Štip is the largest city in Eastern Macedonia with about 52,000 people. It is an important educational, cultural, and economic center.
Štip is one of the oldest cities in Macedonia. It is a very pleasant city that gets fewer tourists than the west, which makes the people nicer and more willing to help than the people in the western part of the country.
Smoking is not allowed in all nightclubs and bars(kafana's) and ciggerettes and alcohol are sold to individuals at the age of 18 and over.
If you are not a Macedonian citizen, as in all other cities in Macedonia, you need to check in with the local police station when you arrive and leave.
By car or bus: from the north (Skopje), the main regional road circumvents Štip, but any of the several clearly marked exits will take you downtown. From the south: the main Strumica-Štip road enters through the Bregalnica canyon in the south and goes directly to downtown. There are many local roads entering from the east and west.
By train: The train station in Štip is no longer used for commercial rail journeys, but only for freight trains.
By sport airplane: Štip is served by the largest sport airport in Eastern Macedonia, accommodating single and twin-engine aircrafts. The third international airport in Macedonia, to be located in Štip, is still in the initial building stages (the first phase is planned to be for cargo only).
The best ways to get around are by foot or by taxi, though there is a municipal bus fleet which connects the center with the outlying suburbs.
Several shops located under the main shopping mall in downtown (local name "Trgovski") offer Macedonia-themed souvenirs. Štip is famous for producing high-quality textiles and clothing, especially for high-class Italian firms. You can get some of these items at bargain prices directly from the local manufacturers.
There are many great restaurants that serve traditional Macedonian food, as well as many Pizza-restaurants (Italian style, as opposed to American Pizza-parlors). Every restaurant is famous for some specific dish, so try to order that one in particular.
There are dozens upon dozens of bistros/bars aka kafani all over the city, on every corner. They serve all types of alcohol at a cheap price and food with it as well.
All hotels could probably be classified as 3 stars, though there is no official rating system. Oaza and Garni are right in the center, while Izgrev is about 10 minute drive from the center (or 30 mins walk). Garni is a boutique hotel with few rooms, but held to high standards.
Štip is probably one of the safest cities in Macedonia, and definitely much safer than all the major cities in the western and central part. Violent crime and murders are almost non-existent, and property crimes are very rare. Foreigners are welcomed and looked upon as a curiosity as Štip is not advertised or developed as a tourist destination, despite having a lot to offer.
There are several night clubs in Štip, and they are all much safer than any western counterpart (no metal detectors anywhere). Keeping a low profile is recommended as not to tempt the local macho mentality. Aggressive courting of girls is not recommended as this can be seen as encroachment and cause physical conflict.
The Roma (Gypsy) population of Štip is mostly living far bellow the overall poverty level, and although their shanty towns (spread around several areas of the city, mostly in the north) are very picturesque and exotic for the tourist to behold, avoid giving them gifts or money, as that will make you a target for more panhandling and possibly a (non-violent) property crime. Do not be fooled by the looks of the Roma children beggars, for most of them that is their full-time job, and no one is dying of hunger or cold in Štip.
The police is sometimes helpful if approached politely, but beware that the socialist heritage where the police was very brutal and was mostly used to keep an eye on the population, instead of maintaining law and order, is still very much alive. Ask a younger person for directions, as most youngster speak passable English, and only deal with the police when you have to, taking good care not to offend them in any way.
As pretty much anywhere else, do not accept offers from strangers; do not enter in business deals with unknown people, even if the offer is most tempting; do not go to secluded or dark places at night or abandoned places during the day.
Do not be alarmed if glasses are shattered by being slammed on the ground as this is a cultural thing, especially when one male individual is intoxicated and there is live music. This practice is quite common for males of all ages, and is the same in all the surrounding countries like Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Albania.
Don't carry too much cash on you and do not flash/show it (there is no need, there are plenty of 24/7 ATMs around the city). Try to dress like the locals. Too much differentiation might attract unwanted attention, which, while usually harmless, can be very annoying at the end. Lock your valuable in the hotel safe or hide them well. Keep your electronics and cameras in bags for most of the time while taking picture/videos around.