My previous article on How Cheap is Sofia? was extremely popular, and this has prompted me to write a similar article on ‘How cheap is Belgrade?’ I recently spent 10 days in Belgrade staying at Trip and Sleep hostel, and I found the city to be excellent value for money, with a great deal to do in the way of sight seeing and entertainment.
What are the Advantages of staying in Belgrade?
Belgrade is an extremely exciting city with a massive all year round night life scene. The average salary in Belgrade is between €300-€400 a month, and so if you are travelling to Belgrade from Western Europe or the USA, your money will go very far indeed. As a digital nomad on a UK salary, you can have an extremely comfortable lifestyle in Belgrade.
How Cheap is Belgrade?
If you were to ask me ‘how cheap is Belgrade?’ I would say that it’s extremely cheap! Public transport, food and beer is extremely good value for money by UK standards. Compared to Sofia, it is not quite as cheap – accommodation and food is generally cheaper in Bulgaria compared to Serbia. However, Belgrade is a livelier city, and more suitable for you if you are a bit of a party animal!
To put you in the picture, I spent £100 in 10 days, and I was eating out and going out for a couple of drinks (not loads!) on a regular basis. The only thing that I didn’t have to fork out for was accommodation, because I was sponsored by Trip and Sleep Hostel.
The current exchange rate is 159 Dinars to the £1. Check on www.xe.com for the current rate. Remember that the Serbian Dinar is a closed currency and is not stocked in UK banks or post offices. Take a variety of Euros (€) and GBP (£) and exchange a small amount at the airport, or use the airport cash point when you first arrive. Then exchange a larger amount in Belgrade at the exchange office (Menjačnica).
How Cheap is Belgrade? Basic Costs
Coffee/hot chocolate – 150-200 Dinars – about £1-£1.40.
Pizza from a stall/stand – around 100-150 Dinars – about £1
Meal out in standard restaurant or pizzeria (main with drink) around 600 Dinars – around £4 – I was paying around 650 Dinars for a pasta meal and 400-450 Dinars for a nice sandwich in fancy restaurants – I could have found much cheaper if I had travelled off the main streets.
Ice Cream – We were getting Ice-cream from Ice Box for 70-150 Dinars so between 50p and £1. I can understand why my friend Matthew was on two a day at one point!
Dorm bed in a Youth Hostel per night – between £5 (Trip and Sleep) and £9 (Hostel Bongo/Skadarlija Sunrise).
Tram – around 80 Dinars = 50p
Beer – Usually I paid 150 Dinars (just £1!) but in some fancy bars in Savamala (Arts District) and Skadarlija (Bohemian Quarter) I paid up to 220 (still only about £1.50!)
Taxi within the city centre of Belgrade – should not exceed 300-400 Dinars – £2-3
For more information and up to date figures, visit www.numbeo.com.
How to live for Cheap in Belgrade
1. Walk everywhere! The city is really easy to navigate on foot, and is not too big. Buses are also great value – just 150 Dinars from the airport to Belgrade centre (£1!)
2. Shop at the Supermarket for lunches and some evening meals – I used MAXI. I got bread, cheese, cereals, 3 beers and snacks (crisps) for under around £10!
3. Enjoy the free sites that Belgrade has to offer – Kalemegdan Fortress, Knez Mihailova and Sava Church.
4. Rent a flat instead of staying in a dorm – it will be cheaper, and offer you cooking facilities and privacy. One bedroomed apartments in the city centre are around 30,000 Dinars – about £188 per calendar month. AirBnB has apartments for around £240-£300 per month, but you can find cheaper if you stay in a hostel for a few nights first and search from there.
5. When eating out, avoid Knez Mihailova – Knez Mihailova is the most beautiful and popular street in Belgrade, full of 18th Century architecture. However, it’s not the cheapest place to eat. If you want the cheaper cafes and restaurants, head to the student district which is behind the National Theatre. The Waterfront, Skadarlija and Republic Square can also be pricier than the local/student areas, although still very cheap compared to what I am used to back in England!
Do you have any tips or advice for living in Belgrade? How cheap have you found things to be in Belgrade? If you have any questions, please post below.
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