Skopje is the capital and largest city in the Republic of North Macedonia, with a population of about half a million people. Located in Eastern Europe with borders to Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Kosovo, and Serbia, the Republic of Macedonia is a landlocked country.
Visitors to Skopje will find a beautiful city with plenty to do, including delicious food and beautiful art and history. One of our favorite things about Skopje is the beautiful stone fortress surrounding the city! It is situated up on the highest hill in the city center and can be seen from almost every street down below.
To help you plan your trip to Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, here are the top 10 attractions that we discovered during our time in Skopje.
1. Kale Fortress (or “Fortress of Skopje”)
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.
2. Macedonia Square
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.
3. 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. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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. 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.
10. 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.
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