Belgrade expats – Benjamin

How long have you been living in Belgrade and what brings you here?

belgrade-expats-benjamin

I’ve lived in Serbia for about 3 and a half years now. I got a Scholarship in 2013. to come to Belgrade for my bachelor’s degree. Before coming here I didn’t know anything AT ALL about Serbia (also very little about Europe), most of my friends back home think that I am in the Middle East somewhere (Syria)

What do you like about being here, and what are the things you don’t like?

There are quite a few things I really like about Belgrade, Serbia. Firstly there is a vibrant culture among the people, one can only be jealous of. People for the most part are very relaxed, open and most notably straightforward. Secondly, I admire Belgrade mostly in the summer for its availability of… literally everything. Why choose one place or settle with the first place you see? There’s enough to choose from based on your liking, whether restaurants, parties bars or shops.

I like the nature here also, for even though Belgrade at time feels very congested, a 15 minutes bus ride out of the city and you literally feel the difference in the air. On a side note, it’s quite amazing the effort people put into their gardening.

Now for dislikes…. The weather is very confusing. I’m not a fan of the rapid changing weather. Sometimes it feels like all 4 seasons in one day and there are those days when it’s too hot to wear a jacket but too cold to just wear a T-shirt only. Some people in administration could be rude and disrespectful at time (especially at the Police station). But then again, I guess that could depend on where you’re from, or your social class…

What are your favorite spots / tourist attractions in Belgrade?

KALEMEGDAN!

What is your favorite local food / drink? Are there some things that you are missing from your country?

I must say my favorite Serbian food are: palacinka (both sweet and salty), punjena paprika and pasulj. My favorite Serbian drink is rakija; not because I like drinking it but for the mysteries it unfolds…hahaha

What do I miss…The right question is what don’t I miss. Serbian culture and Caribbean culture are not very similar, you are lucky if you find a reggae party somewhere in the city.

What do you think about locals?

Local people in my opinion are mostly chilled and open.

How does the cost of living compare to your country?

The costs of living (and most things as a matter of fact) are actually cheaper or around the same price in Belgrade as in Antigua and Barbuda. This is very ideal for a student.

Any other tips for fresh expats and travelers?

-Make sure you have a pair of good sneakers, because Serbians LOVEEE to walk.
-Everyday in Belgrade is an opportunity to see something new, even if you’ve seen everything before.
-Don’t take things too personal- I think Serbs are generally rough people, so try not to be easily offended.
-Don’t always go to the first place you see, get recommendations for the best places for whatever your interest is.
-Keep an extra sweater and umbrella in your bag for the surprise winters.
-If you’re meeting someone on a day when there’s a football match, be sure to leave 5 hours earlier and let them know you’ll be late.


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