Wednesday, 5 October 2016

things to do in Ohrid
17th century Turkish traveller Evliya Çelebi says that Ohrid was as prosperous as Baghdad, Egypt and Constantinople those years and incredible amount of profit emerged due to the product of its lake. That's why many Emperor's tried to capture here to have that profit. Lastly, Mehmed the Conqueror captured here and Serbians took control in Ohrid after 500 year of sovereignty of Turks.

In this article, I will give some information about transportation, accommodation and places to visit in Ohrid. I would also suggest to staying here at least 1 night.


First of all, you don't have to make a choice among bus companies in Macedonia. You just tell the officer where you want to go and they give you the available ticket for the date and time you wish. Although platform and seat number are written on the bus ticket, you could sit down on any seat. Nobody will ask why you have sat there.

In order to reach Ohrid from Skopje, you first get your ticket from Skopje Bus Terminal. A one way ticket was 520 MKD (about 8,5 Euros) and there were buses at 8 am and 10 am in the morning. As far as I know, there are also 2 pm bus and other two services after that. The time I chose was at 10 am and the name of the bus company was GALEB. When you approach the bus platforms you will show your ticket to the officer who stands right next to the door. He tears one piece of it and you will then show the rest to the bus driver. As I mentined on my Skopje article, you will not pay for any extra fee for the baggage.

The journey took about 3 hours 20 minutes. The bus took a break about 20 minutes after 1,5 hours at a place called Restaurant Straja. It then stopped at Kichevo for passangers. After one hour from Kichevo I finally arrived at Ohrid.

Regarding public transport in Ohrid, I didn't need to use any as most of the places I planned to go were in walking distance. Though, the best way to explore a city is to walk.

Also, if you would like to go to Albania in off season (before June 1), you have to go to Struga (about 15-20 km north of Ohrid) first. 

I think there is only one way to Albania in off season and that is Mega Tours. It is located somewhere on the right of Old Bazaar Street. Not very far from the big Macedonian flag. They told me they provide transport to Tirana directly at 5:30 am and it takes about 3 hours. I had also accepted the one way fare which was 20 Euros. However, the lady at the office was about to give my ticket, but she was told that there was no empty seat for me after a short phone conversation with the main office. Anyway, when I got back to my hostel I asked the owner to help me out and they told me I was lucky not to have paid for 20 Euros. According to what they said, the 20 Euros is normally return ticket fare.

After June 1, there are direct buses to Tirana from Ohrid. For example, I saw Tina Tours office on Boulevard Touristica 66. They have 4:30 am bus from there.

On my next article about Struga, I will explain how to go to Tirana during off season.


In Ohrid, I preferred to stay at Villa Ohrid Anastasia which is just 15 minute walking distance from the main bus terminal. When you get out from the bus terminal, you go across to Pitu Guli Street. Then, you walk about 10-15 minutes straight ahead. Finally, you should turn right just before the roundabout at the end of the way. You should see a small church. The property is located right on the opposite side of the church.

Overall, I would recommend this hostel in terms of location, cleanliness. Although the owners speak very limited English, they were very welcoming and friendly. I paid just 7 Euros a night in a 4-bed dorm excluding breakfast. However, they provide a kitchen facility where you can cook your own meal.

They helped me out changing 5 Euros so I didn't have to look for any change office. They also told me everything about how to go to Struga easily. Just wait for my next article.

To make a reservation in Villa Ohrid Anastasia, you could click HERE.


Ohrid is a really famous city with its amazing lake, monasteries and old churches. Indeed, I enjoyed every seconds of my trip on its streets. Now I'll try to introduce some places to visit in Ohrid.

Lake Ohrid : I followed Jane Sandanski Street until the end which was just off to my hostel. I can clearly say that I have never seen a lake as clear as this.

I was actually intended to swim here, but it was a bit rainy. I would definitely recommend to spend some of your time here. Watch my short video on Lake Ohrid.

Old Bazaar Street :  It's just upside of the Macedonian flag. There are many shops on both sides and many people.


St. Clement Monument : Located just in the middle of the main square near the shore.

Church of St. Nikola Bolnicki : It was used as a hospital in Ottoman times so the name of "Bolnicki" comes from this.


Church of Hagia Sophia : According to Evliya Çelebi, this Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque after the conquest of the city and named as "Fethiye Mosque". Although the outer view is amazing, the interior is really disappointing. The entrance fee is 50 MKD for locals and 100 MKD for tourists. It is not worth it.


You could watch interior of the church.

Dolni Saraj : This place is like a parking lot. There is a stage just behind this picture and festivals are held here in the summer.


Ancient Theatre : This is the only ancient theatre remained from Hellenistic period. Festivals are held here in the summer season. The entrance is free during no events. You could watch the video below :

Church of St. Jovan Kaneo : It was built on the edge of the rocks in Ohrid Old Town. The church isn't so big but the view from there is to die for. The entrance fee is 100 MKD.


Plaoshnik St. Pantelejmon St. Clement Monastery : It is originally a 5th century church but restored in 2002. There is also an early age Byzantine Basilica dates back to 4th century. Although it was written on the sign that the entrance fee for students was 30 MKD and 100 MKD for adults, nobody asked for any money from me. You could also jump on my Youtube channel to watch the basilica.


Tsar Samoil Fortress : If you follow the way that goes in front of entrance of St. Pantelejmon, you will reach the fortress. The entrance fee is 30 MKD.

Up on the fortress, you will see a fascinating view of both the city and the lake. Actually, there is nothing to see in the first courtyard of the fortress. The best thing to do here is to climb up the stairs and watch the view. I also saw a second courtyard but it was not allowed to go there. I assume there is a cistern down there.

If you watch the fortress in details, follow this LINK: 

Ohrid City Gates : The gates consist of 4 gates. Those are Lower Gate, Upper Gate, Water Gate and Front Gate.

Lower Gate is located between Antico Restaurant and Kosta Apartments, but only one tower survived today. Front gate is the place where the ticket booths are. Upper Gate is located at the end of Kuzman Kapidan Street which is what you follow when you exit the fortress. As for the Water Gate, I'm not sure where it is, but I assume that it is located somehere near down by the lake.


Church of St. Bogorodica Perivlepta : This structure was built in 13th century and looked not so big. According to what is written on the sign, its English name is Church Mother of God Periblebtos but if you manage to read the Cyrillic alphabet you will see Sveti Bogorodica Perivlepta. I didn't go inside but as far as I heard, it is one of the most beautiful churches in Ohrid. The entrance fee is 100 MKD.

There is also an Icon Gallery next to the church.

Houses of Robevci and Uranija : Very wealthy people used to live in these houses and today they serve as museums. The architecture is awesome.

Ali Pasha Mosque : It was built in 16th century by Süleyman Pasha but renovated by Ali Pasha in 19th century. That's why this was called as Ali Pasha Mosque.
Plane Tree : This tree is supposed to be 900 year-old. It is located at the end of the Old Bazaar Street.

Hadji Turgut Mosque : It is located between Sedmi Noemvri and Marko Nestoroski.

Apart from what I mentioned in this article, there are a few more mosques, churches and old structures in Ohrid.

On my next article, you will be able to find out how to get to Struga and Albania from there.