Traveling to a new part of the planet is always a very exciting thing for me. I always start getting this little BUZZ feeling way down in my gut a few weeks before I leave. I try to be as prepared as possible, but there are always things I neglect to think of.
One thing in Serbia that is very different for American tourists is the electrical connection. The United States uses 110 volts while Serbia uses 220 volts. Electrical wall outlets in the USA are made for three posts to enter. You have a positive, negative and a ground. Check the pictures below….
While Serbian outlets are round and made for two circular plugs to enter. See the picture below..
..It is very easy to find the electrical converter here in Serbia. The majority of electrical stores offer them. I bought this one
for 200 Dinars or about $2.50 in Kragujevac.
Another big difference I noticed was that the light switch was on the OUTSIDE of the bathroom!!!!
I still find myself walking into the bathroom and looking for the switch! I can imagine the fun I would have had if this was a normal thing in the USA. You could shut the light off on your brother while he is in the shower. I think they do it for safety reasons. It is still annoying for me after all this time in Serbia.
You might also notice that many of the older homes still have a little water heater in the corner of the bathroom and in the kitchen. You might have to turn on the water heater 20 or 30 minutes prior to getting into the shower, BUT be careful. The water gets so hot it will burn you! Most US homes have a large water heater that heats the water for the whole house and is always running on either gas or electric. It is usually hidden in a separate room. The Serbian way is much more cost-effective and I don’t know why it isn’t used as much in the USA.
The worst thing for me is the lack of dryers in Serbian homes. It is very rare to walk into an American home and not see a washer and a dryer. Serbian homes almost NEVER have a dryer. The vast majority of homes have a clothes line hanging outside and dry their clothes on it to preserve energy. This is a pain for a guy like me. I am the guy that likes to decide what to wear at the last-minute and if it is dirty…. wash it and throw in the dryer to dry and take the wrinkles out. That won’t be happening here. It is also difficult to find a laundromat. They do have a few in the larger towns but the smaller towns don’t.
Passport and Visa…..
Americans DO NOT need to do anything prior to flying to Serbia. Once you arrive at the Belgrade Tesla Airport you will receive a stamp on your passport that is good for 90 days. It is free of charge and most of the time the custom officials will ask you nothing. A few times I have been pulled to the side and asked where I was going, who I was staying with, etc. I just said that I was a tourist and didn’t have all that info. They are friendlier than American custom police. 🙂 It is always advisable to head to the American Embassy to register your stay. You don’t need to do it, but they will take your email, phone, etc and keep you up to date on any activities that might jeopardise you safety. Their address , phone number, etc can be found on their website http://serbia.usembassy.gov/hours-of-operation.html
Serbia also requires that you go to the local police station within 24 hours of your stay. If you are staying at a hotel, they do it for you. If you are staying with a friend or get an apartment, you must take the owner of the home with you. They will issue you a white registration card. You must keep it with you at all times. Serbian police can stop anyone on the street and ask for your identification. If you don’t have it you can be in trouble. They will ask for the white card if you leave the Serbian borders. Many times they haven’t even looked at mine, but better safe than sorry.
Serbia doesn’t have the large selection of chips, candy bars, soda and snack food that we have. They have lots of different chocolate products, but they lack in the other fields. Maybe that is why you don’t see lots of fat people lumbering down the streets. LOL! I really miss Doritos!!!!
They have their own brand that rules the market in Serbia. It is called Chipsy..
You will also have a hard time finding Dr Pepper, Cherry Coke, Cherry 7-UP, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I am an addict so I have looked everywhere for them. 🙂
If you must have them, bring them from home! 🙂
Before visiting Serbia it would be wise to exercise your neck. You will find yourself turning in awe at the gorgeous ladies that line the streets of Serbia. The majority are tall, very well dressed, beautiful jaw lines, long legs, very confident and sweet personalities. You will very rarely find a Serbian women that will walk out of the house without first going through an hour-long make up and primping session. hahaahah…
Think ahead!!! 🙂 You will enjoy Serbia all the same. Just a few tips to help you cope !! Serbia is the jewel of the Balkans. Long live Serbia!!!!!