Macedonia comes as a pleasant surprise to most visitors – You’ll find everything from ancient medieval monasteries, Turkish bazaars, and a very modern capital, Skopje. Definitely spend a few days in Macedonia if you’re travelling to or from Greece or Turkey. You won’t regret it.
Local Language: Macedonian -The alphabet is difficult to understand, as they use Cyrillic script.
Visa Requirements: Last I hear Canadians required a visa for Macedonia, however they were available free at the border.
Costs: Macedonia is pretty cheap – Budget of $50 a day.
Macedonia has had a troubled recent history, however it is still a relatively peaceful and safe country to travel to. Macedonia split peacefully from Yugoslavia, however the border with Kosovo is still a little sketchy, and the short rebellion by ethnic Albanians hasn’t done much to ease tensions. Even so, the only trouble you’re likely to encounter travelling in Macedonia is pickpocketing.
Skopje is the capital city of Macedonia. It’s a great place to stop on your way to other countries, and is well served by trains in every direction. Be sure to take a break at the Turkish baths, and do some souvenir shopping in Skopje’s Carsija market.
Macedonia’s lake Ohrid is one of the largest lakes in the region, and the town of Ohrid is very picturesque. There are plenty of summer festivals that go on and plenty of places to stay. I’d suggest checking it out as it’s a short trip from Skopje.
Macedonia’s hotels charge quite a lot of money. You’ll want to make a reservation in advance and see if you can get a deal. There is a hostel in Skopje though, and you can even find private rooms for a decent price.
You can fly to Macedonia from several different European airports, however if you’re coming from North America you’ll need to switch planes. You can find some good deals online to Skopje from other European cities like Amsterdam.