Macedonia on a Budget: Things to do & Places to Stay

While its scars from a troubled past are still visible, and the struggles of today are real, Macedonia boasts a uniqueness that few other European countries possess.


Photo © iStock/Joel Carillet

Top Things to do in Macedonia


Located by the shores of the stunning Lake Ohrid, you've got to make Ohrid (pronounced Okrid) your first priority of Macedonia.

Spend your days exploring the charming cobblestoned streets of the Old Town, local markets, historic buildings, and of course spending some time at the quaint local bathing spots within walking distance.

By night, numerous lakeside cafes and bars are a wonderful place to wind down and enjoy meeting locals, as well as tasting the local cuisine. 

Ohrid is also famous for its pearls, which are handmade using a secret formula involving scales from a fish native only to Lake Ohrid. Be sure to do some research if this interests you: word has it that only two retailers are known to sell genuine pearls.

Explore the Capital City Skopje

The capital city, Skopje, boasts an incredible history; its edginess and rawness will both enthral and encapsulate you with its natural charm.

When you visit Skopje, it’s essential to brush up on some history. Head to one of the very informative (and at times confronting) museums in this fascinating city.

The Holocaust Memorial Center, and the Museum of Macedonian Struggle are just two of many suggestions, and a guided walking tour is a must!

Accommodation in Macedonia

In Ohrid and Skopje, there are numerous accommodation options including hostels, hotels, and apartments.

Friendly locals will offer you their apartments in Ohrid: be sure to consider more than one offer if this is your priority. Apartments can be a great idea, if you make sure you are getting a fair deal.

Macedonia Cost Guide

Macedonia is a very affordable country – even for the most budget-conscious traveler.

The Cost of Accommodation in Macedonia

If you’re planning to go during Summer, make sure you book in advance!

  • A hostel dorm room can be found from less than €10
  • A double room in a hostel costs upwards of €15
  • If you are traveling with others, take a look at apartments. Expect a basic apartment from €35 per night. Prices fluctuate depending on the facilities and location.
  • Hotel rooms can be found from around €40 per night. Book ahead for best results.

Food Prices in Macedonia

Local cuisine can be consumed on the cheap, especially at markets and local take away shops. Expect to be well-fed for around €5.

Taxis in Macedonia

If you take a taxi, be sure to agree on a price firmly before departure – my advice is to speak to a local about a suitable fare beforehand.

Macedonia: Know Before You Go

Border Crossings

If you’re taking public transport from neighbouring countries (normally by bus), be prepared for long delays at borders.

The Albania and Macedonia border, for example, takes around two hours to pass through in the busy summer months.

Make sure you have your passport and all relevant visa documents handy, or you'll find yourself in trouble with the authorities.

Depending on which country you're from, you may also be required to ‘tip’ border security. This is usually only required for residents of neighbouring countries.

Be Nice!

Last but not least – be nice to the locals.

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