Survival Guide

Printable version

More detailed and printable version of the Survival Guide so you can carry with you when you come in Skopje... or how to find berries in the jungle, escape from crocodiles, cross the street at “Record”, not to become food for natives…



WEB version



Official name: Republic of Macedonia
Area: 25 713 km 2
Population: 2.038.059 (census from 2002)
Capital: Skopje, about 600.000 citizens
The official language: Macedonian
Alphabet: Cyrillic
Religions: mainly Orthodox Christians, then Muslim, Roman Catholic and others
Political structure: State with parliamentary democracy
Independence day: 8th of September
Localities under UNESCO protection: the town of Ohrid and Ohrid Lake
Currency: Denar: 1 Denar = 100 Deni
Time: GMT+1
Weights and measurements: SI
Electricity: 220 volts, 50 Hz



The Macedonians are a mixture of Ancient Macedonians and Slavs that ocupied the Balcans in 6th century. They are open, friendly, comunicative with everybody, and willing to party (you'll be surprised how much!). The Balkans are known for having people with great hospitality and friendliness, and Macedonians are BEST example of it.



The Macedonian language belongs to the group of Slavic languages. The Macedonian Saints, Cyril and Methodius in the 9th century, were the ones who created the first Slavic alphabet (Glagolic) and spread it among the people in eastern Europe. After that, their best student Clement of Ohrid, modified and gave the name of his teacher and called it Cyrillic. Today almost all the slavic contries use the cirilic alphabet. Today's language and alphabet, got the final look after the reform of Blaze Koneski. Other than Macedonian, also Albanian, Turkish and Roma languages are used in Macedonia.



Currency: DENAR (MKD)
Foreign Currency Exchange: At the time of writting the exchange rates were:
61,3 MKD = 1 EUR
51,0 MKD = 1 USD
Money can be exchanged at hotels, banks and exchange offices at the current rate of exchange.

The only legal tender in Macedonia is the Macedonian "Denar", which ws introduced as a official currency in 1992.
Note bills: 10,50,100,500,1000 and 5000 MKD.
Coins: 1,2 and 5 MKD.

Credit cards: American Express, Visa, Diners club, MasterCard, Maestro and Eurocard are accepted. Travellers cheques can be exchanged in any major bank office.
Banks open:
7 AM – 3 PM during the week
7 AM – 1 PM Saturdays
Sundays closed
Post Offices open:
7 AM – 3 PM during the week
7 AM – 1 PM Saturdays
Sundays closed

Major hotels, most restaurant and stores accept Visa, Mastercard, Maestro and Eurocard. You can find cash machines in the most frequent places in the center of Skopje. Exchange offices are the places that you'll not have problems finding, they are everywhere and well marked. Also, if it's a metter of emergency, or it's a non working day, you'll have no problem paying with Euros, but you'll be charged less, then the real value.

The prices and salaries are lot lower than most of Europe. Skopje and Ohrid are more expencive than most of the other towns, but only during the turist season in the summer.

Banks: - “Komercijalna Banka” - “Stopanska Banka” - “Balkanska Banka” - Macedonian National Bank

PRICES (approximate, in MKD):
Beer 25-35 (in bars 60 to 100)
Milk 40
Bread 25
Wine 80-150
Cigarettes 30-80
Pizza (slice) 60
Hamburger 70-100
Taxi 50 start,15 kilometar



In order to place an international telephone call from Macedonia, you have to dial:
1. „00“ to indicate that an international connection is required
2. the telephone code of the target country
3. the city code within the target country,usually omitting the zero (0) that proceeds it
4. the subscriber’s telephone number
Note: Phone calls made between 18:00 and 06:00, are 50% cheaper.



Regular bus transport starts around 5am and finishes around 11:30pm. There are night buses on all major routes. Bus ticket costs 25 den. for any destination. Taxi service is easy to get and not too expensive. Starting fares are 50den for the first 1km, and 15den for every next kilometer. There is no additional charge reflecting the number of passengers.


How to get to Macedonia?

