Skopje is a city that is full of surprises. From countless statues and fountains to medieval fortresses and charming cobblestone streets, a beautiful sight is waiting around every corner. We were in awe of the beauty of Skopje, especially in the streets surrounding the city center.
The capital of the Republic of North Macedonia, Skopje is a relatively small European capital. Its population of approximately half a million people makes up over a quarter of the Republic of Macedonia’s total population.
Despite its relatively small size, a visit to Skopje is well worth your time. It’s beautiful, affordable, and full of rich culture. We spent a week in this Macedonian city, and loved our time there. Based on our time spent in this city, here are the 17 best things to do in Skopje.
1. Visit Macedonia Square, the center of Skopje
Macedonia Square is easily one of the most beautiful parts of Skopje. Set on the banks of the Vardar River, this pedestrian walking zone is surrounded by beautiful buildings and statues. It’s a great place to enjoy a walk, plus you can stop for a bite to eat or a drink at one of the many nearby restaurants and cafes.
The center point of Macedonia Square is a massive statue of a man riding a horse, widely believed to be Alexander the Great. It’s one of the largest statues we’ve seen, visible from blocks away. The statue doubles as a fountain, turning on for shows for spectators at various times throughout the day.
2. Take a stroll through Park Woman Warrior
Park Woman Warrior is the perfect place to enjoy nature while still staying in Skopje’s city center. This park might be tiny, but it definitely packs a punch. Beautiful golden and bronze statues are located throughout the park. Plus, there are winding paths through the grass and trees to enjoy.
The park is named for the highest statue in the park, a female warrior positioned above four horses. This golden statue appears angelic with wings and a halo.
3. Go Shopping in the Old Bazaar
You could spend hours in the Old Bazaar and still want more time. These beautiful cobblestone streets are lined with restaurants, cafes, clothing shops, art galleries, and so much more. Most of the shops start opening up around 9 AM and then stay open through sunset. Happy shopping!
4. Admire the many fountains and sculptures throughout town
One of the things that wow’ed us the most about Skopje was the sheer amount of fountains and sculptures! As you walk through the city center, they are everywhere. Many of them are even taller than a two story building! Leave yourself time to take in the beauty of this art.
5. Visit one of Skopje’s beautiful mosques
The Republic of Macedonia has a large Muslim population, mainly concentrated within Skopje. This led to the construction of many beautiful mosques within the city. The minarets make the mosques are visible from far away, so stop by to admire beautiful architecture and learn more about religion.
Pictured above is the Mustafa Pasha Mosque, a historic Ottoman mosque built in the 15th century. Outside, there is a beautiful courtyard and garden.
6. Admire the panoramic views of Skopje from Kale Fortress
We were completely awestruck when we first witnessed the old stone fortress sitting atop a hill surrounding Skopje. Known as Kale Fortress or the Fortress of Skopje, this fortress dates back hundreds of years.
Admission is free, so put on your walking shoes and head up the hill to visit this beautiful fortress. The panoramic views of the city are unrivaled, plus it gets a nice breeze on a hot summer day.
7. Visit the Memorial House of Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa was born in Skopje and spent the first 18 years of her life here. She is Skopje’s most famous person and the only person from the Republic of Macedonia to receive a Nobel Peace Prize.
To commemorate Mother Teresa, the Memorial House was opened in 2009. Its location is the site where she was baptized just one day after she was born. Admission to the museum is free, and the hours can be viewed on this website.
8. Walk Across the Stone Bridge
The Stone Bridge is located in Macedonia Square, and spans both sides of the Vardar River. Accounts vary on how old the bridge actually is, but most agree that it is hundreds of years old. It has undergone various repairs due to damages caused by the passing of time, as well as earthquakes.
Today, visitors can stroll across this beautiful bridge to get to the Old Bazaar from Macedonia Square. There is often live music going on nearby, and it offers beautiful views of the river an the square.
9. Catch a sunset from Art Bridge
The Art Bridge runs parallel to the Stone Bridge, spanning both sides of the Vardar River. There are tens of beautiful statues and fountains on it, making it a great place for a nighttime stroll. We took a walk on Art Bridge as the sun was setting. The views were absolutely breathtaking!
10. Ride one of the double decker red buses to sight-see around town
Everywhere we were walking in Skopje, we kept seeing these big red double decker buses. The second floor of the bus is open, so it looks like a great way to see the city without having to walk too much. The buses are fairly new in Skopje, and can take you everywhere you want to go.
11. Visit Millenium Cross
Millenium Cross is a 66 meter high cross that sits at the top of Vodno Mountain. Located just outside Skopje’s City Center, visitors can take cable cars to the top of the mountain. Once at the top, enjoy the panoramic views of Skopje or enjoy a beverage from the cafe located at the top.
To get to the cable car station at the base of the mountain, take the bus from Skopje’s JSP(Public transport enterprise) main bus station to the Middle Vodno ( “Средно Водно” ). The price for a bus ticket is only 50 MKD, or 0.81 EUR. You can also take a cab, which should cost about 5 euros but prices do vary depending on the time of day.
12. Check out the Porta Macedonia
The Porta Macedonia (AKA Macedonia Gate) is a beautiful marble arc in Skopje’s City Center. Carved with various historical images and flanked by two statues, this arch is worth checking out. You can walk through it on your way from Macedonia Square to the Woman Warrior Park.
13. Visit the Holocaust Museum
Visiting the Holocaust Museum in Skopje is a harrowing experience. In the museum, you’ll learn all about the impact of the holocaust on Macedonia’s Jewish population.
14. Take a Day Trip to Matka Canyon
Matka Canyon is a beautiful gorge situated on Matka Lake. Only 30 minutes outside of Skopje, this is the perfect place to escape from bustling city life for a day and enjoy nature at its finest. In addition to multiple caves, there are also historical churches and monasteries located in Matka.
15. Visit the Museum of Macedonian Struggle
The Museum of Macedonian Struggle is another great way to learn about the Republic of Macedonia’s history. Located on the banks of the Vardar River, the building the museum is situated in is almost as beautiful as the art it contains.
16. Try Macedonian Food
We were very impressed by the delicious tastes and flavors of Macedonian food. We tried multiple restaurants, but our favorite was Kaj Seradot (pictured above). At this restaurant, you order a bunch of different foods and they bring it all out on a sampler platter. One our platter, we ordered cheesy bread, baked beans, thin sausages, french fries, carrots and cabbage. Delicious and filling!
Even better, eating out in Skopje is very affordable. The massive platter of food that we ordered above costed 300 MKD, which equals about $5 USD.
17. Pick up a cup of gelato and take a walk
Who doesn’t love gelato? It’s the perfect sweet treat to cool you down on a hot summer day. We especially love Skopje’s gelato, which comes in all sorts of bright and fruity flavors. We picked up a cup of kiwi gelato and took a stroll through the city center. It was the perfect way to sight see.
Gelato stands are located all over Skopje, with at least one on almost every block within the city center. A cup of gelato costs about 35 MKD, which equals about 0.65 US cents. It’s a bargain!
Skopje is an awesome city to visit, whether you are going for a week or just a few days. We were amazed at how beautiful the city is. There is so much to do and see!
Did you like this post? Pin it for later!