If Skopje in North Macedonia is on your future travels list, good for you. If not, maybe this article will change your mind as here, I’m talking about the main attractions in Skopje.
Skopje is definitely, not a big city, but an opulent one. Once you step under the Macedonian Gate, you will feel like entering onto a movie set. You are surrounded by huge, imposing statues and tall luxurious buildings. It’s like going back in time and having the impression of walking on the streets of Antique Rome. It is an unique view and experience, but it may be a nice surprise for many of us.
Maybe it’s too opulent for such a small country. Maybe it’s not necessary to build all these in order to impress other European countries. But, for me, it was something unique to see and admire.
The unpleasant part of the city is that most part of the buildings are in restoration, which makes you feel like something it’s unfinished. If you look into detail, you’ll see all kind of unpolished corners that need reparation, being in opposition with the rest of the constructions around it.
But…you want to enjoy as much as you want your visit to Skopje, so here are the main attractions in the city that I would recommend:
The Stone Bridge
This is one of the most important pieces of the city as the bridge unites the cultures in one single place. It is a corridor between Christianity and Islam, taking them close in a point that it’s unmatched in the world.
The Alexander the Great Square
Here is the most impressive statue of Alexander the Great. The view from our balcony was directly to the main square, so we were watching this in the morning:
The Macedonian Gate
One of the main attractions in Skopje as it represents the Triumphal Arch having carved in marble, the historical scenes of Alexander the Great.
The House of Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa is definitely a symbol in Macedonia. You will notice her quotes mentioned all over the streets. Unfortunately, we couldn’t enter the house as it was closed due to Easter Holidays.
A visit into an Old Hammam and a Photography Exhibition. The entrance: 50 denars/person.
The Skopje Fortress
From here you will get one of the most beautiful views over the whole city. The day we went up there, the weather was truly amazing and the sky was unbelievable blue. The entrance is free.
The Millenium Cross
66 m tall, but a nice place to see, especially for the view over the mountains on a side and over the city on the other one.
It is outside the city, but it’s a good reason for hiking, biking or breathing a fresh air. You can get to the cable car by bus, by car or even by bike. The cable car cost is 100 denars/person, which means 1.8 euros for a round-trip. Once you go up, you can have something to eat right in the nature, take a walk around, admire the mountain landscape or just relax.
The mosques in Skopje
Even if the majority of the population is Christian, there are also a lot of Muslims in Macedonia and therefore, a lot of mosques. Some of them can be visited, we entered into Mustafa Pasha Mosque. The entrance was free.I don’t know if it’s allowed to enter during the paying time, but you better ask someone before.
This was one of the best experiences that I ever had- an hour road by boat, through a canyon, on a massive summer rain. The landscape was impressive and the rainy weather transformed it into an even more beautiful one. During this trip, we made one stop to visit one of the best caves that I ever visited. Inside, there are two little lakes and if you’re lucky, you may also see some bats.
The cost of this experience is 400 denars/person, which is about 8 euros. It is very cheap and it’s totally worth it.
Celebrating Easter this weekend, we also wanted to go to the Church on Saturday Night. So we went to the biggest Orthodox Church in Skopje: St. Clement of Ohrid. It can be visited during the day as well and it’s very interesting to notice that it’s style is more similar to a mosque than a normal orthodox church.
Walk on the streets, go to the Old Bazar, visit the Archaeological Museum, taste their traditional food and interact with the locals, this is the best way to get to know the country.
I hope I could give you an overview of how Skopje looks like and I hope you’ll get to see these attractions if you ever get to North Macedonia.
Thanks for reading, M.