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Serbia

If you’re travelling to Serbia, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Additional Information
  • Health
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

Ireland is implementing the new EU ‘traffic lights’ approach to travel, which applies to countries in the EU / EEA (+ UK). Our current advice for travel to these countries is ‘exercise a high degree of caution’. Our general advice for any other overseas travel remains ‘avoid non-essential travel’ or in some cases, ‘do not travel’. Travel within the island of Ireland can continue as normal, subject to domestic public health restrictions as outlined on gov.ie.

Our TravelWise app has been suspended while we move to implement the new EU system. We apologise for this inconvenience. Updated information will continue to be provided on this website.

On 13 October, Member States adopted the EU Recommendation on a coordinated approach to travel restrictions in the context of COVID-19. This ‘traffic lights’ approach provides for regions across the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) to be categorised as green, orange, red or grey, on the basis of the risk levels associated with COVID-19. A combined indicator map will be published each week by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), based on agreed criteria, including the 14-day cumulative incidence rate, testing rate and testing positivity rates.

In line with the EU Recommendation, there will be no entry restrictions on passengers travelling from green regions. Each Member State will decide in due course what entry restrictions it will apply to passengers travelling from red, orange and grey regions. This website will gradually provide more information as it becomes available.

Information about what to do on entering Ireland from abroad:

All passengers arriving into Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form before entry. In line with the EU traffic lights approach, there are no entry restrictions on travellers from green regions. Currently, all passengers entering Ireland from red, orange and grey regions are requested to restrict their movements for 14 days. For further details please see the Irish Government Advice Page. Everyone is asked to comply with restrictions within Ireland, including those under the National Framework for Living with COVID-19. These are listed on the Official website of the Irish Government.

If you are considering travelling outside of Ireland:

In accordance with Government policy, which is based on official public health advice, the Department of Foreign Affairs continues to advise against non-essential travel overseas, other than to countries that are part of the EU ‘traffic lights’ approach, where the advice is to exercise a high degree of caution (this includes Great Britain but not Northern Ireland). The situation in relation to COVID-19 continues to evolve quickly around the world. Citizens who are considering any overseas travel are advised to carefully monitor the official advice and information from the public authorities in their destination.

Should you decide that you need to travel, you should inform yourself about any requirements in the destination to which you are travelling. Information about entry restrictions currently applied by other countries is available on the country-specific travel advice pages. Additional restrictions may be imposed, including during the duration of your visit. Flight restrictions and route cancellations continue to occur worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will operate as scheduled. It is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage at this time. Any Irish citizen considering any overseas travel should monitor news and information from the public authorities in their country or region of destination. Citizens are advised to follow the public health guidelines of the local health authorities and to continue to practice physical distancing measures, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette etc.

The purpose of the Department’s Travel Advice is to provide information to the general public so that individuals can make informed decisions for themselves. There are significant risks associated with international travel in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. Any citizens who are considering travel abroad, or those already abroad, are advised to monitor our travel advice, and follow us on Twitter. They are also advised to register with their local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Where to go for further travel information:

Overview

Security status

Avoid non-essential travel

Security Status Last Updated: 17 March 2020

Latest Travel Alert

Novel Coronavirus

Cases of novel coronavirus (COVID 19) have been reported in Serbia. See the World Health Organisation (WHO) website for Serbia and WHO Situation Dashboard for Europe  for more information.

If you are in Serbia, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities. Links to the relevant websites are:

Serbian COVID 19 Website

Serbian Ministry for Health

Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

Government Announcements on COVID-19

It is no longer necessary to have a special permit to enter Serbia, and the requirement to undergo quarantine on arrival has also been lifted. All those entering Serbia will be given written health warnings stating that they are entering a country where COVID-19 is still circulating.

A limited number of commercial flights have resumed. It is expected that the number of connections will increase if EU travel restrictions are lifted on 15 June. You can read more about the EU Travel Restrictions here.

Foreigners with residency permits that expired recently must make a new application with the Foreigners Administration (MUP) before 06 June. Irish citizens who overstayed the 90-day visa free period due to COVID-19 must leave Serbia before 06 June or apply for an extension to their stay through MUP before this date.

MUP can be contacted by email (upravazastrance@mup.gov.rs) or phone +381 (0)11 361 8972. The offices are situated at Savska 35, Belgrade and are open from 08:00 to 18:30.

If you are in Serbia, be alert to common signs of infection: respiratory problems, fever, coughing, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Seek medical advice if you experience these symptoms. The emergency line for suspected cases in Serbia is +381 6 4894 5235. HSE medical advice to protect yourself from getting COVID-19 is below.

Do:

• Wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze.
• Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands after.

Don’t:

• Touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

Follow social distancing measures at all times, by keeping your distance from other people, not touching other people and avoiding crowded places.

