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Republic of Macedonia

Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in macedonia

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Quick Facts
Governmentparliamentary democracy
CurrencyMacedonian denar (MKD)
Areatotal: 25,333 sq km
water: 477 sq km
land: 24,856 sq km
note: a Framework Agreement ratified by Macedonia on 16 November 2001 calls for a new census in 2002 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageMacedonian 70%, Albanian 21%, Turkish 3%, Serbo-Croatian 3%, other 3%
ReligionMacedonian Orthodox 67%, Muslim 30%, other 3%

The Republic of Macedonia, also known as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), is a landlocked country in the Balkans, in Merranean Europe. It has Serbia and Montenegro to the north, Albania to the west, Bulgaria to the east, and Greece to the south, and is often known simply as Macedonia, despite the objections of the neighboring Greeks who have their own Macedonia (Greece)Macedonia just across the border. The country controls a major transportation corridor from Western and Central Europe to the Aegean Sea and Southern Europe.

Map of The Former Yugoslav Republic of MacedoniaMap of The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Map of The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

macedonia Travel Guide :

Republic of Macedonia


Republic of Macedonia


  • SkopjeSkopje - capital
  • Ohrid - lakeside resort, very popular with Balkan holiday-makers
Administrative divisions 
123 municipalities (opstini, singular - opstina); Aracinovo, Bac, Belcista, Berovo, Bistrica, Bitola, Blatec, Bogdanci, Bogomila, Bogovinje, Bosilovo, Brvenica, Cair (Skopje), Capari, Caska, Cegrane, Centar (Skopje), Centar Zupa, Cesinovo, Cucer-Sandevo, Debar, Delcevo, Delogozdi, Demir Hisar, Demir Kapija, Dobrusevo, Dolna Banjica, Dolneni, Dorce Petrov (Skopje), Drugovo, Dzepciste, Gazi Baba (Skopje), Gevgelija, Gostivar, Gradsko, Ilinden, Izvor, Jegunovce, Kamenjane, Karbinci, Karpos (Skopje), Kavadarci, Kicevo, Kisela Voda (Skopje), Klecevce, Kocani, Konce, Kondovo, Konopiste, Kosel, Kratovo, Kriva Palanka, Krivogastani, Krusevo, Kuklis, Kukurecani, Kumanovo, Labunista, Lipkovo, Lozovo, Lukovo, Makedonska Kamenica, Makedonski Brod, Mavrovi Anovi, Meseista, Miravci, Mogila, Murtino, Negotino, Negotino-Polosko, Novaci, Novo Selo, Oblesevo, Ohrid, Orasac, Orizari, Oslomej, Pehcevo, Petrovec, Plasnica, Podares, Prilep, Probistip, Radovis, Rankovce, Resen, Rosoman, Rostusa, Samokov, Saraj, Sipkovica, Sopiste, Sopotnica, Srbinovo, Star Dojran, Staravina, Staro Nagoricane, Stip, Struga, Strumica, Studenicani, Suto Orizari (Skopje), Sveti Nikole, Tearce, Tetovo, Topolcani, Valandovo, Vasilevo, Velesta, Veles, Vevcani, Vinica, Vitoliste, Vranestica, Vrapciste, Vratnica, Vrutok, Zajas, Zelenikovo, Zeleno, Zitose, Zletovo, Zrnovci
note: the seven municipalities followed by Skopje in parentheses collectively constitute "greater Skopje"
Republic of Macedonia

Places to visit

Ohrid is without a doubt the jewel in Macedonia's somewhat dowdy crown. Nestled between high mountains up to 2.800m and Lake Ohrid, it is not only a place of historic magnificence but also of outstanding natural beauty.

Aside of the lake, Ohrid is most famous for its ancient churches, basilicas and monasteries where Saints Cyril and Methodus wrote their teachings and formulated the Cyrillic alphabet used in Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro most of the former Soviet Union. Most of these churches charge an entry which for tourists is normally double that what locals pay, but is still worth it. It is a good idea to cover up when entering a church, but most locals will understand the inconveniences involved during a hot Macedonian Summer. There is also a wonderful ancient walled fortress at the top of the city. Churches to visit include:

   * Church of St. Sophia (11th century)
   * Church of St. John of Kaneo (13th century)
   * Church of St. Clement
   * Church of St. George
   * Church of St. Zaum
   * Church of St. Naum
   * Church of St. Petka
   * Church of St. Stephan
   * Many basilicas from the early-Christian time, e.g. Basilica of St. Erasmus (4th century)
   * Stronghold of Tsar Samoil (10th/11th century)
   * Museum of Slavic writing culture (18th century)
   * Anthic Theatre

St. Naum is at the other end of the lake and is accessible by bus, taxi or boat. It is on the Albanian border so make sure you don't wander off into the military zone. If you take a taxi, it may be worth asking the driver to veer off into one of the picturesque mountain villages overlooking the lake to stop for a cheap lunch of grilled meat and cheese.

