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Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent. They can result in injury or death.
Protests are common in Belgrade and other towns and cities across Serbia. They are usually peaceful but can cause major disruptions to traffic and public transport.
Some sporting events have turned violent, injuring people and damaging property. There have been incidents of clashes beten police and fans near sports venues as well as between fans of opposing teams. While foreigners are not targeted, there have been isolated incidents where foreigners have been affected by the clashes.
To protect yourself during periods of unrest:
Be careful of celebratory gunfire or fireworks, especially around major holidays, celebrations and after sporting victories.
The level of security at Serbian land borders can change without notice. The border with North Macedonia is an entry point for asylum seekers attempting to travel through Serbia to the EU. Delays and strict controls at the border are common, especially in the European summer.
To stay safe:
The Republic of Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008. Serbia doesn't recognise Kosovo's independence.
Security along the border between Serbia and Kosovo can change quickly. Be cautious travelling in the Kosovo border area. The security situation can be unpredictable.
In the past, clashes between security forces and armed groups have happened:
Further unrest may occur.
Be cautious travelling in the Kosovo border area.
The area of Southern Serbia bordering Kosovo has unexploded landmines and other remnants of war. Only use well known roads or paths.
To stay safe in southern Serbia, only use well know roads and path and be alert of uncleared landmine warning signs.
Pickpocketing, bag snatching and other petty crime is common. Criminals often target foreigners in crowded places, such as markets and on public transport.
To reduce your risk of crime:
Violent criminal acts are usually linked to organised crime. They are not directed at foreigners.
However, there have been several violent and fatal attacks against foreigners, particularly late at night:
Many Serbians own guns, and shootings happen.
In July 2016, a domestic dispute in the city of Zrenjanin, 80km north of Belgrade, led to a mass shooting. Five people were killed and twenty-two injured during the incident.
To protect yourself from violent crime:
Credit card fraud is common.
Only use ATMs in banks, shops and shopping centres.
Always take care to protect your card and PIN.
Be alert for suspicious behaviour.
To reduce your risk of fraud:
Terrorists have staged attacks in European cities. Targets have included:
To protect yourself from terrorism:
If there's an attack, leave the area as soon as it's safe. Avoid the affected area in case of secondary attacks.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Serious earthquakes are rare but tremors are common.
Flooding can happen throughout the country, especially along the Sava River.
Bush and forest fires can occur in summer, from June to September, especially in southern Serbia.
Extreme hot and dry periods may lead to water shortages.
In winter, from October to March, some parts of Serbia can experience extremely low temperatures. Snow and ice are hazards.
Monitor local media and weather reports. Plan ahead.
If there is a natural disaster or severe weather:
Register with the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to receive alerts on major disasters.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Serbia. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.
Carry a letter from your doctor stating:
Air pollution levels can be high, especially in winter. Heavy smoke from coal and wood burning heaters can stay in the air.
Accidental release of toxic matter from factories is common.
Authorities don't always issue public health warnings.
If you have asthma or any other breathing difficulties, speak to your doctor before you travel.
There's a risk of tick-borne encephalitis in forests and fields.
Ticks are common in country areas. They are active from spring to autumn.
Take measures to avoid tick bites, particularly in rural areas.
During and after visiting a forest:
Cases of West Nile virus are reported throughout Serbia. There's no vaccine to prevent it.
To protect yourself from disease:
Outbreaks of foodborne and other infectious diseases happen from time to time. These include:
To protect yourself from illness, avoid:
Get medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
Medical facilities in Serbia are below Australian standards.
If you're injured or become seriously ill, you'll need to be evacuated to a place with better facilities. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and include long prison terms in local jails.
It's illegal to photograph military and police:
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
The Republic of Serbia recognises dual nationality.
Serbia abolished compulsory military service in 2011.
If you're an Australian-Serbian dual national, you could have military service duties from before this date.
Check with an Embassy or Consulate of Serbia before you travel.
If you're returning to Serbia after many years away, living conditions may be different to what you expect. Do your research before travelling.
Same-sex relationships are legal but not widely accepted.
Verbal and physical aggression is sometimes directed towards the LGBTI community. Avoid public displays of affection.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders.
Make sure you meet all entry and exit conditions. If you don't, the Australian Government can't help you.
You don't need a visa for tourist visits of up to 90 days in a 6-month period. This applies from the date of first entry.
You'll need a visa for other situations.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Serbia for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
Don't attempt to enter Serbia from Kosovo unless you first travelled into Kosovo from Serbia.
To travel from Kosovo to Serbia, you'll need a valid, recent Serbian entry stamp in your passport. If you don't, you'll have to enter Serbia from another country.
If you have any border entry or exit stamps from Kosovo in your passport, Serbia can deny you entry. In practice, this does not occur often, but the Serbian border police will cancel the Kosovo entry/exit records by stamping over them.
The security situation along the Kosovo-Serbia border is volatile.
Political violence has broken out many times at the border crossings of:
Be cautious travelling in the Kosovo border area. See Safety
Within 24 hours of arrival, you must register your accommodation with either:
If you're staying at a hotel, ask if the hotel will register for you.
If you're staying in a private home, you'll need to register at the nearest police station.
If you don't register, you could be fined or detained.
If you plan to stay for longer than 90 days, you'll need to apply for a Temporary Residence Permit. Apply at least 30 days before your tourist visa expires.
Check the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Serbian) for application forms and more information.
Local police issue the temporary residence permits.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
The currency of Serbia is the Serbian Dinar (RSD). You can't change it outside Serbia.
On arrival, you'll need to declare currency and valuables with a value of 10,000 euros or equivalent. Valuables may include:
Make sure you get a copy from customs officials. You'll need the declaration form when you leave Serbia.
If you don't declare your currency or valuables, they could be taken away.
Most banks in towns and cities have ATMs that accept international bank cards.
ATMs only dispense Serbian Dinar.
Traveller's cheques are not widely accepted. However, larger branches of some banks will cash them.
Border crossings close at short notice. Delays and disruptions to cross-border transport are possible.
To stay safe:
To drive, you'll need both:
Get your IDP before you leave Australia.
Driving without an IDP could void your travel and vehicle insurance.
Driving can be dangerous due to some poorly maintained vehicles, roads and poor driving habits.
It's dangerous to drive after bad weather.
Drivers and pedestrians frequently ignore road rules.
In rural areas, pedestrians and farm animals sometimes share the roads.
In winter, snow and ice are additional hazards. Local authorities may not always clear roads after heavy snowfall.
It is illegal not to wear a seatbelt if one is available.
The blood alcohol limit for drivers is 0.03%.
Call 1987 for roadside assistance.
Only use registered taxis and authorised limousines. Ask your hotel to arrange this for you.
Registered taxis have both a municipal registration number and a taxi number.
Public transport is usually reliable but it can be crowded. Standards vary.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Serbia's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
For non-emergency criminal issues, contact the local police.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
If you're not happy with their response, contact the local National Tourism Organisation of Serbia office.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular assistance, contact the Australian Embassy in Belgrade.
Vladimira Popovica 38-40
11070 New Belgrade, Serbia
Phone: (+381 11) 330 3400
Fax: (+381 11) 330 3409
Facebook: Australia in Serbia
Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.