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15+ Cool and Unique Things to do in North Macedonia

North Macedonia is one of the least explored gems in Europe despite being filled with nature as well as man-made wonders. It is here you encounter several legends from the past. From the Roman Era to the ancient Kingdom of Macedonia, one gets to relish a substantial amount of history in North Macedonia. However, the country is also noted amongst offbeat explorers for its dazzling pristine lakes, highlands, and more. Hence, visiting North Macedonia is nothing less than a wholesome trip. So, visit Macedonia now and explore its majestic charm. Here, we list down the top things to do in North Macedonia.

Top Things To Do in North Macedonia

1. Explore the Waters and Gorges of Canyon Matka

Things To Do in North Macedonia - Canyon Matka

Canyon Matka is another world in itself. An easy half-day trip from the capital, a visit here is one of the best things to do in North Macedonia. The outdoor destination is a prime location for hiking and fishing. Swimming is also a popular activity in the Treska River here. One of the most common ways to see Matka Canyon is to rent a boat to explore Matka Lake the canyon’s caves. The canyon area is also home to several historic churches and monasteries with remarkable frescoes.

Recommended For: Nature Lovers, Photographers

Location: Matka, North Macedonia

Entry fee: Free

Timings: Anytime

Pro Tip: Book an organised tour in advance to explore the beauties of the canyon without any hassle.

2. Visit the Streets of Old Bazaar

Since the 12th century, Skopje’s Old Bazaar has been the center of trade and commerce. Composed of Ottoman, Byzantine, and modern architecture, the Bazaar reflects the long and varied history of the city itself. Today it is filled with shops and restaurants as well as mosques, churches, museums, and other important buildings. Do visit it and explore the beautiful chaos it harbours everyday.

Recommended For: Shoppers, Culture Explorers

Location: Skopje, North Macedonia

Entry fee: Free

Ideal Timings: 09:00 am to 06:00 pm

Pro Tip: Do try the coffee and Turkish sweets as they serve the best here.

3. Enjoy a Cable Car Ride to Mount Vodno

Things To Do in North Macedonia - Mount Vodno

How about a day out with your family and kids? Well, Mount Vodno would be the perfect place for weekend fun. It is also the site of one of Skopje’s most popular attractions – Millennium Cross. The cross is raised high in the sky with about 216-feet tall structure. You can ride a cable car to reach the top of the hill and then from there, you get to savour the most extensive panoramas of Skopje.

Recommended For: Families, Couples

Location: Skopje, North Macedonia

Entry fee: $3 per person approx. (for the cable car ride)

Ideal Timings: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm

Pro Tip: There are no toilets at the top. Hence, prepare accordingly.

4. Witness the Hidden town of Krusevo

Visit the small town of Krusevo. Hidden deep in the mountains, the small town of Krusevo has a lot of history tales to reveal. One century ago, the first Macedonian revolution took place in this very town, rebelling against the Ottomans. The story goes that a small garrison of rebels endured for several days, against a fully equipped Ottoman battalion. Nowadays, Krusevo is famous for the food, and of course, the paragliding competitions that take place year after year.

Recommended For: Explorers, Photographers

Entry fee: Free

Timings: Anytime

Pro Tip: Spend at least two days and one night at Krusevo to explore its beauty to the fullest.

5. Try Authentic Traditional Food

Things To Do in North Macedonia - North Macedonia food

North Macedonian cuisine is full of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences (similar to the food we tried in Albania). That means lots of fresh vegetables, grilled meat, and wine. The North Macedonians also love their condiments—in particular, a spread called ajvar made from roasted bell peppers, paprika, and garlic. Also don’t miss their flaky, savoury burek pie, pleskavica, a grilled hamburger-like speciality or tarator, yoghurt and cucumber dip.

Recommended For: Foodies, Culture Explorers

Location: Skopje, Bitola, Prilep and more

Average Price: $4 – $5 per meal at an above-average restaurant

Pro Tip: While in Skopje, do visit the Old Bazaar to savour authentic street delicacies.

6. Marvel at the Legendary Past of Ohrid

The town of Ohrid, on the shores of Lake Ohrid, is one of the oldest European settlements. Built mostly in the 600s, Ohrid is home to a number of historic monasteries and famous Byzantine-style icons as well as remarkable architecture and ancient ruins. Ohrid also features more recent Ottoman architecture from the 18th and 19th centuries and is now a bustling seaside city with charming restaurants. Spend hours wandering the cobbled streets, strolling by the shore and dipping your toes in the lake.

Recommended For: History Lovers, Photographers

Location: Ohrid, North Macedonia

Entry Fee: $5 -$7 (Including all the major historical monuments in old town)

Ideal Timings: 11:00 am to 04:00 pm

Pro Tip: Visit the waterfront of Ohrid to capture the most beautiful sunset vistas.

7. Have an Exciting Day out at Kokino

Things To Do in North Macedonia - Kokino observatory

Kokino is known to be a natural observatory about one hour drive away from Skopje. It is a rare sight hidden amidst dense forest. Take the road From Kumanovo and follow the winding trail till you reach the destination. Some say that Kokino is the Stonehenge of the Balkans, since it was a natural observatory many centuries ago dating back to the Bronze Age. Visit it and spend an exciting afternoon.

