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Macedonia Travel Guide

Macedonia Travel Guide


Macedonia is a small Balkan country located in the southeastern part of Europe with a population of more than two million. The country is a unique tourism hub of the region thanks to its multifaceted cultural heritage, spectacular historic attractions, and natural beauties. Macedonia has plenty to offer for its visitors all around and attracts more than one million tourists every year.

Macedonia travel guide

General Information About Macedonia

Language Macedonian, Albanian
Capital of Macedonia Skopje
Continent Europe
Time Zone GMT+2
Currency Macedonian Denar
Socket Type C,F – 230V
Annual Average Temperature 12,4°C
Climate Temperate Continental Climate 
Area 25.713 km²
Political System Parliamentary Republic
Vegetation Steppe and Forest
Main Economic Activities Agriculture, Mining, Tourism
Telephone Code +389


Macedonian and Albanian are the official languages of the country. Macedonian is the most commonly spoken language of the country and written in the Cyrillic alphabet. Turkish, Romanian, Serbian, Bosnian and Armenian languages are also spoken in Macedonia.

Common Phrases in Macedonian

  • Blagodaram mnogu! – Thanks a lot!
  • Kako si? – How are you?
  • Kako se vikaš? – What is your name?
  • Zdravo Moeto ime e … - My name is …
  • Jas ne zboruva makedonski – I don’t speak Macedonian

Capital of Macedonia

Skopje is the capital city of the country and is located in the northern part of Macedonia. 

Time Zone

Macedonia has only 1 time zone. The country follows the Greenwich Mean Time GMT +2.


The currency used in Macedonia is Macedonian Denar (MKD or den). There are many currency exchange vendors and banks in populated areas.  

Main Economic Activities

Macedonia is ranked as 131st in the world in terms of GDP per capita (nominal). The country has a growing economy especially in mining and industrial production sectors. 

Where is Macedonia?

Macedonia is located in the southeastern part of Europe, in Balkans. Its neighbors are Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Kosovo. 

Best Time to Visit Macedonia

Best Time to Visit Macedonia

Temperatures and humidity vary drastically throughout the year in Macedonia. Winters are cold and snowy, summers are hot and dry. The best time to visit Macedonia is during summer or early autumn since the weather is more welcoming with a lesser chance to rain. 

How to Get to Macedonia?

Pegasus Airlines offers direct flights to Skopje International Airport from İstanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport. The flight duration to Skopje from İstanbul is 1 hour and 30 minutes. You can buy your direct flight tickets to Skopje from İstanbul from here.

Public Transportation in Macedonia

You can use public buses and taxis to get around in cities. Macedonia does not have public railway transportation.

Public buses cover all of the populated areas in Macedonia. In order to use public buses, you need to buy a rechargeable card from kiosks and sale points which are available in most stops in the city centers.

There are special tourist cards available with varied prices and durations. Most buses are available with 10 to 30 minute intervals during the day. 

You can check detailed inter-city bus timetables and routes from here. The site is available in English.

There are also many taxis available in populated areas and they offer fixed fares for specific routes. It is recommended for you to download a taxi service application to avoid excessive fares.  

Transportation from Skopje International Airport to City Center

Skopje International Airport is located 24 kilometers away from the city center. You can get to the city center with direct bus and airport taxi.

Direct bus costs 180 MKD and the trip approximately takes 40 minutes. Direct bus is only available during the day. You can check the timetable from here

There are also many airport taxis available in the airport 24/7 with fixed fares to specific routes. The trip to the city center from the airport approximately costs 1220 MKD.

Places to Visit in Skopje

Places to Visit in Skopje

Skopje is one of the most significant spots in Southern Balkans in terms of cultural heritage and historical landmarks. The city attracts a growing number of tourists every year.

Stone Bridge

Skopje known as the city of bridges and Stone Bridge is one of the oldest ones. The bridge was constructed in 1469 and is located in the heart of the city.

Macedonia Square

Macedonia Square is the main square of the city and famous for its amazing sculptures. There are many great restaurants, cafes and bars that surround the square. Macedonia Square is the perfect place to start your Skopje trip.

