Silently sitting in the south central Balkan Peninsula in Southern Europe is Macedonia. Formally known as the Republic of Macedonia, it may be considered a young country, as it gained independence from Yugoslavia only in 1991.

But it has been creating history since 653 BC.

Having been under different rulers – from the Roman Empire to the Byzantine Empire to the Ottoman Empire to Yugoslavia – Macedonia has dynamic cultural traditions, creating what seems like a collage of ethnicity.

And with its scores of archaeological sites, ruins, medieval monasteries, and other ancient structures, it now stands as an open museum.

All these historical features paint a vivid picture of Macedonia’s history, and at the same time prove the country’s cultural wealth.

Macedonia is generously gifted with mountain ranges, lakes, rivers, and forests, which collectively form the nation’s natural heritage. They bring color to the country from sunrise to sundown and never fail to captivate travelers to Macedonia.

Interestingly, with a wealthy collection of historical and natural gems, this land of over two million people remains one of Europe’s undiscovered tourist gems. It offers much, but it remains in the shadows of other big and bustling tourist destinations.

But Macedonia must be explored. Although small, it is packed with interesting destinations, cultural events, and tourist activities.

Its people are hospitable and friendly. They mostly speak Macedonian, but minority languages such as Albanian, Turkish, Romanian, and Serbian are also used. English is, in general, spoken by the young people.

Eastern Orthodox Christianity is the principal religion in Macedonia. There are also locals who practice Islam, Catholicism, and Protestantism.

What’s interesting is that Macedonia is very accessible from all points in Europe. And if you wish to hop from one place to another, you can conveniently do so by bus, taxi, or train.

Macedonia’s electricity runs at 230 volts. If you’re bringing electrical gadgets, keep in mind that plugs with two round pins are used.

This article is also available in: German Italian Spanish