Belgrade Is Ready for Americans
After nearly a decade of wars and isolation, Belgrade is starting to look forward. It feels like a city that, above all else, just wants to have fun. While anti-American postcards still fill the racks along Knez Mihailova Street, Belgraders were exceptionally open and friendly the three times I visited in 2002.
There are direct flights to Belgrade on Yugoslav Airlines from most major European airports. Tourist visas good for 30 days can be acquired at the border or airport for about $5. This may change, so check beforehand. Save $10 cash for the airport tax, payable upon departure. Within the city there is a decent bus system for about 10 cents a ride. Taxis are $2-$4. If driving in the summer, expect border delays. I waited up to six hours twice coming from Croatia.
There are a few ATM machines in the center of Belgrade. Exchange places marked Menjacnica/Exchange are official and charge no fees. Credit cards can be used in most hotels and some stores and restaurants, but I recommend taking enough cash for your whole trip to be on the safe side.
Inexpensive snacks and meals can be had on the street from the bakeries and kiosks selling burek (filo dough pastry with meat, cheese, or spinach), pizzas, sandwiches, cevapcici, and other grilled meats ($1-$2). Lunch in a cafe costs about $2-$4. Dinner at one of the historic traditional restaurants along the cobbled Skadarlija Street is about $12 per person including wine.
Belgrade is a fascinating city whether you choose to see the sights or hang out in cafes sipping cappuccinos. The web sites below have extensive tourist information. Many people speak English, but its a good idea to learn a few basics and bring a Serbian phrase book.
Belgrade has hotels in every price range. The Royal hotel is right in the center; the rooms are decent and the price is $25 for a double, breakfast included. If youd like to pay a little or a lot more there are many options.