Charmingly contradictory, the proud capital of Serbia – Belgrade (which means White City) - is finally starting to shrug off its status as one of Europe’s lesser-known tourist meccas, a fact surely confirmed by its recent 2020 European Capital of Culture candidacy. Situated at the confluence of the rivers Sava and Danube, at the very spot where the Pannonian plains meet the Balkans, it was first established by the Celts in 3 AD and further developed by the Romans during the reign of Augustus. Dubbed the 'crossroads of Europe', Serbia itself is bordered by no less than eight different countries (Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary), with Belgrade very much the hub of them all and in many ways the continent’s car hire capital. The city’s long and turbulent history has caused it to be razed to the ground and rebuilt countless times over the centuries, but today’s 1.65-million inhabitants are currently enjoying some much-deserved peace and prosperity in a country where modern tourism is starting to polish one of the world’s most sparkling newly-cut diamonds. Crowning the city’s historic quarter, the old Turkish fortress of Kalemegdan is the main target for first-time visitors enjoying their car hire in Belgrade, who gather in great numbers along its ancient battlements to admire uninterrupted views of the city and beyond. A particular haunt of artists and writers alike is the charming Bohemian quarter known as Skadarlija, a pleasant pedestrianized district of ancient cobbled streets lined with traditional Serbian eateries. Newcomers are strongly urged to start with a tour of the Old Town to admire its eclectic mix of architectural styles, with most of the buildings dating from the 19th century when Belgrade first became the capital. Thankfully, some parts of the inner city are still characterised by strong oriental features, the legacy of almost three centuries of Ottoman rule. Belgrade’s must-see attractions include the National Museum (the most important in the whole of Serbia), the Palace of Princess Ljubica (a most impressive Ottoman-style building) and the Nikola Tesla Museum dedicated to the life and work of the scientist and inventor of the same name, after whom the city’s airport is also named. And if you have time, you might also enjoy visiting the House of Flowers where rests the body of Tito, the popular president of the former Yugoslavia. The city also has a wide choice of other interesting museums on themes as diverse as natural history, contemporary and African art, classic cars, Jewish history, cinema and aviation. Dining out is equally delightful with many culinary surprises in store for visitors, not least of which is the tasty grilled, skinless sausage-shaped meat dish known as cevapi, which is commonly served with onions, bread, salad and a thick yoghurt called pavlaka. It’s also worth noting that Europe’s first kafana (Turkish-style bistro) opened in Belgrade at the end of the 16th century, with many more of them having since opened to welcome and delight today’s growing number of visitors. Make the most of your car rental in Belgrade by reading the Auto Europes Driving Guide before travelling to Belgrade.
Belgrade Airport (BEG)
Official Name: Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport
Website: Belgrade Airport Information
Address: Aerodrom Beograd 59, Belgrade, 11180, Serbia
Telephone: +381 11 2094444
Location: Belgrade Airport now handles between 5.5 and 6 million passengers and is the country’s main air transport facility. Over 50% of its passenger traffic is carried by national company Air Serbia, for which it is the hub. Set at the western edge of the city, Nikola Tesla Airport connects with over 50 cities in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Russia and America, including London, New York, Berlin, Istanbul and Tehran. It is located about 10 miles (16 km) from the town centre, about a 30-minute drive from the city’s Republic Square (Trg republike), traffic permitting. When picking up or dropping off your car hire in Belgrade, the airport and city are accessible via the E-70 or E-75 motorways and the 266 thoroughfare.
Airlines operating at Belgrade Airport: Aegean Airlines, Aeroflot, Air Cairo, Air Serbia, Alitalia, Arkia Israeli Airlines, Atlasglobal Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Belavia, easyJet, Etihad Airways, flyDubai, Hainan Airlines, Iran Air, Israia Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Montenegro Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Pegasus Airlines, Qatar Airways, Qeshm Air, Swiss, TAROM, Transavia Airlines, Tunisair, Turkish Airlines, Vueling Airlines and Wizz Air.
Car hire offices at Belgrade Airport are located in the arrival halls of Terminal One (T1) and Terminal Two (T2) on the ground-floor, with pick-up and drop-off points close by in the car park outside the terminal buildings. The driving licence requirements in Serbia state that you must have a full driving licence that is valid in your country of residence. An international driver's licence is also recommended when collecting a car hire at Belgrade Airport and other destinations in Serbia. To hire a car in Serbia, the driver must be at least 21 years of age (age may vary by car category) and in possession of a full driving licence, passport/ID card and a credit card with a high enough credit limit.
Car hire desks opening hours
|Alamo/Enterprise/national||8am - midnight daily|
|Budget||Monday-Friday 8am - 8pm
Saturday 10am - 6pm
Sunday 10am - 2pm
|Dollar Thrifty||7am - 9pm daily|
|Europcar||8am - 8pm daily|
|Hertz||8am - 9pm daily|
|Sixt||7am - 10pm daily|
Operated by Vinci, Belgrade airport has two terminals, T1 and T2, which are connected by a hallway. T1 was the first to be built in the 1980s, while T2 is the more recent of the two with 33 check-in desks and capacity for up to 7.5 million passengers per year. Four playrooms and babycare facilities are available for children of all ages, with the first playroom located before passport control opposite the popular Galeb 2 restaurant, while the second is located between gates A4-5 and A6. The others can be found on the first-floor of Terminal 1 (before passport control) and in Terminal 2 after passport control in front of Air Side restaurant. Mothers with young babies should head for the care centre located before passport control in Terminal 1, which is fully equipped with a kitchen, changing table and bathroom, with another one with the same facilities situated beyond passport control in Terminal 2. Free WiFi is available at the airport for 60 minutes by logging on to the Airport Belgrade Free network and selecting the Free Trial option.
Belgrade Airport is accessible from the direction of Vršac to the east and from Šid to the west on the European E-70 highway, and from the direction of Horgoš to the north and Preševo to the south by the European E-75 highway. Just follow the Aerodrom (Airport) signs.
The airport is connected by three different bus networks. The PTC Belgrade bus route 72 (the most popular) travels between the airport and Zeleni Venac Square in downtown Belgrade, with journeys taking about 40 minutes. The PTC Belgrade bus route 607 operates to Surčin - Novi Beograd, while the Minibus A1 service offers an efficient scheduled service between the airport and Slavija Square, taking about 30 minutes. Taxis are plentiful and operate outside the terminal building, with a ride to Belgrade’s Old Town taking around 20 minutes. Airport taxis charge for their services according to a six-zone fare map. To hire a taxi from the airport, go to the Taxi Info desk in the baggage claim area where a representative will locate your destination on the zoned map and hand you a receipt, displaying both your destination and the price for your trip to ensure transparency. Present this receipt to your driver before the journey begins.
Garage parking at Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport (BEG) is located about 150 metres from the terminal building. This multi-storey facility has over 500 parking spaces and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The outdoor P7 car park offers more space in a convenient location in front of the main terminal building. As in all big cities, parking spaces in Belgrade’s city centre are quite limited during office hours, so Auto Europe recommends that you park your car hire in one of the city’s public car parks. Parking areas on the streets in the centre of Belgrade (on the number 2 circular tram route) are divided into three parking zones where parking time is limited and payment is charged by the hour: Red zone - maximum 1 hour, Yellow zone - maximum 2 hours and Green zone - maximum 3 hours. Parking areas within these three parking zones are indicated by special traffic signs bearing the colour of the zone as well as by road markings. Parking is payable in all three zones on week-days from 7am-9pm and on Saturdays from 7am-2pm (free Sundays).