We really really like Serbians. They are some of the nicest people we’ve encountered in our travels in Europe.

And then this happened.

We almost got scammed by a taxi driver and we were all shocked by what he did next.

I am still shaken and I am writing this at our place because I couldn’t sleep.

Here’s the full story.

We were out clubbing until 4am and decided to call it a night because we have a flight to catch to Montenegro at 9:30am and we still have to pack and get some sleep.

Our last stop was Lasta Club at Savamala when we decided to take a taxi home. As soon as we went out of the club on the water, there were a number of empty taxis waiting outside and we took one of them.

I sat in front and my friends MM and Zan sat at the back. The driver was kind of nice. He was quite chatty and curious about where we were from.

The meter read 170 Serbian dinars which was the normal flag down rate so I didn’t think we took a scam taxi. But a few hundred meters away, the girls noticed that the meter was running fast.

They told me in Filipino that the meter was running really fast and we might have chosen a scamming taxi driver. We are from the Philippines and we are very familiar with all sorts of scams. We can easily smell one and this was nothing new to us.

Half a kilometer away, the meter already read almost a thousand Serbian dinars and that was when we started asking the driver what was happening. Our apartment was only 5-10 minutes away and it shouldn’t cost us more than 700 dinars. We know this because we’ve taken taxis in the last few days.

He was still trying to be chatty and that’s when I noticed he was only being chatty because he was nervous.

I kept asking him why was the meter so high already and I kept on pointing at it.

He said it will cost us 2000 dinars to get to our place and then he switched off the meter.

To be honest I didn’t really care paying 2000 dinars to get home knowing fully well that fuck we got scammed! But what pissed me off was when he switched off the meter and told us a rate.

I was also a bit scared. We were in Serbia at 4am with an evil taxi driver. Buddha knows what this guy could do to us.

I asked what he was doing and told him to switch the meter on but he wouldn’t. So I pressed all the 3 buttons on the meter but nothing was happening.

Luckily (or unluckily depending on how you see it), he stopped. We were on the highway. I told the girls in Filipino that we should get off now and take another taxi.

“We’re getting off. We don’t want to take your taxi anymore,” I said.

I fumbled nervously for the door handle and immediately got off. I saw that my friends were also getting off the taxi as fast as they could. I was walking ahead and I told them to walk away as fast as they can in Filipino.

I kept walking towards a tram stop and the girls were behind me since they were wearing heels and couldn’t walk as fast as I could.

I heard the taxi driver shout something but I told the girls to just walk away faster. I didn’t even dare look back (I should have!). I figured we were at the highway so the taxi driver won’t get off his car and chase us.

How wrong I was!

I thought we were already pretty far from the taxi driver when I heard Zan shout “He pushed me!”  I turned around and I saw my friend lying by the pavement on the train tracks and the taxi driver running away really fast. He got on his car and drove away.

Putang Ina! (Son of a bitch!), MM exclaimed.

The taxi driver pushed her! He pushed her really hard that she fell on the pavement.

OMG the taxi driver actually pushed her.

MM and I were both in shock and didn’t know what to do. Things happened so fast.

Zan got up on her own and then we came closer to check if she was okay.

She wasn’t okay obviously. She got bruises and abrasions on her elbows, on the palm of her hands and on her knees. Here are a few photos:




We were so shocked that taxi driver was able to drive away before we got his plate number.

I didn’t even run after him.

I can’t believe this happened to us. I’ve been scammed by taxis, just recently in Kuala Lumpur last January, and it seriously doesn’t get any better. You don’t get used to it. You don’t learn how to deal with it better next time. It is still traumatising every single time.

This is the most traumatising so far specially for Zan. She already had an episode in Manila with a holdaper who grabbed her bag and she fell and she also had bruises.

It’s so frustrating that this has to happen a few hours before we leave Serbia. We still think Serbians are nice people. Just be careful with these damn taxi scams.

We took another taxi and told the driver about the incident. He said that they are illegal and that we should only take yellow, pink or blue taxis. So next time you’re in Belgrade, make sure you avoid other taxis.

Have you ever been scammed by a taxi driver or during your travels?

DJ Yabis is the poster boy of Dream Euro Trip and a modern day renaissance man. Originally from the Philippines, he loves throwing dinner parties and stalking rock stars in music festivals. Subscribe or follow his adventures LIVE on Facebook or Instagram. Learn how to plan your own eurotrip.

What do YOU think?

25 Responses to “Beware the Taxi Scam in Belgrade, Serbia” Subscribe

  1. Anne Lim December 22, 2017 at 8:09 PM #

    Heya. I’m writing this in a restaurant a few hours I leave Belgrade. Same thing – taxi meter running really fast, even though I told him to stop he refused to listen to me. I was appalled as his taxi vehicle looked legitimate – complete with the cab head, taxi logo, everything. I got charged 3000 RSD for a trip that was meant to cost half that amount, and was extremely shaken plus did not dare to yell at him as I was travelling alone.

    I got to my hostel, told the lady what happened, and it was almost as if she was laughing it off. I did get the taxi’s number though and have written a complaint to the tourism department, though I’m not sure if I’ll get a response.

    Ffs, devil taxis. I’m sorry to hear what happened to you and your friends.

