The capital city Belgrade is your first port of call.
There are two sides to Belgrade – a dark, mysterious and sometimes eerie atmosphere, mixed with the begrudged feelings that the locals seem to have in regards to their past. It also has an aura of hope, of caring and helpfulness. The Old Town, which can be reached from the main part of the city by bus, encompasses the lighter, and more beautiful side of Belgrade.
I visited Belgrade in early winter, which no doubt has contributed to my overall experience of this eerily charming city. The city itself boasts some stunning buildings and scenery. Take in the wonderful view of the Danube whilst sitting at a local café or bar, be sure to visit the fortress, which is just the beginning of your trip back into a chaotic past. Last but not least, enjoy the incredible nightlife that this city unfolds for you when the sun goes down.
If you have time, take in some of the scenic Serbian countryside, especially historic cities such as Novi Sad. The locals in Serbia are friendly, caring and helpful. They do like to educate you on their dark recent history, be sure to listen and ask questions.
The capital boasts an array of accommodation options, and be sure to book ahead if you're visiting during the summer months.
Hostel owners are very friendly - mine even took me out to experience the nightlife, then for a traditional Serbian burek for breakfast the next morning. There are hotels abound in Belgrade, but if you are to visit other cities and towns – be sure to book in advance and check transport close to where you're staying.
Serbia is still very affordable – but this won't last forever.
Make sure you get to know the locals. They may not seem friendly at first sight, but remember they have a dark and chaotic past. They are more than willing to engage in conversation, help you to discover their amazing country and even possess a dry sense of humour.
If you take public transport (like I did) make sure you are ready for numerous, and lengthy delays at the borders. For example, a night train is a cheap option, but don't expect to get too much sleep. When I caught a night train from Hungary to Belgrade, the train was stopped four times – but don't be deterred, as the end result is well and truly worth it.
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