North Macedonia AKA Macedonia – A MUST Visit

Some will call this enchanting country “North Macedonia”, others simply “Macedonia”, and officially the country goes by “Republic of North Macedonia”.

Regardless of the name, (because what’s in a name after all) I encourage you add to your travel bucket list and visit. It was the first stop in my long awaited Balkans Trip and spoiler alert, the country that took the prize, as my favorite country visited during my 3 week road trip.

How much did I like North Macedonia? Well, I know I will most likely return to this beautiful corner of the world and continue to explore as it is very easy to get around and people are very friendly.

Get all the travel information, tips and recommendations for your own tour using this easy to follow travel guide.

NORTH MACEDONIA TRAVEL ITINERARY

5 Day Trip : 2 days in Ohrid, 1 day in Mavrovo & 1 day in Peshtani

Disclaimer: Found Peshtani underwhelming based on recommendations and would have opted for a 1/2 day visit or a day in Skopje instead.

NORTH MACEDONIA TRAVEL TIPS

Cash is king but some restaurants and shops will accept cards.
North Macedonia is safe to visit.

NORTH MACEDONIA TRAVEL QUESTIONS

QuestionAnswer
Is it safe to visit North Macedonia?North Macedonia is a safe country to visit. People are very friendly and helpful despite the language barrier.
How many days are needed to visit North Macedonia?I recommend 4-5 days in North Macedonia. While the country is small, there is lot’s to see, do and eat here. We travelled via car, which allowed us to leisurely visit half of the country during this time.
Is North Macedonia cheap to visit?North Macedonia is very budget friendly given the exchange rate. A 3-course meal including wine is about $14 USD per person and accommodation in a private double room is $36 USD.
When is the best time to visit North Macedonia?The best time to visit North Macedonia is between April – September. Keep in mind that June – September will be busier. I visited during the month of May and would recommend this time of year.
What language do they speak in North Macedonia?People speak Macedonian here and you may find that many may not speak English. Need not worry, as most tourist places will have English speakers to help with the language barrier.

GETTING AROUND

🚗 Car – Since we did a 3 week trip through the Balkans, we opted to rent a car using Qeeq

Super easy to book, collect and drop off at our final destination which was not the original pick up point. 

Driving Tips:

  • You will have to pay for a cross-border insurance card (green card as the locals will call it) when you pass customs from one country to the other. The cost for this green card is 40 EUR ($42 USD) for 15 days and is good for all European countries including Greece.
  • Macedonians love driving on both lanes, so drive carefully, especially when making turns in the Mavrovo National Park. 

🚗 Bus – Public transport such as buses to get you to other cities in the country are available. Speak to your hotel / hostel for times and how to best book. 


Day tours help you to see various cities in a country.

See the “Top 10” tours offered by Viator in North Macedonia HERE.

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What To Eat

  • Tavce Gravce – Beans in a pan
  • Trout čiorba – Fish soup 
  • Turlitava – Roasted vegetables in a casserole (meat can be added if you aren’t vegetarian) 
  • Burek – Savory flakey pastry with cheese 
  • Ajvar – Tomato spread usually served with banana peppers 
  • Shopska salad – Similar to a Greek salad with cheese, onion and tomatoes
  • Musaka – Roasted eggplant with garlic 
  • Sarme – Cabbage rolls filled with meat and rice
  • Rakija – Traditional alcoholic beverage 
  • Wine – North Macedonia does have a wine region so indulging in local wine especially with the exchange rate would be a sin. 

Where I Went:

Ohrid

Stay : Old Town Hostel Ohrid – $26 USD a night for a private double room & bathroom

Eat : Viva Santica or Viva Ksantika depending on who you ask or what maps app you use / Kaj Kanevche

Visit

  • Beach Labino
  • Church of Saint John
  • Samoils fortress
  • Ancient Macedonia theater 
  • Church of Saints Clement and Panteleimon
  • Old town Ohrid 
  • Mosque of Ali Pasha

Mavrovo

Stay : Guest Mansion – $35 USD a night for a private room & bathroom in a breathtaking mansion.

EatHouse of Mijaks Ethno Restaurant – My favorite restaurant in North Macedonia / Hotel Tutto – As seen in Vogue.

Visit

  • Mavrovo Lake – Drive the full loop, stopping along the lake to see the surrounding villages.
  • Duf Waterfall – Super accessible trail entrance begins in the town Rostushe.
  • Bigorski Monastery St John the Baptist
  • Hotel Tutto – Experience for yourself a culinary Slow Food movement that is bringing more awareness to Macedonia cuisine. The food as well as the views are delicious.

Peshtani

Stay : Lile Peshtani Accommodation – $23 USD a night for a private room & bathroom.

Visit :

  • Bay of bones
  • Trpejca

Want to discover where else you can visit in the Balkans?

Podgorica Montenegro

See my Travel Guide Section for tips and recommendations for other bordering countries from North Macedonia AKA Macedonia. Learn how to get there, where to stay, eat and what to do!

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