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Skopje is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic center.
The city population is around 800,000, however unofficially during working-days it can almost reach more than 1 million, which is more than half of the population of the country. The most diverse in the country, Skopje houses many ethnicities; besides the majority Macedonians, many Albanians, Turks, Roma, Serbs, Bosniaks and others call Skopje home.
The 26th of July 1963 is one of the worst dates in the history of Skopje. An earthquake struck the city at 5:17AM. 75% of the buildings in the city disappeared in just a few seconds. After that, the big rebuilding project began, trying to make Skopje the model city of the socialist world. The plan was drawn by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, who also designed the new railway station. The plan was never fully carried out. Lately many reconstruction projects have started. Some towers of Kale Fortress and the old cathedral are being reconstructed, and the old theater is also under reconstruction. Skopje is an eclectic mix of Christian and Islamic culture, with both vying to make themselves visible. However, this cultural mix has also spawned a lively and varied society. You can see people playing chess in the morning in the numerous cafés and green spaces in the summer. In the evening, Skopje comes to life as the locals dine in the cafés before heading to the bars and live music clubs, most of which are open until 1AM or later.
|POPULATION :||City: 506,926|
|TIME ZONE :||CET (UTC+1) Summer: CEST (UTC+2)|
|RELIGION :||Orthodox 68.5%, Muslims 28.6%, Others 2.9%|
|AREA :||571.46 km2 (220.64 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||240 m (790 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||42°0′N 21°26′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 50.09% |
• Female: 49.91%
|ETHNIC :||Macedonians 66.7%, Albanians 20.4%, Romani 4.6%, Serbs 2.8%, Others 5.4 %|
|AREA CODE :||+389 02|
|POSTAL CODE :||1000|
|DIALING CODE :|
Skopje , the capital of the Republic of Macedonia, is a city of many cultures and many centuries. Regardless of the direction you are arriving from, the infamously ugly apartment buildings constructed after the 1963 earthquake which ravaged the city will welcome you, and, while the fans of the stereotypical Eastern Europe may find a thing or two to check out in this Sovietesque city, you may feel largely unwelcome, but don't give up on Skopje so soon.
Instead of fantasizing about hopping on the next bus to somewhere else, head to the central square, divided in two by the River Vardar, which is crossed by a 14th-century stone bridge. This is the focal point of the "Skopje 2014" project, where the Macedonian government proudly erects almost innumerable statues of the historical personalities with a relation to Macedonia, and some huge neo-classical buildings in an apparent effort to invoke a feeling for the glorious days of the Ancient Macedon.
When you filled your daily quota of seeing sculptures (which will be pretty soon), walk up to the Ottoman old town, to the serene yards of the medieval mosques to relieve your eyes of the statue fatigue. It should be evening by now, and your legs should be tired enough—just about the right time to look for one of the small squares of the old town shadowed by huge, old plane trees, and to sit and reflect there, together with a bottle of the tasty local beer, Skopsko.
The territory of Skopje has been inhabited since at least 4000 BC; remains of Neolithic settlements have been found within the old Kale Fortress that overlooks the modern city centre. On the eve of the 1st century AD, the settlement was seized by the Romans and became a military camp.
When the Roman Empire was divided into eastern and western halves in 395 AD, Scupi came under Byzantine rule from Constantinople. During much of the early medieval period, the town was contested between the Byzantines and the Bulgarian Empire, whose capital it was between 972 and 992. From 1282, the town was part of the Serbian Empire and acted as its capital city from 1346. In 1392, the city was conquered by the Ottomans who called the town Üsküp.The town stayed under Ottoman control for over 500 years. At that time the city was famous for its oriental architecture.
In 1912, it was annexed by the Kingdom of Serbia during the Balkan Wars and after the First World War the city became part of the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Kingdom of Yugoslavia). In the Second World War the city was conquered by the Bulgarian Army, which was part of the Axis powers. In 1944, it became the capital city of Democratic Macedonia (later Socialist Republic of Macedonia), which was a federal state, part of Yugoslavia. The city developed rapidly after World War II, but this trend was interrupted in 1963 when it was hit by a disastrous earthquake. In 1991, it became the capital city of an independent Macedonia.
The climate of Skopje is usually classified as continental sub-Mediterranean with a mean annual temperature of 13.5 °C (56 °F).
The summers are long, hot and humid, while the winters are short, relatively cold, and wet. Snowfalls are common in the winter period, but heavy snow accumulation is rare and the snowcover lasts only for a few days.
In summer, temperatures are usually above 31 °C (88 °F) and sometimes above 40 °C (104 °F).
In spring and autumn, the temperatures range from 15 to 24 °C (59 to 75 °F).
In winter, the day temperatures are roughly 6 °C (43 °F), but at nights they often fall below 0 °C (32 °F) and sometimes below −10 °C (14 °F).
Climate data for Skopje
|Record high °C (°F)||18.7|
|Average high °C (°F)||4.5|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||0.1|
|Average low °C (°F)||−3.8|
|Record low °C (°F)||−25.6|
|Source #1: Pogoda.ru.net|
|Source #2: NOAA|
Skopje is located in the north of the Republic of Macedonia, in the center of the Balkan peninsula, and halfway between Belgrade and Athens. The city is built in the Skopje valley, oriented on a west-east axis, along the course of the Vardar river, which flows into the Aegean Sea in Greece. The valley is approximately 20 km wide and it is limited by several mountain ranges to the North and South. These ranges limit the urban expansion of Skopje, which spreads along the Vardar and the Serava, a small river which comes from the North. In its administrative boundaries, the City of Skopje stretches for more than 33 km, but it is only 10 km wide.
Skopje is approximately 245m above sea level and covers 571.46 km2.
Skopje is a medium city at European level, but because of their administrative function, they can be compared to small regional metropolis like Sofia and Thessaloniki. Being the capital and largest city in the Republic of Macedonia, Skopje concentrates a large share of the national economy. The Skopje Statistical Region, which encompasses the City of Skopje and some neighbouring municipalities, produces 45,5% of the Macedonian GDP. In 2009, the regional GDP per capita amounted to USD 6,565, or 155% of the Macedonian GDP per capita. This figure is however smaller than the one of Sofia (USD 10,106), Sarajevo (USD 10,048) or Belgrade (USD 7,983), but higher than the one of Tirana (USD 4,126).
Because there are no other large city in the Republic of Macedonia, and because of political and economical centralisation, a large number of Macedonians living outside of Skopje work in the capital city. The dynamism of the city also encourages rural exodus, not only from Macedonia, but also from Kosovo, Albania and Southern Serbia.
