Sunday, June 21, 2015

How to Spend Less Money, but More Time in Belgrade

There are a lot of articles about things you should visit in capital of Serbia. But, just like every big city in a world, Belgrade also has some secrets, some thing that you should avoid in order to travel cheaper and longer.

Accommodation and Food

Find a good place to stay. If hotels are to expensive for your budget, and hostels are not your cup of tea, staying in apartment is a good solution. You can find a lot of cozy, well equipped apartments, with air condition, internet and cable TV. It doesn't have to bi in very center of the city, you can walk downtown or use a public transport. The price vary depending on apartment size, but also location is very important and can make a big difference. It's always better choice to spend seven, then five days, in city like Belgrade. The only thing you should do is to plan ahead and make a smart choices.

Don't eat at expensive restaurants. The food in downtown restaurants sometimes is going to be double the price of food that you can find elsewhere. It is great experience to have a meal at Kalemegdan, or Skadarlija. But, you can find a lot of small, not so famous restaurants, with tastier food and smaller prices. These are the places where local people eating, and they have to offer high quality, or they will lose customers otherwise.
It's smart idea to use websites like Foursquare to check what are Belgradians rating highly, or try some adventure and walk into random restaurant, a few blocks from downtown.

Water is free. You don't have to buy water in Serbia, you can drink it from faucet, or from drinking fountains in public places. Also, you can take a plastic water bottle with you, and fill it on these spots. You can find at least four or five drinking fountains in center of Belgrade, in Knez Mihajlova street. When you're in a restaurant or coffee shop, you can ask for a glass of water, it's free of charge.

Act Like a Belgradian

If you have to exchange money, don't go to the bank. Maybe it looks like the safest place, but exchange rates are the worst, for sure. You should use exchange offices instead, there are a lot of them in Belgrade. They will offer a better rates, especially if you have a bigger amount of money to exchange. You can't pay in foreign currencies, only dinar is accepted in Belgrade, and the rest of Serbia as well.
The other way is to use your card to make payments, but if you want to buy some souvenir from a street vendors, you are supposed to have cash.

Don't use a taxi, unless it is the only option. Public transport in Belgrade is not so great, but it's good enough if you are a small budget traveler. It can take you more time, but you will always get the place you want to visit. When you are going to spend more than few days in Belgrade, or travel in a bigger company, you should consider rent a car as a reasonable option. When you share costs, it is cheaper than a taxi, and more convenient than public transport.

Visit a local tourist office. Maybe it should be the first stop on trip to Belgrade. People that work there are supposed to know the answers on every question that you might have. They get paid for that, so do not hesitate to ask. Here you can get a information:
  • about city events
  • advice about accommodation and restaurants.
  • get a discount cards
  • information about places that you can visit for free

Anyway, it is a good place to start your visit.