(Updated: 30.05.2015) With this travel guide I show you the most important things to do in Skopje including sights, tours and restaurants.
Skopje is a great starting point for exploring Macedonia (also known as former Yugoslavian republic of Macedonia) but also for a Balkan Road Trip as it is well connected to Sofia (Bulgaria), Tirana (Albania) and the Kosovo.[box type=”info” ]Do you want to travel the Balkans?
Make sure to get a god travel insurance before you go – I recommend to use WorldNomads for your trip. In matters of preparation you should also checkout my packing list![/box]
1) Things to do in Skopje & Tours in Macedonia
Skopje as well as the region Macedonia are places full of history, this is why a variety of different cultures came to live here – resulting in a vibrant mix!
a) 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 along the walls inside the fortress and enjoy relaxing at the park surrounding the fortress.
b) Old Bazaar
The Old Bazaar derives from the Ottoman period and forms the Old Town of Skopje right next to the mountain and the Kale Fortress. Explore the many narrow streets with it's little stores, mosques, hamams and markets. If you're hungry you should grab some tasty food from the small restaurants you can find in this area.
c) Stone Bridge
The symbol of the city connects the old town with the modern city centre – the bridge was first built in the 6th century and is also part of the coat of arms of the city!
d) Skopje 2014 – monuments
The project “Skopje 2014” has been realized on both ends of the Stone Bridge: these are new built monuments, buildings and statues which changed the character of the inner city. You should decide for yourself if you like it, the neighboring countries didn't which resulted in controversy. Not to mention the situation between Greece and Macedonia, they still refuse to recognize Macedonia as a sovereign state.
e) Memorial House of Mother Teresa
Would you have known that Mother Teresa is from Macedonia? You can visit the Memorial House located at the place of the church where the Saint was baptised and find out more about her life and work.
f) Mount Vodno & Millennium Cross
If you'd like to go much higher you should consider the Mount Vodno overlooking the while city area. Take the bus to get halfway to the top where you can use the cable car to get to the top. The other option would be to hike up.
At the mountain tip you'll find one of the biggest Christian Crosses in the world which was build in 2000 and can be seen from far away as it is also illuminated at night.
g) Take a guided Tour through Skopje
Another option to experience all the things to see and things to do in Skopje in a relatively short time is to go for a guided tour – you could e.g. book a 4h guided tour via GetYourGuide.
h) Tour to Ohrid
The Ohrid lake and the town of Ohrid are one of the most popular sights in Macedonia – book a one day Tour to Ohrid via GetYourGuide starting in Skopje to experience this magical place!
Our time in Skopje has been vary limited, this is why we can only list 2 restaurants in this section – most good restaurants are located in the old town offering mostly hearty food from the Balkans.
a) Pivnica Star Grad
The so called “Old Town Brewery” feels a bit like a tree house and has a very unique character, the food is tasty and fairly cheap.
Address: ul. Gradište 1, Stara Skopska Čaršija
b) Kaj Гоце
If you want to go for tasty and budget friendly balkan cuisine this is the go to place for you – located in the old town.
The Unity Hostel is one of the most popular Hostels in Skopje as it is very well located right in the centre which makes it easy especially for short-time visitors like us.
The atmosphere is relaxed and the staff (Olli) is very welcoming and helpful in making the best out of your time!
More suggestions? Check out the other options in Skopje.
4) Video: our Highlights in Skopje
The second episode of Balkan Road Trip video series on my YouTube channel gives you an idea of the city:
5) Connections & Where to go next
by air – Skopje has an own airport but there are not many connections, mostly flying via Vienna is the best option.
by bus – From Skopje you easily get to Sofia with a daily direct bus, the journey takes 6 hours and will cost you something between 15-20€. If you'd like to go to Albania you have a regular line going to Tirana via Ohrid – this trip takes 8-10h and will cost between 20-25€.
For more bus connections you should checkout Balkanviator, the bus tickets can be bought right at the bus station prior your trip. Make sure to show up with some time buffer or get your ticket the day before departing to be safe.
More great things to do in Skopje, Macedonia?
If you have more recommendations please tell us your tips in the comments!
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This post is also available in: German