All you need to know for your budget getaway at Lake Ohrid, N. Macedonia
Lake Ohrid is the perfect lakeside getaway without the crowds and prices of Lake Como - here is all you need to know for 3 days in Ohrid
12 Places • ago
Free

Lake Ohrid of North Macedonia is what you would get if you fused Lake Como with Croatia - the perfect blend of lakeside town meets Balkan architecture. 

When to Visit

Experience the enchantment of Lake Ohrid in late spring or early autumn, when the weather is just right for leisurely strolls beneath the sun-kissed skies, but without the discomfort of sweltering heat.

How to Get There

Nestled at the border between Albania and North Macedonia, accessing Lake Ohrid is an adventure in itself. While you can technically fly into either country, North Macedonia has a much more sophisticated and comfortable transport system. Hence, I would highly recommend landing in Skopje, the vibrant capital of Macedonia. From there, the bus journey to Ohrid would take around 3 hours and there are breathtaking views along the way.

Getting Around

You can definitely explore the charming old town and picturesque lakeside promenade on foot, allowing you to soak in the laid-back atmosphere at your own pace. For venturing further afield to other lakeside towns or the revered Monastery, consider renting a car or hopping in a taxi for a hassle-free journey.

Where to Stay 

Embrace the allure of lakeside living without breaking the bank at Lake Ohrid. We found our sanctuary at Villa Varosh, a hidden gem nestled along the tranquil shores of the lake. Offering unparalleled value for money, this charming boutique hotel exudes a perfect blend of chic elegance and traditional Macedonian charm. Our cozy room on the second floor boasted a private balcony overlooking the azure waters of the lake, all for just 75 euros a night. For an extra touch of indulgence, splurge an additional 20 euros for your own private hot tub, or consider booking the penthouse for an unforgettable group getaway. Trust me, it's worth every penny. Plus, the complimentary tea, coffee, milk, and soup at the downstairs minibar add a delightful touch of hospitality to your stay.

Villa Varosh
@theexploreredit
Offering unparalleled value for money, this charming boutique hotel exudes a perfect blend of chic elegance and traditional Macedonian charm. Our cozy room on the second floor boasted a private balcony overlooking the azure waters of the lake, all for just 75 euros a night. For an extra touch of indulgence, splurge an additional 20 euros for your own private hot tub, or consider booking the penthouse for an unforgettable group getaway. Trust me, it's worth every penny. Plus, the complimentary tea, coffee, milk, and soup at the downstairs minibar add a delightful touch of hospitality to your stay.
Add to
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Where to Visit

Monastery Saint Naum

Monastery Saint Naum is just a short 40-minute drive from Ohrid's heart. Despite the occasional bumpy road, the journey along the river is extremely scenic and tranquil. As you approach the Monastery, take a leisurely stroll down the promenade, flanked by a charming market on one side and the stunning vista of Lake Ohrid on the other. If you visit around midday, keep an eye out for boat tour offers, which can add an extra layer of adventure to your visit. Beyond its historical and religious significance, Monastery Saint Naum is simply a serene and enchanting place to wander. Keep your eyes peeled, and you might even catch a glimpse of peacocks prancing about!

Monastery Saint Naum
@theexploreredit
Founded in the 10th century by the revered Saint Naum of Ohrid, this monastery has been a beacon of religious devotion, learning, and creativity throughout the ages. Its Byzantine-style domes and intricate frescoes stand as testaments to centuries of cultural richness. Within its walls lies the main church, dedicated to the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel, adorned with a revered iconostasis and relics of Saint Naum, drawing pilgrims from near and far. Beyond its religious significance, the monastery has been a guardian of Macedonian identity, fostering literature, calligraphy, and iconography amidst political storms.
Add to
Details

Ohrid Boardwalk

Ohrid Boardwalk is a vibrant stretch lined with cozy cafes, inviting restaurants, and charming shops. I would recommend taking a leisurely stroll, savoring panoramic views of the lake and surrounding peaks. Whether you're seeking a peaceful morning amble or a lively evening escapade, the boardwalk offers the perfect setting to unwind after a day of exploring the historic sites of Ohrid. 

