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10 Best Places to Visit in Macedonia

By Alex Schultz · Last updated on October 3, 2023

A fascinating country to explore that is still very much off the beaten path, Macedonia is blessed with incredible natural beauty and an intoxicating mix of cultures that draws on both Balkan and Mediterranean influences. Ruled at various times by the Romans, Ottomans, Serbs, and Soviets, there are a wealth of historic sites dotted around the country.

Among the best places to visit in Macedonia are old monasteries and hilltop fortresses. Mosques, Orthodox churches, and amazing archaeological ruins are also prevalent, and many of its cities have delightful Old Bazaars at their heart which date back to Ottoman times.

Map of the best places in Macedonia

Map of the best places in Macedonia

Its mountainous landscape is home to glittering lakes and tinkling waterfalls and its three national parks are full of beautiful hiking trails that weave their way amongst the verdant hills and valleys. With its often turbulent past now behind it, Macedonia’s wealth of stunning tourist attractions makes it a fantastic, little-known destination that has a plethora of amazing things to see and do.

10. Strumica [SEE MAP]

Strumica

Famed for the beautiful Byzantine monasteries lying just outside of the city, Strumica is located in the east of Macedonia. The surrounding countryside is full of magical waterfalls and mountains.

A quiet and relaxed city, Strumica is home to some lovely ruins and archaeological sites, such as the Roman Therma and the Carevi Kuli Fortress dates back to the 5th century.

While many people simply stop by on their way to the nearby border crossing into Bulgaria , the stunning countryside, historic sights, and the glittering Kolesino and Smolare waterfalls certainly warrant a longer stay. The best time of year to visit is during the Strumica Carnival, when the whole city comes together to celebrate, with various parades, music and traditional events taking place.

9. Prilep [SEE MAP]

Prilep

Located beneath a bare hill adorned with the ruins of an old fortress, Prilep is full of history. It was once the ruling seat of a medieval kingdom; as such, there are lots of fantastic churches and monasteries scattered around.

Hiking up to the 10th-century fortress is a must when in Prilep for the breathtaking views it offers of the city down below. On the way, you’ll pass lots of strange and marvelous rock formations, such as the intriguing Stone Elephant.

A peaceful, laidback place, strolling around Prilep’s Old Bazaar is a lovely way to spend the day. The city’s numerous churches all have their own characteristics and distinctive features. The Sv. Blagoveshstenie Church is the undoubted highlight with its delightful galleries and woodcarvings.

8. Mavrovo National Park [SEE MAP]

Mavrovo National Park

The largest national park in the country, Mavrovo has loads to offer outdoor aficionados. Over the course of the year, you can explore its splendid scenery by horseback, kayak or skis, as well as on foot or via mountain bike.

Named after the scenic village located in the park, Mavrovo is home to the country’s largest artificial lake. While taking a boat trip on its tranquil waters, you’ll get to see the half-submerged St. Nicholas Church, a truly breathtaking sight.

With its wonderful natural beauty, Mavrovo is a lovely park to visit. Because it is home to the country’s highest peaks, there is plenty of great rock climbing and skiing to be had in winter, and the views on offer are spectacular.

7. Tikves Wine Region [SEE MAP]

Tikves Wine Region

Renowned for the fabulous wine it produces, Tikves’ undulating hills and valleys are home to fertile soils and the warm climate makes it perfect for cultivating grapes.

Wine has been produced here since the 4th century BC. The peaceful scenery is charming to tour around while stopping off at picturesque, quaint wineries and vineyards to taste the local produce.

In addition to the fabulous wine and scenery, Tikves Wine Region also has a number of churches, lakes and dramatic gorges for you to stop off at on the way to your next winery.

6. Pelister National Park [SEE MAP]

Pelister National Park

Established in 1948, Pelister National Park is a mountainous area which covers the Baba Mountain massif. The reserve is home to a host of endemic animals, among which are bears, wolves, and soaring eagles.

The oldest national park in the country, Pelister is home to two stunning glacial lakes which are nestled away amidst its towering peaks. These are delightfully known as Pelister’s Eyes.

With loads of diverse nature on show and a plethora of hiking trails twisting their way amongst the valleys and forests, Pelister is a joy to explore. The views from atop of Mount Pelister will take your breath away – if the hike hasn’t already. In addition to all of this, you can camp in the park or go skiing, depending on the time of year.

5. Bitola [SEE MAP]

Bitola

Located not far from the border with Greece in the south of Macedonia, Bitola is the second largest city in the country. It is full of beautiful old buildings, delightful art galleries and a plethora of welcoming and friendly cafes.

Very much off the beaten path, Bitola is located amongst three different mountain ranges. As such, there is lovely scenery on show, as well as scenic walks amongst the verdant hills and mountains surrounding the city.

In town, visitors will find elegant, pastel-colored townhouses alongside beautiful mosques and churches, while the Old Bazaar dating to Ottoman times is a delightful place to grab a coffee and people watch. With a lively cultural scene, lots of festivals take place here over the year. Among the museums, the Museum of Bitola is particularly worth checking out; it provides a fascinating look at the city’s history and culture.

Founded in the 4th century BC, Bitola is one of the best places to visit in Macedonia. Just out of town are the amazing archaeological ruins of Heraclea Lyncestis, which are not to be missed. The Roman site is home to some splendid floor mosaics and the ruins of Roman baths.

4. Galicica National Park [SEE MAP]

Galicica National Park

Located between Lakes Ohrid and Prespa, the stunning Galicica National Park is a wild and wonderful place to visit. Hiking amongst the unspoiled and untouched valleys, forests and mountains will certainly delight nature lovers.

Dominated by the Galicica limestone massif that lies between the two lakes, the national park is home to a number of lofty peaks. From their summits are some breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

With picturesque little mountain villages, an abundance of fantastic fauna and flora, and a diverse landscape that encompasses lakes, mountains and valleys, Galicica National Park’s natural beauty is well worth checking out when in Macedonia.

3. Skopje [SEE MAP]

Skopje

Macedonia’s capital is an intriguing and interesting place to visit, in large part due to its eclectic architectural collection that includes beautiful Ottoman-era mosques, enormous Neoclassical buildings, and a huge array of gleaming, modern statues.

Inhabited for over six thousand years and ruled by countless empires and kingdoms, Skopje certainly has its fair share of historic sights. Among the most popular are the impressive 6th century Kale Fortress and the Stone Bridge, which both feature on the city’s coat of arms. Wandering around the Skopje’s atmospheric Old Bazaar will make you feel like you’re in the souks of old Istanbul.

Alongside its wealth of restaurants, shops, museums, and cafes, Skopje also has some great nightlife to offer, which revolves around the city’s main square. The square is home to the Porta Macedonia, a huge triumphal arch that celebrates twenty years of Macedonian independence. Lovely views and scenery are also on hand from the top of Mount Vodno that looms over Skopje to its southwest; it is adorned by the towering Millennium Cross, which is now a popular tourist attraction.

Located on the banks of the Vardar River, Skopje is certainly worth visiting when in Macedonia. While critics say it now has a theme park feel to it due to the recent proliferation of nationalistic and, at times, tacky monuments and statues, there is much to see and do of interest in this unique city.

2. Ohrid [SEE MAP]

Ohrid

Sometimes known as ‘the Jerusalem of the Balkans,’ as it was once home to 365 churches, Ohrid is a very historic town that is among the most beautiful and atmospheric in Macedonia.

Wandering around its old cobbled streets is a treat; you will pass by some delightful architecture and its quaint little restaurants and cafes make for a perfect stop when you feel like taking a break to watch the world go by. Among its most popular attractions is the captivating Samuil’s Fortress which overlooks the town, and the Church of Saints Clement and Panteleimon – one of the most impressive of the numerous churches in Ohrid.

What really sets Ohrid apart, however, is its beautiful location on the shores of Lake Ohrid. The town is blessed with numerous breathtaking views out over the turquoise waters. As well as taking a scenic stroll along the town’s shoreside boardwalk, visitors should not miss out on Saint John at Kaneo Church for the incredible panoramas it has out over the lake.

1. Lake Ohrid [SEE MAP]

#1 of Best Places To Visit In Macedonia

Lying on the border between Macedonia and Albania, Lake Ohrid is spectacular; its beautiful clear blue waters glisten in the sun surrounded by mountains. Tourists are only now slowly returning to its shores after the break-up of Yugoslavia in the ‘90s.

One of the deepest and oldest lakes in Europe, Lake Ohrid is a very important and biodiverse ecosystem. It is home to a vast array of species that are endemic to the area, such as predatory fish and freshwater snails.

Its weaving shoreline is just as picturesque as its mirror-like waters; quaint villages and towns such as Ohrid and Struga are tucked away amongst glorious forests and alongside peaceful beaches. With loads of watersports, boat trips and swimming spots on offer to complement the incredible scenery, Lake Ohrid is one of the Balkans and Macedonia’s hidden gems.

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September 8, 2019 at 12:53 am

I went to skopje and it was wonderful in August, going back in November.

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Home » Travel Guides » Macedonia » 15 Best Places to Visit in Macedonia

15 Best Places to Visit in Macedonia

Although it’s easily accessible and comes complete with all the comforts of the Western world, the Republic of Macedonia is Europe’s best hidden treasure. The county is part Balkan, part Mediterranean and has been heavily influenced by Roman, Greek, Albanian, and Ottoman culture. It’s a stunning natural paradise with grand historic sites and ruins tucked into idyllic villages that haven’t seemed to change in centuries.

The surprising part is that you get all that, plus fully modern cities and luxuries right at your finger tips. It doesn’t seem that you could fit all that into one country, and maybe it’s because of its size that it gets overlooked.  Macedonia is a wonderful representation of the Balkans with a wide variety of influences and ethnicities, modern cities and beautiful countryside, where life moves at its own unique pace. Let’s have a look at the best places to visit in Macedonia !

Skopje

Skopje is most definitely Europe’s most eclectic capital city.  Efforts have been made, rather successfully, to bring infuse new culture in the form of museums, fountains, bridges, and statuary throughout the city.  The result is something grand that has come to symbolize a new national identity for all Macedonians.

The history still remains in places like Kameni Most (Stone Bridge), Sveti Spas Church, Tvrdina Kale Fortress, and the old Turkish bazaar Caršija. Be sure to check out the giant statue of Alexander the Great, commissioned to celebrate Macedonia’s 20th year of independence. The shopping and nightlife in Skopje are also something to experience – if this is what you’re looking for, head straight to Makedonija Street.

Bitola

Bitola is an old Ottoman town once known as the “City of Consuls” because it served as a diplomatic centre for the region. Elegant and sophisticated are the best worlds to describe it. You’ll see colourful townhouses from the 18th century and Turkish mosques throughout.

The not-to-be missed and certainly often repeated experience is to sit along the Širok Sokak (Wide Street), sipping espresso, and watching everyone come and go. Bitola is the second largest city and is a favourite among Macedonians for its café culture and European atmosphere. Discover the Deboj Amam Turkish Bath (17th century), the Old Bazaar, Jeni Mosque, and Isak Beg Mosque (both 16th century).

Marko's Towers and the City of Prilep

Prilep is famous for a few unique things.  First, agriculturally speaking, it’s Macedonia’s tobacco capital.  Second, became known as “the city under Marko’s towers,” from when it was the medieval capital for Kings Marko and Volkasin – who populated the town with churches and monasteries.

Located in Western Macedonia Prilep has a distinctive landscape of huge rocks sparsely scattered at the base of a small hill.  At the top of the hill are the ruins of a medieval fortress.  The locals have a distinct flavour as well – which you can see in their humour and their dedication to preserving their traditions.

Kruševo

Though it only has 10,000 citizens, Kruševo was once its own republic. Macedonians equate the town with the centuries-long struggle to win independence from the Ottoman Empire. During the last revolution, as it looked like Macedonia might be successful, Kruševo experienced ten days of freedom before a massive Ottoman army burned the town and martyred national heroes like Pitu Guli and Nikola Karev, who led the revolution.

You can visit Mechkin Kaman and Makedonim, two monuments built to commemorate the uprising. As you explore the town you’ll learn the many reasons why August 2 is an important date throughout the country and such an intense point of pride. Nestled in the Baba Mountains, Kruševo features incredible architecture and several monasteries and churches worth visiting.

5. National Park Mavrovo

Mavrovo Lake and Ski Area

The perfect place for skiing, National Park Mavrovo is Macedonia’s biggest winter resort, covering over 730 sq km of forests, gorges, waterfalls, and karst fields.  You can also see the country’s highest peak, Mt Korab, which stands at 2764m.  No matter what time of year you visit, the high-altitude fresh air and the staggering vistas are more than worth the trip.

Nature lovers can wander among the diverse fauna and flora and take a hike around Mavrovo Lake. Galichnik and Janche are two quaint villages nearby, as is St. Jovan Bigorski Monastery.

6. Pelister National Park

Pelister National Park

The oldest of the three great national parks is Pelister, located in western Macedonia near Bitola.  With nearby Mount Pelister (2600m), and eight other peaks that top 2000m, the vistas are a magnificent natural escape from daily life. The park is home to the five-needle pine molica – found on only a few mountains in the Balkan Peninsula – something all nature enthusiasts will love to see. There’s also roe deer, wolves, bears, chamois, eagles, partridges, and red billed jackdaws.

Pelister also has two wonderful mountain lakes, which the locals call Pelisterski Oci or Pelister’s Eyes, that offer great hiking opportunities like the Stone River – crushed rocks that form a path heading up the mountain slopes.

Stobi

One of the most important archaeological sites in the country is found in Stobi.  First founded in the 7th century by the King of Paeonia, the city changed hands several times, from the Macedonians, to the Romans and Byzantines.

Strategically located along an old Roman trading route, Stobi quickly became a hub for traders travelling from the Danube in Serbia to the Aegean Sea in Greece.  The dig site is open every day and the town itself is just an hour drive from Skopje.

8. Gevgelija

Food Market in Gevgelija

Most likely the top tourist spot in all of Macedonia, sunny Gevgelija has a reputation for fun and big times.  It’s called the “Macedonian Las Vegas” because of the casinos, five star hotels, nightclubs, galleries, and concert venues.  There are lots of opportunities for exclusive entertainment here but the fun is meant for all.

If you need to step away from the black jack table or the buffet, Gevgelija offers Smrdliva Voda, a spa with sulphur baths and over 400 villas to choose from. Nature is also on full display here with a sublime climate and a pine and deciduous forest, there is a rich biodiversity here that makes the region special for all of India.

9. Povardarie

Vranec Grapes in Beginning Stage of Growth

There are well over 24,000 hectares of vineyards in Macedonia, as well as an incredible 2000 year history of viticulture. Deep in the fertile Vardar River Valley lies Povardarie, whose wines are well known throughout the world. The most popular varieties are Vranec and Smederevka – so be sure to sample them when you visit.

In Povardarie there are three wineries that you must discover for yourself: Winery Tikves, Stobi Winery, and Popova Kula. Popova Kula Winery is regularly ranked at the finest winery in the country. They produce over 20 wines and offer cooking lessons, accommodation, and folklore shows.

10. Strumica

Veljusa Monastery, Strumica

Strumica lies in Eastern Macedonia with a number of great attractions worth exploring. Enjoy hiking on Mt Belasica or head out to Smolare and Kolesino, two nearby waterfalls.

There are also some stunning monasteries, including tranquil Veljusa and Vodoca.  Both are Byzantine and still occupied by both monks and nuns.  Be sure to check out the incredible frescos at both. From there, head to St. Bogorodica Eleusa, built in the 11th century, the healing spa of the Roman Therma, as well as St Leontuis.

Ohrid

The largest town on Lake Ohrid, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ohrid has a remarkable history and heritage to share. At the top of the list are the frescoes inside Saint Sophia Church, the Ancient Theatre, St. Clement Church (13th century), and Tsar Samuel’s fortress – which has an unbelievable view over the city and lake.

The surrounding mountains reach upwards of 2800m, which means that Ohrid is not only culturally significant, but naturally breath-taking. It’s no stretch at all to say that Ohrid showcases the best of Macedonia. It’s a good idea to use the town as base camp to explore the lake as well as its many surrounding towns and monasteries. Just 30km away is St. Naum’s, one of the richest and oldest monasteries in the country.

Struga

A visit to Struga makes a great day trip from Ohrid. Nicknamed the “City of Poetry,” the town is relaxing and beautiful to stroll through.  The national anthem, “Denes nad Makedonija se raga,” was written by Vlado Maleski, a poet born in Struga. In fact, the first time the anthem was publically sung was in the town itself.

You’ll enjoy the lively market at the Old Bazaar, St. George Church, the Halveti Teke, and a walk down Goce Delcev Street where you can see some well-preserved traditional houses.

13. The Monastery of St. Naum

Monastery of St. Naum

A 30 minute drive from Ohrid will take you to Sveti Naum, an impressive 10th century monastery which sits on a high outcropping over the lake. Most popular for its excellent frescos, it’s also a relaxing and rejuvenating place.  Some of the best religious paintings in all of the Balkans can be found here.

You’ll love the panoramic views of the lake and if you have time, the rowboat tour down the Drim River is highly recommended. Wrap up the day by popping over to one of the islands for dinner. Because it encompasses so much of what is phenomenal about Macedonia, this is the perfect place to end your tour.

14. Tikves Lake

Tikves Lake

Built in 1968, Tikves Lake is both the largest and oldest man-made lake in the country. It’s close to Kavadarci and makes the perfect Sunday afternoon family picnic spot.  Scuba diving, sailing, kayaking, and canoeing are all on offer – plus you can paraglide or mountain bike in the summer and ski and snow board in the winter.

