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A Complete Guide to Visiting Skopje in Macedonia

  • Post last modified:October 25, 2023
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Are you planning a trip to through the Balkans? Well, Skopje in Macedonia is one of the major cities to check out. It's mix of Ottoman and Greek vibes makes it the perfect place to base yourself for exploring some of the highlights of the country, and for stopping in between destinations in the surrounding countries.


We spent a weekend in Skopje, and found it to be the perfect amount of time to enjoy the city center, and the beautiful nature surrounding the Macedonian capital.


In this guide we're going to cover a little bit of everything, so that you can know all there is to know for your trip. So let's jump right in, and check out all you need to know for visiting Skopje in Macedonia.

Where is Skopje?

Skopje is located in the north central area of Macedonia. The country of Macedonia lies north of Greece, West of Bulgaria, and East of Albania. Kosovo borders Macedonia to the north, and Serbia borders the country of the north east.

Where is Skopje in Macedonia

Skopje is located in the central north of Macedonia.


How to Get to Skopje in Macedonia

Being that Skopje is the capital of Macedonia, it is the most well connected city in the country, and it is also well connected to plenty of other surrounding countries.


The first time that I visited Skopje in Macedonia I had taken a bus from Sofia, Bulgaria, and the second time I drove from Serbia, and left through Kosovo. All ways were very accessible, making traveling to Skopje rather easy and affordable.


The airport of Skopje in Macedonia is just 25 minutes from the city center, and there are plenty of flights from around Europe. Cities that fly direct to Skopje include Athens, Baden, Basel, Belgrade, Berlin, Bologna, Bratislava, Bremen, Brussels, Budapest, Cologne, Copenhagen, Dortmund, Eindhoven, Friedrichshafen, Geneva, Gothenburg, Hamburg, Istanbul, Izmir, London, Malmo, Memmingen, Milan, Nuremburg, Oslo, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Treviso, Vienna, Warsaw,  and Zagreb


If you can't find any cheap flights, you could also take the bus from plenty of cities in the area, for rather cheap prices.


Want to take a bus to Skopje in Macedonia? Here are some popular routes that you can book:

Sofia to Skopje

Belgrade to Skopje

Tirana to Skopje

road to Zabljak Montenegro

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Entry Requirements for Macedonia

Before entering a new country, it's important to check the requirements. Here are both the visa and covid requirements for visiting Skopje in Macedonia.


Visa Entry Requirements for Macedonia

Macedonia allows visa free access to all nationals from the EU, UK, US, and Canada, for a period of up to 90 days. Any time exceeding that, you will need to apply for a visa at your local embassy.


Covid Entry Requirements for Macedonia

All Covid related requirements now have been lifted, so all tourists (vaccinated or not) can freely enter Skopje in Macedonia without any issue. When we visited in June we also found that masks had not been worn at all.


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Local Adjustments

Whenever you are traveling somewhere new, there may be some things that you may forget about, which could differ from where you are coming from. Here are the local adjustments to keep in mind while visiting Skopje in Macedonia.


Language

The official language in Macedonia is Macedonian. It is very similar to the other Slavic languages in surrounding countries such as Croatia or Serbia. The Macedonians use an adaptation of the Cyrillic script, so signs can be quite hard to read for those not familiar with this alphabet. Being that Skopje is the capital though, there are plenty of people that do speak English.


Currency

The currency used in Macedonia is the Macedonian Denar. Currently (Decembember 2022) 1 USD and 1 euros are both equal to 62 Denar. Most hotels and restaurants actually only use cash, as well as street vendors. You'll need to make sure to withdraw plenty of cash, as it is what you'll be mostly using throughout the area.


Outlets

Macedonia uses the same outlets as the rest of Europe, which are for plug types C & F. The standard voltage in Macedonia is 230 V with a standard frequency of 50 Hz. If you are from the US make sure to get an energy converter (not just an adapter), so that your electronics won't burn out.


Water Potability

Skopje has potable water, so you can drink from the tap or fountains in the city. We suggest bringing a reusable water bottle so that you can fill up and stay hydrated while exploring.


Tipping Culture

Unlike most other European countries, Macedonia actually doesn't have a real tipping culture. Some people don't leave anything at all, while others will leave 100 or 200 Denar for really good service. It isn't typical to leave a tip anywhere except restaurants and bars. If you are particularly satisfied with the service you can leave up to 10%. 

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Things to Do in Skopje

Now that you know the basics of visiting Skopje in Macedonia, let's get into the fun stuff! Here are the highlights of the city, and the best things to do in Skopje and around it.

Don't have time to read the whole article and want to save it for later? Just pin it!

Skopje in Macedonia Pin
Skopje in Macedonia Pin
Skopje in Macedonia Pin

Enter the Old Town Via Macedonia Gate

The city center of Skopje is rather small, and all of the top things to do in the Skopje are actually right inside the city gates. There is actually a beautiful arched gate that marks the entrance to the old town, and it truly will give you those Western European vibes.

Macedonia Gate, Skopje in Macedonia

The Macedonia Gate marks the entrance to the Old Town of Skopje.

Walk Around Macedonia Square

As soon as you enter the Macedonia Gate, you will find yourself in a large square. This is Macedonia Square, which is the heart of the city of Skopje, and the largest square in the country. Is it anchored by a large fountain in the middle, and has shops, restaurants, and business buildings surrounding it. This is a great place to start exploring all of the best things to do in Skopje, and a great meeting point for both locals and tourists.

Macedonia Square, Skopje in Macedonia

Macedonia Square is the heart of Skopje.