Additional information on COVID-19 can be found at the following links:

 • Health Service Executive (Ireland) 

 • Health Protection Surveillance Centre (Ireland)

 • European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control 

Emergency assistance

Because there is no Irish Embassy in Serbia, we’re limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Honorary Consul of Ireland in Belgrade or the Irish Embassy in Athens, in Greece.

You can contact the emergency services in Serbia by dialling:

  • Police: 192
  • Fire department: 193
  • Ambulance: 194
  • Roadside assistance: 1987

EU Directive on Consular Protection

Under the EU Consular Protection Directive, Irish nationals may seek assistance from the Embassy or Consulate of any other EU member state in a country where there is no Irish Embassy or permanent representation.

Our tips for safe travels:

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities.
  • Add an alert for your destination within the TravelWise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
  • Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Unrest

The political situation in Serbia is relatively stable. However, we advise you to stay alert at all times, to monitor local media reports and follow the directions of local authorities regarding safety or security risks.

Kosovo

Kosovo formally declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and Ireland fully recognises the Republic of Kosovo as an independent nation. However, the government of Serbia has stated that Kosovo’s declaration of independence is illegal and this has led to increased tensions between ethnic groups.

Demonstrations

A number of demonstrations and political gatherings have been held in Belgrade since Kosovo’s declaration of independence. Demonstrations and protests have also taken place at customs and police posts along the border with Kosovo. We strongly recommend that you avoid any demonstrations or public gatherings as there is a possibility that they may turn violent without warning. You should also avoid being drawn into discussion of the political situation with people you do not know well.

Photography

Avoid taking photographs of military and police installations and/or personnel or vehicles anywhere in Serbia, as this may lead to difficulties with the authorities.

Landmines

There are still residual mines and other unexploded ordnance in some areas of South Serbia. Be careful when travelling in the Presevo and Bujanovac districts of South Serbia. Don’t stray off main routes, particularly in rural areas, and always check with your local contact or tour operator before travelling to affected regions.

Terrorism

Although the threat from terrorism in Serbia is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.

Crime

Most visits to Serbia are trouble-free but you should be careful of street crime, such as mugging, bag-snatching and pick-pocketing particularly in larger cities. Take normal, sensible precautions to stay safe: 

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place
  • Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
  • Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations, markets and other places frequented by tourists
  • Four-wheel-drive and luxury vehicles are a popular target for criminals.
  • Isolated incidents of armed violence in major cities are a problem; however, these are usually linked to organised crime and not directed against foreigners.

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Serbia, report it to the local police immediately and get a report. And you can contact the Honorary Consul of Ireland in Belgrade if you need help.

Driving

If you’re planning to drive in Serbia, you should be careful. Road conditions are generally fair to poor and conditions are worse in rural areas, especially in, and after, bad weather. One particularly poor road is the Ibarska Magistrala (linking Serbia to Montenegro); bad conditions and overcrowding can make it dangerous. Roadworks on the main highways across Serbia (from the Croatian and Hungarian border to Bulgaria and Macedonia), may cause delays. We advise you to drive defensively and avoid confrontation with other drivers.

If you want to drive:

  • Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and your international driving permit
  • Make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance that will cover you in Serbia
  • Driving with dipped headlights is compulsory during the day
  • You should check local developments before starting your journey particularly if you plan to cross a land border with Kosovo

Vehicle documentation

You could be refused entry into Serbia if you can’t show proof that you own or have hired your vehicle so bring your V5 log book or hire agreement and a locally-valid insurance policy so you can present them to the authorities. European green card vehicle insurance is valid in Serbia but is no longer required. The green card annotation for Serbia is ‘SRB’.

Road tolls

There are several tollbooths along Serbia’s motorways. Tolls will depend on the size of your vehicle and you should have at least €200 in cash for toll charges.

Hiring a vehicle

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Many Serbian car hire firms won’t allow their vehicles to be driven in Kosovo, Bulgaria or Albania due to concerns about the security situation. There have been some incidents where Serbian-registered cars have been targeted in more isolated areas of Kosovo. Check the security situation before you set out on your journey.

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal.

Personal identification

You should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.

Local culture

High standards of public behaviour are the norm in Serbia and the nature of Serbian society makes public displays of affection inadvisable.

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties and usually a lengthy prison sentence.

Additional Information

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

Irish citizens don’t need a visa to visit Serbia for a period of up to 90 days. If you have questions about the entry requirements for Serbia, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the Embassy of Serbia in London. You can also check with them how long your passport must be valid for.

Passports

As Serbia is not in the EU/EEA, you cannot use a Passport Card to enter Serbia. You should therefore travel on a valid passport.You need a valid and undamaged passport to enter Serbia. It’s also advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you and to carry a photocopy of your passport at all times during your stay.

Registration

You must register with the local police within 24 hours of arriving in Serbia. If you’re staying in a hotel or official tourist accommodation, you will be registered automatically on check-in. Failure to register may lead to a fine, detention or a court appearance.