Republic of Macedonia


Being the national tourist attraction, Ohrid is obviously more expensive than any other destination in Macedonia. Note that hotel prices are very expensive throughout the country and charge double rates to foreigners. It is therefore advisable to stay in private accommodation. If someone does not ask you at the bus station, you can always consult one of the many travel agencies in and around the centre. If you do opt for private accommodation make sure you see the room first and then decide. Payment is normally made in advance and should cost no more than ?10-15 per night per person in peak season and half that during the rest of the year. Note: finding suitable accommodation in July and August is not easy, so try and book through a travel agent in advance.

Republic of Macedonia

Food and Drink

If you are on a tight budget, try one of the Skara (grill) places in the Albanian quarter next to the old mosque. Muslims in this part of the world are very liberal, women are treated with respect and most places serve alcohol as most people drink regardless of their religion.

There are quite a few up-market restaurants serving better quality food on the waterfront, but these do cater for tourists and don't be surprised at the rather weighted bill at the end of your meal.

Republic of Macedonia


Bitola is the second largest in the Republic of Macedonia (pop. 86,176 in 1994ce; altitude 576 meters), near the border with Greece, straddling the River Dragor at the foot of Mt Pelister, in the Baba mountains.

The centre is pleasant, but the rest of the city is rather dirty and poor. The major tourist attraction is Heraklea, said to have been founded by Phillip of Macedon. It is situated about 5km outside the city and a return taxi ride will cost about ?2.

Bitola also has good selection of bars, pubs and restaurants with fair prices.

Republic of Macedonia


Macedonia is blessed with outstanding natural beauty. Do not miss a trip to one of the large lakes, Pelister Mountains or Shar Planina in the West and the fascinating rolling hills and mountains of the East with its rice fields.

Republic of Macedonia


Macedonia is a very poor country with 7 ethnic minorities. There is still ethnic tension between Albanians and Macedonians, so maybe this is a subject best avoided. Tetovo, one of the largest cities in Macedonia, has a near 90% ethnic Albanian population. Most people advise not going to Tetovo. However, the brave traveller is rewarded greatly by visiting this town. The people are very hospitable, the scenery is beautiful and it is very safe.

Most people are very friendly and hospitable, but beware of over-friendly taxidrivers and strangers. There is a sizeable Roma minority and children will often come to tables and beg. Ignore them and they will go away. Aside of this, if you are fortunate enough, Gypsy Brass Bands go from restaurant to restaurant and it is common courtesy to leave them a small tip. Tipping is not seen as essential, but it is always welcomed. It is not recommended to tip over 10%, as this is seen as being patronizing and offensive.

Most Macedonians will quote prices in ? and you will find that they are most accurately calculated. One Euro roughly equates to 60 Denar. Most larger cities have ATM Machines where you can withdraw money with cheap commission rates, there are also plenty of banks and exchange booths where you can easily change money. Do not change money on the street.

While some young people speak English, most do not, so a phrase book is handy if not necessary. Speakers of Serbian and Croatian should have no problem getting by, many older people also speak some Russian. German is also very useful, especially among older Albanians.

Republic of Macedonia


Warm, dry summers and autumns and relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall

Republic of Macedonia


Mountainous territory covered with deep basins and valleys; three large lakes, each divided by a frontier line; country bisected by the Vardar River

Natural hazards 
high seismic risks
Elevation extremes 
lowest point: Vardar River 50 m
highest point: Golem Korab (Maja e Korabit) 2,753 m
Republic of Macedonia


The area comprising modern day Macedonia has a rich and ancient history. The legendary Kings of Macedon Phillip and Alexander ruled here as did Illyrians, Romans, Greeks, Slavic Bulgarians and Ottoman Turks, all of which represented in the country's culture today. Maybe the most significant influences are the 500 years Ottoman rule and the fact that Sts. Cyril and Methodus wrote their teachings in the fascinating city of Ohrid. The country is dotted with beautiful Orthodox churches and Monasteries and Mosques from the Ottoman period, most notably in Skopje's Bit Bazaar district.

