Travel Guide to Macedonia - The most Important Information

 

When traveling to a certain country one of things that will ease your travel is to know more information about that country such as what is the currency, the language, the time zone and other info. Not to be missed is the culinary experience, traditional food and drinks. Following are listed all the necessary information you need to know before traveling to Macedonia.

Postcard Macedonia

1. GENERAL INFORMATION

Estimated population: 2.100.000 citizens
Country Surface: 25.713 km2
Water: 477 sq km2
Capital Town: Skopje, the largest city with over 650.000 citizens
Other cities of Interest: Ohrid, Krushevo, Bitola, Prilep
Lakes: Dojran, Ohrid, Prespa. The water is suitable for swimming and recreational sports. 
National Parks: Pelister, Galicica and Mavrovo
Ski Centers: Popova Sapka, Mavrovo, Krushevo, Pelister
Official Language: Macedonian
Alphabet: Cyrillic
*Most of the young Macedonians speak English, however many citizens also know German and Spanish. We have no troubles understanding Serbian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Bulgarian mainly due to the similar language as derive from one language family.  
Major Religion: Orthodox Christianity, Muslim Albanians 23%  from the country population. 
Political System: Parliamentary Democracy
Country Dial Code: +389. The internatinal dialing code, which stands before the coundty code is 00 or +. Every city has an area code which should be dialed within the country due to many country operators, otherwise the number you have dialed will not exist.
Internet code: mk
Driving: Driving is on the right-hand side of the road
Climate: Mediterranean and Continental. It characterizes with hot summers and cold winters.
Temperatures:  in July and August temperatures can reach up to 35°C whereas during the winter temperatures can drop to -15°C. Frequent storms appear during the summers that do not last for long period.
Time Zone: UTC/GMT + 1CET
*Time in Macedonia is not considered as a big deal as Macedonians are not very punctual. It is normal to be late for at least 10 minutes.

Macedonia

2. ELECTRICITY

Macedonian in Macedonian is same as in most European countries, 230 Volts, the standard voltage.  The normal electrical frequency is 50 Hz and the power sockets are type F.

Power Socket F

3. SMOKING

It is forbidden to smoke in public places (cafes, restaurants, governmental and non-governmental institutions and hospitals). However, it is allowed to smoke on a street and open areas. Most of the restaurants and cafes have separate sitting areas for smokers and non-smokers. 

Skopsko Pivo

4. ALCOHOL 

Alcohol is not sold after 19:00 o'clock (summer season) 21:00 o'clock in shops and stores, although it is served in discos, restaurants, cafes and bars after the specified time.  Macedonian Wine

5. SHOPPING

Most of shops and department stores in Macedonian open from 09:00/10:00 o'clock and they close by 20:00 o'clock for the weekdays. During Saturdays after 16:00 some of the shops are closed, the others continue to work until 20:00 o'clock. However, shops and department stores are closed on Sunday except for the bigger Malls including the City Mall and Ramstore Mall in Skopje that are open during the weekend with regular work time. 

Skopje City Mall

6. CURRENCY EXCHANGE and CREDIT CARDS

Macedonia is not part of the European Union and it does not use Euros as a national currency. You will have to exchange any kind of currency you have for Denars because shops and stores accept only Denars. They are not allowed to accept Euros.  
National Currency: Denar (MKD)
Prices: Prices are stated in MKD - Macedonian Denar
*Currencies can be exchanged at branches of local banks and licensed exchange offices. Both are easily found in every city. Major credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in every store, shop and restaurants. ATM's are abundantly available throughout the country.  

Following are listed prices for some of the most common consumed products:
One Beer in cafe/disco- from 1.3 €  to 2 € (80 MKD-120 MKD)
Cappuccino regular- 1.5 €  to 2 € (80 MKD-120 MKD)
Beer,  2 liters bought in a shop -  1.6 € (around 100 MKD)
Bottle of Wine bought in a shop, mid range - from 1.5 € to 5 € (100MKD - 300 MKD)
One Hamburger - from 1.3 € to 2 € (80 MKD-120 MKD)
Pizza - from 3 €  to 7 € (170 MKD-400 MKD, depending on the size)
Stuffed Steak - from 3 €  to 4 € (170 MKD-250MKD, depending on the size)
Bus Ticket for a single ride, Skopje - 0.5 € and 0.6 € (30 MKD and 35 MKD)
Bottle of Water 1.5 liters -  from 0.25 €  to 0.50 € (15 MKD and 30 MKD)
Loaf of Fresh Bread  -  from 0.3 €  to 0.5 € (20 MKD and 30 MKD)
Local Cheese, 1 kg - from 5 € to 7 € (300 MKD and 420 MKD)

Macedonian Curency

7. PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

1-2 January - New Year
7 January - Christmas Day (Orthodox) 
March/April - Easter Sunday
March/April - Easter Monday
1 May- Labor Day
24 May - Saint Cyril and Methodius Day
2 August - Day of the Republic Ilinden (Ilinden Uprising) 
June/July - Ramazan Bajram  (the Islamic holiday is on different days each year)
8 September - Independence Day
11 October - Revolution Day
23 October - Day of the Macedonian Revolutionary Struggle
21 November - Autumn Tree Planting
8 December - St. Clement of Ohrid Day

Driving right-hand side

8. DRIVING

*Driving is on the right-hand side of the road.
*Daylight usage of dipped headlights/side lights in OBLIGATORY for every participant in the traffic. Not following the rule will result in a fine of 45 €. 
*You can drive in Macedonia with an International Driving Permit.
*Passengers and drivers must wear seatbelts. 
*Phone usage is forbidden while driving. 
*You can pay the toll fare with euros.

