Serbian flag carrier Air Serbia has started a magnificent sale for premium tickets on their very unusual route between Belgrade and Belgrade and Tianjin. By adding a feeder flight to China, you can get oneway tickets to the city close by Beijing for around €700.
The best thing about this curious offer is that it is only available in the most flexible booking class, giving you the opportunity to cancel for full refund up to an hour before departure.
It might not be possible to get a tourist visa for China with a oneway ticket. We advise you to either book a return ticket before applying for a visa or book another flight to a third country (other than Serbia) to apply for up to six days of visa-free transit. In the latter case, you will be eligible to visit Beijing.
Travellers with a Dutch, French, German, Italian or Spanish passport may enter China visa-free for 15 days.
You can find this deal from the following cities (prices without the discount):
- Berlin at €657
- Prague at €732 (~CZK 18,525)
- Rome at €744
- Bucharest at €746
- Stockholm at €753 (~SEK 8,419)
- Tivat at €757
- Ljubljana at €760
- Zagreb at €770
- Barcelona at €776
- Paris at €799
- Amsterdam at €803
- Frankfurt at €815
- Belgrade at €817
- …possibly even more
Our Go2 tool will forward you to Air Serbia’s website. The airline operates flights from Belgrade to Tianjin every Tuesday and Saturday. You can find the cheap tickets for departures from January through March 2024.
Air Serbia purchased used Airbus A330-200 aircraft from other airlines like South African Airlines and Aeroflot. The airline overhauled their interior to provide it with a more modern interior. You can find pictures of their business class product here and a review here. It features 21 lie-flat-seats in an alternating 1-2-1/1-2-2 pattern. They also rotate an Airbus A330-200 with angled flat-seats on the route.
Search & Book
The fare is valid without a sales period for departures between January and March 2024. Google Flights has great difficulties previewing flight dates. It does not preview the fares correctly in its calendar, but will display them once you requested a specific date. As mentioned earlier, searching for flights on Saturdays and Tuesday yields the best results with the shortest layovers. We recommend booking directly on Air Serbia’s website.
Why is booking with an airline better than with an online travel agency?
More often than not, online travel agencies offer lower fares than airlines do. We still recommend booking with the airlines directly. There are two main reasons for that:
Better Customer Service
In case any problems like delays, cancellations or missed connections arise, you can communicate directly with the airline. The airline has to take care of you because you have a contract with them.
If a travel agency issues your ticket, you may have to reach out to them first. You also depend on your OTA to forward information like flight changes instead of receiving them directly from the airline. In many cases, you may get a prime exhibition of responsibility shifting rather than problem-solving.
This especially applies to premium tickets. You don’t want to spend more than €1,000 to wind up with some budget OTA’s telephone hotline in case anything goes wrong.
Baggage and Other Fees
Economy fares not including hold luggage are industry standard by now. In most cases, travel agencies charge much higher baggage fees than the airlines themselves. If bags are not included in your fare, airlines are often the cheaper alternative.
This also applies to other things like food services, insurances or priority treatment. In almost all cases, you pay less for additional amenities when booking on the airlines’ website.
Air Serbia issues tickets in booking class C. You can only earn miles on Eithad Guest. The cheapest oneway from Berlin via Belgrade to Tianjin gives you:
- 9.269 Award miles
- 7.943 Tier miles
Tianjin is one of four cities in China that does not belong to a distinct province, but enjoys the special status of direct-administered municipality (alongside Beijing, Chongqing and Shanghai). You can reach the capital Beijing in roughly 90 minutes via high-speed rail.
Hotel prices in Tianjin usually start at roughly €45, depending on the hotel category. Whichever category and hotel you opt for, make sure to get the best price! Our recommendation is to search on booking.com, or even on our own Travel-Dealz hotel search:
Information & Tips for China
China is the most populous and the third largest country in the world, so naturally, there is a lot to see. The most touristically important cities are the capital of China, Beijing and the financial and trade center Shanghai.
Best Time to Travel
Since the country is vast and extends over several climate zones, there is no best travel time for China. China is connected to Europe through numerous direct flights and the travel time is about 11-13 hours. Flights to China can be found for less than 400€ throughout the year, and there are also often excellent Business Class fares.
A general advice is that travel should be avoided during the Chinese national holidays, which span over the first two weeks of October. During these time tourist destinations are overcrowded with Chinese tourists on their domestic vacation.
Visa for China
Most European citizens will need a visa to enter China.
You can apply for a tourist visa at a Visa Application Service Center (CVASC) in your country. There you’ll hand in your visa application personally and can pick it up again after a few days. There is no faster and cheaper way.
Alternatively, you can apply for a visa by mail. The processing time will be up to two weeks, and you’ll have to pay for extra for shipping.
There are also so-called Visa services available that sometimes offer a faster (and maybe even cheaper) way to get your Visa. Check local sites to find out more.
→ All Dealz for China