Macedonia has become a surprising favorite for those backpacking the Balkans.
This landlocked country is renowned for its breathtaking natural landscapes, including the captivating Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa, as well as its majestic mountain ranges and enchanting waterfalls.
Additionally, Macedonia boasts a wealth of ancient churches that trace back to the time of Alexander the Great.
While popular backpacking destinations in the Balkans often gravitate towards coastal areas in nearby countries like Albania, Montenegro, and Croatia, a visit to Macedonia is a must for anyone traveling Southeast Europe.
Despite its relatively compact size, Macedonia is easy and well worth it.
Whether you’re exploring the dynamic capital city of Skopje or finding yourself lost in the charming Bitola, here are the best hostels in Macedonia for travelers seeking to discover the country’s rich cultural heritage while meeting other fellow travelers along the way.
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Skopje, Macedonia’s laid-back capital, is a wild mix of old-school charm and contemporary cool. Think Ottoman-style buildings rubbing shoulders with funky modern sculptures, all while the city parties on. Explore the maze-like alleys of the Old Bazaar, munch on mouthwatering Macedonian eats, and soak up the vibrant vibes of the Stone Bridge.
Shanti Hostel is a hidden gem nestled in the oldest neighborhood of Skopje, Macedonia. The hostel’s well-equipped rooms, including safety lockers, reading lights, and colorful curtains, ensure a comfortable and secure stay.
The inviting garden provides a peaceful retreat, and amenities like air conditioning and a camera security system add to the convenience.
Complimentary tea and coffee are available throughout your stay. Shanti Hostel goes above and beyond by offering exciting activities such as airport pickup, horse riding tours, and walking tours to enhance your visit.
Additionally, the hostel is surrounded by supermarkets, restaurants, bars, theaters, and shopping malls, making it the perfect base to explore everything that Skopje has to offer.
Urban Hostel & Apartments, a spotless apartment, and hostel in Skopje, is the tired backpacker’s escape for a few nights of a flawlessly clean space, ultimate comfort, and a few serene nights in new and modern apartment-style accommodation.
This hostel provides all the amenities of a traditional hostel, along with the facilities of a modern-day apartment, ensuring travelers a peaceful stay away from the typical chaos of a hostel.
The apartment rooms are separate from the hostel, allowing guests to choose between shared rooms for a few quick chats with other travelers or their own private rooms for complete privacy and silence.
This is not a party hostel, and guests should expect to contribute to the hostel’s calm atmosphere by adhering to the rules and not disrupting other guests while enjoying Skopje.
This is our favorite hostel in Skopje for couples.
Get Inn Hostel in Skopje is a chill yet sociable choice for travelers seeking a convenient central location and a lively atmosphere. It offers daily activities, making it easier for guests to connect with fellow travelers and make new friends.
Expect afternoon or evening events like free dinners, walking tours, rakija and wine parties, and other cool gatherings that contribute to the atmosphere. The hostel boasts bright, colorful decor that enhances its friendly and welcoming ambiance, creating a soothing and homey environment for travelers.
Mixed dorms are available, as well as a female-only dorm. Despite its small size, this intimate setting adds to the charm of the hostel, making it the perfect choice for those who appreciate a more personal experience as opposed to larger, more spacious hostels.
Located in the serene village of Vratnica, one of the most northwestern parts of the country, Kitka Hostel offers a comfortable and homey stay in a beautiful old guesthouse.
With plenty of open spaces and charming balconies providing a garden view from each room, this one-of-a-kind hostel exudes an organic and peaceful vibe, attracting adventurous travelers who seek an authentic experience away from the main tourist trail of Macedonia.
Nature lovers will delight in hiking to the peak of Mount Ljuboten, and the hostel’s owners even offer transportation to and from the hike’s starting point. The rooms can accommodate 1 to 4 people, so it’s advisable to book ahead in this small hostel. Guests enjoy mingling at the hostel’s on-site restaurant and during morning breakfasts.
Being in such a remote area, making friends with fellow travelers comes naturally in this very social, yet tranquil atmosphere.
Ohrid, Macedonia’s hidden gem, is like a dreamy fairy tale come to life. This ancient town, perched on the shores of Lake Ohrid, oozes with history and natural beauty. Wander through its cobblestone streets, lined with centuries-old churches and charming cafes. Here are the best hostels in Ohrid:
Located in the heart of Ohrid, Old Town Hostel is housed in a beautiful old home. Its colorful and jazzy living room, along with the overall interior design, creates a friendly and fun atmosphere.
The hostel places a strong emphasis on fun to maintain the social vibe of this hostel. The staff is friendly and helpful, organizing a variety of daily events, such as sunset boat tours, Macedonian dinner nights, and treating guests to the hostel’s famous chocolate rakija.
With its prime location next to the shores of Lake Ohrid and Old Town, this hostel provides the perfect starting point for guests to venture out and experience Ohrid’s vibrant nightlife with other independent travelers. Accommodation options include private and mixed dorms, including a female-only dorm.
Blue Lake Hostel in Ohrid is another excellent choice for independent backpackers seeking to connect with others, crack open a few beers, and explore the city’s sights, bars, and famous landmarks.
