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Before my Macedonia adventure, I didn’t know much about the country. But as soon as I arrived in Struga, I learned that Ohrid is one of the most visited places by tourists in Macedonia. Ohrid is a city across the other side of the lake (Lake Ohrid) opposite to Struga, the city close to my house at the time.
So right after our many explore sessions of Struga, we started taking overnight trips to Ohrid. First for the parties, later for the city. I had seen Ohrid a few times by night, and yes, there were a lot of people but it wasn’t as cool as for example Vegas by night. Obviously. If you’re looking for places to party in Ohrid, pick one of the ‘outdoor clubs’ near the Lake for a nice few, especially when it’s full moon. I couldn’t really find a club with music I liked, but if you’re in to cheesy summer dance hits and salsa, you’ll have a great time 😉
All I could see were a lot of lights from the hills, all I could feel was a warm summer breeze. So you can imagine how surprised I was when I finally took a day trip to Ohrid.. It’s beautiful! The many restaurants upon the hills, the secret beaches, the cute old cars.. Definitely a place I’d recommend for a weekend trip!
Ohrid is very pedestrian friendly, you can walk everything. There is one big square and about three main roads haha. Ohrid is also known for the many churches. Once 365 churches, for every day of the year one. How crazy? I visited only a few, because they’re pretty much all the same but some have amazing views!
A recommend walk that takes in the main attractions of Ohrid starts in the main square. The city’s museums are in this area. From here, visit St.Sophia Church, the Antique Theater. Then walk up the hill to King Samuil’s Fortress. Plaoshnik, and St John – Kaneo can be visited on the return journey.
Sure, you can shop in Ohrid but prepare to not really find anything you actually need. It’s the most touristy place of Macedonia, so all the market stalls in the city center sell are things like shells, fake golden necklaces and painted stones. They also sell a lot of towels with nice prints like Hello Kitty, all major Spanish and English football clubs and Disney characters. Of course I had to buy the Arsenal beach towel!
It’s very hard to find (gluten free + dairy free) healthy food around Macedonia, so when we found Shilla, a smoothie place in the middle of Ohrid, we just HAD to get a shot of healthy! (Except for the Oreo smoothie my friend ordered haha). There is also a large supermarket in the square that connects the two main streets of Ohrid that sells a lot of gluten free products!
The fruit market is a great place to visit if you can cook, we bought some really cheap veggies and fruits and there is more to pick from than from most local Macedonian supermarkets (they often only sell bananas, carrots and potatoes).
When you walk to the harbor, you’ll find lots of boats (including captain’s who will address you) you can charter to take you to one of the many secret beaches. The longer the boat trip, the quieter it will be. The beach seen in the photo under this text was super crowded, but it’s also the beach on walking distance from the city centre. Known as the most beautiful beach is Ljubaništa, near the Albanian border.
Make sure you make a reservation if you want to eat directly next to the lake in the summer, because we didn’t had much luck with finding places to eat with a nice view. There are many places you can get felafel, burek or pizza to go, but the few times I ate next to the lake felt like a real holiday. One of the typical Macedonian treats you should try are the donuts they make on the streets. They’re deep fried, but the system they use is really cool and the donuts are okay, a little bit tasteless haha. A lot of the seats in the restaurants near the lake are so close to the lake you can see all the fish swim! Try the Ribna Čorba (fish soup) if you’re in to fish (I’m not), or pick a Shopska salad (my favortite, just cheese, tomatoes and cucumber).
I’m not sure if this is just summer, but the Macedonian weather could change overnight. I definitely recommend visiting the Lake Ohrid area during the summer, because it’s REALLY hot in Skopje and around. It’s almost not doable. Around Lake Ohrid I experienced a lot of ‘thunderstorms’ – all of a sudden the weather went from very warm and sunny to thunder and rain. Which was kinda nice, and the storms blew over very quickly.
Fly to Ohrid Airport or Skopje Airport (I did this).
Book your hotel via Booking.com (so you can cancel your stay for free if necessarily!) or Airbnb (get €18 off your first stay with this code!).
Price of the bus from Struga to Ohrid: ≠ less than €1,-