For many visitors to Macedonia, it’s likely that at some point they will pass through Skopje. Arriving in the city is underwhelming – many socialist buildings are still evident and the city has a neglected feel in some areas… but the capitals image is slowly changing and the ongoing investment is beginning to bear fruit. While it is not a place you would spend a week, Skopje is fine for an overnight stay and a look around.
€2 will easily find you some street food to eat – pastries and kebabs are both cheap. There is a large Vero Supermarket in the center of the city, with fruit, veg, and ready made meals at good value prices. For eating out, a main meal can be bought for around €5 if you stick to the coffee shops.
• Go to Macedonia Square – In the middle of Skopje is Macedonia Square, with a fountain and a large statue of Alexander the Great. It makes a good people watching spot and place to eat lunch.
• Explore the River Area – the scene of much construction work in the last few years, there are countless statues and bridges that have been built and renovated. There are also a few cafes and restaurants overlooking the river. It is one of the grander areas of the city.
• Visit the old Bazaar – probably the nicest part of Skopje, the old Ottoman market has cobbled streets and small shops. Nearby is Kale Fortress, which, if open, makes an interesting visit.
• Spend some time at Daut Pasha Hanam – A centuries old Ottoman bath house has been renovated and is now an art gallery. It’s in the older part, near to the Bazaar.
• Reflect at the Holocaust Museum – This new building remembers the Jews of Macedonia who lost their lives in WW2. Quite small, but free of charge and located near to the stone bridge linking old and new Skopje.
• Take the bus to the Matka Canyon – The city is a good place to base yourself when visiting the canyon. A 30 minute bus journey, a short walk and your there. Matka is one of the country’s best sights to see ; caves, lakes, and nature at its best.
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