It might seem daunting, especially if you are moving from a Western country to Eastern Europe. Getting the hang of how things work in the Balkan region can be overwhelming.
But you will be relieved to know that much of the details and processes for moving can feel slightly more lax compared to moving to a Western country like the United States or Canada.
So if you are serious about living in Serbia, here is everything you need to know to make the move.
Finding an apartment or house
A natural place to start in your relocation process is to find somewhere to move to. You should start your apartment search 2-3 months before your projected move, and keep in mind that July and August are the most competitive months for finding an apartment in Serbia. This is because many students in smaller cities will be moving to the major cities for university.
You will want to look on websites that list apartments and houses for rent and sale. The best way to find these types of websites is to type into Google search the word “nekretnine,” followed by the name of the city you are interested in living in. Many apartment listing websites as well as agencies will show up. You can then translate the sites into English.
Some listings will be uploaded by an owner, and others by an agency, so carefully pay attention to who listed the apartment. All listings will ask that you pay a deposit in the amount of one month’s rent. Agencies will charge an additional percentage of the rent.
To close or not to close accounts and utility services?
In the months leading up to your move, you will want to figure out what services you must or must not close from your country of origin. Here are some services to think about:
- Phone plan – Some people like to maintain an international phone plan, while others prefer to end their phone plan and get a contract in their new country. It is also common to keep an existing phone plan as well while obtaining a new one. This decision often comes down to if you need to keep a line of communication open to any business or personal contacts after your move.
- Home utilities – Unless you are keeping your property in the country you are leaving, you should contact all of your utilities providers and arrange for your accounts to be closed. If some utilities are provided by government institutions, then be sure to contact them as well.
- Bank accounts – If you are keeping your bank account, it is important to notify your bank so that they know not to put a deactivation fraud alert on your card. If you are moving to Serbia, it might be ideal to keep a foreign bank account, as many banks in Serbia don’t provide services such as timely transfers, deposits and online banking as efficiently as Western countries.
Moving your stuff
Of course, if you can be a minimalist who does not have a lot of items to transfer to a new country, that is ideal for your move. But that is not everyone’s situation. So if you are bringing a lot of belongings, it is best to hire an international removal company.
You should start gathering your belongings for your move and looking into finding a company two to three months prior to your move. The price for moving your belongings will depend on how many things you are transporting, the value of those items and the distance.
If your point of origin is in North America or Australia, as opposed to a European country, then the cost will be more expensive compared to moving items from somewhere else in Europe to Serbia.
There are three common options for moving your stuff to Serbia: ground, sea or air. As most companies can accommodate you for all of those options, you can inquire about the prices for each method.
Finding a shipping company to move your belongings to Serbia
When working with moving companies, you will receive estimates for the price of the service. It is advisable to consult at least three different companies and get estimates from each of them. You should then compare the estimates, work out the average, and then go back to the company that best suits you and negotiate a price.
Those are all the essentials you need to know about moving to Serbia (the process for finding an apartment in Croatia and moving there is pretty much the same as Serbia). If you are planning to move to Serbia, leave any questions or comments you have below.