mountainous interior of Serbia is a must on any visit, with beautiful peaks and lakes at every turn.

Yet because of the recent troubles, and its continuing struggle to establish itself within the region and within Europe as part of the EU, Serbia remains an undiscovered gem that rewards those that look forward instead of back. It will be a leading tourist destination in the near future, complete with the crowds, so make sure you get there soon and enjoy unspoiled Serbia at its natural best while you still can.

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Quick facts

Population: 7.1 Million
Currency: Serbian dinar
Capital: Belgrade
Languages: Serbian
Religions: Serbian Orthodox 85%