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Landscape near the Rudnik Mountain in Serbia
Landscape near the Rudnik Mountain in Serbia | © stolekg / Shutterstock
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When's The Best Time of Year to Visit Serbia?

Picture of John William Bills
Updated: 1 May 2018
We’re as biased as it gets when it comes to Belgrade, but even our rose-tinted glasses can’t hide everything. When is the best time of year to visit Serbia? Every month has its charms, but some have more charms than others.

January

January is on average the coldest month of the year in Serbia, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s a time of festivities and fun, as the Serbian Orthodox Church leads the way in celebrating Christmas and the New Year. The first month of the year also sees numerous adrenaline junkies (or fools, depending on how you look at it) take to the freezing waters of Ada Ciganlija for the Epiphany Cross.

Rainfall: 13 days

Temperature: 1.4°C (34.5°F)

Make a beeline for Belgrade's museums in January
Make a beeline for Belgrade’s museums in January | © bibiphoto / Shutterstock

February

February might be a little warmer than January, but most will agree that it is a far less enjoyable month in which to visit Belgrade and beyond. There isn’t a huge amount going on, although Valentine’s Day inevitably warms the hearts of the passionate. Belgrade’s annual FEST Film Festival is undoubtedly the month’s highlight.

Rainfall: 12 days

Temperature: 3.1°C (37.6°F)

A frustratingly beautiful couple enjoying Valentine's in Belgrade
A frustratingly beautiful couple enjoying Valentine’s in Belgrade | © AstroStar / Shutterstock

March

The average temperature soars (relatively speaking) in March, but that can be somewhat deceptive. The third month of the year can be a difficult one in Serbia, as the locals grow tired of the seemingly never ending winter. It isn’t unusual for days of 22°C to be followed by a weekend of snowfall and freezing conditions. The mood picks up towards the end, but March is always hit or miss in Belgrade.

Rainfall: 11 days

Temperature: 7.6°C (45.7°F)

Kafeterija is one of many great cafes in New Belgrade
Kafeterija is one of many great cafes in New Belgrade | © Kafeterija

April

Now we’re talking. Spring is when Serbia well and truly kicks back into life, as the garden terraces begin to open and the Serbs return to their natural habitat. This is arguably the best time of year to visit Serbia, as the temperatures are mild but pleasant and the atmosphere of the country really picks up. The parks regain their greenery, and everyone seems eager to make the most of it all.

Rainfall: 13 days

Temperature: 12.9°C (55.2°F)

Belgrade comes alive with spring
Belgrade comes alive with spring | © Kulturni Centar Grad / Facebook

May

The good times continue in May, as the promise of summer draws ever nearer. The average temperature jumps another five points at this time of the year, although it hasn’t been unknown for weather gauges to hit the heady heights of the mid 30s (°C) at this point. Festival season also begins in earnest, with Belgrade’s Night of the Museums at the forefront. Food festivals are held throughout the country, with everything from honey to sausage on offer.

Rainfall: 13 days

Temperature: 18.1°C (64.6°F)

The Pobednik monument and fortress Kalemegdan in Belgrade, Serbia
The Pobednik monument and fortress Kalemegdan in Belgrade, Serbia | © S-F / Shutterstock

June

By June, summer is well and truly underway in Serbia. The parks of Belgrade become full of walkers young and old, although everyone seems to be fighting for that valuable real estate in the shade. The capital’s legendary nightlife is also in full swing, as the clubs on the rivers get packed out from late at night all the way through until shepherd’s delight. June 28 is the most important day of the year for the proudest of Serbs, as the country celebrates its national day in the shape of Vidovdan.

The day has been an eventful one throughout Serbian history, to say the least. The iconic Battle of Kosovo took place on June 28 in 1389, 525 years to the day before Gavrilo Princip assassinated Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. Slobodan Milošević was delivered to The Hague on this day in 2001, 16 years before Ana Brnabić became the first female and LGBT Prime Minister in the country’s history.

Rainfall: 13 days

Temperature: 21°C (69.8°F)

The Pride flag stands in front of the Serbian coat of arms
The Pride flag stands in front of the Serbian coat of arms | © Bobica10 / Shutterstock

July

The highest temperature in Belgrade’s history was recorded in July, and it wasn’t so long ago either. The city hit the sweltering heights of 43.6°C (110.5°F) on July 24, 2007, drawing groans of distress from even the most dedicated of sun worshippers. Ada Ciganlija is the place to be during these warmer days, finding solace in the water or in the bars along the shore.

