The metropolis on the confluence of rivers

The city of Belgrade is the biggest city in the region. The metro areas covers a total of 3,222 km2 in 17 municipalities.

Belgrade is the financial, cultural and information technology center of the broader region. It is also among the most expensive urban cities in this part of Europe.

With an international airport, large congress and hotel capacities and its geographical position, it is a business tourism leader in the country.

Many festivals, and a famously vibrant night life in numerous clubs and restaurants attract younger travelers exploring Europe.

It is also a media hub for many domestic and international broadcasters.

The University of Belgrade is the largest university in the country with nearly 100,000 students per year, but is also home to several private universities opening in the recent decade.

Belgrade transit relies on the International airport Nikola Tesla, the Port of Belgrade on the Danube, and a transport systems of buses, trolleys. Belgrade is connected by railway to Western Europe and to Turkey.

The name Belgrade derives from Serbian "White city". It sits on the confluence of the rivers Danube and Sava and is the only true metropolis of the region.


Regional stories

Diabetes incidence in Serbia Reaches Alarming Level
By Sanja Stamenkovic, Jefferson Institute

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases, both in Serbia and worldwide. Diabetes occurs when the body can deal with its sugar deposits. This happens if the organism doesn't produce enough insulin, or the system can't use the insulin our bodies produce. According to the World Health Organization, around 350 million people have diabetes. In 2012 1.5 million people died of diabetes, of which more than 80% in low and middle-income countries. 

Institute of Public Health of Serbia released data according to which 12,4% adult population in Serbia suffer from some form of diabetes. 95% of total diabetes cases are type 2...

Is Balkan Becoming A Europe's Top Outsourcing Destination?
By Sanja Stamenkovic, Jefferson Institute

The struggling economy of the Balkans is looking up, but far from the EU's standard. Salaries in some of the regions of the Balkans are more than 10 times lower than salaries in some of the EU countries. According to the national statistical offices of Serbia, Bulgaria and Macedonia, in 2013 the region of the capital of Bulgaria - Sofia had the highest average salaries in the region - nearly 750 $US. Average monthly salaries are highest in the regions of the capitals as well - Belgrade (635 $US) and Skopje (554 $US).  ...

Gender Differences in Balkan's Life Expectancy
By Sanja Stamenkovic, Jefferson Institute

Life expectancy is defined as an average number of years a person would live if mortality rates remain constant in the future. Average life expectancy for persons born between 2010 and 2013 in the whole world is 71 years, according to the World Population Prospects.

The figures for the each country directly reflects the country's healthcare system, wars and HIV infections. Thus, persons in the developed countries live much longer than those in the developing world. People in Japan are expected to live an average of 84 years (87 for women, and 80 for men). On the other hand, in some African countries like Angola and Zambia, where HIV and...

Rural Areas Healthcare in Balkans
By Sanja Stamenkovic, Jefferson Institute

Rural medicine is an interdisciplinary field of health care in rural areas. It incorporates a number of fields such as sociology, midwifery, nursing and economics.

Health care and need of the rural population differs from urban in many ways. Rural residents are usually pooper than the urban, and more likely to live under the poverty level line. This directly affects their lifestyle. Also, rural population usually consists of fewer working-age population. The health care needs of the children and the elderly differ significantly from those of the working age population. 

According to the National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria and...

Belgrade's Airport Busiest in the Ex-YU Republics
By Sanja Stamenkovic, Jefferson Institute

Although Yugoslavia (Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) fell apart a couple of decades ago, many links still bind Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. Yugonostalgia is a well-known phenomenon in the Balkans, and refers to nostalgic feelings for the former union of the Balkan nations. The Economist even coined the term Yugosphere to describe the complicated cultural, economical & the linguistic similarity of the six Ex-Yugoslavian nations. 

After the Yugoslav wars and painful period of reconstruction of both infrastructure and links between feuding nations, the sky over the Yugosphere was once again becoming streaked with aircraft trails. The arrival of low cost airlines in the...

Bulgarian Seaside Leading the Patchwork Balkan Tourism Race
By Sanja Stamenkovic, Jefferson Institute

Amongst the many regions of the Patchwork Balkan (NUTS3 regions of Bulgaria, Serbia and Macedonia) with numerous historical landmarks and major economic impact, Bulgarian seaside regions were the most visited regions by foreigners in 2013. 

Bulgarian coastline is 378 km long. Sandy beaches constitute 130 km of that number. The Balkan Mountains are dividing a coastline into a southern and northern part. The southern part is more popular due to its wide sandy beaches. Two out of four biggest cities in the country are located on the coastline - Burgas and Varna. Besides being tourist destinations, Burgas and Varna are also a major economic centers and seaports. 

Out of three Bulgaria seaside regions - Dobrich, Varna and Burgas, the most visited by the foreigners is Burgas. With more than 6.5 mil nights spent in 2013. Some...