Skopje is divided into 10 administrative units:
|Population 2002||Population est. 2011|
|City of Skopje||571.46||506,926||–|
Internet cafes is widely available In Skopje.
Almost all cafes, hotels, bars offer free Wi-Fi access.
Prices in Skopje
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€0.75|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€4.10|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€13.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€18.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€26.00|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€3.35|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€1.85|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€1.60|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€3.30|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€2.90|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.09|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€2.00|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€0.80|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€46.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||€31.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€70.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€0.60|
37 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
92 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Transport options include:
- By bus: Vardar Express From the new terminal, there are buses running into Skopje operated by Vardar Express transport company; a timetable can be seen on the company's website, but a rule of thumb is that the buses depart about 10-15 minutes after a landing, just outside of the exit gates. It takes 25 min to the city and costs 175 MKD one-way; tickets, which are checked on board, can be bought from the Vardar Express office next to the exit gate. (You will need Macedonian denars for this. Exchange as low as possible—€ 3 is enough for a single ticket—as the rate at the exchange office just next to the Vardar Express office at the airport is worse than the town as usual—55 den for € 1 at the airport vs 61-61.50 den for € 1 in town.) Vardar Express has a number of stops in the city and the suburbs, the most useful of which is at the "Transportation Centre" (Транспортен Центар Transporten Centar, bus & train station) and "Holiday Inn", which is close to the main square and the old town. Upon returning to the airport, buy your ticket from the dedicated Vardar Express office inside the bus station, and catch the bus from the stop signed "Airport Bus" on the street underneath the viaduct of the train station (Kuzman Josifovski Pitu Кузман Јосифовски Питу), in front of the Zegin Pharmacy (Аптека Apteka). Buses are scheduled to arrive about an hour prior to a flight, so you'll have plenty of time for exchanging back your left-over denars, check-in, passport control, security check, and boarding in Skopje's little trafficked airport.
- By taxi. Hailing a taxi would cost approximately €15 - 25 to centre, or arranging private hire beforehand for a lower price.
- By car. 20 km southeast. The airport is accessed by the main highway Belgrade-Skopje-Thessaloniki which connects it directly with the city.
Destinations: Ljubljana, Vienna, Sofia (seasonal), Zagreb, Prague, Zurich,Dubai, Belgrade, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Istanbul, Venice - Treviso, and London- Luton.
As an alternative option, Kosovar capital Pristina may offer cheaper deals than flying directly into Skopje on some routes. However, with no public transport connecting it with the city, consider if it's worth the effort when you add the €20+ taxi ride into downtown Pristina and €5 bus ride to Skopje on the top of the flight fare. International Airport of Pristina is 3 hours away by bus from Skopje.
- Train Station (near the National Central Bank). The transport center includes the train and the bus station together. To get to the city centre from the bus/train station, if you don't have a map, walk west along the main road which passes under the station (Mt Vodno with its cross is south, i.e. on your left). When you get to the river go left and follow the river until you arrive at the old bridge and central square. About 15 minutes walk.
Belgrade, Serbia (daily, 9 hours); Thessalonika, Greece (daily, 5 hours)
- Bus Station (Avtobuska stanica, Автобуска станица) (The bus station is under the viaduct of the railway station, east of the central Macedonia Square. Outside, the taxis and their somewhat persistent touts will be waiting (a "maybe later", or a total indifference will quickly lead them to give up on you), but keep in mind that the central square is just 15-20 min walking away.), . It has a small store selling snacks and drinks, another with bureks on the offer, and a reliable exchange office (open 6:30-18:30). Tickets for all destinations and companies are bought from central ticket booths (signed БЛАГАЈНА), except for the Vardar Express buses to the airport, and then shown to the attendant at the gate upon accessing the platforms (Перон Peron) outside; the destination of the bus on each platform is displayed on digital screens in Macedonian Cyrillic and its Roman transliteration. All the staff at the bus station seem to speak at least basic English.
- Local Bus Station (The city bus station is also under the viaduct of the railway station, south-west of the bus station.). City buses, for example Millennium Cross or Matka canyon (#60), can be caught there easily.
Buses to cities and towns in Macedonia leave multiple times daily. There are also buses to other major European cities.
If you wish to travel to Skopje from Sofia, Matpu 96 run three buses a day. Their office can be found in the Sofia Central Bus Station, and the buses are at 09:30, 16:00 and 19:00. The cost of a ticket is 33 Lev (€16.50) as of July 2013, but they accept Euros too. This includes 1 Lev baggage fee. The journey will take around 6 hours and will also include a time zone change from Sofia (GMT + 2) to Skopje (GMT + 1 or Central European Time), so the 16:00 bus will arrive at Skopje Bus Station at approximately 21:00. The website, in English.
Transportation - Get Around
Skopje has a vast, frequent and efficient bus network. Public buses (red in colour) cost 35 MKD if you pay the driver, or 30 MKD if you buy your ticket in advance from a kiosk. Private buses (all the other colours) cost 25 MKD (you pay the driver directly). The new double-deck buses may feature English translations of routes, but it's easier just to stick to the bus numbers. Bus maps can be found on almost all bus stops (still in the process of putting them up). Hotels will help with info. and the odd taxi fare can be saved!
Taking a taxi in Skopje should normally not cost more than 300 MKD. An example journey is from City Centre to Biser (a shopping centre with many bars and cafes that is popular with young people) which should take about 5-10 mins and cost around 150 Denars (MKD).
From the train station to the center of the city is 2km and should cost 50 MKD. Never let yourself be talked into going somewhere where you did not plan to go in the first place. Like many cities in Europe, if you seem unsure and foreign, the charge will probably be higher so appear confident about the price and if the taxi driver still insists on a ridiculous price, find another taxi, there are plenty.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
Shopping centers and markets
- Old Bazaar (Старата турска чаршија,). Even though some parts of the old bazaar have been destroyed to make streets and parking lots, it still is the largest one in the Balkans. It has developed and changed during the centuries but it still has its original use as a shopping place. The old bazaar was never used for living, it always was a shopping area and contact zone of the Christian and the Muslim population as they lived in separate parts of the town. It is a structure of many streets lined with small shops. The crafts were divided between the Christians and the Muslims. All the shops used to be same size no matter if they belonged to a Christian or a Muslim. Each street hosted different craft, and all stores from that craft were on one street (for example gold street, shoes street, pots street, dress street, etc). The stores were closed with wooden shutters which were lowered when the stores were opened and the goods were displayed on them. The old bazaar was surrounded with markets. Hygienic care was taken and different markets were placed on opposite sides of the bazaar (for example the food market was on the opposite side of the bazaar from the animal market; milk, milk products and honey market opposite from the wood market etc). Beside the stores there were other objects in the old bazaar too, like amams (Turkish baths), hans (hotels), mosques, and some churches. The outside walls were usually were surrounded with stores so no space would be wasted. Even today it is hard to spot some of this object.