The middle of July sees EXIT fever take over Serbia, as festival goers from all over the world descend on Novi Sad for one of Europe’s most famous festivals. The 2018 edition of EXIT Festival will see David Guetta, Grace Jones, Asian Dub Foundation and many more hit the stage at Petrovaradin Fortress.

Rainfall: 10 days

Temperature: 23°C (73.4°F)

Crowd enjoying concert at Exit festival
Crowd enjoying concert at Exit Festival | © Aleksandar Kamasi / Shutterstock

August

Much like winter seems to be never ending, by the time August comes around most Serbs are feeling the same way about summer. The barrage of the sun continues with temperatures that average a high of 28.7°C, although averages are always deceptive. Pretty much every day in August is going to sit around the early 30s during the afternoon.

The nation’s liquid intake soars with the temperatures, and Belgrade Beer Fest takes over Ušće in the middle of month to provide pivo for hundreds of thousands of visitors. Those who don’t descend on the park for beer will likely have left the city altogether, seeking refuge in the mountains.

Rainfall: 9 days

Temperature: 22.7°C (72.9°F)

The view from Gardoš in Zemun
The view from Gardoš in Zemun | © Evgeni Fabisuk / Shutterstock

September

September might be the time that temperatures settle down around the continent, but that is rarely the case in Serbia. Numbers in the high 30s aren’t unusual, although the evenings definitely become a little more pleasant in the northern part of the state (Vojvodina especially). Serbia’s northern region has a full calendar during September, with festivals of all sorts taking place in Novi Sad, Subotica and the rest.

Rainfall: 10 days

Temperature: 18°C (64.4°F)

One of the marvels of Serbian architecture
One of the marvels of Serbian architecture | © Nenad Nedomacki / Shutterstock

October

And finally, summer is over. October is a great time to make a beeline for Serbia, for many of the mirroring reasons as April. With winter just around the corner, the people of Belgrade do all they can to wring every last drop out of the sun and the joys it brings. The bars and clubs will soon put out the fires, but the final embers are as vibrant as the first.

Autumn is a simply beautiful time in this part of the world. Belgrade’s collection of delightful parks showcase the full range of colours at this time of year, and the more temperate weather makes this the best time of year for a stroll.

Rainfall: 10 days

Temperature: 12.9°C (55.2°F)

The first rays of a gorgeous Topčider morning
The first rays of a gorgeous Topčider morning | © Banet / shutterstock

November

Many assume that November is the beginning of the long winter in Serbia, but the penultimate month of the year offers further evidence of the questionable tactic of trusting temperatures. The average number might be down in the single figures, but the abundance of activities and food festivals throughout the country mean no visitor is going to go cold in November.

Armistice Day has been a holiday in the country since the beginning of the decade, and Serbia’s role in World War I is often underplayed outside the nation’s borders. No country lost a higher percentage of its population during the Great War than the Serbs. Belgrade’s iconic Pobednik monument stands in respect of those lost.

Rainfall: 12 days

Temperature: 7.1°C (44.8°F)

The glorious Victor Monument at Kalemegdan
The glorious Victor Monument at Kalemegdan | © Datsenko Maryana / Shutterstock

December

Winter arrives with a vengeance in December, although visitors and locals alike make a beeline for the taverns and restaurants of the country during the final month of the year. Serbia might celebrate Orthodox Christmas in January, but traditional Christmas markets can be found across the country in December. Subotica’s Winter Festival is one of the best to look out for.

Many head to the mountains at this time of year, as the ski season begins in earnest. Kopaonik is the country’s major ski resort, and night skiing is also available for those seeking something a little different. There isn’t much snow in the cities however, as December is Serbia’s rainiest month.

Rainfall: 14 days

Temperature: 2.7°C (36.9°F)

Night skiing at Kopaonik
Night skiing at Kopaonik | © Djordje Novakov / Shutterstock

When not go to Serbia

This entirely depends on your own personal preference. Winter in Serbia can be a drag in the cities, with snow quickly turning to slush and the mood following it. The heights of summer can be equally inconvenient, and the concrete of Belgrade becomes difficult to deal with in July and August.