the cost of living in macedonia retired or expat or digital nomad

The cost of living in Macedonia: How to survive as a Macedonian expat

You’re interested in living as an expat in Macedonia, eh?

Or for all you digital nomads out there, you might be interested in being a mini retired person in Macedonia for a period of time maybe? Well whichever you are, you’re awesome for that.

In my opinion, Macedonia is the most relaxed and laid-back country of the Balkans. So I completely understand why you’re searching for the cost of living in Macedonia. 

So just how much money do you need to survive as an expat or retired person there? 

In order to help you answer that, I have focused on 7 areas where your money will consistently go each month to examine how much money you need. 

These numbers reflect the costs of living alone in the capital Skopje.  If you are coming as a couple or a family, you can do the necessary multiplications to figure out how much money you need for your specific situation. Also, keep in mind that smaller and less touristy towns will have a lower Macedonian cost of living. This rule pretty much goes for all the other countries in the Balkans as well. 

Aaaand… here’s where your money will go!

Rent

For a studio apartment or a one bedroom apartment, you are looking to pay between 100-200 euros a month. Of course the smaller and/or less renovated an apartment is, the lower it will cost. And don’t forget, the more centrally located your apartment is, the pricier it will be. So if an apartment is only 100 euros, then it is probably just outside of the city. If it is in the city, it must be very small and probably in an older building with little renovations.  

Utilities 

In the warmer months of the year, utilities will cost 20-30 euros, but you can expect that to double in the winter months when you are using more heating and electricity. It can more than double if you have central heating, and keep in mind that many places with central heating require you to pay for that all-year round. Having your apartment equipped with telephone, internet and TV service should be about an extra 10-15 euros. 

Transportation

Skopje is one of my favorite cities for taking taxies everywhere. A taxi is only 0.50 euros for one kilometer.  Not only is it cheaper compared to other capital cities in the Balkans, but the drivers are less aggressive in trying to charge you more. As for public transport, the city bus costs 0.5 euros for one direction.

Going Out

With 20 euros, you should be able to have a great night at any of the clubs or restaurants in Skopje, no matter how trendy, popular or touristy they are. You can also have a good night with only 10 euros if you go to more modest clubs, bars or restaurants.  

Healthcare 

As an expat, you can’t receive the free public healthcare. Be prepared to pay as little as 10-20 euros to see a doctor. General physicians will be cheaper than a doctor who specializes in specific or advanced treatments such as a neurologist or a psychiatrist. In regards to pharmacies, antibiotics should be 5 euros or less. Other prescription medications for disorders and diseases could be 20-30 euros. 

Groceries

For one person, you should be able to spend only 15-20 euros every week to every week and a half to sustain yourself.  This is when the cost of living in Macedonia is just so awesome! 

Monthly total

Depending on one’s lifestyle and income, a single person can have a decent experience just barely getting by on  550-600 euros a month. But to live more comfortably in Skopje, having at least 650-700 euros will allow you to do just that.

I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or have anything you want to say about your experience living in Macedonia if you have lived there, please do so below!  Also feel free to message me on Facebook or Instagram if you need help with anything. 

Thanks so much to my friend Dule in Skopje for helping me with this!

Posted in Balkans Digital Nomad, Balkans Expat Guide, Retire in Balkans Guide.

Nwando is an American expat based in the Balkans. She is a musician, blogger (duh!), and youtuber with over a million views on her channel about traveling and life in the Balkans!