Skopje

Skopje (Macedonian: Скопје, Albanian: Shkup, Turkish: Üsküb) is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia. Skopje is city of many cultures and many centuries.

138 things to do

All Places Macedonia



Old Bazaar

Even though some parts of the old bazaar have been destroyed to make streets and parking lots, it still is the largest one in the Balkans. It has developed and changed during the centuries but it still has its original use as a shopping place. The old bazaar was never used for living, it always was a shopping area and contact zone of the Christian and the Muslim population as they lived in separate parts of the town. It is a structure of many streets lined with small shops. The crafts were divided between the Christians and the Muslims. All the shops used to be same size no matter if they belonged to a Christian or a Muslim. Each street hosted different craft, and all stores from that craft were on one street (for example gold street, shoes street, pots street, dress street, etc). The stores were closed with wooden shutters which were lowered when the stores were opened and the goods were displayed on them. The old bazaar was surrounded with markets. Hygienic care was taken and different markets were placed on opposite sides of the bazaar (for example the food market was on the opposite side of the bazaar from the animal market; milk, milk products and honey market opposite from the wood market etc). Beside the stores there were other objects in the old bazaar too, like amams (Turkish baths), hans (hotels), mosques, and some churches. The outside walls were usually were surrounded with stores so no space would be wasted. Even today it is hard to spot some of this object.

BUY   —  Map

Marko’s Monastery

is an active monastery. It was founded by king Volkashin in 1345 and finished by his son King Marko in 1366, who is also the donor of the frescoes painted between 1366 and 1371. It is unknown why the monastery is built in the vicinity of Skopje instead of Prilep the capital of their medieval kingdom. It is presumed that the grave of king Marko (who died in Romania fighting the Turks) is here but it was destroyed by the Turks. The architecture of the church is a cross in square with a central dome and a blind dome in the narthex. The elegant exonarthex (open porch) was added in 1830 by Hamzi Pasha, who was a generous donor of the monastery throughout the 19th century. It is quite surprising a Turkish aristocrat to be a donor of an Christian monument. The frescoes are work of more artists with different skills and are well preserved. Visible is the tendency for adding dramatization and narrative painting of the scenes. Most interesting is the unique scene '''The cry of Rahela''' (Mathew 2:18). On the southern façade the portraits of king Volkashin and king Marko are painted. - While in the area also visit '''St.Bogorodica church''' (also referred as St.Nikola church) in Sushica village, built in the 13th century.

SEE   —  Map


St.Bogorodica Church

the naos was built closely before 1348. The narthex was built somewhere between 1355 and 1358 by local aristocrat Radoslav and his wife Vladislava. Above the nathex there is a grave chapel for Radoslav and Vladislava. The painter of the frescoes of the naos is quite good, educated, well acquainted with the work of Mihailo and Eftihie, quite probable their student. Still his work doesn’t reach their energy, colors and elegance, but he is quite good in composition and placing figures in it. Like his teachers he did sign his name on the northern column by the iconscreen, his name is Grigorie. The frescoes of the narthex have been damaged by fire and the grave chapel was painted by a less skilled painter. '''Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel Monastery in Kucevishte village''' was built towards the end of the 14th or maybe the beginning of the 15th century. The church is threeconhos with a dome, and elaborate ceramic decorations on the façades. There are two inscriptions dating the frescoes from 1631 and 1701. The figures are presented small in size, poor in colors but with bold drawing with an attempt to present landscape. Most famous is the large presentation Tree of Jesse.

