5 Reasons Why You Should Travel to Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje, the capital of Macedonia is probably one of the least famous European cities. Nevertheless, Skopje is a vibrant city with rich history, culture, charm and food. If you have not tried Macedonian vegetarian food or Macedonian vegan food, you must travel to Skopje! The fact that Skopje is still unexplored by many is exciting for people who like adventures. Nobody wants to be stuck in a place with a lot of tourists, right?

Here you will find recommendations on places you should visit by a local. Make sure to visit all of them when you travel to Skopje!

1. Matka Canyon

Matka Canyon Macedonia Skopje

Matka Canyon makes the perfect day trip from Skopje! It’s only 15 kilometres from the centre so it’s easily accessible by taxi or public transportation. There are buses that go from the central bus station to Matka Canyon every day.

Another great thing about this canyon is that there is no entrance fee! One of the best ways to experience the canyon is to hike Matka Canyon. You can start from the bottom and go to the hotel and restaurant, or follow the trail that goes all the way to the end of the canyon.

Another great suggestion is to take a boat trip on Lake Matka. Boat trips cost around 4 euros per person and they last about 30 minutes. You can relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery from the water. Best time of the year to visit and enjoy this natural paradise is spring or summer.

2. Vodno Mountain and Millennium Cross

Vodno Mountain Millennium Cross Skopje Macedonia
Yemc [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

The Millennium Cross is the highest point on Vodno Mountain. The view from the top is breathtaking. You can see the whole city and the fresh air is incredible. You can notice the Millennium Cross from almost anywhere in the city, so it shouldn’t be hard to guess that it’s a popular attraction. If you plan on taking this trip, it’s best if you go early in the morning so that you avoid the crowd. You can take the Millennium Cross bus line from the central bus station and go halfway to the mountain where the bus stops. Then, you can hike your way to the top which will take about 3 hours. If you don’t feel like hiking, you can take the cable car that will bring you all the way to the top. Once you reach the top you can enjoy the view with a hot cup of coffee!

3. Holocaust Memorial Center for the Jews of Macedonia

Holocaust Memorial Center Skopje Macedonia

This memorial centr commemorates the Jews from Macedonia who were killed during the Holocaust. The museum exhibits photographs, text and objects taken of the Jews in Bitola, Macedonia. The museum faces the river Vardar, so it’s very easy to locate it in the city centre. It was closed due to renovations, but it’s now open for visitors. The entrance fee is about 2 euros per person. The stories are emotionally moving, and you can read all of them with English translations provided.

4. Central city park

You should go to the city park if you want to escape the crowds and noisy car noises in Skopje. Since construction in Skopje is all around, this is the perfect quick getaway. It’s only a 10-minute walk from the city square! If you come to Skopje during the spring, this is the perfect place for a picnic with your friends. The green surroundings and the small lake can help you relax. If you’re the type of person who likes jogging, then this is the place to go to. If you get hungry or thirsty you don’t have to worry – there are many cafes and restaurants near the park. You can also visit the Skopje Zoo that’s next to the park!

5. Fortress Kale and Old Bazaar

Fortress Kale Skopje Macedonia

The Fortress Kale, or sometimes referred to as Fortress Skopje, is a historical fortress located on one of the highest points in the city. It overlooks the entire city and the river Vardar. The earliest available data on this fortress goes back to the 6th century AD. It is discovered that later the land was inhabited during the Neolithic and Bronze ages. The significance of this fortress is also connected to the Ottoman Empire.

Travel to Skopje Old Bazaar
Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/42373177@N07/

When you’re walking to the fortress, you will pass the Old Bazaar. The Old Bazaar is the largest bazaar on the Balkans. During the Ottoman rule, the Old Bazaar was the main economic and merchant centr. The rapid development that happened during the Ottoman rule is evident even today, with the numerous stores and mosques that you will see there. The Old Bazaar is recognized as Macedonian cultural heritage and is well worth the visit. Here you can stock up on souvenirs with the most famous landmarks in Macedonia.  You can reach the Old Bazaar by simply going over the Stone Bridge. There is no entrance fee for the Old Bazaar or Fortress Kale.

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