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Drinking Age in Serbia

The legal minimum drinking age in Serbia is 18 years to buy or consume alcohol. It appears to be hard to enforce this as many young teens are drinking on a regular basis. Law enforcement says it is the duty of the shopkeepers not to sell alcohol to anyone under 18 yet it is left up to the sellers to determine who is old enough to buy it and who is not. There are no punishments for the sellers but the buyer could be fined. If you plan to visit Serbia, you will most likely end up drinking at some point because Serbians use everything as a reason to drink. It is done with meals, for parties, for festivals, for special occasions and just because there is nothing else to do.

Alcohol Available in Serbia

Alcoholic beverages are easily bought in Serbia. Stores and shops, supermarkets, restaurants and drinking establishments offer beers, wines and liquors for your consumption. There has been a ban on selling alcohol outside of restaurants and bars after 10 o’clock PM due to the high amount of underage drinking. If you plan on buying some booze to take back home or to the hotel, you need to make your purchases earlier than 10 PM and hope you have enough for the night.

Serbia has many breweries and produces some fine beers, lagers and pilsners. No matter what your taste in brews made from hops, it is made and made well in Serbia. Sold mainly in 0.5-liter glass bottles for pouring into glasses, Jelen is the most popular brand in Serbia. You can also find beer sold in 0.33-liter bottles or 2.0 and 2.5-liter plastic bottles.

Serbia produces 425,000 tons of grapes annually. The vast majority of these are used in the many wineries in the country. It is one of the top-ten wine producing countries in the world with white wines making up 64 percent of the annual production. If you are touring wineries in Europe, be sure to go to Serbia for a few samples.

As with most of the Balkan countries, rakia is the liquor of choice in Serbia. Many people have found the rakia produced from a mixture of fruits in Serbia to be the best and is most often considered to be the one that others aspire to. It is a colorless brandy-like liquor that may, at times, have herbs added to it before being put in a wooden barrel. The herbs will give it a bit of color, so do not assume that it is not rakia because it is not clear. Rakia is usually served in small, special shot glasses, which are drank very quickly. Think of slamming a shot of tequila and you have the idea.

You will not have to worry about having enough to drink when you go to Serbia unless you get there after 10 PM, when it cannot be bought in stores. You may, of course go sit in the bar and relax with a drink or meet up with people having a party.





  1. SomeSerb says:

    A correction, the “no sale after 10PM” law was only in effect in Belgrade. I don’t know if it’s still there, but here in Novi Sad for example we never had such a law.

  2. M says:

    The Belgrade’s local “no sale after 10PM” law was abolished in 2016 (or 2015?) so now you can happily get drinks anytime.


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