SEE   —  Kucevishte village

Explore Skopska Crna Gora

Meaning "Black Mountain of Skopje". - even though Vodno is the most popular hiking option in Skopje, a fun and educational day trip from Skopje is visiting the villages, churches and monasteries on Skopska Crna Gora Mountain. Easiest way to do it is with a car, but also one can take a bus to one of the villages like Banjani or Kuceviste, and hike to the surrounding points of interest. '''St.Nikita monastery in Banjani village''' was built in by Serbian king Milutin in 1307-08 on a site of an earlier church. It is a single domed church of a written cross architectonical solution. The frescoes are work of the famous Ohrid painters Mihailo and Eftihie. Unfortunately they lack the energy and the technique of Bogorodica Perivlepta church in Ohrid. It is quite probable that by now they had a big group of students around them and they just controlled the work. If one looks carefully one can see where them two picked up the brush and corrected the work. Most significant fresco is the Pursuit of the Merchants from the temple where one can see the human elements characteristic for their work.

DO   —  Map


Explore Matka Canyon

Features a lake and a hydrodam set in a beautiful gorge. It gets very crowded at the weekends by the locals but otherwise only tourists are there. Kayaking/canoeing on the lake is a popular activity (but expensive), as are fishing, hunting, and swimming. There is also a wild water track under the dam but it's used for just several days per year and no equipment rental is available. Climbers may enjoy a variety of tours of varying difficulty there. There is a trail running along one bank of the lake as far as another dam; it offers very nice views but leads to 'nowhere' and no caves can be accessed from it (in contrary what the map at the entrance suggests). There are several expensive restaurants at the entry (e.g. "Bear's Cave" (in Macedonian: Mechkina dupka), built into a cave) and no free water source.

DO   —  Map

Climb Vodno Mountain

1066 meters above sea level it towers over Skopje. It is a popular hiking place with marked paths leading through the woods and there are a couple of rest areas. Climbing this mountain will give the best views of the city and the valley which Skopje is in. You will also be able to see close up and possibly also climb the Millenium Cross, the largest Christian cross in the world, built to celebrate 2000 years of Christianity. It is 66 meters high and it is the highest structure in Macedonia. You will also be able to see a monument dedicated to the Macedonian partisan fighters who defeated Axis forces that were stationed on Vodno, which allowed the liberation of Skopje to begin. -*'''Vodno Mountain'''

DO   —  Map


Remains of Skupi

- the ancient city of Skupi is almost not worth the effort to reach. There is almost nothing left except for part of a street, a bath, and a basilica. After the city was ruined by the earthquake of 518, all the building material was used in the building of Justinijana Prima (one can see almost all of the seats of the Roman theatre incorporated in Kale Fortress). It is interesting that even though the earthquake was very strong and completely ruined Skupi there were almost no casualties. The inhabitants fled the city just two days before fearing from Avar attacks and settled in the small fortresses they had built on Vodno and in Matka.

SEE   —  Map

Bus Station

It has a small store selling snacks and drinks, another with bureks on the offer, and a reliable exchange office (open 6:30-18:30). Tickets for all destinations and companies are bought from central ticket booths (signed БЛАГАЈНА), except for the Vardar Express buses to the airport (see above), and then shown to the attendant at the gate upon accessing the platforms (Перон ''Peron'') outside; the destination of the bus on each platform is displayed on digital screens in Macedonian Cyrillic and its Roman transliteration. All the staff at the bus station seem to speak at least basic English.

OTHER   —  +389 2 2466011 —  Map


St. Nikola church

was built in 1337 by Mrs. Danica a local aristocrat whose sons had important positions (something like mayors or governors) of strategic positions on the entrance of the city. She built the church in honor of her passed husband. It is a single domed church of a written cross architectonical solution. Parts of the frescoes are in bad condition. Influenced by the works of Mihailo and Eftihie. The Serbian royal family is presented (king Dushan, queen Elena and prince Urosh), it is interesting that the painting treatment of them, especially the colors are different than those for the saints.

SEE   —  Ljuboten village

Monasteries in Matka Canyon Area

St. Andrea church is situated just at the entry. There are trails to more churches located on the surroundings cliffs but the trails are not used and in bad shape. For eastward trails (St Nedela, St Spas, St Trojca), you have to go through a restaurant's backyard (may be locked). For westward trails (St Nikola, St Jovan Zlatoust, St Gjorgia), you need to hire a boat to bring you across and back or cross the river on a bridge about 1 km north of the damn.

