North Macedonia itinerary 7, 8, 9, 10 days
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  • Post last modified:November 10, 2023

Table of Contents

Overview Of North Macedonian Itinerary 8 Days & Map
How To Get Around & Make This Itinerary
7-Day Itinerary For North Macedonia
9-Day Itinerary For North Macedonia
10-Day Itinerary For North Macedonia
Practical Tips For Visiting North Macedonia
More Tips For North Macedonia Travel

Welcome to my travel itinerary series. After exploring North Macedonia for 2 weeks, I fell in love with the beauty of this country.

Now, I want to show you the places you should explore and make your time in North Macedonia great with this fully designed travel itinerary, which I created from my experience traveling around the country. So take it, skip the planning, and enjoy these hidden gems of the Balkan.

Ready to explore North Macedonia with its full beauty? Let’s get started!

Travel Resources For Your Trip

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Overview Of North Macedonia Itinerary For 8 Days & Map

Here is an overview of the main itinerary, a road trip for 8 days. Scroll down for ideas and itineraries for 7, 9, and 10 days in North Macedonia.

2.Skopje & Wine Tasting
3.Day trip to Matka Canyon
4.Skopje ⇒ Bitola
6.Bitola ⇒ Ohrid
7.Lake Ohrid
8.Ohrid ⇒ Galichnik ⇒ Skopje
North Macedonia road trip itinerary 8 days: Lake Ohrid St. John Monastery
Lake Ohrid St. John Monastery

How To Get To North Macedonia

You can get to North Macedonia by plane, bus, or train. I would stick to a flight or a bus, becasue I often find that the train situation is very weird.

There are trains from Belgrade (Serbia), Pristina (Kosovo), or Thessaloniki (Greece). Still, they don’t run regularly, and train travel in the Balkans is generally not reliable. So I recommend to take a bus or fly.

Flying To North Macedonia (Skopje)

Skopje has an international airport, so you can fly directly to the city. It’s the most convenient, safest, and fastest way to get to Skopje.

Book your flight to North Macedonia here.

From Skopje Airport, I recommend taking a taxi or a shuttle, as it’s the easiest way to get to the city.

Book your airport shuttle to the center of Skopje here.

Getting To North Macedonia By Bus

You can easily take a bus from other countries to Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia. There are several connections, so search your city and book tickets.

I even took a bus from Skopje to Switzerland (Zurich). Don’t ask me why; it was during the 2020/2021 period, and I was just too crazy, lol. Yet, the bus ride was comfortable and safe, just extremely long. So yeah, just a little story from the bus connections to and from Skopje.

Check out the best bus connections and deals here.

How To Get Around North Macedomia & Make This Itinerary

The best way to get around North Macedonia is by bus or by car. You can take buses to most of the places on this itinerary. But it’ll be hard to get to the national parks and mountains on a bus.

If you’re interested in taking buses during this itinerary, check out my article about North Macedonia buses. It contains information about the main bus connections, prices, and essential tips you need (e.g., station fee).

Make It A Road Trip & Rent A Car In Skopje

However, if you want to have the real experience of North Macedonia with everything it offers, I highly recommend you rent a car in Skopje and make a great North Macedonia road trip. It’s the most convenient way and will give you the flexibility to see all the places at your own pace.

So rent a car on day 3 of this itinerary and return it in Skopje on day 7 (or depending on how long you want to stay in the country.)


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North Macedonia Itinerary 1. DAY: SKOPJE

Skopje is the capital and largest city of North Macedonia. It’s our first stop, which will give us a basic understanding of North Macedonian culture and history.

Skopje is around 7000 years old, so you have much to explore and learn. It’s known as the city of statues. Right at the beginning, I have a little game for you: try to locate the following statues during your self-guided walking tour:

  • The Equestrian Warrior
  • The Beggar
  • The Two Girls
  • Tree Man
  • Girl with Guitar
  • The Pirate Ships of Skopje

The city hosts more than 300 statues altogether, so you can try to find other ones if that sounds fun to you.

It’s on the River Vardar, which adds a special atmosphere. Walk on the Stone Bridge and take some great photos. Then, walk towards Porta Macedonia, the main square in Skopje, where locals celebrate their Independence Day from Yugoslavia every September. 

North Macedonia was first ruled by Romans, then Serbians, and after by the Ottoman Empire, followed by communists. It went through various stages, so it’s no wonder it has various architectural styles, from mosques to buildings from the communist era, with many colors.

Skopje is also the birthplace of Mother Theresa of Calcutta, and you can explore its museum.

