Macedonia is a country in Europe according to mathgeneral. North Macedonia is a mountainous country in the heart of the Balkan region, boasting beautiful valleys and lakes and a rich Hellenic history. After an almost thirty-year dispute over a name change, Macedonia has agreed with its Greek neighbor and renamed itself the Republic of North Macedonia in February 2019. There are numerous sights to explore in the capital, Skopje, including the imposing 10th-century Kale Fortress, which offers great views of the city, and the 6th-century Ottoman stone bridge over the Vardar River. North Macedonia’s many churches and mosques contain wonderful examples of Byzantine and Ottoman art and architecture. The scenic beauty also makes a visit to North Macedonia worthwhile. We especially recommend the large lakes, the Pelister mountains, the Shar Planina in the west and the gently rolling hills and mountains with their rice fields in the east. Ohrid, one of the oldest cities in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is idyllically situated on the lake of the same name and is ideal for a quiet break.
Arriving by plane
Austrian Airlines (OS) flies from Frankfurt/M. via Vienna to Skopje; Tickets for these flights are also offered by Lufthansa (LH). Wizz Air (W6) connects Bremen, Friedrichshafen and Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden non-stop with Skopje. Austrian Airlines (OS) offers non-stop flights from Vienna to Skopje; Air Serbia (JU) with stopover in Belgrade. Edelweiss (WK) and Chair Airlines (GM) fly non-stop from Zurich to Skopje. The Edelweiss flights can also be booked via Swiss (LX). Chair (GM) flies from Zurich to Skopje and Ohrid, among others.
Frankfurt/M. – Skopje: 3 h 35 min (with stopover); Vienna – Skopje: 1 hour 25 minutes; Zurich – Skopje: 2 hours
Arrival by car
North Macedonia can be reached from Germany by land either via Austria, Hungary and Serbia or alternatively via Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia. It is also possible to travel via Albania; eg by ferry from Italy to Albania and then at Ohrid and Debar across the border to North Macedonia. Important border crossings between Greece and North Macedonia are Bogorodica, Dojran, Evzoni and Medžitlija-Níki (Bitola). Long-distance buses: Flixbus runs from various German cities via Belgrade to Skopje and Kumanovo. Tolls: The M1, M3 and M4 motorways are toll roads. Payment is made in cash or by credit card. Documents: The national driving license is sufficient. The International Green Insurance Card must be carried; however, this is only valid if North Macedonia is noted as the country.
Arrival by train
The ÖBB Nightjet runs from Munich via Salzburg to Villach, from where the EN 415 continues via Ljubljana and Zagreb to Belgrade (Serbia). Trains of the Serbian railway company Srbija Voz then serve the route from Belgrade (Serbia) via Niš to Skopje. The Kosovar railway Trainkos connects Pristina (Kosovo) with Skopje.
The Interrail One Country Pass and the Interrail Global Pass are also valid in North Macedonia.
Traveling by plane
There are no scheduled flights within North Macedonia.
Traveling by car/bus
The A1 motorway crosses North Macedonia from north to south, the A3 from west to east. From Kriva Palanka to Ohrid, the A2 runs parallel to the northern and western borders of North Macedonia. The A4 runs from the northern border of North Macedonia via Skopje to Novo Selo on the eastern border. Toll: Some motorways and expressways in North Macedonia are subject to tolls. The fees are to be paid at the toll booths in cash or by credit card. Petrol stations: The opening times are usually Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; At border crossings and transit routes, petrol stations are open 24 hours a day.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
The motorways in North Macedonia are often just motorway-like, such as the A3 or the A4, which is part motorway and part expressway. Potholes are to be expected on country roads.
Motorways are marked with a white motorway symbol on a green background.
Rental cars are available in major cities and at international airports. Drivers must be at least 21 years old (may vary depending on vehicle category) and have held their driving license for at least 1 year.
Metered taxis are available in cities and at airports.
There are bicycle and scooter rental companies in the towns.
The bus network in Macedonia is well developed, with frequent connections from Skopje to Ohrid and Bitola (journey time: approx. 3 hours each). Long-distance bus connections must be booked well in advance, especially during the main travel season.
Traffic regulations: – The lights must also be switched on during the day. – Children under the age of 12 must be carried in the back seat. – Alcohol limit: 0.5 ‰, novice drivers and motorcyclists: 0.0 ‰. – Seat belt and crash helmet obligation. – Telephoning at the wheel is only permitted with a hands-free system. Speed limits: – in urban areas: 40-60 km/h; – on rural roads: 80 km/h; – on expressways: 110 km/h; – on motorways: 120 km/h.
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; for vehicle damage: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, for illnesses: +49 (0)89 76 76 76. The ADAC partner club in North Macedonia is Avto Moto Sojuz na Makedonija (AMSM).
The driver’s license is recognized. Novice drivers who have less than two years’ driving experience are prohibited from driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. The ban does not apply if the novice drivers are accompanied by a passenger who is at least 25 years old, has a valid driver’s license and has not been banned from driving. The international insurance card for motor transport must be carried; however, this is only valid if North Macedonia is noted as the country.
Traveling in the city
Skopje: Taxis are a cheap way to get around the city with ease. Buses are also available; Schedules with departure times, on the other hand, do not. Ohrid: The city center and old town can easily be explored on foot. Taxis are also available.
Locally on the way by train
The main routes of the Macedonian railways run from Skopje south to Gevgelija and Bitola, east to Kochani, north to Tabanovce and west to Kichevo. The North Macedonia railway network is served by express trains (B), IC trains (IC), regional trains (R) and RegionalExpress trains (RX).
The Interrail One Country Pass and the Interrail Global Pass are also valid in North Macedonia. The Balkan Flexi Pass is available for unlimited rail travel in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey for a choice of 3, 5, 7, 10 or 15 days.