Belgrade Airport, or the Nikola Tesla Airport as it's also called, is the airport you'll land at if you're on a stopover in the Serbian capital, Belgrade. It is located in a rural area eighteen kilometers outside of the city and has no operational train service. That's not a major inconvenience if you're on a long layover in Belgrade as there are three individual shuttle bus services running into the city that all take just thirty minutes to make the journey between the two points.
However, it does mean that when you're on a short stopover of no more than six to eight hours at Belgrade Airport, unless you take a taxi or hire a car, you'll need to stay either at the airport or very close by. The fact that Belgrade Airport has very few amenities either before or after passport control means that a layover here can turn out to feel more lengthy than it is and quite tedious unless you log into the airport wifi and surf the internet to pass the time.
6 hour layover in Belgrade
The good thing about having a short layover in Belgrade is that most of your time will be spent collecting your bags and preparing to board your next flight. That's just about all there is to do at Belgrade Airport, so don't feel as if you're missing out on anything. If you want to grab a coffee and a quick bite to eat you'll find four outlets before passport control and three after it. If you're on a late layover you'll find the only two that are open twenty-four hours a day are the ones located after passport control.
- Pass an hour by playing a video game at one of the four consoles in the kiosk called Computerland - if you can find one free.
- There is a small aviation museum outside of the terminal which is open to the public during the day. The museum contains a flight simulator where you can try your hand at landing a plane if you dare.
8 hour layover in Belgrade
As it is a relatively quiet airport passenger-wise you should be able to collect your bags and get them stowed in one of the Belgrade luggage storage facilities reasonably quickly. Once you've done that you'll be free to catch the shuttle bus or pick up a taxi outside the terminal and go into the city for a couple of hours. If you use the bus rather than a taxi it's better to take the A1 minibus which will drop you in Slavija Square. The square is lined with shops and restaurants and has an attractive central fountain that's illuminated at night.
- If you made good time getting out of the airport, you'll be able to make a brief visit to the Nikola Tesla Museum which is near Slavija Square and find out more about the inventor the airport is named after.
- Join a free two-and-a-half-hour walking tour of Belgrade. The tour starts twice a day, at ten in the morning and two-thirty in the afternoon, from beside the monument in Republic Square. Just look for the guide with an orange umbrella.
10 hour layover in Belgrade
The River Danube runs through the center of Belgrade and while it may not be as blue as it's reputed to be, it's still a beautiful spot to take a river cruise when you're on a ten-hour layover. You can board a cruise from near the city's biggest landmark, the Belgrade Fortress, in Kalemegdan Park. Where the boat sets off from is right on the confluence of the Danube with the Sava River, so which river you're actually on depends on which way the captain sails.
- River cruises usually last for about two to two and a half hours, though will be longer if you opt for an evening sunset or dinner cruise.
- On a ten-hour layover you'll have plenty of spare time to explore the fortress and browse around the war museum it contains.
12 hour layover in Belgrade
The time on a twelve-hour Belgrade layover is not hard to fill as it's a city full of historic monuments, palaces, art galleries, and museums. Start your layover exploration by climbing up to the viewing deck in the Gardos Tower in the Old Town. You'll be able to get some super photos of the older part of the city where it's bordered by the River Danube. You'll only really have time to visit one museum on a layover of this length, so make it the Historical Museum of Serbia which is housed in the old railway station on the waterfront and not far to walk to from the tower.
- Kids will enjoy an hour in the Javni Tropical Aquarium where there are reptiles as well as fish.
- Bring your Belgrade layover to a satisfying conclusion by taking a stroll down Skadarska Street. The hard part will be trying to decide which of the traditional restaurants lining either side of the street you want to sit down in to enjoy a Serbian lunch or dinner of sarma which is a typical dish of stuffed cabbage.
24 hour layover in Belgrade
With an overnight layover, you can be more ambitious. Once you've seen a couple of the main sights in Belgrade, either hire a car or join a tour that goes out to the Resava Cave. It's a two-hour drive, so you'll get to see plenty of the Serbian countryside. Make a stop at the Manasija Monastery and the incredibly beautiful Veliki Buk waterfall before you get to the cave and you'll have seen some of the most scenic spots in Serbia.
- Adventure sports are popular in Serbia and if they're something you like to participate in, join a guided hike up Rudnik Mountain or try potholing in Potpec Cave.
- See Belgrade from a different perspective by going on a guided walking tour of the underground tunnels and creepy dungeons below the Belgrade Fortress.
- To have some nighttime fun and meet other like-minded visitors to Belgrade on your long layover head for the Beer Pong Bar on Terazije Street.