Pristina to Skopje: how to get there
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Pristina to Skopje: how to reach Skopje quickly and affordably

Travelling the Balkans and considering heading to the capital of North Macedonia, Skopje, from Pristina in Kosovo? I took the journey last year, but found there wasn’t too much information on how to make it. In this guide, I share the best ways to get from Pristina to Skopje, so that you can enjoy the best that the North Macedonian capital has to offer.

Travelling from Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, to Skopje, the heart of North Macedonia, gives you an opportunity to explore the dynamic Balkans, characterised by a rich history, diverse cultures, and breathtaking landscapes. I toured the Balkans last year, and finished visiting every single country in the region and absolutely loved it. North Macedonia surprised me in so many ways, and I had such a great time visiting Skopje, the country’s capital city. If you’re considering travelling from Pristina to Skopje, I really recommend taking the journey so you can explore the wonders that North Macedonia has to offer. Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or a curious explorer, finding a route that is both quick and affordable is key to a straightforward journey. In this guide, I share the best way to get from Pristina to Skopje so that you can enjoy a smooth journey through the Balkans.

Quick tips for visiting Skopje

Get this: a convenient and affordable private airport transfer from Skopje Airport. Save the hassle of overpriced taxis by booking ahead.

Don’t miss: a half day trip from Skopje to Mount Vodno and Matka Canyon. I did this exact trip and it was one of the highlights of my visit with some incredible views and nature.

Bucket list experience: if you don’t have time for a full stay in Ohrid, I really recommend this full day tour to Ohrid from Skopje. Ohrid is just beautiful, and a tranquil break from the hustle and bustle of Skopje.

Flights: find the cheapest flights to Skopje with Skyscanner.

Stay: Find the most affordable hotels in Ohrid on

What’s The Distance Between Pristina And Skopje?

The distance between Pristina, the capital city of Kosovo, and Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia, is approximately 92 kilometers (about 57 miles) when traveling by road. This relatively short distance makes the journey between these two Balkan cities quick and accessible by various modes of transportation, including bus, car, or train, with travel times ranging from around 1.5 to 3 hours depending on the chosen method and current traffic conditions. The route, largely straightforward, traverses scenic landscapes, offering travelers a glimpse into the natural beauty of the region as they move from one capital to the next.

Wondering what to see in Skopje? Here’s my guide to the best things to do in Skopje.

Pristina to Skopje via bus

The bus is probably the best mode of transport when getting from Pristina to Skopje. It’s both cost efficient and comfortable, and is the mode of transport I chose to take when taking the journey myself. Several companies operate daily services between Pristina and Skopje, with tickets available at very reasonable prices. I only paid €9 for the journey last year. The journey typically takes around 3 hours, depending on border crossing times, making it a relatively quick trip. Buses are equipped with essential amenities, including air conditioning and sometimes Wi-Fi, ensuring a comfortable ride. I remember we struggled to purchase a ticket online despite trying, so instead we simply turned up to the bus station in Pristina in plenty of time and bought a ticket then and there. The minibus was busy, but not full. Overall the journey was relatively pleasant, and we managed to sail through the border crossings relatively easily.

Pristina to Skopje via train

While not the fastest option, taking the train from Pristina to Skopje can be an adventure in itself, offering unique views of the Kosovo and North Macedonian countryside. The train journey offers a glimpse into the serene landscapes and rural life of the region. It’s important to note, however, that train services may not run as frequently as bus services, and travel times can be longer. If you’re happy to prioritise the journey over the destination and enjoy scenic travels, the train is an excellent choice for getting to Skopje from Kosovo.

Pristina to Skopje via car

If you prefer the flexibility of making whichever stops you like, and travelling at your own pace, why not rent a car? I’d always recommend hiring via DiscoverCars – they’re like a comparison site for rental cars, meaning you can find the most affordable deal. I have travelled a lot of Europe in the past few years, and I actually thought I’d feel pretty comfortable driving in North Macedonia. If I were to travel from Pristina to Skopje again, I’d consider hiring a car so I could take a detour and explore some hidden gems along the way. The drive from Pristina to Skopje takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours via the E65, a well-maintained international highway that offers smooth and scenic driving. You might fancy visiting the historic Gracanica Monastery or the natural beauty of Matka Canyon near Skopje. Driving this route typically looks as follows:

  • Start in Pristina, heading out of the city towards the south.
  • Travel south on the E65, a well-maintained international highway that runs directly from Pristina to Skopje. The drive takes you through picturesque landscapes, including rolling hills and agricultural fields, offering views of the rural beauty of the region.
  • Midway, the route includes a border crossing between Kosovo and North Macedonia, where you’ll undergo passport control and customs checks.
  • After crossing the border, the journey continues in North Macedonia, with the landscape gradually shifting as you approach its capital.
  • The route concludes in Skopje, North Macedonia’s bustling capital, where urban scenery and historical landmarks welcome you.

Pristina to Skopje via shared ride

Platforms like BlaBlaCar connect travellers heading in the same direction, allowing for a shared journey that can cut down on costs and carbon footprint. This option is ideal for solo travellers or small groups looking to split expenses and enjoy company during the trip. Shared rides offer the flexibility of car travel without the need for renting a vehicle, though availability may vary based on demand and time of travel.

