Road Conditions and Safety: Roads in Serbia are not always well-maintained, especially in rural areas and in southern Serbia.
- Exercise caution when driving on roads in southern Serbia in the winter.
- Drivers should also be cautious when driving along Serbia?s Ibarska Magistrala, the highway between Belgrade and ?a?ak, because of the higher rate of accidents.
- Winter fog in Serbia is another concern because it significantly reduces visibility and is especially heavy in the Vojvodina region between Belgrade and the Hungarian border.
Roadside assistance is available by dialing 1987 locally. The local numbers for the police and ambulance are 192 and 194, respectively.
- You may use a U.S. driver?s license in Serbia for up to one year after your arrival, as long as you have been granted temporary residence for more than six months or permanent residence.
- Drivers with a blood alcohol level higher than 0.02% are considered intoxicated and face arrest, prosecution, and fines.
- You must wear a seat belt while driving or riding in a car in Serbia.
- You may not use a mobile phone while driving in Serbia except with a hands-free system.
Public Transportation: Belgrade and some other large cities in Serbia have public transportation networks. Buses are often crowded, and some lines and vehicles are poorly maintained. There is also intercity bus and train service for many locations in Serbia.
See our Road Safety page for more information. More specific information concerning Serbian driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and required insurance is available at the Serbian Automotive Association’s website.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Serbia?s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Serbia?s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.
For emergency services in Serbia, dial 193 (fire-fighters), 194 (paramedics), or 1987 (roadside assistance).
Ambulance services are not widely available, and training, availability of emergency responders, and ambulance equipment may be below U.S. standards.
Medical Facilities: Many doctors and other health care providers in Serbia are highly trained. Equipment and hygiene in hospitals, clinics, and ambulances are usually not up to U.S. standards. U.S. name-brand medicines are often unavailable in Serbia. You can get many medicines and basic medical supplies at private pharmacies. Medical facilities usually require payment in cash for all services, and do not accept U.S. health insurance. Please review our travel tips for older travelers.
Medical Costs and Insurance: Most health care providers overseas only accept cash payments. The U.S. Embassy does not pay medical bills. Check whether your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas and be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply outside the United States. We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.
Medications: Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor?s prescription. Check with the Medicines and Medical Devices Agency to ensure the medication is legal in Serbia.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
Health facilities in general:
- Adequate health facilities are available throughout the country but health care in rural areas may be below U.S. standards.
- Some private hospitals may require advance payment or proof of adequate insurance before admitting a patient.
- Psychological and psychiatric services are limited, even in the larger cities, with hospital-based care only available through government institutions
Medical Tourism and Elective Surgery
- Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry, especially in dentistry. People seeking health care overseas should understand that medical systems operate differently from those in the United States and are not subject to the same rules and regulations. Anyone interested in traveling for medical purposes should consult with their local physician before traveling and visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information on Medical Tourism.
- Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for information on Medical Tourism, the risks of medical tourism, and what you can do to prepare before traveling to Serbia.
- We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation in the event of unforeseen medical complications.
- In case of malpractice, you may pursue legal remedies using local attorneys.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States. Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States. Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.
- U.S. citizens have suffered serious complications or died while seeking medical care from non-traditional ?healers? and practitioners in Serbia. Homeopathy, herbal remedies, and other non-traditional treatments are practiced in Serbia and promoted as natural alternatives to traditional medicine. Ensure you have access to licensed emergency medical facilities in such cases.
Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy
- If you are considering traveling to Serbia to have a child through use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) or surrogacy, please see our ART and Surrogacy Abroad page.
- Surrogacy is illegal for foreigners and Serbians in Serbia.
Local laws and Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Your U.S. passport won?t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also pay fines or have to give them up if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
- Faith-Based Travel Information
- International Religious Freedom Report ? see country reports
- Human Rights Report ? see country reports
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations in Serbia or on the organization of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex) events. Serbia has active and increasingly-visible LGBTI advocacy groups, and several LGBTI bars operate openly and without problems in Belgrade. Many recent LGBTI public events, including most recently the 2019 Pride Week events in Belgrade, were held without incident. (Pride parades in 2011, 2012, and 2013 were cancelled by the government because of security concerns.) Homophobia exists in Serbia (see pages 31-32 of Embassy Belgrade?s 2018 Human Rights Report for Serbia). LGBTI travelers should exercise caution when visiting Serbia. We advise against same-sex public displays of affection. Many Serbians belonging to the LGBTI community do not reveal their sexual orientation or gender identity and avoid reporting incidents to police. Though a growing number of police officers have received training on how to work with LGBTI individuals, including when they are victims of crime, many have limited experience and knowledge.
For further general information on travel abroad by LGBTI individuals, please read our LGBTI Travel Information page.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Accessibility and accommodation may be very different than what one finds in the United States. Travelers may encounter difficulties in accessing older buildings, outdoor tourist sites, hotels, and public transport. Sidewalks and paths to buildings and tourist sites are often uneven. Hotels frequently do not have elevators.
Women Travelers: Please review our travel tips for women travelers.
Bringing Money into Serbia: If you enter Serbia with more than 10,000 euro in cash (or equivalent in other currencies), you must declare it to customs. If you fail to do so, Serbian customs may confiscate your money or levy heavy fines. Please review our customs information for additional details.
