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Moving to Serbia from UK: British guy delighted with Serbian culture, food, and people

Moving to Serbia from UK

“Forget all you know or have heard about Serbia. Be open to experiencing it fully. The third time I visited this country, I decided to live there. Then I realized that Serbia is an interesting place which has a lot to offer”.

This is a statement by a British guy of Jamaican descent who is going to move to Serbia. Eugene Carbado studied culinary school in Birmingham for two years, worked  in a casino for 18 years as a croupier, and now he is a web developer and DJ who plays in Belgrade too. 

Eugene Carbado
Eugene Carbado

“The audience in London and Belgrade is different, the atmosphere is different, but what we have in common is the fact that all of us enjoy disco. I like your singers like Zdravko Colic, Oliver Mandic, Bebi Dol, and also I know about the Serbian mother Ceca”.

He visited Belgrade in 2017 for the first time. When he landed, it was about midnight, an ideal time for going to a club and having a crazy party, which Belgrade is famous for. A Serbian acquaintance took him to a club called Mladost, ludost, radost, gadost (Youth, madness, joy, nastiness). 

After clubbing, they went to a bakery for a meal, and he was recommended to try burek, a fat puff dough with cheese.

“It was a really good meal.“

Since then, he has tried national dishes like pljeskavica, sarma, Karađorđeva steak… If he runs out of Balkan products, he buys them in a store called Magaza, which is located in London.

Visit Serbia tourism

The first visit to Serbia was out of curiosity. Eugene wanted to experience a place he has never been to and which is different from the places he has visited so far. At that point of time, he did not know much about Serbia and had no expectations. But first impressions were quite positive.

“It was love at first sight. I resonated with culture, food, and people immediately. What I have become convinced of over time about people in Serbia is that if you are friendly, they will be open too.”

So far, he has visited the capital, Belgrade, and had a wonderful time, especially the nightlife. Also, he has experienced the second-largest city in Serbia, Novi Sad, which is more relaxing and peaceful than Belgrade. Besides these two cities, one small city in eastern Serbia caught his attention. It is called Smederevo.

“Smederevo is a really nice place. The fortress is really big, and I was there at the moment of sunset. It was beautiful. I went all over it, whereas in England you can’t look into every corner of a fortress.”

Eugene on Smederevo fotress
Eugene on Smederevo fortress

He is going to visit Golubac fortress too, because it is the most beautiful fortress in Serbia, located on the Danube. 

Besides Serbia, he visited neighboring countries, Croatia, Montenegro, and Bosnia

“Once I was sitting with my friends and a tourist show about Bosnia was being shown on television. The nature was incredibly beautiful and the people I was with were delighted. I told them that they would be surprised if they went there.”

Eugene spreads his delight of Serbia to his family too, who support his decision to move there.

“My brother was in Serbia once. He lives in America, and therefore has experience of living in the West, but  he also thought about moving to Serbia.”

Serbian citizens consider moving from western countries to Serbia weird, because people from the Balkans region think that the western world is “the promised land”. That’s why Serbs are surprised when they come across people like Eugene.

“Not all that glitters is gold. And secondly, everything depends on perspective. For some, Serbia is a good place to live, for others, it is not. I have already lived in the West and there is nothing new for me there. But I will experience something new in Serbia. I’ve met a lot of people who would move there because it’s different from what they’re used to.”

The challenge of learning a new language

As he likes to get to know other cultures and languages ​​through travelling, Eugene travels around Europe on weekends (city break). So, he often went to Berlin, and for a while, thought he would move there.

“I enjoyed the city of Berlin deeply and I got to see a lot of places and experience the amazing nightlife. I studied German but I never really got to connect with the culture, and I think that to learn a language is important in getting to know the culture. Serbian is challenging for learning, but I believe that where there is a will, there is a way too. In the beginning, I had a teacher who taught me grammar. I watch series and movies and it helps me a lot.”

To learn the Serbian language, he also uses a podcast called the Serbian language podcast.

“I really like the podcast. There is a lot of information. I’ve been learning padeži on a podcast because it’s hard for people from England. Because it doesn’t make sense to me, but when you study them, you can see why they are important.”

The image of Serbia in Britain is negative because of the war

When it comes to the image of Serbia in Britain, Eugene said that some British people don’t even know where Serbia is.

“Some comment that it’s very cold there, thinking of Siberia.”

Eugene explains that the British people do not have much opportunity to hear about Serbia in the media, unless it is about the Serbia-Kosovo relations.

“The war was widely covered in the media here. I think the media reports more on bad things than good. Apart from that, nothing more can be heard about Serbia. “

Eugene, on the other hand, influenced people in his immediate surroundings to change their minds about Serbia. The most important piece of advice he would give to someone who is considering visiting Serbia is:

“Forget all you know or have heard about Serbia. Be open to experiencing it fully. “

Kosovo safe to visit

Speaking of Kosovo, during one of his visits to Serbia, Eugene visited it too. He met new people there, who delighted him.

“They are so friendly, have very good energy, and I had a good time there. I haven’t visited the Serbian monasteries yet, but I’m definitely planning to.”

Digital nomad visa Serbia

Many countries have something called a digital nomad visa that allows people to live in any country, while working online for a company from their home country. It is practically a temporary residence permit that exists as a possibility in Serbia even though it is not a member of the EU. It lasts for one year and is renewed every subsequent year.

Eugene will use this opportunity when he moves to Belgrade. It will be in a year or two, as he has just started a new web development job in Britain and still has to learn from his colleagues in the office.

In order to obtain this visa, in addition to proof of apartment rental, health insurance, proof of employment in the home country, and proof of tax payment for visa application, it is necessary to attach proof of monthly salary, which should be at least 3,500 euros.

“The wage that Serbia requires for the digital nomad visa is one of the largest sums compared to other countries. For example, Portugal requires you to have a minimum wage of 600 euros.”


Given that he will live in Serbia and be employed by a British company, the question arises whether one of the reasons for moving to Belgrade is the possibility of a more comfortable life in this country.

“It is true that it will be easier to live in Serbia because of the cost of living, but you also have examples of someone from Serbia working for British companies. For example, the IT company I work for employs people in Serbia. We also have an office in Belgrade”.


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