Ohrid Boardwalk
@theexploreredit
A vibrant stretch lined with cozy cafes, inviting restaurants, and charming shops. I would recommend taking a leisurely stroll, savoring panoramic views of the lake and surrounding peaks. Whether you're seeking a peaceful morning amble or a lively evening escapade, the boardwalk offers the perfect setting to unwind after a day of exploring the historic sites of Ohrid.
Add to
Details

Church of St. John

Nestled in the Kaneo neighborhood, the Church of St. John offers a captivating blend of history and natural beauty. Dating back to the 13th century, its Byzantine-style architecture and intricate frescoes rival those of Monastery Saint Naum. Yet, its greatest allure lies in its picturesque perch atop a rocky cliff, offering unrivaled views of azure waters and majestic mountains. Take a moment to climb the hill behind the church for a truly breathtaking panorama.

Church of Saint John the Theologian
@theexploreredit
The Church of St. John offers a captivating blend of history and natural beauty. Dating back to the 13th century, its Byzantine-style architecture and intricate frescoes rival those of Monastery Saint Naum. Yet, its greatest allure lies in its picturesque perch atop a rocky cliff, offering unrivaled views of azure waters and majestic mountains.
Add to
Details

Kaneo Neighbourhood

The Kaneo neighborhood is a charming haven perched on cliffs overlooking Lake Ohrid. It is characterized by its charming stone houses and ancient churches, contrasted beside lush greenery. Wandering around its cobblestone streets, you get the perfect mix of nature and breathtaking views, while you tick off the key sights in Ohrid such as the Church of St. John. 

Kaneo
@theexploreredit
A charming haven perched on cliffs overlooking Lake Ohrid. It is characterized by its charming stone houses and ancient churches, contrasted beside lush greenery. Wandering around its cobblestone streets, you get the perfect mix of nature and breathtaking views, while you tick off the key sights in Ohrid such as the Church of St. John.
Add to
Details

Samuel's Fortress

Samuel's Fortress is a formidable medieval stronghold commanding the town's skyline built in the 10th century during the reign of Tsar Samuel of Bulgaria. The fortress boasts impressive stone walls and commanding towers, and offers breathtaking views of Lake Ohrid and the surrounding landscape. 

Samuel's Fortress
@theexploreredit
A formidable medieval stronghold commanding the town's skyline built in the 10th century during the reign of Tsar Samuel of Bulgaria. The fortress boasts impressive stone walls and commanding towers, and offers breathtaking views of Lake Ohrid and the surrounding landscape.
Add to
Details

Varosh Old Town

Varosh Old Town is the beating heart of Ohrid. Lose yourself in a maze of Turkish ice cream stands, traditional jewelry shops, and bustling markets. An evening stroll through its lively streets offers the perfect opportunity to savor the local ambiance and seek out delectable dining options.

Varosh - Old Town of Ohrid
@theexploreredit
The beating heart of Ohrid. Lose yourself in a maze of Turkish ice cream stands, traditional jewelry shops, and bustling markets. An evening stroll through its lively streets offers the perfect opportunity to savor the local ambiance and seek out delectable dining options.
Add to
Details

Paper Museum

Uncover the hidden gem of the Paper Museum, nestled inconspicuously amidst Ohrid's streets. Housed within a beautifully restored Ottoman-era building, this museum offers a glimpse into the ancient art of papermaking. Immerse yourself in the fragrance and beauty of handcrafted paper, guided by friendly staff eager to share their knowledge and even let you try your hand at the craft. Best of all, admission is free, leaving you free to indulge in the wonders of paper without any pressure to purchase souvenirs (though they are definitely tempting!)

National Workshop For Handmade Paper Ljupcho Panevski
@theexploreredit
This museum offers a glimpse into the ancient art of papermaking. Immerse yourself in the fragrance and beauty of handcrafted paper, guided by friendly staff eager to share their knowledge and even let you try your hand at the craft. Best of all, admission is free, leaving you free to indulge in the wonders of paper without any pressure to purchase souvenirs
Add to
Details

Where to Eat 

Leonardo Pizza

RATING: 7.5 out of 10 | LOCATION: Цар Самоил 33, Ohrid 6000, North Macedonia

Leonardo Pizza offers a refreshing break from the Balkan fare, serving up mouthwatering pizzas and pastas that won't break the bank. Plus, picture this: a cozy backyard vibe, perfect for unwinding with a cold beer after a satisfying meal.