- Bit Pazar (Бит-пазар). the biggest of the food markets in Skopje. It begins where the bazaar ends and has existed on the same spot for hundreds of years. A walk around can be fun, but you can also get cheap fresh fruits, vegetables, salads, cheese, teas, spices and flowers. Another good food market to visit is the Green Market (Zeleno Pazarce), near the Parliament Building and Bunjakovec Market near the Cathedral.
- GTC. the biggest shopping center in the city. It was made in the 1970s by Zivko Popovski. It includes cafes, restaurants, bars, banks, shops,and even has a bowling court.
- Ramstore Mall. if you are looking for an American looking mall, this is where you'll want to go. It has shops, restaurants, cafes and cinema.
- Super VERO, Boulevard Kuzman Josifovski - Pitu. Another American-looking mall recently completed and part of the VERO network. Very spacious with a huge supermarket, a few restaurants and cafes, the huge Jumbo shop (Target-like), and all kinds of small shops for clothing, accessories, T-Mobile/T-Home, ONE and VIP salons etc. It has good parking.
- Biser. A new shopping center with very nice cafes, bar, and shops. It can be found in the Aerodrom municipality of Skopje. Many young people from the city come to spend their extra time here. Shops include mobile phones, electronics, clothes and banks. There is also a supermarket across the street.
- Bunjakovec. this is one of the malls were everybody can find something to buy. It is in one of the busiest thoroughfares in Skopje. In includes many shops and boutiques.
- City Gallery shopping center, Macedonia Square. A new one in Skopje with lots of high quality fashion stores and very interesting structure, like a labyrinth
- Skopje City Mall, ул. Љубљанска бр.4 (Ljubljanska 4), e-mail:[email protected]. 08:00AM-01:00AM. The newest modern mall in Skopje is the biggest of its kind in the region. It houses around 150 shops, 9 cinemas, a 4.500 м2 hypermarket, restaurants and bars with terraces, bowling center and the biggest kids corner in Macedonia. It has 1500 parking spots and it does not charge for it.
Macedonia’s capital offers something to satisfy all modern tastes and appetites. Make sure to try the famous Macedonian foods such as burek, Shopska Salata, and others.
Skopje’s eateries are plentiful and offer a diverse range of local and international flavors. International cuisine is well represented in Skopje with Chinese, Italian, Indian, Greek, Mexican, Middle Eastern and French restaurants all found within the city center. In addition, pizza and fast food places abound, as do small bakery cafes selling pastries such as the ubiquitous burek (a flaky filo pie stuffed with meat, cheese or spinach).
- Alo Alo Pizza, GTC Shopping Center, Kej 13 Noemvri, . Hand tossed pizza. Fresh out of oven.
- Enriko Pizza, Leptokarija Shopping Center, . The menu includes the most delicious, Italian specialties, pizzas, pasta, pizza sandwich etc.
- Makedonska Kuka, Sity Park nearby Stadium, .
- Picerija KID, Kisela Voda, Sava Kovacevic 47v lokal 11, , e-mail: [email protected]. 8AM-12PM. Hand tossed pizza. Fresh out of oven.
- Kaj Гоце, Old Town (one of the first places you come to when wandering from the centre to the old town). Traditional Balkan food. Main course + vegetables + beer + mastika = under 300 MKD/€5.
- Martini, Boul. Partizanski Odredi, TC Leptokarija sec.5, lok.2 (from the centre walk up Boul. Partizanski (3km!) or even better, take the bus), , e-mail: [email protected]. 10AM-1AM.Specialises in waffles, also does pancakes, salads, etc. Waffle + drink = 295 MKD/€5.
- Ezerce, .
- Gino Italian Restaurant, .
- Restaurant 14 (Taftalidze, near the green market), . a few minutes drive away from the center of the city. Beside the traditional Macedonian food, macrobiotic and vegetarian dishes are available for the guests.
- Kibo, T.C.C. Paloma Bjanka, . Different, mixed salads at your choice, self service.
- Mirko 919, Gavriv Konstantinovic 76 (5 km from the center of Skopje), . Range of specialties such barbecue, seafood, game fish. Try the 'Dojran crap' (meaning 'carp'), as well as roast meat, frog legs etc.
- Harmonija, T.C. Skopjanka no.37, . Restaurant for macrobiotic, vegetarian, and dietetic food. Food is prepared without gluten as well as specific seminars for alleviation of particular health problems.
- Zanzibar Pizza, Str.Atinska no. 21, . The only place where you can find pizzas made by the recipes of old Italian chefs spiced with lite jazz motives.
- Pivnica An, within the Kapan An in the old town. The name is literally translated as "Beerhouse", but this is not a pub! It is one of the few places where you can get a few vegetarian options. Try their delicious "Turli Tava", a rich vegetable casserole.
- Akord, Str. Ankarska 21, . Bright, modern, colorful atmosphere
- Balkanika, Oktomvriska revolucija 24 (across h. Aleksandar Palace), . , Ethnic food from Turks, Serbs, Albanians, Bulgarians, Vlaches, Greeks, Gypsies, Bosnians.
- Den I Nok (Day and Night), Str. Skupi bb, , e-mail: ,[email protected]. Club restaurant. Piano sounds performed by popular music groups.
- Duomo, Teodosie Gologanov no. 67, . W-Sa,. enjoy in live music. Mediterranean, Italian, national, international and seafood.
- Dva Elena, Str. Zagrebska 31, . under the slopes of Vodno mountain
- Equestrian, Kuzman J. Pitu no.19, loc.56, . Club restaurant.
- Kamnik, Kamnik b.b., . Located in the hotel of the same name, 150 different wines from all over the world.
- Kej, Kej 13 Noemvri no.34, . Intimate and pleasant place by the Vardar river.
- Marakana, City park, . Italian specialties, unique sea fruits and fish. The restaurant also has 2 ballrooms with 150 seats, and it also offers the opportunity for cocktail parties with up to 500 guests.
- Meana Karpic, Str. Debarca br. 21, , e-mail:[email protected]. Home cuisine, grilled barbecue, grilled fish, cooked vegetables, stews, specialties, music, and wine !
