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Serbia can be a tough place to travel to at times, and having the right documentation is very important, especially in a country constantly watching those across the border.
Serbia has seen a renaissance with more tourists visiting the Balkan nation each year. This shouldn't put you off seeing what Serbia has to offer, just understand that officials like things to go to plan.
If you are planning a trip to Serbia, here are some ideas to keep yourself out of jail and trouble.
In 2014, the Serbian Government legislated that entry into Serbia would be visa-free for 90 days for holders of foreign passports having a valid Schengen, other member states, UK, United States and Australia. Any visitor who stays longer than 90 days or for business purposes requires a visa.
For dual nationals, it is also important to use the same passport when you enter and exit Serbia.
For more information visit the website of the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Following the brutal war with its neighbor Kosovo, resulting in Kosovo's independence, Serbia doesn't recognize Kosovo as an independent state. As a result, the security situation along this border is unpredictable and can change at short notice.
Similar to the relationship between some Middle Eastern countries and Israel, having a stamp from Kosovo in the past would end your journey to Serbia. Luckily, times have changed and this is no longer the case. Officials will just over-stamp your Kosovo visa with a "canceled" stamp. But whatever you do, don't try to outthink the Serbian border officials. Entering Serbia through Kosovo without a Serbian entry stamp is considered an illegal entry and can be met with stiff penalties. Likewise, leaving Serbia via Kosovo is not considered legally leaving the country, so you run the risk of being charged with overstaying your entry permit.
Serbia's border with North Macedonia is often an entry point for asylum seekers attempting to reach the EU. Delays and strict controls here are common, especially in the European summer.
On arrival, travelers are required to declare valuables (such as laptop computers, cameras, and jewelry) with a value of more than 10,000 Euros and obtain a declaration from customs officials. This declaration form is required on departure from the country. Failure to comply may result in the confiscation of valuables.
You can take an unlimited sum of foreign currency into Serbia, but you can only take up to 10,000 EUR out of the country.
For more information on the declaration of money and the importation of goods see the Serbian Ministry for Foreign Affairs or the National Tourism Organisation of Serbia.
Similar to neighboring Bosnia and Croatia, foreigners are required by law to register with the police station in their district within 12 hours of receiving a Serbian entry stamp at a border crossing or airport. This may sound like a hassle, but if it isn't done, you'll find yourself in a precarious position.
When you check in at your hotel, staff will register you automatically. This is quite common when you travel to any country (for example, it happens in France), so don't worry about it. However, if you are staying with friends in a private home, you must register your presence with the police in the district you are staying in.
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Belgrade and other cities in Serbia are relatively safe for visitors, but here are our top tips for travelers on crime, bribery and the mafia operating in Serbia.