A practical foreign exchange and currency guide to Macedonia
What's in this Macedonia currency guide:
The official currency of Macedonia is the Macedonian denar, with symbol ден and currency code MKD.
16 Sep 2022
02 Jul 2022
30 Sep 2021
01 Oct 2017
02 Oct 2012
05 Oct 2002
The below comparison table makes it easy to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you want to make a Transfer or Spend Macedonian denar.
A crossroads between East and West, this tiny country is a treasure chest of historical monuments, natural wonders, and vibrant culture. A former Yugoslavian republic, this tiny country—barely bigger than Vermont—is tucked between Greece, Albania, and Bulgaria on the Balkan Peninsula.
Modern-day Macedonia is a melting pot of Persian, Greek, Roman, Ottoman, Serbian, and Soviet flavors. Friends linger over coffee in outdoor cafes as throaty Slavic chatter drifts amid curls of cigarette smoke and clinking glasses of rakija. Rounded domes of Orthodox Christian churches share the skyline with towers of Muslim mosques, limestone-crusted mountains rise over quiet villages, and glittering lakes punctuate the wild countryside.
The local currency is the Macedonian denar (MKD). Normal purchases are priced in denar, and you should pay in denar. The only thing you can do with dollars is exchange them for denar; there are plenty of money changers. But the easiest way to get denars is to use a debit card in an ATM; they are all over. Be sure to tell your debit card company where you will be using the card so that they don’t block it for being used in a foreign country. Bring some cash to fall back on while sorting things out if there is a problem.
You cannot change MKD (Macedonian dinars) outside of Macedonia so you will need to change any money back to Euro, GDP or USD etc. before leaving Macedonia. If you wish to change money in the bank, you will need to produce the receipt from your original withdrawal and you will need to go to a branch of the same bank that you withdrew the money through. Otherwise, you will not be able to change your money through a bank and will have to go through a private exchange office or Western Union or the like.
Alexander the Great Airport, 21km from Skopje, is Macedonia’s main airport, though Ohrid’s St Paul the Apostle Airport is running a growing number of European international flight services. The long-awaited arrival of budget airlines has improved Skopje’s modest number of air connections, and it’s now connected pretty well to major European cities.
Domestic trains are reliable but slow. From Skopje, one train line runs to Negotino and another to Bitola via Veles and Prilep. A smaller line runs Skopje–Kičevo. Ohrid does not have a train station.
Skopje serves most domestic destinations via bus. Larger buses are new and air-conditioned; kombi (minibuses) are usually not. Taxis are relatively inexpensive, except for some journeys around Ohrid. Fares generally cost 40MKD for the first kilometre, 25MKD per subsequent kilometre. Make sure the driver switches on his meter.
The capital, Skopje, is home to more than half a million people, Macedonia’s capital is a quirky blend of old and new. The rest of Macedonia is a stomping ground for adventurers. Tourist infrastructure is scant, but locals are unfailingly helpful. Mountains are omnipresent and walking trails blissfully quiet. The national parks of Mavrovo, Galičica and Pelister are also cultivating some excellent cultural and food tourism initiatives; these gorgeous regions are criminally underexplored. If you want to get off the beaten track in Europe, this is it.
No special vaccinations are required for travel to Macedonia and there are no unusual health concerns. It is always a good idea to have a tetanus jab before travelling.
Ancient Orthodox Christian heritage lives on in crumbling, frescoed churches and monasteries across Macedonia, while Ottoman-era mosques can be found in the northern regions.