There are two accessible taxis in the city, and they are operated privately. There are no wheelchair accessible taxis in any of the large taxi fleets. However, getting around by private taxi was a blast and so many advantages over any other form of transportation.
For one, it’s totally inexpensive. Sure, it’s not as cheap as a bus would be, but it’s also way cheaper than hiring a private driver anywhere else. I also found it cheaper than using a standard taxi in most other cities where I’ve been. And unless you want to take a bus from the airport, it’s the only way to get to your hotel. All taxis abide by a flat rate of 20 Euros from the airport to downtown Belgrade. All other rates were more than fair, and I paid them happily. Plus, if you want to hire a driver for a full-day, either for sightseeing in the Belgrade area or to check out another city, the fare is only 100 Euros. What a bargain!
Secondly, you get a personal guide and expert on Belgrade, Serbia, the culture, and the language. They are by no means professional tour guides, but our driver grew up in the city and knows it and the history of its people quite well. He also knew just how to drive around and where to park, no matter where we asked him to take us. And, when asked, he had plenty of suggestions for things to do and see.
The only challenge is the need to schedule your ride in advance; however, our driver was quite flexible with that. Keep in mind that these private taxi drivers do have families, and this is not their only job, as it isn’t a steady source of income. Advance planning was difficult for me because I had a list of places to visit but no idea what what the city would be like for getting around.
Prior to arriving in Belgrade, I had contact with both private drivers, and they were both wonderfully responsive and able to communicate in English. They were readily available either by WhatsApp — which is a commonly used communication app in Europe — or phone call. And I would recommend buying on of the very inexpensive pay-as-you-go SIM cards, just to be able to reliably stay connected, though wi-fi is readily available to paying customers at cafes.
It’s important to note that you should carry cash in dinars or euros to pay the drivers.
+381 60 602 0402
His Facebook page, with additional photos of his vehicle, is here: https://m.facebook.com/prevoz.osh/?locale2=sr_RS.
Zoran ended up being the driver that we used during our entire stay. We originally chose him as our driver between the airport and hotel as we also travel with a non-collapsible shower chair, and his vehicle is larger. It was still tight, but we got the shower chair to fit upside-down in the front seat.
Zoran was a real treasure to work with, as he always had a ready smile and was full of compassion, kindness, and expertise. With subdued excitement, he also taught us several basic phrases in Serbian, which I think that the Serbs appreciated hearing us say. Armed with the words hello, please, what, and thank you, plus a vague idea of how to read and pronounce the letters. I was even able to successfully order several delicious items at a bakery, where the woman behind the counter met my poor attempts with enthusiasm and a smile.
We really got to know Zoran on our trips with him and plyed him with questions about himself, his family, Serbia, and Belgrade. And because we appreciated him so much, without whose help our trip would literally not have been possible, we paid him extra a couple times — which he abashedly protested — and a couple times, we also picked him up extra of whatever food we were buying for ourselves — cherries at the market, a sandwich from the bakery, and coffee beans from a specialty coffee shop that we visited. He was so very integral to our trip, that we happily showered him with our thanks and our gifts.
+381 64 477 3779
His Facebook page, with additional photos of his vehicle, is here: https://www.facebook.com/prevozislabopokretnihlica/ .
Dragan was also wonderful to interact with via WhatsApp, and he enthusiastically responded to our inquiries. We ultimately didn’t go with him for the sole reason that his vehicle was smaller, which was not adequate for our needs with our extra luggage to and from the airport. For just getting around, without extra baggage, I’m sure his van would have been more than adequate.
Public Transit System
Belgrade has a few different forms of public transportation, which were rather confusing to me before we got there and saw it in person. They have buses, trolleybuses, and trams. If you also have no idea what the difference is between some of those, you’re not alone. We didn’t actually attempt to use any of those because we didn’t have enough time in the city to try to figure the system out, but I do have some accessibility info to get you started should you be more adventurous than we were.
For all forms of public transit, I’ve been advised that you will need a second set of hands to get the ramp for you, and possible a hook or tool to open it. Apparently drivers will not necessarily do this for you.
Buses are normal buses. Sorry, no photo. They appeared to have a fold-down ramp at the middle door.
Trams run on tracks and are powered from an electrical line above. From what we saw, there are some newer trams and some very old trams. The old trams were 100% not accessible, and I only saw one new tram while we were out, and I wasn’t able to get a good enough look at the accessibility.
Here’s what our contact in Belgrade had to say about tram lines and accessibility:
“Regarding trams I can not advise you exact number, because depending on the day, accessible trams could be on lines 7, 9 and 11 or 12, 13 and 10 – who makes decisions on that, I do not know.”
So there you go.
A trolleybus is a bus that runs on rails with an overhead electrical source.
Here’s the skinny on the accessibility of these:
“All trolleybuses are accessible — 19, 21, 22, 29, 28, 40, 41 — although none of the drivers would go out and help you. That is unfortunately our situation. You should have something like a screwdriver to lift the ramp out of the trolley floor and put it down on the sidewalk. Manual operated ramps are situated in the middle entrance.”
In summary, be ready and willing to be adventurous when getting around in Serbia! For additional non-accessible specific information on the public transit system, check out Trip Advisor’s article Belgrade: Public Transportation. However, for the easiest getting around and best results with the least stress, I suggest to plan out most of your time with a private accessible taxi. But don’t forget to make sure you get some time rolling around on your own. And let me know how the trams, trolleybuses, and buses are if you use them!