- Nana, Square Macedonia - Risticeva Palata, , e-mail: [email protected]. Assortment of delicious meals, made from the world finest ingredients, such as caviar, salmon, goose and duck pates, goose liver, proscuitto, tartufo, cheese, fresh vegetables and salads. Offers 40 types of wines in glasses or bottles, including all of the Tikvesh special selection and limited production wines, as well as imported French, Chilean, Spanish, Slovenian white and red wines, foamy wines and champagnes
- Okarina, Str. Helsinki no. 58a, nas. Taftalidze (old Cvrga), . Macedonian and international specialties. live music.
- Pantelejmon, v. Gorno Nerezi, . Magnificent ambient and view on the city of Skopje from the terrace. Macedonian national cuisine. Try the Pantelejmon pie and sheep yogurt, Pantelejmon pan, Lamb meat in a bowl.
- Ragusa, Str.12 Udarna Brigada 2a, . Ambient, accompanied with pleasant music.
- Roulette Restaurant & Club, Simeon Kavrakirov no. 9a, . Great choice of different meals and quality wines.
- Tomce Sofka, Jordan Hadji Konstatinov Gjinot 14, .Taste national and international specialties and the evenings here are filled with the sound of old city music, which contributes to the intimate ambiance.
- Tri Biseri, Bul. Jane Sandanski br.7, .
- Uranija, City Park, , e-mail: [email protected].Recognized as one of the best restaurants in Macedonia for more than a decade. Nice selection of local wine and food. Free Wi-Fi
Coffe & Drink
It's not hard to find good cafes but a good place to start is by the riverside near the old bridge, and at night this becomes a lively party area as well.
- Cafe Li, Ankarska 23, Taftalidze, , e-mail:k[email protected].
- Ciao Caffe, GTC Shopping Mall 3/6, .
- Ego, Str. Orce Nikolov no. 20, ++389 (0)2 3216 770, e-mail:[email protected].
- Intermezzo Caffe, Str. Mit. Teodosij Gologanov 65, .
- Caramelo, Maksim Gorki 25, , e-mail:[email protected]. A Starbucks-like cafe. Small, but with excellent choice of coffee, tea and juice.
- Coffeeshop Company (Second floor of Soravia Center).
Sights & Landmarks
Most of the sights in Skopje are situated in and around the Old Bazaar and Macedonia Square.
- Kale Fortress (Skopje Citadel, Тврдина Кале). Stands on the highest hill in the Skopje valley and offers great views over the city. The oldest section of the fortress is within the present day fortifications. It is 121m long and is built in opus qvadrum style (huge stone blocks on the outside and small stones inside) by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian who was born in the village of Taorion near Skopje. After the great earthquake of 518 when ancient Skupi was destroyed, Justinian decided to do something for his birth town and built Justinijana Prima on the site of present day Skopje. Unfortunately no major archaeological work has been done for discovering the remains of Justinijana Prima. Most of the present day fortifications originate from the 10th century (the square tower) and 13th century (the round tower). It was reinforced during the Turkish rule when the number of towers was up to 70 (today there are just 3 standing) and the fortress went down to river Vardar and up on the hill where today the Museum of Conteporary Art stands. The small gate from the side of the old bazaar is the only gate still standing and it was built in 1446. The fortress was badly damaged in the fire in 1689 and even more during the earthquake of 1963.
- Strength, Glory and Victory Monument (At the Fortress).
- Stone Bridge (Камен мост).The Stone Bridge was built in the 6th century by the Byzantine emperor Justinian. Since then it has been the symbol of the city and every ruler tried to leave a mark on it, even Skopje's last major who has been restoring it for 10 years now. The biggest reconstruction of the bridge was made in the second half of the 15th century by Sultan Mehmed II. The stone fence and guard tower were added then. Unfortunately the guard tower fell down during the most recent restoration and is waiting to be reconstructed. It still is the main connection of the main square and the old bazaar. While walking over it try to notice the 6th century big stone blocks. The bridge has 13 arches and is 214m long.
- Macedonia Square. Macedonia Square has had two major changes in appearance in the past several decades. Following the 1963 earthquake, most of its neoclassical buildings were destroyed with the exception of the southern section crowned with the "СКОПСКО" sign. Then in the 2010s, after years of being a mostly empty open space, it became the site of much of the government-funded Skopje 2014 project which has built mostly neoclassical-style buildings and monuments across the central part of the city. It is now fronted by older-looking buildings like the new Marriott Hotel and its centerpiece is now a colossal fountain capped by an equestrian statue of Alexander the Great. Other major monuments include those of Tsar Samuel and Justinian I. The new buildings and monuments have generated much controversy but, regardless of your opinion, they have once again made Macedonia Square a major point of interest in the city.
- Parliament Building (Собрание на Република Македонија), (11-ти Октомври) 10 (Parliament Building). Built in 1933 by Viktor Hudak in modernistic style. In the 2010s, large glass domes were incorporated onto the building's roof.
- Feudal Tower (Back on the main square, take Macedonia Street leading towards the Old Railway Station. The street has a couple of nice cafes. Right after you pass the crossroad look left to see the Feudal Tower.). A 14m high residential tower from the 17th century, this is the oldest building in Centar Municipality. Built for defense, with 1.5m thick walls, a high door and small windows on the lower floors. Today it serves as a souvenir shop and you can enter and see it from the inside. Right in front of it on the site of the old catholic church (destroyed in the earthquake) there is a monument to Mother Theresa.
- Čifte Hammam (Double Hammam). The Čifte Hammam (Turkish for "double bath") was built in the middle of the 15th century by Isa beg. It was used as both a male and female bath, but unlike Daut Pasha Hamam where both parts go parallel to each other, here the heating room is in the middle and the entrances are on the opposite sides. Today is used as a gallery for temporary exhibits.
- Bedesten (Безистенот). The most precious goods, like silk, spices, jewelry and perfumes, were sold in the bedesten, an object within the old bazaar, with gates which were closed in the evenings so the goods would be protected. Evlija Celebija who visited Skopje during the 17th century wrote that the only bigger and more beautiful bedesten from the one in Skopje was the one in Damascus. It was covered with 12 valutes and it held a whole bazaar inside. Unfortunately that bedesten disappeared in the fire of 1689. After the fire Skopje became much smaller and lost its importance as a trading center, so somewhere in the beginning of the 17th century the present bedesten was built. It is small and it is not even covered, but it still has a lot of atmosphere in it. It has just 5 short streets, small shops and four gates. In the past it was covered with wine grape, so it would protect the shoppers from the sun and the rain.
