A Day in North Macedonia

A Day in North Macedonia

The Republic of North Macedonia, or North Macedonia is a landlocked country that borders Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, and Serbia. I did not know much about North Macedonia when I started the tour but I did not want to leave. 


Must Know Before You Go

When to Visit: For those who enjoy warmth, visit North Macedonia from March to October. July and August are the hottest time to visit with temperatures reaching 105F/40C in the capital, Skopje. For ski lovers, visit from December to early April. 

Visas: The United States and most Western countries do not need to apply for a visa for tourist and business visits up to 90 days. A valid passport is required. 

Language: Macedonian and Albanian. English is taught in primary school so many youths speak English. 

Currency: Macedonian Denar (MKD). Euro is possible in the tourist regions. Exchange Rate as of April 2024. 

  • $1USD=MKD 57.81
  • $1CAN=MKD 42.20
  • $1AUS=MKD 37.27
  • €1EUR=MKD 61.59
  • £1=MKD 71.40
  • ¥100=MKD 37.34

Credit Card vs. Cash: Many larger restaurants accept credit cards; however, smaller establishments only take cash. 

Tipping: Rounding up the bill for a tip is common. A 10-15% tip is appreciated for fine dining. Tipping taxi drivers is not common.

UNESCO World Heritage Site: Ohrid, Dlaboka Reka Beech Forest

National Parks: Mavrovo National Park, Pelister National Park, Prespa National Park, Sharr Mountain National Park


March 17, 2024


1. Skopje

Skopje is the capital of North Macedonia and is known for its over-the-top statues. In 2008, Skopje kicked off a project to boost tourism by transforming its city. This project sparked debates as the €80 to €500 million budget was allocated to building random landmarks instead of helping its people and the country’s infrastructure. 

The largest statue is of Alexander the Great. This king was born in Macedon in Greece. Greece disputed the country’s name between 1991 to 2019. Many Greece citizens identified themselves as Macedonians, the Roman Province. Eventually, Macedonia selected the name Republic of North Macedonia and it became an acceptable name. 

I arrived in Skopje at night and explored the main square. I woke up the next morning to explore the same regions. 


Macadonia   Macadonia 


2. Ohrid

Ohrid is such a beautiful and charming city. It is about a 2 hour and 40-minute drive south of Skopje to Ohrid. Lake Ohrid gives this city a romantic and picturesque feel. 

While in Ohrid, we parked at the base of the Tsar Samuel’s Fortress. Our driver said if we parked at the top, it would be more challenging to hike up. We did have to hike up to get to the fortress, but he was right. By parking at the base, we hiked up a paved road. If we had parked at the top, we would have to climb up slippery grass. 

Our first stop was the Ancient Theatre of Ohrid. During Roman times, this amphitheater was used for gladiator fights. Now, the stage has been used for concerts like the Ohrid Summer Festival. Next, we went to the Tsar Samuel’s Fortress. It was Monday so the fortress was closed. My guide said there was not much to see inside. The attraction is its surrounding area. We walked through trees on an unmarked road to get to the Church of Saint John at Kaneo. The interior of the church is small but its main attraction is the incredible view of Lake Ohrid. The church is situated on a cliff. From the church, we visited the Church of Saint Sophia. After enjoying our time around the lake, we hopped back into the car to headed to the Old Bazaar Street. 

The Old Bazaar street had homemade crafts and delicious restaurants. We had lunch here. After lunch, we did some shopping. Ohrid is known for its pearls and is sought around the world. The Ohrid pearls are made from shells by two families, Talevs and Filevs. We went shopping in the Bazaar and found them sold for cheap, €25.







Where to Eat:

Lunch in Ohrid: Kebab House Adana

→ 4Q8X+MMW, Ohrid, Macedonia

Kebab House Adana is known for its juice kababs. The food was so cheap! I ordered chicken skewers for only €3,00. I thought it was a mistake, but it was not. 


Dinner in Skopje: Pelister

→ Boulevard Macedonia, Skopje 1000, North Macedonia

For dinner, we went to Pelister, a higher-end restaurant located in Macedonia Square. I ordered a Bolognese (277MKD) and a Skopsko draft beer (123MKD). The food was just mediocre for me.



Where to Stay:

In Skopje: Hotel Premier

→ Josif Josifovski – Sveshtarot 1000, Skopje 1000, North Macedonia

I stayed in a spacious hotel called Hotel Premier. The hotel is just a few blocks from the city center. The room included a small living room area with two lounge sofas. It was €90 for the hotel but it was included with the tour.