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  • Andy Honey

Discovering Skopje: Uncovering the Top 10 Reasons to Visit


the town square of skopje in front of the marriot hotel

Skopje, the capital city of North Macedonia, is a cultural and historical gem nestled in the heart of the Balkans.


From its picturesque landscapes to its rich heritage and lively atmosphere, Skopje offers travellers a truly unforgettable experience.


Whether you're a history buff, an adventure seeker, or a lover of vibrant city life, Skopje has something to offer everyone.


Here are the top 10 reasons to Visit Skopje



1. Rich History and Cultural Heritage: Skopje boasts a rich history dating back thousands of years. From ancient Roman ruins to Ottoman-era architecture and Byzantine churches, the city is a treasure trove of historical landmarks waiting to be explored.


2. Stone Bridge: One of Skopje's most iconic landmarks is the Stone Bridge, which spans the Vardar River and connects the old bazaar with the modern city centre. Dating back to the 15th century, this picturesque bridge offers stunning views of the surrounding area and is a must-visit for any traveller.


3. Old Bazaar: Lose yourself in the maze of narrow streets and alleys of Skopje's Old Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest marketplaces in the Balkans. Here, you can explore traditional Macedonian crafts, sample local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this historic district.



4. Kale Fortress: Sitting above a hill overlooking the city, Kale Fortress offers panoramic views of Skopje and the surrounding mountains. Dating back to the 6th century, this ancient fortress has witnessed centuries of history and is a fascinating destination for history enthusiasts.


5. Macedonian Cuisine: Indulge your taste buds with the delicious flavours of Macedonian cuisine. From hearty stews and grilled meats to fresh salads and pastries, Skopje offers a diverse culinary scene that is sure to satisfy any palate.


a man and his market stall selling onions

6. Matka Canyon: Just a short drive from the city centre you will find Matka Canyon, a breathtaking natural oasis surrounded by towering cliffs and crystal-clear waters. Whether you're into hiking, kayaking, or simply soaking up the scenery, Matka Canyon is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.


7. Millennium Cross: For panoramic views of Skopje and the surrounding countryside, head up to the Millennium Cross, which stands atop Vodno Mountain. Standing at over 66 metres tall, this towering cross is one of the tallest in the world and offers stunning views that are definitely worth the trek.


8. Macedonian National Theatre: Experience the vibrant cultural scene of Skopje by catching a performance at the Macedonian National Theatre. From classical ballets to modern theatrical productions, the theatre showcases the best of Macedonian performing arts.


9. Variety of Festivals: Throughout the year, Skopje hosts a variety of festivals celebrating everything from music and art to food and culture. Whether you're into jazz, film, or traditional folk music, there's always something exciting happening in Skopje.


10. Warm Hospitality: Last but not least, what truly sets Skopje apart is the warm hospitality of its people. Whether you're exploring the city's attractions, sampling local delicacies, or simply strolling through its streets, you'll be greeted with genuine warmth and friendliness at every turn.


a man cycling his bicycle in front of an historic building

When to Visit Skopje: Determining the best time to visit Skopje depends on your preferences and what you hope to experience during your trip. Skopje experiences four distinct seasons, each offering its own unique charm and activities.


1. Spring (April to June): Spring is a wonderful time to visit Skopje when the city comes alive with blooming flowers and pleasant temperatures. The weather during this time is generally mild, with temperatures ranging from comfortable to warm. Spring is ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking in Matka Canyon or exploring the city's historic sites without the intense heat of summer.


2. Summer (July to August): Summer is peak tourist season in Skopje, with warm to hot temperatures and plenty of sunshine. This is the perfect time to enjoy outdoor cafes, festivals, and events in the city. However, keep in mind that summer can be quite hot, with temperatures occasionally reaching over 30°C (86°F). If you don't mind the heat and crowds, summer is great for exploring Skopje's vibrant streets and soaking up the lively atmosphere.


3. Autumn (September to November): Autumn is another excellent time to visit Skopje, with mild temperatures and fewer crowds compared to the summer months. The weather during this time is generally pleasant, making it perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking and sightseeing. Additionally, autumn brings stunning foliage, particularly in the surrounding mountains, creating picturesque landscapes that are perfect for photographers.