By plane
Skopje Airport (phone: +389 2 148333) is only 15 km away from the city center. There are regular and charter flights from every major European city to Skopje and Ohrid by domestic and foreign air companies (MAT, Adria Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Olimpic, Airways, Turkish Airlines, JAT etc.). Other airports near Skopje are: in Sofija (Bulgaria), which is 250 km away from Skopje and Thessaloniki (Greece) 260 km. There are regular bus connections from Sofia to Skopje twice a day. The airports in Ljubljana (Slovenia), Zagreb (Croatia) and Belgrade (Serbia and Montenegro) can also be used for connection. (Note: some countries’ citizens may need transit visas for Bulgaria and Serbia and Montenegro).

By bus
If you choose to travel by bus, connections are available from several cities in Europe (Brussels, Vienna, Sofia, Istanbul, Belgrade). Those who will travel from, or through Germany can contact the travel agency Deutsche Touring, found in most cities, which have buses to Macedonia twice a week; those from Austria can contact Europe travel agency. (Note: If you travel through Serbia and Montenegro check whether you need a visa!)

By train
You can use the connections from Vienna, Budapest, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Belgrade, Thessaloniki or Athens. They arrive at Central Railway Station in Skopje (phone: +389 2 164255) every day.

How to get here: - Macedoinan railways - Macedonian airports



First you need a passport for comming to Macedonia. If you are a citizen of one of the following countries, you are the lucky one, because no visa is required for you (for a period of 3 months): Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Italy, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, Spain, Serbia & Montenegro, Switzerland, Sweden, United Kingdom. The citizens of the following countries can obtain a visa at our embassies in their countries or in the nearest country where we have one: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, Romania, Slovenia.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Republic of Macedonia



(Note: Some of the words are very helpful!) :-)

Authentic version
(e.g. Cyrillic version)
Version with Latin letters
(helpful for pronunciation)
Translation in English language
Meaning, application or a simple comment

Здраво Zdravo Hi; Hello; We all know everything about the use& meaning of this word :-)
Еј Ej Hey Greeting (non-official, non-formal) between close friends and familiar people
Добар ден Dobar den Good afternoon Semi-official greeting :-)
Добро утро Dobro utro Good morning See above one :-)
Добра / Лека ноќ Dobra / Leka nokj Good night Combination of a wish + greeting
Чао Chao Ciao, Bye-bye C’mon gave me a break! (this means that I won’t explain this one) :-)
Пријатно / Догледање Prijatno / Dogledanje Good bye / See U later Temporary separations
Збогум Zbogum Farewell Definitive separations
Добредојде Dobredojde Welcome The host use this word (so U better don’t bother with it) :-)
Извинете Izvinete Excuse me, pardon me During rush hours (especially in 3 p.m. into public-buses)
Како сте? Kako ste? How do U do? Formal question :-)
Ве молам Ve molam Please! Beggars use this word a lot, but it can be very helpful if U are asking for directions, instructions etc.
Вода Voda Water Essential liquid in the Planet Earth :-)
На здравје Na zdravje Cheers! “Bottoms up” (most frequently used word in RM, cause Macedonian people are party animals)
Помош Pomosh Help In God-forbidding situations;
Еден, Два, Три, Четири, Пет, Десет, Сто Eden, Dva, Tri, Chetiri, Pet, Deset, Sto One, two, three, four, five, ten, hundred In super-markets and other kinds of shops
Машко / Женско Mashko / Zhensko Male / Female Sexual differentiation :-)
Дечко, Девојка, Двојка Dechko, Devojka, Dvojka Boy, Girl, A couple U’ll meet them very often :-)
Пари Pari Money Essentials :-)



Skopje: - info about the happenings in city - information about the night life of Skopje - Tourist Association of Skopje

Ohrid: - everything you need to know about Ohrid - useful informations about Ohrid

Macedonia: The best site about turism in Macedonia - everything about Macedonia - travel FAQ for Macedonia - Culture life of the Republic of Macedonia - The Macedonian Cultural & Information Centre (MCIC) - Macedonian history through periods, Macedonian culture and language, cultural monuments in Macedonia




© BEST Skopje 2005 |