Small and charming, with big-hearted people and great hospitality. That’s Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, in one sentence. Whether you are visiting or just passing through, there are many beautiful places to visit in Skopje. We recommend you to stay for at least two days in order to get the full experience. Skopje is a small city and almost everything is close to one another.
Places to visit in Skopje – Old Bazaar
Skopje’s Old Bazaar is a living museum of Ottoman, Byzantine, and modern buildings. Second to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, this was the largest bazaar in the Balkans during the 17th century. Explore the many narrow streets with its little stores, mosques, hammams, and markets. If you’re hungry you should grab some tasty food from the small restaurants you can find in this area. Strolling the shops of the Old Bazaar is a must-do for anyone visiting Skopje. There are numerous craftsman shops selling everything from copperware to traditional Macedonian folk costumes.
Places to visit in Skopje – Canyon Matka
Canyon Matka is a stunning gorge and lake situated west of Skopje, a fantastic day trip for nature lovers! The area is home to several monasteries, hiking paths, climbing routes, and caves. Matka Lake is popular with kayakers and divers. Rent a boat to take you to see the caves. Then head to Canyon Matka Hotel and Restaurant for delicious lunch and sweeping views of the canyon.
Places to visit in Skopje – Mount Vodno & Millennium Cross
If you’d like to go much higher you should consider Mount Vodno overlooking the whole city area. Take the bus to get halfway to the top where you can use the cable car to get to the top. At the top of the mountain is the Millennium Cross. It’s a 66-meter tall cross built in 2002 to commemorate 2,000 years of Christianity in Macedonia and the world. From the top, there are stunning views and two restaurants. You can sit down, grab some coffee or tea, and just enjoy the fresh air and beautiful views.
Places to visit in Skopje – Kale Fortress
The fortress is a great spot to see Skopje from above without paying any commission. Go for a walk along the little walkway next to the walls on the inside of the fortress. Enjoy relaxing at the park surrounding the fortress. The Kale Fortress has stood watch over Skopje since the 6th century during the rule of Roman Emperor Justinian I. During Ottoman occupation Kale Fortress was partially destroyed. Today only 121 meters of the wall remains intact, along with three watchtowers. There are several historical findings from past archaeological excavations. The fortress is situated at the highest point in the city. From the top, you can get great views of the Vardar River and Skopje.
Places to visit in Skopje – Macedonia square, Alexander the Great & Stone Bridge
Macedonia square is Skopje’s central square and heart of the city. Undoubtedly the biggest attraction is the fountain featuring Alexander the Great on his horse Bucephalus. It’s located at the very heart of the square.
Skopje is set along the banks of the Vardar River, so you’d expect there to bridges linking one side of the city to the other. Under Justinian’s rule, when the city was a colony known as Skupi, a stone bridge was constructed. It was eventually destroyed and rebuilt by the Ottomans in the 15th century. The Stone Bridge now links the old part of the city to the new. It represents the many facets of Skopje – Ottoman, European, and Asian.
Hope you enjoyed our list of places to visit in Skopje and we hope that you’ll make some time in your schedule to visit at least some of the places mentioned above.
If you’re heading over to Ohrid, we have another list of places you should see while in Ohrid. We wish you a pleasant stay in Macedonia!