- Clock Tower (Саат-кула). Every bazaar in Macedonia has a clock tower, as Muslims had to close their stores five times a day to attend prayer. Working hours were introduced in the old bazaar, and nobody had a chance to work and earn more than the other, so the clock towers were built. Skopje’s clock tower is the first one ever to be built in the Ottoman Empire, which show us the importance of Skopje as a trading center. It was built during 1566-72. It has more Islamic appearance than the other clock towers in Macedonia. The clock on the clock tower was brought from Szeged, Hungary. Unfortunately the clock disappeared during the chaos after the earthquake and today is in a clock museum in Switzerland.
- Daut Pasha Hamam (Даут-пашината бања), Crvena Skopska Opshtina. Daut Pasha was the grand vesir of East Rumelia in the second half of the 15th century. He was based in Skopje and the legend goes that he built the hamam (Turkish bath) for the needs of his harem. Before he left, he donated the hamam to the city. It was a double bath both for males and females (who bathed separately of course), the male and the female part going parallel next to each other. The two big domes in the front covered the two dressing rooms, which had water fountains in the middle. Each of the small domes covered a separate room for bathing. The heating room was on the end. Today the bath serves as a national gallery with a great collection of late 19 and 20 century art, and even if you are not interested in the art, you should go inside to see the elaborate decorations of the domes.
- Aqueduct (Аквадукт) (On the exit of Skopje towards Kosovo, right before the village of Vizbegovo. Turn right at the first traffic signal you encounter on the road to Kosovo (you can only turn right). Turn right again immediately at the first opportunity. The pavement ends abruptly. Follow the unpaved road to the left that runs alongside the canal. After about 300 meters, you will see the aqueduct in front of you.). It is still not known when it was built. Many people claim it is from Roman times but it goes opposite of Skupi so that theory doesn’t make much sense. It was probably built during Byzantine times and it is sure that it was still used during Turkish times when it provided water for the public baths. 55 stone arches of the Aqueduct are still standing.
- Kapan Han (Капан ан). One of the three remaining Ottoman caravanserais still standing in the old bazaar. The ground floor used to house the horses and the goods of the merchants that visited the bazaar and the city, while on the first floor were the rooms where the people slept. The han was built in the 15th century. Today it houses a nice restaurant.
- Suli Han (Сули ан). An Ottoman caravanserai built in the first half of the 15th century by Ishak beg. It was badly damaged during 1963 earthquake and today it houses the arts faculty of Skopje University. It also houses the Old Bazaar Museum.
- Kurshumli Han (Куршумли ан). The "Lead Inn" is the largest and the most beautiful of the three remaining Ottoman caravanserais. It was built in 1550 by Mula Musledin Hodza, son of Abdul Gani scientist on the court of Sultan Selikm II. Both the ground and the first floor are made of stone and beautiful arches line the courtyard. The han has two courtyards, the second one was used to house the horses and the goods of the merchants and the guests, while the rooms around the first courtyard both on the ground and the first floor housed the guests. There is a water fountain in the middle of the first courtyard. The roof was covered with lead, and that is how the an got its name (lead is used for making bullets, and bullet is called kurshum in Turkish). Next to the han is where a mosque and a hammam (Turkish bath) used to stand, they both suffered in the big fire of 1689 and the earthquake of 1963, so today the mosque is gone and the amam stands in ruins. Today the Kurshumli Han is on the grounds of the Macedonian National Museum and houses the lapydarium.
- St. Bogorodica (~Boulevard Krste Petkov Misirkov). This church was built in 1835 and was the cathedral church in Skopje. It was also known as the protector of the city. The iconostatis was finished in 1842. On April 7th, 1944 the cathedral church, was burned down by fascists. The entire iconostasis was burned, while important subjects were stolen. It's located on the Krste Misirkov bvd., opposite of the Macedonian Academy of Science and Art (MANU).
- St. Kliment of Ohrid Cathedral (Xpам Св. Климент Охридски.).After Virgin Mary Cathedral was burned by the fascists on the end of WWII, and St. Dimitrie church was unable to meet the needs of the people, building of the new cathedral started in 1970. The architect is Slavko Brezovski, and it is a bold and contemporary interpretation of Orthodox architecture. The Jesus Pantocrator fresco painted in the main dome covers area of 70sqm and his eye is 1.5m long.
- St. Saviour Church (црква Св. Спас) (Just a few steps below Mustafa Pasha mosque). The church is tiny and it has a pleasant courtyard. In the courtyard is the grave of Macedonia's greatest national hero who was leader of the national movement for liberation from the Turks, and Macedonian independence, Goce Delchev. There is a small museum about him in the buildings around the courtyard (you have to enter the museum to buy a ticket for the church). Among the paving of the courtyard there are some 18th and 19th century gravestones. Turks didn’t allow building of new churches during their occupation, but as the empire was weakening in the 18th century they started giving permits for building of churches to keep the population happy. There were many rules to be followed like the exterior had to be without decorations and the floor of the church had to be at least one meter below the ground so the church wouldn’t dominate the skyline of the city. St. Saviour Church is example of one of these churches. It was built in the beginning of 19th century on the site of a church destroyed in the 1689 fire (as you enter, turn right to see remains of the frescoes and the level of the earlier church). The church is famous for its interior and wood carving. The iconscreen is work of Petre Filipovski Garkata and Marko and Makarie Frckovski, the best wood artists in the 19th century in Macedonia. In 1926 a British museum offered a blank check for the iconscreen, the state to fill in the amount if they decide to sell it. The beauty of it is that it is a deep wood carving from whole wood boards (the figures are not attached to each other), and it is not covered with golden paint, as it is tradition in Orthodox churches so the game of light and dark shades is quite dramatic (the doors into the altar and the cross on the top are covered with gold paint, so you can compare). The iconscreen was made from 1819 to 1824 and is 10 meters long and 7 meters high. There are scenes from the old and the new testament. The figurines are 7 cm tall. Look for the creation of Adam and Eve on one of the columns next to the doors of the altar and the dance of Salome, where she dances for king Irod so he would give her the head of St.John the Baptist (she is dressed in traditional a dress from Galichnik). All around there are flowers and animals typical for the region presented. On the far right look for the self-portrait of the artists presented as they are working on the icon screen. The icons are some of the best of the Byzantine revival.
