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North Macedonia, Republic of

If you’re travelling to the Republic of North Macedonia, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Health
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

For the latest update please read the General COVID-19 Travel Advisory >

Overview

Security status

High Degree of Caution

Latest Travel Alert

Citizens should exercise caution in any decisions about international travel, taking account of their overall health, their vaccine status, and the risk of testing positive for COVID-19 while abroad. Anyone considering travelling abroad should be aware that restrictions are subject to change at short notice, and additional restrictions may be imposed by the country of your destination, including during your visit.

Travel to North Macedonia

There are no COVID-19 restrictions in place for travel to North Macedonia from Ireland. There is no requirement to present certificates of vaccination/testing for COVID-19.

General Travel Advice

Most visits to North Macedonia are trouble free. Visitors to the country should exercise caution and should especially avoid any street protests. You should follow the advice of local authorities at all times.

Irish citizens do not require visas to enter North Macedonia. Visitors to North Macedonia should register with the local police within 24 hours of arrival as failure to do so risks a fine. Registration happens automatically when checking in at hotels etc.

The official currency of North Macedonia is the Denar. Credit and debit cards are accepted in larger outlets.  Visitors should exchange currency only at banks or official exchange offices. Alternatively, use ATMs in bank, hotel or airport lobbies to withdraw funds in the local currency.

North Macedonia has four distinct seasons. Summer temperatures can rise above 40 degrees whereas winters can be very cold, with temperatures often as low as minus 20, sometimes with heavy and prolonged snowfalls. 

Visitors to  North Macedonia are encouraged to register with the Irish Embassy in Bucharest, Romania, which is accredited to North Macedonia.

You can contact the emergency services in North Macedonia by dialling:

  • 192 for police.
  • 193 for fire brigade.
  • 194 for ambulance.

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Most visits to North Macedonia are trouble-free and attacks on foreigners are extremely rare.

Nevertheless, visitors to North Macedonia are advised to take normal personal and security precautions, particularly at night.

  • Valuables and other items such as spare jewellery, passports, driving licences, credit/debit cards and excess cash should be secured in a hotel safe.
  • For identification purposes, visitors should carry a copy of their passport at all times (bring a few spare photocopies of the personal details page).
  • Pickpockets and bag snatchers often operate in crowded areas.

Borders

Exercise particular caution if travelling to areas bordering Kosovo or Serbia. Apart from designated border crossings, these areas are restricted and travel permission must be obtained from the police. In some remote areas there may be a continuing threat from land mines or unexploded ordnance.

The border between North Macedonia and Kosovo can be subject to closure to traffic at short notice. Kosovo entry/exit stamps in passports can lead to additional scrutiny checks at Macedonian or other local borders.

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Entry

It is obligatory upon arrival to declare large amounts of foreign currency (in excess of €2,000 equivalent).  Failure to do so could result in detention and/or forfeiture of funds.

While Irish citizens do not require visas to enter North Macedonia, un-accompanied minors not in possession of letters of consent from parents or guardians risk refusal of entry.

Driving and transport

Public transport in Skopje and throughout North Macedonia is not as well as developed as elsewhere and motorways are few and far between. Rail, bus and taxis are, however, relatively inexpensive.

Some North Macedonians drive erratically and at excessive speeds and vehicles are not always fully roadworthy.  Serious road traffic accidents regularly occur. Visitors entering North Macedonia by road should ensure that they have adequate insurance cover. Insurance companies or brokers should be consulted in advance about this, if necessary. 

Key points for driving in North Macedonia:

  • Irish and international driving licences are valid.
  • The quality of road surfaces in North Macedonia can be uneven. Travel by road in remoter areas should be restricted to primary routes, and daylight hours.
  • In the event of an accident involving another vehicle, await police permission before moving your own vehicle.
  • It is obligatory when driving to use side lights/dipped headlights.
  • In winter, drivers should ensure that vehicles are prepared for extreme weather conditions, including fitting mandatory winter tyres.

Health

Health

While the water supply in North Macedonia is not known to be contaminated, use of bottled or filtered water is recommended as a safer option. 

Inoculations are generally not needed but visitors with existing medical conditions or illnesses should seek specific advice in advance from their GPs.

Travel Insurance

We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.

Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.

Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.

Emergency expenses

Your policy should cover:

  • All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
  • Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.   
  • 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
  • Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
  • Lost and stolen possessions.
  • Cancellation and curtailment.
  • Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).

Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

In case of a genuine consular emergency while the Embassy is closed, please leave a message with name, location and telephone number at +4021 310 2131 and the Duty Officer will call you back.

Alternatively, the Duty Officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin can be contacted at +353-1-408-2000.

Embassy of Ireland
50-52 Buzesti St
3rd Floor, Sector 1
Bucharest
Romania

Tel: +40 21 3102131
Fax: +40 21 3102181

Monday to Friday 09:30-12:30; 14:00-17:00

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