How to Get to Nis?
With the intention of making your travel easier, here are some tips and suggestions on how to get to Nis by using means of transportation that the city and the region offer.
Where is Nis
Situated at the crossroads of main Balkan and European highways, Nis is more or less easy to reach. It is through Nis that European route E75 runs (running from Budapest in a southward direction towards Belgrade, Nis, Skopje and Thessaloniki) in addition to Motorway E-80 (running from the Adriatic Sea via Nis and Sofia to Istanbul). Therefore, the easiest way to get to Nis is via Belgrade (235km), Sofia (155km) or Skopje (205 km), the cities to which Nis is well connected by rail and road.
Although there is the international airport situated in Nis, only regular flights from Zurich to Nis are currently available (twice a week). However, if you want to travel to the region by plane, you can land at Belgrade or Sofia airport.
From Nis via Sofia
If you travel to Nis via Sofia, there are two possible ways of getting to Nis – by bus or by train. The bus departs twice a day from Central Bus Station in Sofia – at 7.30 and 16.00 (local time, GTM +2). The bus ride from Sofia to Nis usually takes 4 and a half hours (due to road conditions and the customs) and the ticket costs approximately 1200 – 1400din (12-15eur – 24lev). Should you decide to board the train, it runs at least twice a day; at 11.40 (coming from Istanbul) and 21.20.
From Belgrade to Nis
If you travel to Nis via Belgrade, taking a bus from Belgrade Central Bus Station is recommended. Namely, it is the fastest way of travelling to Nis from Belgrade bearing in mind the fact that it is a three-hour trip as opposed to taking a train which appears to be longer and less comfortable at approximately the same price. In addition, the bus departs every thirty minutes, whereas the train runs less frequently. The cost of a one-way bus ticket to Nis is approximately 1400din (15eur). Note that there are no departures from 1AM to 4.45 AM.
From Belgrade airport
For those who travel to Belgrade by plane, bear in mind that taking a cab from the airport to the bus or the railway station (they are situated next to each other, not far from the city center) should not cost more than approximately 10 Eur. There are a lot of illegitimate cab drivers who would charge you a lot more for the ride upon realizing that you are not local residents (around 20-25eur). The best way to avoid them is to take the so-called “Beogradski Taxi” (phone number: 011 9801). In addition, there is a regular bus service that connects the airport with the city center. A bus ticket is 2E.
It is possible to travel to Nis by international train leaving from Vienna to Thessaloniki or from Budapest to Istanbul (or vice versa). You can travel from Vienna to Belgrade on the Avala (the name of the train), leaving Vienna Westbahnhof at 09.52 and arriving in Belgrade at 20.45. The Avala is a modern air-conditioned InterCity service, with a restaurant car serving drinks, snacks and full meals. Moreover, taking another train route can help you to get to Nis. The Balkan Express runs daily from Budapest to Istanbul (via Belgrade and Nis). Perhaps, booking a sleeping car is suggested for the sake of comfort and security. However, travelling on second class coaches provides a unique experience and adventure. The train departs from Budapest at 23.55, stops in Belgrade at 8.40 and arrives in Nis at 14.15. Note that train delays are frequent and the railway coaches may sometimes be rather uncomfortable.
In case you travel to Nis from the south, besides the train departing from Thessaloniki that runs directly to Belgrade via Nis, you can stop in Skopje and get on a bus at Skopje Bus Station. The bus heading for Nis leaves many times a day.
Bear in mind that all train and bus times mentioned above are subject to change. It is advisable to check the timetable in advance in order to make sure that it is not out of date.
We hope that you found those tips useful. HAVE A NICE TRIP!
The official web page of Central Bus Station in Belgrade: http://www.bas.co.yu
The official web page of Central Bus Station in Sofia: http://www.centralnaavtogara.bg
Serbian railways: http://www.serbianrailways.com/active/en/home.html
The official web page of Skopje Bus Station: http://www.sas.com.mk/en/index.php