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North Macedonia Travel Advisory

Travel advisory july 26, 2023, north macedonia - level 1: exercise normal precautions.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise normal precautions in North Macedonia.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to North Macedonia.

If you decide to travel to North Macedonia: 

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter .
  • Review the  Country Security Report  for North Macedonia.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the  Traveler's Checklist .

Travel Advisory Levels

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COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers

North Macedonia travel advice

Latest updates: Editorial change

Last updated: January 9, 2024 09:21 ET

On this page

Safety and security, entry and exit requirements, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, north macedonia - take normal security precautions.

Take normal security precautions in North Macedonia

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Petty crime

Crimes of opportunity and petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occur. Foreigners could be targeted.

Thieves work alone or in groups and may use various techniques to distract you and steal your belongings. Groups of street children sometimes gather around their victim to ask for money while one of them pickpockets them.

Thieves are particularly active in Skopje’s downtown pedestrian zone, and in other crowded public areas such as:

  • public transportation hubs and facilities, including Skopje International Airport
  • hotel lobbies
  • restaurants, patios and outdoor cafés
  • tourist sites and attractions

While you’re in North Macedonia:

  • ensure that your belongings, including your passport, are secure at all times
  • don’t keep your passport and other types of ID in the same place and carry a photocopy rather than the original
  • avoid showing signs of affluence or wearing expensive jewellery
  • avoid carrying large sums of cash or unnecessary valuables
  • avoid deserted streets at night
  • pay attention to your surroundings, particularly in crowded and tourist areas and when withdrawing cash from ATM

Residential break-ins

Residential break-ins may occur, especially in main cities. Burglars sometimes target houses or apartments owned or rented by foreigners.

  • Choose well-secured accommodation
  • Make sure you lock doors and windows at night and when you’re away

Car theft, break-ins and carjacking occur. Rental and luxury vehicles are a target of choice.

  • Familiarize yourself with your route before starting a trip
  • Keep your windows and doors locked at all times
  • Keep your belongings out of reach
  • Use secure parking facilities, especially overnight
  • Never leave belongings unattended in a vehicle, even in the trunk

Violent crime

Organized crime-related violence occurs. The use of firearms is common.

While violent incidents don’t typically target foreigners or tourists, there is a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Although rare, inter-ethnic violence may take place in certain areas of the country.

Smuggling and other criminal activities may also occur, particularly in the areas bordering Kosovo and Albania.

Always be vigilant and aware of your surroundings.

Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. When using debit or credit cards:

  • pay careful attention when others are handling your cards
  • use ATMs located in public areas or inside a bank or business
  • avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
  • cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
  • check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements

Cybercrime occurs. Perpetrators may compromise public Wi-Fi networks to steal credit card or personal information.

  • Avoid using unsecured public Wi-Fi networks
  • Avoid making purchases on unencrypted websites
  • Use sound judgement when posting information on social media
  • Be particularly vigilant when contacting or meeting individuals known over the Internet
  • Never click a suspicious link in an email or text message asking for your credit card details

Overseas fraud

There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.

Targets could include:

  • government buildings, including schools
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. Be particularly vigilant during:

  • sporting events
  • religious holidays
  • public celebrations
  • major political events, such as elections

Terrorists may use such occasions to mount attacks.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations take place frequently. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Celebratory gunfire

Firing weapons to celebrate is common in North Macedonia. It sometimes coincides with fireworks displays and may take place:

  • on weddings
  • on certain holidays and days of national observance
  • following electionsafter soccer matches and sporting events

Injuries and cases of death due to stray bullets do occur. Avoid areas where celebratory fire is taking place.

Bomb threats

There have been a number of bomb threats emailed to locations in North Macedonia since late 2022, notably to locations in Skopje. Local law enforcement responded to each bomb threat and all have been false alarms.

Bomb threats and hoaxes can target any location, including, but not limited to:

  • shopping malls
  • transportation hubs
  • government facilities
  • public spaces

If you are in an area affected by a bomb threat, follow the instructions of local authorities and evacuate calmly.

Mountain activities

Mountain activities, such as hiking, can be dangerous, especially if they are not well-organized. Trails are not always marked and weather conditions can change rapidly, even in summer.

If you intend to go hiking or climbing:

  • never do so alone
  • consider hiring an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • ensure that you’re properly equipped
  • stay informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary
  • obtain detailed information on trekking routes before setting out
  • avoid venturing off marked trails

Road safety

Road conditions and road safety can vary greatly throughout the country.

Secondary roads are poorly maintained and lack adequate lighting. In mountainous areas, most roads lack guard rails and are unpaved. Ice and snow make driving hazardous in winter. Farm equipment and stray animals pose additional risks.

Drivers don’t respect traffic laws. They may be reckless.

Exercise caution when travelling by road, especially after dark.

Public transportation

Public transportation in Skopje is reliable. Train and bus services connect the capital with the main cities of the country.

Taxis are widely available and reliable.

  • Use only officially marked taxis
  • Negotiate fares in advance, or insist that the driver use the meter, as you may be overcharged

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the North Macedonian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the  Foreign Representatives in Canada .

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to leave from North Macedonia.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

  • Foreign Representatives in Canada
  • Canadian passports

Tourist visa: not required for stays up to 90 days Business visa: not required for stays up to 90 days Student visa: not required for stays up to 90 days

If you want to stay longer than 90 days but did not apply for a visa prior to arriving in North Macedonia, you must leave the country and apply for the appropriate visa at a North Macedonian embassy or consulate.

If you stay beyond the permitted number of days, you could face heavy fines or be denied entry when returning to North Macedonia.

Mandatory registration

You must register your presence within 24 hours of arrival in North Macedonia. Commercial accommodations will generally file the registration on your behalf.

If you’re staying in a non-commercial accommodation, you must register at the nearest police station.

You may face fines and difficulties upon departure if you fail to do so.

Dual citizenship

If you hold North Macedonian citizenship and plan to stay outside of North Macedonia for longer than 3 months, you must register with the closest Embassy of the Republic of North Macedonia.

You may face difficulties when re-entering North Macedonia if you fail to do so.

Foreign Representatives in Canada

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children .

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Relevant Travel Health Notices

  • Global Measles Notice - 31 August, 2023
  • COVID-19 and International Travel - 31 August, 2023

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your  routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

Practise  safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

  Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

In this destination, rabies  may be present in some wildlife species, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. 

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who will be working directly with wildlife. 

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette , which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •   washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , HIV , and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Medical services and facilities

Good health care is limited in availability. Most medical facilities are poorly equipped, and specialized treatment may not be available. Immediate cash payment is usually required for medical services.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Medications

Shortages of medications are common. If you take prescription drugs, make sure you have an adequate supply for the duration of your stay in North Macedonia. You should also bring basic medicine, particularly if travelling to outlying areas.

If you bring medications with you, you’re responsible for determining their legality in North Macedonia.

  • Bring sufficient quantities of your medication with you
  • Always keep your medication in the original container
  • Pack them in your carry-on luggage
  • Carry a copy of your prescriptions

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a   travel health kit , especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad .

Transfer to a Canadian prison

Canada and North Macedonia are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in North Macedonia to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and North Macedonia authorities.

This process can take a long time, and there is no guarantee that the transfer will be approved by either or both sides.

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect prison sentences or heavy fines.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Identification

Authorities may request to see your ID at any time.

  • Carry valid identification or a photocopy of it at all times
  • Keep a photocopy of your passport in case it’s lost or seized
  • Keep a digital copy of your ID and travel documents

Photography

There are restrictions on photographing:

  • military or police installations or personnel
  • border crossings
  • government buildings

Signs advising of the restrictions may be posted in sensitive areas.

  • Refrain from photographing military installations or personnel even if no signs are posted
  • Comply with all requests from local authorities

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

North Macedonian law does not criminalize sexual acts or relationships between persons of the same sex.

However, 2SLGBTQI+ travellers could be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in North Macedonia.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of North Macedonia, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements .

Travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and North Macedonia.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in North Macedonia, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the North Macedonian court.