North Macedonia road trip itinerary 8 days Skopje main square
Me at the main square in Skopje

Sightseeing In Skopje

🔅 Stone Bridge over the River Vardar
🔅 Porta Macedonia – main square
🔅 Old Bazar
🔅 Fortress in Skopje
🔅 Kafanas
🔅 Birthplace of Mother Theresa

The highlight of Skopje is its Old Bazaar, the Fortress of Skopje, and the statues. Walk around and enjoy the unique atmosphere of this Balkan city.

Skopje is officially the cheapest city in Europe, so you don’t have excuses when visiting it. It’s the best place to try local specialties and wines. Its cuisine combines Mediterranean, Baltic, and Middle Eastern influences.

Find kafanas – traditional North Macedonian restaurants and taste local food.

Wine is also part of North Macedonian culture. Locals have been growing wine grapes since the 13th century BC. It’s delicious, so try some.

most beautiful places in North Macedonia Skopje bazaar
Skopje Bazaar

Where To Stay In Skopje: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

MOODEIGHT APARTMENTS – budget-friendly apartments
HOTEL MACEDONIA SQUARE – mid-range hotel

North Macedonia Itinerary 2. DAY: SKOPJE

Good morning to Skopje. I hope you slept well because we have amazing things planned for today as well. Use this day to see the rest of the places you missed yesterday.

You can also visit the mountain Vodno and get beautiful city views. What I highly recommend you do is a wine tour of the nearby Chateau Sopot. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking, and you’ll learn a lot about the wines, gastronomy, and history of North Macedonia.

Mount Vodno

You can take a cable car to Mount Vodno and get stunning city views. Alternatively, you can also walk there, a beautiful 3-hour tour by some monasteries.

Wine Tour From Skopje

Join this guided wine tour from Skopje to a nearby Chateau Sopot. Taste local wine, have a traditional lunch, and enjoy breathtaking views.

North Macedonia Itinerary 3. DAY: SKOPJE ⇒ MATKA CANYON

Visiting Matka Canyon is a must on your North Macedonia road trip. It’s located 17 kilometers (10 miles) southwest of the capital. It’s part of the Skopje Valley, which makes it a perfect day trip from Skopje.

This is the day from which you can rent a car in Skopje. Or make an organized excursion to Matka Canyon and rent a car on day 4.

Skopje Valley is situated near the seismic vault between the Eurasian and African tectonic plates, which results in regular seismic activity. It was also the cause of the earthquake in Skopje back in 1936, which significantly damaged the city.

Matka Canyon is not a natural wonder, but it’s one of the country’s highlights, which you shouldn’t miss. It was created after the dam was built on the River Treska in 1938.

Watch out and see if you can spot all the 77 kinds of butterflies in the area.

The word ‘Matka‘ in most Slavic languages means ‘mother‘.

most beautiful places in North Macedonia travel guide Matka Canyon
Matka Canyon – North Macedonia

Boat Tour & Visit To Vrelo Cave

Matka Canyon has 10 caves, and the most famous one is Vrelo Cave. It’s also accessible to tourists, so you can choose to do a 1-hour boat ride through the canyon, including a visit to the cave. I highly recommend you do so.

This area is a popular local holiday spot and a great day trip from Skopje. Apart from the boat tour, you can also go hikingcyclingkayaking, and visit old monasteries on the way.

👉 READ ALSO: Complete Matka Canyon Guide

Organized Tour To Matka Canyon

Join this guided tour to Matka Canyon & Mount Vodno to skip the planning and enjoy these natural beauties with other travelers.

North Macedonia Itinerary 4. DAY: SKOPJE ⇒ BITOLA

Good morning, back to Skopje. Today, we’ll continue our itinerary, driving south from Skopje across the country until you reach the second biggest and historical city of Bitola.

If you haven’t done so yet, rent a car in Skopje and then drive to Bitola.

Distance Skopje ⇒ Bitola: 2 hours & 30 minutes by car (174 km/108 miles)

Bitola is located near the Greece border and the famous Lake Ohrid region. It’s the place where European and Ottoman cultures meet.

It’s also known as the city of consoles. It used to be an important political and economic center during the Ottoman Empire.

Enjoy the afternoon in Bitola, get to your accommodation, and have a great dinner in the center. The next day, we’ll be exploring the city together with a famous North Macedonian landmark.

Where To Stay In Bitola: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation

HOTEL BULEVARbudget-friendly hotel
mid-range hotel
– mid-range hotel

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North Macedonia Itinerary 5. DAY: BITOLA

Hello to Bitola. Take the time today to explore this amazing city with a historical site, Heraclea Lyncestis.

