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Welcome to Ohrid

Are you preparing for a trip, and this time you chose Ohrid? Our detailed tourist guide about this most famous city of North Macedonia will take you through all its beauties, features, and attractions. Since Ohrid is considered one of the most famous cities in the Balkans, the positive and warm climate that prevails there attract many tourists every year. On our page, read when is the ideal time to go to this city, which means of transport you can use during your trip, and how long it takes to visit all the city's sights. We included the unique Macedonian specialties you should try, while we also gave space to the most called clubs and cafes dedicated to nightlife and entertainment. Find out which places in Ohrid you should take advantage of and turn this virtual tour into reality now!

When to visit Ohrid?

Even though Ohrid is gorgeous throughout the year, the summer period is when tourists visit the region's most beautiful beaches and enjoy the sunsets on the lake.
  • During the summer - Ohrid is a favorite summer destination for many tourists. Many testify that swimming in Lake Ohrid is better than swimming in the sea. This is precisely why tourists come in the summer to enjoy the beauty of beaches such as Gradište, Golden Beach, Trpejča, Potpeš, and many others.
  • During the winter - New Year's celebration in Ohrid is a unique experience. Winter in this city will offer tourists an unforgettable time, a tour of essential attractions, exciting places, and mild weather.

How to get to Ohrid?

Ohrid is located in the southwest of North Macedonia and is connected to the roads leading to Skopje, Bitola, and Albania. Near the city is the Ohrid Airport, which serves specific destinations outside the Republic of North Macedonia. The distance between Ohrid and major European cities is as follows: Bitola 70 km, Skopje 170 km, Tirana 130 km, Thessaloniki 290 km, Belgrade 600 km. Here are some ways to reach it:
  • By car - If you are coming from Albania, you need to follow the E862 road that goes all the way from Durrës to Lake Ohrid. From the direction of Skopje, you need to follow the E-65 highway, which leads to the city itself. If you are coming from Serbia, follow the E-75 highway all the way to the A1 road, which will take you to the Tabanovce exit. From there, you go to Skopje and then along the E-65 road.
  • By bus - If you travel from Belgrade by bus, you can use carriers such as Galeb Ohrid and Transprodukt Bus Prevoz. The ticket costs around $45, and the trip will take about 13 hours. The journey from Skopje to Ohrid by bus will take about 3 hours, and the carrier Flixbus will charge around $27 for its service. The same carrier organizes transportation from Tirana for $10-15.
  • By plane - From specific locations in Europe, it is possible to get to Saint Paul the Apostle Airport in Ohrid by plane. Ohrid can be reached by plane from Basel, Memmingen, Mulhouse, Malmo, Freiburg, and Zurich while traveling from London and Belgrade during the season is possible. The airlines that fly to Ohrid airport are Wizz Air, Air Serbia, Chair Airlines, Corendon Airlines, and Edelweiss.

Activities for tourists in Ohrid

Ohrid is rich with activities for every type of traveler. Here are just some of them.
  • Excursions - Excursions in Ohrid are something you should not miss if you find yourself in this place. Since it is a small town, it is very easy to visit all the famous attractions that will delight you with their story and ambiance. In Ohrid, it is possible to visit locations such as the Bay of Bones, Struga, Vevčani, Sveti Naum, and many other places in the form of day and half-day trips.
  • Ohrid Lake Cruise - The clear, blue, and calm water of Ohrid Lake will be all that cruise lovers need on this trip. This activity is famous not only during the summer but also during the winter when the view opens up to the snow-capped mountains. You can pay for the trip on the shore of the lake, from where the guide takes a boat for a tour. The ride takes 30 minutes, and the price is around 100 euros.
  • Shopping in Ohrid - Apart from its exceptional natural features and authentic attractions, Ohrid is also known for shopping, which tourists must do here. Low prices and quality goods catch the eye of all visitors, and the famous souvenirs with details of Ohrid are something that every tourist takes back with them. The most famous locations for shopping are Shopping Center Amam, A&T-Ohrid, Shopping Center Village Vanja Kamčev, Ohrid Pearls&Silver Fam. Levenski and others.

Events and festivals in Ohrid

Although Ohrid is considered a small town, more than enough events and festivals are extremely popular here. The rich culture and tradition of this part of North Macedonia have made tourists return to Ohrid repeatedly, especially during important events and festivals.
  • Ohrid Summer - This festival was founded in 1961 and is held every year during July and August. The festival promotes Macedonian culture and tradition, making it extremely popular and recognizable in our region. The Ohrid summer is an ideal opportunity for tourists to get to know Macedonian folklore, their way of life, and the nurturing of traditions that have been going on for years.
  • Kostoski International Festival - This festival authenticates music, songs, folk costumes, and the cultural heritage of countries worldwide. In this way, the Kostoski festival connects tourists and all the beauties of Ohrid and Lake Ohrid, further deepening the importance of authenticity and preserving tradition. The festival is held several times during spring, summer, and autumn.

