Places to visit in Skopje offer its visitors the historical and natural beauties of North Macedonia and the Balkans. Especially historical artifacts such as the Old Bazaar and Stone Bridge are the must-see spots in the city. This city really has an amazing cultural heritage. So if you go on a tour to the Balkans, you should definitely visit the capital city of North Macedonia. There are many things to do in Skopje as well.
North Macedonia, one of the most beautiful countries in the Balkans, has a great history. Especially the capital of the country is one of the cities that best shows this beauty. You will find these beautiful historical and tourist spots on the list of places to visit in Skopje.
Also, check out this article: Best Places to Visit in North Macedonia.
Skopje Travel Guide
Skopje, also known as the city of sculptures, has become popular in the field of tourism. Because it has a good potential for it. With its historical Turkish Bazaar, Stone Bridge, huge sculptures, museums, mosques, cute cafes, and famous food, Skopje is one of the stops worth visiting for a Balkan tour.
There are also some must-see places outside of the city. For example, Matka Canyon, Vrelo Cave (Vrelo Cave), Stobi Ancient City. If you have time, you can stay a few more days and explore every tourist spot outside the city center. But normally staying for 1 or 2 days is enough for here.
Best Places to Visit in Skopje
You will see many historical artifacts from the Ottoman Empire period in the city. So this is a city with a very rich cultural heritage. Moreover, it has a very nice nature. Let’s start to talk about where you can go in Skopje.
1- Stone Bridge
The Stone Bridge is located between Macedonia Square and the Old Bazaar. The bridge, which is only open to pedestrians, was built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet, the Emperor of the Ottoman. Therefore, the bridge is mentioned in some sources as the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge.
This arch bridge was built in the middle of the 15th century. Its architecture is really great. The length of the Stone Bridge, one of the Ottoman monuments in the Balkans, is 214 meters. You can take lots of photos with a view of the bridge and Vardar River.
2- Macedonia Square
Macedonia Square is the heart of the city. Because it is always crowded and people just meet each other here when they go outside. Also near the square, there are quality cafes and restaurants where you can spend time.
You will see a huge sculpture here. That ‘horse warrior statue’ is the statue of Alexander the Great. The statue, which is 33 meters high, greets Alexander the Great’s father Philip, located across the Vardar River. Another feature of the statue is that it was specially built in Florence for the 20th anniversary of Macedonia’s independence.
There are resplendent lions at the bottom of the statue. At the same time, you can watch water shows here. It is worth seeing.
3- Old Bazaar
Skopje Old Bazaar is a place where you can see the traces of Ottoman architectural features. So it attracts the attention of tourists. The history of the Old Bazaar dates back to Ottoman. So if you visit some historic cities in Turkey, it is almost the same. Also, many Macedonian people of Turkish ethnic origin live in this region.
Stone streets, cute shops, hookah cafes, restaurants are located in this region in large numbers. Structures such as Kapan Han, Kuršumli An, Mustafa Pasha Mosque, Davut Pasha Hamam, and Isa Bey Mosque increase the cultural value of the district. Here you can take lots of beautiful photos both during the day and in the evening.
4- Mustafa Pasha Mosque
On the list of places to visit in Skopje, Macedonia, Mustafa Pasha Mosque is located within the borders of the Old Bazaar. It is one of the classic Ottoman mosques.
This religious building, which has a 47-meter-high minaret, has 4 domes. On the southeast side of the mosque, there is Mustafa Pasha Tomb. Opposite the tomb is the tomb of Mustafa Pasha’s daughter, Ummi Hatun. Also, the Church of St. Savior which is a few steps away is worth seeing.
5- Davut Pasha Hamam (Turkish Bath)
Bath, II. It was built in 1498 by Davut Pasha, who was the vizier of the emperor Bayezid during the Ottoman period. It is one of the buildings that have the historical texture as its first day.
The Hamam has 2 separate departments to serve men and women. So it is also known as the Double Bath. But the building was transformed into an art center in 1948 as the Macedonian National Gallery.
6- Skopje Castle
Skopje Castle is located next to the Turkish Old Bazaar. Its construction was completed in the 5th or 6th century by the Roman Empire. The castle, which was used in the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Periods, has an important strategic position.
There is no entrance fee to the castle. Since it is walking distance away from the downtown, you should definitely come and see this castle. Moreover, there are nice views of the city and the Vardar River. So this Castle must be on the list of the places to visit in Skopje.
Check Places to Visit in Prizren Travel Guide out!
7- Archaeological Museum of Macedonia
Archaeological Museum of Macedonia is one of the must-see structures for those who make a Balkan tour. The building, which has the characteristics of the Ancient Greek or Roman Period with its aesthetic architecture, was actually built in 2014. By the way, next to the entrance of the museum near the square is the Civilizations Bridge on the Vardar River.
Antiquities, medieval ruins, and cultural assets from the early Ottoman and Macedonian periods are on display here. It is one of the right addresses to understand Macedonian history very well. A copy of the Alexander Sarcophagus is also among the things exhibited here. The original of that is in the Istanbul Archeology Museum in Turkey
By the way, there are many museums you can visit in the city. For example, the City Museum, Holocaust (Genocide) Museum, Museum of the Macedonian Struggle, Museum of Illusions, Museum of Contemporary Art.
8- Art Bridge
Bridges, like statues, are among the things that show the beauty of Skopje. Especially Stone Bridge, The Eye Bridge, and The Art Bridge are among the most beautiful ones.
