Travel Guide Europe Macedonia Skopje



Skopje at Night

Skopje at Night

© micko_v

Skopje is the capital of Macedonia. The city has a very long history, as it is more than 2,000 years old and has survived many different periods, empires, few earthquakes, was built, destroyed, then rebuilt. Nowadays it is a combination of old and new, with a population of over half a million people. Macedonians are known for their hospitality and openness to visitors from everywhere. Skopje has good connections with plains, trains, buses. Accommodation options vary from the cheapest to the luxurious ones. It is safe place with many restaurants and cafés, as well as museums and getaway in beautiful nature close by.




  • Centar - The centre of life in Macedonia's capital. Centar is home to multiple cultural attractions as well as the Parliament and Government of the Republic of Macedonia. It has undergone many visible and controversial changes in recent years.
  • Stara Čaršija - Skopje's old town, a well-preserved reminder of Macedonia's five-century Ottoman era. Home to a fortress, countless mosques, Turkish baths, caravansaries (inns), markets, a clock tower, and some churches.
  • Outer Skopje - The outer portions of Skopje are home to many of the city's biggest attractions, such as Matka Canyon, Vodno Mountain, and the Skopje Zoo, as well as multiple archaeological sites.



Events and Festivals

Skopje Summer Festival

Skopje’s annual cornucopia of concerts, folk music, traditional events, and museum openings run from June 21 for four or five weeks in venues across the city, which is a feast of indoor and outdoor theatre and musical delights. The entertainment is mostly free and attracts artists and performers from around the world.

Ilinden – Saint Ilija’s Day

This national holiday is a dual celebration on August 2, commemorating two major events during Macedonia’s struggle for independence. The Ilinden uprising against the Ottoman rulers in 1903 and the first meeting of the fledgling Assembly in 1944 which laid down the basics of the modern republic are remembered with street parties, parades of horsemen, visits to holy monasteries, family festivities, and a great deal of eating and drinking. The religious significance of the day goes back to the end of the pagan era when the god Perun was replaced by the Christian Prophet Elijah.

Independence Day

One of the most significant secular events in Macedonia is Independence Day, a national holiday celebrated on September 8 in remembrance of the great day of the referendum in 1991 which resulted in the country becoming a sovereign parliamentary democracy. Expect parades, fireworks, street celebrations, and patriotism toward the relatively new country.




Skopje has a moderate continental climate with generally warm summers and cold winters. Average temperatures from June to September are between 26 °C and 31 °C, while nights are around 15 °C. Maximum temperatures of 40 °C are possible though. Winters (December to February) are a few degrees above zero during the day and slightly below at night, though lows of -22 °C and even highs of over 20 °C have been recorded during these months. Precipitation is not very high and evenly distributed throughout the year, though late autumn and early winter tend to be a bit wetter. May and September are good months for a visit with neither cold or hot conditions.

Avg Max4 °C8.4 °C13.6 °C18.6 °C23.9 °C27.4 °C29.8 °C30 °C26.1 °C19.5 °C11.2 °C5.3 °C
Avg Min-3.6 °C-1.3 °C1.9 °C5.4 °C10 °C13 °C14.8 °C14.6 °C11.4 °C6.3 °C1.4 °C-2.2 °C
Rainfall36 mm36 mm40 mm40 mm60 mm46 mm34 mm27 mm36 mm42 mm56 mm51 mm
Rain Days109101011107667911



Getting There

By Plane

MAT Macedonian Airlines is the national airline of Macedonia and is based at Skopje Alexander the Great Airport (SKP) near the capital. Destinations include Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Istanbul, Rome, Vienna and Zürich. Ljubljana, Sarajevo, Sofia, Tirana, Zagreb, Prague, Cologne, Belgrade and Budapeast are other cities served by mostly their respective national airlines as Athens, Warsaw and Istanbul.
In summer, charter airlines fly to and from Lake Ohrid directly from a number of European countries.

MAT Macedonian Airlines flies between Skopje and Ohrid.

By Train

There are direct trains between the capital Skopje and the capital of Serbia, Belgrade.
Domestic trains run from Skopje to Bitola and Skopje to Gevgelia. Stip, Veles and Prilep are other major towns served by train.
Check Makedonski Zeleznici for more information about schedules and prices.

