How much should I budget for a weekend in… Belgrade?

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How much should I budget for a weekend in… Belgrade?

Prices last updated July 6, 2024

Belgrade may make those who lived through the 1990s think of bombs and conflict, but in the 30 years since the dissolution of Yugoslavia, it has regenerated into a hip and relaxing city to visit. Here’s the low down on how to have to a trip to Belgrade on a budget.

At a glance budgets to visit Belgrade

for a 3 day break, for cheapest available flights from London, accommodation, food and sightseeing.

Budget: £180pp

Mid Range: £340pp

High End: £570pp

Belgrade across the Danube
Photo credit: Andrew Otto

Full breakdown of costs to visit Belgrade

Type of expenseLow BudgetMid-range BudgetHigh Budget
Flights£80£80£80
Transfers£6£44£44
Food£45£60£90
Accommodation£24£120£300
Things to do£20£30£50
Sundry expenses£2£4£6
TOTAL£177£338£570
per person costs

What should you budget for flights to Belgrade? 

Return flights from London to Belgrade can be found for as little as £80 per person. It’s most expensive to fly on Friday and return on Sunday, and substantially cheaper to fly Thursday to Tuesday, and given how cheap it is once there, it’s probably worth staying a little longer than closer weekend breaks.  

Wizz Air are by far the cheapest flights, but Air Serbia do have similar priced flights, you just have to hunt harder for them.

Wizz Air do not fly all year round, so while you might think that you can get off-peak discounts travelling in January, you might find only the higher end airlines are making the trip at that time of year.


How much are transfers from Belgrade Airport?

A taxi from the airport to central Belgrade will cost 3,000 RSD, or about £22. There is a fixed price system, and you buy a voucher from the desk inside the airport terminal before proceeding outside to the taxis.

A minibus runs at least hourly and as often as every 15 minutes at some times of day. It costs 400 RSD (£3). You just buy a ticket from the driver, and it takes you in to Slavija Square in cental Belgrade.


How much you should budget for accommodation in Belgrade

A shared room in an 8 bed dorm can cost as little as £12 per person per night, and are often in great locations. A mid-range hotel room in a central location will set you back about £55 per room per night, while a 4* hotel will be more in the region of £65 per room per night. The very top notch can be more like £150 per night.


What you should budget for eating out in Belgrade

Photo credit: Su-Lin Lee

Belgrade loves meat. Any menu you find will be a long list of meatballs and hamburgers with a variety of spices and sides. To add to your impending heart-attack, bacon is considered a snack food in Serbia. Other hunger-busting quick eats include Borek, a heavy, often cheese-based pastry cake or pie, and sandwiches galore.

The main thing you’ll notice in Belgrade however, is that everyone, at all times of day or night, male, female, old or young, all love to take a break and have a cake and a cup of coffee. Pancakes or ice cream can be suitable substitutes for cake, but it must be sugary and it must be eaten as constantly as possible. A cake and coffee in a posh, city-centre street cafe, where you can watch the fashionable residents shopping, might set you back about £4 (550 Dinar), elsewhere a very reasonable £2.50 to £3. Bear in mind, to really enjoy Belgrade, you will need to have 3 or 4 of these a day.

Dinner is a very mixed affair price-wise. A single course with a side salad (you’ll need side salads a lot as main courses are often just meat and potatoes) in one of the tourist-heavy (but also very nice) restaurants on Skadarlija will set you back around £8 – £15 per person. It will cost you a little more if you want to push the boat out with a mixed grill or whole chicken, of course. however, if you eat at budget places, a burger and fries or a whole pizza can be had for £4.

Cake from Hotel Moskva, Belgrade. Not a cake for on a budget.
Photo credit: BuhaM

When to go 

Belgrade doesn’t get as fiercely cold winters as you might expect, but it does freeze and snow there. It warms up quickly though, and from March you can expect double figures, and from May to October, the temperature often sits in the 20s. August and September are the hottest months, often hitting 30 degrees.

While there is something suitably post-communist state about wrapping yourself up in a thick coat and trampling through the snow, one of the nicest things in Belgrade is taking an evening stroll through the mild streets. Along with what feels like everyone else in the city, sitting outside for lazy evenings with a coffee or a cocktail is how the city should be enjoyed. You really need to be here from May to October for that to be at its best.


Things to do

Belgrade is a big city, with what seemingly as many different things to do as there are people in it. It’s a very young city, with a rising reputation on the clubbing scene, but there are also plenty for the tamer holiday makers.

Belgrade Fortress

Belgrade Fortress
Photo credit: David

Rising unavoidably from the banks of the Danube is Belgrade Fortress. From a distance it looks like a sprawling, wooded park, and that isn’t far from the mark. The grounds are open 24 hours a day, and extremely popular with locals for walks, views and to sit in the cafes.

There are several museum-esque attractions in the fortress, including a clock tower you can climb up, a Roman well and some cold war bunkers. The attractions are not open all the time, and incur a small entrance fee. You can see more details about prices and opening hours here, but most entrance fees are only about £1 to £2. The interesting half-star shape of the fort means that walls are rarely running in the direction you think they are and it’s very easy to find yourself lost here.

