Travel guide to Macedonia

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» Macedonia
In Macedonia you can find anything from Turkish bazaars to Greek Orthodox churches - quite apart from ample natural wonders. The Macedonians are a very hospitable people who make you feel truly welcome in their beautiful country.

Facts

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Local name
Republika Makedonija
Capital
Skopje (600.000)
Size
25.713 square km
Principal Languages
Macedonian
Principal Religion
Macedonian orthodox
Inhabitants
2.041.467 (2000)
Government
Republic
Geography
Most of Macedonia is situated on a plateau at an altitude of 600 to 900 meters above sea level. The River Vardar crosses the country and passes through Skopje. In the southwestern part of the country you can find the lakes Ohrid and Prespa, which are among the biggest in the Balkans.

Travel preparation

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Best time to visit

Macedonia can be visited all year. However, the summer months are from June to August.

Literature

Europe on a shoestring Eastern Europe

Local conditions

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Currency

Macedonian Denar (Den).

Net cafes

Generally, there are a few Internet cafés in all of the major cities.

Tipping

If the tip is not included in the price, it is common to give 10%.

Timezone

When it is 12:00 in the UK it is 13:00 in Macedonia.

Weight and Measures

Length: metre Weight: kilograms

Photography

There are no particular rules, although if you wish to take a picture of a person, you should ask for permission.

Drinking water

The tap-water usually contains chlorine so can be used, though you could get a bad stomach. Bottled water can be purchased all over the country.

Electricity

The following voltage is used in Macedonia: 220 volts AC, 50Hz.

Behaviour

You should show great respect for the religious rituals and sites. Otherwise there are no particular rules.

Business Hours

Offices are open from 7 AM to 3 PM (Monday to Friday) Banks are open from 8 AM to 6 PM (Monday to Friday) and 8 AM to 1 PM on Saturdays. Shops are open from 8 AM to 8 PM (Monday to Friday) and 8 AM to 1 PM on Saturdays.

Food and drink

The Macedonian kitchen is very similar to Turkish, and they have a wide variety of kebabs. One of the national specialities are beans and trout from Ohrid

Disabled travellers

Very few buildings possess facilities for disabled people.

Holidays

New Years day, January 1st Orthodox Christmas eve, January 6th Orthodox Christmas day, January 7th Old New Year, January 14th (it is an unofficial holiday, but celebrated anyhow) The International Day of Women, March 8th May day, May 1st St. Cyrilus and Methodius day, May 24th Ilinden day, August 2nd Independence day, September 8th

Accommodation / Hotel

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Camping

Camping grounds are found in Ohrid and Skopje with fine facilities

Hotels

There are a few luxury hotels in Skopje and Ohrid. Hotels in the rest of the country are cheaper and less comfortable, but are primarily situated around the bigger cities.

Bed og breakfast or guesthouse

There are very few guesthouses in Macedonia. They are all situated in the major cities, but are rather expensive.

Hostels

There are hostels in Skopje and Ohrid, although the hostel in Ohrid only opens in the summer period.

Other Accommodation

In the summer period you may sleep in student sleeping halls.

Local transport

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Planes

There are some airports in Macedonia, but domestic flights are not common. Therefore, you must ask at a local travel agency.

Bus

There are buses between the bigger towns, in particular between Skopje, Ohrid and Bitola. It is a good idea to buy a ticket beforehand.

Trains

The railroad system in Macedonia covers most of the country, and is a good way to get around.

Taxi

There are taxis in all the major towns - it is easiest to hail them in the street.

Car rental

There are car rental firms in Skopje, Ohrid and Bitola.

Find your travel arrangement to Macedonia here

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