Skopje Fortress

Skopje Fortress was built in the 6th century by the Roman Empire and since then the fortress has gone through many renovations. The castle is situated on the highest point overlooking the Vardar River and located walking distance away from the city center. Skopje Fortress is also known as “Kale Fortress”.

Where to Stay in Macedonia?

Where to Stay in Macedonia

Skopje is one of the most popular tourism destinations of Macedonia and offers many accommodation options to its visitors. 

If you are in Skopje for the first time, it is recommended for you to stay in hotels around Skopje Fortress since you will be walking distance away from cities’ most popular historic and cultural attractions.

If you are looking for a calmer vacation, it is recommended for you to stay in hotels located around Kozle Street, on the southern side of the city.


What to Eat in Macedonia?

Macedonia is one of the most amazing culinary destinations of Balkans because of the country’s multicultural structure. Its traditional recipes mostly consists meat, vegetable and pastry products. 

Skopje Meatball

Skopje Meatball is the renowned dish of the city and made without bread crumbs and spices, unlike other famous meatball recipes. Restaurants located around the Old Bazaar in Skopje are the best places to eat Skopje Meatball.

Turli Tava

Turli Tava is a mixture of season vegetables, spices, olive oil, and beef or pork meat and also known as the Macedonian stew. It is recommended for you to try Turli Tava in “Makedonska Kuka” restaurant located on Mitropolit Teodosij Gologanov Street in Skopje. The restaurant is also famous for its various traditional Macedonian and Eastern European recipes.


Trilece is one of the most famous dessert recipes of the Balkans. The dessert is made with buffalo, cow and goat milks. There are many great shops around Old Bazaar where you can find traditionally made Trileces.

Shopping in Macedonia: Best Souvenirs to Buy

Macedonia is famous for its traditional shoes (opinci), textiles, handmade jewelry, spices, and dried meats. There are many authentic souvenir shops located around the Old Bazaar. 

Things to Know Before Visiting Macedonia

  • You are not expected to give tips in local restaurants.
  • It is common to bargain in Macedonia, especially in local shops.
  • Visitors should always be cautious about pickpocketing in public transport. 

Nightlife in Skopje

Nightlife in Skopje

Skopje offers a variety of nightlife options to its visitors. Bars and restaurants around Antonie Grubisic Street are widely popular in the city.

Holidays in Macedonia

Some religious days are subject to change every year such as Easter Holiday or Eid Al Fitr (End of Ramadan).

  • 1st of January – New Year’s Day
  • 7th of January – Orthodox Christmas
  • 28th and 29th of April – Orthodox Easter
  • 1st of May – Labour Day
  • 24th of May – St. Cyril and St. Methodius Day
  • 4th of June – Eid Al Fitr (End of Ramadan)
  • 2nd of August – Republic Day
  • 9th of September – Independence Day
  • 11th of October – Revolution Day
  • 23rd of October – Macedonian Revolution Day
  • 9th of December – St. Clement of Ohrid

Festivals in Macedonia

  • Ohrid Summer Festival (July-August, Ohrid)
  • The Galicnik Wedding Festival (July, Galichnik)
  • Skopje Jazz Festival (August, Skopje)

Visa Requirements

Macedonia does not mandate visa for touristic visits up to 90 days in 6 months from many countries all over the world including United States of America, Europe and Russia. If you are a citizen of other countries you should check whether you need to apply for a visa or not. You can check the requirement for your country from here, the official web site of the Macedonia Government.

You can learn the details of the Macedonia visa application process from the "Macedonia Visa Guide" article.

FAQ about Macedonia

Do people in Macedonia understand English? 

No, most of the locals can’t understand English except for young people and tourism industry employees.

Is Macedonia an expensive country?

No, Macedonia is one of the most budget-friendly countries in its region.

Is tap water drinkable?

No, it is not recommended for visitors to drink tap water.

Is Macedonia safe?

Yes, Macedonia is a fairly safe country. However, visitors should be cautious about pickpocketing in various means of public transport and in crowded areas.

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