The National Pride of Northern Macedonia: How a peaceful protest painted a nation

Seeing the National Flag flying across the Country, you get a glimpse into The national pride of Northern Macedonia.

We are incredibly proud of our Welsh Heritage, but this was on another level. But we didn’t truly see the level of the national pride of Northern Macedonia until a night spent in the Capital City, Skopje.

Back in 2016 ,Skopje the capital of Northern Macedonia become an artists canvas.

Skopje was splashed and covered in eye catching colours. Experiencing this peaceful protest first hand showed us a true insight into Northern Macedonia.

Watching the city become illuminated by the bright colours showed us a glimpse into the people of Northern Macedonia . Also, why everyone needs to visit here.

We fell head over heels for Macedonia and the people we met along the way are the reason why. This event truly highlighted the national pride of Northern Macedonia to us.

Want to know more about The national pride of Northern Macedonia? This first hand account explores what is was like experiencing the peaceful protest first hand in Skopje and an insight into the people of Northern Macedonia.

Arriving into Skopje

So in the summer of 2016 we turned up at Skopje bus station. We were hot, tired and completely lost. Also We had no idea where our apartment was. As we were leaving the terminal a taxi driver approached us asking if we needed help, this is where we met Sasho.

Skopje is a must visit location on any balkans or europe tour

Sasho was our first glimpse into the kindness of the Macedonians. As we were driving to our apartment he was chatting to us. He asked about our travels and must visit spots. We mentioned that we were venturing to Lake Ohrid after Skopje.

With this he pulled out his card and arranged to take us. Sasho is a lonely planet recommended professional taxi driver. He truly is wonderful so if you are traveling in Northern Macedonia, use him! Drop us an email at and we can send you over his contact details.

We ended up using Sasho’s services to get to Lake Ohrid. The stories we we’re told on the way displayed again and again the national pride of Northern Macedonia and it’s people.

After saying Goodbye to Sasho for a few days, we arrived at our apartment. We dropped our bags off and started exploring the city. The capital of Northern Macedonia looked so new and shiny. Within minutes we asked each other “Why is it covered in paint?”

Why was there a peaceful protest in Skopje?

After our first day of exploring we headed back to our apartment. We booked it because of its location, right over the main Square. All of a sudden there was a mass of drums and whistles becoming louder and louder.

As we looked out of the window there were hundreds of people painting the main square in bright colours. We had no idea that we had just stumbled into the ‘colourful revolution’ of Northern Macedonia.

a lion statue that was scattered in colour in skopje

The protest arouse when president Gjorge Ivanov pardoned a number of politicians that had been caught up in a huge scandal.

Ranging from unauthorised surveillance on around 20,000 members of the public to unlawfully over balloting. After discussing this with a number of citizens, it felt this was the ‘icing on the cake’ due to a number of poor political decisions.

The reason behind this protest was that change was needed. The voices of the people needed to be heard.

So the thoughts, feelings, emotions of the people were displayed through a painted city.

We felt that this simple action of painting the city symbolized so well the National pride of Northern Macedonia. There was something so unique about the way the people were protesting and it really stuck in our minds. I had never experienced a protest quite like it.

Our Reflections on Northern Macedonia

The peaceful nature of the protest is a fantastic reflection of the people of North Macedonia. Every single Macedonian we met were not only extremely kind, passionate but so proud to be Macedonian.

We have never visited a place where national pride is at the core of every person. We will never be able to forget how we experienced the national pride of Northern Macedonia first hand.

The Passion, pride and kindness the Macedonian people showed us throughout our trip has made it an unforgettable country which we will forever adore.

The Northen Macedonian Flag Flying over Skopje
The Northern Macedonian Flag Proudly Flying over Skopje

Want more Tips?

We love helping others have their dream trip. So have decided to write about some key money saving tips to help you out. Food and wine is always a key part of our trips. So why not check out some perfect places to unWINEd and how to eat like a King around Europe for less.

Want to explore Northern Macedonia? Drop us a line at or @Many_Other_Roads

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