SEE   —  Map

Skopje Summer Festival

The epithets such as the most abundant, the most various, the longest and, according to many authorized marks, one of the most qualitative cultural manifestation of international character which is held in Macedonia, characterize Skopje Summer. This manifestation has even received an acknowledgement of its reputation outside the Macedonian borders which is verified by the membership of the International Festivals & Events Association - IFEA.

DO   —  Map

Macedonian National Theatre

Built in 1945. With its big white walls, and almost without windows and with an incline, it is known as "the bounce board." It was made by Stefan Kacin, Jurij Princes, Bogdan Splindler, and Marjan Urshic. The theatre has a large stage and seats for 850 spectators, and also a small stage for 200 spectators. The State Ballet is also stationed in this building. This theatre holds theatre, opera, and ballet performances all year round.

DO   —  Iljo Vojvoda

Nana

Assortment of delicious meals, made from the world finest ingredients, such as caviar, salmon, goose and duck pates, goose liver, proscuitto, tartufo, cheese, fresh vegetables and salads. Offers 40 types of wines in glasses or bottles, including all of the Tikvesh special selection and limited production wines, as well as imported French, Chilean, Spanish, Slovenian white and red wines, foamy wines and champagnes…


City Park

a large green area in the center of Skopje. A part of it is a museum, with several monuments within. It is a nice place to go for recreation, as there are pathways around the small lakes, tennis courts, the children’s amusement park, cafes, restaurants, etc. The city Zoo and stadium are also within the park. In the summer, the Skopje's nightlife concentrates on the several nightclubs in this park.

SEE   —  Map

Train Station

The transport center includes the train and the bus station together. To get to the city centre from the bus/train station, if you don't have a map, walk west along the main road which passes under the station (Mt Vodno with its cross is south, i.e. on your left). When you get to the river go left and follow the river until you arrive at the old bridge and central square. About 15 minutes walk.

OTHER   —  Map

Bit Pazar

the biggest of the food markets in Skopje. It begins where the bazaar ends and has existed on the same spot for hundreds of years. A walk around can be fun, but you can also get cheap fresh fruits, vegetables, salads, cheese, teas, spices and flowers. Another good food market to visit is the Green Market (Zeleno Pazarce), near the Parliament Building and Bunjakovec Market near the Cathedral.

BUY   —  Map

Autumn Music

Organized to enrich the music life with its genres and themes in accordance to its conception and to provide another place for the performances of the native and foreign artist. There is the classical music as a base of this manifestation's programme, yet it always leaves space for the other types of music genres such as jazz, popular song, ethno music etc.

DO   —  Map

Art Hostel Riverside

A popular hostel with backpackers, 20 minutes walk from the station, 15 minutes to City Square. Helpful and friendly staff, this hostel has the feel of student accommodation. Dorms and privates, with shared bathrooms. Free internet access, outdoor social area. 10% discount with a flyer (which you can get from the hostel itself, or hostels in other cities).

SLEEP   —  Ante Hadzimitkov 5

Stroll through the town

You can get a good first impression of the city's sights in one or two hours, covering bazaar, fort and post-earthquake buildings. Equipped with a guidebook and a city map you can easily do it on your own - but if you want to have a real guide, there are some available. Sashko's tip-based tour runs daily at noon (see http://www.skopjewalkingtour.com/).

DO   —  Map

May Opera Evenings

The May Opera Evenings have been one of the most visited events in Skopje. Over the years, the stage of the Macedonian Ballet and Opera Theatre has hosted a number of ballet performances, operas, and many concerts. This event represents a true professional challenge for the artists and a wonderful musical experience for the audience.