The hostel attracts open-minded, mostly young travelers who enjoy hanging out, playing guitar, laughing, and heading out together to the nearby lake and Old Town. With a variety of mixed dorms available, you can expect a lively and vibrant crowd at Blue Lake Hostel.
Enjoy free ice cream, free all-day coffee and tea, and even free laundry services for guests staying three nights or more. Also, the hostel offers additional services such as paragliding, bike rentals, and other necessities to explore in and around the region.
The best time to visit Macedonia is during the summer months, from May to September, when you can experience dry, warm weather.
This country boasts abundant nature, picturesque landscapes, friendly locals, and a rich heritage– and luckily Macedonia is best traveled by bus.
Here are the top things to do and see in Macedonia.
1. Explore Skopje: The country’s capital offers historical landmarks, stunning architecture, and fascinating history. Sites such as the Skopje Fortress, Stone Bridge, and various churches and statues mixed in between the city’s many restaurants, cafes, and bars will keep you busy.
2. Marvel at the Painted Mosque in Tetovo: One of the country’s most famous attractions, this mosque allows you to learn about the Balkans’ rich Islamic influence. It’s an easy day trip from Skopje and can be visited in the afternoon.
3. Visit Ohrid: The town of Ohrid offers the country’s most stunning lake, Lake Ohrid. There are several hostels in Ohrid to choose from, and the city itself is a fun, backpacker-friendly place to explore landmarks, head out to the pubs, and simply take in the town’s breathtaking ambiance.
4. Take a day trip to Matka Canyon: Located west of Skopje, Matka Canyon is one of Macedonia’s must-see outdoor destinations. Here, you can hike, see its impressive wildlife, and swim in the canyon’s artificial lake.
5. Chase waterfalls: Macedonia is home to several beautiful waterfalls, including Korab, Duf, and Smolare.
6. Visit the national parks: Three of the most popular national parks in Macedonia, Pelister National Park, Galicica National Park, and Mavrovo National Park, protect some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes and wildlife areas, boasting magnificent views.
7. Hike the Sar Mountains: Spanning across Kosovo and Macedonia, adventure lovers in Macedonia enjoy hiking the many trails of the Sar Mountains, including the popular and highest peak, Mount Ljuboten.
8. Visit Lake Prespa: Another equally beautiful lake in Macedonia, Lake Prespa borders Macedonia, Albania, and Greece and offers picturesque, postcard-worthy views.
9. Visit Bitola: One of the most beautiful cities in Macedonia, Bitola is a bit off the tourist trail, giving you an authentic experience of museums, restaurants, coffee shops, and architecture, allowing you to discover even more of Macedonia’s rich culture.
10. Sip Macedonian Wine: Macedonia is one of the region’s best wine producers. With quality wine stemming from the Tikves region, enjoy a beautiful evening with a glass of red or white wine.
Additional Tips for Traveling to NorthMacedonia
Avoid political talks: You’ll quickly notice that while many of the Balkan countries share similarities, the people of their respective countries and heritage are extremely patriotic. Part of the fun of traveling the Balkans is learning about the different ethnicities and cultures. However, as travelers, you should avoid taking sides and keep the conversations friendly.
Don’t join in on any political demonstrations: This goes along with the first tip of avoiding political talks. The occasional demonstration may occur, but tourists, especially, should not participate for obvious reasons.
Tap water is safe: While bottled water is always preferred, you can safely drink tap water in Macedonia.
The currency is the denar, but you can also use the euro: Many places accept both currencies.
Traveling around Macedonia: The best way to travel within Macedonia is by bus. This is often one of the cheapest and fastest transportation options available.
What about the cheapest hostels in Macedonia?
Of course, there are always cheap hostels. But how do you actually find them? When you are traveling on a shoe-string budget and you want to save every dollar, there are ways to find the cheapest places in Macedonia.
Open Hostelz.com with a full list of all hostels in Macedonia
add your dates
Order the listings by price
Simple as that.
Hostelz.com is a price comparison site for hostels. They list every single one in the world and tells you exactly which website is cheaper to use.
Another smart Tip: Check what is actually included, and what is excluded. Take a closer look at the location, too. A further location might mean more costs in transport.
We recommend booking your hostel as early as possible! All of Macedonia best hostels are popular; especially in high-season. To make sure you end up in those stylish and good hostels, secure your room/ bed as soon as you have your travel dates fix.
The coolest Hostel App you need comes as well from Hostelworld. It gives you super cool features like you can contact your hostel mates beforehand and make plans together. Find more details in our review of the app
Hostels in North Macedonia usually vary around 15$ per night depending on the city, room type, and season. This is an average price, just to give you an idea.
Is it Macedonia or North Macedonia?
The long-standing dispute between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia over the use of the country name "Macedonia" officially came to an end in February 2019 when the two nations signed the Prespa Accord, which resolved the matter. The accord stipulated that the Republic of Macedonia would henceforth be known as the Republic of North Macedonia.
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Last note: Our commitment
This is a genuine article to help you travel a bit smarter, and find the best place on a budget! We will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by. We are constantly updating all our guides to keep them as fresh and accurate as possible.
Safe travels, The Hostelgeeks
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