If you are in this situation:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in North Macedonia to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

  • List of Canadian Central Authorities for the Hague Convention
  • International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
  • Travelling with children
  • The Hague Convention - Hague Conference on Private International Law
  • Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
  • Emergency Watch and Response Centre

Cultural heritage and antiquities

There are strict laws regarding the purchase and exportation of antiquities and objects of special significance to the country's cultural heritage.

To avoid any difficulties:

  • verify with the Cultural Heritage Protection Office and the customs administration if items are subject to particular restrictions and requirements
  • make sure you obtain and carry the required legal paperwork to purchase or export such items
  • Contact information - Cultural Heritage Protection Office
  • Objects of historical and cultural worth - North Macedonian Customs Administration

You must carry an international driving permit.

All vehicles must use daytime running lights.

Penalties for drinking and driving are severe. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines or jail.

Police routinely stop vehicles for inspection.

In the event of an accident:

  • call the police immediately
  • don’t move the vehicle until the police have allowed you to do so

International Driving Permit

The currency of North Macedonia is the Macedonian denar (MKD).

The economy is mostly cash-based. However, credit cards are accepted in some larger establishments. ATMs are available in urban centres.

You must make a declaration to customs upon entry or exit if you have the equivalent of €10,000 or more, regardless of the currencies. This includes sums in:

  • money orders
  • traveller’s cheques
  • any other convertible assets

Seismic activity

North Macedonia is located in an active seismic zone. Even minor earthquakes can cause damage.

Earthquakes - What to Do?

Forest fires are common during the summer. The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke.

In case of a significant fire:

  • stay away from affected areas, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments
  • monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation
  • follow the instructions of local authorities

Flooding and landslides

Heavy rains, particularly during spring and summer, can cause flooding and landslides. Roads may become impassable and infrastructure damaged.

  • Exercise caution, particularly in areas around major rivers
  • Stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities, including evacuation orders
  • Meteorological forecast - Hydrometeorological service (in Macedonian)

Between November and February, Skopje and surrounding areas can be affected by thick fog, which can affect air travel.

  • Reconfirm your flight before heading to the airport
  • Flights - Skopje airport

Air pollution

Smoke haze and other types of air pollution can be extremely hazardous in North Macedonia. It’s usually worst in winter due the heavy smoke from coal and wood burning heaters. Air pollution levels can change quickly.

During periods of high pollution:

  • limit your outdoor activities, especially if you suffer from respiratory ailments or have pre-existing medical conditions
  • monitor local media

Air pollution in Skopje - World Air Quality Index

Local services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 192
  • medical assistance: 194
  • firefighters: 193
  • roadside assistance: 196

Consular assistance

Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Serbia, in Belgrade, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services .

Risk Levels

  take normal security precautions.

Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.

  Exercise a high degree of caution

There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.

  Avoid non-essential travel

Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.

  Avoid all travel

You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.

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North Macedonia

Latest update.

Exercise normal safety precautions in North Macedonia.

North Macedonia Map Mar 23

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Local emergency contacts

Fire and rescue services, medical emergencies, roadside assistance, advice levels.

  • Politically motivated civil unrest with the potential to turn violent can occur. Avoid protests and demonstrations. Monitor local media.
  • Terrorists are likely to try and carry out attacks in North Macedonia. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. Take official warnings seriously.
  • Petty crime occurs in large cities and at airports. Be alert to pickpocketing and bag snatching. Look after your belongings.
  • Bush and forest fires occur during summer. Snow and ice are a hazard in winter. Monitor the media for updates.

Full travel advice:  Safety

  • Air pollution can be an issue in parts of North Macedonia, including Skopje. If you have a breathing condition, talk to your doctor before you travel.
  • Infectious disease risks include hepatitis, measles, brucellosis and trichinosis. Boil all drinking water or drink bottled water.
  • Medical facilities are poor. Doctors and hospitals will usually require a deposit before commencing treatment. You'll need to be evacuated if you become seriously ill or injured. Make sure your travel insurance covers this.

Full travel advice:  Health

  • Don't use or carry drugs. Penalties include heavy fines and lengthy prison sentences.
  • It's illegal to photograph military or police personnel, sites and equipment.
  • Authorities may treat you as a national of North Macedonia if you have Macedonian heritage. You may have to get a North Macedonia passport or do service duties. If you're male, check with an  embassy or consulate .
  • Same-sex relationships are legal but not always accepted. Avoid public displays of affection.

Full travel advice:  Local laws

  • Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. You should contact the nearest embassy or consulate of North Macedonia for the latest details.

You can stay for up to 90 days in a 6-month period without a visa.

  • A face mask is still mandatory in health facilities, pharmacies, and aged care facilities.

Full travel advice:  Travel

Local contacts

  • The  Consular Services Charter  details what we can and can't do to help you overseas.
  • The Consulate in Skopje can provide limited consular help but can't issue passports.
  • Get full consular assistance from the  Australian Embassy in Belgrade .
  • Follow the embassy's social media accounts to stay up to date with local information.

Full travel advice:  Local contacts

Full advice

Civil unrest and political tension, demonstrations and protests.

Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.

Violent protests have occurred in Skopje and other major cities.

Inter-ethnic violence could happen anywhere.

Security in areas bordering Kosovo is volatile. Tensions exist between ethnic Macedonian and ethnic Albanian communities in the region.

  • take care near the Kosovo border
  • don't take photos near border crossings or military zones - see  Local laws

To protect yourself during periods of unrest:

  • monitor the media and other sources for possible action
  • avoid affected areas
  • follow the advice of local authorities

More information:

  • Demonstrations and civil unrest

Terrorists are likely to try and carry out attacks in North Macedonia. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. 

Targets have included:

  • public transport hubs
  • places of worship/religious sites
  • sporting venues
  • shopping areas
  • places of mass gathering, including those popular with foreigners

Security services have disrupted planned attacks.

To stay safe from terrorism:

  • avoid known terrorist targets
  • report suspicious activities or items to the police
  • monitor the media and other sources
  • take official warnings seriously

If there's an attack, leave the area as soon as it's safe. Avoid the affected area in case of secondary attacks.

Terrorism is a threat worldwide.

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, happens in large cities and airports.

Credit card fraud is common.

To avoid being a victim of crime:

  • take care of your belongings, especially in large cities and at airports
  • carry bags and backpacks in front of you
  • keep your credit card in sight when making purchases

Cyber security

You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you’re connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth. 

Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions, or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media. 

More information:  

Cyber security when travelling overseas  

Climate and natural disasters

North Macedonia experiences  natural disasters  and  severe weather .

North Macedonia is in an active  earthquake  zone.

Bush and forest fires  may occur during summer, from June to September.

Some parts of the country experience very low temperatures from October to March. Snow and ice can be a hazard.

The ability of local authorities to clear roads after heavy snowfall varies across the country.

If there's a natural disaster or severe weather:

  • secure your passport in a safe, waterproof location
  • keep in contact with family and friends
  • monitor local media and other local sources
  • Register with the  Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System  to receive alerts on major disasters.
  • Travel insurance

M ake sure you have comprehensive  travel insurance for the whole time you’ll be away. 

Confirm what your policy covers, including in terms of activities, care, and health and travel disruptions . Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.

If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.

If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. 

See your doctor or travel clinic to:

  • have a basic health check-up
  • ask if your travel plans may affect your health
  • plan any vaccinations you need

Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.

If you have immediate concerns for your welfare or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your  nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate  to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.

  • General health advice
  • Healthy holiday tips  (Healthdirect Australia)

Medications

Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.

If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in North Macedonia. Take enough legal medication for your trip.

Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:

  • what the medication is
  • your required dosage
  • that it's for personal use
  • Medi cation

Health risks

Tick-borne encephalitis.

There's a risk of  tick-borne encephalitis  in forested areas and fields.

Ticks are common in country areas from spring to autumn.

To protect yourself from tick-borne disease:

  • use insect repellent
  • wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing

During and after visiting forested areas:

  • check your body for ticks
  • remove ticks from your body as soon as possible, being careful to remove the whole tick

If you see any ticks, monitor the tick site for signs of infection.

Other health risks

Waterborne, foodborne and other infectious diseases occur in North Macedonia. These include:

  • brucellosis
  • trichinosis

Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.

To protect yourself from illness:

  • drink boiled water or drink bottled water with sealed lids
  • avoid ice cubes
  • avoid raw and uncooked food, including salads, pork and game
  • avoid unpasteurised dairy products

Get medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.

