Considering a trip to Skopje in Macedonia? If you do, you should go. And if you have not considered it yet, it is time to start thinking about it! I did not have the highest expectations when we went to Skopje, but I have to admit that I fell in love with the city and the Macedonian culture. Skopje is a weird and different city with huge contrasts, but it is also full of life, welcoming people and great food.
1. Check out the monuments at Macedonia Square
Located in the heart of Skopje, the giant statue of Alexander the Great is a good place to start exploring the city center. The area around the statue is called the Macedonia Square and is filled with huge, majestic statues and buildings. The streets are so white and clean that they are almost shining! The triumphal gate and the dozens of statues are examples of other nearby sights.
2. Cross the Stone Bridge and explore Čaršija
Crossing the Stone Bridge from the Macedonia Square and walking up to the old town, Čaršija, is an interesting walk because of the huge contrasts you meet. I suddenly felt like we were going back to the Ottoman Era; old shops, teahouses, mosques and so on are dominating the area. The streets are filled with life and I think the people here must be the friendliest and most welcoming ones in the world. Most people do not speak English, but they try to communicate with you somehow anyway. Everywhere we went people were shouting welcoming words and asking where we were from. A short beer stop turned into hours of conversations with the locals – I love it!
3. Visit Kale Fortress and enjoy the view of the city
Kale Fortress might be one of the biggest tourist attractions in Skopje, but it still has free entry and we had the whole place to ourselves. From the fortress, you can see the whole city including the mountains surrounding it – the view is just tremendous!
4. Eat delicious Balkan food
The Balkan kitchen is in general very good, but the local food in Skopje was just the best. It is typically grilled meat accompanied with the best bread and salads in the world. I especially recommend two restaurants. Turist Restaurant is located in the old town and is the perfect place for people watching. We just came for a beer but ended up sitting here for three hours and we had the best lunch ever. Skopski Merak is another restaurant located a bit further from the city center and served us the best food we had during our Balkan trip. It is a bit more expensive compared to other restaurants in Skopje, but it was totally worth it.
5. Walk along the river and cross the many bridges
It seems like most new monuments and buildings in the city are situated along the river, so by walking along the riverbanks you will cover many sights. The bridges, for example the Stone Bridge or the Art Bridge, are very worth a look. Along the riverbanks there are also many decent restaurants and bars, perfect for a break on a hot day.
6. Take the cable car up to the Millennium Cross
I did not have time to go up to the Millennium Cross, a monument that can be seen from all over the city. Mount Vodno is located just behind Skopje’s city center and the cross is located on the highest point of the mountain. By taking the cable car up, you will have a magnificent view of the city.
7. Go shopping at the local market
The old market is located just above the old town. They sell everything from fruits to clothes and kitchen equipment – I guess you can find everything here. Even though you may not buy anything, the market should not be missed!
8. Check out the nightlife and get to know the locals
As mentioned above, people are very outgoing and welcoming in Skopje and enjoy getting to know travellers. Going out partying in Skopje was an experience that I will never forget; mostly thanks to all the great people we met.
In cooperation with momondo
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