Exploring Skopje: Europe’s Most Unusual City
Join us as we visit Skopje - the capital and largest city of North Macedonia
Lying on the banks of the Vardar River, you will find Skopje — one of the most eclectic cities in Europe. From 80ft—tall monumental fountains and dramatic facades to Ottoman cobbled streets, they all contribute to the charm of this unique capital.
Looking back in time, Skopje has been destroyed several times due to fires and earthquakes. The last one took place in 1963, after which the city was completely rebuilt by the Japanese architect, Kenzo Tange.
Today Skopje is the place to be in North Macedonia. It’s the main cultural, educational, and political center of the country with just over half a million residents and almost as many who commute daily for work and studies.
We arrived to Skopje late in the afternoon and checked into “Old Alisa”- a cozy little hotel in the Old Town. Then we decided to grab some late dinner at a nearby rustic restaurant known as a ‘kafana’. We had the famous ‘baked beans’, and I have to say, the food lived up to its reputation.
The nice meal fueled us up for a quick look-around of the city center. We were really surprised by the enormous fountains and countless monuments which were unlike anything we have seen before.
So far, we were impressed with the city and the country in general. The roads and highways were clean, and they even accepted Euros and credit cards at the tolls, which is very convenient if you don’t have the local currency.
Day two started with some traditional pastries for breakfast, and then it was time for some exploring. On our way to the Skopje fortress, we did some window shopping. The Old Town area is a bustling place with all kinds of craft shops and modern stores.
Once we arrived at the fortress, we were able to enjoy a panoramic view of Skopje and observe the fusion of the old and the new firsthand. The Skopje fortress dates back to the 6th century AD and has witnessed many wars and disasters.
Just a short walk to the city center and we were in front of the Memorial House of Mother Teresa. For those of you who didn’t know, Skopje is the birthplace of the biggest missionary in the world. The memorial house includes a museum and a small chapel. It literally costs nothing to take a peek at the life of one of the greatest women ever born.
On our way back, we stopped by the National Opera and Ballet house and continued towards the Old Bazar. From shoes and clothes to makeup and food, we found everything in those busy stalls.
Finally, we decided to treat ourselves to some delicious food at the Italian restaurant “La Terrazza” and call it a day.
On our third, and last day in Skopje, we had Julia’s phone fixed for only 25 Euros and bought some extra data. Then, with the sound of the midday prayer coming from the mosque, we headed to a local café where we tried some desserts like the traditional baklava and Tres Leches.
All in all, we felt like Skopje had so much to offer and it’s the perfect destination to visit if you are looking for a mix of great-value, hospitality, delicious food and unconventional charm.
Enjoy the video and let us know what you liked best about Skopje!