DO   —  Map

Youth Hostel

Also called "Ferialen Dom" or "Mladinski Hotel". Five minutes from the bus/train station at Prolet 25. It has dorms and privates, but the privates are organised more like a hotel i.e. boxy rooms off a corridor. At €50 for a small twin ensuite room, with breakfast, this is not the best value for money

SLEEP   —  Map

Super VERO

Another American-looking mall recently completed and part of the VERO network. Very spacious with a huge supermarket, a few restaurants and cafes, the huge Jumbo shop (Target-like), and all kinds of small shops for clothing, accessories, T-Mobile/T-Home, ONE and VIP salons etc. It has good parking.


Biser

A new shopping center with very nice cafes, bar, and shops. It can be found in the Aerodrom municipality of Skopje. Many young people from the city come to spend their extra time here. Shops include mobile phones, electronics, clothes and banks. There is also a supermarket across the street.

BUY   —  Map

Skopje City Mall

The newest modern mall in Skopje is the biggest of its kind in the region. It houses around 150 shops, 9 cinemas, a 4.500 м2 hypermarket, restaurants and bars with terraces, bowling center and the biggest kids corner in Macedonia. It has 1500 parking spots and it does not charge for it.


Shanti Hostel

Small and cozy place located in just 3 minutes walking distance from the international bus and train station, and only 5 minutes from the center of Skopje. Near Shanti Hostel there are large super markets, bars, clubs, theatre, a swimming pool, shopping malls, change office and ATM.


Hotel Stone Bridge

5-star hotel. The rooms and suites, many with superb views of the Vardar River, Stone Bridge, Square Macedonia with modern city, Fortress Kale, Old City with Churches and Mosques, are spacious and luxurious, giving an extremely comfortable and elegant feel.


Herdelezi / Djurdjevden

Spring festival celebrated at home and in public. Usually crowned by a great open air concert. After Herdelezi the wedding season begins. Almost every day you can meet a wedding procession or a procession accompanying the gifts for the bride.

DO   —  Map

Hotel Arka

5-star hotel. Arka is modern, luxurious and comfortable five star hotel. Its interior is furnished according to newest trends in the modern interior architecture. It is situated in the historic nucleus of the Old Skopje Town.

SLEEP   —  +389 2 3230603 —  Bitpazarska 90/2

Kadina Reka Hunting Site

21.100 Hectare area. The relief of the mountain massifs in the hunting area is characterized with heterogeneousness and significant differences in altitude of 2240 m, which enables zonal distribution of the game.

DO   —  Zelenikovo

Hostel Hostel

It doesn't have the most original name, but this friendly little hostel is a great place to stay if you're on a budget. Nice and warm, free internet and friendly staff. Recommended for any backpacking in Skopje.


Imperial Hotel

This comfortable hotel that offers excellent accommodation is located just 1.5 km from all the shopping malls and the Skopje Square. The Hotel offers free 24 hours wifi/wlan internet and free laundry service.

SLEEP   —  +389 2 2736053 —  Map

Hotel Square

The top floor of a office building. Very nice rooms, friendly staff, and an open air balcony with a excellent view to Square Macedonia and the stone bridge. Rooms with air-con and TV.


Skopje Jazz Festival

For one week every October, Skopje hosts eminent jazz musicians from all over the world. The Skopje Jazz Festival is considered to be one of the best of its kind in Europe. October.

DO   —  Map

Vrelo Cave

This has many stalactites including a large "Pine Cone" named due to its shape. There are two lakes at the end of the cave. It can be only reached by boat departing at the entrance.

DO   —  Map

Marakana

Italian specialties, unique sea fruits and fish. The restaurant also has 2 ballrooms with 150 seats, and it also offers the opportunity for cocktail parties with up to 500 guests.

EAT   —  +389 (0) 2 3221548 —  City park

Offest

This festival takes place on several locations in Skopje, such as the Universal Hall, Skopje Square, the Youth Cultural Center, and many attractive night clubs in the city. June.

