Travel, Currency and Money saving tips for Macedonia
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.
What currency should I use in Macedonia?
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.
Getting around in Macedonia?
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.
Travel tips for Macedonia.
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.
Send Money to Macedonia - Best Rates
To get a good (and fair) exchange rate when sending money to Macedonia you need to find and compare exchange rates for International Money Transfers (IMTs).
The available FX rates for sending money abroad can be very different to the mid-market (wholesale) rate which you see reported online and in the News.
You should especially compare your own bank's exchange rates to those available from Money Transfer specialists to see how much you can save - we make that calculation easy in the below table.
Get a better deal for foreign transfers to Macedonia
When sending money to Macedonia it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers.
To get a better deal you should follow these 4 simple steps :
- Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
- You specify the local or Macedonian denar amount you want to transfer
- Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
- Once your funds are received by the provider the converted MKD amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Macedonia.
Use the above Send to Macedonian denar calculator to compare the exchange rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more -
end result is more Macedonian denar deposited into the recipient bank account and less margins and fees kept by the banks!