Craggy mountain backdrops, time-weathered monasteries, stunning lake panoramas and a hearty national cuisine – mix it up in North Macedonia.

History buffs can get lost in hundreds of Byzantine buildings and Roman ruins, foodies can gorge on tasty mezze, cheeses, stews and meats (and wash it down with potent rakija), and wannabe wine critics can swish and swirl their way through North Macedonia’s finest drops. Then there’s the great outdoors. Endless green pastures, rugged peaks and glacier lakes at every turn, perfect for thrill-seekers at every level. Discover this often-overlooked Balkan gem for yourself.

Our North Macedonia (Macedonia) trips

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North Macedonia (Macedonia) tour reviews

North Macedonia (Macedonia) travel highlights

North Macedonia (Macedonia) holiday information

At a glance
Best time to visit North Macedonia
Culture and customs
Eating and drinking
Geography and environment
History and government
Top 5 North Macedonian Festivals
Health and Safety
Further reading

North Macedonia (Macedonia) travel FAQs

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Learn more about Intrepid’s COVID-19 policy

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Check the Essential Trip Information section of the itinerary for more information.

Tipping is not customary in North Macedonia, but a 10-15% tip at a nice restaurant will be very much appreciated. Some top-end restaurants may include a service charge, in which case there is no need to tip additionally unless the service has really been excellent.

Internet access exists in the major towns and connections are generally very good.

Roaming agreements are in place with most of the major international phone companies, and coverage is generally pretty good.

Western-style, flushable toilets are fast becoming the standard in North Macedonia, however squat toilets can still be found in public restrooms and at some cafes and restaurants

0.5 litre domestic beer = 75 MKD
Cappuccino in a cafe = 75 MKD
Meal at an inexpensive restaurant = 200 MKD
Three-course meal for two at an expensive restaurant = 1,000 MKD

Tap water is safe to drink in North Macedonia. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water and fill a reusable bottle instead.

North Macedonia is largely a cash society so expect to pay cash at most places. Credit cards are generally only accepted at upscale restaurants and hotels.

ATMs can be found in larger cities and tourist areas but are less common in small villages or rural areas. Make sure you have enough cash before leaving urban areas.

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey. 

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

  • 1 Jan: New Year’s Day
    7 Jan: Orthodox Christmas Day
    1 May: Labour Day
    24 May: Saints Cyril and Methodius Day
    2 Aug: Republic Day
    8 Sep: Independence Day
    11 Oct: 1941 Partisan Day

Discretion is highly advised for LGBTQI-travellers in North Macedonia. A staunchly conservative nation, the Rainbow Europe index continually ranks North Macedonia’s gay rights among the worst in the region. There are no laws protecting the LGBTQI community from discrimination and travellers are advised to avoid public displays of affection. That being said, there is a small gay scene in Skopje.

For more detailed and up-to-date advice, we recommend visiting Equaldex or ILGA for further research before you travel.

After declaring independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, Macedonia chose their name, which strained relations with nearby Greece, which also has a region called Macedonia. This has meant that since that time, Greece has blocked Macedonia's entry to NATO and the European Union (EU). In 2019, Macedonia agreed to change their name to North Macedonia and Greece agreed to stop blocking their entry to NATO and the EU.

Responsible Travel

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Traveler having cooking lessons with a local woman in Macedonia

How we're giving back

In North Macedonia, we stay in locally run accommodation including guesthouses, smaller-scale hotels and homestays in an effort to support the local economies. We also visit locally-run restaurants and markets where travellers will have opportunities to support local businesses and purchase handicrafts created by local artisans.