4. Winter (December to February): Winter in Skopje is cold and can be quite chilly, with temperatures often dropping below freezing. However, if you don't mind the cold weather, winter can be a magical time to visit Skopje, especially during the holiday season. The city is beautifully decorated with festive lights and decorations, and you can warm up with delicious traditional Macedonian dishes like hearty stews and grilled meats. Additionally, nearby ski resorts offer excellent opportunities for winter sports.


a street lined with shops in skopje

Getting to Skopje:


Air: Skopje Alexander the Great Airport (SKP) is the main international airport serving the city. It offers connections to several major European cities and beyond. From the airport, you can take a taxi or airport shuttle bus to reach the city centre, which is approximately 17 kilometres (11 miles) away. Several airlines operate regular flights to Skopje, making it convenient for travellers from different parts of the world to reach the city.



Train: Skopje is connected to neighbouring countries such as Serbia, Kosovo, and Greece via train services operated by Macedonian Railways. The train station is located near the city centre, making it easy for travellers arriving by train to reach their final destination within Skopje. However, train services can be limited, and journey times may vary depending on the route.


Bus: Skopje is well-connected to other cities in North Macedonia and neighbouring countries via a network of bus services. Several bus companies operate routes to and from Skopje, making it an affordable option for travellers. The main bus station, known as the "International Bus Station Skopje," is located near the city centre and offers connections to various destinations.


Car: Travelling to Skopje by car is another option, especially for those coming from nearby cities or countries with well-developed road networks. North Macedonia has several border crossings with neighbouring countries like Greece, Serbia, Kosovo, Bulgaria, and Albania.



Taxi or Ride-Sharing: Taxis and ride-sharing services are available in Skopje and is a good option for travellers arriving at the airport or train station. Taxis can also be hired for longer journeys or day trips to nearby attractions. Make sure to use licensed taxi services and agree on the fare before starting your journey.




My Top Recommendations for Budget Accommodation in Skopje.


Hostel Inbox - Dry cleaning, a 24-hour front desk and express check-out are available at this smoke-free hostel. Free WiFi in public areas and free self parking are also provided. Other amenities include tour/ticket assistance and ATM/banking services.


Aloha Luxury Apartments - Along with a seasonal outdoor pool, this apartment building has dry cleaning and laundry facilities. Free WiFi in public areas and free self parking are also provided. Additionally, a 24-hour front desk, tour/ticket assistance and a garden are on-site. Each apartment provides free WiFi and free wired Internet, a flat-screen TV with cable channels, and a kitchen with a fridge, a stovetop and a microwave. Added amenities include a dining area, a private garden and a coffee/tea maker.


Centre Apartment - 48 square meters apartment in wider centre of Skopje: bedroom with new 2 beds, south balcony, bathroom with washing machine, kitchen room with new refrigerator, bought in 12.2022.

The apartment was renovated in 10.2023, German laminate was installed, the windows and the balcony doors were changed during 07.2023, and the plumbing and electrical installation was checked. The apartment has built-in closets/drawers for clothes.

Television with over 100 channels (mostly international) and optical internet 40/40 mbps. with strong signal.


Hotel Vila Silia - This smoke-free bed & breakfast features dry cleaning, laundry facilities and a 24-hour front desk. Free WiFi in public areas and free self parking are also provided. Other amenities include tour/ticket assistance and a garden. Housekeeping is not available.


Hotel de KOKA - Along with a restaurant, this hotel has a coffee shop/cafe and coffee/tea in a common area. Free WiFi in public areas and free self parking are also provided. Additionally, dry cleaning, laundry facilities and a 24-hour front desk are on-site.

Hotel

Rating

Parking

Price per Night (from)

n/a

Included

£13

3 Star

Included

£26

n/a

Included

£34

n/a

Included

£34

Hotel de KOKA

n/a

Included

£47


Whether you're exploring ancient landmarks, indulging in delicious cuisine, or simply soaking up the atmosphere of this charming city, Skopje promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you longing to return again and again.


I hope you enjoyed reading the top 10 reasons to visit Skopje, if you did please leave a comment.



1 Comment


thecoconutatlas
Mar 13

I would love to visit Skopje one day!


Chloe


www.thecoconutatlas.com

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