North Macedonia - Country Commercial Guide
Business Travel
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Business Customs

North Macedonia’s business customs are similar to Western business customs.  Shaking hands is the standard form of greeting and introduction.  Business cards are exchanged without much protocol.  Business attire for professionals in North Macedonia is like that in the United States.  Establishing a good business relationship in North Macedonia requires the creation of trust.  Meetings over coffee, lunch, and dinner are important for getting acquainted and developing trust.

Traditional businesses hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Parliament passed changes to the labor law in early 2022 to make Sunday a non-working day, resulting in widespread business closures on Sundays.

Travel Advisory

Prior to travel, U.S. citizens should check the U.S. Embassy Skopje website and the State Department’s Travel. site for the latest travel warnings and advisories.  Travelers may also contact the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy in Skopje.

Phone: + 389-2-310-2000

Protests have occasionally devolved into localized violent incidents.  Public protests, demonstrations, and strikes occur sporadically in North Macedonia, often resulting in traffic disruptions, particularly near the center of Skopje.  You should avoid demonstration areas and exercise caution if traveling near demonstrations.

Violent crime against U.S. citizens is rare.  Theft and other petty street crimes do occur, particularly in areas where tourists and foreigners congregate.  Do not leave anything of value in plain view in unattended vehicles.  ATM use is generally safe; however, take standard safety precautions and be aware of your surroundings.

Visa requirements

U.S. citizens need a valid U.S. passport for travel to North Macedonia.  Visas are not required for tourist or business trips of less than 90 days within a six-month period.  You must have a visa to work, study, or stay longer than 90 days, and North Macedonia’s Border Police strictly enforce the 90-day limit.

U.S. companies that require travel of foreign businesspersons to the United States are advised that security evaluations are handled via an interagency process. Visa applicants should go to the following link(s):  State Department Visa Website.


The denar (MKD) is the official currency of North Macedonia; euros, U.S. dollars and other foreign currencies are not accepted as payment outside of tourist areas.  You can change money at banks or official exchange offices.  ATMs are widespread in Skopje and major towns.  Almost all ATMs accept international bank cards and have an English language option.

Credit cards are readily accepted in hotels, larger stores, and restaurants; you may need denar for purchases in smaller establishments.


Fixed telephone lines are available in all towns.  Visitors may rent a cell phone on arrival.  GSM phones will work in North Macedonia.  There is cell phone coverage in all populated areas and in most unpopulated areas as well.

Fixed lines are provided by the dominant telecommunication service provider, Makedonski Telekom, and a range of other VoIP providers of telephony services.  There are two cell phone service providers:  Makedonski Telekom (owned by Magyar/ Deutsche Telekom and the Government of North Macedonia) and A1 (owned by the Telekom Austria Group).  Both telecom service providers use 3G, 4G and 5G (though 5G is still being rolled out across the country to ensure uninterrupted signal) mobile telecommunications technology.

North Macedonia’s international calling code is +389 when dialing North Macedonia from outside the country.  The international call prefix for calls from North Macedonia to other countries is 00.  Most hotels offer Wi-Fi.  Public Wi-Fi hotspots in urban areas are also available, especially in coffee shops and restaurants.

There are several Internet access service companies that provide telecommunications services including data communications access and telephone connection.

Electricity in North Macedonia is 230 V, with a frequency of 50 Hz.  European plug types C and F are used.


There is no direct commercial air service between the United States and North Macedonia.

North Macedonia has two commercial airports in Skopje and Ohrid.  Turkish company TAV operates both airports on contract:

Between November and February, thick smog can limit visibility at Skopje’s airport, causing flight delays, diversions, and cancellations.  The Skopje airport website provides flight information, including delays and cancellations due to weather conditions.

Several airlines fly to North Macedonia.  Please check the airport at  for the most current list.  As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in North Macedonia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Government of North Macedonia’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. 

Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.


Some major highways are in good condition, but many secondary urban and rural roads are poorly maintained and poorly lit.  Driving safely in North Macedonia requires excellent defensive driving skills.  Secondary mountain roads can be narrow, poorly marked, and lack guardrails, and can quickly become dangerous in inclement weather.  Horse-drawn carts, livestock, dead animals, rocks, or other objects are sometimes found on roadways.  In case of emergency, drivers may contact the police at 192, the ambulance service at 194, and roadside assistance at 196, or the unified emergency help line number 112.  Driving at night in rural mountainous areas is not advised due to poor or nonexistent lighting.

