Exploring Tourism in Macedonia
icon Worldwideicon
Places to Visit Details

Top 10 Places To Visit In Skopje

Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje is the capital and largest city of North Macedonia. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic center. The territory of Skopje has been inhabited since at least 4000 BC; remains of Neolithic settlements have been found within the old Kale Fortress that overlooks the modern city center.

During a stay in Skopje, you can explore the ancient city and visit its many historical sights. You will find statues everywhere. Expect a cross-section of east meets west here, with an Arabian-style bazaar that sits just across the river from the vibrant Debar Maalo neighborhood with its multitude of clubs and bars.

Here are the Top 10 Places to Visit in Skopje, which are worth visiting on a Skopje trip:

1. Museum of the Macedonian Struggle

This somber museum is focused on the country’s history of occupation and fight for independence. The story is told chronologically, starting with the rebellion of Macedonian Christians against Ottoman rulers in the 16th century and concluding with the country’s declaration of independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Ponder the spookily lifelike wax models and unsettling oil paintings depicting executions, battles, and massacres. You can visit either individually, with an expert guide, or using an audio guide.

2. Memorial House of Mother Teresa

This eclectic church was built in 2009, as a memorial to the Nobel Prize-winning Catholic nun who was born in Skopje in 1910. It was constructed on the site of an older church, where Mother Teresa was baptized the day after her birth. It features a permanent exhibition focused on the saint’s early life when Skopje was still part of the Ottoman Empire. Peek into one of the Catholic services, held in a glass-walled chapel on the second floor, or browse the temporary exhibits in the subterranean multimedia center.

3. Mount Vodno

The 1,066m (3,497ft) Mount Vodno is situated to the southwest of Skopje and is topped by the 66m (217ft) Millenium Cross, one of the world’s largest crucifixes. The most direct hiking routes to the summit from the city center measure about 6.5km (4mi) in total and require a couple of hours to complete. Alternatively, you can ride the Millenium Cross bus to the cable car terminus and glide the rest of the way. Relax at the summit’s small cafe with a coffee and take in the vista.

4. Neoclassical City Centre

In 2014, the government gave Skopje a neoclassical makeover, erecting hundreds of states and revamping important buildings. While this project was controversial due to its cost and timescale, the results make for interesting viewing. Start in Macedonia Square, where you will find a 22m (72ft) high monument of Alexander the Great. From here, cross the Vardar River via the Art Bridge, with its 29 statues of Macedonian artists and musicians.

5. Lake Matka

The canyons and lakes surrounding Lake Matka provide a unique landscape that is worth seeing. You can tour the Matka Canyon by boat or rent a kayak. The boat station is near the St. Andrew monastery. A trip into the canyon can take about an hour and a half. Visitors can also explore the Vrelo Cave, which is located at the end of the canyon on the opposite side.

If you’re looking for a scenic getaway from the hustle and bustle of Skopje, the Matka Canyon is worth a visit. The area provides excellent hiking, trad climbing, kayaking, and other outdoor activities. For a gentler journey through the canyon, join a boat trip along the lake to the Vrelo Cave, famed for its intriguing mineral formations – look out for the famed “pine cone” stalactite – and its incredible depth.

6. The Stone Bridge

In Skopje, Macedonia, there is a bridge that crosses the Vardar River called the Stone Bridge. This bridge, also known as the Duan Bridge, is named after Stephen Duan, the Serbian Emperor. It is a unique piece of architecture that has captured the imagination of people all over the world. This structure is made up of stones that are placed in a half-circle. Each stone has a weight.

7. Kale Fortress

Skopje’s plain, muscular Kale Fortress occupies the highest point in the city, overlooking the Vardar river. It’s believed to have been constructed during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I (527-565 CE) and was added to throughout the 10th and 11th centuries. Excavation of the site in the late 2000s yielded some important finds, such as woodwind instruments and clay decorations dating from around 3,000 BCE, subterranean dwellings, and the largest collection of Byzantine coins ever found in Macedonia. Kale is easily walkable from the city center.

8. Skopje’s Old Bazaar

The largest bazaar in the Balkans and Skopje’s trading center since at least the 12th century, the Old Bazaar is a maze of small streets, packed with cafés, jewelry shops, bakeries, and haberdasheries. Its quaint cobbled lanes are home to a number of hidden treasures: the rose garden of the Ottoman-era Mustafa Pasha Mosque; the Suli An arts center with its tranquil courtyard and the 13 domes of the Daut Pasha Hamam, now home to the National Gallery. To get a taste of Skopje café culture, sample honey-laden baklava at Slatkarnica Ohrid or a strong Turkish coffee at Nargile.

9. Macedonia Square

Macedonia Square is the main square of Skopje, the capital city of North Macedonia. It is the largest square in the country and is located in the center of the city. It crosses the Vardar River and is the center of city life. The square features a variety of historic buildings and is home to the main government buildings.

Whether you’re looking for a great place to meet friends or spend some time with the family, Macedonia Square offers a variety of cafes, restaurants, and stores. The square was originally known as King Peter I Square.

10. Debar Maalo

Situated just west of the city center, Debar Maalo is a vibrant neighborhood that is at once leafy and urban; nightclubs and start-ups stand just steps away from the seemingly endless lawns of the City Park. Any visit to Debar Maalo should start with Aminta Treti. This popular street is a cornucopia of bars, cafés, and bohemian restaurants. Drop into Casa for an alfresco coffee or beer and enjoy live music every Monday at Kino Karpoš.

Besides this, there is much more to explore in Skopje!!! Skopje’s old town involves traditional Macedonian cuisine. The best place to find authentic dishes is undoubtedly at the Old Bazaar, where you can sample kebabs, tavce gravce (a hearty local bean dish), gevrek (sesame bread), and burek (layers of thin flakey dough, filled with minced meat or with cheese).

It’s nearly impossible to make it through a visit to North Macedonia without sampling that quintessential Balkan staple: rakija. A distilled spirit made from fermented fruit, in North Macedonia rakija is generally made from grapes. Start your adventure in rakija at the Old Bazaar’s Rakija Bar Kaldrma.

Check out more Places to Visit