Here’s Why You Won’t Find McDonald’s in Skopje

Are you a fan of McDonald’s and wondering if you can find one in Skopje, Macedonia?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. There are no McDonald’s restaurants in Skopje or anywhere else in Macedonia.

In fact, all McDonald’s fast-food restaurants in the country were closed in 2013 due to financial difficulties.

Despite being one of the largest fast-food chains in the world, McDonald’s has not made a comeback in Macedonia yet.

However, there have been rumors of the American giant’s return to the country, but whether McDonald’s will make a comeback in Macedonia remains to be seen.

However, for now, you will have to satisfy your cravings for fast food elsewhere, so stick around to the end of the article to find the best McDonald’s alternatives in Skopje.

On the left side of the image, a cheerful woman in a bright green dress holding the red and yellow Macedonian flag standing on one of Skopje's main bridges in the Centar. On the right side, there's a close-up view of a familiar sight: golden, crispy McDonald's fries nestled in their iconic red carton with a bright yellow "M" logo. The fries appear fresh and tempting.

Is McDonald’s in Skopje, Macedonia?

McDonald’s used to have restaurants in Macedonia, but they were closed down in 2013 due to financial difficulties and other issues.

Since then, there have been rumors and speculation about McDonald’s returning to Macedonia, but as of today, there is no official confirmation of when or if that will happen.

If you are craving fast food in Skopje, there are plenty of other options available.

Skopje has a variety of local and international fast-food chains, including KFC and Burger King.

You can also find local fast food joints that serve traditional Macedonian dishes like burek, kebap, and tavce gravce.

While it may be disappointing for McDonald’s fans, the absence of the fast food giant in Skopje is not unusual.

Many countries around the world do not have McDonald’s restaurants, and there are various reasons for that.

Some countries have strict regulations on foreign fast food chains, while others have a strong local food culture that makes it difficult for international chains to compete.

History of McDonald’s in Macedonia

If you’re wondering whether McDonald’s is available in Skopje, Macedonia, the answer is no – but it wasn’t always the case.

The first McDonald’s restaurant in Macedonia was launched in Skopje in 1997, and it quickly became a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

This led to a second location, strategically opened in Ohrid, which is another Macedonian city popular with tourists, thanks to the largest natural lake in the country and picturesque scenery.

However, in 2013, both McDonald’s restaurants in Macedonia were shut down, leaving many people wondering why.

According to Balkan Insight, the closure of McDonald’s restaurants in Macedonia came as a surprise to customers.

The restaurants were closed with a brief note at the entrances stating that the premises were “temporarily unavailable”.

However, the closure turned out to be permanent, and McDonald’s has been absent from the Macedonian market for 10 years now.

What Do Locals Think About McDonald’s?

When it comes to fast food, McDonald’s is a household name that is recognized all over the world.

In a nationwide poll conducted by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in 2020, citizens of Macedonia were asked about their priorities for the country.

Economic development was a top concern, but respondents also expressed a desire for more foreign investment and job opportunities.

While McDonald’s may not be the solution to all of Macedonia’s economic problems, it could certainly help create jobs and attract foreign investment.

It’s no surprise, then, that many Macedonians are eager to see McDonald’s return to their country.

Future Possibilities

If McDonald’s will indeed return to Macedonia, it’s possible that more locations may open up in the country in the future.

The fast food chain is known for its aggressive expansion strategy, and it’s likely that Macedonia would be a prime target for further growth.

However, it’s important to note that opening new McDonald’s locations is not always a straightforward process.

There are a number of factors that can impact the company’s decision to expand into a particular market, including local regulations, competition, and economic conditions.

If the company were to expand again in the future, it would need to carefully consider these factors to ensure that it could operate successfully in the country.

That being said, there are certainly reasons to believe that McDonald’s could be successful in Macedonia.

Economic Factors & Market Viability

Skopje’s economic environment appears promising for international fast-food chains looking to establish or re-establish operations.

As the capital city of Macedonia, Skopje has been undergoing significant economic development.

The city’s GDP per capita has seen a steady increase over the years, indicating a growing level of affluence among its population.

This rising wealth is likely to translate into increased consumer spending, particularly on discretionary items like dining out.

Food Culture

While Skopje is bustling with restaurants and eateries that offer authentic Macedonian, Albanian, and Turkish food, the country’s fast food market is relatively underdeveloped compared to other European countries.

This might’ve been the result of the controversial “Skopje 2014” project that involved the construction of several monuments and buildings in locations where some of the city’s most popular fast food joints had once operated.

The expansion of the project forced these establishments to shut down, and the project was highly criticized by many for its exorbitant cost and alleged corruption, which led to protests and calls for accountability.

