Is Macedonia Safe? 9 Essential Travel Tips for Visitors

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Most crime, if any at all, is petty or opportunistic in Macedonia. Here's what you need to know to stay safe while traveling this Balkan country.

Saint John at Kaneo is a Macedonian Orthodox church situated on the cliff over Kaneo Beach overlooking Lake Ohrid in the city of Ohrid Photo © Getty Images/Paul Biris

Is there anything to worry about in Macedonia?

Perfectly safe. That's how many travelers from our community have described the Republic of North Macedonia, formerly known as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Travelers should feel very safe while exploring this small landlocked nation on the Balkan Peninsula.

Macedonia does have its troubles, just like any destination. But, you can easily avoid issues by following some simple tips.

Safety tips for travelers in Macedonia

  • Avoid large crowds that could be political protests or demonstrations
  • Avoid the border regions with Kosovo due to civil unrest
  • Most criminal activity is of the petty, opportunistic kind. Pickpocketing and purse-snatching tend to be the worst, so common-sense in crowded and touristic areas should apply: keep your belongings safe and out of sight to would-be thieves
  • The hotspots for thieves are the Skopje city center, including the Main Square (Ploshtad), the Trgovski Center Mall, the riverfront, and the Old Town
  • The city's rascals have developed an unique tactic to distract victims and empty their pockets: they send a large group of children to swarm them and pester them for money. Overwhelmed by the tot mob, a wallet can be snatched unnoticed
  • If you get swarmed and can't shake them off, keep your hands firmly on your valuables and walk quickly to a nearby restaurant, cafe or shop
  • Be alert when walking at night. Try to stick to well-lit areas with people around. The Vardar river bank has been known to host shady characters after sunset. Better to not carry valuables if you aree strolling at night
  • There are some levels of organized crime, but violence is confined to rival gang members. Unless you are planning a life in the underworld, you'll be safe from the occasional grenade and firefight
  • A little more worrisome is the growing threat of credit card fraud. Use your card only for large purchases at trusted businesses, like hotels and car rental companies.

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  • Zoran Kuzmanovski said

    What what is this?
    First is safe. Pick-pocketing is very low. If some one try to do that just shout police or help at all of your voice. The locals ll help you. You can walk free at our main square Macedonia is very safe, also you can even socializing-hang a round. Don't you worry about Old Bazaar and old town. There always Macedonians that it ll help you. I did that few times. Also there always a peace in our country. Fu*ck the politics. Visit our Kale fortress. Try to go and climb to Mt.Vodno. There is a excellent view at all town from there. Also we got very rich history, so go and visit some of our Orthodox churches read about some of our heroes, you can see many monuments in our town Skopje. Go in some of our Restaurants, try our Macedonian food. Also in down town rest price are a bit high, so you can go at Boemska Ulica- Boem st. In Debar Malo. There are lots of Restaurants with cheep price .Our stone bridge is very old, mayby is one of the 1st at south Balkan. Try to see Canyon Matka too is out of Skopje town but is very beautiful and romantic. Go to Scupi too, that is Rome age town or even older town, catch and Roman Aqueduct is very ancient.
    If you wanna get a cab-Taxi use the Taxi company like Taxi Vodno, Taxi Panorama, Taxi Park, all of them got even discount, you can see yellow marks on the cars with numbers. Every one, every car got marks with numbers microfone and taxi station, Taximeter and cash register, Remember always ask for a bill. If you think that something is wrong you can complain. Just Remember the number of the TAXI car his sing are always on top. Call the Taxi company and explain what happened. Here are some of Taxi comp numbers if you dial form you cell phone with your number in Macedonia for Taxi Vodno dial ++389215191 for Panorama dial ++389215160 for Taxi Park ++389215158 also visit this web . DO NOT USE TAXI DOWN OR AT Railway station or Intercity bus stop(they are on the same spot down is Intercity bus stop and up is Railway)
    There are some basic info for town Skopje. For any help contact me on my Face Book page May the God be with you that you read this.

  • ariori akeem alade said

    hello sir

  • Nur said

    4th day of my trip to Skopje im harrasted by two guys definitely not safe besides many beggars they just stick on you.

  • Bikram Yonjan said

    I want to go Macedonia for study .How to get student visa or tourist visa from Japan.I am from Nepal.Now I am in japan. I want to study a engineering for undergraduate level. is there any embassy of Macedonia in japan . Please comment us

  • Ovie Onyejekwe said

    I’d love to have good stay over here and lived happily with family and without having no problems or being disturbed by none****

  • TravelingEurope said

    I have to disagree with this article, I have been in a Skopje supermarket parking lot for 1 hour and saw a group of thieves open 2 different cars, this is my first (and last) time here. No police or anyone doing anything, a bunch of taxi drivers just looked away. The thieves had radios and were very organized, managed to open a Porsche Cayenne. So, I would not say Macedonia is perfectly safe, maybe this is only Skopje, but either way, I did not say a single night here.

  • Darren said

    Macedonia is terrible alot of beggers and alot of thieves. And organised crime even i saw a group going after each guy that withdraws from atm thwn these thieves go after them and steel there information of cards used.

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