  • Infectious diseases
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) ( Government of the Republic of North Macedonia)
  • Ministry of Health in North Macedonia (in Macedonian and Albanian)

Medical care

Medical facilities.

Medical facilities are limited.

You'll need to pay an up-front deposit for medical services.

If you become seriously ill or injured, you may need to be evacuated to a place with better facilities. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.

You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.

If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our  Consular Services Charter . But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

Penalties for drug offences include heavy fines and long prison sentences.

  • Carrying or using drugs

Photography

It's illegal to photograph military and police:

  • establishments

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.

  • Staying within the law and respecting customs

Dual citizenship

North Macedonia recognises dual nationality.

If you have Macedonian heritage, you could be considered a national of North Macedonia.

By law, you may need to get a North Macedonia passport after you arrive.

Conscription was abolished in 2006. You may have other service duties.

Check with an Embassy or Consulate of the Republic of North Macedonia before you travel if:

  • you're a male Australian-North Macedonia dual national
  • you haven't completed military service in the North Macedonia defence force or the former Yugoslav National Army

If you've completed military service, carry your discharge documents.

Get more details from:

  • an embassy or consulate of the  Republic of North Macedonia
  • the  Republic of North Macedonia Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Macedonian)
  • Dual nationals

Local customs

Same-sex relationships are legal. There may be local sensitivities.

Avoid public displays of affection.

  • Advice for LGBTI travellers

Visas and border measures

Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering. 

Visitor visas

Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the  nearest embassy or consulate  for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.

You can also get details from  the Republic of North Macedonia Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Macedonian) .

Entry and departure

North Macedonia's borders are open to Australians, and flights have resumed.

Entry requirements could change at short notice.

Transits through North Macedonia are permitted. If you're transiting through North Macedonia, you must sign a transit declaration on entry and leave the country within 5 hours.

Although the North Macedonia side of the border may be open, the other side may be closed, or authorities may not allow Australian citizens to enter. It's your responsibility to ensure you can enter the country you plan to travel to before entering North Macedonia.

Travelling with children

You'll need consent from one or both parents to enter or depart North Macedonia for:

  • a  child  aged under 18 years who isn't travelling with both parents
  • a North Macedonia citizen under 14 years old who isn't travelling with both parents

Parents need to sign a written statement.

Get it stamped by:

  • local court authorities, or
  • a representative from an  embassy or consulate of the Republic of North Macedonia .

You must show the statement to North Macedonia border authorities if asked.

Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country, even if you're transiting or stopping over.

Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.

You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.

The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid long enough, consider getting  a new passport .

Lost or stolen passport

Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.

Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.

If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:

  • In Australia, contact the  Australian Passport Information Service .
  • If you're overseas, contact the nearest  Australian embassy or Consulate .

Passport with 'X' gender identifier 

Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can't guarantee that a passport showing an 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest  embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination  before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers. 

  • LGBTI travellers  

The official currency is the Denar (MKD). You can't change it outside North Macedonia.

Declare foreign currency over 10,000 euros or equivalent on arrival. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash. If you don't, you could be detained and your money confiscated.

The economy is mainly cash-based. Major hotels and large shops accept credit cards.

ATMs increasingly accept international bank cards.

Local travel

Local restrictions

Face masks are mandatory in health facilities, pharmacies and aged care facilities.

Kosovo border region

Border crossings between North Macedonia and Kosovo may close at short notice.

Restricted zones exist around border crossing points with Kosovo. Check with local authorities or transport providers if you plan to cross there.

Mountain areas bordering Kosovo have landmines and unexploded remnants of war. Stick to roads and well-marked paths.

Seek local advice on how to minimise risks.

Driving permit

To drive in North Macedonia, you'll need both:

  • a valid Australian driver's licence, and
  • an International Driving Permit (IDP)

Get your IDP before you leave Australia.

Driving without an IDP could void your insurance.

Road travel

Driving in rural areas can be dangerous due to the following:

  • poorly maintained roads
  • slow-moving farm equipment
  • pedestrians and farm animals on the roads
  • poor driving habits

In winter, snow and ice can be a hazard for drivers.

The ability of local authorities to clear roads after heavy snowfall varies throughout the country.

Learn road rules before you drive. In North Macedonia, the law requires:

  • you have headlights or parking lights on at all times
  • you and your passengers wear seatbelts if the car has them

The blood alcohol limit for drivers is 0.05%.

Check if your travel insurance policy covers you to hire a car, motorbike or other vehicles.

If riding a motorcycle, always wear a helmet.

  • Driving or riding

Use registered taxis and authorised limousines. Arrange these through your hotel.

Avoid hailing taxis in the street.

Sit in the back seat.

Public transport

Bus and rail services operate throughout the country.

Take care of your belongings to avoid petty crime.

  • Transport and getting around safely

DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.

Check  North Macedonia's air safety profile  with the Aviation Safety Network.

Emergencies

Depending on what you need, contact your:

  • family and friends
  • travel agent
  • insurance provider

Always get a police report when you report a crime.

Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

Consular contacts

Read the  Consular Services Charter  for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.

Australia has a consulate in Skopje, headed by an Honorary Consul. It provides limited consular assistance and can't issue passports.

Australian Consulate, Skopje

Prashka 23 Skopje 1000 Phone: (+389 2) 3061 114 Fax: (+389 2) 3061 834

You can get full consular assistance from the Australian Embassy in Serbia.

Australian Embassy, Belgrade

Vladimira Popovica 38-40, 8th floor 11070 Belgrade, Serbia Phone: +381 11 330 3400 Fax: +381 11 330 3409 Website:  serbia.embassy.gov.au Email:  [email protected] Facebook:  Australia in Serbia

Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.

24-hour Consular Emergency Centre

In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:

  • +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
  • 1300 555 135 in Australia

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Church of Sveti Naum ( Church of St Naum ) - Ohrid, Macedonia

North Macedonia

Part Balkan, part Mediterranean and rich in Greek, Roman and Ottoman heritage, North Macedonia has a fascinating past and a complex national identity.

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North Macedonia and beyond

SKOPJE, MACEDONIA - JUNE 20: A general view of Skopje, Macedonia, on June 20, 2014 as part of "Skopje 2014" project which aim to give more classical appeal to the destroyed city by the old earthquake that hit the Macedonian capital in 1963. The makeover has attracted a growing number of tourists in recent years and visitors curious to see the city’s new monuments and statues. (Photo by Erhan Elaldi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Our Wanders

Our Wanders

10 Things To Know Before Visiting North Macedonia

travel advice for north macedonia

We’ve been planning a Balkan road trip for years, and we just kept postponing it for several reasons. Then we jumped into it with the random idea that instead of Montenegro and Bosnia and maybe Albania, let’s visit North Macedonia. Why not? It has Lake Ohrid – and it does have Lake Ohrid, and it’s beautiful! But this country has much more to offer – without the crowds, because it’s among the most underrated countries in Europe.

What do you actually know about it? And what should you know about it to decide whether you’d like a visit there, and how to make the most of it? We’re here to tell you. This post is all about the useful things to know before traveling to North Macedonia.

Where is North Macedonia located?

Matka Canyon, North Macedonia

North Macedonia is one of the countries of the Balkan Peninsula , bordering Bulgaria to the east, Greece to the south, Serbia and Kosovo to the north and Albania to the west.

Though it’s in Europe, it’s not part of the European Union. For travelers it comes with both advantages and disadvantages. It’s not part of the Schengen zone, so it doesn’t count towards the days you can spend there. But it has its own currency: Macedonian Denar – and I recommend you to exchange some cash, because accepting cards is not exactly the norm there.

If you live in the EU (or have a SIM card from one of the EU countries) and enjoy no additional charges to use your mobile phone in other EU countries, then don’t forget it won’t apply to North Macedonia. You better buy a local SIM card to avoid high roaming fees.

We spent about 40 minutes at a gas station to buy a physical SIM card, and without the help of the kind shop assistant we wouldn’t have succeeded, as activating it involved long discussion with the company via phone in Macedonian. Since then we know a much easier solution that only takes a few clicks: get an eSIM .