DO   —  Map

Pantelejmon

Magnificent ambient and view on the city of Skopje from the terrace. Macedonian national cuisine. Try the Pantelejmon pie and sheep yogurt, Pantelejmon pan, Lamb meat in a bowl.


Plaza de Toros

Delicious snacks: taco chips with melted cheese, fried chicken wings fresh salads, pizza, warm sandwiches, or some homemade sweets. Offers a large variety of beer on drought.


Hotel Victoria

Three star hotel in very pleasant surroundings isolated of the city noise. Restaurant, closed parking space which is secured 24h, reception desk, hall for buffet breakfast.


Harmonija

Restaurant for macrobiotic, vegetarian, and dietetic food. Food is prepared without gluten as well as specific seminars for alleviation of particular health problems.


Plenty of bars in the Old Bazar

This area has a plenty of newly open bars, and the night life there recently has become very interesting. Some of the bars there are La Kaña, Damar, Rakija Bar, etc.

DRINK   —  Map

GTC

the biggest shopping center in the city. It was made in the 1970s by Zivko Popovski. It includes cafes, restaurants, bars, banks, shops,and even has a bowling court.

BUY   —  Map

Restaurant 14

a few minutes drive away from the center of the city. Beside the traditional Macedonian food, macrobiotic and vegetarian dishes are available for the guests.

EAT   —  +389 3076411 —  Map

Bunjakovec

this is one of the malls were everybody can find something to buy. It is in one of the busiest thoroughfares in Skopje. In includes many shops and boutiques.

BUY   —  Map

Tomce Sofka

Taste national and international specialties and the evenings here are filled with the sound of old city music, which contributes to the intimate ambiance.


Izzi Caffe

Cool place to have a drink, in the morning (coffee) or at night. The owner speaks English and will hang out with you to make sure you're taken care of.


Cerje archaeological site

Its unique finds include the figurine known as Adam from Govrlevo, one of the earliest prehistoric male figurines, from the Early Stone Age.

SEE   —  Map

Mirko 919

Range of specialties such barbecue, seafood, game fish. Try the 'Dojran crap' (meaning 'carp'), as well as roast meat, frog legs etc.


Uranija

Recognized as one of the best restaurants in Macedonia for more than a decade. Nice selection of local wine and food. Free Wi-Fi

EAT   —  +389 2 3118 030 —  City Park

Gradishte

- a fortified settlement from the Early Byzantine period. It is believed to be Taoresion, the native town of Emperor Justinian.

SEE   —  Map

Ramstore Mall

if you are looking for an American looking mall, this is where you'll want to go. It has shops, restaurants, cafes and cinema.

BUY   —  Map

Tumba archaeological site

Ceramic models of houses formed in the shape of the female body are among its valuable finds from the Early Stone Age.

SEE   —  Map

Holiday Inn Skopje

next to the river, situated at the end of stretch that has all the bars and restaurants which are great in the summer.

SLEEP   —  +389 2-3292929 —  Vasil Agilarski 2

Zanzibar Pizza

The only place where you can find pizzas made by the recipes of old Italian chefs spiced with lite jazz motives.


Marko's Castle

- An Early Byzantine fortress, heavily fortified with 40 towers. It was the site of the medival town of Crnce.

SEE   —  Map

VINO SKOP - Skopje Wine Festival

Wine tasting, vineyard visits, live musical entertainment from international artists in the heart of the city.

DO   —  Map

Club Collosseum

It's a place where often worldwide famous DJ's play music. The club is located under the new railway station.

DRINK   —  Map

City Gallery shopping center

A new one in Skopje with lots of high quality fashion stores and very interesting structure, like a labyrinth

BUY   —  Macedonia Square

BuskerFest

Street performers Festival. Tours Macedonian cities, as well as Budva, Montenegro and Sibenik, Croatia.

DO   —  Map

Meana Karpic

Home cuisine, grilled barbecue, grilled fish, cooked vegetables, stews, specialties, music, and wine !


