What It’s Like Living in Skopje, North Macedonia? (An Insider’s Guide)

If you’re thinking about moving to Skopje, North Macedonia, or if you’re just curious what it’s like to live there, then you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we will talk about what life is like in Skopje and what you can expect if you make the move (if that’s what you’re looking to do).

We’ll cover everything from the cost of living to the climate and culture. So whether you’re planning a permanent move to Skopje or just want to learn more about what it has to offer is residents, read our in-depth “insider’s guide to living in Skopje”!

what it's like living in skopje

Skopje? Where’s That?

Skopje is the capital and largest city of North Macedonia. It’s located in the north-central part of the country, right along the Vardar River.

It’s located in the north-central part of the country, on the banks of the Vardar River. The city has a population of around 550,000 people.

If it’s your very first time hearing about Skopje, I suggest you watch this quick video:

The Climate in Skopje

a chart showing the average climate and temperature in skopje
This graphs shows the monthly weather averages over the year. Source.

The climate in Skopje is continental, with hot summers and cold winters.

The average summer temperature is around 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit), while the average winter temperature is about 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit).

Precipitation is moderate, with an annual rainfall of around 60 centimeters (24 inches).

Average precipitation (rain/snow) in Skopje, North Macedonia

The Cost of Living

The cost of living in Skopje is relatively low compared to other European cities.

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can range from €250 to €350 per month and a meal at a restaurant will cost you around 15 Euros, while a cup of coffee will set you back about two Euros.

On average, if you live there, you can live a decent life on €30 to €50 a day, which includes a decent apartment, grocery shopping, transportation, and other fun social activities.

Apartments Are Relatively Cheap to Buy

apartment for sale in skopje
Source: NovelEstate.com

If you’re looking to buy instead of rent, you’ll be happy to know that apartments in Skopje are relatively affordable. Prices for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center start at around €70,000+.

Of course, depending on what you’re looking for and in which area, there are much higher and much lower price tags than that.

Super Low Tax rate

Skopje has a very low tax rate, with a personal income tax rate of just 0% to 10%. This makes it an attractive place to live for those who are looking to keep more of their hard-earned money.

If you register your company in Skopje, the corporate tax rate is just 15%.

You can read more about North Macedonia’s tax code here.

Beautiful Architecture

how much money do you need per day in skopje

One of the things that makes Skopje such a unique city is its architecture.

The city was largely destroyed in an earthquake in 1963, so what you see today is a mix of old and new architecture.

There are beautiful Ottoman-style buildings, as well as Soviet-style brutalist architecture. And in the center of the city, you’ll find the Stone Bridge, which is a must-see.

The city also went through a major renovation project in 2014, which added a lot of new, modern buildings and statues (there are plenty of statues in Skopje)

Skopje is a Great Place to Raise a Family

If you’re looking for a city to raise a family in, Skopje is a great option.

The city has a low crime rate and plenty of green spaces and parks for children to play in. There are also a number of good schools, both public and private.

In Skopje, you’ll find everything you need to have a comfortable life. And if you ever get homesick for your home country, Skopje is just a short flight away from most major European cities.

“A Melting Pot of Cultures”

When it comes to culture, Skopje is a melting pot of different influences.

The city is home to many cultural ethnicities, such as Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish, Roma (Gypsy), and Serbian.

As for religions in Skopje, the city is mostly Orthodox Christian, with a significant Muslim minority.

Plenty of Restaurants to Choose From

soul kitchen restaurant in Skopje
My favorite restaurant in Skopje is Soul Kitchen.

When it comes to food, Skopje has plenty of restaurants to choose from. You can find Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish, and international cuisine all over the city.

Some of the most popular dishes include burek (a type of savory pastry), kebabs, and ajvar (a type of roasted pepper spread).

The Food is Fantastic

traditional macedonian food in skopje
Traditionally cooked pork ribs from one of my favorite restaurants in Skopje.

The food in Skopje is another great reason to move here.

There are many traditional Macedonian restaurants, as well as international cuisine.

You can find everything from delicious kebabs to fresh seafood. And of course, don’t forget the famous Macedonian wine!

The Nightlife Scene is Great

When it comes to nightlife, Skopje offers a great variety of bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from.

And if you’re looking for love, the dating scene is great too! There are many singles bars and clubs, as well as online dating sites. So whether you’re looking for love or just want to have some fun, you’ll be sure to find it in Skopje!

The City is Relatively Safe (Even For Foreigners)

Skopje is a relatively safe city, even for foreigners. The crime rate is low, and the police are typically efficient and trustworthy.

Of course, you should always take precautions and be aware of your surroundings, but overall, Skopje is a safe place to live.

Plenty of Other Close-By Towns You Can Visit

A view of Prilep from high above showing the houses with red roofs and the mountains and skyline in the background.

If you’re looking for a change of pace, there are plenty of other close-by towns you can visit. Ohrid, Bitola, and Prilep are all within a few hours drive of Skopje.

Each town has its own unique history and culture to explore. So whether you’re looking for a day trip or a weekend getaway, you’ll be sure to find what you’re looking for close by.

What are some other reasons why Skopje would be a great place to live?

Taxis are cheap: A taxi ride across town will cost you around two or three Euros.

There are many parks and green spaces: If you love nature, you’ll be happy to know that there are many parks and green spaces in Skopje.

The city is relatively clean: It’s not spotless, but I consider Skopje to be “a clean city” overall (even though it does get very polluted in Winter)

Public transportation works: The public transportation system in Skopje is efficient and easy to use. You can get around the city easily by bus or tram.

There are many things to do and see: Skopje is a vibrant city with plenty of things to fill up your time. Whether you’re into nightlife, culture, or just want to relax in a park, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.

The city is walkable: With its wide sidewalks and pedestrian-friendly streets, Skopje is a great city for walking.

What are some reasons why Skopje would NOT be a great place to live?

The air pollution can be bad: As mentioned before, the air pollution in Skopje can be quite bad, especially in winter.

It can be difficult to find a job: Unless you have a specific skill set or speak fluent Macedonian, it can be difficult to find a job in Skopje.

The winters are cold and dark: The winters in Skopje are long and cold, with temperatures often dipping below freezing. If you don’t like the cold, you might not enjoy living here. The summers are lovely, though.

There is a lot of poverty: While the quality of life is generally high for those who have money, there is a lot of poverty and social inequality in Skopje. You will see beggars on the streets and many people struggling to make ends meet.

The traffic can get quite bad: The traffic in Skopje can be very bad, especially during rush hour. If you’re not used to it, it can be quite frustrating.

What is the Overall Quality of Life in Skopje?

skopje on a budget

Skopje is a great place to live!

If you’re earning decent money, for example, as a digital nomad, the quality of life in Skopje is generally high for you. The city has a lot to offer, from its rich culture to its low cost of living.

There are many things to do and see, and the people are friendly and welcoming. If you’re looking for a great place to live, Skopje should definitely be at the top of your list.