If you like fishing, spend a morning trying to land the sheat-fish, which can grow to be over two metres long. The valley itself is so fertile that many orchards and vineyards dot the landscape.

15. Kumanovo

Church of St. George in Kumanovo

Outside of Skopje is Kumanovo.  It’s one of the larger cities in the country and has a fantastic blend of Macedonian and Serbian culture.  The Kumanovci are a feisty group and the town and outlying villages highlight the colourful multi-ethnic blend of Roman, Serbian, Albanian, and Turkish minorities.

Check out Kostoperka Karpa, a unique rock formation, the Church of St George, the monument to  Batko Gjorgjija – a local , legendary, and much loved bohemian.

15 Best Places to Visit in Macedonia:

  • National Park Mavrovo
  • Pelister National Park
  • The Monastery of St. Naum
  • Tikves Lake

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fishing boats in Ohrid, Macedonia

Fishing boats sway in the waters of Lake Ohrid, a World Heritage property.

Explore 10 of Macedonia's Top Natural and Historic Treasures

A crossroads between East and West, this tiny country is a treasure chest of historical monuments, natural wonders, and vibrant culture.

Macedonia might be one the world's most fascinating, and underpublicized, places. A former Yugoslavian republic, this tiny country—barely bigger than Vermont—is tucked between Greece, Albania, and Bulgaria on the Balkan Peninsula.

Modern-day Macedonia is a melting pot of Persian, Greek, Roman, Ottoman, Serbian, and Soviet flavors. Friends linger over coffee in outdoor cafes as throaty Slavic chatter drifts amid curls of cigarette smoke and clinking glasses of rakija . Rounded domes of Orthodox Christian churches share the skyline with towers of Muslim mosques, limestone-crusted mountains rise over quiet villages, and glittering lakes punctuate the wild countryside.

Whether you’re a city-dweller or outdoor adventurer, here are 10 reasons to plan a trip to Macedonia:

Hike Mount Ljuboten

The Shar Mountains rise to the clouds for 994 miles along northwestern Macedonia, reaching upwards of 8,000 feet. Mount Ljuboten’s prominent pointy peak (8,196 feet) demands attention. The five-hour hike to the top can be completed in a day. Villa Ljuboten Mountain Resort , a simple guesthouse perched at the treeline, at an elevation of 5,500 feet, is a great base. From there, follow soft, wildflower-dotted meadows to the windy summit. Soak in fantastic views of Macedonia and Kosovo before returning to the villa, where a warm fire and the hearty aroma of a home-cooked feast greet weary hikers.

Explore Skopje

13-meter-high bronze statue of Alexander the Great in Skopje, Macedonia

A bronze statue of Alexander the Great is the centerpiece of Skopje's main square.

Home to more than half a million people, Macedonia’s capital is a quirky blend of old and new. The first landmark to catch your eye is the 217-foot-high Millennium Cross , which crowns Vodno Mountain. A cable car whisks sightseers to the summit for easy viewing.

Also commanding attention is Kale Fortress , which has been presiding over the city since the sixth century A.D. Amble up the hill to venture inside the walls, partially built with stones from Scupi, a nearby ancient Roman city that has been crumbling into red poppy fields since an earthquake in A.D. 518.

A short stroll brings you to Skopje ’s downtown square, a unique medley of architectural styles. The scene is a product of Skopje 2014, a $700 million government project intended to spruce up the city. Instead, it earned kudos for being kitsch. Looming statues—including a huge Alexander the Great—are juxtaposed against baroque and neoclassical buildings and an Arc de Triomphe. Spouting fountains and colored lights add to the pizazz.

Cross the Stone Bridge and explore the Old Bazaar, where narrow, cobblestone streets have been alive with commerce since the 12th century.

Slither through a cave

Macedonia's limestone karst landscape is like Swiss cheese, riddled with more than 300 caves. Don a spelunking suit and squeeze through a small hole in the rocks to enter the underworld at Gorna Slatinska , a quarter-mile labyrinth that lets you through only if you’re willing to slither. By light of a headlamp, duck under eerie stalactites and dodge tiny bats that dangle from the ceiling. The local caving society, Ursus Speleos , researches caves in the area and can show you what they’ve found.

Rock climb or kayak in Matka Canyon

a boat in Matka Canyon in Macedonia

A boat glides past the emerald landscape in Matka Canyon.

Less than 10 miles from Skopje is Matka Canyon , where the Treska River weaves past limestone cliffs before pooling in the emerald Matka Lake. Drive to the end of the road and nab a table on a stone terrace at the Canyon Matka Hotel’s lakefront restaurant . Rent a kayak and paddle upriver to Vrelo Cave , a deep chasm with lit pathways and wooden steps that leads to underground lakes. For those with less pep, motorboat tours are available.

Matka Canyon is also a magnet for rock climbers. A 40-minute hike leads to popular routes, many near the tiny Monastery of St. Nicholas Shishovski. If you’re not up for scaling rock walls, take a seat on the cliffhanger deck and watch. Macedonia Experience can show you around.

Hike the hills of Mavrovo National Park

Mavrovo is Macedonia’s largest national park, cradling the country’s highest peak: the 9,068-foot Mount Korab. Bears, lynx, wolves, deer, and 129 bird species roam the rolling forest and highlands of the park. Base yourself at Hotel Tutto , which is tucked into a hillside in the Radika River Valley. From there you can explore the park by foot, horse, mountain bike, or kayak. Winter is also a good time to visit—with your skis in tow.

Dive into history in Ohrid

Church of the St. John in Ohrid, Macedonia

The Church of Saint John at Kaneo overlooks the calm waters of Lake Ohrid.

Click your heels in Ohrid and you might think you’ve been transported to the Mediterranean. The crystal clear waters of Ohrid—one of the world’s oldest lakes—date back more than a million years. Tucked along the lush, hilly shore is the city of Ohrid, home to 56,000 people and one of the oldest settlements in Europe. The entire region is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage property.

Ohrid’s importance in religious history is evident in dozens of historic churches and monasteries, such as the Church of Saint John at Kaneo , which occupies a prominent perch on the edge of the lake. While stunning, it might be outdone by St. Panteleimon, the world’s oldest Slav monastery, where the intricate rockwork has been meticulously restored.

Wander the bustling streets of the Old Bazaar before venturing farther afield. To the south, Galicica National Park straddles a big hump between Ohrid and Prespa Lakes, which can be viewed from the 7,395-foot peak of Magaro Peak. Afterward, hop on a boat at Prespa Lake to Golem Grad, also called Snake Island. Yes, there are snakes, and more than 200 species of birds, including pelicans. Also check out the beautiful frescoes in the 14th-century St. Peter’s Church.

Paraglide Krusevo’s thermals

Krusevo , Macedonia’s highest city at an elevation of more than 4,400 feet, is nestled along a ridge that rises from the broad Pelagonia Valley, a geography that creates steady updrafts perfect for paragliding. Colorful wings paint the sky like brushstrokes—swirling, climbing, and gliding. Conditions are so prime that the World Air Sports Federation held the European Paragliding Championship here in 2016. If you’re looking to learn or give it a whirl, Heli XC can assist.

Visit the Painted Mosque

the Painted Mosque in Tetovo, Macedonia

The interior of Tetovo's Painted Mosque is decorated with intricate geometric designs.

Every other religious monument in Macedonia might pale in comparison to the Painted Mosque , a 15th-century masterpiece in Tetovo. The exterior’s vibrant pattern of rectangular paintings framing lattice windows is just a hint of the grandeur within. Slip off your shoes and step inside. Your jaw might drop at the sight of the swirling geometric artwork that covers every inch of the walls and balconies.

  • Nat Geo Expeditions

Indulge in food and drink

One thing is for certain in Macedonia: You won’t go hungry. Forget about the clock at mealtime and prepare for a feast. Macedonian cuisine blends Turkish, Mediterranean, and Balkan themes. Burek , or “salty pie,” is a mainstay— a warm, doughy treat filled with spinach or cheese. It often starts a meal, along with ajvar (a red pepper and garlic sauce) and shopska salad of tomato, onion, cucumber, and green pepper topped with tangy sheep cheese.

Don’t be fooled into thinking the starters are the whole meal. The main course might be a hearty bean stew, peppers stuffed with ground meat, grilled lamb, or perhaps all three. Pair it with fine wine from one of the country’s 84 wineries—or your host’s home brew.

The national drink is rakija —a fiery brandy that burns your throat. You might have one too many, as Macedonians seem to find many reasons to say cheers.

Meet for coffee

“Meet for coffee” in Macedonia is actually code for coffee, beer, dinner, or even just hanging out. Macedonians love to socialize. Meet someone new, and you might make a friend for life.

Avery Stonich is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. She has traveled to more than 50 countries in search of adventure. Visit her website at averystonich.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram .

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Sofia Adventures

21 Mind-Blowing Places to Visit in Macedonia

21 Mind-Blowing Places to Visit in Macedonia

Macedonia is one of the least-traveled countries in Europe (less than fifteen thousand American, Brits, and Canadians visit here annually – combined!). Yet, this mountainous, landlocked country has so much to offer! There are quirky cities, gorgeous villages, interesting historic sites, majestic lakes, and beautiful mountains. And while some of the most beautiful places to visit in Macedonia rival those anywhere in the world, you’ll pay a fraction of what you would for a trip to similar spots in western Europe or even Croatia or Slovenia .

So whether you’re backpacking the Balkans or you’re just looking for a quick city break , don’t make the same mistake most travelers do and just hit Skopje or Ohrid. There are far too many unexpected and wonderful places to visit in Macedonia to give this country short shrift. 

A note about Macedonia versus North Macedonia: This article is about planning a trip to North Macedonia (the country) and not the region of Greece called Macedonia. However, the name “North Macedonia” is not commonly used yet, so we will simply by substituting the name Macedonia in places. This is not a political statement; we are merely trying to help those looking for information about the country find it easily. Political comments will be deleted. 

The Best Places to Visit in Macedonia

From small fishing villages to resort towns to interesting historic sites, these are our picks for the best places to visit in Macedonia.

Macedonia - Skopje - Main Square - Pixabay

Most trips to Macedonia will start in Skopje, either landing at the airport or grabbing a bus  from Sofia , Tirana, or Greece. Visitors will find that there are fantastic things to do here, but the real joy is simply strolling the quirky streets and enjoying the juxtaposition of the city’s delightfully slow pace with its urban atmosphere. Highlights include visits to the Old Bazaar, Skopje Fortress, and the stone bridge. Don’t forget to check out the city’s decidedly strange architecture!

Skopje is also a great place to base yourself to visit a few of the other spots on this list, so if you’re the kind of traveler who likes to spend a week or two in a place, you can use Skopje to explore the greater region on day trips. 

Macedonia - Lake Ohrid - Lake Ohrid

The Jerusalem of the Balkans, many people have heard of Ohrid as an important cultural and religious city. But this UNESCO World Heritage Site is worth visiting for so many reasons. Yes, it is full of beautiful churches and monasteries, including the picture-perfect St. John at Kaneo , but it’s also just a fabulous lakeside town. Here you can mix your summer fun with cultural pursuits, making Ohrid the perfect all-around vacation destination.

Give yourself time to tour the churches, but don’t skip on time on the water. No trip here is complete without getting in a boat! You can go on a quick sunset cruise, or you can take an entire day trip on the water visiting some of the other villages on the lake (several of which are listed below). 

Matka Canyon

Macedonia - Skopje - Matka Canyon pixabay

The most popular day trip from Skopje, though you can also choose to stay at Matka Canyon for a few days at the local hotel. Easily reachable by taxi, bus, or car, you simply have no excuse not to take in this beautiful Macedonian natural wonder while in the city.

Matka Canyon is beloved by hiking enthusiasts, spelunkers, and photographers of all levels. While here you can go for a boat ride, visit the monasteries, swim, kayak, hike, or visit one of the caves. 

Macedonia - Bitola - Shutterstock

Located in the southern part of North Macedonia near the border with Greece, Bitola is the country’s second largest city. Yet it receives a fraction of the tourists of Skopje or Ohrid, so it has a decidedly off-the-path feel. Start your time here in Magnolia Square underneath the clocktower, before making your way through the city’s important religious sites. 

You don’t come to a sleepy Bitola to rush, so take your time by enjoying the local cafe scene on Sirok Sokak, the city’s main pedestrian drag. Visit the city’s Old Bazaar and the covered market, where you can get your  Macedonian shopping fix.

Mavrovo National Park

Macedonia - Mavrovo National Park - Canva

While Lake Ohrid attracts international travelers, the rest of Macedonia’s natural wonders are far less known outside of the country. Yet Mavrovo National Park is home to the country’s highest mountain (Mount Korab), the best ski resort (Zare Lazareski), and one of the country’s most beloved festivals (the Galičnik Wedding Festival). So if you’re looking for somewhere that offers interesting culture and beautiful nature year-round, look no further.

If you’re a foodie, you’ll want to make a visit to the twin villages of Janče and Galičnik, which have become something of a culinary mecca in Mavrovo and across Macedonia. 

Macedonia - shutterstock_1307674978-Trpejca

The town of Trpejca on Lake Ohrid has earned the nickname of the Macedonian Saint-Tropez as tourists have increasingly set their sights on visiting this tiny yet glamorous former fishing village.

Most hotels here are actually guest houses run by locals who open their homes to the numerous tourists during the high season and return to regular life during the rest of the year. While here, you can indulge in swimming, snorkeling, boating, and soaking up the sun on the shore. It has a reputation as having the cleanest swimming water on the lake, and Instagrammers adore the photogenic rocks standing out in the water.

You can visit as a day trip from Ohrid or you can base yourself here for a few days of total relaxation. 

Kokino Observatory 

Macedonia - Kokino Observatory - Pixabay

Located in the northern part of the country near the Serbian border, the four-thousand-year-old Kokino Observatory is an ancient megalithic site that Bronze Age peoples used to track the patterns of the sun and moon. Avid photographers will love the opportunity for astrophotography looking up at the same sites that men and women have been tracking for thousands of years: 

Four massive stone thrones, facing the direction of the east, make up the lower platform. The higher platform consists of markers carved into malleable andesite rocks, that indicated significant astronomical events like the summer and winter solstices, as well as the spring and autumn equinoxes.   While seated on the thrones, particularly the second one, the exact movement of light during these days could be seen. The most powerful member of the community usually took his place on this special seat, and observed the light that streamed through the carved markers, and soaked in the energy of the sun. Rituals based on these solar changes were held at the observatory.  

The Bay of Bones

Macedonia - Lake Ohrid - Bay of Bones - Pixabay

The Bay of Bones is a unique experience in Macedonia. This overwater museum on Lake Ohrid is an authentic reproduction of a pile-dwelling settlement, so visitors can see how men and women lived here in the first millennium BC. There’s also a reconstructed ancient Roman military fortress up on the hill nearby. Both can easily be visited from Ohrid or the other lake villages by boat.

Macedonia - shutterstock_633203255-Kratovo

Situated in the crater of an extinct volcano, the museum city of Kratovo is famous for its six stone towers and its picturesque nineteenth-century architecture. Other can’t-misses in the city are the medieval bridges, including Rada’s Bridge, and the city’s underground tunnels.

If you visit Kratovo as a day trip from Skopje, make sure to pair it with a stop at the nearby Kuklika Stone Dolls. This natural wonder is a set of stone pillars, which legend has it that each pillar is a member of a wedding party put under a curse by a scorned bride.

Macedonia - shutterstock_1070674670 - Tetovo - Sarena Mosque

The city of Tetovo has an Albanian majority, so while here you’ll see the city’s interesting mosques including its most famous, the painted Sarena Mosque. You’ll also want to set aside time to see Tetovo Art Gallery, located in the former bathhouse, the city’s beautiful churches, and the beautiful stone bridge.

If you come to Tetovo as a day trip from Skopje, pair your visit with a stop at the nearby fourteenth-century Monastery of Leshok. 

Stobi Archaelogical Site

Macedonia - shutterstock_1311062792-Stobi

The most famous archaeological site in North Macedonia, Stobi is located in the middle of the country, almost equidistant from Skopje and Bitola. Stobi served as the capital of the ancient Roman Provence of Macedonia Secunda, and it continued to play this important role during the early Byzantine Empire. 

While here, make sure to see the famous theater, the beautiful baptismal font, and the detailed mosaics.

Snake Island

Macedonia - shutterstock_1147935824-Snake Island

The island of Golem Grad in Lake Prespa is better known by its more imaginative nickname, Snake Island. Visits here start from the villages of Konjsko or Stenje, where you can take a two-kilometer boat ride to the island (though you can visit from any point on Lake Prespa if you happen to have access to a private boat…).

Why the name snake island? Well, yes, it’s because there are quite a few snakes on the island:

The alternative name of Golem Grad is ‘The Island of Snakes.’ Upon arrival on the island itself, make sure that the first tree which you’ll see (and there are many) will be decorated with thin snakes that hang on the dry branches. The first ones are friendly and are not poisonous – beloushki (grass snakes) and they live in the rocks and by the water.   The second type…Well,  you may be amazed, excited or terrified – it depends on how willing you are to encounter horned vipers having a party on the island. Yes, they are everywhere. Yes, they are poisonous. These magnificent guards protect the place from the top of the island.

While here, make sure to stop by the grave of Tsar Samuil, the ruined church, and the flocks of pelicans who live here during the season.

Pelister National Park

Macedonia - Pelister National Park - shutterstock_668510818-Pelister

Located about an hour outside of Bitola, Pelister National Park is the second largest national park in the country. The most famous landmarks here are the two mountain lakes known as Pelister’s Eyes.

Visitor’s come for the spectacular views, hiking, camping, rock climbing, and horseback riding. So basically Pelister National Park is an outdoor paradise.

