Raising Kids In Serbia: Is It a Good Country For Children?

Three girls standing in a field, holding hands.

Are you thinking of moving to Serbia? As exciting as starting a new life in a foreign country is, there are many things to consider and pros and cons to weigh. For instance, what to expect when raising kids in Serbia.

As you may imagine, this is a question with many answers. Luckily, we’re here to provide all the specifics about raising kiddos in this Balkan country. Keep reading to get all the deets!

Raising Kids in Serbia

If you’re thinking of moving to Serbia with your little ones or planning to start a family there, having concerns is normal. After all, childcare is no easy feat, especially in a foreign country.

Generally speaking, Serbia is a great place for kiddos, although it’s not perfect. To help you get a better sense of what that entails, here are the key points you should be aware of.


Obviously, schooling is one of the most important things to consider when moving with kids. After all, you want your children to have a quality education and learn all the necessary skills for a successful future.

For most children in Serbia, school life starts when they are around six years old, with mandatory preschool. Elementary school is mandatory as well and lasts eight years. Although it’s optional, most kids go on to high school for three or four years.

When enrolling your kiddo in a school, you can choose between a public and international school. Naturally, both options have pros and cons.

Firstly, public education for elementary and high schools in Serbia is free. So, while you’ll need to pay for textbooks, food, and similar costs, you won’t need to worry about enrollment fees. On the downside, though, most schools only offer Serbian as the instruction language. 

On the other hand, international schools are typically pricey, but they offer more support for foreign students and a better quality of education. There, your little one can follow the curriculum in languages other than Serbian and make friends with other expat kids.

Ultimately, you know what’s best for your family, so the choice is yours. For more details on the topic, check out our in-depth guide on the Serbian school system.

Life Beyond School

While school is important, there are more things to life, so most kids have hobbies that they enjoy after school. No matter where your child’s interests lie, they’ll likely be able to pursue them in Serbia.

From sports and outdoor activities to musical instruments and foreign languages, there are plenty of centers and courses that cater to young ones. So, whether your kid is into playing the violin or doing karate, you won’t have trouble finding a course to help develop their skills.

When it comes to activities that aren’t popular in Serbia, like ice hockey, for example, it might be trickier to find a program. In that case, looking in bigger cities like Belgrade or Novi Sad is your best bet.

Free Time

There’s time to be productive, and there’s time to relax and have fun. Serbs know this and allow their kids to have their free time.

For reference, most schools have a two-shift system — roughly from 8 am to 2 pm and 2 pm to 8 pm. In most cases, students spend around 6 hours at school. Once they finish their homework and after-school study, they have plenty of time to play.

Admittedly, many kids attend additional activities, like sports or dance classes. Still, there’s no social pressure to fulfill every second of their young lives.

Of course, this depends on parents and kids, but in general, children in Serbia have plenty of time to play, socialize, and simply enjoy being children.

Three girls standing in tall grass.
Children in Serbia get to enjoy free time 🙂

Child-Friendly Culture

Serbs place great importance on family and, most of all, children. In general, parents include kiddos in most of their activities and prioritize their needs.

The fact that most Serbs like children is excellent news for parents. First off, if you need to run an errand but can’t leave your kid at home, you’ll likely get to skip the line in supermarkets, post offices, and other places with lines. Similarly, most people will let you have a seat on public transportation and offer to help with a baby stroller.

If your child throws a tantrum in the middle of a shopping mall — it’s not a big deal. Generally, people will sympathize or find it amusing rather than frown upon your screaming offspring.


As you may know, Serbs are a pretty sociable bunch, and time spent with friends is essential for most people. As a result, making friends is a no-brainer — especially for parents.

Whether your kids are in kindergarten or school, you’ll have plenty of chances to meet other moms and dads and organize playdates. Thanks to that, both your little ones and you as parents will be able to have a fulfilling social life.

Safety First

As a parent, ensuring your little ones are safe is the priority number one. Luckily, Serbia is overall a secure place. With plenty of parks, playgrounds, and green spaces, your kids will have enough space to play risk-free.

Besides, Serbian children learn to be independent from an early age. Typically, parents let kids go to school, run errands, and play with friends on their own quite early.

Of course, you’ll need to teach them how to stay safe, like anywhere else. But, as long as they know not to talk to strangers, avoid dodgy places, and be home by a reasonable hour, they’ll be fine.

Traveling With Family

One of the most joyful ways to spend time with family is traveling — especially if you have children. If you agree, you’ll love it in Serbia. Despite being a small country, it’s rich in touristy places  — from cities with incredible historic and cultural landmarks to scenic nature havens.

In Belgrade alone, there are many spots perfect for day trips, including museums, churches, and gardens. Even when you’re out of ideas, the Kalemegdan fortress is a great place to take a walk and spend quality time with the kiddos.

When you have more time, you can take your family on a road trip and explore other places, including cities, mountains, lakes, and hidden gems popular among locals.

Plus, being located in the center of the Balkans peninsula, Serbia offers easy access to many popular destinations, making it the perfect starting point for weekend trips. Of course, that includes countries of former Yugoslavia. All you need to do is pack your bags and explore this part of the world with your kids.

Serbia is perfect for road trips with kids 🚗


As anywhere in the world, raising children in Serbia costs a pretty penny. From diapers and baby formula to clothes, textbooks, and free-time activities, nothing is for free. Plus, with a recent trend of extravagant birthday parties, having a child may quickly drain one’s financial resources.

To make matters worse, Serbia is a relatively low-income country with a high unemployment rate. As a result, many parents struggle to afford a quality childhood for their kids. In practice, this means a lot of self-sacrifice and penny-pinching.

However, if you’re working as a digital nomad with a decent income or land a well-paying job in Serbia, you’ll likely find it easy to provide for your family. Compared to the USA and Western European countries, living costs in Serbia are pretty affordable.

That and the option of free education will allow you to live comfortably as long as you have a decent income.

Raising Children With a Serbian Spouse

If you fall in love with a Serb and decide to raise kids in Serbia, there are some great and some not-so-great things to consider. First off, since families tend to be pretty close-knit, you can expect loads of help from your in-laws.

Of course, this depends on a family and their customs, but more often than not, grandpas and grandmas are happy to provide free babysitting services. After all, most grandparents love their grandkids and gladly spend time with them.

Next, you may receive lots of hand-me-downs from relatives who already had kids. That can be anything, from baby clothes to strollers and baby cots. That way, you may save a fortune.

Then again, being so closely knit, Serbian families tend to meddle in each other’s business. Although not everyone is like this, your in-laws might give you loads of unsolicited and unwanted advice on how to raise your kids. Hopefully, this won’t be the case for you. Still, be ready to set and defend your boundaries if it comes to that.

A woman picking flowers with a little girl.
Grandma-slash-unpaid babysitter 🙂

Raising Kids in Serbia: Conclusion

All in all, Serbia is a good place for raising kids. Of course, your experience will depend on your situation and expectations. In any case, you now have enough info to decide whether raising kids in Serbia makes sense for you and your family.

Finally, parenting in this country is much easier if you have a decent command of the language. So, if you wish to improve your Serbian, join our online group classes. Who knows, you might meet other expat parents and even make friends.

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