Belgrade lies at the crossing of the communication lines between Eastern and Western Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. It rises on the banks of the Sava and the Danube and the two rivers run along three sides of the city.
The geographic coordinate of Belgrade are:
- 44º49'14" North geographic latitude,
-20º27'44" East geographic longitude,
- average elevation 116,75 m .
The Belgrade are also combines two different natural settings: the Panonian Plane with wheat and corn fields to the north, and Šumadija, with its vineyards and orchards, to the South of the Sava and the Danube. The most prominent peaks on the Šumadija border ridge are Mt. Kosmaj (628 m) and Mt. Avala (511 m).
The accented relief of Belgrade, to the south of the Sava and the Danube are the reason why this is a rather hilly city. The Holy Trinity Church on Torlak Hill (303,1 m) has the highest elevation in the Belgrade urban zone (Voždovac Municipality), whilst the lowest one is the Ada Huja Isle (70,15 m).
The urban core of Belgrade, encompasses an area of 36 km2, and the total municipal territory amounts to 322 km².
The perimeter of the suburban area is 419 km. The greatest distance in the North-South direction is 92,98 km, and in the East-West direction is 67,50 km.
Administratively, Belgrade is subdivided into 17 municipalities:
- 10 urban (Čukarica, Novi Beograd, Palilula, Rakovica, Savski venac, Stari grad, Voždovac, Vračar, Zemun and Zvezdara),
- 7 suburban (Barajevo, Grocka, Lazarevac, Obrenovac, Mladenovac, Sopot and Surčin).
The Belgrade climate is moderate continental, with four seasons. The average annual air temperature is 11,9°C. Autumn is longer than spring, with lengthy sunny and warm periods (Indian summer). Winter is not particularly harsh, and averages 21 one days with below zero temperatures. January is the coldest month of the year with an average temperature of 0,4°C. Spring is rather short and rainy. Summer starts abruptly. The hottest months are July (21,7°C) and August (21,3°C).
Belgrade has a characteristic south-eastern and eastern wind called "košava", which brings fair and dry weather. It is most frequent in the fall and winter, lasting for 2-3 days. The average košava speed is 25-43 km/h, particularly when there is a high air pressure over Ukraine and Bessarabia, and low pressure over the Adriatic Sea.
Belgrade, has an annual average of 139 days with precipitation, including 27 days of snow. The most intense precipitaitions are in May and June, and in February they are the least. One-day rains are most frequent. The annual average of precipitations is 667,9 mm. The snow blanket averages 30 to 44 days, and its average thickness is 14-25 cm.
According to the 1991 census, the Belgrade urban area has a population of 1.168.454, and together with the suburban areas the capital city has a population of 1.602.226. Estimates are that Belgrade now has more than 2.000.000 inhabitants.
As a result of its stormy past, many nations have been living in Belgrade for centuries, and Serbs are the majority (86%).
Language and Alphabet
The official language in Serbia and Montenegro is Serbian - one of the south Slavic languages. Officially the Cyrillic alphabet is used, and the Latin alphabet is also very much in use. Both are taught at school. The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet has 30 letters - one letter for every sound, which makes it quite unique compared to the other alphabets.
The languages and alphabets of the ethnic minorities are in use in the areas they live in.
Foreigners can rely on English to communicate with the locals, and on German French and Russian to a lesser extent.
Belgrade lies in the central European time zone CET (GMT+1 hour).
The summer daylight saving time is from the end of March to the end of October (GMT+2 hours).
Banks and post offices:
- working days 08.00-19.00
- Saturdays 08.00-15.00
- Sundays only those on duty
- working days 06.30-20.00 (some also until 21.00)
- Saturdays 06.30-18.00 (some also until 21.00)
- Sundays 07.00-11.00 (some also until 13.00)
- every day 06.00-17.00
Shops in shopping malls
- working days 09.00-20.00
- working days 08.00-20.00
- Saturdays 08.00-15.00
- Sundays closed
- open 00.00-24.00
Holidays - non-working days:
1 & 2 January - New Year
7 January - first day of Orthodox Christmas
15 February (Visitation of the Virgin - Sretenje) - Serbian Statehood Day
1 & 2 May - Intl. Labor Day
Orthodox Easter - from Good Friday to the second day of Easter
On non-working holidays only shops and institutions on duty are open.
The are entitled not to work on their religious holidays, depending on their religion.
The Serbian Orthodox Church counts its Christian holidays according to the old - Julian calendar, differing from the Gregorian calendar by 14 days.
Holidays but working days:
27 January (St Sava) - Spirituality Day
9 May - Victory Day
28 June - St. Vitus Day
The official currency is the dinar (DIN) and 1 dinar consists of 100 para.
Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 dinars
Paper bills: 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 and 5000 dinars
Currency exchange is performed by:
- all the banks
- all the post offices
- exchange offices