Ivana comes from UK. She is of Serbian origin, but has only recently moved to Belgrade.
How long have you been living in Belgrade and what brings you here?
I have been living here for 3 years, I initially came on holiday and never really went back to the UK. My family comes from Serbia, since being a kid I have always loved visiting, and always said I would live here.
What do you like about being here, and what are the things you don’t like?
I like the people, the feel of the city (or should I say atmosphere). It is much more chilled out than in the UK, and not as much of a rat race. I like that there is always somewhere to go, or somebody to drink coffee with. I like that it is cheap, easy to get around (with the help of planplus). I like the weather (generally)
There are also things which I don’t like. The poor economy, corruption, people working for a whole month for something they could not survive a week with in the UK. I don’t like public transport in the summer months. I don’t like administration.
What are your favorite spots / tourist attractions in Belgrade?
My favorite spots in the city are ‘Zemunski kej’ and ‘Ada’ for walks in the spring and summer. In winter I tend to enjoy drinking tea in the Dorcol area.
What is your favorite local food / drink?
Food, it has to be prsuta, and drink Turkish coffee and rakija 🙂
What do you think about locals?
It is hard for me to make a clear judgment, because I am Serbian so it is something I have become accustom to. However, I do spend a lot of my time comparing Serbian people and English. It is difficult not to.
I believe Serbians are very headstrong, resilient and (for the most part) well cultured. Compared to the Brits. But are less patient and polite.
There is not much I can say about business culture, apart from administration! It is a joke. Also, I believe that there is less of a focus on customer service in Serbia than in other countries.
How does the cost of living compare to your country?
It is very different. In the UK I need £1500 just to pay rent, eat, have one night out a week, pay for my car and phone (if I am lucky)
In Serbia I can get by with half of that, and live a more comfortable life.
Any other tips for fresh expats and travelers?
Meet locals, speak to them about places to go. Research, there are many hidden gems not only in Belgrade, but across the whole of the country. Don’t give beggars money, if you want to help, buy them food. People are mega friendly here, especially to foreigners, so be aware when you go out to places such as night clubs, where people may take advantage. Eat, the quality of food in most places is very good and also cheap, but try go to places locals have told you about. As they know the best!