Skopje to Ohrid
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Skopje to Ohrid: how to reach Ohrid quickly and affordably

Considering a trip to Ohrid this year? I visited Ohrid last year while travelling across North Macedonia, and absolutely fell in love with it. Here’s my guide on the best way to get from Skopje to Ohrid.

If you’re thinking about heading to North Macedonia, you absolutely must have both the capital city of Skopje and Ohrid on your list. Skopje is the bustling capital city with plenty to see, while Ohrid is a more relaxed, lakeside town that’s perfect for a little R&R. Of course, there are plenty of destinations to see between the two places, but these were my absolute favourites. Whether you’re more excited about seeing Ohrid’s UNESCO-listed Old Town or picturesque Lake Ohrid, navigating the journey from Skopje to Ohrid is a part of your travel experience. When I took the journey last year, there wasn’t too much information available online, so I thought I’d share a Skopje to Ohrid guide so you’re well equipped for the journey.

Quick tips for visiting Ohrid

Get this: affordable panoramic boat cruise. Enjoy this beautiful boat tour around Ohrid Old Town and learn more about the town – it’s a great way to get your bearings.

Don’t miss: an Ohrid monastery winery tour. I was pleasantly surprised at just how delicious (and cheap!) Macedonian wine is, so try plenty of local wines, brandies, and a cheese and charcuterie platter on this winery tour.

Bucket list experience: tick off three incredible destinations with a tour of Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Montenegro in three days. I loved every single place and it’ll be a trip you never forget – the destinations are so close too, it’s rude not to visit them all.

Flights: find the cheapest flights to Ohrid with Skyscanner.

Stay: Find the most affordable hotels in Ohrid on Booking.com.

What’s the distance between Skopje and Ohrid?

If you’re looking at both Skopje and Ohrid, it’s probably because you’ve first arrived in Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia and the city with the best travel connections in the country. Likely, you’ll land at Skopje Airport (or perhaps you’ll have travelled from Kosovo, like I did). After some time exploring Skopje and its many attractions, you’re probably intrigued to explore the experience the magic of Ohrid and its beautiful lake. Thankfully, North Macedonia is a relatively small country, and nothing is too far away. The distance from Skopje to Ohrid is 180 kilometres (approximately 112 miles), which takes around 2.5 hours when driving the route via A2, continuing the trip via E65. It’s also possible to take a slightly longer route (E75, continuing via A1 and A3), which adds on 1 hour to your journey time, but also enables you to see the pretty city of Bitola too. Skopje and Ohrid are pretty much as far apart as the northern and southern border of North Macedonia on the map, meaning it’s the longest distance you can travel within the country, although I can safely say the journey is worth it.

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

Skopje to Ohrid via bus

This is how I travelled from Skopje to Ohrid, and I found it pretty easy and convenient. Thankfully, there’s a regular bus service, which runs several times a day with different operators. The first bus typically departs around 5am, and the last departs around 8.30pm. A single ticket costs around just 9, and a return ticket is 14. One tip I must add is that you need to have some spare change for a platform fee at Skopje bus station. We nearly didn’t have this, which could have been problematic as we were a little tight on time. The journey takes around 3 hours – do note there are a couple of rest stops where you can enjoy a toilet break and a pitstop for coffee and food. I actually really enjoyed the journey – it’s very scenic with magnificent views of the Macedonian countryside, and I even managed to take a brief nap so I was refreshed before arriving in Ohrid.

Skopje to Ohrid via train

Unfortunately, there isn’t actually any direct train line from Skopje to Ohrid – I know as I researched this, thinking I could quickly hop onto a train to travel the distance. In fact, the last train to travel between the two destinations departed back in 1966! If you’re really insistent on travelling via train instead of taking a bus, you can travel to Bitola (this costs around 6) and then take a short bus ride to Ohrid (around 3-4). Buses between Bitola to Ohrid are frequent, and usually run hourly. This journey will take around 3 hours, and so for the sake of convenience I’d really recommend travelling via bus instead, unless you’re very keen to see Bitola too.

Skopje to Ohrid via rental 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 Skopje to Ohrid again, I’d definitely hire a car so I could take a detour and explore some hidden gems along the way. The countryside is truly beautiful along this route. Driving this route typically looks as follows:

  • Starting in Skopje, you’ll head towards Gostivar.
  • You’ll then have a steady ascent until Straza, a popular rest spot where you can break for coffee, fuel, and food.
  • You’ll drive through some adorable little villages until you reach the city of Kichevo. The Macedonian government is currently working on building an expressway from Kichevo to Ohrid. It’s really scenic in this part of the country.
  • You’ll pass a few tolls on your journey, which will cost in total around4.

Don’t miss my guide on the best things to do in Ohrid.

Skopje to Ohrid via taxi

Although not advisable due to the cost, you might wish to take a taxi from Skopje to Ohrid, especially if there’s a small party of you. The price will vary between taxi companies, and I’d highly recommend booking this in advance. A taxi will likely set you back around 80 – 95, depending on your bargaining skills.

Skopje to Ohrid 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 guided day tour which travels at your convenience, while remaining competitive on price – especially when split between the members of your party. I’d recommend taking the Ohrid full day tour from Skopje, which enables you to see all the very best of Ohrid by a tour guide who can explain the sights to you. You’ll visit a number of beautiful spots, including Lake Ohrid, the Ancient Theatre of Ohrid, Samoil’s Fortress, and St Jovan Kaneo. It’s particularly good if you’re restricted on the amount of time you have spare in Skopje, as you can see everything in a day.

Skopje to Ohrid via flight

There isn’t actually a direct flight from Skopje to Ohrid. It’s a very short distance, and wouldn’t be particularly convenient even if there was a route given the time usually required for check-in and security. You might be able to fly directly to Ohrid from your country of origin. In the UK, there are some selected flights from London Luton Airport to Ohrid throughout the summer months.

When reaching Ohrid, transport within the town is very convenient, simple, and affordable. Ohrid itself is not a huge town, meaning it’s really easy to get around. Taxis are very readily available. When we arrived into Ohrid bus station, we got a taxi very easily and affordable. Some hotels will even offer a shuttle service so you can conveniently reach your accommodation. Ohrid is actually a walkable town, so you may even wish to explore the town and its streets on foot.

Skopje to Ohrid: FAQs

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

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

Without a doubt, the cheapest way to travel from Skopje to Ohrid is taking a bus at around 9 for a one way journey. Buses operate regularly from the central bus station in Skopje, offering an affordable and relatively quick journey of approximately 3 hours to Ohrid. Make sure you check the schedules in advance.

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

The fastest way to get from Skopje to Ohrid is to take a private taxi which takes around 2h 35m. Do note, however, it costs around 80 – 95.

How do I travel from Skopje to Ohrid without a car?

There are plenty of ways to get from Skopje to Ohrid without a car. The most affordable option is to take a bus.

How do I get a bus ticket from Skopje to Ohrid?

I highly recommend booking your Skopje to Ohrid bus tickets online and in advance with Omio.


That’s my guide on travelling from Skopje to Ohrid! 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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