Recommended For: Explorers, Photographers

Location: Near Kumanovo, North Macedonia

Entry fee: $1.50 (For parking)

Timings: Open 24 Hours

8. Take Doses of History at Kale Fortress

Visit the Kale Fortress to step back to the old times. Kale Fortress was a huge medieval prison. Though it is magnificently preserved even today. This architectural landmark overlooks the entire city and you can easily spend an entire afternoon climbing through the towers. The fort has amazing architecture to look forward to and intriguing history to learn. Hence, it is one of the most popular places to visit in North Macedonia.

Recommended For: History Lovers, Architecture Enthusiasts

Location: Skopje, North Macedonia

Entry Fee: Free

Timings: 08:00 am to 07:00 pm

Pro Tip: Reserve 2-3 hours to explore this place.

9. Visit the Ruins of Heraclea Lyncestis

Things To Do in North Macedonia - Heraclea Lyncestis

Equally captivating, Heraclea Lyncestis is another majestic settlement of the past. It is nicely preserved to remain one of the most captivating remnants from the Roman era. Study its ruins and find yourself walking through ancient corridors where the golden past of Macedonia dwells. It is one of the offbeat and fascinating places to visit in North Macedonia.

Recommended For: History Lovers, Offbeat Explorers

Location: Bitola, North Macedonia

Entry fee: $2 per person

Timings: 08:00 am to 04:00 pm

Pro Tip: Do take the picture of mosaics here as they are extremely photogenic.

10. Explore the Beautiful Bay of Bones

Discover the Bay of Bones. The Ohrid region is filled with different types of attractions, but few are as captivating as the reconstructed settlement at the Bay of Bones. The original site dates from the prehistoric era and the newly constructed wooden platform is almost a decade old. Visit this place if you enjoy exploring the hidden layers of the destination.

Recommended For: Offbeat Explorers, Photographers

Location: Ohrid, North Macedonia

Entry fee: $2 for adults and $0.60 for children

Timings: Anytime | 09:00 am to 03:30 pm for museum

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11. Encounter the Richness of Mavrovo National Park

Things To Do in North Macedonia - Mavrovo National Park

The largest of Macedonia’s national parks, Mavrovo boasts some of the best scenery in the country and is an ideal travel destination for nature lovers. The Mavrovo Mountain Peak is the highest in the region and hence, the park is also a popular destination for climbers. It also serves as a winter ski resort offering a number of snowy adventures. Lake Mavrovo stretches to over an expanse of 10 km and makes for some of the country’s best trout fishing spots.

Recommended For: Wildlife Enthusiasts, Nature Lovers

Location: North Macedonia

Entry fee: Free

Timings: Open 24 Hours

Pro Tip: Do visit the ski center inside the park, it is amazing.

12. Visit the Picture-perfect Village of Radozda

This sleepy fishing village is another of Lake Ohrid’s hidden gems. Situated at the point of Macedonia which is closest to Albania, visitors can enjoy a culture here rich with the influences of both nations, and can even hop across the border for a wonderfully varied traveling experience. Calm, tranquil and picturesque, Radozda offers a taste of real Macedonian rural life and history.

Recommended For: Offbeat Travellers

Location: Struga, North Macedonia

Entry fee: Free

Timings: Anytime

13. Explore the Contemporary Art Museum of Macedonia

Things To Do in North Macedonia - Museum of Contemporary Art

In the capital city of Skopje sits one of Macedonia’s largest and most comprehensive national institutions – the Contemporary Art Museum of Macedonia. The building was constructed in a classical hill fort style. It holds artwork by local as well as international artists and focuses on art that was created in the late 20th century. Some of the artists that have been displayed at the Museum include Emilio Vedova, Hans Hartung, Pablo Picasso and Alberto Burri.

Recommended For: Art Lovers, Explorers

Location: Skopje, North Macedonia

Entry Fee: Free

Timings: 10:00 am to 05:00 pm (Closed on Mondays) | 09:00 am to 01:00 pm (On Sundays)

14. Go to the Memorial House of Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa is a humanitarian figure who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for her life-changing work. She also happens to have been born and baptized in Skopje, Macedonia. That’s why in the city a memorial house was constructed in her honour at the former church where she was baptized. The house hosts a museum that has several documents relating to the legendary figure as well as sculptures of her along with family members.

Recommended For: History Lovers, Offbeat Explorers

Location: Skopje, North Macedonia

Entry Fee: Free

Timings: 09:00 am to 08:00 pm | 09:00 am to 02:00 pm on Sundays and Mondays

15. Venture off to the Island of Golem Grad

Otherwise known as Snake Island due to the presence of several snakes on it, Golem Grad is one of the least-explored yet quite a popular island in Macedonia. You can access it via boat. The island is a protected home of rare plants and is regularly visited by botanists and other researchers. Golem Grad also holds nine archaeological sites, some of which are temples and homes dating back to about 1000 years.

Recommended For: Offbeat Explorers

Entry Fee: Free

Timings: Anytime

Pro Tip: Visit it if you are into intense offbeat travelling.

16. Have some Great Weekend Time by Dojran Lake

Things To Do in North Macedonia - Dojran Lake

Lake Dojran is the smallest of the three largest lakes in Macedonia. It lies on the border that separates Macedonia from Greece and regularly attracts tourists visiting both countries. The Lake is quite popular among local legends. The mud at the lake is also therapeutic with several spas that offer professional services. So, visit it and have a great time with your family.

Recommended For: Families, Picnickers

Entry Fee: Free

Timings: Anytime

Pro Tip: Plan the trip on a weekday as the lake gets overcrowded during the weekends.

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