North Macedonia by train
Train travel is an excellent way to explore the Balkan country of North Macedonia. Your Eurail Pass gives you the freedom to visit the warm and welcoming capital of Skopje, and hike the splendid peaks of the many mountains. Visit the mind-blowing Ohrid Lake and experience the untouched landscape of Macedonia.
Eurail passes for North Macedonia
Eurail Macedonia Pass
The Eurail Macedonia Pass takes you to the highlights of North Macedonia like Skopje, Lake Ohrid and Bitola.
Eurail Global Pass
The Eurail Global Pass is the flexible and budget-friendly way to get around up to 33 countries in Europe. Travel by train from one cool destination to the next. One day you're on a pub crawl through Amsterdam and the next you're white-water rafting in Interlaken, Switzerland.
Trains in North Macedonia
Train travel isn't particularly fast in North Macedonia, with the main routes being between Belgrade and Skopje, however this gives you time to take in the picturesque surroundings.
These are other popular routes within the country:
To Tetovo, Gostivar and Kicevo in the west
To Volkovo in the northwest
To Kumanovo and Tabanovci in the north
To Sveti Nikole, Štip, and Kocani in the east
To Veles, Negotino and Gevgelija in the south - southeast
To Bogomila, Prilep and Bitola in the southwest
From Skopje, there are good connections with Turkey, Serbia and Greece for those wishing to visit Istanbul, Belgrade or Athens before continuing with your Eurail journey.
The main north to south line from Niš in Serbia to the port of Thessaloniki in Greece on the Aegean Sea (Corridor X), passes through Kumanovo, Skopje, Zelenikovo, Veles, Negotino, Demir Kapija, Miravci and Gevgelija.
IR: passenger trains, reservation not required
D: express trains, reservation not required
ICB: intercity trains, reservation not required
Reservations are only required for international trains.
Places to visit
Be adventurous in nature’s playground
Mavrovo National Park is one of North Macedonia’s most splendid natural places with crystal waterfalls and lakes set amongst birch and pine forest. Hike or camp on high peaks through much of the year, while the winter months bring sufficient snowfall for some of Europe’s cheapest skiing and snowboarding – give Zare Lazarevski ski centre a go. The aquatic-rich, mountain-fringed Lake Ohrid is North Macedonia’s own little gem. It’s one of Europe’s oldest and deepest and it’s possible to go scuba diving into these clear waters.
Enjoy North Macedonia’s casual nightlife
Overlooking the banks of Skopje’s Vardar is Kej 13 Noemvri – a place that’s humming during the evening with a number of bars, cafés and restaurants. An inviting alternative to dining in the capital is heading to beautiful man-made Lake Matka – just 30 minutes by car from the city. Soak up the tranquil ambience as you admire views of steep cliffs cloaked in green forests, reflecting in the azure waters. There are a number of decent restaurants scattered around the lake, some of which can only be reached by boat – how romantic!
Six kilometres out of Skopje is the village of Gorno Nerezi on Mount Vodno’s slopes. Take in great vistas of the city and visit the Sveti Pantelejmon monastery, where you’ll find some of North Macedonia’s finest twelfth-century frescoes. The country’s favourite monastery is Sveti Jovan Bigorski, located near the Albanian border, and built in 1020 on the spot where Saint John the Baptist miraculously appeared. The intricate wood-carved iconostasis (altar screen) within the main church is considered one of the most elaborate of its kind.
Skopje: FYR Macedonia’s capital
Although North Macedonia’s capital city has little in the way of attractions to visit, Skopje is worthy of a day or two’s visit. At first sight, it's a city dominated by an unfriendly Yugoslav architectural skyscape, but delve a little deeper and you’ll find that the locals more than make up for it with a warm welcome. Head for the Old Bazaar on the eastern bank of the Vardar River – one of Europe’s largest. The area is shrouded in mosques and Turkish buildings and offers a taste of the daily bustle of Macedonian life.
Unspoilt natural beauty
Sat between Bitola and Ohrid is North Macedonia’s Pelister National Park, buried within rugged and mountainous terrain and overlooking the sparkling waters of Lake Prespa. Take a hike through this flora- and fauna-rich park and if you’re lucky you’ll spot bears, deer and wolves. And why not spend the night in a mountain hut? Close by is another park of note – Galičica National Park – discreetly nestled between Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa. Enjoy a hike around the park, taking in some of the most picturesque surroundings.
Go the last mile
Found yourself at the end of the line, but not at your destination? When public transportation ends, it's time to take matters into your own hands: rent a car for the last miles!
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