Sights & attractions
A city of solidarity and diversity, monuments and bohemian spirit, Skopje's history has endowed the city with a wealth of cultural and historical treasures.
Most of the Ottoman and Byzantine heritage can be seen in and around the old part of the town (Old Turkish Bazaar, Stone Bridge, Fortress Kale, Church Holly Savior), while the city center represent the modern and new part of Skopje, full with squares and monuments (Macedonia Square, Woman Warrior Park, Gate Macedonia, Memorial House Mother Teresa).
For pleasant enjoyment in nature go to Canyon Matka, the local favorite weekend destination, or take a cable-car ride from Sredno Vodno to the top of the mountain Vodno where Millennium Cross is and on the way back visit the Saint Panteleimon Monastery and enjoy in the best bird-eye view on the town and region.
Stone Bridge (Kameni Most) is the main symbol of Skopje.
Originally build in the 6th century and reconstructed in the 15th, it connects the old Turkish part of town and the modern side of Skopje. On either side of the bridge there are squares with new fountains and statues. On the bridge there is a plaque that commemorates revolutionist Karposh, who was executed right here in 1689.
Old Turkish Bazaar
The largest bazaar in the Balkans outside of Istanbul.
After you cross the Stone Bridge over the River Vardar, you will feel the lively, vivid atmosphere of the marketplace. The narrow streets of Old Bazaar (Stara Carshija), paved with cobblestone and the numerous bars, restaurants and handicraft shops, such as tailors, cobblers and quilt makers, will offer you experience from another time.
All roads lead to Macedonia square. The main square of Skopje is full of statues, fountains, old and new buildings. The square is dominated by a huge statue of a Warrior on a horse, along with a grand fountain. Around the square you will find the place where the house of Mother Teresa used to be and many other monuments of important people from the Macedonian history.
The 66 meter high Millennium Cross which stands on the top of Mountain Vodno, was built as a memorial for 2.000 years of Christianity in Macedonia.
It is a great walk up to the top that will take you about 2.5h but of course, you can choose to take the bus, a taxi or even the cable car. The view from the Cross is magnificent.
Memorial House Mother Teresa
This memorial house is dedicated to the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and famous daughter of Skopje, Mother Teresa.
It was built in 2008 on the site of the Catholic church in which Mother Teresa, then Gonxha Bojaxhiu, had been baptized.
The house is free to visit and includes a gallery, small chapel and gift shop.
Canyon Matka is one of the favorite weekend destinations for Skopje citizens. This man-made lake in a canyon formed by the river Treska is just 30min drive from the city.
Is known for the astonishing natural beauty and for Vrelo Cave, the deepest cave found anywhere in the world which can be reached by a boat ride or kayak.
The Skopje fortress (Kale) lies on a dominant position overlooking the river Vardar and the Old Bazaar.
Nowadays, Kale is an important archaeological excavation site that is still in progress and a walking location that provides a commanding view over the old town. You can walk along the walls, which have been nicely restored and even climb a couple of the turrets.
Gate Macedonia (Porta Macedonia) was built for 20th anniversary of Macedonian independence.
Located on Pela Square, this triumphal arch is 21 meters high and is covered with reliefs carved in marble, depicting scenes from the history of Macedonia. Inside the arch, you'll find a souvenir shop, as well as elevators and stairs providing public access to the roof.
Church Holly Savior
Church of the Holy Savior (Sveti Spas) was build partially underground in late 17th century.
This church is known for its incredible iconostasis, work of three master Mijak artisans. Its made in deep carving with motifs from the flora, fauna and scenes from the bible. In the courtyard of the church is the tomb of the Macedonian revolutionary Goce Delchev.
Woman Warrior Park
Woman Warrior Park (Zena Borec Park) is a small park in the city center, next to GTC Shopping Mall (Gradski Trgovski Centar) and right across the Parliament. It's a great place to rest, grab a snack, check internet or play chess.
In this park you can see couple of monuments. The most intriguing is the monument honoring the Fallen Heroes of Macedonia.
Karposh Rebellion Square
Situated on the left bank of River Vardar, on the opposite side of Macedonia Square, this square was under a significant reconstruction in recent years. As part of the plan, Fountain of the Mothers and Statue of the Warrior were erected next to St. Dimitri Church. Also, the old National Theater was completely reconstructed and the Holocaust Museum and Museum of the Macedonian Struggle were build.
If you want a quick getaway from the noisy city life, the Skopje City Park is the right destination for you. Located in the city center by the river Vardar, City Park is the the perfect place for relaxing.
In the park you can visit the Skopje City ZOO by day or some of the summer clubs by night. City Park is also home to some sports venues like City Stadium Philip II and City Park indoor hall.
St. Panteleimon Monastery
Located near Gorno Nerezi village, just 15 minute drive from downtown, this church is famous for its exceptional frescoes which convey dramatic facial expression and emotions not commonly found in Byzantine art. The wall paintings inside the church are real delight for all lovers of beauty and art. Right next to the church there is a hotel and restaurant with a stunning view over Skopje especially during evening.
2 km northwest from Skopje in the village of Vizbegovo lies the Skopje Aqueduct which is also an archaeological site. This quite well preserved Aqueduct is 385 meters long with 55 arches of stone and brick.
The Skopje Aqueduct is the only aqueduct in Macedonia. The origins are unclear - some say it was a Roman aqueduct, others it was a build in during Ottoman rule.
Ancient Town of Scupi
The ancient settlement of Scupi was one of the largest Roman cities in the Balkans with the status of a colony and with the Via Egnatia road it was linked with the Adriatic. It holds the remains of a church built in the 5th century - the Northern and the Central Basilica, the House of the Psalms, the Main Town Public Fountain, the Palace of Emperor Theodosius and many others.