Macedonia was once actually part of Bulgaria, but incorporated into Yugoslavia by Tito in 1948, thus giving the people of Macedonia a "state" they could call their own for the first time. Macedonia prospered greatly under Marshall Tito's rule - the capital Skopje was rebuilt after a severe Earthquake in 1963 and heavy investments were made in the infrastructure subsequently. This may explain why many Macedonians are still somewhat nostalgic about Tito's Yugoslavia and that one can even see road signs for Veles denoted as Titov Veles.

International recognition of The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's (F.Y.R.O.M.) independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 was delayed by Greece's objection to the new state's use of what it considered a Hellenic name and symbols. Greece finally lifted its trade blockade in 1995, and the two countries agreed to normalize relations, despite continued disagreement over F.Y.R.O.M.'s use of "Macedonia." F.Y.R.O.M.'s large Albanian minority, an ethnic Albanian armed insurgency in F.Y.R.O.M. in 2001, and the status of neighboring Kosovo continue to be sources of ethnic tension.

8 September 1991 referendum by registered voters endorsing independence (from Yugoslavia)
National holiday 
Uprising Day, 2 August (1903); note - also known as Saint Elijah's Day and Ilinden
adopted 17 November 1991, effective 20 November 1991
note: the Macedonian Parliament approved November 2001 a series of new constitutional amendments, strengthening minority rights
Republic of Macedonia

Get in

Republic of Macedonia

By plane

Macedonia has two international airports, the main airport in the capital Skopje (SKP) and a second airport of minor importance in Ohrid (OHD). An option to travel into Macedonia is to fly to Thessaloniki (SKG) or to Sofia (SOF) and get a taxi or bus from there. However, crossing the border usually takes extra time. A taxi from Sofia to Skopje should be less than 100 ?.

Republic of Macedonia

By train

Regular train service connects Macedonia to Greece in the South and Serbia and Montenegro in the North.

Republic of Macedonia

By car

Be sure your Green Card (International Insurance Card) has an uncancelled "MK" box. Try to get a good map of Macedonia and/or try to be able to read Cyrillic letters. Although most street signs are printed in Cyrillic and Latin letters it can be helpful to have a little knowledge of the Cyrillic alphabet, especially in small towns.

Republic of Macedonia

By bus

There are bus connections from Serbia and Montenegro, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia and Turkey to Skopje.

In Skopje there are two bus terminals. Most buses come to the new terminal, but some connections (for example to Pristina) are serviced by the old one, which is located at the city center. If you need to change the terminals, you need to walk to the stone bridge over Vardar and cross the bridge (about 2.5 km) or take a taxi.

At both terminals you will be constantly nagged by taxi drivers, who will try to convince you to use their services. Unless you have too much money to throw away, you shouldn't take their advice. The taxi is likely to be heavily overpriced, especially for foreigners, while the buses are cheap, clean and safe.

Republic of Macedonia

By boat

Republic of Macedonia

Get around

If travelling by car, be sure your tyres are good enough. Especially in spring and autumn weather in the mountains (Lake OhridLake Ohrid/Ohrid, BitolaBitola) can differ significantly from the weather in the areas you're coming from.

Republic of Macedonia


Macedonian 70%, Albanian 21%, Turkish 3%, Serbo-Croatian 3%, other 3%
Republic of Macedonia


Macedonia is dotted with markets and bazaars well worth a visit. The bazaars of Skopje, Tetovo, Ohrid and Bitola are the largest selling anything from dried peppers to fake designer sunglasses. Whilst most things aren't really worth buying, there is normally a good selection of shoes and fruit and vegetables are of good quality depending on the season. Merchants are generally pleasant and welcoming, especially to westerners, something of a rarity outside of Skopje and Ohrid.

Ohrid is famous for its pearls and there are dozens of jewellers in the old town that will offer good products at decent prices. The Macedonian Orthodox paintings in old Ohrid are also worth a look.

Republic of Macedonia


Republic of Macedonia


Typical Macedonian food resembles the food of the southern Balkans. For example loads of grilled meat known as skara are served in many places. Note that usually side dishes have to be ordered separately. However, Macedonia is also famous for its shopska salata a mixed salad of cucumbers, tomatoes and grated sirenje. Sirenje is a white cheese similar to feta cheese. Usually Macedonians will translate the English cheese to sirenje. Another local speciality is ajvar which is either used as an appetizer or side dish. It is a red paste made from roasted paprika and tomatoes. Many households prepare their own ajvar. Typical as well is tarator which might be comparable to the greek tzatziki. It is made of yoghurt, cucumbers and garlic and it is served as a cold soup.

