From Skopje to Belgrade by day, bus or train
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Mar 16, 2011 10:07 AM Last Post By: chiliane
Mar 13, 2011 5:14 AM
I want to go from Skopje to Belgrade by day next month, as part of a trip in the Balkans. I know it's about 9-10 hours whatever option I choose.
- I would prefer not to go through Kosovo.
- I prefer to travel by day to enjoy the landscape and countryside views. Any feedback on the landscape between Skopje and Belgrade?
- My first choice would be to take the train but: I had only feedback on the night train which is said to be clean and so on, but no feedback on the day train. Any idea?
- I suppose there are several buses, any feedback on travelling this way by bus? How long does it take? Where can I get the schedules?
Thanks in advance
Mar 13, 2011 5:17 AM
1PS: I have previously used a minibus company between Sarajevo and Belgrade, and Timisoara and Belgrade. This company does not provide transportation from Skopje but do you know about about another company which would offer such thing? I only found a private car company whose fare is above my budget.
Mar 14, 2011 4:31 AM
- you are not passing via Kosovo as the main highway doesn't get into it anyway.
- landscapes are pretty boring overall. the first part of the trip might be interesting, here I mean the first 180km, or just until Leskovac in Serbia. There, motorway is passing through wide river valley that follows its direction north, so it can even trick you that you're passing thorugh a non-mountainous country. Landscapes here are totally boring in my opinion. Yet, it's a price for a motorway connection.
- I think you could make it to belgrade in less that 9,10 hours as you estimated. I used one bus that departed Skopje at 16:45 and was in Belgrade somehow around 00:20, but made a 30 min break in Nish. Still, this one made a brief stops in Kumanovo, Bujanovac, Vranje, Han, Leskovac, before stopping in Nish, so it could make it to Belgrade quicker if it was direct line. There are direct buses, see on Skopje's bus station.
- railway journey follows the highway/motorway route at the biggest percent of the length, so you can't hope on different landscaping here.
- all in all, it again depends where do you come from, and what is 'interesting' for you to see from the window.
Mar 14, 2011 8:47 AM
3Bus from Skopje to Belgrade takes about 5hrs and stops in Leskovac &Nish..
It is in Macedonian (for some reason English version is down) but those buses go every day.
Galeb, bus is express bus and originate in Ohrid.
IMHO Grdelica Gorge is very nice and I love driving trough it! Again is only my opinion.
If you need more info on Macedonia including transport check out
If you need more info do shout.
Mar 15, 2011 1:04 AM
4Thank you for your answers and all the useful Internet links.
Yes you are right to ask what is interesting for me as a landscape! What I like is the natural or urban scenary, but most of all to catch a glimpse at life in the villages and cities I go through. Of course, the interest is all the more limited when one goes on highways...
Mar 15, 2011 1:34 AM
5For me, it was very interesting to notice differences between the south of Serbia with somewhat Morava valley part (motorway and highway pass there). Pay attention to numerous mosques in villages in first 30-40km within Serbia, and here and there, depending on a local population, counterpart churches. For me, and I was born in nowdays Serbia, that was very interesting to notice, as I had no clue that these mosques were as many down there as they are.
Further on, villages and towns get prettty boring, without minarets. Have in mind that the road is passing through the poorest and least developed area of Serbia, currently being depopulated year by year, except in Albanian majority areas that are right after the border with Macedonia.
Other than that, be sure that motorway will surpass any major town on the way, and 5 hours between Skopje to Belgrade with brief stops in Leskovac and Nish (from Macedonian' post) sounds too optimistic to me. It's about 500 kilometers in total, with a border in between and 150km of non-motorway-profile highway. Even if a bus doesn't make a stop in Leskovac and Nish (and Nish is a bit bigger city for local standards, you can't just enter and leave it without spending some time within city streets), even if there are 3 passengers and no other buses on the border, bus will have to drive about 100 km/h average. In given circumstances, average speed would have to be at least 130 km/h. On the usual, buses do go 90-100 km/h max when on motorways, as for fuel consumption.
Mar 15, 2011 2:18 AM
6Skopje-Belgrade is 440 km distance. Te bus stops in Leskovac and Nis and doest take 5rs.
Again you might choose the slow bus, which enters in Vranje, Leskovac, Nish,Jaodina and Belgrade. That one takes 8hrs. But te OP can ask about the fast buses,express and normal ones too.
The express one from Galeb bus company originate in Ohrid and stops only in Bitola, Skopje, Nis and Belgrade.
I have used them in the past. Recently in November last year from Bitola to Belgrade.
Mar 15, 2011 2:34 AM
7that's cool, I just wanted to point out that it is unrealistic that one can reach Belgrade from Skopje on bus in about 5 hours, as it was written in your post (no.4).
I frequently use buses between Nish and Skopje (working for Macedonian company) and so far the best result was 3 hours 30 minutes with stopping only at the border (some yellow macedonian bus, not sure if it was Galeb-Ohrid or not). Between Nish and Belgrade, in a best case, there are another 2h45min by bus, without intermediate stops. Getting in and out of Nish from the motorway takes at least 20 minutes, without 10 minutes break at the station.
Mar 15, 2011 8:04 AM
Mar 15, 2011 9:36 AM
9I'm not sure if others have answered this to your satisfaction yet (or if I'm repeating information), but:
Train - prettier landscape along the way but it will take longer and your train will almost certainly be late.
Bus - usually on time (though I took a bus from Ohrid to Nis once and was about 4 hours late).
Mar 16, 2011 10:07 AM
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