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Why This Cheap and Quirky European Capital Is Ideal For Digital Nomads

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Digital nomads are discovering the benefits of working from countries all over the globe, logging on from remote beaches, big cities, and everywhere in between.

There is no denying that the 35 million plus digital nomads of today have changed the travel industry profoundly, one impact being the popularity surges of places that previously were rather unknown to travelers. 

Blooming violet flowers on the shore of Vardar river. Exciting spring cityscape of capital of North Macedonia - Skopje copy

One region that has seen massive growth with tourism and digital nomads recently is the Balkans, with countries like Albania being thrust into the spotlight especially. Serbia, Montenegro, and Bulgaria are all growing in popularity with remote workers, and for good reasons.

One lesser-known country that is seeing a huge increase in digital nomads is the landlocked Balkan country of North Macedonia. A country with a very unique and often contested past, North Macedonia (formerly named Macedonia) neighbors Kosovo, Greece, Albania, Serbia, and Bulgaria, most of which are becoming hotspots in their own right as well.

@sullystraveldiary #skopjemacedonia #skopje🇲🇰 #skopjemk #skopje #skopjemacedonia🇲🇰🇦🇱 #shkupi🇦🇱 #shkupishqiptareve🇦🇱 #macedonia🇲🇰 #northmacedonia🇦🇱 #northmacedonia🇲🇰 #traveleurope #europetraveldestinations #europetraveltips #europedestinations ♬ love nwantinti (ah ah ah) – CKay

The small and unassuming country of North Macedonia is one of the least visited countries in Europe, and although it’s enjoying a bit of a post-pandemic tourist and digital nomad boom, it’s still far below other European countries.

The country has been gaining attention with the digital nomad community for a while now, with more and more remote workers coming to explore the country's many highlights.

Many flock to the beautiful Lake Ohrid, located in the south of the country, but one area that doesn’t seem to get a lot of press is the capital city of Skopje. 

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Attractive spring cityscape of Skopje - capital of North Macedonia, Europe. Stone wall of Skopje fortress

Here’s Why Skopje Is Great For Digital Nomads: 

Budget Friendly 

Let’s get one thing out of the way right now, people either love, hate, love to hate, or hate to love the city of Skopje. Some find it’s never-ending number of statues and fake facades straight out of Epcot off-putting, but many others love the city for what it is, a quirky and friendly off-the-beaten-path place to explore everyday Balkan life.

One thing that everyone agrees on is that Skopje is cheap. In fact, the whole country is. As one of the cheapest countries in Europe for digital nomads, North Macedonia is ideal for remote workers looking to save money. 

Accommodation in Skopje ranges from high-end apartments with mountain views to brutalist apartment blocks of drab, squat buildings, and the prices range as well. On average, you can find accommodation here much cheaper than elsewhere in Europe.

Housing isn't the only area where you can save money here. Food at restaurants and grocery stores is also cheap, and if you visit the local markets, you can save even more money. Being a small city, you can reach most of Skopje by walking, but if you need to take taxis or busses, they are very cheap as well.

@roxadventures You wouldn’t believe how much I spent for dinner😳 #skopje #travelmacedonia #budgettravel #traveltok #whatispendinaday ♬ Super Freaky Girl – Nicki Minaj

Safe and Friendly

For being the birthplace of Mother Teresa (don’t miss a visit to her house in the center of town), it’s not hard to assume that Skopje is safe and welcoming. Full of friendly locals who are usually very happy to see foreigners enjoying their country, Skopje ranks high for safety when compared to other European cities.

Females are welcome here, and solo travelers should not feel on edge, even after dark. Of course, normal precautions apply, and there are areas you should avoid, but you would know these when you make yourself at home here. 

Statue Of Alexander The Great In A Central Square In Skopje, North Macedonia, Balkan Peninsula, South Eastern Europe

Good Infrastructure & Connectivity

North Macedonia does not have a digital nomad visa yet, but there have been talks of one being launched later this year. At this time, residents from many countries (including the U.S. and U.K.) are allowed to stay up to three months at a time without any special visa needed. 

Skopje is connected to many other cities in the region via bus, and the airport is well-served by low-cost carriers as well. In terms of the internet, Skopje ranks high for wifi speeds, and sim cards are cheap and easy to use, allowing you to stay connected with little problem. 

Co-working spaces and remote worker-friendly cafes abound here as well, perfect for making friends or just a change of scenery when you are sick of working from your apartment.

bridge with statues in skopje north macedonia

Get Outta Town

Being landlocked, Skopje is not a place for beach lovers, but there are plenty of other options for getting out of the city and exploring. Taking a day trip (or longer, preferably) to neighboring Kosovo is a great way to get to know this fascinating country. See the capital of Pristina, and don't miss the charming Prizren as well.

A popular and fun way to spend a day without venturing too far from Skopje is the beautiful Matka Canyon, which is a great place to come and cool off when the summer gets too hot in the city. 

Mavrovo National Park, Tetovo, Kuklica, and the Kokino Ancient Observatory are all great places to escape the city and see another side of the country as well.

Of course, you could always take a bit longer and venture down to Ohrid. As the oldest and one of the deepest lakes in Europe, Lake Ohrid is simply beautiful and cannot be missed. 

@alwaysbwandering When in Skopje, Macedonia don’t miss at least a day trip to Matka Canyon and Vrelo Cave. #travel #traveltiktok #solofemaletraveler #traveltips #traveltipsandhacks #travelrecs #travelrecommendation #matka #macedonia #macedoniantiktok ♬ Infinity – Jaymes Young

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