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A Complete Guide for Visiting the Country of Macedonia

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Are you looking for the best places to visit in Macedonia? Well, we're here to share everything we learned from our road trip through this Balkan country this summer.

Being a landlocked country, Macedonia is often overshadowed by its neighboring countries, but we're here to share all of the fun and unique spots to check out within the country.

In this guide we're not just going to share the best places to visit in Macedonia, but how to get around, how to stay safe, and all the other things you need to know before you go. Without further ado, let's jump right into our complete guide to visiting the country of Macedonia.

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Where is the Country of Macedonia?

The country of Macedonia is situated in the south east of Europe. It lies directly north of Greece, West of Bulgaria, and East of AlbaniaKosovo also borders Macedonia to the north, and Serbia shares a border to its north east.

Where is Macedonia

Macedonia is located in south east Europe.

How to Get to Macedonia

The biggest, and easiest city to start your trip to Macedonia is by going to Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. Skopje is easily connected to surrounding countries such as Serbia, Kosovo, and Bulgaria. If you're coming from Albania, the easiest place to begin your Macedonian travels is Lake Ohrid, which is right on the border with Albania.

Want to take a bus to Macedonia? Here are some popular routes that you can book:

Flying to Macedonia

The two international airports in Macedonia are Ohrid and Skopje, which is the main hub. Cities that fly direct to Skopje include Athens, Baden, Basel, Belgrade, Berlin, Bologna, Bratislava, Bremen, Brussels, Budapest, Cologne, Copenhagen, Dortmund, Eindhoven, Friedrichshafen, Geneva, Gothenburg, HamburgIstanbul, Izmir, London, Malmo, Memmingen, Milan, Nuremburg, Oslo, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Treviso, Vienna, Warsaw,  and Zagreb.

Cities that fly into Ohrid include Basel, Dortmund, Memmingen, Vienna, and Zurich.

Flight Tip: Using Skyscanner you can out from "your city" to "Macedonia". This way you can see which is the cheapest airport to fly to. Also, you can check the calendar to see which are the cheapest dates for flying.

Search for a flight to Macedonia:

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Entry Requirements for Macedonia

Before entering any new country, it's important to check the requirements to get in. Here are both the visa and covid requirements for visiting the country of Macedonia.

Visa Entry Requirements for Macedonia

Macedonia allows visa free access to all citizens from the EU, UKUS, and Canada, for a period of up to 90 days. If you plan on spending more than 90 days in Macedonia, you will need to apply for a visa at your local embassy.

Covid Entry Requirements for Macedonia

All Covid related requirements have already been lifted, so all tourists (whether they are vaccinated or not) can freely enter the country of Macedonia without any issue. When we traveled there in June, we also found that masks were not really worn much anymore.

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Local Adjustments

Whenever you are traveling somewhere new, there may be some things that differ from where you're coming from to keep in mind. Here are the local adjustments for Macedonia to know before you go.


The official language in Macedonia is Macedonian. It is very similar to the surrounding countries that speak Slavic languages such as Croatia or Serbia. Macedonians also use an adaptation of the Cyrillic script, so reading can be quite hard for those not familiar with this alphabet. If you visit bigger cities, you will find plenty of people that speak English, but if you visit smaller villages, it could help to have Google Translate handy.


The currency used in Macedonia is the Macedonian Denar. Currently (February 2024) 1 USD and 1 euro are both equal to about 57 Denar. Most hotels and restaurants throughout the country usually only use cash, as well any street vendors. You'll need to make sure to withdraw plenty of Denar from a local ATM, as it is what you'll be mostly using throughout Macedonia.


Macedonia uses the same outlets as the rest of the European countries, which are for plug types C & F. The standard voltage in Macedonia is 230 V, and has a standard frequency of 50 Hz. If you are from the US make sure to get an energy converter (not just an adapter), so that your electronics don't burn out.

Water Potability

All throughout Macedonia there is potable water, so you can drink from the tap or fountains in the cities. We suggest bringing a reusable water bottle so that you can fill up and stay hydrated while exploring.

Tipping Culture

Unlike many other European countries, Macedonia actually doesn't have a set tipping culture. Some people don't leave anything extra at all, while some others will leave just 100 or 200 Denar for very good service. It isn't typical to leave a tip anywhere, even restaurants and bars. If you are particularly satisfied with the service though, you can leave up to 10%.

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The Best Places to Visit in Macedonia

Now that you know the basics for before you go, here are the best places to visit in Macedonia.


Skopje is the capital, and main hot spot of Macedonia. This is definitely a place you'll want to either start or end your trip while visiting the country. Make sure you check out the beautiful architecture of the old town, browse the old bazaar, and grab a bite to eat at Senigallia, a restaurant located on a boat along the river.

Art Bridge, Skopje, places to visit in Macedonia
Senigallia, Places to visit in Macedonia
Skopje, best places to visit in Macedonia

Skopje is the most popular of all the places to visit in Macedonia.

Matka Canyon

Matka Canyon is one of our favorite places to visit in Macedonia. It's situated just a half hour south west of Skopje, making it the perfect day trip from the capital.

The main area of Matka Canyon has a boardwalk going along the side of the canyon, where you can find kayak rentals, boat trips, and even a restaurant that hangs over the water of the canyon.

cave in Matka Canyon, best places to visit in Macedonia

There is even a cave that you can visit inside Matka Canyon.

