Belgrade is one of the top 10 cities for digital nomads in Europe according to the Nomad List ranking. Currently occupying the eighth place, Belgrade is attractive to digital nomads mainly because it offers a Western European lifestyle for a low budget. As positive sides  nomads usually single out Belgrade’s friendly people, a great startup scene, a lot of cultural and nightlife events, and a good internet speed.

it’s all about soul

Johannes Hindler, the founder and CEO of VIZZ with a background in digital marketing and organization development, is one of the many digital nomads working from Belgrade. His goal is to make a positive impact in the world by helping businesses and purpose-driven organizations. Hindler’s clients are based in his native Austria and the UK, but he managed to set up his business fully remotely.

Serbia wasn’t always on his radar, but he decided to visit it on his friend’s recommendation. Hindler came, met a girl, and fell in love with her and the city. He’s been in Belgrade for over a year and is even thinking about making it his home base by transferring his company from Austria.

I think the best thing about Belgrade are the people. They are very welcoming, hospitable and open. Young people are very active, they want to do stuff, they want to be creative, they want to change something. I like this attitude.

Hindler thinks that people in Western Europe have become alienated in a way, because they feel comfortable and secure. Young people in Serbia depend on themselves, so they just go out, connect with other people, and make things happen.

For a foreigner, it feels like there’s much more solidarity in neighborhoods and between acquaintances. Serbs are also very welcoming to newcomers.

When you are new in Belgrade, they put you in focus and they want you to have a good time. This is very special, I think. People here put the emphasis on being. It’s very social and personal, they never tell you things like ‘show me this gadget’. It’s more about your soul.

great talents and problems with administration

Belgrade-Novi Sad startup ecosystem is constantly developing, with blockchain and gaming sub-sectors showing the greatest potential according to the Startup Genome 2020 report.

Network events frequently take place in Belgrade. Hindler talked about one organized by Canadian entrepreneurs, where he met two young Serbian founders of a startup that creates web applications.

They are in their early twenties, so they are just starting. But they already have good clients, they have employees, they are growing… There is hungriness, openness, readiness to perform, to learn and to grow.

The Austrian is working on creating his personal network, and he has already managed to find a web developer and a social media expert. Great access to talent that you can connect with — and that you can work with for a reasonable or fair price — is one of the things that he singles out as a benefit of being a digital nomad in Belgrade.

Of course, there are also some drawbacks of Serbia as a nomad destination.

Even though the administration people are helpful and nice, there is still some necessary information for foreigners written only in Cyrillic, without an English version available.

Belgrade might not be the friendliest place for cyclists, but she has her routes. The city was founded on several hills, but there are municipalities like New Belgrade, which is flat and has a lot of bicycle paths. There is also a need to invest more in public transport, even though the different parts of the city are well connected by buses, trolleybuses, and trams.

It’s true that Serbia is attractive to digital nomads, because it is out of the Schengen Zone. Nomads who do not have a Schengen visa often come to Serbia in order to meet the requirement of not staying longer than 90 days (within a period of 180 days) in the Schengen area. But, Hindler thinks it would be a great improvement to have an easier visa process or nomad visa. 

You need a lot of things to be able to stay here. It’s absolutely doable, but you need somebody to help you if you are not from here. This is the second year I’ve been here on the basis of my relationship.

It's worth noting that Serbia is actively working on the improvement of the conditions for digital nomads, so these kinds of problems should be resolved soon.

When all of the positive and negative sides are taken into account, Hindler says that he would definitely recommend Belgrade to other digital nomads:

Belgrade has a great startup scene with lots of coworking spaces. It’s easy to connect with people because they are very welcoming and there is plenty to do socially. The food is good. If you are based here, and you want to fly to other destinations, you can travel quickly anywhere in Europe.

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