North Macedonia travel advice
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- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
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North Macedonia - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in North Macedonia
Safety and security
Crimes of opportunity and petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occur. Foreigners could be targeted.
Thieves work alone or in groups and may use various techniques to distract you and steal your belongings. Groups of street children sometimes gather around their victim to ask for money while one of them pickpockets them.
Thieves are particularly active in Skopje’s downtown pedestrian zone, and in other crowded public areas such as:
- public transportation hubs and facilities, including Skopje International Airport
- hotel lobbies
- restaurants, patios and outdoor cafés
- tourist sites and attractions
While you’re in North Macedonia:
- ensure that your belongings, including your passport, are secure at all times
- don’t keep your passport and other types of ID in the same place and carry a photocopy rather than the original
- avoid showing signs of affluence or wearing expensive jewellery
- avoid carrying large sums of cash or unnecessary valuables
- avoid deserted streets at night
- pay attention to your surroundings, particularly in crowded and tourist areas and when withdrawing cash from ATM
Residential break-ins may occur, especially in main cities. Burglars sometimes target houses or apartments owned or rented by foreigners.
- Choose well-secured accommodation
- Make sure you lock doors and windows at night and when you’re away
Car theft, break-ins and carjacking occur. Rental and luxury vehicles are a target of choice.
- Familiarize yourself with your route before starting a trip
- Keep your windows and doors locked at all times
- Keep your belongings out of reach
- Use secure parking facilities, especially overnight
- Never leave belongings unattended in a vehicle, even in the trunk
Organized crime-related violence occurs. The use of firearms is common.
While violent incidents don’t typically target foreigners or tourists, there is a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Although rare, inter-ethnic violence may take place in certain areas of the country.
Smuggling and other criminal activities may also occur, particularly in the areas bordering Kosovo and Albania.
Always be vigilant and aware of your surroundings.
Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. When using debit or credit cards:
- pay careful attention when others are handling your cards
- use ATMs located in public areas or inside a bank or business
- avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
- check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements
Cybercrime occurs. Perpetrators may compromise public Wi-Fi networks to steal credit card or personal information.
- Avoid using unsecured public Wi-Fi networks
- Avoid making purchases on unencrypted websites
- Use sound judgement when posting information on social media
- Be particularly vigilant when contacting or meeting individuals known over the Internet
- Never click a suspicious link in an email or text message asking for your credit card details
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. Be particularly vigilant during:
- sporting events
- religious holidays
- public celebrations
- major political events, such as elections
Terrorists may use such occasions to mount attacks.
Demonstrations take place frequently. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Firing weapons to celebrate is common in North Macedonia. It sometimes coincides with fireworks displays and may take place:
- on weddings
- on certain holidays and days of national observance
- following electionsafter soccer matches and sporting events
Injuries and cases of death due to stray bullets do occur. Avoid areas where celebratory fire is taking place.
There have been a number of bomb threats emailed to locations in North Macedonia since late 2022, notably to locations in Skopje. Local law enforcement responded to each bomb threat and all have been false alarms.
Bomb threats and hoaxes can target any location, including, but not limited to:
- shopping malls
- transportation hubs
- government facilities
- public spaces
If you are in an area affected by a bomb threat, follow the instructions of local authorities and evacuate calmly.
Mountain activities, such as hiking, can be dangerous, especially if they are not well-organized. Trails are not always marked and weather conditions can change rapidly, even in summer.
If you intend to go hiking or climbing:
- never do so alone
- consider hiring an experienced guide from a reputable company
- buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
- ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- ensure that you’re properly equipped
- stay informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
- inform a family member or friend of your itinerary
- obtain detailed information on trekking routes before setting out
- avoid venturing off marked trails
Road conditions and road safety can vary greatly throughout the country.
Secondary roads are poorly maintained and lack adequate lighting. In mountainous areas, most roads lack guard rails and are unpaved. Ice and snow make driving hazardous in winter. Farm equipment and stray animals pose additional risks.
Drivers don’t respect traffic laws. They may be reckless.
Exercise caution when travelling by road, especially after dark.
Public transportation in Skopje is reliable. Train and bus services connect the capital with the main cities of the country.
Taxis are widely available and reliable.
- Use only officially marked taxis
- Negotiate fares in advance, or insist that the driver use the meter, as you may be overcharged
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Entry and exit requirements
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the North Macedonian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to leave from North Macedonia.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Tourist visa: not required for stays up to 90 days
Business visa: not required for stays up to 90 days
Student visa: not required for stays up to 90 days
If you want to stay longer than 90 days but did not apply for a visa prior to arriving in North Macedonia, you must leave the country and apply for the appropriate visa at a North Macedonian embassy or consulate.
If you stay beyond the permitted number of days, you could face heavy fines or be denied entry when returning to North Macedonia.
You must register your presence within 24 hours of arrival in North Macedonia. Commercial accommodations will generally file the registration on your behalf.
If you’re staying in a non-commercial accommodation, you must register at the nearest police station.