Leonardo Pizza
@theexploreredit
Leonardo Pizza offers a refreshing break from the Balkan fare, serving up mouthwatering pizzas and pastas that won't break the bank. Plus, picture this: a cozy backyard vibe, perfect for unwinding with a cold beer after a satisfying meal.
Add to
Details

Restaurant St. Sofija

RATING: 6.5 out of 10 | LOCATION: Tsar Samoil 88, Ohrid 6000, Ohër, North Macedonia

Conveniently located right below the villa where we stayed, it serves up hearty Balkan dishes in a classy setting. While it may lean a bit towards the pricier side, the quality of the food and wine is decent even if the service isn't always the warmest.

Restaurant St. Sofija
@theexploreredit
Conveniently located right below the villa where we stayed, it serves up hearty Balkan dishes in a classy setting. While it may lean a bit towards the pricier side, the quality of the food and wine is decent even if the service isn't always the warmest.
Add to
Details

Restaurant Kajche

RATING: 8 out of 10 | LOCATION: Ilindenska 22, Ohrid 6000, North Macedonia

This was by far the best restaurant we ate at in Ohrid. Nestled right by the lake, this gem boasts a chic interior adorned with lush plants and an inviting patio overlooking the water. We sat right next to the lake and could bask in the sun while we ate. Staff was friendly and recommended dishes for us to try. I strongly recommend having the Ohrid trout here, while on the pricier end of the menu, it is simply a local delight you cannot miss - fresh, tender and well-cooked.

Restaurant Kajche
@theexploreredit
Nestled right by the lake, this gem boasts a chic interior adorned with lush plants and an inviting patio overlooking the water. We sat right next to the lake and could bask in the sun while we ate. Staff was friendly and recommended dishes for us to try. I strongly recommend having the Ohrid trout here, while on the pricier end of the menu, it is simply a local delight you cannot miss - fresh, tender and well-cooked.
Add to
Details

Bakery Lihnida

RATING: 8 out of 10 | LOCATION: Bulevar Makedonski Prosvetiteli, Ohrid, North Macedonia

I thoroughly enjoyed the pastries we hastily grabbed from ​​Bakery Lihnida on our way to catch the bus to Skopje. We got two flat bread buns, it was barely 40 cents, and even while having it plain, it was one of the most delicious breads I’ve had - crisp, flavorful, and oh-so-satisfying

Bakery Lihnida
@theexploreredit
Boasts really cheap but fresh bakery - we got two flat bread buns, it was barely 40 cents, and even while having it plain, it was one of the most delicious breads I’ve had - crisp, flavorful, and oh-so-satisfying
Add to
Details

Ohrid has stolen my heart as the ultimate budget-friendly lakeside escape. Why spend a fortune at Lake Como or Lake Garda when you can experience the same breathtaking beauty at a fraction of the cost in Ohrid? Say goodbye to budget woes and hello to the charm and tranquility of Ohrid's shores.

We paired our holiday in Macedonia with a few days busking in the sun in the Albanian Riveria - you can check out our recommendations in another guide I've published as linked below.

* * *
CURATED BY
Hello ✨ I’m Hazel, a Singaporean 🇸🇬 who moved to London 🇬🇧 5 years ago - I have been solo travelling since I was 15, and with lots of my friends dotted around the globe (and my partner in Germany), planning trips around Europe (for myself and for my friends visiting) has become second nature to me. With a trip every other week, I now have made it my personal mission to explore every nook and cranny of Europe and Africa. I love sharing my experiences and tips, which often centres around solo travelling, food and local culture, across both budget and luxury travel. I am publishing free guides to share the fun and excitement (but would definitely appreciate any tips). If you are looking for something custom-made, let me know! 📧 theexploreredit.com
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All you need to know for your budget getaway at Lake Ohrid, N. Macedonia
Lake Ohrid is the perfect lakeside getaway without the crowds and prices of Lake Como - here is all you need to know for 3 days in Ohrid
12 Places • ago
Free

Lake Ohrid of North Macedonia is what you would get if you fused Lake Como with Croatia - the perfect blend of lakeside town meets Balkan architecture. 

