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Serbia (Bradt Travel Guides) Paperback – 6 Aug 2007
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"I used the Bradt Guide to Serbia when I was there on a cycling trip last week. It was really useful, not just in getting me around Belgrade but also as a guide to the history/culture/politics of the country." Tony Kelly, freelance travel writer
About the Author
Laurence Mitchell is a travel writer and photographer. He first visited Serbia in the 1970s when hitch-hiking through the former Yugoslavia. He is the author of Bradt's Kyrgyzstan.
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The book tends to cover a small selection of what's on in Serbia in-depth, rather than provide information on the entire country. The book also tends to focus on historical sights - it was absolutely excellent for visiting the concentration camp at Nis, as there were no explanatory notices in English and the book was the only way of interpreting the photos. The flip side is that there's a sparsity of information on other types of sights; this means that unless you speak reasonable Serbian you might be struggling if you go somewhere not detailed in the book - for example, we went to Niska Banja and enjoyed chilling out there, but couldn't figure out how to get into the pools or why it was so busy. However, for visiting cities in Serbia, this book is perfect.
The book is also an interesting read in itself, as it contains a pretty good potted history of the area, and notes on Serbian culture and food (and Serbian food is excellent!). Even in the guide sections, which are usually reasonably dry, the author's experiences were sometimes thought-provoking - particularly in the section on Kosovo.
There's a particularly detailed section on Belgrade, covering a wide variety of places to eat out, stay, and things to do, and places within easy travelling distance from central Belgrade, like Zemun.
Our only major problem was that some of the book is out of date, which is inevitable with guide books, so you'll need to gather your information online as well as from this book. We were gutted that the Scottish theme pub in Belgrade was no more, as I was really curious to find out what it was like!
Great care has been taken to give a fair overview of all the key sights, with handy galley pieces on background topics. This has been written by a regular visitor to Serbia, with a good knowledge of all of its regions. I don't think he's spent a lot of time in Belgrade's club scene, but he manages a few pointers nonetheless.
It's helpful that local names are given in both Latin and Cyrillic script, as the local street signs make no concessions yet for tourists. The maps are adequate, with a well judged level of detail, although there'll always be times when you could use more. If you need better maps, Google is a bit too random, but planplus.rs is a local service that seems to be reliable.
Beautiful country, a must read!
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