Heraclea Lynkestis

Macedonia - shutterstock_526847269 - Heraclea

Located just outside of Bitola, Heraclea Lyncestis was founded by King Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great. The ruins here are one of the last remaining ties between the ancient and modern Macedonian cultures. 

While here, there are many important landmarks to see:

Beautiful Roman baths, the Episcopal church and baptistery, a Jewish temple, portico and a Roman theater now used for summer concerts and theater performances, all stand proud in excellent condition.   The Roman theater on the hill, who’s ruins where unearthed in the late 1960’s, was constructed during Emperor Hadrian’s 20-year reign (A.D. 117-138). He is credited with building as well as restoring many structures in the province of Macedonia. It was not until after his death that the theater came into use. Artifacts found at the site indicate that it was primarily used to stage gladiator fights until the late 4th century, when such fighting was banned throughout the Empire.   There is a small museum on the grounds with few artifacts and a nice scale model of the city at its peak.

Radožda 

Macedonia - shutterstock_134540237- Radožda

Located on Lake Ohrid just two kilometers from the Albanian border, the village of Radožda is over a thousand years old. Besides soaking in the sun and enjoying the peaceful village setting, you can tour the seven churches in the village. On Easter, the townspeople set out to visit each one, but the most famous is the cave church of St. Archangel Mihail from the fourteenth century. 

Galičica National Park 

Macedonia - shutterstock_1012289794 - Galicica

Named after Galičica Mountain, which straddles the border between Macedonia and Albania, Galičica National Park is on the Macedonian side of the mountain and covers the area between Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa. 

If you get high enough on the mountain you can see both lakes simultaneously (and even grab a photo of both). The panoramic views from here are just breathtaking and more than worth the effort of getting this high.

Macedonia - Prilep -Pixabay

An easy day trip from Bitola, the village of Prilep (which also encompasses the former village of Varoš) is famous for its namesake tobacco. 

After you arrive, start with the clocktower which is the most famous spot in the city. Make sure to see the Monastery of Treskavec and the Carshi Mosque and spend time exploring Varoš with its beautiful Ottoman architecture.

Hiking and history lovers should visit the nearby medieval fortress of Markovi Kuli. 

Macedonia - shutterstock_540045214 - Krusevo

Completely off the tourist path, Kruševo is a great mix of museum town and decay. The colorful houses come to life when the sun is shining, spread across the hilly village.

Spomenik hunters need to put this place on their Macedonian itinerary since it’s home to one of the most unique Yugoslav Memorials. Makedonium, also called the Ilinden Monument, is located on Gumenja Hill and is dedicated to those who fought for Macedonian independence from the Ottoman Turks and during World War II.

Monastery of St. Naum

Macedonia - shutterstock_461923033 - Sveti Naum

A popular day trip from Ohrid, the Monastery of St. Naum (Manastir Sveti Naum) is situated on the shore of the lake near the Albanian border. Yet the church is important for more than just its beautiful setting:

This is one of the first monuments of Slavic church architecture, built duringByzantinee times.   The central part of the monastery complex is the church of the Holy Archangels, and it is the most captivating building in the entire region. Surrounded by tall cypresses, traditional buildings and stone walls, it is nicely secluded…   The interior of the church is well known for its characteristic wood craving, which is very old, dating back from the 17 th and 18 th century. Inside the church, the icon of the holy Assumption of St. Naum is still there, representing the oldest item of the theme.   The core of the monastery complex is a lush and serene garden, with fountain streams and colorful peacocks. An attraction on its own, these birds are a popular highlight of the entire region as well.

Macedonia - Rečica - Wikimedia Commons

By Reklam-net, CC BY-SA 3.0 , Link

About an hour away from Ohrid by taxi, the trip out to Recica is an easy one. Once here you’ll find a “village” with only one resident and no stores. But the highlight here isn’t the people watching or the shopping, rather you come here to see one of the most unique sites in the Balkans: the natural laundry!

The laundry here is done using a vortex in the river which agitates the clothing the way a washing machine does. Afterward, the laundry is hung up to dry, so you’ll find a field full of laundry hanging in the sun.

You won’t find a more unique day trip from Ohrid or any other city in the Balkans, so make sure to make time to see this cultural site!

Šar Mountain (Sharra Mountain)

Macedonia - Šar / Shar Mountains - Pixabay

Located an hour and a half from Skopje on the border with Kosovo, Shar Mountain is a popular ski resort and hiking spot.  The mountain is covered in glacial lakes, called Sharplaninski Ochi in Macedonian. Dog lovers will be excited to see the Shara Mountain Sheepdog, also known as the Sharplaninec, a local dog breed endemic to the mountain.

Foodies should make sure to check out the local cheeses, made from sheep’s milk, and other local dairy products. 

Macedonia Travel Resources

Headed to Macedonia? We have some great travel resources to help you with your trip. First read our guide to planning a trip to Macedonia , which covers visas, budgets, vaccines, and much more. We also have a Balkan currency guide which explains how money works in Macedonia and local tipping customs.

Next, you’ll want to read our guide to shopping in Macedonia so you know which souvenirs are truly local gems.

If this will be one of your first trips in the Balkans, check out our massive list of things to know before traveling the Balkans  as well as our Balkan bus ,  road trip , and itinerary guides. 

For more information about traveling to Macedonia and the Balkans, check out our North Macedonia and Balkan  travel pages. 

Finally, Make Sure You Come to Macedonia with Travel Insurance

I’m sure you’re aware that  travel insurance  is essential for Macedonia and for travel in general! Allison and I have both been paying customers of  World Nomads  for the last two years. We love the peace of mind it gives us in case of emergencies, accidents, illnesses, theft, or trip cancellation or disruption.

While Macedonia is perfectly safe to travel around, there’s always a risk inherent in everyday travel, so it’s better to play it safe. The saying goes “if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel” is true!

Get a travel insurance quote for your trip here.

Pin this Guide to the Best Places to Visit in Macedonia for Your Trip

21 Mind-Blowing Places to Visit in Macedonia-2

Stephanie has been living in and traveling around the Balkans for the past three years. She’s written for National Geographic Online , appeared on CNN Arabic and in the New York Times , and ridden more Balkan buses than is good for a person.

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Omg! I need to go back to Macedonia! I only spend a week there, and there’s so much to see! I’ll save this post to plan the next trip ❤️

It’s insane how much there is in this tiny country! We live next door and we still haven’t seen it all after many visits <3

Thanks for sharing your amazing experience. Macedonia is indeed a lovely country that I would love to explore next time. I am going to bookmark this post as a useful source for my next trip!

We adore North Macedonia! I hope you get to visit soon!

Was a nice experience I agree its worth visiting. Been there last August and going back in November👍👍👍

So glad you enjoyed your visit to North Macedonia! Enjoy your return trip!

Such a beautiful country! Thank you on a detailed impressive guide! Saved your post for the future 🙂

Yes, North Macedonia is beautiful!

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28 Amazing Places to visit in Macedonia – Bucket List Ideas

Macedonia is probably one of the most fascinating but still underpublicized tourist destinations in Europe . You might not think there aren’t too many interesting places to visit in a country barely bigger than Vermont but you’d be wrong. Macedonia today is a melting pot of Persian, Roman, Ottoman, and Slavic cultures where most cities’ skyline is dominated by both, Orthodox Christian churches and mosques and where the omnipresent limestone-crusted mountains rise over the quiet countryside. There are many good reasons why should you visit this lovely country and hopefully, this article will show you some of them. Here are the 28 best places to visit in Macedonia.

Let’s start from the beginning:

Skopje, Not Your Typical European Capital

Skopje travel guide places to visit in Macedonia

If you’re looking for places to visit Macedonia, the capital, Skopje , will probably be your first stop. Skopje will show you how Macedonians embraced a modern European way of living while still preserving their ancient past. There is no better example of this than the Stone Bridge, which connects the new, modern part of Skopje to the Old Ottoman Quarter , and crossing it will make you feel like traveling back in time.

Some other interesting sights include the Kale Fortress, Skopje’s own standing guard, the city square, Vodno Hill, and the Mother Teresa Memorial House (she was actually born in Skopje). While you’re here, you should also not miss…

The Deepest Underwater Cave In Europe

matka canyon

Stobi, The Ancient Capital

stobi places to visit in macedonia

If you’re a fan of history and looking for places to visit in Macedonia, Stobi is always a great idea. Stobi was the capital of the Macedonia Secunda province during the Roman times. It was one of the most important ancient capitals in the region, lying on the route that connected the Danube River with the Aegean Sea. In just one hour driving away from Skopje and 120 denars (2 EUR), you can get an ultimate glimpse of history .

Shara, The Mountain Of Ice Lakes

sar planina lake

Spreading across 80 kilometers, the Shar Mountain is the longest mountain massif in the country. It’s here that you’ll find some of the highest mountaintops in the country, with the highest one being Titov Vrv, named after Josip Broz Tito sitting on 2 748 meters. The massif also has a very diverse flora and fauna featuring over 100 species, including the very rare Balkan Lynx. The Shar Mountain is also home to probably the best skiing center- Popova Shapka and over 20 breathtaking ice lakes. If you’re looking for an ultimate winter paradise destination, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Gonoi, The “Beauty Cave”

gonoi cave macedonia

Sunken Church And A Traditional Week-Long Wedding

mavrovo underwater church

When talking about places to visit in Macedonia, we have to mention Mavrovo; the largest National in Macedonia, spreading across 192,000 acres. It has an amazing nature and diverse wildlife and some of the most famous skiing resorts in Macedonia. Mavrovo Lake is another beautiful place that attracts a lot of photographers from around the country throughout the year.

galicnik

Mavrovo also has its own underwater church which was flooded in 1953 when a severe earthquake damaged the dam containing the local lake. The church today is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the region. Another place to visit around Mavrovo is St. Jovan Bigorski, one of the most beautiful monasteries in the country that supposedly has a few pieces of the legendary cross Jesus was crucified in its foundation. Finally, while you’re here, don’t forget to visit Galicnik, one of the most beautiful small villages in Macedonia which is one of the last places where you can witness a traditional Macedonian wedding that lasts for 7 days. This happens every year in the month of July. Finally, if you want to get there, you’ll have to drive on arguably the most scenic road in the country!

Related: Unique wedding destinations

The Stunning Nature Of Lazaropole

Lazaropole

These are two beautiful villages that many locals don’t know about. This whole area is so green that it will shock your senses. The lovely countryside parceled out in patches of green and brown, over roads and rivers winding through the landscapes always makes me wonder how there aren’t more tourists around. This is one of those places that will make you forget about your daily struggles and just enjoy nature as the gurgling waters of Gari River sing the hum of the turning earth.

If you want to get to places like this, the best option is to rent a car.  Use this link and save 15% on all car rentals the country.

A Cave That Resembles Lord Of The Rings

peshna cave places to visit in macedonia

The most interesting part about Peshna is that familiar feeling you get when you go inside and turn around. If you’re struggling to remember, it’s Lord of the Rings . The New York Times described Peshna as identical to the imaginary caves in Lord of the Rings which obviously makes it a great candidate for our ultimate list of places to visit in Macedonia.

The Oldest Lake In Europe

Ohrid

No bucket list of the best places to visit in Macedonia is complete without a trip to Ohrid . This UNESCO World Heritage city is probably the best destination in Macedonia for a summer vacation. Ohrid also has the nickname The Jerusalem of the Balkan because, at one point in time, it had 365 churches- one for every day of the year.

The city is also home to Ohrid Lake- a 4 million years old lake that happens to be the oldest one in Europe . While you’re at Ohrid, you should visit the Kaneo Monastery, the Ancient Theatre, St. Clement- what was once arguably the oldest university in Europe, and the Samuel’s Fortress, where you can experience an amazing view of the city.

A Beautiful Monastery That Hangs Off A Cliff

sveti naum beautiful places in macedonia

Located around 25 kilometers away from Ohrid, this stunning monastery located on a rocky cliff near the Albanian border is one of the most spectacular places to visit in Macedonia. Here, you’ll enjoy some panoramic views of Lake Ohrid, find some 16th-century frescoes, and the grave of St. Naum, one of the most important people in Macedonia’s history. Read more about traveling to Albania .

The Bay Of Bones , A Replica Of Ancient Settlement

bay of bones ohrid

Roughly halfway between Ohrid and St. Naum, you’ll find the legendary museum on water, known as the Bay of Bones. This is actually a reconstruction of an ancient settlement that was built somewhere between 1200 and 700 BC according to information received by excavations conducted in the area.

The Galicica National Park & The Endangered Balkan Lynx

galicica mountain

Spreading across an area of 25,000 acres, Galicica is the smallest National Park in Macedonia. If you’re lucky, you can see the endangered Balkan Lynx. There are 36 of them in Galicica and there are also small populations of bears and wolves. Galicica is home to arguably the most famous hiking trail in the country which leads to the top of the mountain, from where you can see the Ohrid Lake on your right, and the Prespa Lake on the left.

In my opinion, this is the most beautiful view in the whole country and personally, one of my favorite places to visit in Macedonia! No matter how many times I visit, I just can’t get enough of the peaceful atmosphere at the top.

A Village That’s 1,000 Years Old

radozda beautiful places in macedonia

This sleeping, charming fishing village is a place that not many locals know about. This is the closest inhabited place to the Albanian border. Hence, you’ll witness a rich culture with influences from both nations and you can even hop across the border if you fancy. This calm and picturesque village will give you a real taste of Macedonian rural life and history, as Radozda is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in Macedonia. It was first mentioned in historical documents in 1342!

Trpejca, The St. Tropez Of Macedonia

trpejca ohrid

Macedonia’s Very Own Snake Island

Snake Island macedonia

The Snake Island is one of the most unusual places to visit in Macedonia. It’s one of only few islands in a landlocked country in the world. On this island, you’ll find a lot of pelicans, turtles, and cormorants, as well as some endemic species of trees. However, what makes this island famous (and also a bit dangerous to visit) are snakes.

The island today is open for visitors and has been since 2008. However, the large presence of snakes, especially in their mating season makes it very difficult (and not so recommendable) to visit.

Bitola, The Second-Largest City Tourists Don’t Know About

bitola macedonia

Even though often underrated in terms of visitors , Bitola deserves a special mention when it comes to places to visit in Macedonia. Bitola is the second-largest city in Macedonia with a great all-around sampling of Macedonian culture, dining, and day trip options. Some places you can’t miss while in Bitola are the Magnolia Square, the Old Bazaar, and Sirok Sokak, Bitola’s very own Champs Elysees. While you’re around, you also shouldn’t miss…

And Another Ancient Capital

Heraclea Lyncestis, Bitola, Macedonia, Tilt Shift

In the ancient world, Bitola was known as Heraclea, founded in the 4th century B.C. by Phillip the Second of Macedon. These fascinating ruins are only 2 kilometers away from the city and the archeological park is home to several buildings that are more than 3,500 years old! Another very notable attraction are the beautiful floor mosaics that depict religious imagery dating back to the Byzantine era.

Pelister And The Most Beautiful Mountain Lakes In The Country

Pelister Bitola

Located around 30 kilometers away from Bitola, you will find Macedonia’s oldest national park, created in 1938. Pelister is widely famous for its diverse flora and fauna including the five-leafed Molika pine, Pelagonian trout, wild boars, wolves, deer, and eagles, as well as the breathtaking hiking trails. My favorite places in this National Park are the two glacial lakes, known as the Eyes of Pelister, situated on the highest point of the national park.

Krusevo, The Ultimate Paragliding Spot

krusevo

See Exactly What Roman Baths Used To Look Like

Bansko roman baths

Located around 12 kilometers away from Strumica, you’ll find Bansko- one of the largest hot water springs on the Balkan. These Roman baths have been around since the 2nd century BC and remain one of the last remnants of Roman times to be preserved in such great shape. The bath has 11 rooms, including rooms for the sick, massage rooms, and rooms for cold baths.

For the cheapest flights to Macedonia, use this Qatar Airways special offer .

Smolari, The Highest Waterfall In Macedonia

smolari waterfalls

Also located near Strumica, Smolari is the tallest waterfall in Macedonia, rising above nearly 30 meters. The waterfall is a part of the Lomnica River and if you want to get there, you have to pass a trail that includes 300 stone steps. The beautiful nature surrounding the falls makes Smolari one of the hotspots for picnics and camping.

Kavadarci, The Wine Capital

kavadarci wine

Located in the heart of the country, Kavadarci might not be as pretty as some other places on this list but it’s one you have to visit because of two reasons. Wine and Rakija! I traveled to many places in the Balkan Peninsula and I can say that the best wine you can find in this region comes from Kavadarci. This alone should be a reason enough to visit!

Berovo, The City With The Cleanest air

berovo

Hidden in the Malesevo Mountains, Berovo is one of the smallest towns in Macedonia. In recent years, Berovo has become an attractive tourist destination, especially in the winter. Berovo is the city with the cleanest air in the Balkan Peninsula and the city that gets the most sunny days out of all cities in Macedonia , with an average of 6.4 hours per day. Three things Berovo is famous for are the legendary Berovo potato, the cheese, and the traditional skill of wood-crafting.

Ponikva, The Ultimate Mountain Getaway

places to visit in macedonia

The Mountaintop Where You Can Be In Two Countries At The Same Time

ruen osogovo

Ruen is the highest top of the Osogovo Mountains, elevating up to 2,252 meters. Like many other mountaintops in Macedonia, Ruen offers spectacular views and beautiful, pristine trails where you can get away and feel isolated from the rest of the world. However, what makes this top special is that it’s located right on the border with Bulgaria . Hence, both, Macedonia and Bulgaria account for this top as part of their territory, and by making it to the top, you can actually get to a location where you can have your two feet in two different countries.