Pristina to Skopje via private tour

If you don’t fancy taking the bus or an expensive taxi, a private tour is a great alternative. You can take a private ride which travels at your convenience, while remaining competitive on price – especially when split between the members of your party. I’d recommend taking a private transfer from Pristina to Skopje, which enables you to enjoy a door to door transfer from Pristina to Skopje without the hassle of public transport and restricted departure times. It’s particularly helpful if you have a flight to catch, or are limited on time.

When reaching Skopje, transport within the capital city is relatively straightforward and affordable. Navigating Skopje can be an enriching experience with a bit of planning. Here’s how to best explore this diverse city:

  • On foot: Skopje’s city center is relatively compact and pedestrian-friendly, especially around Macedonia Square and the Old Bazaar. Walking is a great way to appreciate the city’s unique mix of architectural styles, public sculptures, and historical monuments up close.
  • Public transport: Skopje’s public transport system includes buses that cover extensive parts of the city, including key attractions. It’s affordable and convenient for longer distances that are not easily walkable. Make sure to purchase a transport card available at kiosks and bus stations.
  • Car rental: for flexibility and the option to visit attractions outside the city, such as Matka Canyon or the Millennium Cross, renting a car via DiscoverCars might be a good choice. Keep in mind that traffic can be heavy during peak hours, and parking in the city centre can be challenging.
  • Taxis and ride-sharing: taxis and ride-sharing services are readily available and offer a quick and relatively inexpensive way to get around. They’re particularly useful for direct routes or when public transport is less convenient. I relied pretty heavily on this when I visited Skopje, and recommend using Taksi MK as Uber isn’t available in North Macedonia.
  • Guided tours: For those interested in learning more about Skopje’s history and culture, guided walking tours can be an excellent option. Many tours focus on the city’s landmarks, while others explore specific themes such as food, history, or architecture. I really recommend taking this Old Town walking tour and food tasting.

Pristina to Skopje: FAQs

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about getting from Pristina to Skopje when visiting North Macedonia.

Is there a train between Pristina and Skopje?

There’s no direct train service between Pristina, Kosovo, and Skopje, North Macedonia. The rail infrastructure and services in the Balkans can be limited and not as developed as in other parts of Europe, with some routes not operating or having been discontinued. I’d recommend taking a bus journey between the two cities instead, as it’s often more frequent and reliable for this particular route. Buses from Pristina to Skopje run regularly, offering an affordable and relatively quick way to travel between the two capitals. The journey by bus can take approximately 2 to 3 hours, depending on border crossing times.

How do I get from Pristina to Prizren?

Travelling from Pristina to Prizren, Kosovo, is both straightforward and enjoyable, with several transportation options available to suit different preferences and budgets. Buses are the most popular and cheapest choice, offering frequent services that take approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to cover the roughly 85-kilometer journey. For those seeking more flexibility and the chance to explore at their own pace, renting a car is a great way to enjoy the scenic drive through Kosovo’s countryside. Alternatively, taxis or private transfers offer a more comfortable and direct route to Prizren, albeit at a higher cost. Regardless of the mode of transport, the trip from Pristina to Prizren is a fantastic way to experience the beauty and rich cultural tapestry of Kosovo, leading travellers to one of the country’s most historically significant and visually stunning cities.

What is the cheapest way to get from Pristina to Skopje?

The cheapest way to travel from Pristina to Skopje is typically by bus. Buses between these two cities run frequently, offering a cost-effective and relatively quick way to make the journey. Bus tickets are affordable, making this mode of transport popular among budget travellers. The trip can take approximately 2 to 3 hours, depending on border crossing procedures. To secure the best price, it’s advisable to purchase your ticket in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. Additionally, comparing prices between different bus companies can help ensure you get the most economical fare.

What is the fastest way to get from Pristina to Skopje?

The fastest way to travel from Pristina to Skopje is typically by car. Driving directly between the two capitals can take approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic conditions and the time it takes to cross the border. This method provides the advantage of a shorter travel time compared to buses, which might take around 2 to 3 hours, including waits at border crossings and potential stops along the way. For those not driving themselves, a private taxi or a shared ride service offers a similarly quick journey, though it’s generally more costly than taking the bus. Always ensure that the vehicle is prepared for international travel and that all necessary documentation for border crossing is in order.

Where do I catch the Pristina to Skopje bus from?

To catch a bus from Pristina to Skopje, you’ll need to go to the main bus station in Pristina, known as the Autobuska Stanica Pristina. This bus station is the central hub for international and domestic bus services and is located near the city centre, making it accessible from various parts of Pristina. Buses from Pristina to Skopje typically run frequently throughout the day, providing various options to suit different schedules. It’s advisable to check the latest bus schedules and possibly book your ticket in advance, especially during peak travel times, to ensure your spot on the desired service.

Where do I catch the Pristina to Skopje train from?

Unfortunately, there’s no direct train service operating between Pristina and Skopje. The lack of a direct railway connection means travellers looking to make this journey have to consider alternative modes of transportation, such as buses or private vehicles, which are the primary methods for traveling between these two cities. Buses frequently run from Pristina’s main bus station to Skopje, offering a reliable and relatively quick way to complete the journey.

That’s my guide on travelling from Pristina to Skopje! I hope you found it helpful and are looking forward to completing the journey yourself. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.

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