8 BEST Places to Visit in Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje in Macedonia is one of the best places to visit in Europe. It is a land so steeped in history that there are few other countries that can match it. As a matter of fact, the area that comprises modern Macedonia has been continuously inhabited for the past 4000 years, during the Neolithic era. Through out of time the Dardanians, Romans, Bulgarians and Ottomans ruled over here.

For one thing, this is the country where king Philip ruled and his extremely illustrious son – Alexander the Great was born. Alexander conquered more than half of the known world before he was even 27! But Macedonia was a hub of the ancient world, long before Alex was born nearly 2300 years back.

Skopje looks very cool.

Best Places to Visit in Skopje

Let us check out some of the best places you can see and visit in Skopje:

1. Matka Canyon

Go for a daytrip to the Matka Canyon. This is an absolutely stunning gorge that is situated a few miles west of Skopje’s city center. As a matter of fact, it is an absolutely fantastic day trip for just about every nature lover out there. If you are a history buff, you will love this area. This is because it is actually home to several monasteries and other architectural wonders.

Apart from that, there are several climbing routes and hiking paths, and even a few exciting caves too. Matka Canyon also has a lake that is quite popular with kayakers, intrepid adventurers as well as divers. You can also rent a boat that will take you on a site-seeing tour where you will be able to visit the caves located there.

Who knows, maybe this is where a young Alexander had dreamt of world conquest. Once, you are done sightseeing, you can go to the Matka hotel and restaurant and eat a really delicious meal.

2. Skopje Fortress

The Kale Fortress is also known as the Skopje Fortress. It has steadfastly stood to watch over the ancient city of Skopje for over 14 centuries. It was originally built way back during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, the First.

During the Ottoman period, the Kale Fortress was severely damaged. As of now, only 121 meters of this monument's wall remain intact. There are a few watchtowers and more have been discovered during past archaeological excavations. This would be a great educational and interesting location if you are travelling with kids.

3. St. Panteleimon

The church of Saint Panteleimon in the town of Gorno Nerezi is located seventeen kilometers south of the heart of Skopje. The church was built in 1164 and is situated on the slope of Mount Vodno, a splendid example of Byzantine architecture.

The church contains various frescoes by the Byzantines that show the life and death of Jesus, including the Transfiguration, the Rise of Lazarus, the birth of the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of Jesus's presentation in the temple, the entry into Jerusalem, and the descent from the Cross.

4. Vodno

The Millennium Cross is a 66-meter cross that has been constructed on top of Vodno Mountain. This massive cross is as tall as a 20 story building! This huge cross had been built nearly 20 years back as a form of commemoration for 2,000 years of Christianity. You don't have to climb all the way up the mountain to see this cross. You can simply take a cable car to check out this awesome article of faith.

5. Mother Teresa House

Few people are aware of the fact that Mother Teresa was actually born in the city of Skopje in 1910. The Mother Teresa House had been built In 2009 in this city, a couple of years after she passed away after a lifetime of selfless service. The Memorial has a museum filled with memorabilia, photos, and various documents showing her great work. A small chapel has also been built above the memorial house.

6. Macedonia Square

Plostad Makedonija is the central square as well as the beating heart of the city. It also contains Skopje's most popular monument that consists of a fountain that features a statue of Alexander the Great, sitting astride his favorite horse Bucephalus.

7. Stone Bridge

You will understand why the bridge connected the old Bazaar to Plostad Makedonija since its original construction more als 550 years ago, and why it is one of Skopje's main symbols, if you stop and think for the minute about how many people of every level of society and representatives of so many different civilizations have gathered over this relatively small bridge.

The present crossing is made of solid stone blocks and contains a total of 12 arches, built on the site of an ancient Roman bridge. The bridge was erected by the Nazis in 1944 at a distance of 214 m from end to end and 6 m wide, was used in the past as a site of execution and is often crowded by hawkers who sell cheap Chinese items and chewy Romani youths who banged drums to make spare cash.

8. Old Bazaar

The old Ottoman Bazaar of Skopje, one of the biggest outside of Turkey. The next phase to visit the old town of Skopje consists of the discovery of Macedonian cuisine. In the Old Bazaar you can certainly find authentic foods, sampling kebab, hearty local bean dish tavĨe gravenc, sesame gevrek and bureaucratic – thin, flattened dough with minced meat or cheese. The best way to taste them is to sample them.

Kaj Serdarot delivers a basic but delicious selection of local cuisine on the southern banks of the bazaar that will best be rinsed off with local beer or wine. Without trying this vital Balkan staple: rakija, you can almost not do so by a visit to northern Macedonia. In Northern Macedonia the distilled liquor is mainly derived from grapes and is manufactured from fermented fruit.

The Old Bazaar's Rakija Bar Kaldrma is the best site to start your trip in rakija. This beautiful beverage has a lot of old school charm and even more rakija — more than 30 variants, to be exact. Pair a glass of rakija to the greatest appetising with a classic store salad of peppers, tomato, cucumber, and onion sprinkling the feta siren.

Shopping for Macedonian rubies is a very unique memento from Macedonia. This precious gemstone is mined close to Prilep. It is famous for its raspberry-pink colour. The macedonian ruby is neither red, or translucent blood, in contrast to Asian and Indian rubies. But it is regarded as a national treasure.

Buying souvenirs in Skopje is an absolute must. You should get a few traditional handicrafts that you can bring them home and keep in your RTA Wood Cabinets. You can rest assured that they will look absolutely amazing and would be the centerpiece of your wood cabinet. In short, they will become a great way of telling people about your memorable trip, without actually saying anything at all.

Conclusion

Skopje is a city that simply reeks of culture and civilization. It has an ambiance that will touch your very soul. From ancient monuments to modern classics, Skopje has it all to satisfy your wanderlust.

Kalyan Panja