- Mother Teresa House, Ulica Makedonija (Macedonia Street)(not far from the City Museum).Mother Teresa was born and lived in Skopje until she was 18. The original house is no longer present, but there is a tranquil modern chapel—architecturally remarkable in that it's a jumble of cubes, stone walls, and shiny mirrored glass, as if it's a real life interpretation of Escher's works, and, like everything built in Skopje in modern times, utterly kitschy—and interpretive centre on the site.
- Church St. Demetrius (Црква „Св. Димитрија“), Crvena Skopska Opshtina.
- Mustafa Pasha Mosque(Мустафа-пашината џамија) (Fort Kale). Stands on a plateau above the old bazaar and is one of the most beautiful Islamic buildings in Macedonia. It was built in 1492 by Mustafa Pasha, vesir on the court of Sultan Selim I. The mosque is quite elegant and intact, and no additions have been made through the years. The interior is beautiful, simple, and spacious. Take few steps back to observe the game of the domes of the fountain, the porch, and the mosque. In the turbe next to the mosque, the daughter of Mustafa Pasha is buried. The mosque has a pleasant rose garden and it offers fine views over the bazaar. Free entrance.
- Sultan Murat Mosque (Султан-муратовата џамија), 077 633 267. The biggest mosque in the Balkans. It was built with money donated by the Sultan himself and when ever adjustments or repairs were needed it was his responsibility (Sultan Suleiman the Great donated money for the repairs after the fire of 1537, and Sultan Ahmet III for the repairs after the fire of 1689). It was built in 1436. The unusual 3 naved basilica shape and the flat ceiling (instead of domes) comes from the fact that it was built (or adjusted) over St. George monastery, the main monastery in Skopje before the coming of the Turks. It stands on a plateau next to the clock tower (built 1566). The fortifications of the monastery still stand around the plateau. The main architect of the mosque was Husein from Debar. The imam Liman Ismail likes to introduce the mosque to visitors (in English, Turkish) against a donation for the mosque.
- Ishak beg Mosque (Исхак-бегова џамија) (on the end of Bit Pazar).built in 1438 by Ishak beg, a commander in the Turkish army. He led the army that conquered Macedonia and after he retired he settled in Skopje. The mosque was beautifully decorated with glazed tiles in different shades of blue, but it suffered greatly during the fire of 1689, and was rebuilt afterwards without the tile decorations. The six sided turbe (mausoleum) that stands next to the mosque didn’t suffer in the fire and it still has its tiles. The turbe was built just for the aristocracy, usually for the one who donated the money for the mosque to be built or for members of his family, but Ishak beg was so grateful to his accountant that he built this turbe for him.
- Isa beg Mosque (Иса-бегова џамија). Built in 1475 by Isa beg. It is the only Seljuk mosque in Europe. The difference of this mosque is that it has two main domes (two joined rooms). It has a 5 domed porch. The mosque is situated behind the Čair Hospital across the street from Bit Pazar.
- Jahja Pasha Mosque (Јахја-пашина џамија) (in the beginning of Čair quarter close to the Bit Pazar.). Built in 1504 by Jahja Pasha, a commander in the Turkish army and son in law of Sultan Bajazit II and vesir on his court. The mosque is interesting because the roof is in the shape of a pyramid instead of the usual dome. The minaret is the tallest one in Skopje, it is 50 meters tall, and has been hit by a lighting twice.
- Arasta Mosque (Араста џамија).
- Beth Jacob Synagogue (Синагога Бет Јаков).
- Skanderbeg Monument (Споменик на Скендербег).
- Hourses Fountain.
- Monument to the Warrrior.
- Ristic palace.
- Gate of Macedonia (Porta Macedonia).
- Monuments of Delcev and Gruev.
Museums & Galleries
- Old Railway Station – Skopje City Museum (Старата железничка станица). The Old Railway Station stands half ruined as a monument to the earthquake of 1963. It was built in 1938 by Velimir Gavrilovik in a modern style with Byzantine decoration. Today it houses an exhibition gallery and a small city museum (it can be a good substitute if you don’t have time for the National Museum).
- Museum of Contemporary Art (Музеј на современата уметност), Samolyeva (Самоилова бб). Tu-Sa 10:00-17:00, Su 9:00-13:00, On Mondays closed, - Library M-F 9:00-15:00. Has a collection of 4,800 artworks, out of which 1,760 are gifts from artists from 61 countries, including Picasso, Aleshinski, Leze, Sulaz, Lui Can, Hartung, Gaitis, Buri, Millares, Kemeni, Kalder, Vasarely, and others. All these artists donated their works to the city after the earthquake in 1963 for the new art museum. The building itself is a gift from Poland. Around 1,600 works are from Macedonian artists. With all of this Skopje actually has the most complete and biggest collection of contemporary art in Southeastern Europe. Unfortunately because the building badly needs repairs just parts of the collection are periodically on display. Entrance is free of charge.
- Museum of the Macedonian Struggle. is a national museum of the Republic of Macedonia located in the capital city of Skopje. Construction of the museum began June 11th 2008 and it was opened to the public on the 20th anniversary of the declaration of independence on September 8th, 2011. The building is located between the Museum of Archeology (under construction), the Holocaust Museum of Macedonia, the Stone Bridge and the Vardar River. - The exhibit covers the fight for Macedonian statehood from the days of the Hajduks against the Turkish occupation during the Ottoman Empire until the declaration of independence from Yugoslavia on 8th September 1991. The guided tours take the visitors through 13 exhibits ending in front of the original copy of the 1991 Declaration of Independence.
- Natural Science Museum (within the zoo). made by Stanko Karaman in the 1920s. Here you can see the petrographic-mineralogy exhibition, botanical exhibition, palaeontology exhibition, entomological exhibition, and vertebrates’ exhibition, exhibition of indigenous fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and animals. The museum is one of the richest in the Balkans with palaeontology materials of fauna from the Pickering region.
- Macedonian National Museum & Icon Gallery (Музеј на Македонија), Prohor Pcinski(Прохор Пчински). Divided in three departments: Archeological, Historical, and Ethnological (the same ticket covers them all). It is highly advise to visit the ethnological section, since it is a very good one. It has about 70 original national costumes from different parts of Macedonia, all decorated with highly stylised patterns. Look for the wedding dress from Mariovo, it is 40 kg heavy, and the wig that the bride had to wear for a month after the wedding as a symbol of her virginity. Also different customs are explained, and there is also a good presentation of traditional architecture through models and photographs. The archaeological section has a rich collection of objects from the neolithic times 5000 years B.C. up to the 7th century. Unfortunately many artifacts have been taken to Belgrade or Sofia through the years and they have never been returned. The highlights are the Tetovo Menada figurine (from the 6th c. BC) and the prehistoric figurines of the Great Mother. Unique are the 6th century terracotta icons from Vinica (icons like this have been found only in Tunisia and Macedonia). The historic department is not as interesting, but also presented here are copies of the best frescoes from all around Macedonia (which is good if one is interested in Byzantine art but doesn't have time to travel around). The gallery of icons is also here, it has icons from the 10th to the 19th century, and even some of them are the best ones from Macedonia (including the Bogorodica Pelagonitisa), but the Ohrid collection is still much nicer and more valuable.
