There is external recognition of the booming tech scene and startup ecosystem, with more and more major global startup companies emerging from Serbia. As per Startup Genome assessment, the Belgrade and Novi Sad ecosystems are seeing particularly noteworthy success in gaming and blockchain technology. BBC ranked Belgrade as one of the most creative cities in the world, and the Lonely Planet called it an “outspoken, adventurous, proud and audacious” city.
Our findings showed that reasons why some destinations are more attractive for digital nomads correlate to a great extent with why they are more attractive for tourists. Our city has a reputation of attractive and versatile entertainment and lifestyle options, so it can offer a vibrant nightlife that many tourists and temporary visitors find very unique and charming.
2. Belgrade has good connectivity
From the perspective of digital nomads, Belgrade is good place to be, because it is well connected both digitally and physically.
For digital work, the city’s good internet speed is crucial. Serbia ranks 65th in the world in terms of internet speed, according to the latest research by Cable.co.uk, which tested broadband internet speed in 221 countries and territories in the world for a year.
Geographically, it’s out of the Schengen zone, so those without a Schengen visa often come to Serbia to meet the requirement of not staying longer than 90 days in the Schengen area. Serbia is at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, and while our interviews didn’t touch on this, it’s proximity to other European countries and low visa requirements probably also contribute to its attractiveness.
There’s a good pedestrian culture, so it is easy to move around town on foot and the city is equipped with a variety of open, outdoor places to spend free time and meet new people. There is a low language barrier, as many people in Belgrade speak good English, and through different events and social gatherings, digital nomads can have access to world-class professionals and local talents relevant for their work.
3. We may need to address some… shortcomings
However, there are areas that fare less well in our analysis. Digital nomads dislike cold autumns and winters, smoking allowed in closed spaces (which is especially an issue in the cold seasons), rather poor air quality, and the lack of LGBTI-friendliness throughout the whole country.