- General Info
- Health Risks
- Security Concerns
- Weather Notes
- Electrical Standards
- Visa Info
- Time Zone
International recognition of The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's (F.Y.R.O.M.) independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 was delayed by Greece's objection to the new state's use of what it considered a Hellenic name and symbols. Greece finally lifted its trade blockade in 1995, and the two countries agreed to normalize relations, despite continued disagreement over F.Y.R.O.M.'s use of "Macedonia." F.Y.R.O.M.'s large Albanian minority, an ethnic Albanian armed insurgency in F.Y.R.O.M. in 2001, and the status of neighboring Kosovo continue to be sources of ethnic tension.
Source: CIA World Factbook
Food and waterborne diseases are the number one cause of illness in travelers. Travelers diarrhea can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, which are found throughout Eastern Europe and can contaminate food or water. Infections may cause diarrhea and vomiting (E. coli, Salmonella, cholera, and parasites), fever (Typhoid fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage (hepatitis). Make sure your food and drinking water are safe.
Malaria is a serious, but preventable infection that can be fatal. Your risk of malaria may be high in these countries, including cities. Prevent this deadly disease by seeing your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug and by protecting yourself against mosquito bites. All travelers to malaria-risk areas in Eastern Europe, including infants, children, and former residents of Eastern Europe, are at risk for malaria. Parts of the countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan have malaria risk.. Travelers to malaria-risk areas in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan should take the antimalarial drug chloroquine to prevent malaria. For additional information on malaria risk and prevention, see Malaria Information for Travelers to Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (NIS).
In Uzbekistan, the risk of malaria is low and varies along its border with Tajikistan; travelers to Uzbekistan or their health care provider should contact CDC (Malaria Hotline, 770-488-7788) for risk and prevention advice.
An outbreak of diphtheria is occurring in all the states of the former Soviet Union. Travelers to these areas should be sure that their diphtheria immunization is up to date.
Tickborne encephalitis, a viral infection of the central nervous system occurs chiefly in Central and Western Europe. Travelers are at risk who visit or work in forested areas during the summer months and who consume unpasteurized dairy products. Vaccine for this disease is not available in the United States at this time. To prevent tickborne encephalitis, as well as Lyme disease, travelers should take precautions to prevent tick bites.
Because motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers, walk and drive defensively. Avoid nighttime travel if possible and always use seat belts.
There is no risk for yellow fever in Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (NIS). A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry into certain of these countries if you are coming from countries in South America or sub-Saharan Africa. For detailed information, see Comprehensive Yellow Fever Vaccination Requirements. Also, find the nearest authorized U.S. yellow fever vaccine center.
CDC recommends the following vaccines (as appropriate for age):
See your doctor at least 46 weeks before your trip to allow time for shots to take effect.
- Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG).
- Hepatitis B, if you might be exposed to blood (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, stay longer than 6 months, or be exposed through medical treatment.
- Rabies, if you might be exposed to wild or domestic animals through your work or recreation.
- Typhoid, particularly if you are visiting developing countries in this region.
- As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria, measles, and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adults. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for 11 to 12-year-olds who did not receive the series as infants.
- Wash hands often with soap and water.
- Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If this is not possible, make water safer by BOTH filtering through an absolute 1-micron or less filter AND adding iodine tablets to the filtered water. Absolute 1-micron filters are found in camping/outdoor supply stores.
- Eat only thoroughly cooked food or fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself. Remember: boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.
- If you are going to visit risk areas for malaria, take your malaria prevention medication before, during, and after travel, as directed. (See your doctor for a prescription.)
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites:
- Pay special attention to mosquito protection between dusk and dawn. This is when the type of mosquito whose bite transmits malaria is active.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
- Use insect repellents that contain DEET (diethylmethyltoluamide).
- Read and follow the directions and precautions on the product label.
- Apply insect repellent to exposed skin.
- Do not put repellent on wounds or broken skin.
- Do not breathe in, swallow, or get into the eyes (DEET is toxic if swallowed). If using a spray product, apply DEET to your face by spraying your hands and rubbing the product carefully over the face, avoiding eyes and mouth.
- Unless you are staying in air-conditioned or well-screened housing, purchase a bed net impregnated with the insecticide permethrin or deltamethrin. Or, spray the bed net with one of these insecticides if you are unable to find a pretreated bed net.
- DEET may be used on adults, children, and infants older than 2 months of age. Protect infants by using a carrier draped with mosquito netting with an elastic edge for a tight fit.
- Children under 10 years old should not apply insect repellent themselves. Do not apply to young children’s hands or around eyes and mouth.