Rent a Car Agencies:

AVIS Rent a Car
Tel: 389-2-256-1847

Tel: 389-70-205-546

Tel: 389-70-217-881

Public Transportation

Public transportation such as buses and trains is available and inexpensive, but may be unreliable, dilapidated, and may not meet U.S. safety standards.

North Macedonia has a limited rail network that is not typically used by visitors.  North Macedonia’s railroad system is connected to Serbia and Kosovo to the north and to Greece in the south.  A railway link with Bulgaria is under construction.  Train travel, while inexpensive, is not advisable in North Macedonia.

Taxis are widely available in Skopje and are generally inexpensive and reliable.  Passengers should always wear seat belts.  Use legitimate, metered taxis to avoid conflicts about the fare.


Always take care while on foot.  Pedestrians should be very cautious when crossing the street, even when using crosswalks, as local drivers often do not slow down or stop for pedestrians, and vehicles often park on sidewalks, causing pedestrians to walk in traffic lanes.


Many of North Macedonia’s citizens speak foreign languages in addition to Macedonian or Albanian.  English is the predominant foreign language, followed by German and French.  Although many companies in North Macedonia have English speakers among their managers, U.S. business representatives should be prepared to do business through locally hired interpreters.


We recommend purchasing comprehensive insurance that covers overseas medical expenses and medical evacuation costs before travelling.  Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments.  U.S. embassies do not pay medical bills and U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.

Many physicians in North Macedonia are trained to a high standard, and some well-equipped private clinics are available, especially in Skopje.  However, most public hospitals and clinics are not well equipped nor are they maintained at U.S. or Western European standards.  Basic medical supplies are usually available, but specialized treatment may not be obtainable.  Travelers with previously diagnosed medical conditions may wish to consult their physician before travel.  Health risks associated with air pollution exist, especially during the winter months, and tick-borne diseases are prevalent in the spring and summer.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s info line at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) or via the CDC’s internet site.  Visitors should obtain routine immunizations recommended by the CDC prior to entering the country.

For most current travel health notices, please check the CDC’s Travel page via

Local time, business hours, and holidays:

Time:     GMT + 1 hour

EST +6 hours

The country observes daylight savings time from the last Sunday in March through the last Sunday in October.

Business Hours: 08:30 – 16:30

2023 Holidays:

Table: 2023 Holidays:
January 1New Year’s Day
January 7Orthodox Christmas

April 16

April 21

Orthodox Easter Monday

Ramadan Bajram (Eid al-Fitr)

May 1Labor Day
May 24Saints Cyril and Methodius Day
August 2Ilinden Uprising Day
September 8Independence Day
October 11People’s Uprising Against Fascism
October 23Revolutionary Struggle Day
December 8Saint Clement of Ohrid Day


If a holiday falls on a weekend, the government will generally issue a decision shortly before the holiday declaring the preceding Friday or following Monday an official holiday.  In some cases, the government may declare an extended holiday.

The following holidays in 2023 may be observed by citizens of North Macedonia of a particular ethnicity or religion:

January 6 - Orthodox Christmas Eve (Orthodox)

January 19 - Epiphany (Orthodox)

April 14 - Friday before Orthodox Easter (Orthodox)

June 2 - Friday before Duhovden (Orthodox)

August 28 - Assumption of the Virgin (Orthodox)

April 10 - Easter Monday (Catholic)

November 1- All Saints Day (Catholic)

June 28 – Kurban Bajram / Eid al-Adha (Muslim)

Begins the evening of September 24 and ends in the evening of September 25 - Yom Kippur (Jewish)

January 27 - Saint Sava (members of the Serbian community)

April 8 - International Day of the Roma (Roma community)

May 23 - National Day of the Vlachs (Vlach community)

September 28 - International Day of the Bosniaks (Bosniak community)

November 22 - Day of the Albanian Alphabet (Albanian community)

December 21 - Day of the Turkish Language (Turkish community)

Consistent with European practice, business activity in North Macedonia slows during late July and August, when many people take extended summer holidays.

Temporary Entry of Materials and Personal Belongings

For information on customs regulations for departing from and arriving in North Macedonia, please refer to the Customs Administration of the Republic of North Macedonia.