By Car

Skopje is on the European route E65 from Sweden through Szczecin, Prague, Bratislava and Zagreb to Chania in Greece.

By Bus

Buses are abundant and main destinations include Bitola, Tetovo and Ohrid, with many smaller towns being served as well at least daily.



Getting Around

By Car

Taking a taxi in Skopje should normally not cost more than 300 MKD. An example journey is from City Centre to Biser (a shopping centre with many bars and cafes that is popular with young people) which should take about 5-10 mins and cost around 150 Denars (MKD).

From the train station to the center of the city is 2km and should cost 50 MKD. Never let yourself be talked into going somewhere where you did not plan to go in the first place. Like many cities in Europe, if you seem unsure and foreign, the charge will probably be higher so appear confident about the price and if the taxi driver still insists on a ridiculous price, find another taxi, there are plenty.

By Public Transport

Skopje has a vast, frequent and efficient bus network. Public buses (red in colour) cost 35 MKD if you pay the driver, or 30 MKD if you buy your ticket in advance from a kiosk. Private buses (all the other colours) cost 25 MKD (you pay the driver directly). The new double-deck buses may feature English translations of routes, but it's easier just to stick to the bus numbers.

By Foot

Most of central Skopje can easily be explored on foot.




Macedonia is a real foodie destination. Almost every restaurant in Skopje and all over the country serves traditional food. You can also find all kind of international food restaurants, but if you are visiting Skopje, don't miss to try Macedonian cuisine.

The best restaurants in Skopje are settled in the central part of the city, so if you are accommodated somewhere in the city center, you can find a traditional one very easy. Here you can find all kind of traditional food, where some of the most famous dishes are: Tavce Gravce, Musaka, Pastramajlija, Ajvar, Sarma, Polneti Piperki, Zelnik, Mekici, Kachamak, Shopska Salad etc. Some of these dishes are also seen in some other countries, so some may say they are not with Macedonian origin, but, since they are also made in this area for hundreds of years, that is something irrelevant.




There are many bars and clubs in the city, where most of them are located in the central part of the city. If you have a walk at Macedonia street in the main center, you will notice there are bars all over it. There are lot of night clubs where you can have fun all night.

The ultimate beverage in Macedonia is Rakija. It is a sort of brandy, usually made of grape, but it can be found made of plums in some parts of the country. If you visit a restaurant in Skopje, don't miss trying it. It is typically called Zholta (meaning Yellow because of the dark yellow color). It comes best with a Shopska salad (combination of tomatoes, cucumbers, white cheese and onion). It is one of the best known combination all around the country.





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Keep Connected


Internet access is widely available throughout the country. Internet cafés are available in most cities and in some villages. Almost all hotels provide internet access, either free or paid. Local coffee shops usually offer free Wi-Fi access, as many other public places do. Feel free to ask for the password, if the network is locked.


See also: International Telephone Calls

Macedonia's internetional telpehone code is 389.

Mobile phones are widely spread and the coverage is excellent. There are 3 mobile networks (T-mobile, One and VIP), all using the GSM/3G standard. You can buy a pre-paid SIM card from T-mobile for MKD295 (€5) with MKD250 free talk time, from ONE for MKD190 (€3) with MKD250 free talk time, and from VIP for MKD300 (€5) with MKD300 free talk time. You may need to show your ID card or passport when buying.

If you want to use your home cellphone for internet service, buy a local SIM card or otherwise switch off data roaming and use wifi only. Prices per MB are still extremely high otherwise.


Macedonia's National Postal Service offers fairly reliable and affordable services, though it might take a while for your letter or postcard to arrive. At least 3-5 days within Europe, but more like 10 days for destinations outside Europe. Major post offices keep fairly long opening times, from 8:30am to 7:30pm Monday to Saturday and even on Sunday mornings in some places like Skopje. Smaller towns and rural areas have (much) shorter opening times. If you want to send a package internationally, use courier services like FedEx, UPS, TNT or DHL, as they are fast,. reliable and competitively priced.


Quick Facts


  • Latitude: 42.002411
  • Longitude: 21.436097

Accommodation in Skopje

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This is version 23. Last edited at 2:18 on Nov 6, 19 by SZ. 21 articles link to this page.

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