Sightseeing In Bitola

🔅 Sirok Sokak
Ottoman Style Buildings
Clock Tower
Covered Bazaar
Adjar Kadi Mosque
Heraclea Lyncestis

Watch the old houses reflecting the Ottoman style and the modern buildings bringing a European influence. Walk through Sirok Sokak, the main pedestrian street with many cafes, shops, and restaurants.

See the Bitola’s Clock Tower. Interestingly, Ottomans collected over 60,000 eggs from the nearby villages and mixed them into the mortar when building the tower to make it stronger, similar to the Charle’s Bridge in Prague.

The most impressive and one of the oldest buildings in Bitola is the Covered Bazaar from the Turkish period. Buy traditional souvenirs inside and experience the real North Macedonian culture and merchandise. After, visit the Adjar Kadi mosque, which represents Islam.

north macedonia road trip itinerary 8 days Bitola
Bitola – North Macedonia

Heraclea Lyncestis

In Bitola, you can’t miss visiting the Heraclea Lyncestis, the ancient Greek city. It was founded in the middle of the 4th century BC by Phillip II of Macedon. Heraclea was a Greek colony that lived in the southern part of North Macedonia.

It’s placed right where the most important Roman route used to be, connecting Istanbul (Constantinople back in those times) with the Adriatic Sea.

You can visit it in the afternoon after seeing Bitola and learn more about the exciting history and importance of this place.

North Macedonia Itinerary 6. DAY: BITOLA ⇒ OHRID

Today, we’ll explore the highlight of North Macedonia: Lake Ohrid. A Peaceful place full of history and culture. You’ll learn a lot in the next two days.

Have a good breakfast in Bitola, and let the road trip continue.

Distance Bitola ⇒ Ohrid: 1 hour & 15 minutes by car (70 km/43 miles)

Lake Ohrid is genuinely one of the most beautiful places in North Macedonia. It’s the oldest Lake in Europe, and the most popular town on its shores is Ohrid.

Make this town your base and book your accommodation in Ohrid. From there, you can explore the area.

North Macedonia road trip itinerary 8 days: Lake Ohrid
Me exploring Lake Ohrid – North Macedonia


Ohrid is a perfect place to stay with all the amenities of a larger city. It’s also famous for its original Ohrid pearls. If you want to buy some, be aware that only some shops have original pearls despite claiming it. One of the best shops to buy them is Mihaljo Filev.

Don’t miss the Samuel’s Fortress during your visit to the Ohrid Lake. After, take your time in Ohrid town, swim in the lake and enjoy the atmosphere.

The Balkan Folklore Festival takes place in Ohrid near the lake every year on the last days of July. So plan your visit accordingly.

North Macedonia road trip itinerary 8 days Ohrid Fortress
Ohrid: Samuel’s Fortress

Where To Stay In Ohrid: My TOP TIPS For Accommodation


North Macedonia Itinerary 7. DAY: LAKE OHRID

Today, take your time to enjoy Lake Ohrid. You can do a boat tour, or just walk around and see the sights in Ohrid you didn’t see yesterday.

Since you have a car, you can also drive around the lake, see the most important sights, and even visit Albania (they share the border.)

Sightseeing In Lake Ohrid

🔅 Drive Around Lake Ohrid
🔅 Monastery of St. Naum
🔅 Boat Trip
🔅 Bay Of Bones
🔅 Enjoy Beaches

Lake Ohrid is the oldest lake in Europe and has many interesting places to explore.

Cyrillic Alphabet was created here in North Macedonia by two brothers – Cyril and Method. They have contributed a lot to the Catholic Church and were teaching people how to write the Cyrillic Alphabeth right here in the St. Naum Monastery on the shores of Lake Ohrid.

Soak up the atmosphere of this place and relax. 

👉 READ ALSO: Best Things To Do In Lake Ohrid

Ohrid Panoramic Boat Tour

Join this panoramic tour of Ohrid on a boat and enjoy the beautiful sights of Lake Ohrid with its monasteries.


Today marks the last day of our itinerary. However, before getting back to Skopje, I have something interesting for you.

In the morning, pack your bags and hit the road again, driving from Lake Ohrid towards Galichnik village.

Distance Ohrid ⇒ Galichnik: 2 hours & 20 minutes by car (127 km/79 miles)

Galichnik Village

I recommend you make an additional stop on the way to the Galichnik village. Locals say if the Ohrid is the pearl of North Macedonia, then Galichnik is the diamond of North Macedonia.

It’s one of the oldest Mijak villages, famous for its well-preserved traditional architecture.

