A Traveler’s Budget – The Belgrade edition

Whether you’re backpacking through Europe and decided to stop by that crazy little place called Belgrade, or you’ve been planning a trip to the Balkans for quite some time, you’re usually on the lookout for the cheapest prices and the best deals.

Compared to quite a few European countries, the average prices in Belgrade are pretty low, which can come as a confusing, but delightful, surprise to you and your wallet.

Also, seeing and using Serbian bills for the first time is a pretty fun learning experience, since they probably have way more zeros than you’re comfortable with and math is suddenly back in your life again.

Restaurants

Belgrade offers an amazing diversity in gastronomy at very affordable prices. Many come here just to get a taste of the local cuisine. Depending on the location and the quality of the offered meal, as with most places, the cost can be harder or easier on your wallet.

The most common option are small, cozy restaurants, and they will charge 3-7 euros per meal, with the average price coming down to 5.24 euros. If you want to get a bit fancy and treat yourself and your friend or a significant other to a nice experience, the cost of a meal for two is 24.19 euros on average, going from 16 to 25 euros. If, on the other hand, you’re cringing at the thought of what the party last night did to your budget, a McMeal (or the equivalent Combo Meal) at McDonalds is 3-5 euros, the average cost being 4.03 euros.

The café culture is very apparent in Serbia and finding a place to chill is fairly easy (it’s actually avoiding them that is the hard part). You might get invited for a coffee, which isn’t actually about getting a coffee, but talking and bonding with a friend over a drink. It could be a Coke, a lemonade, or even beer(s).

When it comes to the cost of these outings, the average drinks prices are as follows:

– Domestic beer (0.5 l per glass – we recommend Zaječarsko!) goes from 1.05 to 1.61 euros with the average price of 1.29 euros

– Imported beer (0.33 l bottle) goes from 1.29 to 2.02 euros with the average price of 1.61 euros

– Cappuccino (regular) goes from 1.05 to 1.45 euros with the average price of 1.24 euros

– Coke or Pepsi (0.33 l bottle) goes from 0.81 to 1.45 euros with the average price of 1.21 euros

– Water (0.33 l bottle) is from 0.36 to 1.05 euros with the average price of 0.67 euros, but it bares to mention that drinking tap water in Belgrade is perfectly safe at most places.

Markets

Convenience stores and supermarkets can be found at almost every corner of the city and quite a few of them are even open 24/7. Some of the most commonly bought groceries, and the ones travelers mostly live off of, would be:

– Regular milk (1 liter) – goes from 0.72 to 0.89 euros, with the average price of 0.78 euros per package

– A loaf of fresh white bread (500g) – As bread is massively spread and consumed in Serbia, the cost of it is fairly easy on the pocket as opposed to many other European countries where it can go up to 4 euros per loaf. In comparison, the price for it in Belgrade is 0.32-0.44 euros, with the average coming down to 0.39 euros for one loaf.

– Eggs (10) – They can be bought per package either at a convenience store or at the local farmer’s market. Either way, the cost of a 10-pack of eggs is 1.05-1.45 euros, with the average coming down to 1.24 euros. 

– Local cheese (1kg) – A delicacy that shouldn’t be skipped, the price of cheese can vary on the type and seller. The price is between 2.82 and 5.24 euros per kilo, with the average being 3.88 euros.

– A bottle of wine (Mid-Range) – When you’re up for enjoying some fine wine, but you’ve only got one bill in your pocket, you can pick some of the more inexpensive, but still very good, options for 2.42-4.84 euros (average 3.63 euros) .

– A pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) – Coffee and cigarettes are two things a typical Serb can’t live without, so it stands to reason that the cost of them would be pretty decent compared to most of the neighboring countries. The average price for a pack is 2.10 euros, but it can go from 2.02 to 2.42 euros.

Transportation

The most common method of transportation through the city is public transport, consisting of buses, trams, and trolleybuses. To be able to ride one of these, you first need to be in the possession of a BusPlus card. Once your ticket is validated on one of the handy machines on your vehicle of choice, it allows you to use any public transport for an hour and a half. These can be bought in pretty much any corner shop around town for 0.72 euros.

If you’re staying in the city for a little longer and you need something more convenient there is also the monthly pass which, surprisingly, lasts for a month and allows you an unlimited number of rides for that particular month. The cost of it is 24.19-28.22 euros, with the average coming down to 25.80 euros.

When you’re in a hurry and going by bus doesn’t really cut it, but you don’t have your own car, taking the taxi is the next best thing. When doing so, there is something to keep in mind:

Belgrade taxis have a starting fare of 1.37-1.45 euros (1.37 euros on average) and a fee they charge per kilometer that comes on top of it, which is 0.52-075 euros (0.56 euros on average). The fee they charge on top also depends on the time of the day, so taking a cab between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. can get a bit pricier than taking one during daylight hours.

 

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