Republic of Macedonia


Macedonia, being landlocked, does not offer a great variety of fresh fish. A notable exception is Ohrid, where freshly fished fish from the local lake can be enjoyed. There you can also taste the Ohrid trout, a fish of endemic nature.

Republic of Macedonia


Rakia is a strong grape brandy which is drunken a lot in Macedonia. It is probably close to being the national drink. The main beer, Skopsko, is a refreshing Pilsner and surprisingly decent.

Republic of Macedonia


Republic of Macedonia


Republic of Macedonia


Republic of Macedonia

Stay safe

Macedonia, despite being quite poor, is a relatively safe country. Driving is definitely ill-advised , so try and use taxis and public transport wherever possible. As in all countries, keep an eye out for pickpockets and all valuables safe. Hotels and most private accommodation will offer a safe to store valuables and cash in.

Republic of Macedonia

Stay healthy

Water is generally safe to drink and there are public drinking water fountains in most public places. It is advisable to wash all fruit and vegetables.

Republic of Macedonia


Republic of Macedonia


Republic of Macedonia

External links

  • ( - A site providing additional information about Macedonia. Information in German, English and French is provided.

Republic of Macedonia1

National Name: Republika Makedonija

President: Branko Crvenkovski (2004)

Prime Minister: Radmila Sekerinska (2004)

Area: 9,928 sq mi (25,713 sq km)

Population (2004 est.): 2,071,210 (growth rate: 0.4%); birth rate: 13.1/1000; infant mortality rate: 11.7/1000; life expectancy: 74.7; density per sq mi: 212

Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Skopje, 587,300 (metro. area), 452,500 (city proper)

Other large cities: Bitola, 84,400; Kumanovo, 78,900; Prilep, 56,900

Monetary unit: Denar

Languages: Macedonian 68%, Albanian 25% (both official); Turkish 3%, Serbo-Croatian 2%, other 2%

Ethnicity/race: Macedonian 64.2%, Albanian 25.2%, Turkish 3.8%, Roma (Gypsy) 2.7%, Serb 1.8%, other 2.3% (2002)

Religions: Macedonian Orthodox 70%, Islam 29%, other 1% (1994)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2003 est.): $13.81 billion; per capita $6,700. Real growth rate: 2.8%. Inflation: ?2.6%. Unemployment: 36.7%. Arable land: 24%. Agriculture: rice, tobacco, wheat, corn, millet, cotton, sesame, mulberry leaves, citrus, vegetables; beef, pork, poultry, mutton. Labor force: 860,000; agriculture n.a., industry n.a., services n.a. Industries: coal, metallic chromium, lead, zinc, ferronickel, textiles, wood products, tobacco, food processing, buses. Natural resources: chromium, lead, zinc, manganese, tungsten, nickel, low-grade iron ore, asbestos, sulfur, timber, arable land. Exports: $1.346 billion (f.o.b., 2003 est.): food, beverages, tobacco; miscellaneous manufactures, iron and steel. Imports: $2.184 billion (f.o.b., 2003 est.): machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels; food products. Major trading partners: Germany, Italy, U.S., Croatia, Greece, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine, Austria.

Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 408,000 (1997); mobile cellular: 12,362 (1997). Radio broadcast stations: AM 29, FM 20, shortwave 0 (1998). Radios: 410,000 (1997). Television broadcast stations: 31 (plus 166 repeaters) (1995). Televisions: 510,000 (1997). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 6 (2000). Internet users: 100,000 (2001).

Transportation: Railways: total: 699 km (2002). Highways: total: 8,684 km; paved: 5,540 km (including 133 km of expressways); unpaved: 3,144 km (1999 est.). Waterways: none, lake transport only. Ports and harbors: none. Airports: 18 (2002).

International disputes: the Albanian government calls for the protection of the rights of ethnic Albanians in F.Y.R.O.M. while continuing to seek regional cooperation; ethnic Albanians in Kosovo continue to protest 2000 F.Y.R.O.M.-Serbia and Montenegro boundary treaty, which transfers small tracts of land to F.Y.R.O.M.; dispute with Greece over country's name persists. 1. The UN recognized the Republic of Macedonia on April 8, 1993, under the temporary name the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The U.S. recognized Macedonia as a state in Feb. 1994.