    • DJ Yabis January 2, 2018 at 12:32 PM #

      Yeah be careful next time

  2. Mich Corneliu August 24, 2017 at 3:54 PM #

    I had a similar experience with a taxi driver in Belgrade. I paid 1500 RSD for about 2 km. Everything happened very fast and I couldn’t figure it out how much money I paid(converted in my currency). I was in a hurry, I didn’t wanted any trouble so I paid the price and the driver run away very fast. But the rest of the people I meet in Belgrade were very kind and they offered to help.

    • DJ Yabis August 27, 2017 at 11:58 PM #

      True. Sucks that illegal taxis are still allowed in the city

  3. Nigel July 16, 2016 at 2:15 PM #

    Alas! This was really a shocking experience shared by you.
    Usually there are taxi scammers in all the countries but this kind of scam i have gone through for the first time as it can be related to an attempt to murder.
    You had made my nerve down.I Will not trust any taxi from now as this scam can happen to anyone.

  4. Michael December 20, 2015 at 5:34 AM #

    This is so crazy! Just wondering what did the scam taxi look like? Since the good taxi driver told you to only take yellow pink and blue ones, was the other one a different color?

    • DJ Yabis December 27, 2015 at 12:40 AM #

      It was dark brown or black. Can’t remember.

  5. Rodelyn November 30, 2015 at 8:05 PM #

    This is so unfortunate. Good thing your overall Serbia experience is fun.

    Thank you for helping me complete my VISA application in Serbia. I am so happy my sister recommended me to you. I just hope I will have my VISA approved. I can’t wait to go to Serbia soon.

    May I request you share your VISA application experience in Serbia? I rarely find blogs with such. And I would I appreciate if you can give tips as well.

    Again, thank you for helping. I will definitely recommend you to my friends to wish to travel to Europe. 🙂

    • DJ Yabis December 2, 2015 at 1:14 AM #

      You’re welcome! I didn’t apply for a serbian visa so I have no experience but ill share via some other person maybe. enjoy!

  6. MikeD November 2, 2015 at 5:19 AM #

    WOW! That is a rare experience in Belgrade though. I’ve been there many times now and haven’t had this problem but have heard from some others. Agree that they were some of the friendliest people that I’ve met when travelling Europe but there are always a couple of losers everywhere. Found your page while looking for reviews on the Savamala club area. Hope things turned out better afterwards.

    • DJ Yabis November 2, 2015 at 9:30 AM #

      Yep we had a great time nevertheless. But yeah this experience sucked.

  7. Rome September 22, 2015 at 10:02 AM #

    So I was taking a taxi in the south of Mexico. I didn’t really know any Spanish but I understood enough to know. “yea” “got him” “its a foriegner” not to mention the road wasn’t familiar at allllll. The car stops I just ran the hell out hearing screaming and the car attempt to reverse in the background. Fucking terrible.

  8. Ian September 18, 2015 at 2:50 AM #

    Stuff like this makes me like Uber more and more … sorry to hear this happened to you and your friends…

  9. Brock September 14, 2015 at 2:54 AM #

    It seems, though, that most of these scams throughout the world (taxis or not) take place close to touristy destinations/areas.

    99% of the rest of the country is full of kind and beautiful people, but the second you enter the domain of metropolitan civilization, crazy shit happens. Sad.

    Hope your body heals well 🙂 Yikes :/

  10. Tour leader blog September 3, 2015 at 4:34 AM #

    Unfortunately such things are common for Eastern Europe and you better think twice before going to such exotic countries. I speak from my own experience.

  11. the-worldwide August 28, 2015 at 7:06 PM #

    You were lucky. There could be more trouble. Thanks to god that there were no more difficulty.
    And i suggest you to book a good accommodation from a local host for your next trip, so that, you can feel you are belonging to the place. There will be no difficulty.

  12. Victoria@ The British Berliner August 26, 2015 at 2:34 PM #

    OMG! So sorry to hear of your ordeal. It must have been horrifying.

    Have I been scammed by a taxi-driver before? Haven’t we all!
    I’ve been scammed in Tunisia where the taxi driver took us on a 20 minute ride and charged us $20.00. We discovered that the hotel was just around the corner from where he picked us up!

    Also years ago in Bangkok, the tuk-tuk driver took me to a go-go bar rather than the theatre and dinner that I actually wanted to go to. Luckily, I was suspicious and hopped out to look around before paying and saw a huge metal door, dodgy looking people, men fighting and absolutely no women unless you were stripping. On stage.
    I didn’t pay him!

  13. grasya August 24, 2015 at 11:35 PM #

    HAY NAKU!! I got scammed a lot of times since my college and most of my yuppie days are spent in Metro Manila.. but I never experienced this brutality… Thanks for sharing this despite horrible experience.. I hope your friend will overcome the trauma.

  14. Arnaud August 24, 2015 at 8:01 AM #

    Take care my friend !!! Hope You Will Forget it Quickly and keep only good memories You had There…

  15. JB & Renee August 24, 2015 at 7:17 AM #

    Damn, that’s so scary DJ. Good thing you guys got out and nothing else happened. It could have been much worse!

  16. Bethaney - Flashpacker Family August 24, 2015 at 4:23 AM #

    What a horrible experience. It’s so unfair when shit like this happens. I’ve been scammed by a taxi in Hanoi. I hate that place so much, partly because of the taxis!

  17. lifeisacelebration August 24, 2015 at 12:12 AM #

    Oh Lord, what a scare! Hope you and your friends have recovered from that traumatic episode. Keep safe!

    • Laurence April 9, 2016 at 8:52 PM #

      Can anyone help recommend an agent/agency who can process my visa to Serbia?

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