Sofia Adventures

All About North Macedonia

Discovering Skopje and Beyond

North Macedonia is a country of over 2 million people, with over half a million living in the capital city, Skopje. Wait, North Macedonia? If you’re confused, that’s because this landlocked Balkan country’s name has gone through a quite few iterations. As of February 2019, North Macedonia is its official name. Previously, it called itself the Republic of Macedonia or just Macedonia (much to the Greeks’ chagrin) yet its official, compromise name was the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM, which is possibly even less catchy). The name change is recent and people are still getting used to it, and we are still updating our articles to refer to the country by its new official name of North Macedonia.

What’s in a name aside, let’s talk travel. Skopje is the quirky capital, best known for its controversial renovation project, Skopje 2014, which transformed the city with a series of expensive renovations, a lack of restraint, and several hundred – or thousand, no one really knows – statues. While the center is rather gaudy, the quiet, leafy neighborhood of Debar Maalo is where local Skopjans chill, and nearby Mount Vodno and Matka Canyon are popular day trips for those looking to get out into nature.

But North Macedonia is so much more than just Skopje. Lake Ohrid is the most photographed place in North Macedonia, one of the most postcard-perfect towns you can imagine. But beyond its beautiful lake, it has over 365 historic churches and bragging rights as one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in Europe. Besides Ohrid and Skopje, North Macedonia also has delicious wine regions, several national parks, a handful of other interesting cities, and countless places of natural beauty that make this country worth diving deep into.


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