Skopje, Macedonia

5 Good Reasons to Visit Skopje, Macedonia

The Balkans… At the intersection of Europe and Asia, the Balkans have always been subject to numerous wars, conflicts and sorrow. However, from personal experience, I should tell you that if you’re the traveler type, you CANNOT miss out on the Balkans because of its terrific nature, and more importantly, its people who welcome you with a much warm heart.

Macedonia (or FYROM for Greeks) happens to be a central Balkan country whose name we don’t really hear when it comes to international conflicts. Being that peaceful, most people are not aware of the fact that Macedonia has so much beauty to offer. Today we’re telling you why you should visit the heart of this small but peaceful country, which is Skopje, the capital of Macedonia.

1. Skopje City Life

Üsküp, Makedonya

Skopje City Center

Before dealing with the sights, you should definitely know that Skopje city life is outstandingly lively day and night and unless you’re one of those tourists who only look around and go back to their countries, it is not possible to get bored for a second! On the major streets in the city centre, the cafes and pubs are full of people and I don’t know if it was because I was a foreigner there, but they’re extremely friendly and open for a conversation! There are a lot of bars, for every taste, open until 4:00am every night with live music and if you’re lucky enough to be with a local, they can take you to some others that are “illegaly” serving alcohol after 4! If you don’t know how to make friends, just leave a message on online groups like Couchsurfing or Facebook, you can be sure someone will accompany you!

2. The Millenium Cross

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The Millennium Cross, Skopje

This one is somehow tough to get to, but it is a must-see if you’re in Skopje. The Millennium Cross is a 66-meter high cross on top of Vodno Mountain quite close to Skopje center. The Macedonian Government and a lot of donators had the huge cross built as a memorial of 2,000 years of Christianity, both in Macedonia and the world. In order to get there, you should take a taxi (app. 4 Euros) to the ropeway (100 Dinars) and enjoy the ride. Don’t you worry about the facilities, there’s a restaurant and a souvenir shop right next to the cross.

Some sources say the Millennium Cross is the largest cross in the world and it is definitely an experience to watch Skopje from 1066 meters high.

3. Skopje Old City or the Old Bazaar (Ottoman Skopje)

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The Old Bazaar, Skopje

I said Ottoman Skopje because this part of the city, which is the less modern looking side of River Vardar, is what is left from the Ottomans who ruled the region for about 500 years. It looks like an old Ottoman town more or less, therefore, you can walk around on the streets to take photos of the old houses (late Ottoman architecture) and the old mosques, which are quite tiny. Moreover, you can visit the open bazaar, where you can buy pretty much everything for a really good price.

4. Beautiful Parks

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A snowy park in Skopje…

Yes, Macedonia is a green country with small cities, which means you’ll come across with all sorts of parks and forests while travelling the country. Just take a look at the map of Skopje and you’ll know what I mean. In the northern park, there is the Ghazi Baba Park, a huge one which is great to relax or have a picnic. In the northern side lies another huge park with a lot of facilities like an amusement park, a Bonsai Garden and a Lasertag place. One could well spend a day seeing both parks.

5. The Stone Bridge (Vardar Bridge)

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Under the stone bridge…

As the name suggests, this one is a stone bridge across Vardar River, which connects the city centre to the old bazaar. Also known as Dušan Bridge, it was built by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II upon the discovery of its foundations dating back to the Roman Empire. Nazis planted bombs to destroy the bridge during WWII in 1944, but the city was lucky enough to be liberated before they were activated.

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Skopje, The Stone Bridge and The City Theatre

All in all, Skopje is a small capital within a small country, but if you know where to look, you’ll definitely not regret going there! 

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5 Reasons to visit Skopje, Macedonia / Üsküp'e Gitmek için 5 Neden
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