You may face fines and difficulties upon departure if you fail to do so.
If you hold North Macedonian citizenship and plan to stay outside of North Macedonia for longer than 3 months, you must register with the closest Embassy of the Republic of North Macedonia.
You may face difficulties when re-entering North Macedonia if you fail to do so.
Children and travel
Learn more about travelling with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.
Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.
Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.
Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.
In this destination, rabies may be present in some wildlife species, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal.
If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional.
Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who will be working directly with wildlife.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus. Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.
Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
The flu occurs worldwide.
- In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to April.
- In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and October.
- In the tropics, there is flu activity year round.
The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.
The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.
Safe food and water precautions
Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.
- Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
- Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs.
Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Insect bite prevention
Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:
- Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
- Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
- Minimize exposure to insects
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed
To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.
Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.
Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.
Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.
Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:
- washing your hands often
- avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
- avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.
Medical services and facilities
Good health care is limited in availability. Most medical facilities are poorly equipped, and specialized treatment may not be available. Immediate cash payment is usually required for medical services.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Shortages of medications are common. If you take prescription drugs, make sure you have an adequate supply for the duration of your stay in North Macedonia. You should also bring basic medicine, particularly if travelling to outlying areas.
If you bring medications with you, you’re responsible for determining their legality in North Macedonia.
- Bring sufficient quantities of your medication with you
- Always keep your medication in the original container
- Pack them in your carry-on luggage
- Carry a copy of your prescriptions
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Transfer to a Canadian prison
Canada and North Macedonia are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in North Macedonia to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and North Macedonia authorities.
This process can take a long time, and there is no guarantee that the transfer will be approved by either or both sides.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect prison sentences or heavy fines.
Authorities may request to see your ID at any time.
- Carry valid identification or a photocopy of it at all times
- Keep a photocopy of your passport in case it’s lost or seized
- Keep a digital copy of your ID and travel documents
There are restrictions on photographing:
- military or police installations or personnel
- border crossings
- government buildings
Signs advising of the restrictions may be posted in sensitive areas.
- Refrain from photographing military installations or personnel even if no signs are posted
- Comply with all requests from local authorities
North Macedonian law does not criminalize sexual acts or relationships between persons of the same sex.
However, 2SLGBTQI+ travellers could be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in North Macedonia.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of North Macedonia, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and North Macedonia.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in North Macedonia, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the North Macedonian court.
If you are in this situation:
- act as quickly as you can
- contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in North Macedonia to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- List of Canadian Central Authorities for the Hague Convention
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- The Hague Convention - Hague Conference on Private International Law
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
Cultural heritage and antiquities
There are strict laws regarding the purchase and exportation of antiquities and objects of special significance to the country's cultural heritage.
To avoid any difficulties:
- verify with the Cultural Heritage Protection Office and the customs administration if items are subject to particular restrictions and requirements
- make sure you obtain and carry the required legal paperwork to purchase or export such items
- Contact information - Cultural Heritage Protection Office
- Objects of historical and cultural worth - North Macedonian Customs Administration
You must carry an international driving permit.
All vehicles must use daytime running lights.
Penalties for drinking and driving are severe. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines or jail.
Police routinely stop vehicles for inspection.
In the event of an accident:
- call the police immediately
- don’t move the vehicle until the police have allowed you to do so
The currency of North Macedonia is the Macedonian denar (MKD).
The economy is mostly cash-based. However, credit cards are accepted in some larger establishments. ATMs are available in urban centres.
You must make a declaration to customs upon entry or exit if you have the equivalent of €10,000 or more, regardless of the currencies. This includes sums in:
- money orders
- traveller’s cheques
- any other convertible assets
Natural disasters and climate
North Macedonia is located in an active seismic zone. Even minor earthquakes can cause damage.
Forest fires are common during the summer. The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke.
In case of a significant fire:
- stay away from affected areas, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments
- monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation
- follow the instructions of local authorities
Flooding and landslides
Heavy rains, particularly during spring and summer, can cause flooding and landslides. Roads may become impassable and infrastructure damaged.
- Exercise caution, particularly in areas around major rivers
- Stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- Follow the instructions of local authorities, including evacuation orders
Meteorological forecast - Hydrometeorological service (in Macedonian)
Between November and February, Skopje and surrounding areas can be affected by thick fog, which can affect air travel.
- Stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- Reconfirm your flight before heading to the airport
Smoke haze and other types of air pollution can be extremely hazardous in North Macedonia. It’s usually worst in winter due the heavy smoke from coal and wood burning heaters. Air pollution levels can change quickly.
During periods of high pollution:
- limit your outdoor activities, especially if you suffer from respiratory ailments or have pre-existing medical conditions
- monitor local media
- follow the instructions of local authorities
Air pollution in Skopje - World Air Quality Index
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 192
- medical assistance: 194
- firefighters: 193
- roadside assistance: 196
Skopje - Honorary consul of Canada
Belgrade - Embassy of Canada
Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Serbia, in Belgrade, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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