When I was originally looking to get from the Skopje airport to Bitola, I was going to take a taxi from the airport to the bus station in Skopje and then a bus to Bitola. Everyone told me that there were no buses or trains from the airport to the bus station or city center and to expect a 20€ taxi ride which matches what it says on the airport's website listed below. It appears that they are regulated and a fixed price.
The organized of Euromeet ended up arranging a private driver so we didn't need to do the taxi/bus route.
There were really no hotels near the bus station so we booked the closest decent hotel I could find but we still had to use a taxi to get to and from the station. The 1st guy we asked said it was 200MKD ($5US), this seemed like a lot so we found another driver who said it was 2€ ($3 US). Probably still a little high but really $3 for a taxi ride, it's too small to quibble over. I suppose you could take your chances with a meter but I prefer to know upfront how much I'll be paying.
If you're visiting here, you'll realize that almost all are walking distances. At least everything there is to see is in the center or at a walking distance. You would need some "help" in case you'd like to go to Matka or St Pantelejmon, the monastery.
I suggest cabs/taxis... Yes, I also put it as a trap, but if you learn couple of Macedonian expressions and also if you're careful about the cab that you get into - it really isn't expensive.
The best option is to choose legitimate companies (my favourite is Nase Taxi, yellow ones, distinctly marked and always a great option). You can always call them from a hotel (usually have toll-free numbers which start with 151 and then have two extra digits, depending on the company. For instance, Nashe Taxi is 15152). or... when you learn what their cars look like, you'll recognize them on the street.
We've been in Skopje for over a month working here. We found a great taxi service and driver. He speaks English fluently, and has been very helpful to us with everything that we've tried to do here. We pay him a weekly fee, and he picks us up at a regularly scheduled time for work. We also call him when we want to go out to a restaurant or sight-seeing. It's been a real relief to have someone that we can rely on for transporation and information. He also makes trips to and from the airport. The service is Yello Taxi Cab 13. The driver's name is Dragan Todorovski. firstname.lastname@example.org and the phone is 071 211 471 He has been a great guy!
Due to MANY Taxi drivers and companies which haye abnormal prices of driving for example from airport to the center of Skopje 20 EUR....
I will reccomend one taxi driver with reasonable price for example from airport to center of Skopje for 13 EUR
His name is Zoran Toševski mobile phone :00389 70 258 022, and he will help you with questions about restaurants,places to go and etc.
If you want to go somewhere, and don't know how to get there, take a taxi !! At the time of writing, a standard trip within towns costs 50 MKD ( 1 Euro). If you are stuck in traffic, or going on a slightly longer trip within town, it can of course be more. Make sure your taxi has a meter, and the rest is simple. Most of the taxi companies have a phone (02)-91##. I use 9177 because the dispatcher speaks english and they have never told me that they don't have a car available !!
Cabs are very inexpensive. Most of the fares around town cost 50-100 Dinar, or about $1. About half the drivers speak english. If you're like me, you'll have to repeat yourself several times to get where you want to go. My pronunciation of Macedonian is terrible.
There are public buses running though the city, but I recommend taxi as it is pretty cheap, faster and more comfortable. A taxi ride from the Continental Hotel to the center, which takes you about 5 minutes is 50 Denar or about 80 cents. All interesting spots can then be visited by walking and no transportation is required. If you come by plane you can also easily catch a cab to the town for about 10 – 15 bucks.