Republic of Macedonia Travel Advice
Security travel advice for the Republic of Macedonia
How safe is Macedonia?
Threat level: Low-Medium
The general travel advice for Macedonia is to remain vigilant, especially near the border crossing areas around the country and in the area of Preševo, due to the influx of migration. To be aware in Skopje due to crime levels against tourist in the evening hours. Most trips to Macedonia are without trouble.
COVID-19 Situation in Macedonia
Due to the sanitary situation around the world, Macedonia has taken measures to curb the spread of coronavirus. The country imposed a nationwide curfew between 22:00 and 05:00 and will be effective until the 22nd of March. The use of face coverings is mandatory in indoor and outdoor public places. Hospitality venues are open but they must comply with social distancing rules. Shops can operate at reduced capacity. To avoid contracting the disease, wear a face mask, sanitise your hands regularly, maintain social distancing, and avoid unnecessary travel and gatherings.
Security in Macedonia
There has been some recent political unrest that has seen violence within Macedonia's parliament. There have been months of deadlock in efforts to form a new government in Macedonia; this has lead to a rise in tensions leading to recently, demonstrators storming the countries legislature and attacking lawmakers and staff to protest the election of a new speaker.
The area of Skopje has had previous shooting incidents and is known as an area where demonstrations can occur. It is best to be vigilant in areas towards the north of Macedonia, especially near to the border of Kosovo.
There have been recent arrests in Macedonia in relation to extremist terrorism, with 140 persons known to have left for Syria.
There have been long delays at the border crossing areas in Macedonia, with many refugees entering Preševo daily. Please make sure you have all appropriate documentation on your person.
There are current warnings for the areas of Gevgelija and Kumanovo and classified as crisis zones by the Macedonian government. This is due to the ongoing issues with the migrant situation with many refugees in the areas. There may be increased disruptions and safety concerns due to this.
It is advised during time of civil unrest, you do not leave your accommodation in the night-time hours and at all other times to remain vigilant, if you do leave your accommodation during the evening hours.
Tourists have been noted to be targeted in the evening hours such as pickpocketing, bag snatching and theft within tourist hotspots. These crimes can be carried out by groups of people or children, so it is best to be wary of your surroundings.
Macedonia's International Relations
Republic of Macedonia gained its independence in 1991, since then there has been naming disputes and issues in bilateral and international relations. It is referred to by the UN as The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia with additional information in formal documentation.
Macedonia was part of the backdrop of the Balkans conflicts and as such, has not always had the greatest of international relations, however beside the current migrant crisis affecting most of the Eastern European region, good diplomatic ties have been established since its independence.
Travelling around Macedonia
There can be hazardous weather conditions such as fog, which can affect the main Skopje airport and ground-based travel links. Please check weather reports during November to February.
It is advised that there is no non-essential travel at night, especially the areas near to the Kosovan border.
Road conditions vary, the local laws for driving are different from the UK, including a lower alcohol consumption level. It is best to check with your insurance policy provider, considerations which may need to be made when driving in Macedonia. All car documents must be kept with you when travelling.
The water in the rivers Vardar and Treska, also Lake Treska, fall below international standard to be safe to swim in and should be avoided.
Commercial Travel Risk Services
Intelligent Protection International Limited provides companies and organisations with Commercial Travel Risk Services designed to mitigate risks of staff when they travel for business. If you are interested in these services, please see: Commercial Travel Risk Services.
Emergency services in Macedonia
Police emergency: 192
Fire emergency: 193
Medical emergency: 194
Roadside Assistance: 196
Notes: General Emergency number is 112
Regional languages: Albanian, Turkish, Romani, and Serbian
Religion: Christianity and Islam
Currency: Macedonian denar (MKD)
Time now in Skopje:
Consular information for Macedonia
U.S. Embassy Skopje
Str. "Samoilova" Nr.21
Republic of Macedonia
Telephone: +389 2310 2000
British Embassy Skopje
Todor Aleksandrov No.165
Telephone: +389 2 3299 299
Visa requirements for Macedonia
Holders of a British passport do not require a visa for Macedonia if their stay is less than three months. Unaccompanied children under 18 must have a letter of consent from their parents or guardian.
Most non-European citizens including U.S and Canadian travellers are able to enter Macedonia for up to 90 days without applying for a visa.
Healthcare and Immunisations
It is advised that visitors to Macedonia are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is further recommended that most travellers also get Tetanus and Hepatitis A vaccinations. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
Macedonia is struggling with a national shortage of adequate health care supplies, including medicine. As such, you may have to pay a small fee when receiving medical treatment. You should ensure that you have adequate travel insurance to cover the costs of all medical needs.