The name: North Macedonia

Skopje, North Macedonia

Then the name of the country – and a statement: while we use the name North Macedonia, this is not a political statement, we merely use the official name of the country.

But it was called Macedonia until February 2019 , the renaming happened mainly in order to stop Greece from vetoing Macedonia’s entrance to the European Union. And it happened after years of UN-mediated negotiations between Greece and Macedonia, and also after a referendum which was boycotted by nearly 65% of the Macedonians. Hence it’s a sensitive and controversial topic, and many locals don’t accept the new name.

We are not here to summarize such a complex issue in a few sentences, but we’re telling you whether you call this country Macedonia or North Macedonia, someone will get offended. Since you can’t really avoid calling it something , we encourage you to be open and listen to the opinions and stories of local people – and also to do a bit of research about the history of this region when you plan a trip to Macedonia. Or North Macedonia.

It’s the land of mountains

Galičica National Park, North Macedonia

If you love mountains, this is your country as 85% of its territory is covered in mountains . With more than 30 peaks rising above 2000 metres, North Macedonia offers challenges, countless trails and pretty panoramic views. Ski resorts, too, in the winter. Its three national parks are all located in mountains: Pelister , Mavrovo and Galičica National Parks. Visiting them is among the best things to do in North Macedonia.

It’s really off the beaten path

We know it’s such a cliché, but it’s also very accurate in this case. Europe in general is touristy. Balkan countries are gaining popularity, and some of them are also very touristy. North Macedonia is not one of them – yet. Even people who take a road trip in the Balkans often only include a short stop in Skopje or at Lake Ohrid in their itinerary.

Our opinion is that this country deserves to be more than just a stop on your way to somewhere else. A North Macedonia road trip can stand on his own.

But being so undiscovered by tourists comes with both advantages and disadvantages. It’s not flooded with tourists, that’s the obvious advantage. In fact, we barely met any foreign visitors during the two weeks we spent there. We know it was partially due to COVID (in 2021), but we also know that lots of people don’t have a clue what’s worth seeing in North Macedonia.

Galičica National Park, North Macedonia

And there’s a lot to see, both natural and cultural attractions! But since it’s off the beaten path, sights are often not easy to research online, and detailed road and trail information is especially hard to come by. (Hey, adventurers, you can really explore here!)

Once we turned back on a dirt mountain road that our car was just not suitable for. Once we turned back on a trail which was so poorly marked and maintained that we spent more than half an hour looking for the next marker and didn’t manage to find it.

We tell this not to scare you away from this beautiful country, but you need flexibility and an adventurous soul to enjoy exploring its lesser known areas. With that said, there are easily navigable areas like Skopje, Matka Canyon or Lake Ohrid. And you can also find local guides and tour companies , if you’re not confident to explore on your own.

If you’re not sure what to see in North Macedonia and would like me to help you put together your best North Macedonia itinerary, click here and let’s get started!

It’s a country where different cultures meet

Tetovo, North Macedonia

East and West. Asia and Europe. Islam and Christianity.

Religion is tied to ethnic and national identity here, and North Macedonia is mostly populated by Macedonians who are of Slavic origin and are Orthodox Christians, and by Albanians who are Muslims. Albanians are the largest minority, one-third of the inhabitants. Hence North Macedonia is a border zone of different cultures and traditions, and rich in both churches and mosques.

Does North Macedonia have beaches?

Trpejca Beach, Lake Ohrid, North Macedonia

Unlike Albania or Montenegro, North Macedonia doesn’t have any seashore. But it has Lake Ohrid! You might think “well, fine, but that’s still only a lake at the end”. Yes and no. It’s a lake, one of Europe’s deepest and oldest lakes, that Macedonia shares with Albania. While we’ve seen many lakes before, Lake Ohrid still knocked us off our feet .

It’s really that beautiful! Some of its bays can be mistaken for the bays of the Adriatic Sea. The water is clear and has an incredibly blue shade. Its beaches are pebbly or rocky, and you can swim in the water. The best beaches in North Macedonia are to be found on the shore of Lake Ohrid.

Lake Prespa is not comparable to Lake Ohrid

Stenje Beach, Lake Prespa, North Macedonia

They’re the two largest lakes in the country, they’re both tectonic lakes, and their source is the same, too. Yet if you consider from a visitor’s point of view, you can easily spend a week at Lake Ohrid, swimming, paddleboarding, hiking, taking boat tours, visiting the town of Ohrid or the monastery of Saint Naum, while Lake Prespa doesn’t offer much . What we liked about it the most was the views of the lake from Galičica and Pelister National Parks.

We also stopped at Stenje Beach and Slivnica Beach on the shore of Lake Prespa, but we found them disappointing. They’re abandoned and look lifeless. The jetty is broken, the toys on the playgrounds are broken, and the shore of the lake is swampy. We don’t know if anyone uses these beaches anymore, but they gave us the impression that they don’t, and it was not hard to understand why. It was a sad sight, no one was there on that hot June day, and we, too, quickly continued our way towards Bitola.

Skopje, the capital is both very old and new

Stone Bridge, Skopje, North Macedonia

Skopje is an ancient city, it’s inhabited since at least 4000 BC. Remains of this ancient settlement can be found within the old Kale Fortress. The Stone Bridge that connects the main square, Macedonia Square to the Old Bazaar was built on Roman foundations.

But an earthquake destroyed approximately 80% of the city in 1963, hence a project called Skopje 2014 was introduced to give back the classical appeal of Skopje. Between 2010 and 2014, 136 structures were built. The project was heavily criticized though, stating it was too expensive and a waste of resources, and also that it was an attempt to change the nation’s history. Of course, some criticized the aesthetics of the buildings, too.

Whatever you think or know about Skopje 2014, you’ll definitely notice these new classical buildings when walking around in Skopje’s center.

Sign up for a full day guided tour to see the highlights of Skopje – and this one also includes visiting nearby Matka Canyon.

Hospitality

Galičica National Park, North Macedonia

Traveling a lot in Europe and living in Budapest, a city that struggles with overtourism (not in the years of COVID, but in general), we got used to the fact that people are often neutral or even irritated with tourists. Well, not in North Macedonia. We felt welcomed, we felt that locals were happy to see us there, exploring their country.

Some of them spoke English, many of them not, but they were all eager to know where we came from or what places we visited in the country. They were also very warm and friendly towards our little Tomi, asking his name, showing him cute kittens that he can cuddle or giving him chocolate. (Here I have to confess that I ate that chocolate, all of it. 😛 We haven’t given Tomi any chocolate yet, and want to keep it that way until we can.)

The thing we liked the least: driving in North Macedonia

Dirt road in Mavrovo National Park, North Macedonia

No, it’s not even the roads. Though the roads are of varied quality, most of the roads we took were acceptable, and the motorway was fine. (But don’t count on Google Maps! It may tell you to drive on “roads” that are actually trails.)

Our problem was the driving culture. We barely managed to avoid two accidents, caused by careless drivers who passed other cars on mountain roads where one can’t even see whether another car is coming. It looked like they didn’t even care, even though we were coming , and luckily we pulled our car off the road both times to avoid a head-on collision – and luckily, there was a grassy area and a small parking area (for the second time) where we could actually pull off safely.

We know it’s not a typical North Macedonia thing, rather typical to all Balkan countries. Speed limits, lanes, prohibition signs seem to be optional to a lot of people, and they often simply ignore it. Be very careful and vigilant, especially on narrow mountain roads! (And we know, it’s not enough for you to be careful, others should be, too.)

So is North Macedonia worth a visit?

This post is far from being a North Macedonia travel guide, but it’s a good intro. And you already know our opinion: yes, North Macedonia is worth a visit, and we’ve written several posts about our favorite places in the country – check them out here.

Have you been to the Balkans? Which are your favorite places there?

Disclosure: Please note that affiliate links are used in this post, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. Thank you!

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Bea is a travel writer and the co-founder of Our Wanders, an adventurous family travel blog. She’s been traveling for more than 10 years, seeking outdoor adventures, fairy tale castles and unique experiences. She's passionate about sharing all she has learned along the way, and she's an expert in planning trips of any length. She’d love to help you plan your own amazing trip, too.

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North Macedonia Traveler View

Travel health notices, vaccines and medicines, non-vaccine-preventable diseases, stay healthy and safe.