Stanecki, Another Gorgeous Waterfall

macedonia waterfall

The Stanecki Falls are located in the northern part of the Osogovo Mountains, 8 kilometers south of Kriva Palanka. This place lies off the beaten track and getting here isn’t easy as the Kozjak Valley Trail is really tight and almost vertical in several places but once you get there, it’ll be worth it.

A Wonder Of Nature: The Stone Dolls Of Kuklica

kuklica places to visit in macedonia

The Stone Dolls of Kuklica is another monument that started gaining popularity in recent years. This fascinating, stone town was formed as a result of natural erosion processes but that didn’t stop locals from creating legends about these strange stone pillars.

One of them is that a woman who was supposed to marry a man saw him marrying another woman and cursed them and all the guests and turned them to stones. Nevertheless, this place looks different than anything I have seen before and it’s certainly worth visiting.

One Of The Oldest Space Observatories In The World

kokino observatory

Helpful Tips For Finding Places To Visit In Macedonia

For the cheapest flights to Macedonia, use this Qatar Airways special offer . In case you’re wondering, yes it is an affiliate link but I also use it when booking my flights.

For the best travel insurance for you trip to Macedonia, check out these SafetyWing deals .

Looking to rent a car in Macedonia? Use this link to save 15% on all car rentals.

If you want to save on accommodation, use this Booking discount code and this IHG Hotels special offer .

Finally, check whether you need to obtain a visa before your trip to Macedonia. If you do, you can easily obtain it through IVisa without going to the local Macedonian embassy. I used their services a few times and I can’t recommend them enough.

How did you like this list of places to visit in Macedonia? Have you heard about some of these before? Would you like to visit Macedonia and some of them and did this article give you any ideas? Let me know in the comments!

places to visit in macedonia

Wednesday 15th of January 2020

Wow looks like such an amazing place to visit! I totally agree with you ! I love adventure but I'll pass on snake island ! Can't imagine why any One would go there ! What's the good spas with the best massages? I have to have massages lol ! ❤

Passport Symphony

Macedonia is one of those few places in Europe that hasn't been a tourist destination yet and you should totally visit it.

Tuesday 29th of January 2019

Documents of the Continued Existence of Macedonia and the Macedonian Nation for a period of over 2500 years http://www.historyofmacedonia.org/ConciseMacedonia/Documents.html

Well done Passport Symphony very well presented and informative

Thank you, Steve- I really appreciate it.

Monday 7th of January 2019

I love Macedonia as one of my best friends is from there, have visited so many times and we always go off the grid and visit the less touristy places. I loved this list and realize despite having hbeen there so many times, there are a few things I've missed out on.

Tuesday 8th of January 2019

It's awesome that one of your best friends is from here and I'm glad you visited so many places around. I hope you visit again and discover some of the places on this list.

Bhushavali N

Thursday 3rd of January 2019

Whoa! Macedonia is just wonderful! I recently visited Budapest and came to know of Underwater caves. Good to know the biggest one is here in Macedonia! Being a history enthusiast, Stobi will be my top priority along with Bitola and Bansko. Peshna is fascinating too. I should go now to check the flight costs to here, esp in July...

Friday 4th of January 2019

Well, we're not sure if it's the biggest as it still hasn't been fully explored but it is possible :) I hope you get the chance to visit soon :)

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  • The 10 Most Beautiful Travel...

The 10 Most Beautiful Travel Destinations In Macedonia

tourist attractions of macedonia

Due to its lack of coastline and inland location, Macedonia is often overlooked as a holiday destination and is widely unvisited even by the most seasoned travelers of Europe . Yet with its UNESCO world heritage national parks, dramatic mountain ranges and the captivating Lake Ohrid, the country is home to some of the continent’s most jaw-dropping scenery, as well as a host of hidden, gorgeous destinations. Here’s our guide to the top ten most beautiful spots to wonder at, and wander around, whilst in Macedonia.

Macedonian flower I

The main settlement is situated on the UNESCO world heritage site of Lake Ohrid. This historic town is one of the country’s most interesting, as well as visually impressive, travel destinations. Inhabited since ancient times by the Greek Dassaretae and the Illyrian tribes, the town boasts architecture dating back to the 4th century BC. One of the area’s most fascinating ruins is Samuel’s Fortress, a structure first built during Tsar Samuel’s reign in order to protect the town from invaders during the First Bulgarian Empire. From the winding cobbled alleys and quaint restaurants of the old town to the orange-roofed homes and turquoise waters of the lake, Ohrid is a picture-perfect area alive with things to do and places to see. Come during the Ohrid Summer Festival to experience the town at its most lively. This event draws in crowds from all over the world who come to witness the plethora of theater, music and dance events on offer, all a celebration of Macedonia’s rich social and cultural history.

Ohrid, Macedonia.

Church of St John at Ohrid

It would be a travesty not to visit the nation’s capital whilst in Macedonia, and Skopje does not disappoint in terms of urban beauty. Situated on the Vardar river, the city is an important European trade center exporting chemicals and machinery worldwide, and it is also beginning to make a name for itself as an international travel destination. Having at one time or another been ruled by the Romans, the Serbians, and the Ottomans, the city’s layout and architecture exude a vibrant, diversified feel which reflects its colorful past. With a landscape incorporating Ottoman-era mosques and the imposing structures of the communist era, visitors can be ensured a lively and compelling tour around the city. Take a wander to the Porta Macedonia , the city’s main square, which is home to the famous Independence Day celebrations every year on September 8th. During this time Skopje comes alive with fireworks, parades, and musical performances.

Skopje, Macedonia.

Skopje City Centre

This sleepy fishing village is another of Lake Ohrid’s hidden gems. Situated at the point of Macedonia which is closest to Albania, visitors can enjoy a culture here rich with the influences of both nations, and can even hop across the border for a wonderfully varied traveling experience. Calm, tranquil and picturesque, Radožda offers a taste of real Macedonian rural life and history, with the town first having been mentioned in historical documents between 1342 and 1345. The Saint Archangel Micheal Church makes for an excellent day out, having been built into a mountainside just above the village centuries ago. A true piece of untouched paradise by the lakeside, visitors should be sure to put this town on their list and experience the authentic lifestyle, food, and culture of its native people.

Radožda, Macedonia. By Megan O’Hara

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Macedonia Tourist Attractions

Following is an overview of the best Macedonia tourist attractions, such as as various cultural heritage sights, restaurants, night clubs and bars, as well as natural beauties of the country – wonderful landscapes, lakes, old towns, villages

LAKES / SPRINGS / OLD TOWNS

Ohrid Lake – the Europe’s oldest lake and the most visited attraction in Macedonia.

Prespa Lake – with it’s area is known for it breathtaking beauty and cultural heritage.

Dojran Lake – although the smallest natural lake in Macedonia, still it has unique offers such as lake specialties, healing mud, D – Festival …

Berovo Lake – this far east site has many to offer but is best known for the amazing mountain climate.

MOUNTAINS / NATIONAL PARKS

Vodno – The park-forest Vodno is great spot to visit for recreation and beautiful view of Macedonia’s capital – Skopje

Shar Mountain – The most famous mountain in the Balkan area, Shara mountain will leave you breathless 

Popova Shapka – if you are winter sports fan this Shar Mountain skiing center is something you must visit

Galicica mountain – amazing beauty between Prespa and Ohrid Lake. Once you witness those stunning landscapes you won’t want to leave

SKOPJE ATTRACTIONS

Millennium Cross – On the peak Krstovar, positioned on Skopje’s green protector – Vodno mountain

Skopje Fortress – one of the most iconic symbols of the capital city.

Stone Bridge – one of the most iconic symbols of the capital city, important cultural heritage monument. 

Matka canyon and Vrelo cave – dive in into the mysteries of nature. 

PARAGLIDING

Paragliding has long tradition in Macedonia, thanks to the unique weather conditions, the mountain reefs and the wide valleys that provide positioning of challenging and new adventures 

KAYAK OR ROCK CLIMB / MATKA CANYON / DEMIR KAPIJA GORGE

The Canyon Matka together with the lake and Demir Kapija Gorge represents one of the ten most beautiful canyons in Europe. Famous spot for rock-climbing and kayak fans. 

ARCHAEOLOGICAL ATTRACTIONS

Antient Cities – There are many, but only few are well known. They all  hide stories from our distant past. 

Kokino – this ancient megalithic observatory became famous ten years ago and it’s officially Nasa’s number four on the list of the oldest observatories in the world

Samuil’s Fortress – One of the most visited attraction that dates back to third century. Offers you a breath taking view of the city of Ohrid and the sky blue lake. 

Skopje Fortress   – one of the most iconic symbols of the capital city .

CHURCHES / MONASTERIES

“St. Jovan Bigorski” Monastery – is probably the largest monastery complex in Macedonia where the biggest monastic brotherhood resides. 

“St. Panteleimon” Church (Plaoshnik) – is with no doubt one of the most sacred and important religious locality of Christianity on Balkans and further. 

“St. Naum” Monastery – build by St Naum from Ohrid, one of the most significant disciples of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, known for his miraculous healing power. 

“St. John the Theologian” Church – placed on the rocky hill, near the very end of the old part of Ohrid, it’s probably the most famous and visited church in Ohrid area.

Colourful Mosque, Tetovo – One of the most beautiful and most representative buildings in Macedonia, as well as the most recognizable site of the city of Tetovo. 

Isak Mosque, Bitola –  built in 1506, and it is one of the oldest preserved mosques in Bitola. It is opposite the Clock Tower and the Great Bezisten.

Daut Pasha Hamam, Skopje – built in the second half of the 15th century, at the time when Daut Pasha, Rumelia’s vizier, lived in Skopje. It is located near the Stone Bridge 

The Sultan Murad Mosque and The Clock Tower – The oldest mosque ever built on the territory of the Balkans, built by the founder Sultan Murad II, the father of the well-known Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in 1436

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16 Must-see Places to Visit in Macedonia

16 Must-see Places to Visit in Macedonia

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Last Updated on July 27, 2021

*The name of the country was recently changed from Macedonia to North Macedonia. However for people to find my articles on the country I will refer to it as both Macedonia and North Macedonia for the time being. There are many political and strong opinions about the name change so I just want to note that any negative or political comments will be deleted.

Macedonia, much like the other countries in the Balkans, and in Eastern Europe as a whole, is an almost undiscovered gem of a country. It’s a place that doesn’t get half as much tourism as it should. And, while that’s a shame for those who ignore these beautiful places to visit in Macedonia, it’s certainly not a shame for you!

You get to discover all the wonderful places to see in Macedonia for yourself, free from most of the tourist traps and density of tourists found in European cities like Rome and Paris.

You’ll get to discover Mavrovo National Park, Snake Island, Pelister National Park, and discover so many amazing things to do in Macedonia for yourself! Macedonia is, after all, a place with as much cultural history as neighbouring Greece and as much natural beauty as Croatia and Slovenia.

Snow-capped mountains, endless green landscapes, a bustling modern capital, and ancient ruins are just some of the treasures that await when you visit Macedonia. So, let’s take a look at eighteen of the very best places to see in Macedonia!

16 Must-see Places to Visit in Macedonia

Photo by  Toa Heftiba  on  Unsplash

16 most beautiful places to visit in Macedonia

It may be the capital but Skopje has a lot to offer and shouldn’t be left off your places to visit in Macedonia. A city with over thousands of years of history to explore in the form of monuments, fortresses, and statues, so many statues!

Many of the buildings in downtown Skopje are relatively new but built in a classical style giving the city a quirky and colourful feel that’s fun to wander around in. You’ll also still be able to see buildings in the brutalist style although they are disappearing quickly.

Make sure you don’t miss the old bazaar, it’s the second-largest in the Balkans after Istanbul and has a real old-world charm about it, there are plenty of bars and cafes there to get lost in the atmosphere for a while. You’ll also be able to visit the Kale fortress nearby which offers a lovely (and free!) view of the city.

best accommodation in skopje

16 Must-see Places to Visit in Macedonia

2. Mavrovo National Park

Ready for some rugged mountain ranges and the best skiing in the country? Mavrovo National Park, in the western part of Macedonia, contains the highest peaks in the country including the Great Korab Mountain (2,746 meters high) and it’s one of the oldest national parks in Europe.

Within you’ll find Macedonia’s biggest ski resort offers tracks for beginners through to advance and ski lift to take you up to some stunning views but if you’d rather get lost in nature then this is a perfect place to do so.

The extensive forests in the park contain hundreds of species of trees and wild herbs and tea which can be gathered and an impressive number of animal species including otters and wolves and the endangered Eurasian Lynx. While there make sure you pay a visit to one of the country’s most important monasteries Sveti Jovan Bigorski and two traditional villages Galičnik and Janče.

best accommodation in Mavrovo

3. Pelister National Park

Created in 1948, this is Macedonia’s first national park and is one of the best things to do in Macedonia.

One of the biggest draws to the park are ‘Pelister’s Eyes, two huge glacial lakes at the top of Mount Pelister. Surrounded by eight other peaks, Mount Pelister is the crowning glory of this diverse mountain range that’s been drawing hikers to the area for decades.

You can catch views of Bitola and Lake Prespa from the summits and encounter a huge range of flora and fauna including deer, eagles, and even bears and wolves. The national park sits on the southern border with Greece and is only 15km away from Bitola making a nice urban escape for those that live there.

16 Must-see Places to Visit in Macedonia

As far as things to do in Macedonia go, Ohrid is often at the top of people’s bucket list and with good reason. Historical Ohrid is one of the oldest settlements in Europe, once the centre of Slavic culture and an absolutely one fo the most charming places to visit in Macedonia.

It’s like stepping into a medieval world so it’s no wonder it was named as a UNESCO World Heritage site partly down to the stunning Lake Ohrid, a three million-year-old lake and one of the oldest and deepest lakes in Europe.

There’s plenty to do in Ohrid from hiking and cycling to delving into Macedonian cuisine with some amazing restaurants situated here or wandering churches that date back to 200BC. It’s a wonderfully varied place and perfect for a city break that’s yet to be flooded with tourism. Ohrid is one of the most popular places to visit in Macedonia due to its beauty!

best accommodation in ohrid

5. Kokino Observatory

If your interests lie in ancient history or astronomy then this long undiscovered marvel in the far north of Macedonia (about 19 kilometres northeast of Kumanovo) can’t be missed. Alongside the likes of Stone Henge, Angkor Wat and Abu Simbel this group of stones, at an elevation of 3,300 feet, were discovered alongside a settlement in 2001.

It’s an impressive sight that features seven markers that were used to follow the sun and moon across the sky, the observatory is thought to be over 3,800 years old. Many visitors choose to camp at the observatory with telescopes watching the sky themselves like those before but simply visiting to enjoy the impressive day time view is a must.

16 Must-see Places to Visit in Macedonia

6. The Bay of Bones

Found 16km south of Ohrid, this archaeological complex has been dubbed ‘a museum on water’ and features an authentic recreation of an ancient settlement, the original dating back to 700BC. The settlement sits on a wooden platform supported by wooden piles reaching down to the lake bed – it makes for an impressive sight and a spectacular lake view from within the museum.

The pirate-like name ‘Bay of Bones’ is due to the many animals and ship remains that they found here while excavating. People who love to dive will be pleased to know that you can actually go down and view the remains of the original settlement with Diving Center Amfora. This is definitely one of the most unique places to visit in Macedonia! Check out this great tour that leaves from Ohrid and visit the Bay of Bones.

7. Snake Island

Macedonia is landlocked but the one island you can visit, in the south of Lake Prespa, is actually not inhabited by humans at all but a large snake population (although you’re most likely to see these in the water around the island).

It’s not just snakes though, you’ll find other animals and many rare plant species on this beautiful island. Also known as Golem Grad, the Island is part of Galičica National Park and features nine archaeological sites which range from the 4th century to the 9th century including remnants of buildings, churches, and a monastery complex.

You can reach the island by organizing a boat from one of the villages surrounding Lake Prespa.

This excavation site in the middle of Macedonia (80km from Skopje) is an incredible place to see the long history of Macedonia. There’s so much to discover by just wandering the ruins which date back to the 2nd century when it fell under the Romans and became the capital of the Macedonia Salutaris province.

Beautiful mosaics, 26 buildings, a theatre, and baths can be explored and you can just picture the civilizations that have lived here through the ages. This is one of the best places to visit in Macedonia if you love history.

16 Must-see Places to Visit in Macedonia

This charming lakeside fishing village sits near the border of Albania and offers a real mix of Macedonian and Albanian culture and some wonderful food! Built into the mountainside is the 14th-century Saint Archangel Micheal Church which sits above the village proudly and adds to the atmosphere.

There are actually seven churches you can visit which makes for a nice walking tour of the village. Although Radožda is small, it has a lot to offer, not least a serene and tranquil environment which will make you never want to leave.

best accommodation in Radozda

10. Kuklica

Although not the easiest place to get to, it’s one of the most impressive and unique things to do in Macedonia. These towering stone structures have some interesting folklore behind them, the 120 stones represent a full wedding party turned to stone by a woman when the husband, unable to make up his mind between two women, married a second bride at the same time.

The stones have stood for over 100,000 years in the village of Kuklica 8km northwest of Kratovo. If you love photography or just want to take some really impressive pictures then this is one of the best places to visit in Macedonia.

16 Must-see Places to Visit in Macedonia

Photo by  Mike Tinnion  on  Unsplash

11. Kratovo

This postcard-perfect town is full of winding streets, bridges and romantic stone towers – it also happens to be situated in the crater of an extinct volcano. Quaint stone buildings line the cobbled streets and although modernized in some respects, Kratovo very much retains its charm and is often described as a ‘living museum’.

