Republic of Macedonia
The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before travelling to Macedonia. You should check any exlusions, and that your policy covers you for all activiies you want to undertake.
Irish Citizens travelling to Macedonia for dental or medical treatment should ensure that their travel insurance will cover them in case of any complications that might occur.
Irish Citizens should note that the Irish government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.
Travellers entering Macedonia may be asked to present proof of travel insurance at the border. The Macedonian authorities may refuse entry to travellers who fail to prove that they are insured.
Macedonia shares with the rest of Europe a threat from international terrorism. You should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
Safety and Security
Following the serious inter-ethnic fighting in 2001, the situation in Macedonia has largely stabilised. However, five people were killed near Skopje on Thursday 12 April 2012 which has triggered fresh tensions due to fears that there were religious or ethnic motives for the murders. Shootings and other acts of violence have taken place in Skopje, Tetovo, Kumanovo and Gostivar in recent times. While none of these incidents or attacks has been aimed at Irish nationals or other members of the international community, Irish nationals living in or visiting Macedonia should exercise particular vigilance given the often indiscriminate nature of these incidents and should avoid large crowds, political rallies or demonstrations.
Personal attacks against foreigners are extremely rare. Organised criminal groups are active. Shooting incidents, including in Skopje, do occur periodically. These have usually been against targeted individuals. There is always, however, the possibility of foreigners being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You should therefore keep to the main areas and streets and be vigilant at all times.
There have also been several reported cases of foreigners being pick pocketed by gangs of children and bag snatchers in the main shopping and entertainment areas. You are advised to take extra care at night; to leave all valuables, including passports, secured in a hotel safe; and not to carry significant amounts of cash. Visitors should carry a copy of their passport as identification at all times.
Credit card fraud is widespread and caution should be exercised when making a purchase using this method.
You should exercise caution when travelling in the northern and
western regions of Macedonia. Travel should be restricted to
primary roads and daylight hours only. A high level of
vigilance should be maintained. Particular care should be
taken due to the continuing threat from land mines and unexploded
You should exercise caution when travelling to the area bordering Serbia. Apart from designated border crossings, the immediate border area is a military restricted zone. Permission must be obtained from the nearest Macedonian police station before travelling to this zone.
Local Laws and Customs
The official currency of Macedonia is the Denar. You should only change money through banks or official exchange offices and not through street dealers. The number of ATMs in Macedonia is increasing, making the withdrawal of local currency much easier.
You must declare all foreign currency on arrival where the total amount exceeds the equivalent of 2,000 Euro. Failure to do so may result in detention and forfeiture of funds when attempting to leave Macedonia.
The border between Macedonia and Kosovo can be subject to closure at short notice to all traffic.
Macedonia has brought in new laws requiring all vehicles to use side lights/ dipped headlights during the day.
It is illegal to use mobile phones whilst driving.
Travellers entering Macedonia are required to have proof of travel insurance.
It is essential that you register with the local police in the town/city where you are staying within 24 hours of arrival. This registration is completed automatically on checking-in at hotels. If not using a hotel and you fail to register, you may be fined, detained or face court appearance. It is advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you.
Earthquakes are not uncommon in Republic of Macedonia and small tremors are recorded throughout the year without consequences. The last significant earthquake occurred on 2 July 2011 with magnitude of 2.0, but there were no casualties or significant damage.
Additional Country Info
Irish citizens do not require a visa to enter Macedonia. However, if you intend to stay for longer than 90 days you must register with the appropriate Macedonian authorities.
Single parents or other adults travelling alone with children should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, permitting the children to leave the country. For further information on exactly what will be required at immigration please contact the nearest Macedonian Embassy or Consulate.
EMBASSY OF IRELAND