Getting around Macedonia
Although Macedonia is a small country getting around it can be in the same time exciting and tricky. If you've arrived by a plane the best is to rent a car and drive to your destinations. In case you're on a slightly tighter budget then between bus and train choose the bus. Below is a detailed guide on how to drive your car and use public transportation effectively in Macedonia.
Before you scroll down and get into the details have a look at our quick tips:
- Drive your car in the right lane.
- Watch your speed whether in the city (40km/h or 24mp/h), the regional roads (60-80km/h or 37-49mp/h) or highway (80-120km/h or 49-74mp/h).
- Always drive your car with the headlights on.
- Always wear your seatbelt.
- Take care of personal belongings if using public transport.
- Police controls are very frequent in the cities and highways as well.
- Always park on a designated parking space in Skopje.
- Always use branded taxis that have and use taxi meter.
- Fines for a driving violation in Macedonia start from 20 EUR in Denar counter value for minor offenses until 2,350 EUR in Denar counter value for major offenses.
Traveling by Car
It goes without saying that big cities have traffic jams during the peak hours such as going to work in the morning from 07:30 to 09:00 and returning from work in the afternoon from 15:30 to 17:00, so expect to see many police officers regulating the intersections. Always pay attention to zebra crossing in city centres as the pedestrians have priority if they decide to cross.Police controls are very frequent in the cities as well, so be careful not to make any violation as they are not very lenient and fees are large.
Many of the regional roads are pretty narrow and damaged with potholes. Be extremely careful while driving on these roads as an inappropriate speed can lead to an accident. Top speed allowed at these roads can vary between 40-80km/h or 24-49mp/h since these roads also provide access to the farming lands. Although slower these roads are picturesque and show the true beauty of the country with amazing scenery and go through idyllic villages and towns.
The biggest highway in Macedonia is the one that runs through the heart of the country North to South. It is part of the famous E-75 road that runs from Norway in the north to Greece in the south. Highway speeds are limited to 120 km/h or 74mp/h, and at some points they are limited to 80km/h or 49mp/h. Be careful to follow the signs as police patrol cars are a frequent sight at the Macedonian highways. Never forget to turn on the headlights as driving without turning them on is a violation for which you will be fined.
You will need the following information regarding toll booths in Macedonia.
Even if you didn't arrive with your own car, there is still the possibility for Rent a Car at the major travel points, bus stations and airports. For a listing of all the rent a car agencies click here.
If you've arrived by another mean of transport besides your own car, the other options to go around is by taking the bus or train.
Every city, town and vilage in the country is connected through a busline, for general information and inquiries contact the central bus station in Skopje on +389 (0)2 2466 313 or +389 (0)2 2466 011, or write them an e-mail on [email protected].
Travel by Train
Makedonski Zeleznici (MZ) might be the least favorable method for travelling through the country as the network is outdated and slow. A trip from the capital to the southernmost city 165 km away takes more than three hours. Nevertheless its timetable, ease of access, cheap tickets and conectedness to Greece and Serbia make give a few points in its favour.
The following is a map of the train routes in the country:
Getting Around in Skopje
Skopje City Bus
The public bus service in Skopje is the cheapest method to travel around town, but make sure you got the stations right before deciding to use the bus service. Skopje Public Transport also offers sight seing buses during the warmer months, so if you want to enjoy this experience search for the double decker open top buses at the Macedonia Gate at the city centre.