Is Serbia cheap to live? This is a common question I get asked by foreigners. That is why I decided to answer it according to my perspective.
350 euros. It is the minimum salary a lot of people in Serbia get. The same amount is the minimal consumer basket projected on the basis of what a three-membered family needs for food within a month. It means that a three-membered family is able to buy about 40 eggs, 200 grams of lemon, 350 grams of beef, and 750 grams of pork.
Many foreigners who visit Serbia say that the cost of living here is low. And they make that assessment based on their salary, from their country. Yes, life is not expensive if your salary is 3.000 euros or more. But, let’s see what life looks like when you get 650 euros per month. It is an average salary in Serbia.
Serbia cost of living
Yes, there are people who earn good salaries here, but they mostly work for foreign companies in the web development industry. For example, Novi Sad and Belgrade are famous for the web development sector, and people earn a few thousand euros per month. That is a pretty decent wage for life in Serbia cause, besides rent and food, on that paycheck you are able to afford a good, decent life.
In this article we will list the most important expenses to let you know what you can expect if you want to visit or move to Serbia.
Renting an apartment in Serbia
The cost of a studio apartment with a single bedroom and a separate bathroom in the capital Belgrade and the second-largest city in Serbia, Novi Sad, is 200-300 euros approximately. If you want a bigger apartment you should pay 350 to 400 or more.
Cost of food in Serbia
Recently, as the Russian-Ukrainian war started, the cost of food in Serbia has increased a lot. See the table below to check the prices of the most important groceries in Serbian super markets.
|Bread||70 cents – 2 euros|
|1l of milk||1 – 2 euros|
|1kg of chicken meet||6 euros|
|1kg of beef||10 euros|
|1kg of onion||65 cents|
|1kg of potato||80 cents – 1 euro|
|10 eggs||2 euros|
|1kg of bananas||2 euros|
Utility bills per month
The cost of utility bills depends on how big an apartment or house is. In the table below, you can see the cost of bills for households within a month. The gas bill, for example, depends on the apartment size and the cost of one cubic meter of natural gas is 40 cents. Garbage collection depends on the size of household, too.
|Gas||From 20 euros|
|Water||From 20 euros|
|Garbage collection||From 10 euros|
|Mobile Phone bill||From 15 euros|
|TV and Internet||From 30 euros|
When it comes to public transport, in Serbia there are buses, trains, and trams. We have no metro. Our system of public transport can be better, especially in the capital Belgrade, because it is a large city, but without a metro. It takes a lot of time to move from one place to another, and it makes most citizens angry. One-way bus tickets cost 85 cents in Belgrade and 65 in Novi Sad. A monthly pass is about 30 euros.
Car fuel is really expensive according to our wages and the cost of it in neighboring countries. A liter of car fuel costs two euros.
If you eat fast food, you’ll find it on every corner in big cities. You can enjoy KFC and McDonald’s meals for 5 euros. When it comes to restaurants, the cost of meals comes from 7 euros per person. If you want to try local food, there are kiosks on every corner where you can eat „pljeskavica”, „ćevapi“, barbecue… Also, in Serbia, there are a lot of bakeries. You should try „burek“ there. It is a fat puff dough with cheese or minced meat. We eat it mostly with yogurt.
So, if you ask me if it is cheap to live in Serbia, I would say no, because our salaries are low. And you can make that conclusion yourself if you know that the average salary is 650 euros and apartment rent is about 300 euros. So, most people in Serbia have no money for vacations, the cinema, restaurants or any other pleasures.
But, if you are gonna work for a good company from your country with 2,000-3,000 euros or dollars a month salary, it would provide a nice life in Serbia.