- City Museum, Ss. Cyrill i Methodius (Св. Кирил и Методиj) Street.
Things to do
- Macedonian National Theatre, Iljo Vojvoda. Built in 1945. With its big white walls, and almost without windows and with an incline, it is known as "the bounce board." It was made by Stefan Kacin, Jurij Princes, Bogdan Splindler, and Marjan Urshic. The theatre has a large stage and seats for 850 spectators, and also a small stage for 200 spectators. The State Ballet is also stationed in this building. This theatre holds theatre, opera, and ballet performances all year round.
- City Park. a large green area in the center of Skopje. A part of it is a museum, with several monuments within. It is a nice place to go for recreation, as there are pathways around the small lakes, tennis courts, the children’s amusement park, cafes, restaurants, etc. The city Zoo and stadium are also within the park. In the summer, the Skopje's nightlife concentrates on the several nightclubs in this park.
- Stroll through the town. You can get a good first impression of the city's sights in one or two hours, covering bazaar, fort and post-earthquake buildings. Equipped with a guidebook and a city map you can easily do it on your own - but if you want to have a real guide, there are some available. Sashko's tip-based tour runs daily at noon (see http://www.skopjewalkingtour.com/).
- Explore Matka Canyon (fifty minutes outside of Skopje; bus line 60 starting at the central bus station). Features a lake and a hydrodam set in a beautiful gorge. It gets very crowded at the weekends by the locals but otherwise only tourists are there. Kayaking/canoeing on the lake is a popular activity (but expensive), as are fishing, hunting, and swimming. There is also a wild water track under the dam but it's used for just several days per year and no equipment rental is available. Climbers may enjoy a variety of tours of varying difficulty there. There is a trail running along one bank of the lake as far as another dam; it offers very nice views but leads to 'nowhere' and no caves can be accessed from it (in contrary what the map at the entrance suggests). There are several expensive restaurants at the entry (e.g. "Bear's Cave" (in Macedonian: Mechkina dupka), built into a cave) and no free water source.
- Vrelo Cave (on the right bank of the Treska River, at the Matka Canyon). This has many stalactites including a large "Pine Cone" named due to its shape. There are two lakes at the end of the cave. It can be only reached by boat departing at the entrance.
- Monasteries in Matka Canyon Area. St. Andrea church is situated just at the entry. There are trails to more churches located on the surroundings cliffs but the trails are not used and in bad shape. For eastward trails (St Nedela, St Spas, St Trojca), you have to go through a restaurant's backyard (may be locked). For westward trails (St Nikola, St Jovan Zlatoust, St Gjorgia), you need to hire a boat to bring you across and back or cross the river on a bridge about 1 km north of the damn.
- Kadina Reka Hunting Site, Zelenikovo (25 km from Skopje, On the mountain massif of Mountain Karadjica, part of Mountain Jakupica, Dautica and Aliagica). 21.100 Hectare area. The relief of the mountain massifs in the hunting area is characterized with heterogeneousness and significant differences in altitude of 2240 m, which enables zonal distribution of the game.
- Climb Vodno Mountain (Водно) (the largest mountain to the south of Skopje; bus Millenium Cross (without line no.)). 1066 meters above sea level it towers over Skopje. It is a popular hiking place with marked paths leading through the woods and there are a couple of rest areas. Climbing this mountain will give the best views of the city and the valley which Skopje is in. You will also be able to see close up and possibly also climb the Millenium Cross, the largest Christian cross in the world, built to celebrate 2000 years of Christianity. It is 66 meters high and it is the highest structure in Macedonia. You will also be able to see a monument dedicated to the Macedonian partisan fighters who defeated Axis forces that were stationed on Vodno, which allowed the liberation of Skopje to begin. -*Vodno Mountain
- Explore Skopska Crna Gora (Скопска Црна Гора). Meaning "Black Mountain of Skopje". - even though Vodno is the most popular hiking option in Skopje, a fun and educational day trip from Skopje is visiting the villages, churches and monasteries on Skopska Crna Gora Mountain. Easiest way to do it is with a car, but also one can take a bus to one of the villages like Banjani or Kuceviste, and hike to the surrounding points of interest. St.Nikita monastery in Banjani village was built in by Serbian king Milutin in 1307-08 on a site of an earlier church. It is a single domed church of a written cross architectonical solution. The frescoes are work of the famous Ohrid painters Mihailo and Eftihie. Unfortunately they lack the energy and the technique of Bogorodica Perivlepta church in Ohrid. It is quite probable that by now they had a big group of students around them and they just controlled the work. If one looks carefully one can see where them two picked up the brush and corrected the work. Most significant fresco is the Pursuit of the Merchants from the temple where one can see the human elements characteristic for their work.
- Marko’s Monastery (outside Sushica village on Kitka mountain. - There is a bus going to the village but just few times per day. From the village there is half hour walk to the monastery. Behind it there is a river and a small picnic area.). is an active monastery. It was founded by king Volkashin in 1345 and finished by his son King Marko in 1366, who is also the donor of the frescoes painted between 1366 and 1371. It is unknown why the monastery is built in the vicinity of Skopje instead of Prilep the capital of their medieval kingdom. It is presumed that the grave of king Marko (who died in Romania fighting the Turks) is here but it was destroyed by the Turks. The architecture of the church is a cross in square with a central dome and a blind dome in the narthex. The elegant exonarthex (open porch) was added in 1830 by Hamzi Pasha, who was a generous donor of the monastery throughout the 19th century. It is quite surprising a Turkish aristocrat to be a donor of an Christian monument. The frescoes are work of more artists with different skills and are well preserved. Visible is the tendency for adding dramatization and narrative painting of the scenes. Most interesting is the unique scene The cry of Rahela (Mathew 2:18). On the southern façade the portraits of king Volkashin and king Marko are painted. - While in the area also visit St.Bogorodica church (also referred as St.Nikola church) in Sushica village, built in the 13th century.
