The 5 Best Places To Live In Serbia

Do you know where the best places to live in Serbia are?

As it is not a member of the EU or Schengen Area, Serbia may not be top of your mind when considering what country to move to. However, Serbia is an ideal place for expats and remote workers looking for a high-quality life for a low price.

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Serbia is a fun, safe, culturally diverse country where you can enjoy a healthy work-life balance. But the biggest appeal is the low cost of living.

For Americans looking to relocate, you’ll be interested to know that the cost of living in Serbia is more than 50% lower than in the United States. Moreover, rent in Serbia is almost 85% lower than in the US!

But where are the best places to live in Serbia? Read on to learn about the best Serbian cities for expats and remote workers and what you can expect from living in this country.

Serbia at sunset

Belgrade

Belgrade is Serbia’s capital city and undoubtedly one of the best cities in Serbia. Here you will find everything and anything, from buzzing nightlife to top-quality restaurants to beautiful historical buildings.

The atmosphere in Belgrade is very unique. It has a strong European feel and is often described as a Mediterranean lifestyle minus the coast.

By wandering through the streets, you’ll notice the city has an exciting blend of modern influences, old traditions, and a splash of bohemian. 

During the day, you can partake in the city’s beloved coffee culture by trying out all the hip cafes. Then by night, you can check out the iconic floating river clubs where you’ll meet locals and other expats.

Belgrade is also an important economic hub, so job opportunities are plentiful, especially in finance, banking, and trading. Aside from these, there are always plenty of sales, administrative, and transportation jobs.

The education system in Belgrade is top quality. With 6 international schools and a state university, many expats move here for teaching jobs.

Other pros of Belgrade include affordable housing and excellent transport links. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is between $300 and $500, location-dependent.   

Belgrade at golden hour

Novi Sad

Novi Sad is another of the best cities to live in Serbia as, like Belgrade, it is an economical, cultural, and educational center. Moreover, thanks to its high student population, it has a trendy, youthful, and progressive vibe and hosts many music festivals.

As a result, it is popular amongst younger expats and digital nomads.

Still, despite the youthfulness, the city is old and beautiful, full of heritage buildings and ancient architecture. Novi Sad dates back to the Stone Age, and the many museums in town reveal this long and exciting history.

The scenery around Novi Sad is also stunning. It sits on the banks of the Danube River and overlooks the Fruška Gora mountain range.

The city itself has a sandy river beach and several green spaces. Many expats choose Novi Sad as a more laid-back alternative to Belgrade.

As a smaller city, the vibe and the people are more relaxed and friendly. However, there is less to do here, and the nightlife is not on the same scale as in Belgrade.

The cost of living is lower in Novi Sad compared to the capital city. For example, the monthly rent on a one-bedroom apartment will likely be less than $350.

However, as the city is much smaller, there are fewer job opportunities than in Belgrade. Still, highly qualified specialists will have a good chance of finding work.

Novi sad

Nis

Nis is a small city close to the North Macedonian border and a vital transport center of the Balkan Peninsula. Although it’s not a famous city, it is known for its historic role in the Roman Empire, serving as a residential site for many Roman emperors.

Nis is also referred to as the administrative center of the Nišava District with a large business district. The most common jobs for foreign workers in Nis are software developers, product designers, engineers, and tech-related roles.

Nis is well connected to the rest of Serbia and other European cities. It has the second largest international airport in the country, so you’ll find plenty of low-budget flights to all the major European cities.

Like Novi Sad, there is a significant student population; it is estimated that one-tenth of the city’s population are students from the local university. Thus, you’ll find a great selection of restaurants, cafes, and bars. 

One of the main reasons expats and remote workers choose this city is the highly affordable housing and low cost of living. A one-bedroom apartment typically costs less than $250 a month.

Thus, if you work remotely for international companies and want to save money, Nis is an excellent place to base yourself. 

Nis Serbia

Subotica

Subotica is a town close to the border of Hungary and Lake Palića. It is relatively unknown to foreigners, but many expats living and working in Serbia have chosen to make it home. 

The city is small but beautiful, and because of its size, you’ll enjoy a laid-back, peaceful lifestyle here. As a result, it is an excellent option for those who dislike big, loud cities.

Here you will find a rich mix of culture and entertainment, with the town hosting various festivals and concerts each year.

Moreover, the city’s beauty is astonishing as Subotica has the most buildings built in the art nouveau style. The education system is also very high quality, making it a favorite among expats with families, especially those from neighboring countries like Hungary and Croatia. 

Of all the best Serbian cities on this list, Subotica has the lowest cost of living. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around $150.

However, wages are also lower here than in other bigger cities. 

English is not as widely spoken here compared to the bigger cities either. Thus, most expats who settle down in Subotica will speak Serbo-Croatian or Hungarian, and you’ll struggle to find a job without speaking the language. 

Subotica

Novi Pazar

Novi Pazar is a small city in southwestern Serbia with just over 100,000 inhabitants.

It is a significant trade hub with a thriving manufacturing industry, especially for textiles. The town is very walkable and highly multicultural. 

Novi Pazar has a mix of Islamic and Western influences. Because so many of the residents are Muslim, some expats describe Novi Pazar as a mini Istanbul.

Thus, you will find mosques, Turkish coffee cafes, and kebab shops along the narrow streets.

Still, western influences like the international shopping malls keep the city diverse. Many historical monuments are also throughout the city, like the Sopoćani monastery.

There is also a reasonably thriving nightlife, somewhat thanks to the presence of a city university.

Novi Pazar has a distinct feel compared to the other best cities to live in Serbia, but it certainly does have an appeal. Housing costs less than $200 per month for a one-bedroom apartment. 

However, wages are lower than in other cities on this list, and it’s harder for foreigners to find jobs. Thus, Novi Pazar is best suited to digital nomads and remote workers looking for a cheap base off the beaten track. 

novi pazar

Final Thoughts On The Best Places To Live In Serbia

While the wages in Serbia are not as high as in Western Europe or the USA, the low cost of living is attractive for highly skilled expats and remote workers. But this is not the only thing Serbia has to offer.

The country has a rich cultural heritage, and the cities are full of beautiful historical buildings that you’ll never get bored seeing. 

So if you’re fed up with Europe’s rising costs and looking for a fresh alternative, why not consider one of these five best places to live in Serbia?

Not sure if Serbia is the right place for you? Read one of the following guides:

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