Basic info about Serbia
Serbia is a country in Southeastern Europe with population of more than 7 million people. Beside the majority of ethnic Serbs, there are people of 40 different nationalities living accross the country
The Flag of Serbia
Name of state: Republic of Serbia
Geographic location: Southeastern and Central Europe, Balkan Peninsula
Capital city: Belgrade, population 1,639,121
Autonomous regions: Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Autonomous
Province of Kosovo and Metohija (from 1999 this Province is administered
by the United Nations)
Area: 88,407 km2
Population (not counting Kosovo and Metohija): 7,120,666
Climate: moderate continental
Longest river: The Danube, Serbian section, 588 km (total 2,783 km)
Highest mountain peak: Đeravica (in the Prokletije range), 2,656 m
Time zone: central European, CET (GMT + 1 hour)
International dialing code: +381
Official currency: the dinar (RSD)
National Internet domain: .rs and .срб (Cyrillic domain)
National vehicle code: SRB
Official language: Serbian
Official script: Cyrillic
The Constitution of the Republic of Serbia defined it as “the state of
the Serbian people and all its citizens, it is founded on the rule of
law and social justice, the principles of civil democracy, human and
minority rights and freedoms, and commitment to European principles and
The political system in Serbia is based on the principle of separation
of powers between executive, legislative and judicial. The holder of the
legislative powers in Serbia is the National Assembly - representative
body that comprises 250 deputies elected in direct elections. The
Government of the Republic of Serbia is the holder of executive power,
while the President of the Republic represents the unity of the country
and represents the country at home and abroad.
The National Anthem of the Republic of Serbia is “Bože Pravde” (God of
Justice), lyrics by Jovan Đorđević and music by Davorin Jenko. It is the
old anthem of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia with slightly changed lyrics.
The National Coat of Arms matches the Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of
Serbia used since 1882, representing a double-headed white eagle on a
red shield, with a smaller red shield with cross and four fire steels
(or four symbolic letters) and a crown of dynasty Nemanjić above its
The National Flag of the Republic of Serbia is horizontal tri-color with
red at the top, blue in the middle and white at the bottom.
The official currency in Serbia is the dinar (RSD). Foreign currency can
be exchanged in all banks, post offices and authorized exchange
Banknotes currently in circulation are coins: 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 dinars
and notes: 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1.000, 2.000 and 5.000 dinars.
Value Added Tax (VAT, PDV in Serbian) is charged in Serbia on goods or services, depending on the type at a rate of 8% or 18%.
Foreign nationals who take goods purchased in Serbia with them when they
leave the country are entitled to a refund of VAT, provided that the
total value of the goods exceeds 150 euro, and that they are taken out
of the country within three months of the date of purchase.
Serbia is multiethnic, multicultural and multifunctional society.
According to the census in 2011, Serbia has a population of 7,120,666
inhabitants (excluding Kosovo and Metohia).
As a result of its turbulent history, there are around 40 different
nationalities living in Serbia. The majority of minorities lives in
Vojvodina. Serbs comprise the majority of the population – 82.86 per
cent, while there are numerous minorities: Hungarians (3,91%), Bosniaks
(1,82%), Roma (1.44%), Yugoslavs (1,08%), Croats (0,94%), Montenegrins
(0,92 %), Albanians (0.82%), and many others.
Geographic position and terrain
Serbia is located in the center of the Balkan Peninsula. It is a
continental state with over 80% of the territory belonging to the region
of Southeastern Europe and around 20% of the territory belongs to
Serbia’s borders are 2.364 km in length (land borders 1.570 km, river
borders 751,1 km and lake borders 43,3 km in length). Serbia borders
Hungary to the north, Romania to the northeast, Bulgaria to the east,
and Albania and Macedonia to the south, Montenegro to the southwest and
Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the west.
The territory of Serbia is of a great importance as the routs leading
across it represent the shortest connection between West and Central
Europe on one side and Middle East, Asia and Africa on the other side.
The very position of the country has determined the fate of Serbia and
its citizens. Serbia is predominantly mountainous state with wide areas
of arable land. 55% of Serbia’s land is arable, while the forest
coverage in Serbia is 27%.
Language, script and faith
The official language is Serbian, and the official script is the
Cyrillic script. In the multiethnic environments Hungarian, Slovenian,
Romanian, Croatian language are also used.
The Latin script is widely
used and taught at schools.
Serbian language is a South Slavic language.
After the Vuk Karadžić’s reform in 1868, the Serbian Cyrillic script
has 30 letters, and it follows the principle – write as you speak, read
as it is written.
The majority of population is Orthodox Christians (84,98 %), followed by
Roman Chatolics (5,48 %), Muslims (3,2 %), Protestants (1,08 %).
Serbia has no official state religion – religious holidays are considered state holidays.
Holidays in Serbia
- January 1st and 2nd – New Year
- January 7th – the first day of Orthodox Christmas
- February 15th – Sretenje, Serbian National Statehood Day
- May 1st and 2nd – May Day
- Orthodox Easter – from Good Friday to the second day of Easter
Only after-hours shops and institutions are open on non-working holidays.
Serbian citizens are also entitled to non-working days for religious holidays depending on their religion:
- Christians – Christmas Day and Easter holidays
- Muslims – the first day of Ramadan Eid and Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice)
- Jewish – the first day of Yom Kippur