Gostivar is a city in the Republic of Macedonia, located on the both banks of the Vardar river in the upper Polog plain region. Gostivar is seat of Gostivar municipality and it's the second largest city in the Polog plain.
According to the 2002 census, Gostivar had 35,487 inhabitants. Gostivar lies at an altitude of 530 meters above the sea level.
Gostivar is situated on the E-65 motorway, which was double-laned in 1995, from Gostivar to Tetovo (24 km). Gostivar has good road and railway connections with the other cities in the region: Tetovo, Skopje (67 km), Kicevo, Ohrid (107 km-no railway) and Debar (68 km).
Gostivar is a merchant and industrail city. From the second half of the 19th century, a lot of merchants started moving in and opening new stores. Many trading stores were opened and Tuesday became the market day. These new circumstances brought significant changes in Gostivar. The мerchants from Veles and Tetovo and the craftsmen from Kicevo and Krusevo among the others, contributed in founding of the Gostivar bazaar.
Being a small town at the beginning of the 20th century, thanks to the merchant that have contributed in its development, today Gostivar has developed into a modern city, and has become important destination in this part of Macedonia.
The Gostivar surroundings are under the influence of the warm continental and mountanous climate. Šar Mountain is one of the most important Alpine mountain ranges in Macedonia together with neighbouring Mount Korab and Bistra mountains, that are covered with snow from November till March or April every year.