Hello Niki, tell us something about yourself for the start.
I come from Greece. I consider myself creative, adventurous and a bit shy. Very loyal and kind to people unless they disrespect or harm me or my loved ones. Then my alter ego takes over. I’m also probably the biggest dog lover on this planet.
How long have you been living in Belgrade and what brings you here?
I officially live in Belgrade since September 2016. But I’ve visited countless times before that since my husband is Serbian. We decided to move here because I find Belgrade a city full of opportunities and with a promising future. I have lived in Cacak for 8 months, In Smederevo for 7 months and in Uzice for 3 months as well.
What do you like about being here, and what are the things you don’t like?
I love the architecture especially in Stari Grad and how welcoming and loving Serbian people are towards Greeks. I also like that the city is full of parks and green spots. I hate the fact that some of Belgrade’s citizens disrespect their city and destroy great buildings with silly graffitis. Also, I dislike the “throw the plastic bag out of the window” mentality.
What are your favorite spots / tourist attractions in Belgrade?
Kalemegdan, Beton Hala, Savamala, Knez Mihailova, Skadarlija and Smokvica in Kralja Petra. As I mentioned before, I love every part in Stari Grad, even the war affected buildings.
What is your favorite local food / drink? Are there some things that you are missing from your country?
I love Sarma, Urnebes, Ajvar and trout fish! I really miss proper Greek Feta and Graviera cheese. Luckily Super Vero imports some, but it’s not the same.
What do you think about locals?
I think that due to all the turmoil of the past and the communism, the older generation is a bit close minded, especially outside Belgrade. I believe that the new generation though is adapting to the changes much better. I consider Serbians family orientated and very welcoming to guests, visitors, and expats. I am a travel blogger and it is harder than I thought to find business partners or clients, but ask me again in a year and I’ll tell you more.
How does the cost of living compare to your country?
Serbian prices are ridiculously lower than Greek prices. In any aspect – rent, bills, super market, restaurants or bars.
Any other tips for fresh expats and travelers?
I would say that Serbia is probably the best base one can have in Central/Southeast Europe. You can reach easily within a few hours driving so many countries and the future is very promising for this country. It has a lot to offer and there is a lot to see. Amazing landscapes, nice cuisine and very diverse sceneries (Vojvodina-Sumadija is the best example of its diversity).
Thank you for the interview.
Check out Niki’s blog Nikoza here.