Skopje, North Macedonia, Exploring the Capital

Skopje, North Macedonia – Exploring the Capital

Our visit to North Macedonia had reached its 8th day and our final full day in the country. After exploring Ohrid for a few days and spending the first day back in Skopje on an excursion to Kosovo, it was finally time to enjoy the capital of North Macedonia. It was going to be a hot day. The temperature had only risen since our arrival and there was no cool breeze in a city like Skopje such as the one that we enjoyed at Lake Ohrid. Still, this was a day we were determent to explore Skopje on foot.

Exploring Skopje on Foot during a Heat Wave

Our first target for the day was the Skopje Fortress. It stands on a small hill and watches out over the city center. This is one of the main landmarks of the city with a history dating back to the 6th century. Reaching the fortress on foot was challenging in the heat, especially since its entrance was at the furthest side from the center. This meant a walk around the fortress before reaching the disappointing interior. Not much has been done with the large space inside the fortress. The vegetation has taken over these grounds and even the more modern constructions here have been left for nature to reclaim. The fortress is a sight best seen from the town, with its walls and towers being the main attraction.

From the castle, we continued through the Old Bazar and back across the Vardar River. Our walk would eventually take us back to Macedonia Square and onwards along the pedestrian streets. It was along the pedestrian street that we eventually found a restaurant for lunch. After a lot of Balkan food for about a week, we finally opted for some Mexican dishes. It was a nice change from the constant feeling of having eaten too much.

After our lunch, we continued along the street and eventually ended up at the Ramstore Shopping Center. It was here that the evening plans were established. We were to find a larger shopping center before ending our day with a nice dinner in the city center. When it came to walking, we were in need of cold showers and some rest before continuing. It was all just a short walk back to the apartment to make the rest of the day possible.

Last Evening in North Macedonia

Our initial plan after resting a few minutes in the apartment was to take a taxi to the Skopje City Mall. It turned out to be quite hard to find a taxi along the main road so in the end we made it all the way to the shopping center on foot before we were able to get a taxi. We wanted to find something nice for Little A but we did eventually give up. In the end, it is quite boring when it is the same stores in every city. Luckily it was a lot easier to find a taxi on the way back to the city center.

During this visit to North Macedonia, we ate plenty of local food. Many meals included a Shopska salad. Either as a starter och as a side dish. This last evening was no exception as we found a restaurant at the main square. The main ingredients in the salad are cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and a local brined cheese. Quite simple, but so fitting next to the many meat-heavy dishes. Together with a little wine, we summarized our vacation as a very positive experience. We did, however, miss our Little A. The updates from the Åland Islands had told us that she had been playing frequently with her cousins. Still, it was going to be nice to pick her up in a few days.

Join us and read more about our Balkan adventure here: Summer in Macedonia 2023

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Lookoom

    Like you, I had mixed feelings when I visited Skopje and Northern Macedonia, but I think we have to be indulgent with a country that has reappeared almost miraculously after centuries of Byzantine and then Ottoman dominations followed by decades of Communist illusions.

    1. Jesper

      There is just something with North Macedonia and a few other small countries in the Balkans that attracts us. Maybe it is the history, or the struggle to establish their own unique identity. Either way, there will be more stories from Skopje, as we just recently came back from a new visit to the city. 🙂

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