SERBIA MEDICAL TOURISM
Serbia Medical Tourism is quickly rising to the pinnacle of healthcare travel in Europe
Located in southeastern Europe on the Balkan peninsula, Serbia used to be part of the former Yugoslavia until 2006 when the country officially became a single independent unit. It is bordered by Hungary to the north; Romania and Bulgaria to the east, Macedonia and Albania to the south; and Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro to the west. Despite its turbulent past of being involved in the Yugoslav wars in the 1990’s, Serbia is now a democratic nation that is a safe and hospitable place to visit.
SERBIA MEDICAL TOURISM FAME
Serbia is quickly rising to the pinnacle of medical tourism in Europe because of its world class, modern facilities and extremely cheap prices, and coupled with the friendliness of the people, makes for an enjoyable experience. Also, Serbia is known for its natural healing environment due to it’s 350 mineral hot springs of various chemical compositions that can strengthen the body’s ability to heal after a medical procedure. Spas and medical centers with inexpensive (as little as $24 USD per night) but luxurious accommodations have sprouted near such hot springs and many of the spas have staff trained in providing medical services. Also, many will include visits to your room by a nurse or doctor at no additional cost.
Popular procedures sought by medical tourists include cosmetic, bariatric, fertility, dermatology, dental, and ophthalmology.
The official language of Serbia is Serbian, however you can find people (especially in Belgrade) who can speak English.
The northern part of Serbia has cold winters and hot summer, while the upland regions have hot, dry summers and cold winters, and the mountain areas are susceptible to snow fall. In Belgrade, the climate is moderate continental with four seasons and a mean annual temperature of 53oF (11.7oC). The average temperature in January (the coldest month) is 32oF (0.1oC), and in June (the warmest month) the average is 72oF (22.1oC).
VISA / ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS
European, U.S. and Canadian citizens do not require a visa for stays up to 90 days in Serbia, however a valid passport is required. Also, travelers must show a return or onward ticket and have sufficient funds in hard currency to finance their stay, and anyone staying longer than three days must register via a hotel or sponsor. Note that you should always carry an identification card provided by your hotel or sponsor with you because police will sometimes stop people and ask to see ID.
If you decide to fly into Pristina airport in Kosovo, Canadian and U.S. citizens do not need a visa for stays up to 90 days, however Serbia does not recognize Kosovo, which gained its independence from Serbia in 2008, and you will not be given a Serbian exit stamp if you enter Kosovo from Serbia. Any Kosovo stamps will be crossed out and replaced with Serbian stamps, so it is important if you plan on traveling frequently to Serbia that you get matching pairs of Serbian entry and exit stamps. Also, you must show documentation as to why you are traveling to Kosovo.
EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBERS
U.K. Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia, Resavska 46
Telephone+381 (11) 3060 900
Fax+381 (11) 3061 070
Serbia has many different environments that can satisfy those who prefer the hustle and bustle of the city as well as people who would rather have peace and quiet. The capital city of Belgrade is an energetic and gritty city with many restaurants, clubs, parks, and museums. The most famous parks are Kalemegdan, Tasmajdan, Park of Friendship, Hajd (Hyde), and Pioneer. Also, the city has many public and architecturally significant drinking fountains with the most famous being ÄŒukur, Saka, and Skadarska. The Belgrade Fortress, Saint Archangel Michael Cathedral Church, and the Tomb of the Unknown soldier are other popular tourist sites.
For the naturalist who prefers the tranquility of small towns and natural habitats, Serbia is home to over 350 hot thermal springs. The 2nd hottest spring in the world is located in Vranje, in which temperatures can reach as high as 205oF (96oC). Southern Serbia is rife with rolling hills, valleys, mountains, and areas of cultural significance. For example, Manasija, Sopocani, and Studenica are home to medieval monasteries, which houses Byzantine art. The mountains of Zlatibor and Kopaonik provide mediums for hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter, and Novi Pazar has Mosques mixed with monasteries and a vibrant Turkish quarter.
Serbia does not have as many high end stores as other European nations, however there are an abundance of shops selling local products and souvenirs. In Belgrade, check out the streets of Kralja Milana, Knez Mihailova, and Kralja Aleksandara, which are lined with many shops selling anywhere from clothing to books. For the gastronomist, Belgrade has many green markets that sell fresh fruits and vegetables including Kalenic pijaca and Palilula.
NIGHTLIFE AND THE ARTS
Ibiza and London eat your heart out! Serbia has some of the best clubs in Europe. Belgrade has a rich nightlife with many clubs located on boats in the Danube and Sava rivers, with each floating club playing different types of music including hip hop, gypsy music, techno and American pop. The drinks at these establishments are cheap compared to top dance clubs in the U.S. and Western Europe.
If you like music but hate the club scene, take a trip to Novi Sad, which hosts the world-famous Exit Music Festival held in the Petrovaradin Fortress sometime in July or August. This festival won the 2007 UK Festival Award for Best European Festival. Aside from the festival, Novi Sad is definitely worth visiting. It is described as Belgrade on valium and has many of what Belgrade has to offer, but at a slower pace.
Serbia (Belgrade especially) is home to many historical and cultural museums including the Belgrade City Museum, the National Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, the Historical Museum of Serbia, the Jewish Historical Museum, the Military Museum, and the Mining and Metallurgy Museum (located in Bor). Art connoisseurs will be pleased with the museums of Contemporary Art (locations in Belgrade and Novi Sad), African Art, Applied Arts, Naive Art (in Jagodina), and Theatrical Art. Those interested in education will enjoy the Pedagogical Museum and the Museum of Science and Technology. Serbia is also home to many theaters including the Yugoslav Drama Theater, the National Theater of Belgrade, and the Serbian National Theater. There is also the Pan Theater, the Children’s Theater, and the Youth Theater for children.