getting around ohrid, Ohrid
Ohrid is still small enough to be explored exclusively on foot. All sights are within walking distance from the city centre.
Even a walk to the further away sights like the Church of St. John at Kaneo or the Samuel's Fortress won't take much more than 45 minutes.
Most sights are well signposted and can be reached via scenic routes.
The city centre itself has many pedestrianised streets or pathways which are not accessible to cars or public transportation anyway.
After our first two days in Ohrid we walked from the lake front along the streets Jane Sandanski and Pitu Guli to Ohrid's bus station, which is located about 2 km north of the city centre.
The walk took about 30 minutes and the way was well signposted.
As we had to catch an early bus after our second two days in Ohrid we ordered a taxi through Hotel Tino.
Taxis usually have a metre and they charge 50 MKD as a start price within a certain area and then 50 MKD/km or 300 MKD/h. The trip to the bus station cost ca. 90 MKD (approx. 1,50 Euro).
Official taxis seem to be white mixed with a light blue colour.
I was quite restless the day before leave because the hostel owner told me that there was a bus that cross the border with Albania at 2330 that leaves from Struga and runs to the albanian border northwards but i dislike so much this option so i find the best one running to the south.. i mean that there was a coach that follows the coastline direction sveti naum lake church almost in the southern part of the lake where is 2km further the border
The next morning i went on foot remembering this beautiful town meanwhile the sun was rising ( it was so cool and nice), nobody in the streets just me and some cats till i got the bus station... i laid down my backpack waiting for the bus... just then a man came to me and told me if i wanted to get out right now from there he was picking up people in his taxi to sveti naum per the same fare that the bus costed... i accepted ... we were 2 elder women , a man and me... the taxi followed the coastline as well and ended in sveti naum entrance... afterwards the driver brought to me to 100m before the border...
i crossed it before the customer make the stamp mark on my passport and 100m further there was the albanian flag fluttering on the air..
I HAD TO PAY 10 EUROS just to be european... pay much attention to the nationalities....cos maybe American have to pay 25 euros , Uk people 40 euros and japanese nothing !!! its absolutelly freak !! jajajjaja
once you have entered in Albania .....well it should be better if you read my Albanian pages lol !!
There are many taxis to help you get around Ohrid and to nearby sights such as the town of Struga, Sveti Naum Monastery and the Albanian border.
You will find lots of taxis parked up along Bulevar Turisticka, particularly outside the market. The official taxis are white and pale blue and will display a 4-digit number in the form 158x or 159x.
We first used an Ohrid taxi to get from the bus station to our accommodation (Villa Boban) on a residential street behind Bulevar Turisticka. The journey took less than 5 minutes and cost us 150 MKD (£2). We made the mistake of not using an official taxi, we just jumped into the first taxi that was offered to us. Our hosts suggested that the journey to their villa should have cost no more than 70-80 MKD, so we were double charged for the short journey. The amount was small, and we'd never have found the villa without the help of a taxi, so we weren't particularly bothered.
Our hosts also explained to us that, due to the one way system around Bulevar Turisticka, the journey from the villa into town should be 50 MKD (£0.65), while the journey back from town would likely be 100 MKD (£1.30). We always walked to and from town, so we never found out if the fares were correct, but it's a useful guideline for taxi journeys within Ohrid.
One day we approached a taxi driver who was parked at the front of the queue of taxis on Bulevar Turisticka and asked for a price for him to drive us to Pogradec in Albania. He explained that he didn't have the necessary paperwork to take his taxi over the border, but that he would contact his friend and they would use his car to take us where we wanted to go. We agreed a fee of 50 Euros for the two of them to take us to Pogradec and to Sveti Naum Monastery for the whole day. During the day, we changed our itinerary and asked them to take us to the town of Korce, some 40km south of Pogradec, and agreed to pay an additional 30 Euros for this diversion. Altogether, we paid 80 Euros (5,000 MKD) for a day of guided sightseeing in Albania and at Sveti Naum Monastery which lasted from 9am until 5:30pm – we were happy with that price.
Loooots of locals use their bicycles to move around Ohrid. Postmen ride them to deliver letter, kids use them to go to the beach and even waiters move around on bicycle to serve teas and coffees for their closest neighbours.