Activities for kids in Ohrid

Since Ohrid is a city full of quality and exciting attractions, the little ones can have fun and be delighted by visiting old buildings, ancient temples, medieval churches, and monasteries. A walk along the shore of Lake Ohrid will have a unique charm for them, while swimming is something they should not miss.
  • Playgrounds - Well-equipped children's playgrounds have been built at several locations in the city. Children can enjoy swings, trampolines, swings, and similar devices. Some of the most visited playgrounds are Ohrid City Park and City Park.

What to see in Ohrid?

Ohrid is one of the most culturally rich cities in the region, and there are many attractions that tourists must not miss when visiting this city.
  • Churches and monasteries - Many churches and monasteries made Ohrid known as the Balkan Jerusalem. There are as many as 365 churches and monasteries in this city, and each of these buildings faithfully depicts the period in which they were created. Some of the most visited religious places in Ohrid are the Monastery of St. Naum of Ohrid, Kliment's Monastery, the medieval church of St. John the Theologian, the Cathedral Church of St. Sophia, and the Pešter Monastery.
  • Lake Ohrid - The clear water of Lake Ohrid and many beautifully landscaped beaches are just one more in a series of locations that should be visited. Lake Ohrid is suitable for an afternoon or morning to walk along the shore, drinking coffee with a view of the surrounding mountains and exploring every corner of the lake, and swimming on numerous beaches, cruising or swimming.
  • Marshal Tita's Quay - This famous, long promenade is located along the very shore of the lake and is full of many cafes and restaurants. Many accommodation facilities can be found in the area of this promenade, and the view of the lake itself is fascinating from any angle.
  • Samuilo's Fortress - The old town is surrounded by the walls of this fortress, built by the Bulgarian emperor Samuilo. Namely, after the victory of the Slavs against Byzantium, Emperor Samuilo created the Slovenian Empire of Samuilo and moved the capital from Prespa to Ohrid. Although the fortress was built in the 10th century, 18 original towers have been preserved.
  • Ancient Theater - The Ancient Theater in Ohrid is located near the entrance to Samuel's Fortress and was built at the beginning of the 2nd century BC. The theater served the ancient Greeks and Romans, and later the Slavs, for performing many pagan and traditional rites. Today, the old theater is used to host various cultural events.

Accommodation in Ohrid

Ohrid offers its visitors exceptional and well-equipped accommodation units, including various hotels and apartments.
  • Hotels - Those looking for more luxurious accommodation in Ohrid can be satisfied with the offer of hotels such as Hotel&Spa Tino Sveti Stefan, Villa Bisera, Villa Milka, City Palace Hotel, Sky Corner Hotel, Hotel Lihnidos Delago, and many others. The average price per night is around 70 euros.
  • Apartments - Apartment units in Ohrid offer tourists comfortable and convenient accommodation both near the lake and in the inner city. Some of the most popular apartments are Sana Apartments, Welcome&Enjoy, Tomic Apartments, Makedonka Apartments, Stars Apartments, and many others. The average price of a night's stay here is around 50 euros.

Phone numbers for important services

We highlight important services that may be useful to you during your stay in Ohrid:
  • Ohrid Airport - (046) 252821
  • Emergency service - 194
  • Police - 192
  • Firefighters - 193
  • AMSM Roadside assistance - 987
  • Ohrid General Hospital - +389 46 267 267

Where to eat in Ohrid?

In Ohrid, guests can find a handful of restaurants with both international and local cuisine. However, many prefer to opt for the flavors of Macedonian cuisine, which is typically Balkan, additionally seasoned with the flavors of the Orient and the Mediterranean. We highlight facilities where you can enjoy tasting such flavors:
  • Restaurants - Some of the most popular restaurants in Ohrid whose flavors leave you breathless are Antico, Kanevche, Damar, Sveta Sofija, Belvedere, Lion Ohrid, and Dalga.
  • Pizzerias - You can best experience the flavors of Italian cuisine in the following pizzerias: Leonardo Pizza, Pizzeria Cosa Nostra, Stazione, Capone Pizza, Di Angolo Pizzeria, or Prova Pizzeria Mk.

Where to go out in Ohrid?

Since Ohrid is considered a place with a highly active nightlife, here you can find many nightclubs and cafes that are convenient for socializing and having fun. Below we offer only some of the most popular bars:
  • Cafes - You can have your first-morning coffee or favorite drink with the sunset in Ohrid in Shilla - cofee&bar, Terazza Aquarius, Corner Bistro, Liquid, The Cups Caffe To Go, Kafe Bar CoCo Ohrid, Connect Lounge Bar.
  • Nightclubs - If you are young and want to have a good time, we recommend the following bars: Havana, Kuba Libre, Alomos Ohrid, Rebel Ohrid, INclusive, Club Espana, Park, and others.