Republic of Macedonia


Geographic coordinates 
41 50 N, 22 00 E
total: 25,333 sq km
water: 477 sq km
land: 24,856 sq km
Area - comparative 
slightly larger than Vermont
Natural resources 
chromium, lead, zinc, manganese, tungsten, nickel, low-grade iron ore, asbestos, sulfur, timber, arable land
Land use 
arable land: 23.59%
permanent crops: 1.85%
other: 74.56% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land 
550 sq km (1998 est.)
Environment - current issues 
air pollution from metallurgical plants
Environment - international agreements 
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Republic of Macedonia


noun: Macedonian(s)
adjective: Macedonian
Ethnic groups 
Macedonian 66.6%, Albanian 22.7%, Turkish 4%, Roma 2.2%, Serb 2.1%, other 2.4% (1994)
Macedonian Orthodox 67%, Muslim 30%, other 3%
Republic of Macedonia


Country name 
conventional long form: The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
conventional short form: none
local long form: Republika Makedonija
abbreviation: F.Y.R.O.M.
local short form: Makedonija
Legal system 
based on civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts
Judicial branch 
Supreme Court - Parliament appoints the judges; Constitutional Court - Parliament appoints the judges; Republican Judicial Council - Parliament appoints the judges
Diplomatic representation in the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador Nikola DIMITROV
chancery: Suite 302, 1101 30th Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
consulate(s) general: New York
FAX: 1 (202) 337-3093
telephone: 1 (202) 337-3063
Diplomatic representation from the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador Laurence Edward BUTLER
embassy: bul. Ilinden bb, 1000 Skopje
mailing address: American Embassy Skopje, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-7120 (pouch)
telephone: 389 (02) 116-180
FAX: 389 (02) 117-103
Flag description 
a rising yellow sun with eight rays extending to the edges of the red field
Republic of Macedonia


Economy - overview 
At independence in November 1991, Macedonia was the least developed of the Yugoslav republics, producing a mere 5% of the total federal output of goods and services. The collapse of Yugoslavia ended transfer payments from the center and eliminated advantages from inclusion in a de facto free trade area. An absence of infrastructure, UN sanctions on Yugoslavia, one of its largest markets, and a Greek economic embargo over a dispute about the country's constitutional name and flag hindered economic growth until 1996. GDP subsequently rose each year through 2000. However, the leadership's commitment to economic reform, free trade, and regional integration was undermined by the ethnic Albanian insurgency of 2001. The economy shrank 4.6% because of decreased trade, intermittent border closures, increased deficit spending on security needs, and investor uncertainty. Growth recovered moderately in 2002 but unemployment at one-third of the workforce remained a critical problem.
coal, metallic chromium, lead, zinc, ferronickel, textiles, wood products, tobacco, food processing, buses
Agriculture - products 
rice, tobacco, wheat, corn, millet, cotton, sesame, mulberry leaves, citrus, vegetables; beef, pork, poultry, mutton
Exports - commodities 
food, beverages, tobacco; miscellaneous manufactures, iron and steel
Imports - commodities 
machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels; food products
Macedonian denar (MKD)
Currency code 
Exchange rates 
Macedonian denars per US dollar - 64.757 (January 2001), 65.904 (2000), 56.902 (1999), 54.462 (1998), 50.004 (1997)
Fiscal year 
calendar year
Republic of Macedonia


Telephones - main lines in use 
560,000 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular 
830,000 (2005)
Radio broadcast stations 
AM 29, FM 20, shortwave 0 (1998)
410,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations 
31 (plus 166 repeaters) (1995)
510,000 (1997)
Internet country code 
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 
6 (2000)
Internet users 
100,000 (2001)
Republic of Macedonia


total: 699 km
standard gauge: 699 km 1.435-m gauge (233 km electrified)
note: a 56-km extension of the Kumanovo-Beljakovce line to the Bulgarian border at Gyueshevo is under construction (2001)
total: 8,864 km
paved: 5,720 km (Including 193 km of expressways. Another 47 km of expressways are under construction)
unpaved: 3,144 km (1997)
note: lake transport only, on the Greek and Albanian borders
17 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways 
total: 10
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
under 914 m: 8 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways 
total: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 4 (2002)
Republic of Macedonia


Military branches 
Army (ARM), Air and Air Defense Forces, Police Force
Republic of Macedonia

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international 
dispute with Greece over country's name persists; 2001 FYROM-Yugoslavia boundary delimitation agreement, which adjusts former republic boundaries, was signed and ratified and awaits demarcation; ethnic Albanians in Kosovo dispute legitimacy of the agreement, which cedes small tracts of Kosovo lands to FYROM
Illicit drugs 
major transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and hashish; minor transit point for South American cocaine destined for Europe; while money laundering is a problem on a local level due to organized crime activities, the lack of a well-developed financial infrastructure limits the country's utility as a money-laundering center

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