Serbia, with its variety of languages and cultures, its continental and Mediterranean climate and its rich history, is not usually considered by foreigners an attractive destination to move, but that does not mean that it does not offer interesting opportunities to expatriates. Find out what it’s like to living in Serbia in this article.
Advantages of Living in Serbia
Life in Serbia offers a great intercultural experience. You can discover beautiful cities such as its capital, Belgrade, or as Novi Sad , the so-called “Serbian Athens” and national cultural center, enjoy its natural landscapes or taste the rich Serbian gastronomy.
In general, only two types of expatriates move to Serbia for work reasons. On the one hand, there are those who work in their country for a company with interests in Serbia and are temporarily transferred. And on the other hand, digital nomads who earn money abroad but seek to take advantage of the low cost of living in Serbia.
One of the best Serbian attractions is its delicious food , a fusion between the Mediterranean, Turkish and Austro-Hungarian cuisines. It is curious how difficult it is to find international establishments (even McDonald’s only has restaurants in Belgrade) and that is because local food is much cheaper, tasty and healthy.
As a starter, a Kajmak mousse (sheep’s cheese) is served , accompanied by a small bread made from corn flour, and watered with plum or quince brandy. It is very typical meat prepared on skewers , whether it is suckling pig, lamb or mutton. One of its specialties is Elcevapcici , which is prepared with small rolls of veal meat cooked on the grill and served with onions.
For dessert they do not usually take fresh fruit but sweets made with it. And they are very rich! They also use dried fruits a lot, as in the traditional suva pita sa orasima, a nut cake that is usually accompanied by sweet wine.
How much does it cost to live in Serbia?
As we said, one of the best things about living in Serbia is how economical it will be for you. Logically, Belgrade is the most expensive area but it will still seem cheap to you.
You can find a one bedroom apartment in the center for between 170 and 220 euros, and if you move to the outskirts, there are much cheaper. Of course, they are not too big or modern houses, so maybe you need to invest a little more to find something more “western”.
In food you will not spend too much , no more than € 35 per week if you buy in stores or supermarkets. If you eat at a restaurant, you can do it for around € 7. A bargain, right?
The downside is that the prices are so low because the average salary does not exceed € 350, so you’d better work online or for foreign companies.
Disadvantages of Living in Serbia
Working in Serbia is not easy since the level of unemployment is around 15% and with such low wages many people have to have two or three jobs to make ends meet.
In addition, as a foreigner you will not be able to access the free medical system, although almost better because the hospitals and consultations do not meet the international standards to which you will probably be accustomed.
And if things in Belgrade are not simple, much less if you leave the capital. Almost nobody speaks English and, of course, learning their language is not easy.
Another important problem to face in Serbia is the lack of security . Unfortunately, there are quite a lot of robberies, car thefts and even kidnappings, so it’s good to have your eyes wide open. The level of corruption is also high, so things improve very slowly in the country.