There are even underground tunnels to explore and the famous Kuklica stones (mentioned) are an easy day trip away making for a diverse Macedonia getaway.

best accommodation in kratovo

12. Galicica National Park

If you’re ready for some panoramic views of both Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa then head over to Galicica National Park on the border of Macedonia and Albania. The park is situated on Galicica mountain, the largest mountain of the Sara-Pind mountain range.

The hike is so worth it for the unparalleled views but you’ll also find many species of rare flora and fauna within the park.

Tucked within the Baba, Nitze, and Kajmakčalan mountain ranges is another beautiful Macedonian city to discover. There’s a wonderful coffee culture here so you could easily spend a day just wandering in and out of cafes on Sirok Sokak, the city’s main pedestrian area.

Shopping in the Old Bazaar is also an excellent way to while away a few hours. With neo-classical buildings, galleries and museums, this is a real walking city with a relaxed laid-back vibe that you’re sure to fall in love with. Make sure you catch the prehistoric rock monument Veluška Tumba for an impressive sight in the city.

best accommodation in bitola

16 Must-see Places to Visit in Macedonia

Photo by  Márton Környei  on  Unsplash

14. Canyon Matka

One of the most amazing things to do in Macedonia and an easy day trip from Skopje, visit Canyon Matka. The popular thing to do is take a boat trip around the canyon but there’s so much more to do there including swimming, hiking, visiting medieval monasteries and even cave exploring.

Although it’s a popular day trip, you can actually stay in the area and spend more time exploring the canyon which is definitely worth it if you have time. Canyon Matka is a wonderful spot for photography and nature lovers so don’t miss out.

Another spot that makes for an easy day trip from Skopje but can easily be extended is the city of Tetovo which actually has an Albanian majority population. The Pena River flows through the centre of the city and right on the bank, you’ll find one of the city’s most famous landmarks the Hamam of Tetovo which dates back to the 16th-century. Inside you’ll find Tetovo Art Gallery which is a fascinating visit.

There are also some interesting mosques and museums in the city with the most famous being the stunningly painted Sarena Mosque. Make sure to set aside some time just to wander the back streets, walk the stone bridges and generally enjoy the unique style of this city.

best accommodation in tetovo

16 Must-see Places to Visit in Macedonia

Image by Josef Kotarba from Pixabay

16. Monastery of St. Naum

Set within the lush landscape above the lake and an easy day trip from Ohrid, this captivating Byzantine monument represents one of the first examples of Slavic church architecture. The monastery itself is incredibly well-preserved and you can spend hours wandering the church, admiring the art and famous wood carvings which date back to the 16th-century.

The grounds, which contain peacocks and fountains, are also lovely to walk around and offer spectacular views over the lake. This is one of the most beautiful and religiously important places to visit in Macedonia.

Other articles you will love:

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  • The Best Places to visit in Albania

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16 Must-see Places to Visit in Macedonia

Author: Jessica Esa

Jessica is a full-time freelance travel writer from the UK. She splits her time between East Asia and Europe and has traveled extensively within those regions. She also manages Books and Bao, a travel and culture blog with her partner. Find her on her travel blog Books and Bao and on social media @booksandbao

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19 Amazing Places to Visit in North Macedonia

Last Updated on 18/04/2024 by kami

North Macedonia is one of the most underrated countries in the Balkans, often overlooked by tourists exploring the region. And even if they decide to visit Macedonia, it’s often just Lake Ohrid and Skopje. But there are so many more great places to visit in Macedonia: breathtaking mountains, charming towns, ancient sites, interesting architecture, and more.

places to visit in macedonia

I’ve been visiting Macedonia frequently for some 10 years now and it quickly became one of my favorite countries to travel to. There always seem to be new places to discover and returning to the old ones is always a pleasure. Add to that delicious food, friendly locals, and affordable prices and you will see why I enjoy North Macedonia so much.

But creating this list of best places to visit in North Macedonia made me realize that there are still some awesome destinations there that I need to see (and need a car to get to as not everything is reachable by public transport, unfortunately). That’s the plan for the near future, though!

places to visit in macedonia

When you decide to visit North Macedonia be sure to include more than just the popular destinations in your itinerary. Below you can find the list of what to see in Macedonia that can hopefully serve as the inspiration for your trip.

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Here are the services I always use and personally recommend:

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Table of Contents

Best places to visit in North Macedonia

Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia, is one of the quirkiest cities you will ever see. At first, it might seem pretty random, with blocks of flats covering the center, but once you dig a bit deeper into the place you are in for a treat.

You won’t find many historical sights there as the city was largely destroyed by the 1963 earthquake but Skopje is such a weird combination of architectural styles that they somehow fit together.

The central part of the city is lined with modern buildings that try to resemble ancient ones and with countless statues (some of them portray well-known historical figures, others are just random scenes). The most important one is “the warrior on the horse” located in the middle of the main square of the city – Macedonia Square. Not only it is very impressive with its 12-meter height, but it is also a very controversial statue that in fact shows Alexander the Great.

Across the Vardar river, you can explore the oldest part of Skopje – the bazaar with the maze of narrow streets and the fortress towering above the area. Wandering around there is like stepping back in time.

If you enjoy brutalist architecture (I do!), Skopje is like a huge playground with so many concrete masterpieces around.

For a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, you can head to the nearby Vodno mountain from where you can go hiking or simply enjoy the stunning panorama of Skopje and its surroundings.

Read more about Skopje in my articles:

  • What to do in Skopje, the kitschy yet cool capital of North Macedonia
  • Guide to Skopje Brutalist Architecture
  • Alternative Skopje
  • North Macedonia: Skopje monuments in pictures

places to visit in macedonia

Matka Canyon

Only a short ride away from Skopje you will find one of the most beautiful places to visit in Macedonia – Marka Canyon. This spectacular place was actually not made by nature. In 1938 the dam was built on river Treska, creating an artificial lake surrounded by high mountains, the oldest lake of that kind in North Macedonia.

The Matka Canyon covers an area of around 5,000 hectares. 20% of the plant species you can see here are endemic, meaning they can’t be found anywhere else. You can also see 77 kinds of butterflies in the area! There are also ten caves at Matka Canyon, the most popular one being Vrelo Cave. It was even included on the list of the top 77 natural sites of the world in the New 7 Wonders of the World project.

When visiting Matka Canyon you can do here numerous activities, like hiking, fishing, or kayaking. You can also find some old monasteries in the area. But the main reason to visit Matka Canyon is to simply see what a stunning place it is.

You can get to Matka Canyon from Skopje by bus or join one of the tours that visit this place.

Read more about Matka Canyon in my article: Matka Canyon – a perfect nature getaway outside Skopje

places to visit in macedonia

Tetovo is one of the most underrated places to visit in North Macedonia. Even if it’s conveniently located only 45 km away from Skopje, on the way to Lake Ohrid, not many tourists decide to stop there. Huge mistake as Tetovo hides one of the most stunning buildings you can see in North Macedonia – the Painted Mosque.

It was built in 1438 and later rebuilt in 1833. Even if the mosque is rather small, it surely is stunning with very rich decorations (unlike many other mosques, the dominant motifs are floral and bright). This is also the only mosque in southeast Europe where you will find the illustration of Mecca – the holy place of the Islamic world.

While the Painted Mosque is amazing there are actually more things to do in Tetovo: the 16th-century Turkish hammam turned into a gallery, Arabati Baba Tekḱe – a spiritual complex popular in Sufism religion, founded in the 16th century, or a few great brutalist buildings. Tetovo also offers some beautiful views of the surrounding Sar Mountains.

Read more about Tetovo in my article: Tetovo, North Macedonia – Stunning Painted Mosque and More

places to visit in macedonia

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Lake Ohrid is, hands down, the most amazing place to visit in Macedonia and one of the best in the Balkans. Every time I’m there my jaw drops at how stunning this area is. Whether you are looking for cultural, relaxing, or active holidays – Lake Ohrid falls into all of these categories.

The main town at the lake is Ohrid where you will find most of the attractions and monuments. The best way to get to know Ohrid is to simply wander around the Old Town and stumble across all it has to offer: numerous churches (it is said that in the past there were 365 churches in town), the 10th-century fortress or the ancient amphitheater. The most iconic view in Ohrid (or even the whole country) is the 14th-century church dedicated to Saint John at Kaneo, built on a high cliff above the lake.

Once you are done with visiting Ohrid, there are more places along the lake that you shouldn’t miss: Saint Naum Monastery (founded at the very beginning of the 10th century, it is one of the most important religious sites in North Macedonia), Bay of Bones, Holy Mother of God Zahumska church or Struga (another large town on the lakeside).

Both, the city of Ohrid and the lake were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and are one of the few places that are both on the Cultural and Natural list.

Read more about Lake Ohrid in my articles:

  • 17 Best Things to Do in Ohrid, North Macedonia
  • Beautiful Ohrid, North Macedonia off season

places to visit in macedonia

Veles might not be the not obvious destination choice when visiting Macedonia but the city, located 55 km south-east of Skopje, has at least one landmark that is worth the attention. If you are familiar with the concept of Yugoslav spomeniks – the WW2 memorials that often have rather unusual shapes – you might want to come to Veles to see one of them.

Kosturnica Memorial, dating back to the late 1970s, was created to honor Partisan soldiers from Veles and surrounding areas who were fighting against the fascist German and Bulgarian forces during the National Liberation War from 1941 to 1945. The memorial was supposed to look like the open poppy-seed flower, the symbol of life and rebirth. Inside you can find the museum with the biggest mosaic in North Macedonia.

Visiting Kosturnica Memorial has one more advantage – from the monument, you can admire a beautiful panorama of Veles (the city has a really picturesque location). Besides the abstract-looking spomenik other places worth seeing in Veles include the historical clock tower from the 18th century and the Church of Saint Pantaleon from the 19th century.

Read more about Veles in my article: Veles, North Macedonia – an underrated city in the Balkans

places to visit in macedonia

Even if today Kratovo is a sleepy little town, it has a long and interesting history, dating back to Roman times and for centuries it’s been an important mine center with various raw materials mined here.

Kratovo is picturesquely located in a basin surrounded by green hills at the edge of Osogovo mountains and the townscape is packed with red rooftops and medieval stone towers. In the past there were seventeen stone towers from the 12th to 14th century (the highest number of medieval towers in Macedonia), today only six remain but they sure are impressive. Another remnants of the old times are medieval stone bridges connecting two sides of the small rivers and creeks, there are still five of them in Kratovo.

Altogether, visiting Kratovo feels a bit like stepping back in time. This is one of the most underrated places to visit in Macedonia.

Read more about Kratovo in my article: Kratovo, North Macedonia – the Town of Stone Bridges and Towers

places to visit in macedonia

Bitola , known also as the “City of Consuls” is the second-largest city in North Macedonia, located in the south of the country near the border with Greece.

Thanks to the many consuls who had their seats here in the 19th century the city still has a different, more laid-back, and European vibe than other places in Macedonia. The center is lined with beautiful 19th-century buildings and the pedestrian central street – Shirok Sokak – is packed with cafes where you can sit down, observe the world around and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of Bitola.

Even if the city is known for its 19th-century importance, Bitola is much older and you can find some older monuments here too, especially mosques and the bazaar area (which can compete with the one in Skopje).

But the real highlight of visiting Bitola is Heraclea Lyncestis – the ruins of the ancient town located just 2 km outside of the center.

places to visit in macedonia

Pelister National Park

When visiting Bitola don’t also miss Pelister National Park, located just outside of the city. This is the oldest national park in North Macedonia, established in 1848, and surrounds the Baba Mountain massif with its highest peak Pelister (2601 m, the third highest mountain in the country).

The park is known for its exquisite flora and fauna, it is also a perfect place for hiking around and the close proximity to Bitola makes it a popular nature getaway among locals. When wandering around you can expect some amazing views, you can also visit two mountain lakes called Pelister’s Eyes.

places to visit in macedonia

Prilep is known mostly as the Macedonian tobacco and beer capital but this city, located between Skopje and Bitola, has actually a lot to offer.

The central part of Prilep isn’t large but it’s packed with monuments from the ancient, Byzantine, Ottoman, neoclassical, communist, and modern times. The old bazaar is rather small but really pleasant with its vibrant atmosphere. On the edge of it, you can see the ruins of the Čarši Mosque from 1475 (the oldest mosque in Europe with a double balcony on its minaret) that was sadly set on fire during the 2001 protests. Despite its current condition, you can still easily imagine what a beautiful place it used to be.

In Prilep, you can also see another Yugoslav spomenik – Mound of the Unbeaten – commemorating the Prilep area’s fallen in the Struggle for the Liberation of Macedonia.

What catches the attention right away when visiting Prilep is the city’s beautiful location with rocky hills surrounding the place. On those hills on the edge of the city, you can find remnants of the medieval fortress from times when Prilep was the capital of the medieval kingdom of Kings Vukašin and Marko. This is one of the best places to visit in Prilep, not only for its historical value but also stunning views around.

10 km away from the city you can also visit the secluded Treskavec Monastery from the 12th century with incredible frescoes inside. The hike to the monastery is a bit challenging but the landscape and views around are the best rewards for the effort.

places to visit in macedonia

With an elevation of 1,350 m Krusevo is the highest-located town in the country that, in 1903, was the center of the Ilinden Uprising against the Ottoman Empire. Today it is a very picturesque yet sleepy town with a few monuments worth visiting.

The highlight of Krusevo is yet another spomenik, probably the most known one in North Macedonia – Makedonium, opened in 1974 on the 30th anniversary of the Second Session of the Anti-fascist Assembly for the National Liberation of Macedonia and the 71st anniversary of Ilinden Uprising. The design of this structure is really unique and looks like from outer space. If you are lucky and Makedonium is open be sure to visit it inside too to see some interesting stained glass windows and basreliefs.

Krusevo was also the hometown of the most popular Macedonian singer, Tose Proeski who died in a car accident in 2007 at the age of 26. Today you can visit his memorial home and his grave in Krusevo, there are also numerous signs all over the town commemorating this famous artist.

Krusevo is also a perfect place for a lazy stroll around, to admire the beautiful architecture of the town and beautiful views of the town and beyond.

Read more about Krusevo in my article: Visit Krusevo – the Picturesque Town in North Macedonia

places to visit in macedonia

Mavrovo National Park

Mavrovo National Park is the largest national park in the country, located in the western part of North Macedonia, near the border with Albania . You can find there some beautiful landscapes with lakes, rivers, and caves as well as the highest peak of Macedonia – Mount Korab (2,764 m).

The most popular place to visit in Mavrovo National Park is the submerged Church of Saint Nicholas from the mid-19th century. How much of it you can actually see depends on the water level in Lake Mavrovo, in the summertime when the lake dries up you can even visit the church inside.

The area of the national park has actually more interesting monuments you can visit, the highlight being Saint Jovan Bigorski Monastery originally from the early 11th century, with the impressive wood-carved iconostasis. Don’t also miss the village of Galičnik, known for its historic architecture – it has the biggest number of buildings under protection in the whole country.

places to visit in macedonia

Stobi is probably the most impressive ancient town you can find in the territory of North Macedonia, dating back to BC times. Around the 2nd century BC, it fell under Roman rule and was developing until the 6th century when it was destroyed by earthquakes and invasions.

Today you can visit amazing remnants of that ancient town and see ruins of numerous historical sites: houses, basilicas, streets, and more, there are also some well-preserved mosaics still on the ground.

places to visit in macedonia

Šar Mountains

Located on the border between North Macedonia and Kosovo , Šar Mountains offer some breathtaking views and hiking possibilities. With 30 peaks higher than 2,500 m as well as a few glacial lakes located over 2,000 m, Šar Mountains is a paradise for all nature lovers.

Since the area isn’t widely popular you can expect fairly empty trails when wandering around. The highest peak of the Šar Mountains is Titov Vrv (2,747 m). The mountain range is located just outside Tetovo and is easily accessible from this city.

places to visit in macedonia

Osogovo Monastery

Located near the border with Bulgaria , Osogovo Monastery was founded in the 12th century but the oldest part of the structure we can visit today dates back to two centuries later.

The monastery in fact consists of two churches: the larger “Saint Joachim of Osogovo” and the smaller “Holy Mother of God”. That’s also where you will find a residency for the Head of the Macedonian Orthodox Church.

Besides its historical and religious value, it’s worth visiting Osogovo Monastery for the beautiful frescoes you can see inside the churches.

places to visit in macedonia

Stone Dolls of Kuklica is often called “the Macedonian Cappadocia”. There are over a hundred stone pillars: 15 large (10 meters tall) and 120 smaller ones. Since many of them resemble humans, the legend says that the pillars are in fact wedding guests that were turned into stones.

Kuklica is located only 10 km away from Kratovo so you can combine visiting these two places together.

places to visit in macedonia

Discovered only in 2001, Kokino is the site of the megalithic observatory that is believed to be almost four thousand years old, making it the fourth of the oldest observatories according to NASA. You can still find there special stone markers used to track the movement of the sun and moon on the eastern horizon.

What makes this place even more worth visiting is the spectacular scenery in the Kokino observatory is located in.

places to visit in macedonia

Kozjak Lake

Kozjak Lake is the largest artificial lake in North Macedonia, located not far from Skopje. Surrounded by picturesque mountains rolling down to its surface, the lake is 32 km long and in the widest place, the distance between the shores is up to 400 meters. Kozjak Lake was created in 2004 when the nearby hydroelectric power plant opened.