When to Visit

Experience the enchantment of Lake Ohrid in late spring or early autumn, when the weather is just right for leisurely strolls beneath the sun-kissed skies, but without the discomfort of sweltering heat.

How to Get There

Nestled at the border between Albania and North Macedonia, accessing Lake Ohrid is an adventure in itself. While you can technically fly into either country, North Macedonia has a much more sophisticated and comfortable transport system. Hence, I would highly recommend landing in Skopje, the vibrant capital of Macedonia. From there, the bus journey to Ohrid would take around 3 hours and there are breathtaking views along the way.

Getting Around

You can definitely explore the charming old town and picturesque lakeside promenade on foot, allowing you to soak in the laid-back atmosphere at your own pace. For venturing further afield to other lakeside towns or the revered Monastery, consider renting a car or hopping in a taxi for a hassle-free journey.

Where to Stay 

Embrace the allure of lakeside living without breaking the bank at Lake Ohrid. We found our sanctuary at Villa Varosh, a hidden gem nestled along the tranquil shores of the lake. Offering unparalleled value for money, this charming boutique hotel exudes a perfect blend of chic elegance and traditional Macedonian charm. Our cozy room on the second floor boasted a private balcony overlooking the azure waters of the lake, all for just 75 euros a night. For an extra touch of indulgence, splurge an additional 20 euros for your own private hot tub, or consider booking the penthouse for an unforgettable group getaway. Trust me, it's worth every penny. Plus, the complimentary tea, coffee, milk, and soup at the downstairs minibar add a delightful touch of hospitality to your stay.

Villa Varosh
@theexploreredit
Offering unparalleled value for money, this charming boutique hotel exudes a perfect blend of chic elegance and traditional Macedonian charm. Our cozy room on the second floor boasted a private balcony overlooking the azure waters of the lake, all for just 75 euros a night. For an extra touch of indulgence, splurge an additional 20 euros for your own private hot tub, or consider booking the penthouse for an unforgettable group getaway. Trust me, it's worth every penny. Plus, the complimentary tea, coffee, milk, and soup at the downstairs minibar add a delightful touch of hospitality to your stay.
Add to
Details

Where to Visit

Monastery Saint Naum

Monastery Saint Naum is just a short 40-minute drive from Ohrid's heart. Despite the occasional bumpy road, the journey along the river is extremely scenic and tranquil. As you approach the Monastery, take a leisurely stroll down the promenade, flanked by a charming market on one side and the stunning vista of Lake Ohrid on the other. If you visit around midday, keep an eye out for boat tour offers, which can add an extra layer of adventure to your visit. Beyond its historical and religious significance, Monastery Saint Naum is simply a serene and enchanting place to wander. Keep your eyes peeled, and you might even catch a glimpse of peacocks prancing about!

Monastery Saint Naum
@theexploreredit
Founded in the 10th century by the revered Saint Naum of Ohrid, this monastery has been a beacon of religious devotion, learning, and creativity throughout the ages. Its Byzantine-style domes and intricate frescoes stand as testaments to centuries of cultural richness. Within its walls lies the main church, dedicated to the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel, adorned with a revered iconostasis and relics of Saint Naum, drawing pilgrims from near and far. Beyond its religious significance, the monastery has been a guardian of Macedonian identity, fostering literature, calligraphy, and iconography amidst political storms.
Add to
Details

Ohrid Boardwalk

Ohrid Boardwalk is a vibrant stretch lined with cozy cafes, inviting restaurants, and charming shops. I would recommend taking a leisurely stroll, savoring panoramic views of the lake and surrounding peaks. Whether you're seeking a peaceful morning amble or a lively evening escapade, the boardwalk offers the perfect setting to unwind after a day of exploring the historic sites of Ohrid. 