Churches

St Sava Church in Belgrade
Photo credit: Petar Milošević

There are several impressive churches in the city, the most famous, and most spectacular, is that of St Sava’s. About a 30 minute walk from the main city shopping streets, it’s a bit out of the way, but definitely worth a visit. You can also take bus 31 right from the centre. The church rises above the surrounding city, with dome piling on dome, and once you’re inside it feels almost cavernous. It may have been started 100 years ago, but it’s still not quite finished, so there may well be scaffolding inside.

Tesla Museum

One of the city’s most famous residents, however briefly, was Nikola Tesla, and there’s a museum dedicated to his works. The museum is very small, but includes regular demonstrations in English of many of his original inventions, including an enormous Tesla coil. Our favourite item is a remote controlled boat from 1898, which everyone assumed was controlled by a secret monkey, as the technology it used was so radical it couldn’t really be believed. And who doesn’t like to think of a monkey piloting a boat? Tickets are pricey at £6 (800RSD) but include a guided tour that usually takes place about once an hour in English. If you like a bit a technology and want something you really can only find in Belgrade, it’s a wonderful place to visit.

Just down the road is also a statue to Belgrade’s other most famous citizen, Gavrilo Princip. His name may not be as well known as that of Tesla, but his deed definitely is: he fired the shot that killed Archduke Ferdinand, setting in action the events that spiraled into the first world war.

Shopping

Knez Mihailova Street Belgrade - great for shopping
Photo credit: Jorge Láscar

For those who like to shop, Knez Mihailova is the street to head to. It begins directly outside one of the main entrances to the fortress and Kalemegdan park, and is wonderful mix of cafe and restaurants, high-end clothes shopping, slightly shonky jewellers and stalls outside selling painting of Serbia.

The enormously wide boulevard, lined with high rise, art-noveau style buildings, is everything people imagine Paris still to be. Busy in the day with shoppers, come dusk, everyone comes out just to promenade up and down, meeting and greeting, and sizing up other peoples’ fashion choices. At weekends, the pedestrianised zone is extended and traffic diverted, such is the importance placed on everyones’ evening stroll.

Boats and bikes

No trip to Belgrade would be complete without a trip along the Danube, either along its banks or on its surface. There are several boat trips along the river, most on large modern vessels, for about £10 per person, some including a little food and drink for about £20 per person and there is also one on a replica medieval ship.

Photo credit: Alexey Komarov

There is a bike path all along the Danube, that in fact runs from Belgrade to Nantes in France. It will shortly continue all the way to Constanta in Romania! The good news is you don’t have to cycle the whole route to enjoy its charms, and a cycle along the river is a lovely way to spend a morning. You can hire bikes for about £10 per day.

Another good destination might be Lido beach, on the north tip of Great War Island. This large island in the Danube is a nature reserve with no developments allowed. In summer, locals flock over the temporary bridge to sunbath on the sandy beaches, walk in the woods, or take kayaks out on the river.

Nightlife

If nightclubs are your scene, you want to head down to the river at night. On the eastern side of the river, many clubs are in the railway arches, or lining the streets between the Brankov Most bridge area to the railway station. When the night really gets going, head over the bridge to the western bank, and follow the river. In either direction, you’ll soon hit lines of floating clubs, also known as splavs.

Some are boats that have been converted, some look like shipping containers someone has balanced on a raft and all of them offer loud music and alcoholic drinks. Getting here before midnight is a definite faux pas, and most places are open until at least 4am.

For those who like a slightly more sedate night, there are also a number of jazz clubs in the city proper, such as Jazz Basta, just north of the Brankov Bridge which tend to wind up at a more sedate 2am.

Yugoslav History

Photo credit: orientalizing

For a reminder of Serbia and Belgrade’s recent past, head to the Museum of Yugoslav History. The complex has three main sections. There is the May 25th Museum, which is a fairly dry and partisan exhibition that really only focuses on Yugoslavia under Tito.

Next is the Old Museum, sometimes labelled as the Open Storage, which has a huge collection of Tito’s own things. These are mostly gifts from other leaders from around the world, or various communist party sections. This is an interesting collection, not so much for its illumination of what Tito was like, but it does give a good overview of art and the kind of objects that were seen as important by different nations over the decades Tito was president.

The final part of the museum is the House of Flowers, where Tito and his wife Jovanka are both interred.

One £4.50 (600 RSD) ticket gets you access to all three buildings. It is not a good place to start if you are looking for a beginners guide to former Yugoslavia, but it is a good (if overwhelmingly positive) look at Tito and his undeniable role in holding the different republics together for so long. Many of the displays in the May 25th Museum are only labelled in Serbian, so be ready to create your own interpretations! It’s a way out of town, about an hour long walk, but buses 40 or 41 go straight to the front door.


Sundry expenses

Most things in Belgrade are within walking distance. If you do want to get a bus, for example to St Savas Church or the 25th May Museum, you can buy a ticket on board for £1 (150RSD).


Obviously, this can only ever be a guide. If you know you like to mainline expensive cocktails on holiday, or want to hit every museum in town, take that into account. You might be interested in checking out the other cities in our How much should I budget series.


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