  • Packing List

After Your Trip

Map - North Macedonia

Be aware of current health issues in North Macedonia. Learn how to protect yourself.

Level 1 Practice Usual Precautions

  • Carnival and Mardi Gras June 30, 2021 This notice has been removed. Destination List: Lithuania, Malta, North Macedonia, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, United States, Uruguay

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Check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor at least a month before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need. If you or your doctor need help finding a location that provides certain vaccines or medicines, visit the Find a Clinic page.

Routine vaccines

Recommendations.

Make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before every trip. Some of these vaccines include

  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis
  • Flu (influenza)
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)

Immunization schedules

All eligible travelers should be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. Please see  Your COVID-19 Vaccination  for more information. 

COVID-19 vaccine

Hepatitis A

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers one year old or older going to North Macedonia.

Infants 6 to 11 months old should also be vaccinated against Hepatitis A. The dose does not count toward the routine 2-dose series.

Travelers allergic to a vaccine component or who are younger than 6 months should receive a single dose of immune globulin, which provides effective protection for up to 2 months depending on dosage given.

Unvaccinated travelers who are over 40 years old, immunocompromised, or have chronic medical conditions planning to depart to a risk area in less than 2 weeks should get the initial dose of vaccine and at the same appointment receive immune globulin.

Hepatitis A - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep A

Hepatitis B

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers of all ages traveling to North Macedonia.

Hepatitis B - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep B

Infants 6 to 11 months old traveling internationally should get 1 dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before travel. This dose does not count as part of the routine childhood vaccination series.

Measles (Rubeola) - CDC Yellow Book

North Macedonia is free of dog rabies. However, rabies may still be present in wildlife species, particularly bats. CDC recommends rabies vaccination before travel only for people working directly with wildlife. These people may include veterinarians, animal handlers, field biologists, or laboratory workers working with specimens from mammalian species.

Rabies - CDC Yellow Book

Avoid contaminated water

Leptospirosis

How most people get sick (most common modes of transmission)

  • Touching urine or other body fluids from an animal infected with leptospirosis
  • Swimming or wading in urine-contaminated fresh water, or contact with urine-contaminated mud
  • Drinking water or eating food contaminated with animal urine
  • Avoid contaminated water and soil

Clinical Guidance

Avoid bug bites.

Leishmaniasis

  • Sand fly bite
  • Avoid Bug Bites

Airborne & droplet

  • Breathing in air or accidentally eating food contaminated with the urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents
  • Bite from an infected rodent
  • Less commonly, being around someone sick with hantavirus (only occurs with Andes virus)
  • Avoid rodents and areas where they live
  • Avoid sick people

Tuberculosis (TB)

  • Breathe in TB bacteria that is in the air from an infected and contagious person coughing, speaking, or singing.

Learn actions you can take to stay healthy and safe on your trip. Vaccines cannot protect you from many diseases in North Macedonia, so your behaviors are important.

Eat and drink safely

Food and water standards around the world vary based on the destination. Standards may also differ within a country and risk may change depending on activity type (e.g., hiking versus business trip). You can learn more about safe food and drink choices when traveling by accessing the resources below.

  • Choose Safe Food and Drinks When Traveling
  • Water Treatment Options When Hiking, Camping or Traveling
  • Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Healthy Water
  • Avoid Contaminated Water During Travel

You can also visit the Department of State Country Information Pages for additional information about food and water safety.

Prevent bug bites

Bugs (like mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas) can spread a number of diseases in North Macedonia. Many of these diseases cannot be prevented with a vaccine or medicine. You can reduce your risk by taking steps to prevent bug bites.

What can I do to prevent bug bites?

  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
  • Use an appropriate insect repellent (see below).
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
  • Stay and sleep in air-conditioned or screened rooms.
  • Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.

What type of insect repellent should I use?

  • FOR PROTECTION AGAINST TICKS AND MOSQUITOES: Use a repellent that contains 20% or more DEET for protection that lasts up to several hours.
  • Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin)
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD)
  • 2-undecanone
  • Always use insect repellent as directed.

What should I do if I am bitten by bugs?

  • Avoid scratching bug bites, and apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce the itching.
  • Check your entire body for ticks after outdoor activity. Be sure to remove ticks properly.

What can I do to avoid bed bugs?

Although bed bugs do not carry disease, they are an annoyance. See our information page about avoiding bug bites for some easy tips to avoid them. For more information on bed bugs, see Bed Bugs .

For more detailed information on avoiding bug bites, see Avoid Bug Bites .

Stay safe outdoors

If your travel plans in North Macedonia include outdoor activities, take these steps to stay safe and healthy during your trip.

  • Stay alert to changing weather conditions and adjust your plans if conditions become unsafe.
  • Prepare for activities by wearing the right clothes and packing protective items, such as bug spray, sunscreen, and a basic first aid kit.
  • Consider learning basic first aid and CPR before travel. Bring a travel health kit with items appropriate for your activities.
  • If you are outside for many hours in heat, eat salty snacks and drink water to stay hydrated and replace salt lost through sweating.
  • Protect yourself from UV radiation : use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, wear protective clothing, and seek shade during the hottest time of day (10 a.m.–4 p.m.).
  • Be especially careful during summer months and at high elevation. Because sunlight reflects off snow, sand, and water, sun exposure may be increased during activities like skiing, swimming, and sailing.
  • Very cold temperatures can be dangerous. Dress in layers and cover heads, hands, and feet properly if you are visiting a cold location.

Stay safe around water

  • Swim only in designated swimming areas. Obey lifeguards and warning flags on beaches.
  • Practice safe boating—follow all boating safety laws, do not drink alcohol if driving a boat, and always wear a life jacket.
  • Do not dive into shallow water.
  • Do not swim in freshwater in developing areas or where sanitation is poor.
  • Avoid swallowing water when swimming. Untreated water can carry germs that make you sick.
  • To prevent infections, wear shoes on beaches where there may be animal waste.

Keep away from animals

Most animals avoid people, but they may attack if they feel threatened, are protecting their young or territory, or if they are injured or ill. Animal bites and scratches can lead to serious diseases such as rabies.

Follow these tips to protect yourself:

  • Do not touch or feed any animals you do not know.
  • Do not allow animals to lick open wounds, and do not get animal saliva in your eyes or mouth.
  • Avoid rodents and their urine and feces.
  • Traveling pets should be supervised closely and not allowed to come in contact with local animals.
  • If you wake in a room with a bat, seek medical care immediately. Bat bites may be hard to see.

All animals can pose a threat, but be extra careful around dogs, bats, monkeys, sea animals such as jellyfish, and snakes. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, immediately:

  • Wash the wound with soap and clean water.
  • Go to a doctor right away.
  • Tell your doctor about your injury when you get back to the United States.

Consider buying medical evacuation insurance. Rabies is a deadly disease that must be treated quickly, and treatment may not be available in some countries.

Reduce your exposure to germs

Follow these tips to avoid getting sick or spreading illness to others while traveling:

  • Wash your hands often, especially before eating.
  • If soap and water aren’t available, clean hands with hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Try to avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home or in your hotel room, unless you need medical care.

Avoid sharing body fluids

Diseases can be spread through body fluids, such as saliva, blood, vomit, and semen.

Protect yourself:

  • Use latex condoms correctly.
  • Do not inject drugs.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. People take more risks when intoxicated.
  • Do not share needles or any devices that can break the skin. That includes needles for tattoos, piercings, and acupuncture.
  • If you receive medical or dental care, make sure the equipment is disinfected or sanitized.

Know how to get medical care while traveling

Plan for how you will get health care during your trip, should the need arise:

  • Carry a list of local doctors and hospitals at your destination.
  • Review your health insurance plan to determine what medical services it would cover during your trip. Consider purchasing travel health and medical evacuation insurance.
  • Carry a card that identifies, in the local language, your blood type, chronic conditions or serious allergies, and the generic names of any medications you take.
  • Some prescription drugs may be illegal in other countries. Call North Macedonia’s embassy to verify that all of your prescription(s) are legal to bring with you.
  • Bring all the medicines (including over-the-counter medicines) you think you might need during your trip, including extra in case of travel delays. Ask your doctor to help you get prescriptions filled early if you need to.