Temporary residency

If you want to stay in Serbia for longer than 90 days (for the purpose of education, employment, marriage, etc.) you must apply to the local district police for a temporary residence permit before the 90-day period expires. Make sure you file your permit at least 30 days prior to the expiry of your temporary residence. You’ll need to provide supporting documents with your application. 

Entering the country

You should only enter Serbia through recognised border crossings, where you will receive an entry stamp in your passport from the border police. You may face charges of illegal immigration if you try to leave the country without an entry stamp or exit-entry visa and this could result in a heavy fine or possible imprisonment. 

If you’re a temporary resident (in the country for more than 90 days) you should have an exit-entry visa as well as a residence stamp in your passports. 

Recognised entry points

The Serbian government doesn’t recognise entry points from Kosovo or those on Kosovo’s external borders with Albania, Montenegro or Macedonia (for the list of recognised entry points please refer to the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs). The Serbian authorities will not allow you to travel into Serbia, from Kosovo, unless you began your journey in Serbia and are returning there directly.

Since the introduction of Republic of Kosovo stamps, we’re aware of incidents where foreign nationals who have been denied entry to Serbia if they have these stamps in their passports.

We are also aware of isolated incidents where Serbian authorities have cancelled Kosovo stamps in passports of foreign nationals. You’re less likely to experience entry problems if you travel into Kosovo from Serbia and are returning via the same route or are travelling via Albania, Macedonia or Montenegro.

Money

The official currency of Serbia is the dinar. Credit cards and travellers’ cheques are accepted in most hotels and shops and nearly all ATMs accept international bank cards. 

There are many money exchange machines and offices in Belgrade (including at Belgrade airport) that accept euros, sterling and US dollars and will give back dinars. Irish banks don’t generally exchange dinars so you should exchange any unwanted dinars before you leave Serbia. Only change money through banks or official exchange offices and not through street dealers.

Importing currency

On arrival in Serbia, you must declare money (including travellers’ cheques) in excess of €10,000 (or equivalent) and also items of value intended for personal use and obtain a declaration from custom officials. When you’re departing, you’ll need to return a certified copy of this declaration to customs so that money (up to the amount brought in but not exceeding €10,000 in value) can be taken out again.  You will also be asked for a receipt of purchase for dinars you’ve bought from a foreign bank.

If you don’t comply with these rules, your money can be confiscated.

Earthquakes

Serbia lies in a seismically active zone.  While there has been no serious earthquake in recent years, quakes do occur and earth tremors are common. You should also find out from local contacts or your hotel what you should do in the event of an earthquake.

Forest fires

During especially hot and dry periods there is a danger of forest fires. Always act responsibly when visiting wooded areas and under no circumstances light barbecues or leave any litter behind.

Health

Health

Get medical advice before travelling and make sure that you have any vaccinations you need for Serbia and purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all of your intended activities.

Medical facilities

The level of medical care in Serbia is not comparable to that in Western Europe. Doctors and hospitals will often expect immediate payment, in cash, for health services so if you’ve been referred to a medical facility for treatment, contact your insurance/medical assistance company as soon as possible.

As Serbia is not in the EU, your EHIC (formerly E11) card is not valid and will not give you access to the public health system. To access health services, you should therefore take out insurance before you visit Serbia.

Travel Insurance

We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.

Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.

Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.

Emergency expenses

Your policy should cover:

  • All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
  • Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.   
  • 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
  • Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
  • Lost and stolen possessions.
  • Cancellation and curtailment.
  • Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).

Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.

Animal-borne disease

Cases of rabid foxes and dogs have been reported in Serbia, usually in parks and the outskirts of major cities, including in areas which had been rabies-free for decades. Be wary of, and try to avoid contact with, stray dogs. If bitten, get medical help as soon as possible.

There is also a risk of exposure to tick-borne encephalitis in forested areas so take precautions to avoid tick bites.

Mosquito-borne diseases

Mosquito-borne diseases, including West Nile disease can be a problem in Serbia. You should take precautions by getting up-to-date medical advice before you travel as to whether you will need anti-malarial medication. When you arrive, avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by using bed nets and repellents, and wearing closed shoes, long sleeves and trousers.

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

Where emergency consular assistance is required for Irish citizens outside of opening hours, please leave a message at: +30 210 7232771. This mailbox is monitored regularly. Alternatively, you can contact the Duty Officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin at: +353 1 478 0822.

Embassy of Ireland
7 Leoforas Vasileos
Konstantinou
106 74 Athens
Greece

Tel: +30 210 723 2771
Fax: +30 210 729 3383

Monday to Friday 09:00-13:00

Contact us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Ms. Ann Pesic
Honorary Consulate of Ireland
Kosancicev venac 2/1
11000 Belgrade
Serbia

Tel: +38 111 263 5911
Fax: +38 111 303 6096

Email: Email us