What’s the currency in North Macedonia? You are planning a trip to North Macedonia, probably to Skopje or Lake Ohrid, and wonder what currency the country uses? For just a few years now, the country can officially call itself the Republic of North Macedonia, and since December 2005, it has been one of the candidates for accession to the European Union. Therefore, the country of North Macedonia does not yet use the Euro as a means of payment. Since April 1992, the Republic has been using the Denar (MKD), previously the Yugoslav Dinar was used.
Currency of North Macedonia, the MKD – Macedonian Denar
The Macedonian denar is available as coins as well as bills. Banknotes are in circulation in denominations of 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 5000 denars, as well as coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10 and 50 denars. The denar is comparable with the euro or pound, and the deni with the cent or pence. However, deni is no longer used at all. So as a tourist, you should not be surprised that there are 10 and 50 Denar each as bills and coins!
Is it possible to pay with a card in Skopje?
During my stay in Skopje in February 2020, I had hardly any problems paying with my credit card in restaurants or stores. Only in one restaurant, I had problems, but here I tried to pay with two physical cards (Maestro & MasterCard) and two cards via Apple Pay (same MasterCard & Amex), and no payment was accepted… here I rather attribute it to a bug of the system in the restaurant, because I had no problems at any other terminal in the city. For higher amounts, I had to enter a PIN, for most smaller sums not.
In general, a PIN is required for card payments in Northern Macedonia, this should be noted beforehand (in case you use a credit card without a PIN/only with a signature).
However, there are also many smaller and individual street vendors in Skopje, that only accept cash. So, you should have some Denar on hand in any case, just to be on the safe side.
Continue reading here: Skopje Travel Guide
Exchange office or ATM?
If you want to get the local currency in Skopje, it is recommended to use an ATM at the airport. The exchange rate of the exchange office in the blue colour design at the airport is very bad (changed 50 Euro, got back Denar worth 42 Euro, despite “no commission”), so it is not recommended!
Alternatively, there are numerous ATMs in the city of Skopje to withdraw money with common cards. The following credit cards (American Express, Diners Club, Visa and Eurocard / Mastercard) and debit cards (Maestro and Visa Electron) are widely accepted.
Denar – Euro Exchange Rate
Current denar exchange rates are available directly from the National Bank of Macedonia website at www.nbrm.mk. Alternatively, you can simply type “100 mkd in euro” into the Google search bar and get the result immediately.
Also like an offline translate app, I can recommend an exchange rate app for the smartphone. This way, you can quickly and easily calculate what a dish/product/service costs converted into euros when you’re in a restaurant or store. Currently, 1 Euro is equal to about 0,61 Denar, or 1 Denar 0,016€. The price has been quite steady and stable over the past years.
Examples of foods and drinks, in the currency of North Macedonia versus Euro: a can of coke costs 30 Denar (0,48€), a small side salad 100 Denar (1,62€), main courses start at around 200/250 Denar (3,24/4,05€) and a visit to a museum cost between 50 and 300 Denar (0,81 – 4,87€).