Ohrid Boardwalk
@theexploreredit
A vibrant stretch lined with cozy cafes, inviting restaurants, and charming shops. I would recommend taking a leisurely stroll, savoring panoramic views of the lake and surrounding peaks. Whether you're seeking a peaceful morning amble or a lively evening escapade, the boardwalk offers the perfect setting to unwind after a day of exploring the historic sites of Ohrid.
Add to
Details

Church of St. John

Nestled in the Kaneo neighborhood, the Church of St. John offers a captivating blend of history and natural beauty. Dating back to the 13th century, its Byzantine-style architecture and intricate frescoes rival those of Monastery Saint Naum. Yet, its greatest allure lies in its picturesque perch atop a rocky cliff, offering unrivaled views of azure waters and majestic mountains. Take a moment to climb the hill behind the church for a truly breathtaking panorama.

Church of Saint John the Theologian
@theexploreredit
The Church of St. John offers a captivating blend of history and natural beauty. Dating back to the 13th century, its Byzantine-style architecture and intricate frescoes rival those of Monastery Saint Naum. Yet, its greatest allure lies in its picturesque perch atop a rocky cliff, offering unrivaled views of azure waters and majestic mountains.
Add to
Details

Kaneo Neighbourhood

The Kaneo neighborhood is a charming haven perched on cliffs overlooking Lake Ohrid. It is characterized by its charming stone houses and ancient churches, contrasted beside lush greenery. Wandering around its cobblestone streets, you get the perfect mix of nature and breathtaking views, while you tick off the key sights in Ohrid such as the Church of St. John. 

Kaneo
@theexploreredit
A charming haven perched on cliffs overlooking Lake Ohrid. It is characterized by its charming stone houses and ancient churches, contrasted beside lush greenery. Wandering around its cobblestone streets, you get the perfect mix of nature and breathtaking views, while you tick off the key sights in Ohrid such as the Church of St. John.
Add to
Details

Samuel's Fortress

Samuel's Fortress is a formidable medieval stronghold commanding the town's skyline built in the 10th century during the reign of Tsar Samuel of Bulgaria. The fortress boasts impressive stone walls and commanding towers, and offers breathtaking views of Lake Ohrid and the surrounding landscape. 

Samuel's Fortress
@theexploreredit
A formidable medieval stronghold commanding the town's skyline built in the 10th century during the reign of Tsar Samuel of Bulgaria. The fortress boasts impressive stone walls and commanding towers, and offers breathtaking views of Lake Ohrid and the surrounding landscape.
Add to
Details

Varosh Old Town

Varosh Old Town is the beating heart of Ohrid. Lose yourself in a maze of Turkish ice cream stands, traditional jewelry shops, and bustling markets. An evening stroll through its lively streets offers the perfect opportunity to savor the local ambiance and seek out delectable dining options.

Varosh - Old Town of Ohrid
@theexploreredit
The beating heart of Ohrid. Lose yourself in a maze of Turkish ice cream stands, traditional jewelry shops, and bustling markets. An evening stroll through its lively streets offers the perfect opportunity to savor the local ambiance and seek out delectable dining options.
Add to
Details

Paper Museum

Uncover the hidden gem of the Paper Museum, nestled inconspicuously amidst Ohrid's streets. Housed within a beautifully restored Ottoman-era building, this museum offers a glimpse into the ancient art of papermaking. Immerse yourself in the fragrance and beauty of handcrafted paper, guided by friendly staff eager to share their knowledge and even let you try your hand at the craft. Best of all, admission is free, leaving you free to indulge in the wonders of paper without any pressure to purchase souvenirs (though they are definitely tempting!)

National Workshop For Handmade Paper Ljupcho Panevski
@theexploreredit
This museum offers a glimpse into the ancient art of papermaking. Immerse yourself in the fragrance and beauty of handcrafted paper, guided by friendly staff eager to share their knowledge and even let you try your hand at the craft. Best of all, admission is free, leaving you free to indulge in the wonders of paper without any pressure to purchase souvenirs
Add to
Details

Where to Eat 

Leonardo Pizza

RATING: 7.5 out of 10 | LOCATION: Цар Самоил 33, Ohrid 6000, North Macedonia

Leonardo Pizza offers a refreshing break from the Balkan fare, serving up mouthwatering pizzas and pastas that won't break the bank. Plus, picture this: a cozy backyard vibe, perfect for unwinding with a cold beer after a satisfying meal.

