Church of Saint Clement of Ohrid, Skopje
North Macedonia Travel GuideDelve into Macedonia
North Macedonia is a country full of great contrasts. The sparkling water of Lake Ohrid lined with hundreds of churches entices party-goers, sunbathers and history buffs alike. Skopje’s quirky and kitschy statues sit alongside its Ottoman old town architecture. Bitola is home to ancient ruins and mosaics, as well as a vibrant and modern cafe culture. Krusevo’s historic victory over the Ottomans is commemorated with a spaceship-esque, spomenik monument. It is the birthplace of both Alexander the Great and Mother Teresa.
While most foreign tourists flock to Ohrid for its UNESCO listed lake and old town, exploring the many underrated areas of the country rewards you with a much more authentic experience. There is so much more to this country than Ohrid. Venture further afield and feel the wholesomeness as groups of elderly men play cards in the street, or experience Republic Day parades in the small village that defeated the Ottomans. Try exquisite lokum (and I really mean that!) from a tiny family-run business. Hunt down all the rusting, retro cars. Marvel at all the intricate and delicate details of Tetovo mosque.
The fiercely patriotic Macedonian people encapsulate their cultural identity wholeheartedly with such an intensity and pride that I have not experienced elsewhere. I was corrected by our accommodation host for referring to the country as ‘North Macedonia’ and was advised instead to drop the ‘North’ when speaking to Macedonians. We had only been in the country an hour and already I had unknowingly put my foot in it! Rookie error. I know now.
Unapologetically eccentric and unconventional, North Macedonia is an intriguing and fascinating destination to add to your list.
If you are heading out this way, I would thoroughly recommend adding Skopje, Krusevo and Bitola (our favourites!) to your North Macedonia travel itinerary. You could probably do this in one week at a push. Two weeks would mean you could relax more and go for more day trips.
Venture further. Explore more. Journey beyond.
Things to Know Before You Go
MKD – Macedonian Denar
No visa required for 90 days for UK citizens
Macedonian – English is widely spoken in the cities
Cash or Card
ATM with no fees
Tavče gravče: spiced baked beans
Skopsko, Zlaten Dab, Rakija
Tourist Sim Providers
T Mobile NM
Tea Town or Coffee Country
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