Airport Rail Connections

Many airports have rail connections that provide convenient and reliable service to downtown. Some airports have rail links that aren’t too bad, some are inconvenient, some are confusing, and some have no rail connestions at all. Airport connections may not be easy for travelers and taking a taxi may seem like a better option. Airport rail connections are much needed. The existing lack of transportation alternatives to airports encourages both passengers and employees to drive, creating additional traffic and pollution. Not to mention the impression these connections leave on foreign travelers. I’m not going to write about the most famous airports like in Paris, London, Tokyo, Chicago, Hong Kong ... who are frequent, cheap (not in London), convenient and fast. They have city trains that make the trip from the plane to the city center easy.

I’m going to write about two totally different airports whitch I’ve used many times during the last few years: Vancouver, Canada and Belgrade, Serbia. Vancouver has had spectacular success with its public transport system over the past 20 years – generating huge growth in patronage, which has helped contribute to Vancouver generally performing extremely well in world liveability rankings. The city center can be reached quickly and in comfort by public transport. Vancouver Airport train service “Canada Line” allows for a more convenient trip for international travellers to and from downtown Vancouver. It was designed to handle the increase in airport traffic during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Unfortunately, the airport in Belgrade is an airport that  doesn’t have rail connections at all. Belgrade’s aiport is located approx.12 km from the city centre. Transportation can be an issue from the airport. Buses are available:
- Minibus number A1 goes to Slavija Square in the city centre, stopping in Novi Beograd and the city’s main Train station.
- Bus number 72 which goes at 15 and 45 mins past the hours to Zeleni Venac in the city centre. Buses are cheap, but slower than a taxi. I don’t recommend to use the bus - you will travel 1hour or more.
The best transfer from Belgrade airport is by taxi, but be awere that taxis can be an issue if you not use a regular taxi company. If you take a taxi service being offered by drivers in the airport terminal (arrivals) you are more likely to meet dishonest drivers. This area has a long history of drivers ripping off the passengers. Taxis can be booked safely in the airport within the arrivals area, by buying a voucher and should cost no more than 25 euros to most parts of the city. The taxi info desk is located in the Baggage claim area.  You tell them where you are going, they will write you a voucher with the price. You are then escorted to the taxi, they will take the taxi drivers badge and license number. When you reach your destination you then pay the driver.
By Nenad Ciric, 2012

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