- St.Bogorodica Church, Kucevishte village. the naos was built closely before 1348. The narthex was built somewhere between 1355 and 1358 by local aristocrat Radoslav and his wife Vladislava. Above the nathex there is a grave chapel for Radoslav and Vladislava. The painter of the frescoes of the naos is quite good, educated, well acquainted with the work of Mihailo and Eftihie, quite probable their student. Still his work doesn’t reach their energy, colors and elegance, but he is quite good in composition and placing figures in it. Like his teachers he did sign his name on the northern column by the iconscreen, his name is Grigorie. The frescoes of the narthex have been damaged by fire and the grave chapel was painted by a less skilled painter. Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel Monastery in Kucevishte village was built towards the end of the 14th or maybe the beginning of the 15th century. The church is threeconhos with a dome, and elaborate ceramic decorations on the façades. There are two inscriptions dating the frescoes from 1631 and 1701. The figures are presented small in size, poor in colors but with bold drawing with an attempt to present landscape. Most famous is the large presentation Tree of Jesse.
- St. Nikola church, Ljuboten village. was built in 1337 by Mrs. Danica a local aristocrat whose sons had important positions (something like mayors or governors) of strategic positions on the entrance of the city. She built the church in honor of her passed husband. It is a single domed church of a written cross architectonical solution. Parts of the frescoes are in bad condition. Influenced by the works of Mihailo and Eftihie. The Serbian royal family is presented (king Dushan, queen Elena and prince Urosh), it is interesting that the painting treatment of them, especially the colors are different than those for the saints.
- Tumba archaeological site. Ceramic models of houses formed in the shape of the female body are among its valuable finds from the Early Stone Age.
- Cerje archaeological site. Its unique finds include the figurine known as Adam from Govrlevo, one of the earliest prehistoric male figurines, from the Early Stone Age.
- Gradishte. - a fortified settlement from the Early Byzantine period. It is believed to be Taoresion, the native town of Emperor Justinian.
- Marko's Castle. - An Early Byzantine fortress, heavily fortified with 40 towers. It was the site of the medival town of Crnce.
- Remains of Skupi. - the ancient city of Skupi is almost not worth the effort to reach. There is almost nothing left except for part of a street, a bath, and a basilica. After the city was ruined by the earthquake of 518, all the building material was used in the building of Justinijana Prima (one can see almost all of the seats of the Roman theatre incorporated in Kale Fortress). It is interesting that even though the earthquake was very strong and completely ruined Skupi there were almost no casualties. The inhabitants fled the city just two days before fearing from Avar attacks and settled in the small fortresses they had built on Vodno and in Matka.
Festivals and events
Skopje Summer Festival. The epithets such as the most abundant, the most various, the longest and, according to many authorized marks, one of the most qualitative cultural manifestation of international character which is held in Macedonia, characterize Skopje Summer. This manifestation has even received an acknowledgement of its reputation outside the Macedonian borders which is verified by the membership of the International Festivals & Events Association - IFEA.
Offest. This festival takes place on several locations in Skopje, such as the Universal Hall, Skopje Square, the Youth Cultural Center, and many attractive night clubs in the city. June.
Skopje Jazz Festival. For one week every October, Skopje hosts eminent jazz musicians from all over the world. The Skopje Jazz Festival is considered to be one of the best of its kind in Europe. October.
May Opera Evenings. The May Opera Evenings have been one of the most visited events in Skopje. Over the years, the stage of the Macedonian Ballet and Opera Theatre has hosted a number of ballet performances, operas, and many concerts. This event represents a true professional challenge for the artists and a wonderful musical experience for the audience.
Autumn Music. November. Organized to enrich the music life with its genres and themes in accordance to its conception and to provide another place for the performances of the native and foreign artist. There is the classical music as a base of this manifestation's programme, yet it always leaves space for the other types of music genres such as jazz, popular song, ethno music etc.
VINO SKOP - Skopje Wine Festival. October. Wine tasting, vineyard visits, live musical entertainment from international artists in the heart of the city.
BuskerFest. May/June for 10 days. Street performers Festival. Tours Macedonian cities, as well as Budva, Montenegro and Sibenik, Croatia.
PIVOLEND. August/September. Gourmet weekend with beer.
Vasilica (New Year). 14th January. Celebrated in the home.
Herdelezi / Djurdjevden. 8th of May. Spring festival celebrated at home and in public. Usually crowned by a great open air concert. After Herdelezi the wedding season begins. Almost every day you can meet a wedding procession or a procession accompanying the gifts for the bride.
- Plenty of bars in the Old Bazar (From Macedonia Square, go across the Stone bridge, and then just keep the straightest line as you can). This area has a plenty of newly open bars, and the night life there recently has become very interesting. Some of the bars there are La Kaña, Damar, Rakija Bar, etc.
- Irski Pab Sv Patrick (Irish Pub St. Patrick), GTC Skopje.
- Izzi Caffe, Katna Garaza Zebra - Vasil Gjorgov BB (Next to Hotel Queens in the 'Zebra' mall in the neighborhood Kapistec). Cool place to have a drink, in the morning (coffee) or at night. The owner speaks English and will hang out with you to make sure you're taken care of.
- Penguin Pub, Mito H. Jasmin 50, . Daily live music. Try food prepared on volcano stones!
- Piazza Liberta, Str. Dimitrija Cupovski 24, . Eat the peanuts and throw the shells on the floor!
- Plaza de Toros, Kej 13 Noemvr (on the quay of Vardar), . Delicious snacks: taco chips with melted cheese, fried chicken wings fresh salads, pizza, warm sandwiches, or some homemade sweets. Offers a large variety of beer on drought.
- Soul Pub, Str. Maksim Gorki 20, . Good music and beer.
- B2, Macedonia Square.
- Black & White.
- Club 69, Macedonia Square. One of the best clubs in Skopje. Works only four days a week: Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
- Club Collosseum. It's a place where often worldwide famous DJ's play music. The club is located under the new railway station.
- Hard Rock, Macedonian Cultural Center.
- Marakana, City park.
- Midnight, GTC Shopping Center.
Safety in Skopje
Skopje, just like most of the rest of Macedonia, is a relatively safe place. But, the usual rules about common sense apply here as they would anywhere. The places where crime occurs most often are in the places where tourists have little reason to be at. Night time in the old market may have roving bands of youth. Exercise a high level of caution in these areas or avoid this area at night. Like many other parts of Eastern and Central Europe, there are people who will beg around the major tourist sites, they especially target tourist-looking people, and sometimes may engage in pickpocketing.