Club 69

One of the best clubs in Skopje. Works only four days a week: Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

DRINK   —  Macedonia Square

Enriko Pizza

The menu includes the most delicious, Italian specialties, pizzas, pasta, pizza sandwich etc.


Local Bus Station

City buses, for example Millennium Cross or Matka canyon (#60), can be caught there easily.

OTHER   —  Map

Balkanika

Ethnic food from Turks, Serbs, Albanians, Bulgarians, Vlaches, Greeks, Gypsies, Bosnians.


Kamnik

Located in the hotel of the same name, 150 different wines from all over the world.

EAT   —  +389 2523522 —  Kamnik b.b.

Duomo

enjoy in live music. Mediterranean, Italian, national, international and seafood.


Caramelo

A Starbucks-like cafe. Small, but with excellent choice of coffee, tea and juice.


Hotel Continental

The largest luxury Hotel located in the city, in a 10000 m2 landscaped garden.


Aleksander Palace

This 5-star hotel is probably the finest and most expensive in all of Skopje.


Den I Nok (Day and Night)

Club restaurant. Piano sounds performed by popular music groups.


Martini

Specialises in waffles, also does pancakes, salads, etc.


Penguin Pub

Daily live music. Try food prepared on volcano stones!


Kibo

Different, mixed salads at your choice, self service.


Okarina

Macedonian and international specialties. live music.


Roulette Restaurant & Club

Great choice of different meals and quality wines.


Piazza Liberta

Eat the peanuts and throw the shells on the floor!


Kej

Intimate and pleasant place by the Vardar river.


Ragusa

Ambient, accompanied with pleasant music.


Alo Alo Pizza

Hand tossed pizza. Fresh out of oven.


Picerija KID

Hand tossed pizza. Fresh out of oven.


Akord

Bright, modern, colorful atmosphere


Dva Elena

under the slopes of Vodno mountain


PIVOLEND

Gourmet weekend with beer.

DO   —  Map

Kaj Гоце

Traditional Balkan food.

EAT   —  Old Town

Vasilica (New Year)

Celebrated in the home.

DO   —  Map

Soul Pub

Good music and beer.


Hotel Ambassador

SLEEP   —  +389 3212-353 —  Map

Ezerce

EAT   —  +389 3122-389 —  Map

Coffeeshop Company

DRINK   —  Map

B2

DRINK   —  Macedonia Square

Havana

DRINK   —  Map

Black & White

DRINK   —  Map

Dynamique

DRINK   —  Map

Marakana

DRINK   —  City park

About Skopje

Skopje city panorama, with Mount Vodno in the background
Skopje city panorama, with Mount Vodno in the background

In the Povardarie region, Skopje is the financial and political center of Macedonia and by far its biggest city. The city population is around 800,000, however unofficially during working-days it can almost reach more than 1 million, which is more than half of the population of the country. The most diverse in the country, Skopje houses many ethnicities; besides the majority Macedonians, many Albanians, Turks, Roma, Serbs, Bosniaks and others call Skopje home.

The 26th of July 1963 is one of the worst dates in the history of Skopje. An earthquake struck the city at 5:17AM. 75% of the buildings in the city disappeared in just a few seconds. After that, the big rebuilding project began, trying to make Skopje the model city of the socialist world. The plan was drawn by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, who also designed the new railway station. The plan was never fully carried out. Lately many reconstruction projects have started. Some towers of Kale Fortress and the old cathedral are being reconstructed, and the old theater is also under reconstruction. Skopje is an eclectic mix of Christian and Islamic culture, with both vying to make themselves visible. However, this cultural mix has also spawned a lively and varied society. You can see people playing chess in the morning in the numerous cafés and green spaces in the summer. In the evening, Skopje comes to life as the locals dine in the cafés before heading to the bars and live music clubs, most of which are open until 1AM or later.


Source: wikivoyage