Transportation and taxi services in Ohrid

If you did not come to Ohrid with your transport, taxi, and rent-a-car services are available. There is no public transport in the city.
  • Taxi - Taxi services are available to all visitors in Ohrid, and you can take them to any part of the city. The most famous taxi services are AMD Ohrid: +389 46 268 300, Andrea Drive +389 71 699 735, Delux: +389 46 266 088.
  • Rent a car - The most popular rent-a-car agencies in Ohrid are: Ohrid Rent a Car Escape, Pegasus Rent a car Ohrid and Rent a Car iGo.

Parking and public garages in Ohrid

Parking is paid for in the city center, and parking itself is divided into zones. Depending on the zone, you can spend 20 or 30 denars for parking, and it is charged from 7:30 a.m. to midnight. Parking places where you can leave your vehicle are Parking Pristanište, Parking Dolni Saraj, and Public Parking.

The surroundings of Ohrid

The surroundings of Ohrid are as impressive as the city center itself. The multitude of natural beauties, attractive locations, and exceptional points of interest will lead you to go on a tour around Ohrid. Here are a few suggestions:
  • Bay of Bones - Bay of Bones is a replica of a prehistoric settlement that once existed there. There was a settlement on the site of that complex until 700 BC. Today it is a museum on the water, built on a wooden platform with 24 greenhouses. Here, tourists can see exhibited artifacts that testify to the way of life of the original inhabitants of the settlement, and everything was done based on archaeological sites at the bottom of Lake Ohrid.
  • Saint Naum Monastery - This monastery is one of the most important in all of Macedonia, and it is located right on the border with Albania. The monastery houses the relics of Saint Naum, the disciples of Cyril and Methodius. It is about 30 km away from the city, and in the same place, there are three more monasteries and the mouth of Crni Drima.
  • The city of Struga - This city is also located on the shore of Lake Ohrid and is one of the most beautiful cities in North Macedonia. The city is more visited during the summer period and is also considered a city of poetry since the popular Struga poetry evenings are still held today.

History of Ohrid

The history of this city goes back to the 3rd century BC when it is mentioned in ancient sources. The city's first name is Lychnidos, and the lake itself was called by analogy Lychnidsko, which means White Lake. In addition, the name Lichnid is also associated with the nickname the City of Light, which Ohrid still proudly bears today.
  • Emperor Justinian gave the city its name  - According to the tradition written down by the Miladin brothers, at the moment when the Ohrid fortress was being built, Emperor Justinian climbed the hill on which the city was located and, observing the rich environment, exclaimed, Oh rid, which in translation means - what a beautiful hill! Since then, this city has been called Ohrid, and it has been confirmed that it is a descendant of the ancient Lychnid.
  • Throughout history, Ohrid has been a center of learning and culture - in 886, the teacher and bishop Kliment was sent to Macedonia to found the so-called Ohrid Glagolitic Literary School. Thanks to their active spreading of culture and knowledge, Ohrid became a Slavic cultural center. King Samoil turned it into a religious center and the capital of the entire empire.
  • The period of Turkish rule did not weaken Ohrid - even during the Turkish occupation, Ohrid was a vital trading center for Bitola and Macedonia. Ohrid was one of the principal places of the Bitola vilayet, caravan traffic was lively, and the city had up to 5,000 inhabitants. Ohrid was liberated from the Turks in 1912; in 1941, it belonged to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

Geography and climate of Ohrid

  • Geographic features - Ohrid is located in the southwestern part of North Macedonia and on the northeastern shore of Lake Ohrid.
  • Climate - The climate in Ohrid is continental and Mediterranean. Therefore, winters in this city are relatively mild, while summers are moderate with quite pleasant temperatures. The hottest months are July and August when the temperature is around 30 degrees.

Demography of Ohrid

  • According to the last population census from 2002, Ohrid had 43,374 inhabitants.
  • Macedonians make up the largest share of the population in Ohrid with 85%, while other minority peoples include Albanians, Turks, Serbs, Aromanians, Vlachs and Roma.

Culture of Ohrid

  • Ohrid Trout - Since Ohrid is a city facing the so-called sea of North Macedonia, in Lake Ohrid, you can find the Ohrid trout, the famous freshwater fish of Europe. The Ohrid trout is the closest ancestor of the species that has lived in this area since the Tertiary period. It is delicious to eat, and as one of the trademarks of Macedonia, it is also found on Macedonian coins.
  • Ohrid is known as a gourmet city - If you find yourself in Ohrid, it is inevitable to try local specialties such as burek, pies, kebabs, moussaka, sarma, tavče-gravče, and many others. Apart from the salty recipes, the sweet flavors leave everyone breathless, and the famous baklava will knock everyone off their feet.

Frequently asked questions about Ohrid

Why visit Ohrid?

When is the best time to visit Ohrid?

What are the most famous Ohrid festivals?

How to find accommodation in Ohrid?

What is the average price of accommodation in Ohrid?

What is the most famous tourist attraction in Ohrid?

How long do tourists stay in Ohrid on average?