- To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and do not go barefoot.
- Always use latex condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
SAFETY AND SECURITY: While the security situation in Macedonia is stabilizing, it remains unsettled and potentially dangerous. Although the overall level of violence has diminished since 2001, localized inter-ethnic and criminal violence continues. Recent acts of violence, including bombings, have occurred in Skopje and other towns in Macedonia, and have resulted in the injury and death of bystanders as well as property damage. An American citizen bystander was killed in such an attack in Skopje in July 2003. Travelers should be alert for unusual behavior and other possible indicators that something out of the ordinary is in progress. The potential remains for acts of intimidation and violence against American citizens.
Landmines north and west of Kumanovo and unexploded ordnance in the former conflict area pose a potential threat. Americans electing to travel in these areas are encouraged to restrict movements to daylight hours, keep to hard-topped roads, and contact the Embassy's Consular Section for up-to-date safety and security information.
Americans should avoid demonstrations and other sites, such as roadblocks, where large crowds are gathered, particularly those involving political causes or striking workers.
For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where current Worldwide Caution Public Announcements, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found.
The Overseas Citizen Services call center at 1-800-407-4747 can answer general inquiries on safety and security overseas. This number is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Callers who are unable to use toll-free numbers, such as those calling from overseas, may obtain information and assistance during these hours by calling 1-317-472-2328.
CRIME INFORMATION: Crime in Macedonia is low by U.S. standards; however, incidents of theft and other petty crimes do occur, and travelers should take the same precautions they would take in any unfamiliar environment. Criminal inter-gang rivalries and individuals associated with organized crime, particularly in western Macedonia, have been the source of periodic violent confrontations resulting in serious injury and even death to innocent people.
The loss or theft of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. If you are a victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to the local police, please contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance. The embassy/consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends, and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and find an attorney if needed.
U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet, A Safe Trip Abroad, http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/safety/safety_1747.html, for ways to promote a trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 20402 via the Internet at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/index.html, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
Source: U.S. Department of State
warm, dry summers and autumns and relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall
Source: CIA World Factbook
Macedonia's electrical current is 220/50 (volts/hz) and uses the plug adaptors listed to the right under Related Items. Many North American appliances are designed to operate only within the 100-125 volt range. These appliances will suffer damage if plugged into 220-250 volts without the proper transformer or converter.
To determine which plug adaptors you'll need and if you'll require a transformer or converter, use our Electrical Connection Wizard.
For a detailed discussion of international electrical standards, see our related article on Electrical and Phone Adaptation.
ENTRY AND EXIT REQUIREMENTS: U.S. citizens need a passport to enter Macedonia. A visa for Macedonia is not required for tourist/business purposes for stays up to 90 days. For stays longer than 90 days, American citizens need to obtain the appropriate visa at a Macedonian Embassy or Consulate prior to their trip. Additional information on entry requirements may be obtained from the Macedonian Embassy at 1101 30th St. NW, Suite 302, Washington, D.C., 20007, telephone (202) 337-3063, fax (202) 337-3093, e-mail email@example.com, or the Macedonian Consulate General, 866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 4018, New York, New York 10017; phone: (212) 317-1727.
Travelers are required to complete an entry/exit document when they enter the country. The exit portion of this document must be retained for presentation to officials upon departure. Loss of this form may result in departure delays. Please also see the "Customs Regulations" section below. Foreigners, including American citizens, who enter Macedonia and will stay in private accommodations, are required to register with the nearest police station within three days. Foreigners staying in hotels are not required to register, as the hotel is responsible for registration with the police. Persons who overstay their visas should contact the Ministry of Interior in Skopje to obtain an exit visa; failure to do so may result in denial of permission to depart the country.
Travelers should be aware that all immediate border areas apart from designated border crossings are military restricted zones. Travel in these zones is forbidden without prior official permission.
In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.
Source: U.S. Department of State
The time zone for Macedonia is 1 hours offset from GMT, which means that if it is 12:00 noon in New York, the time in Macedonia would be 6:00 pm
The unit of currency in Macedonia is the Macedonian denar (MKD).
Look up the current exchange rate using XE.com's Universal Currency Converter
Traveled to Macedonia?
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Other Travelers' Experiences in Macedonia
"I've spent a lot of time in Macedonia...more precisely, Kumanovo. The country is lovely! The people have always been friendly to me. I thoroughly enjoy the Vardar River Valley, and Skopje, the capital. The main highways are easy to negotiate, too."
- TJ Lacovara, Toms River, NJ,