Safety and Security
Terrorism: Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad. Terrorists worldwide are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack ? including knives, firearms, rudimentary Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and vehicles ? to more effectively target crowds. Frequently, they target unprotected or vulnerable venues, such as:
- High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)
- Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists
- Places of worship
- Shopping malls and markets
- Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights)
For more information, see our Terrorism page.
Anti-U.S. Sentiments: While Serbians can be welcoming to visitors, anti-U.S. sentiment is widespread and can be more prevalent around certain anniversaries and some national holidays, including: February 17 (anniversary of Kosovo?s 2008 declaration of independence), between March 24 and June 10 (the anniversary of the 1999 NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia in response to events in Kosovo), and potentially June 28 (St. Vitus?s Day or Vidovdan).
Sporting Events: There is the potential for violence before, during, and after sporting events. There have been clashes between police and fans in the vicinity of sports venues, which are often located in residential areas. The Embassy considers matches between certain teams, including Partizan, Rad, and Red Star, to be high risk events because of violence at previous games. While U.S. citizens have not been targeted in the past, in a few isolated cases non-Serbians have been the victims of sports-related violence. U.S. Government employees are generally advised to avoid the vicinity of high-profile sporting events.
Night Clubs: As a safety precaution due to xenophobic violence, the following clubs have been declared off-limits for U.S. Embassy personnel in Serbia:
- Klub ?lep (Shlep)
- Mr. Stefan Braun
- Violent crime in Serbia is most often associated with organized crime activities and hooliganism surrounding high-profile sporting events but can also be the result of xenophobia.
- Instances of organized crime-related violence, including car bombings and assassinations by shooting, increased notably in 2018.
- Although not traditionally the targets of violent crime, tourists and visitors should maintain a heightened awareness of their surroundings, since violent crime can occur at all hours and in all types of locations: both upscale and economically depressed neighborhoods, out in the open on busy public streets, and in hotels, restaurants, cafes, and other places frequented by tourists.
- Pickpocketing, purse snatchings, residential burglaries, and other crimes of economic motivation occur regularly.
- Most crimes happen because people let their guard down. Unlocked cars, valuable items left in plain sight (such as money, jewelry, and electronics), and open gates, garage doors, and front doors make attractive targets for thieves.
- Tourists should pay attention to taxi meters and listed fares as taxi drivers may try to scam foreigners and charge higher rates.
Demonstrations occur frequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events.
- Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly become violent.
- Avoid areas around protests and demonstrations.
- Check local media for updates and traffic advisories.
- Maintain caution if within the vicinity of demonstrations.
- There is often a heavier than usual police presence near demonstrations and traffic may slow or stop until well after the demonstration ends.
Victims of Crime: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime in Serbia, you should contact the local police.
Report crimes first to the local police by dialing 192. Remember local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes. Not all police officers speak English.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- Help you find appropriate medical care
- Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- Explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- Provide a list of local attorneys
- Provide our information on victim?s compensation programs in the United States
- Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- Replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S.-citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities are not known to commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the Serbian government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders have difficulty accessing areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage
Entry exit Requirementsh
Visit the Embassy of Serbia’s website for the most current visa information.
- U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter and stay in Serbia for up to 90 days.
- It is important to enter and exit Serbia using the same passport. U.S. citizens who also hold Serbian citizenship should always enter and exit Serbia on their Serbian passport.
- If you lose your U.S. passport after arriving in Serbia, you must obtain a police report and a new passport prior to departure.
- You cannot enter Serbia using an expired passport or one that has previously been reported lost or stolen. Immigration authorities will deny you entry and return you to the city from which you flew to Serbia.
- U.S. citizens must register with the local police within 24 hours of arrival. Hotels or similar accommodation will do this for you. If you are staying at a private residence, you will need to register in person at the nearest police station.
- The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Serbia.
Temporary Residence Permits: If you wish to stay in Serbia longer than 90 days during any 180-day period, you must apply for a temporary residence permit from the local police with jurisdiction over where you are staying in Serbia. You cannot apply for a residence permit from outside of Serbia.
- For information about how to apply for a temporary residency permit, please visit the Serbian Ministry of Interior?s website.
- All application documents submitted for temporary residence will require an ?apostille? stamp from the government office where you got the document. To learn more about apostilles and other official documents, please see the Notarial and Authentication Services page.
Special Guidance for Travel to and from Kosovo:
- Serbian border officials do not recognize the authority of Kosovo?s government.
- Serbia will not grant entry to travelers who try to enter Serbia from Kosovo without first having previously entered Serbia from another recognized entry point and obtaining a Serbian entry stamp.
- Example: A traveler who arrives in Serbia by air and drives directly to Kosovo (not through a third country) will be permitted to re-enter Serbia directly from Kosovo.
- Example: A traveler who arrives in Kosovo by land or air from a third country (not Serbia) and then plans to travel by land to Serbia must first exit Kosovo via its border with either Montenegro or North Macedonia and then proceed to a border crossing with Serbia.
Please see the Department of State?s Fact Sheet on Serbia for information on U.S. ? Serbia Relations.