The lake is especially popular among fishermen but even if you are not interested in fishing you should still visit the area as the views, especially from the upper parts, are breathtaking.

places to visit in macedonia

Lake Prespa

Less popular than Ohrid, Lake Prespa is divided between three countries: North Macedonia (the largest part), Greece, and Albania. With an elevation of 853 meters, this is the highest tectonic lake in the Balkans, surrounded by two national parks of Macedonia: Galičica and Pelister. This is also where you will find some of the best beaches in North Macedonia, making Lake Prespa a popular destination among local tourists.

Besides the stunning views, there are other places worth visiting around Lake Prespa: Golem Grad (the largest island in the country) as well as a few old churches and monasteries.

places to visit in macedonia

Galičica National Park

The area between Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa is where you will find Galičica National Park, focused around the Galičica mountain range with the highest peak being Kota (2,292 meters). Within the park, you can find over 1600 floral species. The national park makes a perfect nature getaway or even a day trip destination when visiting Lake Ohrid.

places to visit in macedonia

Map with the best places to visit in Macedonia

To give you a better overview of places to visit in Macedonia, here is the map with the locations of all the destonations mentioned above.

Final thoughts on visiting Macedonia

As you can see, North Macedonia really has a lot to offer and even if it doesn’t have sea access (which I think is the reason why it’s less popular than other Balkan countries) there are still plenty of great places to see in Macedonia. Give the country a chance and you will not be disappointed! You might even keep returning to North Macedonia just like I do.

places to visit in macedonia

Travel Resources

Below you can find the brands I trust and use when planning trips:

  • You can find the best accommodation options at Booking . They have many discounts and excellent customer service. Click here to look for the place to stay in North Macedonia
  • I recommend joining organized tours to get to know the place better and to visit more places during your trip. You can find a great selection of tours at Viator or Get Your Guide .
  • To always stay connected I use Airalo eSim cards – click here to get yours!
  • Looking for the airport pickup ? Check Welcome Pickups!
  • Never travel without travel insurance , you never know what might happen and better safe than sorry. You can check the insurance policy for North Macedonia here.
  • Make sure to have the offline map always installed on your phone, they can save you so many troubles. I always use the free app Maps.Me .

For the end I left a few announcements that might interest you:

  • Sign up to my newsletter or follow me on Bloglovin to get updates about the new posts
  • Join my Facebook group about Eastern Europe, the Balkans and former USSR and connect with fellow travellers and enthusiasts of these regions – just click here!
  • I’ve included a few handy links of services and products I personally like and use so you can plan your own trip to North Macedonia too. They are often affiliate links. This means I will get a small commission if you book/purchase anything through my links, at no extra costs for you. Thank you!

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Jennifer Doré Dallas

Hi! I am curious, how is the Wi-Fi for a remote worker that needs to do a lot of stable Zoom calls?

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I never had issues with the wifi in North Macedonia but then I didn’t use it for zoom calls, just to work online

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Top 15 Places to Visit in Macedonia

  • Pinterest 215

Macedonia can quickly be labeled as one of the most fascinating yet underpublicized places in the world. A part of erstwhile Yugoslavia, this tiny country lies tucked between Bulgaria, Albania, and Greece on the Balkan Peninsula.

In fact, Macedonia is so small that regarding size, it is just about bigger than Vermont! Its reputation as a modern-day melting pot of Soviet, Serbian, Ottoman, Roman, Greek, and Persian flavors has given rise to many places to visit in Macedonia that are sure to enthrall the tourists.

Friends can spend long hours over coffee in outdoor cafes amidst the throaty Slavic chatter, clinking glasses of rakija, and curls of cigarette smoke.

Orthodox Christian churches with their rounded domes jostle for space with Muslim mosque towers in the skyline, quiet villages have limestone-crusted mountains in the backdrop, and glittering lakes punctuate the wild countryside.

Although the place is easy to access and has the complete repertoire of all the comforts that the Western world has to offer, the Republic of Macedonia is one of the best-hidden treasures of the European continent.

Apart from its natural beauty, Macedonia points of interest also include the tour of entirely modern cities that place marvelous luxuries right at one’s fingertips. Size is probably the only issue why Macedonia is overlooked as a possible tourist destination. Here is a look at some of the best places to visit in the country.

Here’s the list of the top places to visit in Macedonia

points of interest where to go and places to visit in macedonia skopje

The capital city of Macedonia, Skopje, is also the cultural hub of Macedonia country. Tourists should ideally spend a minimum of a couple of days at this stopover point. The place offers a taste of what the state has done to embrace the modern European way of life while not forgetting the values of its ancient past.

The Skopje Stone Bridge, one of the significant Macedonia tourist attractions, perhaps best illustrates this combination of new and old as it links the traditional Ottoman quarter and the current side of the city. The crossover from a neighborhood that boasts condos and modern office buildings to the Old Bazaar is as good as travel back in time.

The other Macedonia points of interest in Skopje include the 6th century Kale Fortress that stands like a towering guard over the city and Skopje Central Square.

The Mother Teresa Memorial House is another of the favorite Macedonia points of interest built in commemoration to one of the most famous citizens of Skopje Macedonia, who dedicated her entire life towards the benefit of the poor and the needy.

Read also:   Top 20 Cheap European Holiday Destinations and Countries to Visit

points of interest where to go and places to visit in macedonia canyon matka

Canyon Matka

Located 17 kilometers to the southwest of the capital city of Macedonia, Canyon Matka offers a beautiful day trip from Skopje. Dramatic gorge with steep walls surrounds it, and that makes for the perfect outdoor experience for those who love finding themselves in the lap of Nature.

Renting a boat to take you around on a tour of the ten surrounding caves is among the most popular activities in Macedonia Canyon Matka, after which tourists usually settle for some Macedonia food at the local eateries and restaurants .

The place is also home to over 70 butterfly species, with some of them having been discovered only in recent times. The nearby Treska Lake, along with the Matka Lake, is also famous as kayaking spots thanks to the lush Macedonia scenery and calm waters.

There are also three churches – the Matka Monastery, The Monastery of St. Nicholas Shishovski, and Monastery of St. Andrew, where tourists can enjoy the beautiful frescos as part of their sightseeing Macedonia.

points of interest where to go and places to visit in macedonia mavrovo national park

Mavrovo National Park

The most prominent National Park in Macedonia, Mavrovo, stretches over 192,000 acres right up to the Albanian border from Lake Mavrovo. It is home to the highest peaks in the country and offers skiing as one of the most sought-after activities in Macedonia Mavrovo town.

There are many hotels in Macedonia Mavrovo town for those looking for a skiing vacation. The best time to visit Macedonia for a skiing vacation is from November to April .

Mavrovo National Park turns considerably verdant and lush during the warmer months, and the lake here is the most substantial such artificial water body in the country. The place is a popular tourist attraction in Macedonia during the summer for boating and swimming. Hotels line the lakeshore where tourists often choose to stay for a couple of days.

The submerged St. Nicholas Church is a curious and unusual Macedonia attraction here. The building was flooded on purpose when the lake was dug in 1953 but has become partially exposed after that, thus giving rise to an unexpected sight.

Read also:   26+ Best National Parks in Europe You Must Check Out!

points of interest where to go and places to visit in macedonia pelister national park

Pelister National Park

Pelister is the oldest among the three great Macedonia national parks and is located close to the town of Bitola. Mount Pelister is one of nine peaks that scale up to 2000m in elevation and offer magnificent vistas to tourists who wish to escape from their daily life.

The five-needle pine molica can be found here and is a Macedonia tourist attraction for nature enthusiasts. Red-billed jackdaws, partridges, eagles, chamois, bears, wolves, and roe deer are other attractions for those inclined towards the creations of nature.

There are two magnificent mountain lakes in this national park where tourists can enjoy hiking activities in Macedonia, with the Stone River being a favorite trail of crushed rocks that head up towards the mountain slopes.

Read also:   The 20 Underrated Countries in Europe to Visit on Your Next Trip!

points of interest where to go and places to visit in macedonia bitola sirok sokak

An old town that was part of the Ottoman Empire, Bitola used to be known as “City of Consuls” since it was a diplomatic center for the area. Sophisticated and elegant, the Turkish mosques and colorful 18th-century townhouses are the most popular Macedonia tourism attractions here.

Sitting on the (Wide Street) Sirok Sokak with a cup of espresso in hand and watching the world unfold itself is one of the most repeated experiences that indeed should not be given a miss. It is the second-largest among all the cities in Macedonia and also the favorite among local people. All thanks to its European atmosphere and café culture.

The Isak Beg Mosque, the Jeni Mosque, the Old Bazaar, and the Deboj Turkish Bath are the best sightseeing Macedonia options in this place.

points of interest where to go and places to visit in macedonia prilep

Some unique things set Prilep apart from the rest. From an agricultural point of view, this is the tobacco capital of Macedonia. It was later called the “city under Marko’s Towers” after turning into the medieval center during the reigns of Kings Volkasin and Marko, who put up numerous monasteries and churches all around the town.

Prilep enjoys a distinctive landscape highlighted by huge rocks that are scattered sparsely along the base of a small hill on top of which stand the old ruins of the medieval fortress. Locals also offer a distinct flavor that is visible in their humor and dedication towards preserving the local traditions.

Read also:   Top 15 Places to Visit in Greece

points of interest where to go and places to visit in macedonia krusevo

Home to only 10000 citizens, there used to be a time when Krusevo was a republic of its own. The town is often regarded as a symbol of the centuries-old Independence struggle of the country to emerge out of the shadows of the famous Ottoman Empire.

When the age-old revolution was on, and Macedonia seemed to be on the verge of success, Krusevo enjoyed freedom for ten days before the town was burnt to the ground by Ottoman forces who also martyred the national heroes. Makedonim and Mechkin Kaman are two of the country’s points of interest that were built to honor the entire sequence of events.

August 2 is a significant date here, and tourists need to do some exploring to know the reason behind this high point of pride. Krusevo is situated in the beautiful Baba Mountains, with its highlights being several churches, monasteries, and some incredible architecture .

points of interest where to go and places to visit in macedonia stobi

Stobi is one of the famous archaeological sites found in Macedonia country, and one of the more interesting  places to visit in Macedonia . Founded by the great King of Paeonia during the 7th century, this city had numerous changes of ownership.

It enjoys a strategic location along the age-old trading route that was popular among the Romans, which drove its growth as a major hub for all the traders on their way to Greece via the Aeagen Sea from the Danube in Serbia. The site can be visited on any day, with the town being only an hour’s drive away from Skopje.

Read also:  Top 10 Things to do in Tirana (Albania)

points of interest where to go and places to visit in macedonia gevgelija monument

Regarded as the top draw among Macedonia tourist attractions , the sunny ambiance of Gevgelija enjoys the reputation of being a fun place with significant times on your Macedonia travel.

The concert venues, galleries, nightclubs, top hotels, and casinos have earned it the moniker of being the Macedonian Las Vegas. Exclusive entertainment opportunities are also present, but anyone can join in the fun. Tourists looking for a break from the buffet and table for blackjack can head over to the Smrdliva Voda, which is a spa offering 400 villas and sulfur baths to select from.

Nature can also be found here in full glory, characterized by deciduous and pine forests and a sublime climate that gives rise to its rich heritage of biodiversity.

points of interest where to go and places to visit in macedonia povardarie tikves vineyard

24000 hectares of vineyard and almost 2000 years of viticulture history of the wine-making industry is one of the most popular Macedonia points of interest for those planning travel to Macedonia. Situated in the deep throws of the highly fertile Vardar Valley is Povardarie that produces wines that are sought after all across the world.

Smederevka and Vranec are the best varieties that should be sampled on a visit. Popova Kula, Stobi Winery, and Winery Tikves are the three most popular wineries here, with Popova Kula being ranked as the finest in Macedonia with regularity. There are over 20 varieties of wine produced here while they also offer folklore shows, accommodation, and cooking lessons.

points of interest where to go and places to visit in macedonia strumica smolare waterfall

Located in eastern Macedonia, Strumica is home to various Macedonia tourist attractions that are worth a visit. Mount Belasica offers a fantastic hiking experience with other trails leading out to two waterfalls , Kolesino and Smolare.

The tranquil Vodoca and Veljusa are among some of the more stunning monasteries in the area, dating back to the times of the Byzantine Empire with nuns and monks continuing to stay there. St. Bogorodica and St. Leontuis are healing spas belonging to the Roman Therma that was built in the eleventh century and make for the next Macedonia destinations for tourists.

points of interest where to go and places to visit in macedonia ohrid

A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most prominent town on the lake that goes by the same name, Ohrid enjoys a rich heritage and historical background. Topping the list of what to see in Macedonia Ohrid are frescoes that can be found inside St. Clement Church, Ancient Theater, Saint Sofia Church, and the fortress of Tsar Samuil that offers a fantastic view over the lake and the city.

The surrounding area has mountains scale up to 2800m, making the place naturally breathtaking alongside giving it tremendous cultural significance. To conclude that Ohrid reflects the best there is to Macedonia country would not be an overstatement. This town is a good option as a base camp from where to explore Ohrid Lake and the surrounding monasteries and villages.

points of interest where to go and places to visit in macedonia struga river drim

Struga has been given the nickname of “City of the Poetry” and is a great day trip option for tourists who visit Macedonia. It is a beautiful and relaxing place to take a stroll through. Vlado Maleski, who penned the Macedonia national anthem, was born in this town with Struga holding the distinction of being the place where the hymn was sung publically for the first time.

The various activities in Macedonia Struga include a walk down Goce Delcev Street and a visit to the Halveti Teke, St. George Church, and the lively Old Bazaar market.

points of interest where to go and places to visit in macedonia kumanovo st george church

Kumanovo is among the larger cities of Macedonia and can be found just outside the capital city of Macedonia. This place is a fantastic blend of Serbian and Macedonian culture. The local people are regarded as a feisty group comprising a colorful multi-ethnic mixture of Turkish, Albanian, Serbian, and Roman minorities.

Other places to visit in Macedonia include the Batko Gjorgjija monument, the Church of St. George, and the unique rock formation called Kostoperka Karpa.

points of interest where to go and places to visit in macedonia st naum monastery

Monastery In St. Naum

Sveti Naum is only half an hour’s drive away from Ohrid and stands out as an impressive monastery dating back to the 10th century. The structure can be found on the high outcrop on the lake. It is famous for the frescos and an enjoyable place to rejuvenate and relax in.

The monastery is also home to some of the best religious paintings that the Balkan region has to offer. The lake’s panoramic view is something to take in while a rowboat tour Drim River is another highly recommended experience.

There are many islands nearby that can be visited for dinner and a taste of some delicious Macedonia food.

As the place that encompasses every phenomenally unique aspect of the country, this is one of the best destinations where tourists can end their travel to Macedonia.

With so much to explore and so little known about the best places to see in Macedonia, tourists can enjoy their Macedonia travel to the fullest. It is a safe country , so there is no need to worry about political turmoil or instability. It would be a good idea to check the weather conditions before planning a Macedonia visit to avoid surprises.

Read also:   Top 17 Most Beautiful and Best Lakes in Europe to Visit

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25 Things to do in North Macedonia

Despite its tourism growing at a rapid clip, North Macedonia is a relatively unknown and under-appreciated traveling destination.

Macedonia

Where is North Macedonia?

The old bazaar, trails on vodno, kale fortress, canyon matka, monastery of treskavec, marble lake, mavrovo lake, galicnik wedding festival, bay of bones, monastery of saint naum, springs of lake ohrid.

  • Traditional Macedonia Food

Situated in the center of the Balkan Peninsula, North Macedonia has been a quiet place for decades. Fortunately, people are finally starting to explore the colorful and diverse North Macedonian landscape.

If you have an adventurous spirit, and you are looking for a holiday destination that fits comfortably within your budget, North Macedonia should be on your list of possible destinations. Characterized by natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and gourmet experience, North Macedonia has a long story to unveil. My wife and I documented every corner of this small and secluded country, so allow me to walk you through it one step at a time.

I’ll share some of the most exciting experiences North Macedonia has to offer. I’m betting that you’ll be searching for your passport before you reach the end of this guide. 

Skopje, the Capital of North Macedonia

As the unofficial gateway to North Macedonia, the capital city is where most people start their journey. Home to nearly one-third of the entire North Macedonian population, Skopje is a kaleidoscope run wild and a proper European metropolis that rarely sleeps.

Skopje, the Capital of Macedonia

Once here, there is plenty of sightseeing to enjoy. The city center has been reconstructed as of late, and you’ll find dozens of monumental buildings, statues, and ambitious architectural projects dotting the map.

Skopje, the Capital of Macedonia

If you are a culture aficionado, North Macedonia makes a great place for your next travel destination. Throughout the centuries, many different civilizations have set their flag on the North Macedonian soil, leaving with them some of their customs, traditions, and architecture. From the Romans to the Ottomans, cultural influence is still felt even today.

The Old Bazaar - Skopje, Macedonia

The Old Bazaar, perhaps, is the single most captivating attraction where the Ottoman era left a footprint. It offers an abundance of artisan workshops, traditional handicrafts, and plenty of opportunities for leisure and hospitality.

Take the cable car to the top of Vodno. If you want to escape the urban jungle, there is no better place than the neighboring mountain towering above the city of Skopje . Vodno, if you know your way around, can be both a formidable mountain, and a forgiving park forest to enjoy at your leisure.

Take the cable car to the top of Vodno - - Skopje, Macedonia

If you are not a huge fan of the outdoors, taking the cable car up will definitely suffice. Offering you a variety of panoramic views, it will bring you right to the top of the mountain.

Feel the challenging trails on a bike. My wife and I are huge cycling fans, and nothing makes our hearts race faster than a challenging ride up the mountain. The trails cut left and right, and the forest is picturesque.