The highway E-75 (M-1) has pay tolls. It starts from the town of Vardo, Norway and runs through Finland, Poland, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia and Greece ending at the town of Sitia, Crete. In Macedonia, the highway starts from the Serbian/Macedonian border near Kumanovo and ends at the Macedonian/Greece border near Gevgelija.

Pay tolls are also positined along the highway M-2 (Mother Theresa) which is part of the European highway E-65, connecting the cities of Skopje and Tetovo. The highway E-65 starts from Malmo in Sweden and ends in Chania-Crete, Greece. Other highways are M-3 (Blace-Skopje), M-4 (Kicevo-Ohrid), M-5 (Ohrid-Bitola).

Speed limit:
Highway: 120 km/h
Motorway: 100 km/h
Regional: 80 km/h
City limit is 40 km/h and 50 km/h depending of the location

Rent a Car
International and Domestic Rent a Car companies could be easily found on the airports and in the mayor cities and towns.

Bus
The country has well organized local bus routes which connect all the cities and towns in the country. Every city and town has a bus station.

Train
Domestic lines connect Skopje with Bitola, Kocani, Kicevo, Gevgelija and every city along. Depending on the destination the trains run on a daily schedule. 
Direct International lines connect Skopje with Belgrade, departing every day.

Taxi
Various licensed taxi companies operate in every city and town in the country.
The taxi drivers charge 50 MKD for start  and  every further kilometer is charged 25 MKD (normal tariff).

Airports:
Skopje - "Alexander the Great"
Ohrid -  "St.Paul the Apostle"

Skopje Airport

9. MOBILE OPERATORS

VIP (Mobile phone codes: 077,078 )
ONE (Mobile phone codes: 075, 076)
T-MOBILE (Mobile phone codes: 070, 071, 072 )
(900 MHz, 2100 MHz, GSM/GPRS, 3G Network)

10. CUISINE 

Macedonian food is mostly prepared with locally grown seasonal ingredients. It resembles some of the dishes which can be found in Balkan coutries. Lunch is the main meal beside the breakfast and the dinner. Breakfast is usually bread with butter, jam, nutella, cheese sandwich or cereals. Typical Macedonian lunch would have a salad with tomatoes, cheese, bread and any kind of meat prepared in different ways. Macedonians do not usually cook for dinner; they rather go outside for a hamburger, pizza or pasta. 

Tavce Gravce

Traditional Macedonian dishes:
Stuffed Peppers (green peppers filed with meat and rice)
Pastrmajlija (oval shaped bread pie with sliced meat cubes)
Tavce Gavce (boiled beans and then mixed with tomato, onion, peppers and spices served in earthenware)
Shopska Salata (tomato chunks, peppers, cucumber, onion and feta cheese topping)
Moussaka (potatoes and minced beef meat, topped with a layer of milk mixed with raw eggs)
Ohrid troat (delicious fish, local delicacy)

Rakija is the most popular Macedonian drink, a home-distilled fruit alcohol. The most famous domestic beer is Skopsko (Скопско) and the most famous wine is Т'ga za Jug (Т'га за Југ)

 Macedonian Cuisine

Macedonian Traditional food

11. IMPORTANT TELEPHONE NUMBERS

Police 192
Fire fighters 193
Ambulance 194
Road Information 155 55
Skopje Intercity Bus Station +389 (0) 2 2466 313
Skopje Main Train Station +389 (0) 2 23164 255
Airport "Alexander the Great" +389 (0) 2 3148 333
Airport "St. Paul the Apostle"  +389 (0) 46 252 820                  

193 Firefighters  

12. TOURIST INFORMATION CENTERS

Skopje - Blvd. Filip II Makedonski nn. (+ 389 2 3 223 644)
Dojran - Str. Marchal Tito Nn. (+389 34 225 277)                     
Ohrid - Str. 7mi Noemvri Nn. (+389 46 230 940)                     
Krushevo - Str. Ilindenska No. 8   (+389 48 477 800) 
Gevgelija - Str. Marshal Tito Nn.(+389 34 215 944)   

Veles, Macedonia

Skoje by night

Ohrid

Ohrid

Krushevo

Ohrid

Latest articles

Strumica Open Festival
The Monastery of Saint Naum - Ohrid
Spring Wine Festival
Ramstore Mall
How to get to Macedonia by train
How to get to Macedonia by bus
How to get to Macedonia by airplane
Skiing in Macedonia

Other things to read

How to get to Macedonia by train

How to get to Macedonia by train

By Suzana | February , 8th, 2016
Another way of traveling to Macedonia is by train. However, regular train services connect Macedonia with Serbia, Kosovo, Greece. The Central Train Station in S...
Read More >
How to get to Macedonia by bus

How to get to Macedonia by bus

By Suzana | February , 8th, 2016
Depending on the schedule, the departing city, many buses arrive at the New Bus Station in Skopje. However, different operators either stop or continue the jour...
Read More >
How to get to Macedonia by airplane

How to get to Macedonia by airplane

By Suzana | February , 8th, 2016
The Republic of Macedonia has two airports. "Alexander the Great" is the main aiport which is located around 20 km from the capitol city, municipality Petrovec-Skopj...
Read More >

Back to Top