Currency In Serbia: Fascinating History And 5 Travel Tips

banknotes with the Currency in Serbia is the Dinar

Dinar (Serbian Cyrillic: динар, pronounced [D-ee-n-ah-r]) is the official currency in Serbia. One dinar is subdivided into 100 paras. The international currency symbol for the dinar is RSD, and the currency code is 941. The current banknotes and coins show portraits of people important for the history of Serbia, the National Bank of Serbia, and Serbian cultural monuments.

Currency In Serbia: History Of The Dinar

The “Serbian dinar” is first mentioned in archival documents from the end of 1214, in the time of Stefana Prvovenčanog (Stefan the First-Crowned). From that time until the fall of the Despotate in 1459, the “dinar” was minted by almost all Serbian rulers throughout the territory of the Serbian medieval state, in mints located near numerous silver mines. That money was called a dinar.

It represented one of the most important features of the independence and statehood of the then Serbian state in the Middle Ages. All the medieval money of Serbia, due to the withdrawal of gold from circulation – a phenomenon characteristic of that period everywhere in Europe – was minted exclusively in silver. After the loss of the independence of the Serbian state, the Serbian dinar stopped being minted.

The name of the basic Roman coin – the denarius, through to the Serbian medieval minting and then through the minting of the renewed Serbia in the 19th century- has remained in the name of the dinar – the basic monetary unit of the monetary system of modern Serbia.

Currency In Serbia: Denominations

Subunit1/100 para  (defunct) 
Latin Alphabet: Para
Cyrillic Letters: Пара
PluralLatin Alphabet: Dinari 
Cyrillic Letters: Dинари
BanknotesFreq. used      10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000 dinars 
Rarely used    5000 dinars
CoinsFreq. Used:     1, 2, 5, 20 dinars 
Rarely used:   10 dinars

What Dinar Banknotes Look Like

10 Dinars 

Currency Used In Serbia

I know it looks like a picture of Paul McCartney when he was very young, but this is the portrait of Vuk Stefanović Karadžić, Serbian philologist, linguist, and reformer of the Serbian language.

20 Dinars

Currency Used In Serbia

Petar II Petrović Njegoš. He was Ruler of Montenegro, a King, as well as a Serbian Orthodox Prince-Bishop, great poet, and philosopher who lived in the 19th-century.

50 Dinars 

Currency Used In Serbia

Stevan Stojanović Mokranjac – Serbian composer.

100 Dinars

Currency Used In Serbia

Nikola Tesla – Great Serbian inventor.

200 Dinars

Currency Used In Serbia

Nadežda Petrović, a painter from the late 19th century. She was also a volunteer nurse during the First Balkan War.

500 Dinars

Currency Used In Serbia

Jovan Cvijić, Serbian geographer and president of the Serbian Royal Academy.

1000 Dinars

Currency Used In Serbia

 Ðorđe Vajfert, a man who owned the first brewery in the Kingdom of Serbia.

2000 Dinars 

Currency Used In Serbia

Milutin Milanković, the Serbian engineer, climatologist, geophysicist, and astronomer.

5000 Dinars

Currency Used In Serbia

Slobodan Jovanović, one of Serbia’s most prolific jurists, historians, sociologists, journalists, and literary critics.

Travel Money In Serbia

There are a few accepted forms of payment in Serbia: cash (the Serbian Dinar), and all major credit cards (Visa, Visa Electron, Plus, Master Card, Euro card, Diners Club…). If your bank card works in New York, Paris, London,  and Tokyo, it will work in Belgrade, Novi sad, or elsewhere in Serbia. Traveler’s checks are also ok. If you are bringing cash, my suggestion is – bring Euros! US Dollars, British Pounds, and Swiss Francs are also okay. With these major currencies, you will receive a favorable exchange rate.

However, you can also exchange Canadian Dollars, Australian Dollars, and Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish krone into Dinars, but you will receive a poor exchange rate. Cash is the ‘universal language in Serbia,’ and it is very convenient to have some Serbian Dinars in your pocket to pay for a cab, grab a bite to eat, and generally when paying small bills. For shopping and for restaurants, you can use credit cards.

Where Is The Best Place To Exchange Money?

Yellow Sign for Money Exchange where you can get the Serbian Currency Dinar

The best place to exchange your money for dinars in Belgrade is on Knez Mihajlova street (pedestrian zone around Republic Square). It is easy to find Official Exchange Offices (Menjacnica in Serbian – look for the sign on the left). Official Exchange Offices (exchange booths) are clearly labeled and they are numerous in Belgrade, Novi Sad, and other places in Serbia.

Rates offered at Official Exchange Office (Menjačnica inn Latin or мењачница in Cyrillic letters) are generally better than those available in the banks, hotels, or at the Airport. Private banks and exchange offices are free to set their own rates, but they must clearly display the exchange rate. The spread between buying and selling rates is 2-3 %.

Tip: Don’t exchange your money with strangers on the street. It is illegal and can be dangerous.

Using Your Credit ATM’s And Cards In Serbia

Hand holding a smartphone and a credit card in the other while using it in Serbia

There are plenty of ATMs (Bank Machines) in Belgrade city and the Airport where you can withdraw cash (Serbian Dinars) 24 hours a day with your credit card. If traveling to smaller towns or villages, ATMs can be difficult to find, so make sure you have some cash on you.

Western Union In Serbia

If you run out of cash, you can use the Western Union Serbia services and get a fast money transfer. Many Post offices and commercial banks support this service. Just to be clear, you will receive the money in Euros when using Western Union Serbia.

You can also use money transfers from any country worldwide if you open a local bank account. The transfer can take between 3 to 7 business days.

Learn Serbian Ling app

Things You Should Know About Using Cash In Serbia

IMPORTANT NOTE: You can take a maximum of 2000 Euros out of the country in cash!

As mentioned above, Serbia imposes a rule that only allows you to take 2000 Euros out of the country. To avoid this problem, if you bring in a larger amount of cash and do not spend it all and then exit Serbia with more than the above-mentioned amount, you will have to declare it to the customs officials upon your arrival. You will obtain a declaration form which you must present at your departure. Failure to comply may result in the confiscation of all funds at departure!

It would be great to visit Serbia and learn more about this beautiful country, like great food, awesome people and many other great things. You can use the Ling app to help you learn basic Serbian words and expressions to help you enjoy your stay there. Download the Ling app now from the Google Play Store or App Store. If you end up in Serbia, the first word you should learn is Živeli (Cheers). Trust me on this one! 😉

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