After you have visited all the sights of Skopje that should be on every traveler’s list – such as the Memorial House of Mother Teresa, Sveti Spas church, Kale Fortress and all the newly built monuments of the ‘Skopje 2014‘ project, there is still plenty of places left to see. Here is our selection of the natural beauties, culinary delights and in general our favorite things to do in Skopje.
Old Bazaar: have a stroll and try Turkish coffee
The Old Bazaar, also called Carsija is the Turkish old town of Skopje. It is one of the oldest and largest marketplaces in the Balkans, and it has been Skopje’s center for trade and commerce since at least the 12th century.
The area is home to mosques, türbes (mausoleum tombs), converted hammams (bathhouses) and churches. The Museum of Macedonia and the Museum of Modern Art is also located here. You will find everything here form small souvenirs and copperware, to folk costumes and jewelry. Strolling the shops of the Old Bazaar is a must-do for anyone visiting Skopje.
Above all, Carsija has various traditional restaurants and coffee houses where you can try Turkish coffee or tea and do not miss Destan’s traditional kebab either! On Friday and Saturday nights Carsia becomes even more lively with youngsters due to some great bars in the area. Check out Menada Bar and also the Old Town Brewery (Пивница Стар Град).
Climb Mount Vodno
Vodno is a great option for short getaways to the nature when you had enough of the city or if you simply want to enjoy some fantastic views to the surrounding peaks. Millennium Cross is a 66-meter tall cross, built on top Vodno Mountain in 2002 to commemorate 2,000 years of Christianity in Macedonia.
It is possible to trek all the way up to the top from the city center. However to save time and your breath, you can also take a bus or a taxi to halfway up the mountain called Sredno Vodno. From here you can either hike or simply take the cable car and enjoy the stunning views after a quick 8-minute journey to the top of Vodno Mountain.
Hang out in the City Park
On sunny days, especially weekends, Skopje City Park or Gradski Park is the place to go. It seems that everybody comes here for recreation under the trees. You can grab a coffee or a fresh squeezed juice or have a delicious sweet treat at the ice cream carts. Skopje Zoo is also located in the park.
Visit Matka Canyon
Whether you are the ultimate outdoorsy type or not, Matka Canyon won’t disappoint you!
Matka is a stunning gorge and lake situated west of Skopje and it is a fantastic day or half-day trip for nature lovers! You can rent small boats to see the cave, visit the church from 15th century, or just chill at the restaurant called Canyon Matka for a delicious lunch and enjoy the view.
You can get here by public transport (take bus 60 from Skopje) or by taxi as well.
Visit the Macedonian Village
Makedonsko Selo (or Macedonian Village) is situated on Mount Vodno, about 20 minutes drive from the city center. It is complex of hotel accommodation and restaurants, built in the traditional spirit of the Macedonian architecture from the 19th and 20th centuries. Composed of sixteen authentic houses, the complex is also an outdoor museum with a number of workshops where visitors can learn about the traditional crafts. Enjoy the clean mountain air, traditional ambiance, delicious food and numerous activities.
Eat traditional food in a ‘kafana’
Macedonian food is amazing! It has Balkan and Mediterranean characteristics, influenced by Turkish flavors due to the long centuries of Ottoman rule. The country has top quality fresh vegetables and beautiful fresh fruits as well. Throughout the city you can find kafanas (traditional Macedonian restaurants) that serve tasty fresh salads, grilled meats and other culinary delights.
Hike and picnic on Kozjak
One of our favorite places around Skopje, is Jasen Mountain with Kozjak Lake. The views are truly breathtaking and if you go on a weekday, you can have the whole mountain to yourself. Take a book and a blanket with you and relax. It is a perfect spot for a picnic as well. It is a less visited spot because the only way to get there is by car.
If you are looking for a place to stay you can check our Brand New apartment that we rent on AirBnB.
We also have a website for it with many useful informations about Skopje – www.SkopjeHome.com