Many foreign hospitals and clinics are accredited by the Joint Commission International. A list of accredited facilities is available at their website ( www.jointcommissioninternational.org ).

In some countries, medicine (prescription and over-the-counter) may be substandard or counterfeit. Bring the medicines you will need from the United States to avoid having to buy them at your destination.

Select safe transportation

Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of healthy US citizens in foreign countries.

In many places cars, buses, large trucks, rickshaws, bikes, people on foot, and even animals share the same lanes of traffic, increasing the risk for crashes.

Be smart when you are traveling on foot.

  • Use sidewalks and marked crosswalks.
  • Pay attention to the traffic around you, especially in crowded areas.
  • Remember, people on foot do not always have the right of way in other countries.

Riding/Driving

Choose a safe vehicle.

  • Choose official taxis or public transportation, such as trains and buses.
  • Ride only in cars that have seatbelts.
  • Avoid overcrowded, overloaded, top-heavy buses and minivans.
  • Avoid riding on motorcycles or motorbikes, especially motorbike taxis. (Many crashes are caused by inexperienced motorbike drivers.)
  • Choose newer vehicles—they may have more safety features, such as airbags, and be more reliable.
  • Choose larger vehicles, which may provide more protection in crashes.

Think about the driver.

  • Do not drive after drinking alcohol or ride with someone who has been drinking.
  • Consider hiring a licensed, trained driver familiar with the area.
  • Arrange payment before departing.

Follow basic safety tips.

  • Wear a seatbelt at all times.
  • Sit in the back seat of cars and taxis.
  • When on motorbikes or bicycles, always wear a helmet. (Bring a helmet from home, if needed.)
  • Avoid driving at night; street lighting in certain parts of North Macedonia may be poor.
  • Do not use a cell phone or text while driving (illegal in many countries).
  • Travel during daylight hours only, especially in rural areas.
  • If you choose to drive a vehicle in North Macedonia, learn the local traffic laws and have the proper paperwork.
  • Get any driving permits and insurance you may need. Get an International Driving Permit (IDP). Carry the IDP and a US-issued driver's license at all times.
  • Check with your auto insurance policy's international coverage, and get more coverage if needed. Make sure you have liability insurance.
  • Avoid using local, unscheduled aircraft.
  • If possible, fly on larger planes (more than 30 seats); larger airplanes are more likely to have regular safety inspections.
  • Try to schedule flights during daylight hours and in good weather.

Medical Evacuation Insurance

If you are seriously injured, emergency care may not be available or may not meet US standards. Trauma care centers are uncommon outside urban areas. Having medical evacuation insurance can be helpful for these reasons.

Helpful Resources

Road Safety Overseas (Information from the US Department of State): Includes tips on driving in other countries, International Driving Permits, auto insurance, and other resources.

The Association for International Road Travel has country-specific Road Travel Reports available for most countries for a minimal fee.

Maintain personal security

Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home, and always stay alert and aware of your surroundings.

Before you leave

  • Research your destination(s), including local laws, customs, and culture.
  • Monitor travel advisories and alerts and read travel tips from the US Department of State.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) .
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary, contact information, credit cards, and passport with someone at home.
  • Pack as light as possible, and leave at home any item you could not replace.

While at your destination(s)

  • Carry contact information for the nearest US embassy or consulate .
  • Carry a photocopy of your passport and entry stamp; leave the actual passport securely in your hotel.
  • Follow all local laws and social customs.
  • Do not wear expensive clothing or jewelry.
  • Always keep hotel doors locked, and store valuables in secure areas.
  • If possible, choose hotel rooms between the 2nd and 6th floors.

Healthy Travel Packing List

Use the Healthy Travel Packing List for North Macedonia for a list of health-related items to consider packing for your trip. Talk to your doctor about which items are most important for you.

Why does CDC recommend packing these health-related items?

It’s best to be prepared to prevent and treat common illnesses and injuries. Some supplies and medicines may be difficult to find at your destination, may have different names, or may have different ingredients than what you normally use.

If you are not feeling well after your trip, you may need to see a doctor. If you need help finding a travel medicine specialist, see Find a Clinic . Be sure to tell your doctor about your travel, including where you went and what you did on your trip. Also tell your doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling.

For more information on what to do if you are sick after your trip, see Getting Sick after Travel .

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North Macedonia travel advice

Explore our complete guide to North Macedonia with the latest travel advice for travellers and holidaymakers including official updates and local travel tips for North Macedonia.

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Skopje Archaeological Museum from across Macedonia Square © Engin Korkmaz - Dreamstime.com

North Macedonia travel guide - essential info

Below is a beginner's guide to North Macedonia with essential travel facts such as dominant language spoken, typical flight time from the UK and the local currency. You can also check whether visas are required and what plug adapter you need to pack.

Why visit North Macedonia?

Considering a holiday to the North Macedonia? Here are some of the very good reasons it makes such a wonderful holiday destination be it for culture or nature to ensure you get the most out of your 2024/2025 escape.

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Check the latest travel advice on visiting North Macedonia from official government sources (in english) from around the world including entry requirements and travel restrictions.

  • UK traveller advice for North Macedonia - UK FCDO
  • Irish traveller advice for North Macedonia - Department of Foreign Affairs, Ireland
  • Canadian travel advice for North Macedonia - Government of Canada
  • US travel advisories for North Macedonia - US Department of State
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Learn more about the current safety and security risks from terrorism, natural disasters and more. Read about the local laws and customs to consider when travelling around North Macedonia.

Note : UK FCDO - UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

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North Macedonia travel health

Find out more about staying safe when travelling to North Macedonia with the latest guidance on required vaccinations and recommended medication to take with you.

  • Vaccines & medicines for North Macedonia - CDC
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Check out the general travel tips for staying safe and healthy in North Macedonia, risks of preventable diseases and what to pack.

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North Macedonia covid live updates

Check the latest live updates on Covid-19 in North Macedonia with the vaccination requirements, current available statistics and up-to-date travel advice from government agencies.

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North Macedonia travel features

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North Macedonia FAQs

Read our frequently asked questions about travelling to North Macedonia including the current entry restrictions, covid rules, driving side, electrical plugs used and much more.

Are there entry restrictions to North Macedonia due to Covid-19?

North Macedonia is open for tourism from the UK. There are no special entry requirements for North Macedonia.

Do I need to quarantine in the UK if I travel from North Macedonia?

You do not need to quarantine on arrival in the UK from North Macedonia. The UK no longer requires a passenger locator form, Covid-19 test or proof of vaccination.

What is the time difference between North Macedonia and the UK?

The time difference between North Macedonia and the UK is UK time+1 hour .

What is the main language spoken in North Macedonia?

The main languages spoken in North Macedonia are Macedonian and Albanian .

What is the currency in North Macedonia?

The currency in North Macedonia is the Macedonian Denar ( MKD ).

Which plugs are used in North Macedonia?

North Macedonia uses electrical plug type C + F (230 Volts) .

Which side of the road do they drive on in North Macedonia?

They drive on the right side of the road in North Macedonia.

Transport options for North Macedonia

Airport transfers to North Macedonia

Travel advice by country

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North Macedonia - St Pantelejmon – Plaosnik, Macedonia

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North Macedonia (FYR Macedonia) travel guide

About north macedonia (fyr macedonia).

The Republic of North Macedonia, formerly known as the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (sometimes abbreviated as FYROM and FYR Macedonia), is underrated and under-explored. A mountainous nation at the heart of the Balkans, it’s sprinkled with picturesque valleys and shimmering lakes, offering outdoor appeal in spades. Yet that isn't its sole selling point – North Macedonia (FYR Macedonia) also has a bustling capital, a rich Hellenic heritage and an up-and-coming wine industry that appears on the cusp of international recognition.

For most visitors, the adventure begins in the capital Skopje. The cityscape is an incongruous jumble of buildings and gigantic neoclassical statuary. Monolithic socialist apartment blocks sit beside grandiloquent monuments, controversially added during an ambitious government scheme dubbed Skopje 2014. Old Ottoman and Byzantine edifices hark back to the nation's pre-communist history, while buzzing bars and clubs project its forward-looking aspirations.