But despite this controversy, the Skopje 2014 project was completed, and the city square underwent a significant transformation with the addition of new cultural and historical landmarks while also losing a few of the city’s most popular fast-food joints.

The closure of fast-food joints on Macedonia Square had a notable impact on the city’s culinary scene, as many of these establishments were popular with locals and visitors alike.

One of the fast-food joints known as “Chichko Stoilko” was a local favorite and often boasted long queues, regardless of the time of day.

While there are still plenty of fast-food options available in the city, including international chains, the closure of local eateries has left a void in Skopje’s fast-food market that has yet to be fully filled.

This could present an opportunity for McDonald’s to gain a foothold in the region.

Cultural and Social Aspects

Another reason why McDonald’s might make a comeback in Macedonia, and perhaps even sooner than we may anticipate, is the cultural and social aspects, the growing public interest in global cuisine, and the popularity of fast-food chains among younger generations.

With the rise of social media and globalization, more and more people in Macedonia are increasingly adopting Western eating habits and are becoming interested in trying new and trendy foods from around the world.

And since fast food chains like McDonald’s are often associated with American culture, they can be seen as a symbol of modernity and progress.

In addition, younger generations in Macedonia are a demographic often seen as a key market for foreign brands, including fast food chains and their preferences and tastes often play a significant role in the decision to bring a particular brand to the country.

Therefore, this demographic shift, coupled with an increasing number of foreign tourists, creates a thriving market for international fast-food chains, which can foretell the return of the McDonald’s chain in the country.

Additionally, Skopje’s strategic location as a hub for both local and international traffic provides an excellent opportunity for high-visibility restaurant locations.

Best McDonald’s Alternatives in Skopje

Despite the absence of popular international fast-food chains like McDonald’s, Skopje still offers an impressive range of local fast-food options and has a thriving food scene, with local eateries offering a range of regional delicacies and familiar fast-food favorites at much lower prices than most European cities.

Here are a few of the best fast-food alternatives to McDonald’s in Skopje:

Burger King:

The international fast-food chain is well known for serving sandwiches, burgers, and even salads that rival those of McDonald’s. They also offer some unique menu items like grilled sandwiches and falafel wraps, and currently have 3 Skopje locations.


For those craving fried chicken, KFC is a popular option in Skopje.

They offer a variety of chicken meals as well as burgers and wraps and currently have 3 Skopje locations, one of which is a drive-through.


This local fast-food chain has been around for a long time and is a favorite among locals, which is quickly made obvious by the queue in their location next to Holiday Inn Hotel.

They serve up traditional Macedonian dishes like kebapi as as well as one of the best burgers in town.

Fast Food 7:

Another popular local chain that boasts multiple locations throughout Skopje, Fast Food 7 offers some of the best fast food favorites like burgers and hot dogs.

Gyro Beko:

Another local favorite, Gyro Beko, specializes in gyros, sandwiches, burgers, and rotisserie chicken.

They also offer a variety of salads and side dishes and are located a short distance away from the square.

Chichko Stoilko:

One of the locals’ favorite fast-food locations, which was sadly closed due to the controversial building project, has recently reopened at a new location and management.

Therefore, if you ever find your way to Skopje, make sure to try one of the joint’s mouthwatering classics.

TLDR: Frequently Asked Questions

Is McDonald’s Available in Skopje, Macedonia?

No, McDonald’s is not available in Skopje, Macedonia. The two McDonald’s restaurants in Macedonia were closed in 2013 due to the local franchisee’s financial difficulties.

Why Isn’t There McDonald’s in Macedonia?

There is no McDonald’s in Macedonia because the local franchisee faced financial difficulties and had to close all the McDonald’s restaurants in the country.

What Countries Does McDonald’s Work In?

McDonald’s operates in more than 100 countries worldwide, including the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, and many countries in Europe, Asia, and South America.

Why is McDonald’s Banned in Some Countries?

McDonald’s has faced opposition and has been banned in some countries due to various reasons, including concerns about the quality of food, health issues, cultural differences, and political reasons.

Among The Countries, What Are the Reasons for Banning McDonald’s?

The reasons for banning McDonald’s vary from country to country. For example, in Bolivia, McDonald’s was banned due to concerns about the quality of food and the negative impact on local food culture. In Iceland, McDonald’s was banned due to the high cost of importing food and the country’s economic crisis.

Why Did McDonald’s Close in Skopje?

All McDonald’s restaurants in Macedonia were closed in 2013 due to the local franchisee’s financial difficulties. The closure was a result of the franchisee’s inability to pay the rent and other expenses, which led to the termination of the franchise agreement with McDonald’s.

This guide was first published on July 13, 2023 and was last updated on February 13, 2024. For more information, please contact us at