Matka canyon offers plenty of other great things to do such as hiking trails, as well as a large area where families have picnics and spend the day cooling off in the river from the summer heat. There are plenty of kiosks and restaurants in and around the canyon, and even one that has a cave inside!

You can easily rent a car and go on your own, or get a tour to Matka Canyon from Skopje.

Matka Canyon, best places to visit in Macedonia
Matka Canyon, best places to visit in Macedonia
Matka Canyon, best places to visit in Macedonia

Matka Canyon is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Macedonia.

The Stone Dolls

Ever been to Cappadocia in Turkey? Well, this hidden gem in Macedonia has similar formations to the famous Turkish ones. It's so underrated that we were actually the only ones there. Located in the north eats of the country, this is a great day trip from Skopje, or a short stop from the capital to Sofia in Bulgaria.

Want to visit a great restaurant nearby? Kuklika Etno Restaurant is located on a lake and has super tasty local cuisine.

Stone Dolls, best places to visit in Macedonia
Stone Dolls, best places to visit in Macedonia

The Stone Dolls have a similar landscape to Cappadocia in Turkey.

Ohrid Lake

Lake Ohrid is the most beloved and sacred places to visit in Macedonia. Known to be holy, the lake is full of beautiful churches and monasteries. Go shopping in town, explore the fortress, relax at one of the beaches, or take a boat trip to see all that Lake Ohrid has to offer. As one of our favorite places to visit in Macedonia, this is definitely a must for your trip.

Lake Ohrid, best places to visit in Macedonia
Lake Ohrid, best places to visit in Macedonia
Lake Ohrid, best places to visit in Macedonia
Lake Ohrid, best places to visit in Macedonia
Lake Ohrid, best places to visit in Macedonia

Kozjak Lake

Want to see another beautiful lake in Macedonia? Well Kozjak Lake is actually the largest artificial lake in Macedonia, and is actually known as the Macedonian Grand Canyon. With stunning landscapes and viewpoints, this is definitely something to add to your list if you have a car.

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best places to visit in Macedonia pin

Makedonium- Ilinden Monument

While most beautiful structures in Macedonia have historic looks, but this one is quite different. The Makedonium Ilinden Monument is a futuristic white domed structure, and represents a memorial for a large uprising. Located in a small mountain village called Kusevo, you could come here on a day trip from Lake Ohrid.

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Kratovo is a tiny village that pleasantly surprised us on our road trip. Located in eastern Macedonia, this is a great place to stay if you want to visit the Stone Dolls. We stayed at a Etno House Shancheva, which is one a century old. The owners were so sweet, and even gave us a full history tour, as well as some local products as gifts.

How to Get Around Macedonia

We rented a car when we were visiting Macedonia, and the countries around it. We found that outside the capital, it was particularly helpful, especially for experiencing some of the unique spots in the middle of nowhere. If you only plan on visiting Skopje though, you won't necessarily need a car, and can get around fine by public bus.

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Local Cuisine of Macedonia

Macedonian cuisine is a mix of the surrounding countries. Just like Bulgaria and Greece, there are a lot of dishes made with local cheeses, and phyllo dough, and just like the mountains of Albania, and Serbia, there is a lot of meat and heavier food. Head to Lake Ohrid though, and one of the specialties is the trout. Macedonia has generous portions, and low prices. The only thing they could improve on a bit is their service.

Lake Ohrid trout
Senigallia, best restaurant in Skopje

Is Macedonia Safe?

Overall, we felt pretty safe throughout Macedonia. Unfortunately though, we did have one experience that made us feel otherwise. We parked in a private lot in the center of Skopje, and despite paying for a private lot, and only being gone from the car for an hour for dinner (it was still light out), the window to our car got smashed and our belongings got stolen from the trunk.

The police weren't as helpful as we were hoping, and they told us that this is common for that area. While we don't think Macedonia as a whole is super unsafe, unfortunately there are bad people everywhere, so we definitely suggest being extra cautious with your belongings, and while walking around during the night.

Other Things to Know About Visiting Macedonia

Now that you know the best places to visit in Macedonia, how to get around, and the local adjustments, we have a few other things to share. Here are some extra things to keep in mind when visiting Macedonia.

Weather in Macedonia

The weather in Macedonia is similar to the surrounding countries in Eastern Europe. Macedonia experiences all 4 seasons, with cold snowy winters, and super hot summers. 

The Best Time to Visit Macedonia

We think the best time to visit Macedonia is in late spring, or early fall, when the temperatures are mild and pleasant. We visited Lake Ohrid in June, and absolutely loved it. The summer is when it is busiest, but we definitely think that early June or September would have been a bit more ideal.

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Packing for a Trip to Macedonia

When it comes to packing for a trip to Macedonia, it really depends on what time of year you plan on visiting. We suggest bringing a reusable water, and comfortable shoes for exploring. If you plan on visiting Lake Ohrid, definitely bring a bathing suit and sunscreen. Finally, bring a backpack or purse that zips to protect your belongings.

Best places to visit in Macedonia

Macedonia is definitely an underrated country, and has some really cool destinations that are under the radar. We spent a week in the country, and felt that it was the perfect amount of time to see the top places to visit in Macedonia.

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