Macedonia — Transportation
Macedonia Taxis and Car Rental
Taxis are the most popular means of travel for visitors to Macedonia, but it’s advisable to avoid drivers soliciting rides at train and bus stations. For the best service, take cabs from marked stands or call and book one from your hotel before you leave. Licensed cabs are easy to identify via the five-digit phone number beginning with 15 on the side of the vehicle. If you’re planning intercity travel, you can take a shared, unofficial cab with locals heading in the same destination. These can be found at the Skopje Bus station with drivers shouting out the destination until the car is full. Kommak-komerc (+389-2-612-277) and Bel Mercedes (+389-7-131-5183) are recommended providers.
Due to the Macedonian advanced roadway, getting around by rental car is relatively straightforward. Car firms including local branches of international companies can be found at the airport and in tourist areas, with charges similar to those in the US and UK. A valid passport and driver’s license are necessary and fully comprehensive insurance is recommended, as is a four-wheel drive vehicle if you’re planning to travel off the beaten path. Road conditions are generally good, although in rural areas they’re also used as routes by sheep, goats and cattle. Seat belts are mandatory and cell phone usage is illegal.
Macedonia Trains and Buses
Intercity rail travel is economical and generally comfortable, although the network is somewhat limited due to the mountainous nature of the country. The fastest lines run between Skopje - Bitola and Skopje - Gevgelai, with local trains much slower. Visitors should note that Ohrid is not accessible by train, and longer-distance buses are the only public transportation option.
Macedonia’s public bus service improves year by year, with most comfortable and air-conditioned, although locals tend to prefer fresh air when traveling, opening windows and letting the heat in. Skopje has two stations serving a useful network of local buses at a flat fare per ride. Long-distance inter-regional routes serve all major destinations from the capital with hourly departures, and are an economic way to travel.