ABOUT The Republic of Macedonia is a Southeast European country, north of Greece and west of Bulgaria. Macedonians make up 66% of Macedonia's population of 2 million, Albanians 23%, and Turks, Vlach, and Serbs, the rest. Skopje is the capital of Macedonia with over 600,000 inhabitants. Macedonian is the official language of the country and it is also spoken by the Macedonian minorities in Greece, Bulgaria, and Albania, and by the Macedonian Diaspora around the world. Most of the residents are of Eastern Orthodox Christian and Muslim faith, while some are Roman Catholic or Protestant. The State symbol is a golden sun symbolizing the freedom of the country.

CLIMATE The mildly continental climate is the most characteristic for Republic of Macedonia, since it covers the biggest area of the country. It is characterized with relatively cold and humid winters and warm and dry summers. The spring is colder than the autumn. The coldest months are January and February, and the warmest July and August.

BEWARE Personal attacks against foreigners are extremely rare. Organised criminal groups are active, particularly in the north west of the country. Shooting incidents, including in Skopje do sometimes occur, but are not targeted at foreigners. Gunfire can also be heard as part of a celebration. You should be vigilant at all times. There have been several cases of pick pocketing by gangs of children and bag snatches in the main shopping and entertainment areas late at night. Travel near the border with Kosovo should be restricted to primary roads and daylight hours only. Apart from designated border crossings, the immediate border area with Serbia is a military restricted zone. You must get permission from the nearest police station before travelling to this zone.