Leonardo Pizza
@theexploreredit
Leonardo Pizza offers a refreshing break from the Balkan fare, serving up mouthwatering pizzas and pastas that won't break the bank. Plus, picture this: a cozy backyard vibe, perfect for unwinding with a cold beer after a satisfying meal.
Add to
Details

Restaurant St. Sofija

RATING: 6.5 out of 10 | LOCATION: Tsar Samoil 88, Ohrid 6000, Ohër, North Macedonia

Conveniently located right below the villa where we stayed, it serves up hearty Balkan dishes in a classy setting. While it may lean a bit towards the pricier side, the quality of the food and wine is decent even if the service isn't always the warmest.

Restaurant St. Sofija
@theexploreredit
Conveniently located right below the villa where we stayed, it serves up hearty Balkan dishes in a classy setting. While it may lean a bit towards the pricier side, the quality of the food and wine is decent even if the service isn't always the warmest.
Add to
Details

Restaurant Kajche

RATING: 8 out of 10 | LOCATION: Ilindenska 22, Ohrid 6000, North Macedonia

This was by far the best restaurant we ate at in Ohrid. Nestled right by the lake, this gem boasts a chic interior adorned with lush plants and an inviting patio overlooking the water. We sat right next to the lake and could bask in the sun while we ate. Staff was friendly and recommended dishes for us to try. I strongly recommend having the Ohrid trout here, while on the pricier end of the menu, it is simply a local delight you cannot miss - fresh, tender and well-cooked.

Restaurant Kajche
@theexploreredit
Nestled right by the lake, this gem boasts a chic interior adorned with lush plants and an inviting patio overlooking the water. We sat right next to the lake and could bask in the sun while we ate. Staff was friendly and recommended dishes for us to try. I strongly recommend having the Ohrid trout here, while on the pricier end of the menu, it is simply a local delight you cannot miss - fresh, tender and well-cooked.
Add to
Details

Bakery Lihnida

RATING: 8 out of 10 | LOCATION: Bulevar Makedonski Prosvetiteli, Ohrid, North Macedonia

I thoroughly enjoyed the pastries we hastily grabbed from ​​Bakery Lihnida on our way to catch the bus to Skopje. We got two flat bread buns, it was barely 40 cents, and even while having it plain, it was one of the most delicious breads I’ve had - crisp, flavorful, and oh-so-satisfying

Bakery Lihnida
@theexploreredit
Boasts really cheap but fresh bakery - we got two flat bread buns, it was barely 40 cents, and even while having it plain, it was one of the most delicious breads I’ve had - crisp, flavorful, and oh-so-satisfying
Add to
Details

Ohrid has stolen my heart as the ultimate budget-friendly lakeside escape. Why spend a fortune at Lake Como or Lake Garda when you can experience the same breathtaking beauty at a fraction of the cost in Ohrid? Say goodbye to budget woes and hello to the charm and tranquility of Ohrid's shores.

We paired our holiday in Macedonia with a few days busking in the sun in the Albanian Riveria - you can check out our recommendations in another guide I've published as linked below.

* * *
CURATED BY
Hello ✨ I’m Hazel, a Singaporean 🇸🇬 who moved to London 🇬🇧 5 years ago - I have been solo travelling since I was 15, and with lots of my friends dotted around the globe (and my partner in Germany), planning trips around Europe (for myself and for my friends visiting) has become second nature to me. With a trip every other week, I now have made it my personal mission to explore every nook and cranny of Europe and Africa. I love sharing my experiences and tips, which often centres around solo travelling, food and local culture, across both budget and luxury travel. I am publishing free guides to share the fun and excitement (but would definitely appreciate any tips). If you are looking for something custom-made, let me know! 📧 theexploreredit.com
Send A Tip
Support Hazel Teh’s work.
Select your tip amount
$5
$10
$20
$50
Or type in other amount
Powered by Thatch
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Powered by Thatch: Where great trips are made.
© Hazel Teh Privacy Terms