Traffic looks quite chaotic in the center of Ohrid but as far as I know, riding a bicycle is still pretty safe. Moreover, there are several shops where they sell repaired bicycles for very low prices (there's a shop where street Goce Delchev turns into a pedestrian street). If you're staying for more than a week, you may want to give them a try...
The best was to go around (and sightseeing) is by feet. Ohrid is not so big city and you can literary see everything by walking around. But if you need to a drive to somewhere, feel free to take a cab cos it is one of the cheapest in the world. Wherever you go in Ohrid, the cab will take you 1 - 2 Euros!!!
Taxis are a plenty in Ohrid andf they are not that expencive. Al licenced taxis are white and sky blue with nubler on the back side panels of the cars. all those numbers mean they are lincenced proper taxies..
Strating price is 50MKD denars, and if you do not fancy walking from the Bus station which is bit out of the way, to the center, than journey lake that will cost you 100 MKD denars.
TAXI TRANSPORT IN OHRID
Price per km:
Nova (Tel: +389 46 1594; +389 46 270 530
De Luks (Tel: +389 46 1588; +389 46 266 088
Suzuki (Tel: 389 46 1599; +389 46 266 237
Bel Mercedes (Tel: +389 46 1580; +389 46 263 807
I personally have used Bel Mercedes on many occasions, and I find it very good.
If you do not have the time to take a boat to Sv. Naum, or would just prefer to enjoy the drive around part of the lake and through the National Park, talk to the water taxi drivers. Some of them have cars and are willing to drive you where you want to go around the lake rather than lose a fare. The cost of this for myself and a fellow traveller was 15 Euro round trip, compared to the 17 Euro to go by water. The other thing that was very convenient about this was that the driver as part of the bargain agreed to wait for 1 hour as we walked the grounds and visited the monastary. The drive is beautiful and you can work around your own schedule, rather than a bus' time table. Just go to the waterfront in Ohrid, someone with a boat will try to strike a deal with you.
About the only way that I could find to get from Ohrid to Albania, was to get a taxi from Ohrid to the border crossing south of Struga, Macedonia. The ride costs about $30 and takes a little over a half hour. The taxi will drop you off at the Macedonian side to get your passport checked for exit of the country. You will then walk about 100 meters to the Albanian side to obtain your entry visa for 10 Euro. On the other side of the Albanian border there are taxis waiting to take you wherever you need to go. My taxi from the border to Tirana was $90, although if you are going somewhere closer I am sure it is cheaper. When negotiating long distance taxi fares, remember the driver needs to return to the point of origin, since he is unlikely to be authorized to pick up fares where you are going.
The only way to get to Ohrid town from any of several hotels along the lake shore is by taxi, since there is no other public trasnport available. At least in May! Maybe during the tourist season things change, but honestly, I don't think so. Taxi drivers don't charge by the meter. They charge 150 denars (2.5 euros) from the Metropol hotel to the town and vice versa. The charge is the same for other hotels as well, never mind that they are closer to the town.
The bus station was transfered to the upper part of the city. In principle, this is most convenient only for the local taxi drivers. If you have heavy luggage, you are forced to get to the centre or your accomodation paying 50 denar for a taxi. As a fantastic progress, there is no timetable in all the town and also not in Sveti Naum. Maybe a strategy to encourage people to use a few Macedonian words ;-) And be careful, becuase I was given a time and the bus leaved twelve minutes earlier. Maybe a strategy to make people (also locals, of course) waste their time and feeling more dependent.
The staff of the bus station does still speak English. Instead of taking a taxi, go on their nerves getting information by phone (if not occupied) until they put timetable (which was before) in the city centre.
If you are frustrated having to wait some hours for a bus, there is the restaurant Zlaten Jajce (golden eggs) not far away. The new location gives you the chance to try this alternative. See my tip on it.
This is something else I didn't bother with and to be honest I can't actually see the point (nor did I ever see anyone using these bikes). The problem is that most of Ohrid's main places of interest are in and around the old city and so are uphill, accessible only by the winding cobbled streets and so using one of these will only let you get around the main lakefront area which is perfectly walkable anyway.