Biking in Macedonia

North Macedonia has an abundance of religious monuments and artifacts, so you’ll find a captivating church almost anywhere you turn. If you want to take the easy way up, just follow the asphalt road and you’ll get to a location called Middle Vodno , where this secluded church awaits.

Visit the Kale Fortress. Back to the city and the remnants of the past… Kale Fortress was a huge medieval prison, and it is magnificently preserved even today. This architectural landmark overlooks the entire city and you can easily spend an entire afternoon climbing through the towers.

Visit the Kale Fortress

The fortress is right at the end of the Old Bazaar, so you can nicely combine these two attractions for a single day of exploration and sightseeing.

Whatever else might be said, Canyon Matka is one of the most underappreciated nature attractions in Europe. The steep cliffs offer some amazing hiking trails on the right and plenty of panoramic lookouts.

Discovering Canyon Matka

Below, however, lays the true beauty. Crystal green, calm, and stretching for miles on end, the river-lake is a perfect spot for kayaking and boat rides.

Discovering Canyon Matka

You can spend an entire day here, enjoying the scenery and the monasteries nearby, and finally, take a lunch break sipping some Macedonian red wine as you watch the sun going behind the canyon. The terrace on the front is the perfect spot for you to unwind.

Discovering Canyon Matka

This natural observatory is located at a one hour drive away from Skopje. It is a rare sight hidden amidst dense forest. Take the road From Kumanovo, and follow the winding trail till you reach the destination. It is nicely marked on Google Maps but drive slowly nevertheless.

Kokino Macedonia

Some say that Kokino is the Stonehenge of the Balkans, since it was a natural observatory many centuries ago, dating back from the Bronze Age. It is one of the most exciting afternoons you’ll ever have.

Stobi is the best place to visit North Macedonia is around the middle of spring and the beginning of summer. If you are in love with the outdoors, then perhaps you can time your visit a bit later, as summer is ideal for exploration and outdoor fun.

The true excitement, however, is in the combination of the outdoors with the historic like Stobi. Located in the middle of the map, and close to the main highway, it is ideal for exploring. Once a mighty settlement of the past, Stobi is now a relatively large excavation site, cataloging both the Hellenic and Roman period – step inside, and your imagination runs wild.

Equally captivating, Heraclea is another majestic settlement of the past. Suffering the same fate as Stobi, it was nicely preserved to remain one of the most captivating remnants of the Roman era.

If you have a map by your hand, you’ll notice the line we are drawing as we are connecting one place to the next. Visiting Stobi and Heraclea, the next stop on your journey is Prilep.

Prilep

This small town is charming and cute, but the real fun is on the very edges. There, several monasteries are dotting the map, and you should definitely visit some of them if you are impressed with the architecture of the Orthodox Church.

Above Prilep, a gigantic hill is home to one of the most iconic Monasteries in North Macedonia. There, embedded within a massive rock formation at the end of a windy road, the Monastery of Treskavec awaits. 

Monastery of Treskavec

If you are game, you can get there with a bike, but it’s not an experience I’ll gladly recommend to just about everyone.

If you are the adventurous type, just follow the short safari-like road exiting the main highway before Pletrav, passing the village of Belovodica. Once you are up the mountain, an unbelievable spectacle unfolds.

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Marble Lake

A white marble amphitheater circles the crystal blue pocket of water below, making it a real sight to behold. You can swim in the lake, or enjoy the sun as it reflects from the magnificent blocks of marble. Just climb up and chill for an hour or two while taking pictures, timelapse photography, and processing the sight.

Drink Macedonian wine in Sopot. The wineries along the Vardar Valley are home to some of the finest wine in the region. I’m not a fan of wine myself, but my wife is a true fanatic. Naturally, we had to document the place.

Sopot

The grape fields will remind you of an Old Italian vineyard or the Californian Napa Valley. You can dine here, stay for the night, and enjoy the region as you wake up in a peaceful natural environment.

Visit the small town of Krusevo. Hidden deep in the mountains, the small town of Krusevo has a lot of history tales to reveal. One century ago, the first Macedonian revolution took place in this very town, rebelling against the Ottomans. The story goes that a small garrison of rebels endured for several days, against a fully equipped Ottoman battalion.

Nowadays, Krusevo is famous for the food, and of course, the paragliding competitions taking place year after year.

Krusevo

See the sunken church near Mavrovo.  Accessible via the main road passing through Mavrovo, the sunken church is a postcard-worthy attraction. If the tide is low, you can even walk inside and explore the interior.

Sunken Church

The small grassy field in front of the church is ideal for welcoming the sunset or taking long time-lapse shots of the marvel ahead.

Take a bike ride around Mavrovo Lake. The asphalt road is fairly forgiving even for a beginner, so make sure to enjoy the scenery around the lake.

bike around Mavrovo Lake

You will have plenty of panoramic views, as the road stretches for 33 kilometers, circling the entire lake. Worry not though – the ride is equally flat and downhill, as it is an occasional struggle.

If you are here during the month of July, make sure not to miss the traditional Galicnik Wedding Festival. It will usually take place in the middle of the month, over the course of a weekend.

Galicnik Wedding Festival

There, Macedonian customs and traditional attire are on full display.

But even if you fail to catch the wedding, the road from Mavrovo to Galicnik is a separate spectacle to enjoy. It offers some of the most captivating panoramic views of the entire region.

Visit the town of Ohrid. Whatever else might be said, the town of Ohrid is the pinnacle of the Macedonian experience. If you are set on discovering North Macedonia, Ohrid is a separate category on its own. Filled with churches and monasteries, it’s an equal part culture trip as it is a haven of nature.

church of Kaneo

Two of the most captivating churches are right next to the coast, providing scenic views that will have your cameras snapping pictures left and right. The first is the church of Kaneo, pictured above, and the second is the monastery of Plaoshnik.

monastery of Plaoshnik

Enjoy Ohrid Lake. If you want to combine the cultural field trip with one of the most picturesque lakes in Europe, make sure not to miss a day on the beach. The water is cold during spring and early summer, so the months of July and August are probably the best time for a visit.

Ohrid Lake

Discover the Bay of Bones. The Ohrid region is filled with different types of attractions, but few are as captivating as the reconstructed settlement at the Bay of Bones. The original site dates from the prehistoric era, and the newly constructed wooden platform is almost a decade old.

Bay of Bones

You can visit each of the houses and find different artifacts excavated from this very location while taking pictures of the entire settlement. It is especially beautiful on a sunny day in July.

Go to the Monastery of Saint Naum. Following the coast road from Ohrid through the Bay of Bones, you will reach the majestic monastery complex of Saint Naum.

Monastery of Saint Naum

The garden inside is excellent for a moment of Zen and relaxation, and the monastery itself is a rare sight to behold.

Take a boat to the springs of Lake Ohrid. This place is one of the most magical corners of North Macedonia. It connects the Prespa Lake and the Ohrid Lake as they touch bellow the mountain and it is here where one pocket of water spills into the next.

Springs of Ohrid Lake

You can take a raft and enjoy the sight, book a lunch or perhaps a dinner at sunset. Macedonians are known for making a good atmosphere around food, respecting the customs and traditions tied to their cuisine.

Ohrid Lake

Home to one of the most scenic mountain lakes, the small town of Berovo is secluded in a dense pine forest. Go there go unwind from your trip, breathing fresh mountain air, and soaking in some of the most adorable panoramic views.

Berovo

Traditional Macedonian food

On your trip taste traditional Macedonian food The gourmet experience here is one of a kind. Macedonians love to combine organic produce with juicy meat and rich dairy, and the food is a spectacle on its own.

Stuffed Peppers - Food in Macedonia

Make sure to taste:

  • Tavce gravce (Macedonian style baked beans)
  • Sarmi (stuffed cabbage)
  • Stuffed peppers
  • Selsko Meso (pork and mushroom dish)
  • Ajvar (pepper-based condiment)
  • Shopska Salad (chopped salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers and white cheese)

Sarmi - Food in Macedonia

You’ll definitely enjoy North Macedonia as it offers plenty of diverse locations to discover. The food is beyond amazing, the people are welcoming, kind, and friendly to show you around.

The best part of all is that North Macedonia is one of the countries where the cost of living is ridiculously low, so you will be able to enjoy a royal vacation, staying a while longer than usual.

Related Posts

tourist attractions of macedonia

by Slavko Desik

5 responses to “25 things to do in north macedonia”.

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Biljana Dzaleva

I am sad to see that Bitola is not mentioned in the 25 things to do in Macedonia. Heraclea is a sight located on the outskirts of Bitola, a beautiful city worth exploring. Some lovely old buildings and charm, also in the past known as a the city of consulates. Just saying…

' src=

Thanks for the post. Nature is indeed beautiful! I especially like the pictures of Berovo and Mavrovo – all the greenery makes me long for the Garden Route in Cape Town South Africa.

' src=

Hello Slavko, very good article thank you. I would like to visit all the places mentioned in your article, I should be heading to skopje mid of september. Do you think it’s safe for single woman traveller ? are car rentals easy there ? thank you again

' src=

Such a useful post! I was curious about Macedonia travel and fortunately found out your site. So many informative posts that definitely help me a lot for my next trip. thanks for sharing your amazing experience.

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Lisa Dimoff Stewart

My grandparents were 1st generation immigrants from Prelip. Mom was full blood Macedonian. I’m enamored with the ancient history of a once-renown empire and it’s enduring legacy. I hope to cross it off of my bucket list one day soon, especially after reading your your informative review.

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Tags: article , macedonia

Chris Christensen

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9 things you must do in North Macedonia

A little bit Balkan, a little bit Mediterranean, North Macedonia has been shaped by the empires that have conquered it. Expect natural beauty, fascinating ruins and a lively and hospitable local culture…

1. Walk through the ages in Skopje

tourist attractions of macedonia

Statue of Alexander The Great, Macedonia Square (Shutterstock)

The North Macedonian capital is a quirky mix old and new. Kale Fortress has been guarding the city since the sixth century AD and is partly built from stones from a nearby Roman city that was destroyed by an earthquake 518 AD.

A huge, kitschy statue of Alexander The Great has been standing rampant in Macedonia Square since being unveiled in 2011. Walk the streets and you’ll find a surprise around every corner.

The Old Bazaar on the eastern bank of the Vardar River remains much the same since its medieval heyday: a labyrinth of narrow, cobblestone streets where hawkers sell their wares. Macedonia Square tempers Alexander’s grandiosity with a line of Baroque and Neoclassical buildings.

And looking over the entire city, the 217ft high Millennium Cross sits atop Vodno Mountain. Catch the cable car for astounding views.

2. Hike to the top of Mount Ljuboten

tourist attractions of macedonia

The Šar Mountains (Shutterstock)

Looming high along North Macedonia’s north-west edge, the Šar (or Sharr) Mountains form a natural barrier with the country’s northern neighbours. It is home to untouched landscapes, abundant wildlife and some of the best (and least-used) hiking trails in Europe.

One of the best is the hike to the top of Mount Ljuboten, a pyramid-shaped peak that stands 8,196 feet above sea level, and takes five hours to climb.

In winter, it is snow-capped. In spring, it is carpeted in wildflowers. Lynx and wild goats roam its slopes. Eagles and hawks fly above it. And at the top, it feels like the whole of North Macedonia and Kosovo lay before you.

A simple guesthouse is situated at the treeline, making a great base for your climb. On your return from the summit, you’ll be greeted by a warming fire and a hearty homemade feast of North Macedonian treats.

3. Stand in awe at the Painted Mosque in Tetovo

tourist attractions of macedonia

The gilded interior of the Painted Mosque (Shutterstock)

Get ready for a technicolour treat. The Painted Mosque in Tetovo, 43km from Skopje, is one of the brightest sights you’ll see in North Macedonia.

Built in the 15th century, razed to the ground in the 17th and rebuilt in the 19th, no colour in the artist’s palate has been left unused on its stunning interior.

Sitting on the southern side of the Pena River, the exterior of the mosque only gives a hint of the splendours within – just a few brightly coloured rectangles framing the lattice windows, that’s all.

Inside, every inch of the walls and balconies are covered with flamboyant frescoes, painted in floral, geometric and arabesque patterns. Slip your shoes off, step inside and prepare for your senses to be overwhelmed.

4. Kayak through the stunning Matka Canyon

tourist attractions of macedonia

Kayaking Matka Canyon (Shutterstock)

Kayaking through Matka’s awe-inspiring canyon is a highlight of any visit to North Macedonia. From water-level, the rugged cliffs seem even more imposing.

Their mood changes throughout the day, as the sun drifts across their face, shadows dancing across the stone. Best of all? The canyon is less than 10 miles from downtown Skopje.

Kayaks are the only watercraft individuals are allowed to use here and the trip up to Vrelo Cave and back is the most popular paddle. Simply hire a kayak from just in front of the Canyon Matka Hotel and set off.

Kayaking to the cave and back takes about two hours, but leave time to explore the cave, which has a series of dimly lit paths and wooden stairways, leading to a series of underground lakes.

5. Eat, drink and be merry

tourist attractions of macedonia

North Macedonia is famous for its hearty local food (Shutterstock)

North Macedonian’s love their food and are determined that you do, too. A tasty mix of Turkish, Mediterranean and Balkan cuisines, every meal is a feast with you the special guest.

Burek , or ‘salty pie’, is a staple. You’ll find this warm, doughy treat, filled with spinach or cheese, everywhere. Ajvar , a red pepper and garlic sauce, is ubiquitous, as is shopska , a salad of tomato, onion, cucumber, and green pepper topped with tangy sheep cheese.

And that’s just for starters. You’ll also be plied with tavče gravče , a hearty bean stew, peppers stuffed with ground meat, sarmi (stuffed cabbage) and an assortment of grilled meat.

Pair it with a nice wine from one of the country’s 84 wineries – those from Sopot are particularly well regarded – and you have pretty much the perfect North Macedonian meal.

6. Search for wildlife in Mavrovo National Park

tourist attractions of macedonia

A European lynx in the wild (Shutterstock)

Mavrovo is North Macedonia’s largest National Park and arguably its most beautiful. A kaleidoscope of gorges, pine forests, karst fields and waterfalls, it is the perfect place to break your travels between Lake Ohrid and Skopje.

In winter, it is home to the country’s best ski slopes. But it is in summer when the park truly comes into its own. Within the park’s boundaries you’ll find monasteries, cheese makers and pretty villages like Janče and Galičnik, famous for its traditional village wedding festival, one of the country’s quirkiest summer festivals.

There’s wildlife too, including bears, lynx, wolves and deer – and 123 species of birds, many endemic to the rolling forests and highlands here.

7. Commune with God and nature at Lake Ohrid

tourist attractions of macedonia

Church of Saint John at Kaneo (Shutterstock)

There’s nowhere quite like Lake Ohrid. A beguiling shade of blue, ringed by nature and dotted with ancient monasteries, it is the spiritual heart of North Macedonia. That’s why it’s one of the country’s most treasured gems. And why the whole area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The lake itself is a thing of breathtaking beauty. Stretching as far as the eye can see, it glitters and shimmers, one of the oldest lakes in the world, dating back more than a million years. Take a seat, preferably on a grassy hill overlooking it, and marvel at its many moods.

Tucked on one of those hilly shores you’ll find Ohrid, one of the oldest settlements in Europe. It is crammed with dozens of historic churches and monasteries, including the Church of Saint John at Kaneo. It is picturesquely perched on the edge of the Lake. St. Panteleimon, and is the world’s oldest Slav monastery, boasting intricate stonework that has been meticulously restored.

Further along the lake, 20 miles from Ohrid, you’ll find St Naum, one of the oldest and the richest monasteries in North Macedonia.

8. Wander through ancient Macedonia in Heraclea

tourist attractions of macedonia

A mosaic in Heraclea (Shutterstock)

Famous for its stunning mosaics, ancient amphitheatre and bathhouses, Heraclea is the best preserved ruins from the time of the ancient Macedonian Empire.

Polybius and Strabo wrote about it. Caesar tried to conquer it. And wandering around the atmospheric ruins is one of the most rewarding things you can do in North Macedonia today.

The ruins sit just south of Bitola, on the slopes just below the village of Bukovo. There’s a small museum with a few artefacts, but it is much more rewarding to amble through the ruins and discover its treasures, like the Episcopal church and the Roman baths, by chance.

9. Take time to stop and smell the coffee

tourist attractions of macedonia

A group of elderly men sit for drinking coffee in Skopje (Shutterstock)

Ever since the days of the Ottoman Empire, coffee has played an important part in North Macedonian social life and even religion.

Meeting for coffee is a part of everyday life, offering the chance to catch up with friends, share gossip and swap news. It is also incorporated into many traditional ceremonies like weddings and christenings.

It is believed there are over 5,000 coffee establishments in North Macedonia, from traditional Balkan coffee shops and kafeana (a type of coffee bar particular to the regions) to more modern, western style outlets.

Follow the lead of the locals. Grab a seat at an outdoor cafe, order something strong and black, and watch the world go by.

More things to do in North Macedonia:

  • How to spend 24 hours in Skopje
  • Short break guide to Ohrid
  • Wildlife watching in North Macedonia’s national parks

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THE MONASTERIES OF MACEDONIA

Duration of the tour: 4 days Location: Mavrovo and Ohrid. .  

MACEDONIAN ETHNO EDU TOUR

Duration of the tour: 4 days Location: Skopje, Kumanovo, Bitola and Ohrid.

THE WINES OF MACEDONIA

Duration of the tour: 3 days Location: Tikves Winery, Popova Kula Winery and Demir Kapija.

OLD TOWNS AND NATURE

Duration of the tour: 5 days Location: Skoje, Strumica, Prilep and Bitola.

