If you’re looking for an affordable place to live, Skopje, North Macedonia, may be the perfect destination.
Located in the heart of the Balkans, this city offers a mix of vibrant culture and stunning scenery at a fraction of the cost of other European cities
In this article, we will take a closer look at what it would be like to live in Skopje on $1000 a month.
NB: At the time of writing, $1000 = €995 or £851.
What’s it Like Living in Skopje?
Skopje is the capital and largest city of North Macedonia. It is situated in the north-central part of the country, on the upper course of the Vardar River.
The city has a population of about 600,000 people, and as you can imagine, this makes it a vibrant and cosmopolitan city.
With its rich history, Skopje also offers a blend of Ottoman, Byzantine, and Serbian architecture, which makes it an interesting place to visit, live in, and explore.
The city also has a number of museums, art galleries, and parks – perfect for those who love culture and history.
In terms of nightlife, Skopje has a lively music and clubbing scene. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and clubs to suit all tastes, so you’re sure to find somewhere to have a good time.
The Cost of Living in Skopje
Let’s now break down with a fair, tried-and-tested estimation of how much the costs of living in Skopje per category…
Cost of eating out in restaurants:
A meal in a mid-range restaurant will cost you around $15, while a meal in a more affordable eatery will set you back about $30.
Cost of cooking at home:
Of course, if you’re on a budget, you can always cook at home – groceries are relatively cheap compared to other EU countries.
Our monthly grocery bill in Skopje is usually around $300 to $400, and that includes a lot of food (and other “luxury” items such as fine wines, beers, etc).
Cost of renting in Skopje:
Rent is also relatively affordable in Skopje – an apartment in the city center will cost you around $350 per month.
Of course, if you’re on a tight budget, you can always find something cheaper the further you move away from the city center, but even on a $1000 a month budget, you’d be able to find a great spot (not the best spot) to live within walking distance of the city center.
Cost of utilities:
Utilities in Skopje are also very affordable – our monthly bill for electricity, water, and the internet is usually around $120.
Cost of transportation:
Transportation costs are also quite reasonable in Skopje. A monthly public transport pass will set you back about ~$20. You can learn more about the transportation system in Skopje here.
Cost of sightseeing:
If you’re planning on doing some sightseeing, entrance fees to museums and historical sites are very reasonable, with most places costing less than $20 to enter.
Can You Really Live in Skopje On Just $1000 a Month?
Yes, living in Skopje on $1000 a month is definitely possible. Here’s a rundown (+ the total) of the total expenses mentioned above:
Eating out in restaurants twice a week (15 x 2 x 4): $120
Food & groceries: $300
Renting in Skopje: $350
Utilities (including internet): $120
Cultural events & sightseeing (twice per month?): $40
TOTAL MONTHLY ESTIMATED COSTS: $950
Of course, these figures will vary slightly depending on your lifestyle, but overall, you can definitely live a comfortable life in Skopje for $1000 per month.
How Much Do The Locals Earn Per Month in Skopje?
The average monthly salary in Skopje is around $700.
Of course, this varies depending on your profession – if you’re working in a low-skilled job, you can expect to earn less than this, while if you have a high-skilled job or work in the public sector, you may earn more.
Once you start getting to know the locals, you will soon realize that even though Skopje is relatively cheap, many find it a bit expensive compared to other towns and cities in North Macedonia, as well as the not-too-far-away town of Kumanovo.
So OK, Skopje is Cheap – but is it Safe?
Now that we’ve established that Skopje is a relatively affordable city, you may be wondering about its safety, given the fact you’d be a foreigner living in a foreign land.
Skopje is generally a safe place to live and visit. Of course, as with any city, there are areas that are best avoided at night but overall, the city is safe.
There is a small risk of petty crime, such as pickpocketing in crowded areas, but if you take precautions and keep your belongings close to you, you should be fine.
In terms of political stability, it’s fair stable (although you do get a few protests and civil unrest every couple of years).
Can A Couple Live in Skopje on $1000 a Month?
It’s possible, but I don’t recommend living on $1000 as a family or even a couple. The cost of living would go up significantly, especially if you’re planning on having children.
If you’re a couple with no kids, then you could potentially live on $1200-$1300 per month, but it would be a tight budget. In that case, I recommend saving up a bit more money before making the move to Skopje.
Overall, Skopje is a great place to live if you want to experience a different culture while still being able to enjoy the comforts of home.
The cost of living is low, there are plenty of things to do, and the people are friendly. Give it a try— you may be surprised at how much you like it!