The stone and red-tiled Monastery of Saint Naum
Photo by Güldem Üstün  –  Link

Macedonia (FYROM)


  Macedonian Currency:  Macedonian Denar

The Republic of Macedonia (aka the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, or FYROM) in southeast Europe is a treasure trove of traveller's delights, with ancient ruins, jaw-dropping scenery and a banging food scene just waiting to be discovered. It may not be on your radar just yet, but it certainly should be. This landlocked Balkan nation has a fascinating history and an even brighter future. Step back in time at the Old Bazaar in the capital city Skopje, venture into the mysterious caves surrounding Lake Matka, and fall in love with the mystical mountains and forests of the Mariovo region.

Is it a country or a region?

The Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), which is its own country, is not to be confused with the Macedonia region, an area of land that includes parts of Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia, Kosovo and the Republic of Macedonia. This region has existed since antiquity, and many different nations claim this ancient Macedonia as their own. As a result, when FYROM declared its independence under the name "Republic of Macedonia", it sparked quite a bit of controversy among neighbouring countries - especially Greece, where millions of ethnic Greeks identify as Macedonians. That controversy continues today.

Macedonia can mean a variety of things, depending on who you ask. To the Greeks, it is a region in northern Greece, with Thessaloniki as its capital. To the residents of FYROM, it is their nation. Frequent protests break out in Athens and Skopje over the true definition.

The country of Macedonia has a fascinating and rich history dating back thousands of years, with the capital Skopje originally founded by the Paeonians in the third century BCE. Visit Macedonia and you'll see ancient Roman ruins alongside Ottoman-era landmarks, Byzantine monasteries and Communist-era tower blocks.

Is Macedonia in the EU?

Macedonia (FYROM) is a member of the UN and the Council of Europe, but it is not a member of the European Union (yet). It's been a candidate for joining the EU since 2005.

Explore cities in Macedonia (FYROM)