Quite simply one of the most beautiful countries you’ll ever visit, most naturally and architecturally. I am struggling to convey how positive I feel about this place. I don’t know too many people who have visited Macedonia (in fact I don’t know too many people who could even place it on a map) but really we’ve all been missing out.
Skopje, the Capital of Macedonia, used to be a drab communist city but they’ve fought back with a vengeance. Its surrounded by beautiful mountains, still snow capped despite the 35 degree heat I was wilting in! The city centre is full of monuments to Alexander the Great, you’ll see Ottoman-era buildings, all interspersed with some banging bars and restaurants.
When you’re here, make sure you check out the 6 best things to see in Skopje:
At 66m high, it’s the biggest cross in the world, now who’d have though that’d be found in Macedonia?! It’s at the top of Mount Vodno, 4km from the city centre. If you’re a lunatic you can hike uphill to the Cross (2 hours)or pay the $2.50 for the return cable car instead. The views of the city are awesome.
Carsija, The Old Bazaar:
Home to the Turkish and Albanian Muslim population, and the best place in town to chow down on some baklava and tea and get lost in the cobblestoned narrow streets. It’s like you’ve walked into the Middle East, which is pretty cool, because I miss my time there so much! Mustafa Pasha Mosque is one of the highlights while wandering around.
Built 1400 years ago, the fortress is just north of the old bazaar. It’s pretty run down within the walls, but the views from outside the fortress are infinitely more impressive, as it bears down on the centre square.
Mother Theresa house:
The old lady herself was born in Skopje, Macedonia and lived here throughout her childhood before she headed off to Ireland and then ultimately in Calcutta, India where she truly began to shine.
You can visit where her house one stood, but now lies a a memorial house to her, covered in doves of peace. This kinda thing can be quite crass, but the Macedonians have got in spot on – it’s a great tribute to a great lady.
Plostad Makedonija Central Square:
The centre of the city, complete with statues of national heroes, an awesome fountain with a huge Alexander the Great statue riding his equally huge hourse and countless bars and restaurants to get some reasonably priced beers and snacks as you watch the (beautiful) Macedonian youth stroll by.
Skopje rocks, end of story. And Macedonia deserves a lot more publicity for its sights and history, luckily enough I’m here to sing its praises, so visit soon guys before the tourist horders roll in. Happy travels!