ABC rent a car Tours

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AVIS Skopje

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Etno Selo "Timcevski"

Restaurant  Etno Selo  offers all kinds of home made specialties,prepared on traditional method and cocked in bake house. Complex Etno Selo has a disposal...

Makedonska kuka

The traditional restaurant “Makedonska Kuka” is one of the most authentic characteristics of the Macedonian spirit and traditions in the catering industry. ..

Beer House "AN"

The restaurant is part of the hystorically cultural object Kapan An built in 1472 which is located in the old part of the city...

Oreov lad Skopje

National restaurant and International cuisine. Krali Marko cuisine. Organizing weddings, promotions, cocktails, catering, presentations...

Hotel Inex Gorica *****, Ohrid

Combining the old with the new, we have retained Hotel Gorica’s unique, traditional charm while also adding every amenity, every luxury that today’s sophisticated tourists...

Congress Centre Ohrid *** , Ohrid

The Congress Centre owned by the University of St. Cyril and Methodius has a very attractive location on the bank of Lake Ohrid in the vicinity of...

Villa Dojrana **** , Dojran

If you want to have peace and calmness and to feel the true soul of Dojran , you can always visit us in Villa Dojrana. Villa Dojrana is located in the heart of Star Dojran...

Villa La Kola, Krushevo

The Villa La Kola is located in the heart of Krushevo, just off the church of St.John, famous for its frescoes and woodcarvings. The villa features three double rooms...

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Did you know

We’re country director of the national geographic initiative that supports geotourism principles.

Being the largest and most beautiful out of Macedonia’s three tectonic lakes, Lake Ohrid is about 30 kilometers (18 miles) long and round 288 meters (945 feet) deep. Its astonishingly clean and clear waters.. .

Mountain Biking - The real feel

Mountain biking is a great sport to practice in Macedonia, with more than thousands of off-road and dirt tracks. Each mountain club rents out bicycles and organizes regional mountain-bike tour and smaller local tours. As a clubs they also promote developing biking trails in Macedonia as well as local sustainable tourism to historical and natural sites of interest...

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Cave vrelo - world deepest underwater cave.

Located on the right bank of the Treska River, the cave was listed as one of the top 77 natural sites in the world in the New7Wonders of Nature project. Vrelo Cave has many stalactites including a large...

Strumica Carnival - Choose your favorite mask

The Strumica Carnival is first mentioned in 1670. This Carnival is held every year at the beginning of the Great Lent, an Eastern Orthodox Lenten period similar to the Roman church’s calendar about one month earlier. The three days which are called the “trimer days”...

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Things to do

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Must-see attractions in Macedonia

tourist attractions of macedonia

Vergina Royal Tombs Museum

A grass-covered tumulus (burial mound) has been converted into a truly spine-tingling museum where visitors can descend to unspoiled royal Macedonian…

tourist attractions of macedonia

The cloud-covered lair of the Ancient Greek pantheon, awe-inspiring Mt Olympus is simply spectacular. It fires visitors' imaginations today, just as it…

tourist attractions of macedonia

Archaeological Museum

Thessaloniki

Macedonia's prehistory, Hellenistic and Roman periods are charted in this wonderful museum, home to many of the region's major archaeological discoveries…

tourist attractions of macedonia

Philippi Archaeological Site

Founded in 356 BC by the energetic Macedonian dynast Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, this evocatively sited ancient city is on Unesco's World…

tourist attractions of macedonia

Church of Agios Dimitrios

This enormous 7th-century basilica honours Thessaloniki’s patron saint. A Roman soldier, Dimitrios was killed around AD 306 at this former Roman bath site…

tourist attractions of macedonia

Museum of Byzantine Culture

This fascinating museum has plenty of treasures to please Byzantine buffs, plus simple explanations to introduce this long-lived empire and its culture to…

Church of Osios David

This serene little 5th-century church, once the katholikon (major church) of the Monastery of Saviour Christ of Latomos, is one of the most significant…

Castle of Platamonas, Macedonia, Greece.

Castle of Platamonas

Looming from an imposing coastal bluff near Platamonas village, 20km south of Plaka Litohorou, this well-preserved stronghold assumed much of its present…

Ruins of Episcopal Basilica at the Archaeological Park of Dion.

Ancient Dion

Dating to the 5th century BC, Dion was sacred to ancient Macedonians worshipping the Olympian gods, especially Zeus, thought to reside on the awesome…

Greece, Thessaloniki, The White Tower

White Tower

Thessaloniki's iconic landmark, the 34m-high White Tower has a harrowing history as a prison and place of execution. Built by the Ottomans in the 15th…

View of the Umbrellas sculpture created in 1997 by the sculptor Georgios Zongolopoulos, located at the seafront of Thessaloniki.

New Waterfront

Thessaloniki's New Waterfront is evidence that architecture can improve urban life through intelligent redesign of the space in which it is lived…

The monastery of Vlatadon in Thessaloniki.

Monastery of Vlatadon

Believed to have been founded around 1351 on the place where Paul preached in Thessaloniki, this secluded monastery blends fascinating history with some…

Concert hall of Thessaloniki designed by the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki.

Thessaloniki Concert Hall

Japanese architect Arata Isozaki created the M2, one of two waterfront buildings that house Thessaloniki's high-brow music scene. It's a strikingly…

Simonos Petras Monastery, Mount Athos, Greece.

Moni Simonos Petras

Spectacular Moni Simonos Petras rears seven stone-and-wood-fronted storeys above the west coast of Athos. Shorn of frescoes, icons and precious books by…

Arch of Galerius

South of the Rotunda on Egnatia, the Arch of Galerius (AD 303) celebrates the eponymous emperor's victory over the Persians in martial scenes carved into…

Rotunda of Galerius

In AD 306 Roman emperor Galerius built this harmonious 30m-high dome, comparable to Rome's Pantheon and possibly intended as his mausoleum. Marking the…

Eptapyrgion

A former Byzantine fortress repurposed as a prison by the Ottomans and only decommissioned in 1989, the Eptapyrgion (‘Seven Towers’) is a grim reminder of…

Old Metropolis

One of the largest Byzantine buildings in the Balkans, this basilica has a chequered past. Dedicated to St Paul in the 11th century, it was remade as a…

The kastra (castle) encloses Byzantine churches and timber-framed houses with overhanging upper storeys. Enjoy panoramic views from the tower by the…

Thessaloniki Museum of Photography

This 1910 port warehouse presents thought-provoking exhibitions of historic and contemporary photography in Greece's only dedicated photography museum…

Domaine Porto Carras

Greece's largest organic winery, Porto Carras was founded in 1970, and now grows 28 different grapes across 47.5 hilly square kilometres on Sithonia's…

Church of Agioi Anargyroi

Best guesses date this three-aisle Byzantine basilica, perhaps Kastoria's most beautiful, to the late-10th or early-11th centuries. The external walls are…

Moni Dochiariou

One of the most elegant and revered monasteries on Athos, 10th-century Dochiariou boasts beautiful buildings, frescoes from the 16th- to the 18th…

Church of Agios Stefanos

One of Kastoria's oldest Byzantine churches, St Stephen's is a triple-aisled basilica retaining frescoes dating back to its construction in the 9th…

Greece, Thessaloniki,  triumphal arch of Galerius

Palace of Galerius

Sprawling in splendid incongruity amidst the souvenir shops and crêperies of Plateia Navarinou, the ruins of this 3rd- to 4th-century palace remain…

Archaeological Museum of Amphipolis

This well-curated museum shows artefacts from the Athenian colony of Amphipolis (later a Macedonian and Roman city) and its surrounding area, from 5000 BC…

Petralona Cave

Some 50km southeast of Thessaloniki on the main road is the stalagmite-rich Petralona Cave. Discovered by Petralona village locals in 1959, it became…

Roman Forum

As immaculately laid out as you'd expect of the Romans, this rectangular site was the centre of public and commercial Thessaloniki from the 1st to the 4th…

Villa Bianca

One of Thessaloniki's most famous mansions, built in 1912 by Pierro Arrigoni for Sephardic entrepreneur Dino Fernandez Siaz, the White House features art…

Church of Agia Sofia

Candlelight on gold chandeliers pierces the gloom in this stunning 8th-century church, modelled on its İstanbul namesake. Among many striking 8th- and 9th…

Archaeological Museum of Pella

Overlooking the northern end of the ancient city, Pella has been provided with a modern, meticulously curated museum that befits the site's importance and…

Walk from Plateia Antoniou down Vasileos Konstantinou to find Veria's atmospheric former Jewish quarter. The synagogue (with the bright blue-and-yellow…

Archaeological Site of Pella

Pella rose to fame when dynastic King Archelaos (413–399 BC) made it Macedon's capital. While not much rises above carefully excavated footings and low…

Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki

This touching museum is housed in one of the few Jewish buildings to survive the great fire of 1917, the former office of Jewish newspaper L'Independent…

Plateia Aristotelous

Built after the great fire of 1917, this is where Thessaloniki looked away from its Ottoman and Byzantine past towards modernity, aspiring to the planned…

Agios Germanos Watermill

Built in 1930 to take advantage of the Agios Germanos River, this handsome old stone mill has been restored to working order by the dedicated folk of the…

Arcturos Bear Sanctuary

Twenty minutes' drive up the eastern flank of the mountains separating Kastoria and Florina is this sanctuary for the brown bears native to the Pindos…

Archaeological Museum of Dion

This three-floor museum in Dion village is packed with votive statues from the sanctuaries at Ancient Dion, plus grave monuments and a large collection of…

Church of the Panagia Achiropiitos

This basilica-style 5th-century Byzantine church, built over Roman baths and one of the oldest in Greece, has notable mosaics and frescoes. The name,…

Panagia Quarter

Named for the Panagia church, this historic peninsula's narrow, tangled streets are lined by pretty pastel houses. A calf-stiffening walk leads up to the…

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Promotion of Macedonian tourism values in Slovenia

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  1. 26 Unique Things to do in Macedonia

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  3. Macedonia, cosa vedere e quando andare

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  4. 10 Best Things to do in North Macedonia, Europe

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  1. City-tour Bus Ride in Thessaloniki

  2. Is this really the most boring capital city in Europe?

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  4. Attractions worth visiting in North Macedonia. (SUB)

  5. Kaneo Beach to Ancient Theatre Walking (Ohrid, Macedonia)

  6. This is Saint John the Theologian Church in Ohrid North Macedonia #macedonia #history #church

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  1. 10 Best Places to Visit in Macedonia (+Map)

    With its often turbulent past now behind it, Macedonia's wealth of stunning tourist attractions makes it a fantastic, little-known destination that has a plethora of amazing things to see and do. 10. Strumica Famed for the beautiful Byzantine monasteries lying just outside of the city, Strumica is located in the east of Macedonia. ...

  2. 15 Best Places to Visit in Macedonia

    Let's have a look at the best places to visit in Macedonia! 1. Skopje. Skopje is most definitely Europe's most eclectic capital city. Efforts have been made, rather successfully, to bring infuse new culture in the form of museums, fountains, bridges, and statuary throughout the city.

  3. Top 10 Things to Do in Macedonia

    Visit the Painted Mosque. The interior of Tetovo's Painted Mosque is decorated with intricate geometric designs. Gardel Bertrand, Alamy Stock Photo. Every other religious monument in Macedonia ...

  4. 21 Mind-Blowing Places to Visit in Macedonia

    Pelister National Park. Located about an hour outside of Bitola, Pelister National Park is the second largest national park in the country. The most famous landmarks here are the two mountain lakes known as Pelister's Eyes. Visitor's come for the spectacular views, hiking, camping, rock climbing, and horseback riding.

  5. 15 Best Places to Visit in North Macedonia in 2023

    The majestic Vodno Mountain can be seen from across Skopje and makes an excellent day trip from the city. The peak is 3497 feet (1,066 meters) and there are lots of different hiking trails that lead to the summit, as well as a cable for those who are less mobile. Vodno is one of the top North Macedonia tourist attractions and is well worth a visit.

  6. 28 Amazing Places To Visit In Macedonia

    Smolari, The Highest Waterfall In Macedonia. Also located near Strumica, Smolari is the tallest waterfall in Macedonia, rising above nearly 30 meters. The waterfall is a part of the Lomnica River and if you want to get there, you have to pass a trail that includes 300 stone steps.

  7. 12 AWESOME Things to Do in Macedonia

    9. Admire the painted mosque in Tetovo. 10. Travel back in time at the Bay of Bones Museum. 11. Go paragliding in Krushevo. 12. Try some Macedonian wine in the Tikvesh Region. FAQs about things to do in Macedonia.

  8. The 10 Most Beautiful Travel Destinations In Macedonia

    Due to its lack of coastline and inland location, Macedonia is often overlooked as a holiday destination and is widely unvisited even by the most seasoned travelers of Europe.Yet with its UNESCO world heritage national parks, dramatic mountain ranges and the captivating Lake Ohrid, the country is home to some of the continent's most jaw-dropping scenery, as well as a host of hidden, gorgeous ...

  9. North Macedonia travel

    North Macedonia's top five foodie destinations. Wildlife & Nature. Hike through Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia on a new long-distance trail. Art. The power of art: epic Yugoslav monuments in the Balkans. Food. A perfect weekend at Lake Ohrid. Articles. Dubrovnik to Ohrid: cycling into the heart of the Western Balkans.

  10. Macedonia Tourist Attractions

    Macedonia Tourist Attractions. Following is an overview of the best Macedonia tourist attractions, such as as various cultural heritage sights, restaurants, night clubs and bars, as well as natural beauties of the country - wonderful landscapes, lakes, old towns, villages.

  11. 16 Must-see Places to Visit in Macedonia

    8. Stobi. This excavation site in the middle of Macedonia (80km from Skopje) is an incredible place to see the long history of Macedonia. There's so much to discover by just wandering the ruins which date back to the 2nd century when it fell under the Romans and became the capital of the Macedonia Salutaris province.

  12. Must-see attractions North Macedonia, Eastern Europe

    Ilinden Uprising Monument. North Macedonia. This 1974 monument, commemorating the Ilinden Uprising from 1903, is a marvel of Yugoslav architecture and a fantastic example of abstract historic…

  13. Things to Do in Republic of North Macedonia

    2024. 10. Millennium Cross. 651. Monuments & Statues. The Millennium Cross in Skopje is a 66-meter tall cross, built on top Vodno Mountain in 2002 to commemorate 2,000 years of Christianity in Macedonia. See ways to experience (9) 11. Monastery Winery.

  14. 19 Amazing Places to Visit in North Macedonia

    Pelister National Park. When visiting Bitola don't also miss Pelister National Park, located just outside of the city. This is the oldest national park in North Macedonia, established in 1848, and surrounds the Baba Mountain massif with its highest peak Pelister (2601 m, the third highest mountain in the country).

  15. Top 15 Places to Visit in Macedonia

    Regarded as the top draw among Macedonia tourist attractions, the sunny ambiance of Gevgelija enjoys the reputation of being a fun place with significant times on your Macedonia travel. The concert venues, galleries, nightclubs, top hotels, and casinos have earned it the moniker of being the Macedonian Las Vegas. Exclusive entertainment ...

  16. 25 Things to do in North Macedonia

    Mavrovo Lake. Take a bike ride around Mavrovo Lake. The asphalt road is fairly forgiving even for a beginner, so make sure to enjoy the scenery around the lake. You will have plenty of panoramic views, as the road stretches for 33 kilometers, circling the entire lake.

  17. 9 things you must do in North Macedonia

    6. Search for wildlife in Mavrovo National Park. A European lynx in the wild (Shutterstock) Mavrovo is North Macedonia's largest National Park and arguably its most beautiful.A kaleidoscope of gorges, pine forests, karst fields and waterfalls, it is the perfect place to break your travels between Lake Ohrid and Skopje.

  18. EM

    Welcome to the official National Tourism Portal, presents travel Macedonia information, culture and adventure tourism. This is official site for Macedonian tourism promotions. All the information you need to plan your trip to our beautiful country.

  19. Your tourist guide to Macedonia

    July 7, 2024. °C. m/s. About us. Macedonia, officially the Republic of Macedonia, is a country in the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in September 1991 under the name Republic of Macedonia. DISCLAIMER:

  20. Must-see attractions Macedonia, Northern Greece

    Macedonia. Named for the Panagia church, this historic peninsula's narrow, tangled streets are lined by pretty pastel houses. A calf-stiffening walk leads up to the…. 1. 2. Discover the best attractions in Macedonia including Vergina Royal Tombs Museum, Mt Olympus, and Archaeological Museum.

  21. - North Macedonia Timeless

    Events. Galicnik Wedding 12 Jul 2024. 63th edition of the Ohrid Summer Festival 2024 12 Jul 2024. Beer festival in Prilep 14 Jul 2024. BEACH FILM FESTIVAL (BFF) 17 Jul 2024. Ethno city festival 19 Jul 2024. See more.

  22. Tourism Macedonia

    SW Macedonia Attractions . Agency for Promotion and Support of Tourism.

  23. Celebrate democracy this 4th of July by ensuring you are prepared to

    For travel to the United States on a temporary basis, including tourism, temporary employment, study and exchange. Read More. Immigrant Visas. ... Public Designation of Former Officials of the Republic of North Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina Due to Involvement in Significant Corruption;

  24. Tourist Information

    Saturday. July 6, 2024. °C. m/s. About us. Macedonia, officially the Republic of Macedonia, is a country in the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in September 1991 under the name Republic of Macedonia. DISCLAIMER: Images that are publish on the web site ...

  25. 'Canada could be a world leader': Indigenous people say their rapidly

    Before the pandemic, Indigenous tourism was the fastest growing part of the sector across Canada. July 7, 2024. July 7, 2024. 4 min read. Save Jenifer Redsky, right, and her sister Lana Redsky run ...