Visiting Serbia first time – some cultural things to know

Will you be visiting Serbia for the first time. In that case, it can be beneficial for you to be aware of certain aspects of Serbian culture. Here are some key points that we collected:

  1. Hospitality is a Priority:
    • Serbian culture places a strong emphasis on hospitality. You may experience warm welcomes and generous gestures from locals.
  2. Traditional Greetings:
    • Common greetings include a firm handshake and maintaining eye contact. Close friends and family may exchange kisses on both cheeks.
  3. Respect for Elders:
    • Respect for elders is a significant cultural value. Using polite language and showing respect to older individuals is appreciated.
  4. Orthodox Christian Traditions:
    • The majority of Serbians practice Eastern Orthodox Christianity, and religious traditions are an integral part of the culture. You should be respectful when visiting their religious sites.
  5. Culinary Delights:
    • Serbian cuisine is diverse and delicious. Be open to trying local specialties like grilled vegetables, sarma (cabbage rolls), and ajvar (pepper-based sauce).
  6. Socializing and Cafe Culture:
    • Socializing is important in Serbian culture. Spending time in cafes is a popular activity, and locals enjoy long, leisurely conversations over coffee.
  7. Music and Festivals:
    • Serbia has a vibrant music scene, and you may have the chance to hear street musicians here and there. Traditional folk music and modern genres are both popular.
  8. Language Considerations:
    • While many Serbians speak English, learning a few basic phrases in Serbian can be appreciated. Locals will likely respond positively to attempts to communicate in their language.
  9. Dress Modestly in Religious Sites:
    • When visiting Orthodox churches, it’s important to dress modestly, covering shoulders and knees.
  10. Traditional Folk Dance and Clothing:
    • Traditional Serbian folk dance and clothing are important cultural elements.
  11. Public Etiquette:
    • Queuing, respecting personal space, and polite behavior in public spaces are expected. Being mindful of these social norms contributes to a positive experience.
  12. Currency and Tipping:
    • The currency is the Serbian dinar. Tipping is customary in restaurants, and rounding up the bill or leaving around 10% is common.

We are curious to learn your feedback, which things you discovered while staying in Serbia! Enjoy the time!