Browse the Old Bazaar

The old bazaar of Skopje is truly one of the highlights of the city. On one side of the river, there are some serious Greek vibes, but once you cross the Bridge „Goce Delčev“, you will feel like you teleported to Turkey.

city center of Skopje in Macedonia

One side of the bridge has a more Greek feel, while the other feels more like Turkey,

The bazaar has an Ottoman flair, and is full of cute winding alleyways full of shopping options. From small souvenir shops, to rows of wedding dress shops, there is so much to see in the Old Bazaar. Also- did you know that many large brands like Lacoste and Adidas actually manufacture their clothing in Macedonia for super cheap and then slap on their label and hike up the price? Well, you can find some seriously good fashion in Skopje, and for some insanely cheap prices.

Old Bazaar, Skopje in Macedonia
Old Bazaar, Skopje in Macedonia
Old Bazaar, Skopje in Macedonia
Old Bazaar, Skopje in Macedonia

The Old Bazaar is full of great shopping.

Explore the Kale Fortress

Another one of the top things to do in Skopje is to visit the fortress. Sitting just next to the Old Bazaar, the Kale dates back to the 6th century, and is the highest point of the city, overlooking the Vadar River.

Kale fortress, Skopje in Macedonia

The Kale Fortress is one of the top sights in Skopje.

Walk Along the Skopje Bridge of Civilisations to the Museum of Archaeology

In our opinion, this is the most beautiful part of the city center, and one of our favorite areas of Skopje in Macedonia. The bridge is covered with lanterns, statues, and marble. It leads you to the Museum of Archeology, a building that makes you feel like you're in a Greek fairytale.

Eye Bridge in Skopje, Macedonia
Eye Bridge in Skopje, Macedonia
Eye Bridge in Skopje, Macedonia
Eye Bridge in Skopje, Macedonia

The Bridge of Civilisations has stunning architecture on and around it.

Admire the Stone Bridge

Another one of the main bridges that connect one area of the city to the other is the Stone Bridge. This one is unique because it is 500 years old, and it connects the Old Bazaar on one side of the Vodna River, with Macedonia square on the other.

Stone bridge, Skopje in Macedonia

The Stone Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in Skopje.

Stroll Along the Skopje Art Bridge

Another gorgeous bridge to check out is the beautiful art bridge. Similar to the Bridge of Civilisations, it is full of statues, lanterns, and some gorgeous architecture.


Art Bridge, Skopje in Macedonia
Art Bridge, Skopje in Macedonia
Art Bridge, Skopje in Macedonia

The Bridge of Art is one of the most beautiful areas of Skopje.

Stop by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia

While we're mentioning beautiful architecture, another beautiful building to witness is the government of the Republic of Macedonia. The giant white building is characterized by a triangular roof, tall marble pillars, and over a dozen flag posts. You can't visit inside or anything, but it is definitely a place to admire from the outside.

parliament, Skopje in Macedonia

The Government of the Republic of Macedonia can only be admired by the outside.

Browse the Beautiful Architecture

Skopje has tons of amazing architecture, and one of the things that we loved was simply walking around and checking out the beautiful statues, fountains, and buildings. So we definitely suggest wandering around and just enjoying the beautiful hidden gems that are scattered around the city.

statues in Skopje
statues in Skopje
statues in Skopje
statues in Skopje
statues in Skopje
statues in Skopje

There are so many beautiful statues, fountains, and buildings throughout Skoje in Macedonia.

Want to take a city tour to learn all about what everything is exactly? Here are a few that you can sign up for:

Take the Cable Car to Vodno

If you're in the center of Skopje one of the the things you can't miss is the giant cross sitting at the top of a mountain outside the city. The mountain is 1,066 meters high, and can actually be reached by cable car, where you can admire beautiful views of Skopje down below.

Skopje from Vodno

Vodno has the best views of Skopje in Macedonia.

Take a Day Trip to Matka Canyon

Now that you know the best things to do in Skopje, here's one of our favorite things to do in all of Macedonia. Matka Canyon is situated just a half hour south west of the city, and offers enough things to really enjoy an entire day outside of the city.

Restaurant at Matka Canyon, day trip from Skopje in Macedonia
Matka Canyon, day trip from Skopje in Macedonia
Matka Canyon, day trip from Skopje in Macedonia
Matka Canyon, day trip from Skopje in Macedonia

There are great boat rides in the canyon, and a restaurant over the water.


The most popular area to visit of Matka Canyon has a boardwalk going along the side of the canyon, where you can find maya rentals, boat trips, and even a restaurant hanging over the water of the canyon.

cave in Matka Canyon

There is even a cave that you can visit inside Matka Canyon.

Matka canyon offers plenty of hiking trails, and a large area where families set up picnics and spend the day in the super cold waters to cool off from the summer heat. There are plenty of kiosks and restaurants lining the canyon, making it a super fun place, and the best day trip from Skopje in Macedonia.


Matka Canyon, day trip from Skopje in Macedonia
Matka Canyon, day trip from Skopje in Macedonia
Matka Canyon, day trip from Skopje in Macedonia

Outside of the main entrance there are also plenty of areas to relax and swim.

Want to take an organized tour to Matka Canyon? Here are a few different options:


Local Food & Drink in Skopje

Macedonia has an interesting cuisine that is a blend of flavors from Greece and the Balkan countries. Dishes are often full of tasty meats, thick and soft breads, and different types of cheeses. We'll be honest, we couldn't read most of the menus, so we just asked for recommendations, are were truly never disappointed.


Our favorite restaurant in Skopje is along the water, and called Senigallia. It is located right in the center, and is part of a boat that is also a hotel! The food was extremely delicious, the service fabulous, and the views incredible.

Senigallia, best restaurant in Skopje
Senigallia, best restaurant in Skopje
Senigallia, best restaurant in Skopje