5 Reasons to Visit Skopje This Summer
Day 69/365: Also, my plans on moving to Skopje in the future
What a lousy title, I know. It looks like a clickbait title from Buzzfeed. How did I end up writing titles like these? How many times is “one too many” when writing the word “title” in the first paragraph of your article? I’ll ask my professor about that.
The thing is, even if the title is very touristy and not my style, I do have five very good reasons why you should definitely visit Skopje, the capital city of Macedonia, this very summer.
I visited Skopje in 2016, at the start of a week-long vacation in Greece. It was our first stop towards sunny Athens, and we had little expectations for the city. We thought this was just another boring city in a poor country with nothing to offer but some shiny buildings downtown.
Boy, were we wrong! Turns out, Skopje and its people is an amazing establishment, filled with great restaurants, amazing architecture and a bunch of hidden gems that you better not miss if you’re visiting the city of Alexander the Great. Here are five reasons why I believe Skopje should be the next city you visit.
1. The amazing food
Where there’s good food, there’s good everything, says an old Macedonian proverb. Of course, it doesn’t, but one should be a fool to not believe this sentence. Skopje is the ultimate foodie’s paradise, having some of the best food I tried in Europe this far, but also ridiculously small prices.
Order a bomb of a burger with a fresh beef patty, all of the condiments, the most amazing home-baked bun, fries and a local beer, in the downtown area, and you’ll only pay around 3 bucks. You heard that right, 3 goddamn bucks!
2. The glamorous architecture
In the last 10 years, the Macedonian capital went through a complete state of renovating the downtown area, but also the neighbourhoods around it, in an attempt to grow tourism and attract investors to the city.
And boy, they did it Macedonian style: tons upon tons of marble, hundreds of statues, culminating with a 7.5 million Euros, Alexander the Great statue in the middle of the main square, bridges and lights and buildings and everything else, turning the once deserted city into a shiny tourist destination.
3. The Old Bazaar
No trip to Skopje is complete without a day spent in the Old Bazaar. You’ll find everything here, from fake Nike’s to hoodies, olives, Turkish delight, Turkish tea, street food, fruits, vegetables, even antiques and other unique stuff.
The only secret to the bazaar is for you to allow it time, at least a few hours, just to get into the atmosphere. If you’re not in a rush, you can get a beard trim and a haircut at one of the shops in the bazaar. You’ll get the job of your life, I promise!
4. The canyon
Right outside of the city, you’ll find the Matka Canyon, the biggest of its kind in Europe. You can take a boat and enjoy the breathtaking work of Mother Nature while slowly pedalling on the river.
Or, if you’re unable to figure out how a GPS works, you can get lost on a shabby road with rocks falling on it from higher up the mountain and risk dying because of it, while trying to find the canyon. But in the end, its totally worth it when the view over the canyon is the one below.
5. The people
I have been to many European countries before. In general, people are polite, ready to give you a helping hand and understanding. It’s Europe, this is the standard, fortunately. In Skopje, I met a totally new kind of helpful people.
They were so open, so warm and so delightful, it made me want to move to the city one day and live there for at least a year. I’m still working on that and I’ll definitely fulfil this dream of mine in the near future.
Thank you for your time!
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My name is Gabriel Iosa, I’m a 25 years old travel enthusiast, food lover, Psychology student, Full-time Freelancer, writer and Instagram fanatic. You can follow me @gabrieliosa, and if you liked this post, give it exactly 47 claps!
I’m on a mission to write 365 articles in 2018. This is definitely the biggest writing challenge of my life so far. If you’d like to be part of the journey, please follow me here on Medium.com for the daily posts!
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