Skopje – Plenty of charm in North Macedonia

Handmade souvenirs with traditional Macedonian colours, by bellakadife/stock.adobe.com

Skopje is the capital city of North Macedonia, located in the centre of the Balkan Peninsula, close to the border with Kosovo and Serbia.

It is definitely one of the most interesting destinations to discover in the region, as well as one of the oldest city in the world, with a mix of Byzantine, Ottoman and modern culture.

North Macedonia, Skopje - capital city, pinned on political map
By 3D generator/stock.adobe.com

In 1963, a strong earthquake destroyed a big part of the royal old city. You can still see the clock on the old railway station stuck at 5:17, the exact time when the earthquake hit the city. The reconstruction took a few years but has given to Skopje a new futuristic style.

NOT TO BE MISSED

Skopje fortress (Kale fortress) in the Old Town, Republic of Macedonia
Kale fortress in the Old Town, By Stoyan Haytov/stock.adobe.com

Tvrdina Kale Fortress: according to the available data, the first fortress is believed to have been built in the 6th century A.D., on a land already inhabited during the Neolithic and Bronze ages. It is located on the highest point of the city, overlooking the Vardar River and all main Skopje landmarks, offering a beautiful view to visitors.

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Colourful streets of the Old Bazaar

Old Bazaar: the largest bazaar in the Balkans, it represents the hearth and soul of Skopje. The Bazaar existed already during the 12th century and it is a sign of the importance of the city as Byzantine metropolis. A walk along the cobblestone streets is something really unique, a mix of colours, scents and sounds. The traditional teahouses still serve tea in a traditional Turkish way and the little characteristic shops sell products that can be found only here.

Memorial House Mother Teresa
Memorial House Mother Teresa, by milosk50/stock.adobe.com

Mother Teresa Memorial House: opened just 10 years ago, it is the tribute of the city to the most famous person born in Skopje. It is a retro-futuristic building with a beautiful chapel decorated with filigree (North Macedonia’s traditional craft). Also the location is symbolic: in the exact same place use to stand the Catholic Church where Mother Theresa was baptised and received her first communion.

Skupi archaeological site: 15km north Skopje, it is possible to visit the ancient settlement of Skupi, an important municipality for the Roman Empire and their plans to penetrate into the Balkans. The exploration of the area began in the 1960s and today it is possible to admire the Roman theatre, the ancient walls, the Christian Basilica and the bath.

Matka canyon in macedonia near skopje
Matka Canyon in Macedonia ©dudlajzov/stock.adobe.com

Matka Canyon: the Canyon is one of the most incredible natural attractions in the Balkans. A gorge located 15 km south west of Skopje, which includes medieval churches, monasteries and the remains of the ancient Matka Fortress. You can enjoy a cup of coffee at the lakeside restaurant, while admiring the beautiful view.

 

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