Rural North Macedonia (FYR Macedonia) is far easier of the eye. Blessed with an extraordinary diversity of landscapes, the countryside is also home to serene lakeside towns such as Ohrid, which offers glorious relief from the sizzling Balkan summer. Visitors can while away lazy days on the dreamy lake’s edge, visit the region’s handsome, time-warp churches and enjoy languid evenings quaffing wine produced in the surrounding hills.

From Ohrid push on into the endless green pastures of the Šar Planina mountain range, where the tranquil glacier lakes mirror the surrounding peaks, or try trekking the mountainous Pelister National Park, a dead ringer for the Swiss Alps. Outdoor enthusiasts heading to the remote hinterlands are more likely to see wild goats than deluxe resorts, but the country’s rustic inns are welcoming and affordable. During winter, there are many opportunities for skiing and snowboarding, particularly in the Mavrovo region.

Like most countries in the region, North Macedonia (FYR Macedonia) has had its fair share of political and economic problems over the years. But shrug aside the stigma of the past and you’ll find a different Europe – one that’s fresh, crowd-free and, for the time being, incredibly affordable.

25,713 sq km (9,927.8 sq miles).

2,081,012 (UN estimate 2016).

81.5 per sq km.

President Stevo Pendarovski since 2019.

Prime Minister Talat Xhaferi since January 2024.

Travel Advice

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ( FCDO ) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice .

Before you travel

No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide as well as support for British nationals abroad which includes:

advice on preparing for travel abroad and reducing risks

information for women, LGBT+ and disabled travellers

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram . You can also sign up to get email notifications when this advice is updated.

Travel insurance

If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance . Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency.

This advice reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in North Macedonia set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you, contact the North Macedonian Embassy in the UK .

COVID-19 rules

There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for passengers entering North Macedonia.

Passport validity requirements

Make sure your passport is valid for at least 90 days from your date of entry into North Macedonia.

Visa requirements

You can visit North Macedonia for up to 3 months without a visa.

Travelling with children

Children need an extra (officially stamped) document signed by their parents, second parent or legal guardian(s) if they’re travelling:

  • with only one parent
  • with an adult who is not their legal guardian

Third countries you are transiting may also have their own rules. If travelling by air, you should also check with your airline as many have their own specific forms for this purpose.

UK refugee travel documents

If you hold a UK refugee travel document, you must have a visa to travel to North Macedonia. You will also need a visa to travel through North Macedonia on your way to Kosovo. You can apply for a visa from the North Macedonian Embassy in the UK .

Applying for a visa

If you plan to stay for longer than 3 months, contact the North Macedonian Embassy in the UK .

Registering with the police

You must register with the local police in the town or city where you’re staying within 48 hours of your arrival in North Macedonia. If you’re staying in a hotel, staff will register you at check-in. Keep the registration document with you until you leave North Macedonia. If you have registered with the police directly you must de-register 24 hours before you leave the country.

If you do not get registered, you may face:

  • detention and a court hearing
  • a restriction on returning to North Macedonia

Travelling to Serbia

Serbia has sometimes denied entry to people leaving North Macedonia with passport stamps from Kosovo.

Vaccination requirements

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the vaccinations and certificates you need in TravelHealthPro’s North Macedonia guide .

Customs rules

There are strict rules about goods that can be brought into and taken out of North Macedonia. You can find more information from the North Macedonia Customs Administration . You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty.

Taking money into North Macedonia

You must declare any cash amount of foreign currency greater than 10,000 euros when you enter North Macedonia. If you do not, customs officers may detain you and seize the cash when you try to leave.

There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. You should remain vigilant at all times.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad .

Terrorism in North Macedonia

Terrorists are likely to try and carry out attacks in North Macedonia.

Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. Terrorists may target religious sites, including churches.

The authorities in North Macedonia have carried out raids against suspected terrorists. There’s a risk of terrorist attacks inspired by extremist ideology in North Macedonia.

Political situation

Occasional protests occur in North Macedonia which can cause disruption. Elections are scheduled to take place in April and May which could increase the frequency of these. You should check local media for the latest information, be vigilant, and avoid large crowds and gatherings.

If there is civil disorder, stay indoors when possible, especially after dark, and avoid crowds and demonstrations.

Attacks against foreigners are extremely rare.

Organised criminal groups are active, particularly in northern areas near the border with Kosovo.

There are occasional shooting incidents, including in Skopje, but they are not targeted at foreigners. People sometimes fire guns when celebrating.

Protecting your belongings

There have been several cases of pickpocketing by gangs of children and bag snatches in the main shopping and entertainment areas late at night. Foreign nationals appear to have been specifically targeted. Make sure your personal possessions are secure.

Keep your passport in a secure place and carry a copy of your passport photo page for identification. If your passport is lost or stolen, report it to the local police and cancel it immediately .

Laws and cultural differences

Using cameras and binoculars in secure areas.

It is illegal to take photographs of any military installation or site of government or strategic importance.

LGBT+ travellers

Same-sex sexual relationships are legal, but people in North Macedonia are not particularly open about them. LGBT+ bars and restaurants are not common.

Read more advice for LGBT+ travellers .

British banks do not exchange Macedonian denars, so exchange any unwanted denars before you leave. You should only change money through banks or official exchanges and not through street dealers. You will not be able to exchange Scottish and Northern Irish banknotes.

Outdoor activities and adventure tourism

Swimming safety.

Lakes Ohrid, Prespa and Dojran are suitable for swimming and recreation, according to the North Macedonian State Sanitary and Health Inspectorate.

However, the authorities rate the rivers Vardar and Treska and Lake Treska as unsuitable for swimming.

Transport risks

Local travel.

If you are travelling near the border with Kosovo, you should only travel on main roads and during daylight hours.

Lorries crossing the North Macedonia border may be subject to long delays. Make sure you have the proper customs documentation before you arrive at the border.

Between November and February, Skopje and surrounding areas can experience thick fog. There can be flight delays and diversions if fog affects visibility at Skopje airport.

You can find flight information on the Skopje International Airport website.

Road travel

If you are planning to drive in North Macedonia, see information on driving abroad and read the RAC guide .

Licences and permits

You need either a 1968 international driving permit (IDP) or a valid UK driving licence to drive in North Macedonia. The 1949 IDP is not accepted any more. You cannot buy an IDP outside the UK, so get one before you travel. You can buy an IDP in person from some UK post offices – find your nearest post office branch that offers this service.

Driving a British car in North Macedonia

If you are taking your own car, you must have:

  • vehicle registration
  • ownership documents
  • valid insurance to drive in North Macedonia. Check your insurance covers you to drive in North Macedonia and you are able to show proof to border officials. A green card might be helpful to demonstrate you have the correct cover.

Driving regulations

Road conditions and driving standards vary widely. Driving styles differ significantly from those in UK. There are frequent accidents. Take care at all times while driving or on foot.

If you have an accident, do not move your vehicle until the police record the incident and allow you to do so. In case of emergency, contact:

  • police: 192

ambulance: 194

  • roadside assistance: 196

The legal drink drive limit in North Macedonia is lower than in some parts of the UK. The blood alcohol limit is 50 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, or 0.5 milligrammes per millilitre. If you drink and drive you risk a heavy fine and the possibility of arrest. There is a policy of zero tolerance for professional (eg HGV) drivers.

You can be fined for offences including (but not limited to):

  • not using side lights or dipped headlights, including during the day
  • using a mobile phone while driving
  • not wearing a seatbelt, as both a driver and a passenger
  • not having all the required safety equipment, including snow chains where conditions require them

When travelling on major roads, you can pay the toll fare in Macedonian denars or in euros by using cash or a credit card.

Extreme weather and natural disasters

Forest fires.

Forest fires can happen during summer months. Check on the outbreak of fires with local media and follow any instructions from local authorities.

In the summer months there may be bans on movement in forest areas to help prevent fires. Follow advice from local authorities. If you ignore the ban, you may get a fine.

Earthquakes

Earthquakes occasionally occur. You should familiarise yourself with steps to take in the event of further seismic shocks .

Before you travel check that:

  • your destination can provide the healthcare you may need
  • you have appropriate travel insurance for local treatment or unexpected medical evacuation

This is particularly important if you have a health condition or are pregnant.

Emergency medical number

Dial 194 and ask for an ambulance.

