The capital of Macedonia and a vibrant, eclectic location, Skopje has seen its fair share of occupiers over the centuries. This turbulent history has resulted in a city that’s full of different influences, from Byzantine churches and monasteries to the overwhelming traces of the Ottoman Empire.
Stroll down the cobbled streets of the old quarter and witness beautiful mosques sitting side by side with ancient cathedrals.
Book a flight to Skopje with Qatar Airways and uncover one of Europe’s hidden gems –a bold city that embraces modernity alongside its own ancient culture.
One of the most popular attractions in the city is also one of the most recent – a towering portrayal of a man on a rearing horse commissioned in 2011 to commemorate 20 years of independence. The 15-metre tall monument is believed to be of Alexander the Great and is set on a plinth of intricately carved discs. It forms the centrepiece of the square and is a popular location for a five-minute sit-down and a spot of ‘people watching’.
The historical Kale Fortress, dating back to the 10th century, is located in the old town area. It is located on the highest point in the city overlooking the Vardar River.
The 6th century Stone Bridge is considered a symbol of Skopje. Elegant and multi-arched, the bridge crosses over the Vardar River and connects the main square and the old bazaar.
A 30-minute bus-ride from the centre of the city will bring you to Matka Canyon, a tranquil spot perfect for swimming, a picnic, a walking trail to explore. Make sure you pop into the ‘Bear’s Cave’ restaurant, which is built into a cave within the canyon walls. More adventurous travellers can also hire a kayak and explore the canyon’s waterways, or take the ferry over to the Vrelo Cave.
Theatre lovers should pay a visit to the Macedonian National Theatre during their trip to Skopje. This post-war building was built in 1945 and, thanks to the slightly disconcerting incline, it’s also known colloquially as "the bounce board". The theatre is also home to the National Ballet.
To the south of the city is Vodno Mountain, a popular destination for climbers and hikers. Enjoy a breath-taking view of the city and the surrounding countryside by taking a cable car to the top of the mountain.
Like any capital city, a visit to Skopje will reveal a wide selection of internationally inspired restaurants.
But while you’re here, make sure you try some of the local delicacies such as burek, which are filo pastries filled with meat, cheese or spinach, and Shopska Salata, a deliciously light salad made with fetta cheese.
Shopping is a real pleasure in Skopje, and the best places to visit are the Old Bazaar and the Bit Bazaar. The Old Bazaar is home to an interesting mix of boutique and high-end retailers, many of which have been in the same location for hundreds of years. This was originally the meeting point between European and Arabian traders, and the buzz of the bazaar is still vibrant and energetic.
The Bit Bazaar is a great place to get fresh fruits and vegetables, spices and locally-produced cheeses. The biggest mall in the city is Skopje City Mall, home to a wide range of internationally-branded outlets.
Qatar Airways flights to Skopje arrive at Skopje "Alexander the Great" Airport, located approximately 24 kilometres southeast of the city centre. Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. Click here before you fly to Skopje for visa and passport requirements.
Currency: Macedonia Denars (MKD)
Voltage: 220 V 50 Hz
Plugs: Type C / F
International dialing code: +389
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