On the Art Bridge, there are 29 sculptures, 14 on each side and 1 in the middle. All of these sculptures belong to Macedonian painters and musicians. So you visiting this bridge is one of the best things to do in Skopje.
9- Millennium Cross
Vodno Mountain, which has an altitude of 1066 meters, hosts Millennium Cross. It is very famous for the view of Skopje city. There is also some forest areas around.
The Millennium Cross, located on the top of the mountain, was built in honor of the 2000 year of Christianity. The Macedonian Orthodox Church undertook its construction. Millennium Cross is the largest cross in the world with its 66 meters height. The cross at the summit of Mount Vodno is visible from every point of the city.
How to get there? To get here, first, you have to take the red buses to the cable car stop. And then you will ride a cable car.
10- Memorial House of Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa lived in this city between 1910-1928. Memorial House of Mother Teresa was built in 2009 to honour her memory. The real name of Mother Teresa, who was Albanian from her mother’s side, is Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu. Founder of the Philanthropic Missionary Community, Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975.
The peculiarity of this building is that MotherTerasa was baptized here. The upper floor of the building is open to worship as the Catholic Church. On the ground floor, this person’s personal belongings, childhood pictures, documents, life story, etc. are on display.
The museum house on the list of places to visit in Skopje is located close to Macedonia Square.
11- St. Ohrid Kliment Cathedral
The construction of the St. Ohrid Kliment Cathedral, signed by the famous architect Slavko Brezovski, started in the 1970s. In the main dome of the building, which has contemporary and modern Orthodox architecture, Jesus’s fresco is really impressive. Moreover, you will like the magnificent chandelier with 400 lamps.
In front of the cathedral, it is possible to see the fountain gifted by the Islamic Union. So, this place must be on the list of places to visit in Skopje.
12- Bohemian Street
Bohemian Street, where you can go during your Skopje trip, is one of the most popular streets in the city. This is like stepping away from the Baroque style architecture in the city into another world.
It is called ‘Boemska Ulica’ in the Macedonian language. It hosts a large number of cafes and restaurants. Especially on sunny weekends, it is one of the places where locals go to hang out or have fun.
13- Matka Canyon
Matka Canyon is one of the natural beauties of the Balkan. The canyon. is a must on the list of places to visit in the North Macedonian capital Skopje.
In fact, the canyon is 16 kilometers away from the city center. The canyon, which is a natural wonder on the land of thousands of acres, also includes a lake and a 14-kilometer hiking trail.
There are various activities in Matka Canyon, which makes people feel like they are in the hidden paradise on earth. You do some activities such as hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, and boat tours are indispensable here. You can also observe many plant and animal species, as well as take a cultural tour by visiting the Medieval Churches or monasteries in the region.
Where is Skopje Matka Canyon and how to get there? You can come to the canyon, which is 16 km away from the city, by choosing options such as a private car, taxis, public buses. Alternatively, you can come here by purchasing a tour from private travel agencies. Or you can book a tour on GetYourGuide.
14- Vrelo Cave
Vrelo Cave is located within the borders of Matka Canyon. It is the deepest underground cave in the world. The cave was discovered in 2007 by Mark Vandermeulen. Its entrance is on the right side of the Treska River. If you take a Balkan tour, visiting Vrelo Cave is one of the best things to do in Skopje.
Vrelo Cave is one of the best 77 natural areas in the world. Many bats live in the cave. By the way, concerts are organized here from time to time because the acoustics of the entrance of Vrelo Cave is very good. To get here, you have to walk 20 minutes from the canyon.
Ohrid is one of the most beautiful places not only in Macedonia but also in the Balkan Region. Because there a magnificent lake and amazing nature here.
Ohrid is located close to the Albanian border. Although Ohrid is 172 kilometers away from the capital of North Macedonia, it must be on the list of the best places to visit in Skopje.
Ohrid is known as the country’s holiday paradise. In addition to its natural wonder, it also has a rich cultural heritage. For example, Hagia Sophia Church, St. John Church, Tsar Samuel’s Fortress, and the ancient theater are among the places to see in Ohrid. While traveling the beautiful Ohrid, you should also visit the nearby town of Struga, known as the ‘capital of poetry and art’.
Where to Stay?
After touring Skopje during the day, it’s time to find a good hotel to stay overnight. There are many options in terms of accommodation. You can also consider staying at a hostel, Airbnb, or Couchsurfing aside from hotels.
I suggest you stay near Macedonia Square or the Old Bazaar for accommodation. Because those areas are safer and have many facilities such as restaurants, cafes, etc. You can search for good hotels via booking applications.
- Skopje Marriott Hotel: 5-star all-inclusive luxury hotels.
- Get Inn Skopje Hostel: A nice hostel for low-budget travelers.
- Hotel 7
- Mika’s Apartments: If you want to rent a house or flat, you can choose here.
Skopje Nightlife – Places to Visit in North Macedonia
After a daytime trip to the Macedonian capital of Skopje or a Balkan tour, it’s time to enjoy the nightlife. You can have a good time after the sunset with nightclubs, entertainment venues, live music, bars, and pubs. The nightlife in the Balkans meets the expectations of people and travelers.
With jazz, pop, reggae, hip-hop, local music, DJ performances, rock, and concerts, every people can have fun at night in Skopje. So, here are some good places below:
- Club Epicentar
- Casa Cubana
- VOX Night Club
- Old School Cafe
- Havana Summer Club
- Club Avenue
- Radio Bar
- Club Closing Moment
- Intermezzo Lucky Time
- Legend Pub
- Speakeasy Bar
- Restaurant & Club Marakana