Macedonia is characterized by cultural diversity and historical identity influenced by Ottoman, Balkan, Greek and Roman cultures, as well as incredible natural beauty.
The country, and especially its capital, is one of the most culturally diverse places you can find. Skopje has been part of many empires throughout history, for this reason, you will meet different communities here: Albanians, Turks, Serbs and Romanians. Nevertheless, the buildings you will find here are quite modern, since an earthquake destroyed most of the city.
Skopje is the best city to live in Macedonia. There are many museums and cafes in the city center, an excellent work-life balance and less work stress than in other European cities. The younger generation speaks fluent English and is more open-minded. But Macedonians are usually quite closed, they never smile and never greet on the street. As for the language, it may not be very easy to learn unless you already know another Slavic language.
One of the disadvantages of living here is the quietness of the countryside. Unless you live in the capital, other towns are practically dead. This is not necessarily a negative, depending on what you want to do or seek in life. For example, there are people who prefer silence and tranquility, but if you are an active person, this country will bore you very quickly. However, a positive aspect is the very low cost of living and a high security rate, the only crimes that occur are some robberies or thefts.
Public transportation is very poor. Trains do not run regularly, there are not many of them, and those that do run do not arrive on time. The best way to get around is still by bus for trips to other places and by cab to the city.
The climate is typically continental. The difference between the maximum and minimum temperatures is very great. There are winters with temperatures far below zero and extremely hot summers.
The Macedonian economy has suffered a lot in the past, it all started with the breakup of Yugoslavia, which severely affected the country’s exports. It is a relatively poor country with a corrupt government and low wages.
Most residents are forced to work two jobs to survive. For people who live in the countryside, life is a little easier because they have the opportunity to grow their own food. Wages are very low, averaging around €300 a month, and it’s not easy to find a job if you do not have the right connections.
The largest employment opportunities for foreigners are in the IT sector.
Living and working in Macedonia, pros and cons
Macedonia has many positive aspects:
- It has beautiful nature, great mountains and the deepest and oldest lake in Europe
- There are many churches and mosques in the country
- The crime rate is very low
- You can easily start a business here with little money
- If you have a good salary, it is a cheap country
- There are excellent wines and good food
I can add, however, that the negatives outweigh the positives:
- Low salaries
- Difficulty in finding work
- Lack of infrastructure
- Lack of services
- Inefficient and outdated transportation