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Vladimir M.

Skopje, Macedonia Guide by Vladimir M. Status: Visited here

I have traveled to Skopje many times to visit my cousin who lives there. Skopje is a great city where anyone can find something that will interest them.

Skopje is the capital of Macedonia and also its largest city, with around 700,000 inhabitants in the metro area. Compared to other European capital cities, Skopje is among the cheapest to visit while still offering a ton of activities and places to visit, making it an affordable alternative for someone traveling on a budget.

I would say that the two best places to visit are Macedonia Square in the heart of the city and the Millennium Cross, on Vodno Mountain just outside the city. Macedonia Square has something for everyone, including restaurants, cafes, boutiques, museums, hotels, hostels, a mall, and even a beach along the Vardar River (which is used only for lounging in the sun as swimming in the river is not safe), all within walking distance. This is where all the main streets in the city converge and is the place to be if you want to mix with the locals. At night, all of the statues and buildings light up in various colors and the outdoor bars come to life, staying open till 4 or 5 in the morning, a perfect place for young people looking to have a good time.

When you want to slow down and escape the traffic and crowds of the city, I would recommend heading to the Millennium Cross. It is a short taxi and cable car ride away and for about $15 bucks, you can get there and back from the city center. Once you get to the top of Mount Vodno, fresh air will fill your lungs and you will be greeted with beautiful panoramic views of the city below. A restaurant and souvenir shop at the base of the cross make this adventure even more convenient.

Other places of interest include the Memorial House of Mother Teresa, the Old Bazaar, and Kale Fortress.

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  • Kale, Skopje, Macedonia (FYROM)

A fortress that was built in the 6th century and is still standing guard over the city.

  • Memorial House Mother Teresa, Macedonia, Skopje, Macedonia (FYROM)

A memorial house built on the location of the church where Mother Teresa was Baptized.

  • Old Bazaar, Skopje, Macedonia (FYROM)

A bazaar that has been around since the 12th century and is the largest bazaar in the Balkans outside of Istanbul.

  • Macedonia Square, Macedonia, Skopje, Macedonia (FYROM)

As the main square of Macedonia's capital city, one would expect that Macedonia Square has a lot to offer, and boy does it deliver!

With the ambitious Skopje 2014 Project in full swing, new museums, statues, and bridges are being built at a dizzying speed. These monuments light up in every different color imaginable, providing visitors with great sights when it gets dark out.

Additionally, buildings that were completely destroyed by the 1963 Skopje Earthquake (which destroyed 80% of the city), such as the National Theater, are being rebuilt to bring back some of the city's former glory.

The square itself lies along the Vardar River and the river walk extending in both directions from the square has plenty of restaurants, boutiques, hotels, hostels, and even a mall. A short walk across the Stone Bridge, which was built in the 1450's, will bring you to another smaller square which is surrounded by several buildings, including the National Theater, the National Archaeological Museum, the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle, and the Holocaust Museum.

Whether you want to simply sight see, find a good place to eat, or shop till you drop, Macedonia Square is a place that can cater to all your needs.

  • Millennium Cross, Karposh, Skopje, Macedonia (FYROM)

Fresh air? Check! Awesome views of the city and surrounding mountains and valleys? Check! An unforgettable destination that you will remember for years to come? You can check that off as well!

Standing at 216.5ft (66m) tall, the Millennium Cross is the largest cross in the world and was built to celebrate 2,000 years of Christianity in the world. The cross itself stands atop the highest peak of Mount Vodno at nearly 3,500ft (1,066m), allowing for breathtaking panoramic views of Macedonia's capital city, Skopje, and the the surrounding land.

Not too long ago, getting to the cross was quite a challenge, including a car ride up swervy mountain roads followed by a hike that left most people too exhausted to actually enjoy the views when they got to the top. However, in 2010, a cable car system was built which takes visitors from a base camp at the foot of the mountain just outside the city all the way to the peak in just under 8 minutes. Tickets for the cable cars are free for children and seniors and cost just over $2 USD for adults. And that's not all, because in 2008 an elevator was installed inside the cross, so now you can visit the biggest cross in the world and actually ride all the way to the top. Now, imagine telling that story to your friends when you get back home!

If you ever find yourself in Skopje, the Millennium Cross is definitely a must see and should be at the top of your to-do list!


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