13 Interesting facts about Serbia

Warm, welcoming and a hell of a lot of fun – everything you never heard about Serbia is true. Exuding a feisty mix of élan and inat (Serbian trait of rebellious defiance), this country doesn’t do ‘mild’.

Interesting facts about Serbia

1. Surnames

Most of the Serbian last names end on „ić“. This suffix can be compared with Irish prefix „O’“, Nordic suffix „son“ or „dotir“, Hungarian „fi“, Bulgarian „ev/a“ or „ov/a“, Turkish „oglu“ and can be translated as „the offspring“, and is a genuine Serbian patronymic. Hence, Serbian last names remain always the same both for sons and daughters.

2. Raspberry

Serbia is one of the largest exporter of raspberries in the world. Not only that, but Serbia used to be the largest exporter of plums and prunes, and lately its potential in exporting cherries is growing. 

3. Roman emperors

18 Roman emperors were born on the land which is today Serbia. This is about 20% of all the Roman emperors. The most famous of them was definitely Constantine the Great, Roman emperor who declared Christianity as the official religion. Not only that, but Serbia is a home of one of 4 Roman capitals – an ancient city of Sirmium, today’s Sremska Mitrovica.

4. Vampire

The only Serbian word that is accepted and used across the world is “vampire”.

5. Clocks

The Serbian clock-making industry is even older than the world-famous Swiss one. The Serbs had their own clock 600 years before the Swiss did. 

6. The most unique Serbian product – Kajmak 

Kajmak is a Serbian native fresh dairy product with rich flavor, taste like skim milk. Kajmak is used throughout the Middle East, South-East Europe, Iran, Afghanistan, India and Turkey, and Serbia is very much appreciated and loved as a unique appetizer or side dish. 

Kajmak on bread

Kajmak on bread

7. The most expensive cheese 

Believe it or not, the most expensive cheese in the world is produced in Serbia, from donkey and goat milk an it’s called ”Pule”. It costs even 1.000,00 EUR per kilogram of cheese and that’s because of its rarity.

8. Ancient Belgrade

Belgrade is one of the oldest cities in Europe, with excavations confirming that the settlements continuously existed here for at least 7000 years. Not far from Belgrade center, at the outskirts of the city, one can find remnants of two of the most prominent cultures in Bronze Age – Vinča and Starčevo cultures. These cities were pioneers in trade throughout Europe and the Middle East, and their potential was in trade with volcanic glass – obsidian. 

9. Serbian army

It took the Serbian army only 18 days to breach the Thessaloniki front in 1918. French, Greek, Italian and British army – although outnumbering Serbian army – didn’t manage to do it in months. The breach of Thessaloniki front meant a complete disaster of Austro-Hungaria and Bulgaria. French general and supreme commander of the Allied armies on Thessaloniki front was overwhelmed with Serbian courage that he declared if he had had such men in other Allied armies – the war wouldn’t even have broken loose. It has been recorded that the Serbian army liberated their homeland so quickly that the allied armies weren’t able to distribute supplies to them so fast.

10. Language

The Serbian language was one of the four official languages in the Ottoman Empire. Not only this, but Serbia gave several notable Great Veziers and dozens of generals to the Ottomans. On the other hand, Serbian dukes in Austria and Russia were known as the greatest enemies of the Ottoman Empire. Thanks to this, it was quite usual to have battles between two Serbian generals on different sides.

11. Science

Serbs gave to the world some of the most respecting scientists ever: Nikola Tesla, a wonder-man whose ingenious inventions are still being ahead of time; Mihajlo Pupin, physicist and chemist whose ideas on telecommunications are still breathtaking; Milutin Milankovic, mathematician, astronomer, climatologist, geophysicist, civil engineer whose climatological researches spread all over the solar system and inventor of the most accurate calendar with declination of only 2,75 seconds per astronomical year…

12. Hospitality

It is not only our proverb – according to the international polls, Serbs are statistically the most hospitable nation in the world. This custom is highly implemented in our legacy and can be traced to the ancient Slavic belief that the host wouldn’t gain any favor of gods if he didn’t show hospitality to a guest. 

13. Slava 

Slava is connected to the times of old Slavic religion, when a cult of ancestors was very strong. For Slavs, family and its legacy is one of the holiest things in life; and this custom is highly appreciated even today. 


Situated on the crossroads of eastern and central Europe, Serbia has seen tumultuous history unfold in its millenniums-old cities, mountains and plains. After years of turmoil since the breakup of Yugoslavia, the country is emerging as the region’s innovation hub and a tourist destination.

Learn more about Serbia

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4 replies on “13 Interesting facts about Serbia

  • Meyra

    Vampir kelimesi Türkçe kökenlidir. Bu konuda dünya Türkoloji makalelerini okursanız yanlış bilgi vermekten kaçınırsınız.
    Bir Türkolog

    • Stefan Barjaktarevic

      It is originally a central Asian/Turkic word, but it became popular via the Serbian language. Also, the original Turkic word “upir”, etc. describes a completely different being and has nothing to do with what we call today a “vampire”. Even in modern Turkish or Kyrgyz language, the modern vampire is called “vampir”, not upir or anything like that.

      bir etnolog

  • joao soares dos santos

    É muito bom saber que a Sérvia tem costumes e aspectos culturais semelhantes aos do Brasil. Parabens pela pagina, foi de grande utilidade para minha pesquisa sobre os paises que participam da copa.

  • Veljko Milanov

    The first warplane to be shot down was in 1915 when a Serbian Artillery Radoje Raka shot down an Austro-Hungarian plane with a cannon. A plane was first shot down by a cannon like in a video game.


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