Contact your insurance or medical assistance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Vaccinations and health risks

At least 8 weeks before your trip check:

  • the latest information on vaccinations and health risks in TravelHealthPro’s North Macedonia guide
  • where to get vaccines and whether you have to pay on the NHS travel vaccinations page

Mosquito-borne diseases including West Nile virus are present in North Macedonia.

High levels of air pollution in cities, especially in winter, can affect public health. Children, the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be especially affected. You can find more information and advice on air quality on the World Health Organization (WHO) website. Keep up to date with local information and seek medical advice on appropriate precautions.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries.

Read best practice when travelling with medicines on TravelHealthPro .

The NHS has information on whether you can take your medicine abroad .

Accessing and paying for healthcare

There is a reciprocal healthcare agreement for British nationals, which entitles you to free emergency treatment in North Macedonia. Further details are available online at UK reciprocal healthcare agreements with non-EU countries .

There is a reciprocal healthcare agreement for British nationals, which entitles you to free emergency treatment in North Macedonia .

Make sure you have adequate insurance. You may need to pay for some treatment up-front and should familiarise yourself with your travel insurance policy and what that might cover.

FCDO has a list of English speaking doctors in North Macedonia .

COVID-19 healthcare in North Macedonia

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for North Macedonia on the TravelHealthPro website

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic .

Travel and mental health

Read FCDO guidance on travel and mental health . There is also mental health guidance on TravelHealthPro .

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ( FCDO ) cannot provide tailored advice for individual trips. Read this travel advice and carry out your own research before deciding whether to travel.

Emergency services in North Macedonia

Ambulance: 194

Police: 192

Roadside assistance: 196

Contact your travel provider and insurer

Contact your travel provider and your insurer if you are involved in a serious incident or emergency abroad. They will tell you if they can help and what you need to do.

Refunds and changes to travel

For refunds or changes to travel, contact your travel provider. You may also be able to make a claim through insurance. However, insurers usually require you to talk to your travel provider first.

Find out more about changing or cancelling travel plans , including:

  • where to get advice if you are in a dispute with a provider
  • how to access previous versions of travel advice to support a claim

Support from FCDO

FCDO has guidance on staying safe and what to do if you need help or support abroad, including:

  • finding English-speaking lawyers , funeral directors and translators and interpreters in North Macedonia
  • dealing with a death in North Macedonia
  • being arrested in North Macedonia
  • getting help if you’re a victim of crime
  • what to do if you’re in hospital
  • if you’re affected by a crisis , such as a terrorist attack

Contacting FCDO

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram . You can also sign up to get email notifications when this travel advice is updated.

Help in North Macedonia in an emergency

If you are in North Macedonia and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the British embassy in Skopje .

You can also contact FCDO online .

FCDO in London

You can call FCDO in London if you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad.

Telephone: 020 7008 5000 (24 hours)

Find out about call charges

Risk information for British companies

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

A digital image at https://illuminoto.com

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travel advice for north macedonia

North Macedonia, Republic of

Our travel advice helps you to make informed decisions when you’re planning a trip overseas and offers you an objective assessment of the risks you could face.

Security Status

Safety and security, local laws and customs, additional information, embassy contact, security status.

Normal Precautions

General Travel Advice

Irish citizens do not require visas to enter North Macedonia. Visitors to North Macedonia should register with the local police within 24 hours of arrival as failure to do so risks a fine. Registration happens automatically when checking in at hotels etc.

A valid passport is required for travel to North Macedonia. Irish passports should have a minimum validity of 3 months from the intended date of departure from North Macedonia. For more information on visas and passports, please see the Additional Information tab.

Visitors to North Macedonia are advised to follow the guidance of national and local authorities and stay fully informed of what's going on by monitoring local news and social media. Most visits to North Macedonia are trouble free. Visitors to the country should exercise caution and should especially avoid any street protests.

The official currency of North Macedonia is the Denar. Credit and debit cards are accepted in larger outlets.  Visitors should exchange currency only at banks or official exchange offices. Alternatively, use ATMs in bank, hotel or airport lobbies to withdraw funds in the local currency.

North Macedonia has four distinct seasons. Summer temperatures can rise above 40 degrees whereas winters can be very cold, with temperatures often as low as minus 20, sometimes with heavy and prolonged snowfalls. 

Visitors to North Macedonia are encouraged to  register with the Irish Embassy  in Bucharest, Romania, which is accredited to North Macedonia.

Citizens can also follow the Embassy on social media (Twitter @IrishEmbBuch  and Facebook ) to ensure access to relevant updates and alerts.

Emergency Assistance

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

You can contact the emergency services in North Macedonia by dialling:

  • 192 for police.
  • 193 for fire brigade.
  • 194 for ambulance.

Our tips for Safe Travels:

  • Get comprehensive travel insurance that covers all your planned activities.
  • Register  your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
  • Follow us on twitter  @dfatravelwise  for the latest travel updates.
  • Read our  ‘Know Before You Go’  guide.

As there is no Irish Embassy in North Macedonia, we are limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the  Irish Embassy in Bucharest .

Most visits to North Macedonia are trouble-free and attacks on foreigners are extremely rare.

Nevertheless, visitors to North Macedonia are advised to take normal personal and security precautions, particularly at night.

  • Valuables and other items such as spare jewellery, passports, driving licences, credit/debit cards and excess cash should be secured in a hotel safe.
  • For identification purposes, visitors should carry a copy of their passport at all times (bring a few spare photocopies of the personal details page).
  • Pickpockets and bag snatchers often operate in crowded areas.

Exercise particular caution if travelling to areas bordering Kosovo or Serbia. Apart from designated border crossings, these areas are restricted and travel permission must be obtained from the police. In some remote areas there may be a continuing threat from land mines or unexploded ordnance.

The border between North Macedonia and Kosovo can be subject to closure to traffic at short notice. Kosovo entry/exit stamps in passports can lead to additional scrutiny checks at Macedonian or other local borders.

It is obligatory upon arrival to declare large amounts of foreign currency (in excess of €2,000 equivalent).  Failure to do so could result in detention and/or forfeiture of funds.

While Irish citizens do not require visas to enter North Macedonia, un-accompanied minors not in possession of letters of consent from parents or guardians risk refusal of entry.

Driving and transport

Public transport in Skopje and throughout North Macedonia is not as well as developed as elsewhere and motorways are few and far between. Rail, bus and taxis are, however, relatively inexpensive.

Some North Macedonians drive erratically and at excessive speeds and vehicles are not always fully roadworthy.  Serious road traffic accidents regularly occur. Visitors entering North Macedonia by road should ensure that they have adequate insurance cover. Insurance companies or brokers should be consulted in advance about this, if necessary. 

Key points for driving in North Macedonia:

  • Irish and international driving licences are valid.
  • The quality of road surfaces in North Macedonia can be uneven. Travel by road in remoter areas should be restricted to primary routes, and daylight hours.
  • In the event of an accident involving another vehicle, await police permission before moving your own vehicle.
  • It is obligatory when driving to use side lights/dipped headlights.
  • In winter, drivers should ensure that vehicles are prepared for extreme weather conditions, including fitting mandatory winter tyres.

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

Irish citizens do not require visas to enter the Republic of North Macedonia.

Passports should be valid for at least 3 months from the intended date of departure from the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia.

While the water supply in North Macedonia is not known to be contaminated, use of bottled or filtered water is recommended as a safer option. 

Inoculations are generally not needed but visitors with existing medical conditions or illnesses should seek specific advice in advance from their GPs.

Travel Insurance

We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.

Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.

Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.

Emergency expenses

Your policy should cover:

  • All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
  • Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.   
  • 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
  • Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
  • Lost and stolen possessions.
  • Cancellation and curtailment.
  • Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).

Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.

In case of a genuine consular emergency while the Embassy is closed, please leave a message with name, location and telephone number at +4021 310 2131 and the Duty Officer will call you back.

Alternatively, the Duty Officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin can be contacted at +353-1-408-2000.

Monday to Friday 09:30-12:30; 14:00-17:00

Embassy of Ireland, Romania

Get travel and medical insurance.

Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs.

You should check any exclusions and in particular that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.

@DFATravelWise

Citizens registration, travel insurance tips, contacting us.

Contact our Embassy in Romania for assistance

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