Experience how the Mijak people live here and taste local products such as yellow cheese kashkaval produced in this region. Don’t miss salt brine white cheese “belo sirenje”, a homemade specialty of the region.

If you are here in July, don’t miss the traditional Galichnik Wedding festival and experience the traditional North Macedonian wedding.

End Of The Itinerary

After Galichnik, just continue back to Skopje, where we’ll end our North Macedonia road trip.

Distance Galichnik ⇒ Skopje: 2 hours by car (110 km/68 miles)

From Skopje, you can either travel to Serbia, Albania, or even visit Kosovo and Montenegro. Each Balkan country has something unique.

It’s great to support locals and their tourism now as emerging destinations after struggling for their independence and in wars for several years.

I must say, it’s one of my favorite regions in Europe, so I highly recommend coming back to explore more of the Balkan.

North Macedonia Itinerary For 7 Days

If you only have 7 days to spend in the country, it’s still enough to explore its beauties. So don’t worry. We can make this work.

In this case, I’d skip Bitola and go straight to Ohrid after Skopje. You can also spend just 1 day in Skopje and add an extra day in Ohrid to enjoy the lake. It’s up to you.

So skip Bitola and spend 7 days in North Macedonia, visiting Skopje, Matka Canyon, Ohrid and Lake Ohrid, and Galichnik Village on the way back to Skopje.

Here is an overview of the 7-day North Macedonian itinerary for you:

2.Skopje & Wine Tasting
3.Day trip to Matka Canyon
4.Skopje ⇒ Ohrid
6.Lake Ohrid
7.Ohrid ⇒ Galichnik ⇒ Skopje

North Macedonia Itinerary For 9 Days

If you want to make a 9-day itinerary through the country, you can follow the base 8-day itinerary. On the one extra day, I recommend visiting the beautiful Galicica National Park, close to Lake Ohrid.

You can stay 3 nights in Ohrid. On the first day (day 6. of the itinerary), explore the Ohrid town. On the second day (day 7. of the itinerary), explore Lake Ohrid as suggested in the essential itinerary.

On day 8. of the itinerary, go hiking to Mt. Magaro in the Galicica National Park. Or spend an extra day at Lake Ohrid.

Here is an overview of the North Macedonian itinerary for 9 days:

2.Skopje & Wine Tasting
3.Day trip to Matka Canyon
4.Skopje ⇒ Bitola
6.Bitola ⇒ Ohrid
7.Lake Ohrid
8.Hiking In The Galicica National Park (Mt. Magaro)
9.Ohrid ⇒ Galichnik ⇒ Skopje

Galicica National Park

Galicica National Park is one of the most beautiful parks in North Macedonia. It offers spectacular views of the two famous North Macedonian lakes – Lake Prespa and Lake Ohrid.

The mountain range Galicica stretches between the two lakes and has mountains over 2000 meters (6561 feet) high.

You can go hiking in the region, see beautiful monasteries on the way, spot Greece from above, and enjoy the stunning views.

I recommend hiking up to the highest mountain of Galicica National Park, Magaro Peak. The views are simply breathtaking.

North Macedonia Itinerary For 10 Days

If you want to spend 10 days in North Macedonia, follow my 9-day itinerary (including hiking in the Galicica National Park) and stay one night in the Galichnik Village.

As I described above, Galichnik is an enchanting village where you can experience North Macedonian traditions and taste local cheese (Belo Sirenje Cheese & Kashkaval Cheese).

It’s so nice to have extra time to soak up the atmosphere of this village. It’s something you can experience only in the Balkans. The locals are super friendly, and you can learn much about the country and its nation.

So here is an overview of a 10-day North Macedonian itinerary for you:

2.Skopje & Wine Tasting
3.Day trip to Matka Canyon
4.Skopje ⇒ Bitola
6.Bitola ⇒ Ohrid
7.Lake Ohrid
8.Hiking In The Galicica National Park (Mt. Magaro)
9.Ohrid ⇒ Galichnik
10.Galichnik ⇒ Skopje

Practical Tips For Visiting North Macedonia

To help you organize your itinerary to North Macedonia, I’ve got some more tips for your visit. See when the best time to come is, how many days are enough, budget for this itinerary, and safety in the country.

Entry Requirements For North Macedonia

First, check the requirements for entering North Macedonia. It’s not in the European Union nor the Schengen Zone; that means the border is still open, and they’ll check all your documents when arriving from other European countries.

Check if you need a Visa for North Macedonia and make sure your passport is still valid for more than 6 months.

See if you need Visa for North Macedonia and apply here.

Best Time To Visit North Macedonia

The best time to visit North Macedonia is June, September, and October. These months have pleasant temperatures and are less crowded than the summer months (July and August).

You’ll enjoy the beautiful countryside, especially the autumn colors in late September and October. And the weather is great. Temperatures range between 25°C/77°F to 33°C/91°F.

How Many Days Should You Spend In North Macedonia?

8 days is the perfect time to spend in North Macedonia. This way, you’ll enjoy all the highlights, including Skopje and its history, wine tasting, Matka Canyon, Bitola, stunning Lake Ohrid and its monasteries, Galicica National Park, and even the traditional village Galichnik.

You can also make it within 7 days, but that’s the minimum time I recommend you spend in the country.

You can spend up to 10 days if you want to extend your stay in one of the places, like Lake Ohrid or Galichnik Village.

Budget For 8-Day North Macedonia Itinerary

The budget for an 8-day itinerary in North Macedonia per person (mid-range traveler) is $421. This is a very realistic budget for mid-range travelers who want to stay in nice hotels, rent a car to travel conveniently, and enjoy each location’s activities.

NOTE: North Macedonia uses Macedonian denar as local currency. It’s one of the strongest currencies in the Balkan peninsula. 62,61MKD is equivalent to 1EUR, and 52.04MKD is 1USD. Check the current exchange rate here.

Here is a breakdown of this North Macedonia road trip budget for each travel category:

Accommodation: $30 per night in a nice mid-range hotel = $240 (p.p.)
Rental Car: $50 for 6 days from day 3. to day 8. = $50 (couple)
Food & Drinks: $12 per day = $96 (p.p.)
Activities & Attractions: approx $60 per person for 8 days

So the total budget for an 8-day trip to North Macedonia, without restricting yourself too much and enjoying everything the country offers, is $421 per person.

PRO TIP: In North Macedonia, it’s easy to lower your budget. To do so, you can stay in cheaper apartments, eat on a budget, and spend less on activities and do those free of charge (hiking, driving around, not entering sights, etc.)

Budget Breakdown For Different Traveler Styles

Here is a quick overview of a budget for every type of traveler:

➡ 8-day itinerary budget for backpackers and travelers on the budget: $250
➡ 8-day itinerary budget for mid-range travelers: $421
➡ 8-day itinerary budget for luxury travelers: up to $900

NOTE: This is an approximate budget based on my calculations and spending during my trip to North Macedonia. The budget will vary based on every traveler’s preferences.

Is North Macedonia Safe?

Yes, North Macedonia is one of the safest countries I’ve been to. It’s ranked #38 in the Global Peace Index worldwide. So it’s similar to the UK, Costa Rica, Spain, or Italy regarding safety.

I traveled solo to most places and felt safe all the time. Of course, you never know what might happen in life, but I always believe as long as you use your common sense and don’t walk alone at night, you’ll be safe.

Locals are super friendly, and some of them approached me and started chatting. They were welcoming and also spoke English, which was surprising.

FAQs: North Macedonia Itinerary

I’ve also answered some of the frequently asked questions to help you understand North Macedonia even better. Check them out below.

Is It Worth Going To North Macedonia?

Yes, North Macedonia is 100% worth visiting. It’s mainly thanks to its rich history, uniqueness, wine-growing regions, local cheese, stunning Lake Ohrid, and beautiful hiking trails in the Galicica National Park. Every traveler will find a perfect place in the country.

How Many Days Do I Need In Ohrid?

3 full days is the perfect time to spend in Ohrid. This way, you’ll have a day to explore the town and its monasteries. On the second and third day, you can explore the Lake and its sights, such as St. Naum Monastery and Bay of Bones, and drive around the Lake, crossing the border to Albania.

Is Skopje or Ohrid better?

It’s hard to choose because each place is completely different and the purpose of your visit will differ. Ohrid is better to relax and enjoy the Lake and its stunning sights. Skopje is better for nightlife, wine tasting, and learning about the history of North Macedonia.

WRAP-UP: North Macedonia Itinerary

This is the perfect North Macedonia road trip itinerary for you to experience Macedonian traditions, history, culture, food, wine, and beautiful nature. It has it all, and you will be surprised by the beauty of North Macedonia. If you are looking for an itinerary off the beaten path, Balkan countries and North Macedonia are great choices. 

If you have any questions or need a customized travel itinerary, contact me at I’ll gladly help you.

Happy Travels!

voices of travel about me photo

About the author: Nicoletta is a travel enthusiast and passionate language learner. While traveling, she loves to connect with locals using her language skills to learn about new cultures. Look for her skiing, hiking in the mountains, or exploring new destinations as she designs travel itineraries for her clients.

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