How to spend only one day in Skopje and make the most of it? Follow our Skopje 1-day itinerary.
Why Skopje and why only one day?
Skopje is an old city, dating back to four centuries before Christ. On the other hand, it is still young – in 1992, when the country regained its dreamed independence, a development boom started.
We traveled to Skopje during the first month of pregnancy, and it was one of the best choices we could make for a short but exciting trip. We chose Skopje because we found a cheap flight to Skopje from Bratislava in Slovakia. Regardless of how many days in Skopje you are spending, you can leverage from our tips.
Is one day in Skopje enough?
Definitely not, there are so many things to do in Skopje! If possible plan to spend here at least two days. Luckily, you can find many of the most exciting tourist attractions within the city center. We visited many of them, therefore, we hope that you enjoy and find useful our 1-day in Skopje itinerary.
Best time to visit Skopje
The climate is the Mediterranean, and the mountains surrounding the city bring the coldness. The climate in the city is also influenced by the Vardar river.
We have been to Skopje in early spring and the weather was pretty warm and sunny during the day. In the evening we had to wear jackets though. The city has many outdoor attractions so it is a good idea to visit Skopje in the spring, summer, and early autumn. There are some indoor activities where you can spend time if the weather is not pleasant.
Top things to do in Skopje in one day
The time you can spend here: 30 min – 1 hour
We found out that many tourists call Skopje a “strange city” or even “Disneyland.” Macedonian Square and its surroundings may seem like the best example of kitschy design and a weird mix of architectural styles. It’s a fact, on the one hand, we see modern buildings, on the other, new buildings stylized as classical, many large monuments and colorful fountains. But still, we wouldn’t be that skeptical.
Macedonia Square is the quintessence of the Skopje 2014 project, whose goal was to give the city a more historical and classical look. The square is now the heart of the city. The most important events take place here – from New Year’s Eve to concerts, cultural events, and public demonstrations. Also, it is a perfect place to see the division of the city into an old and a new part.
Fun fact: There is a first Mariott hotel on the Balkans located on the Macedonia Square.
Memorial House of Mother Teresa
The time you can spend here: 30 min – 1 hour
Mother Teresa of Calcutta a said about herself that she belongs to the world, but she is a citizen of Skopje because it’s here where she was born and raised.
Memorial House of Mother Teresa is located in the southern part of the center of Skopje – at Makedonija street. It was built in 2009, in the place of the church where Mother Teresa was baptized. On the first floor of the museum, you can see a replica of the house where she was born. In central place, there is a table and chairs, as well as a simple wardrobe and bed. There is also a chapel on the second floor of the house.
Throughout the city, you can find gold tablets with quotes from Mother Teresa of Calcutta – in English and Macedonian. The interesting fact is that three countries claim Mother Teresa’s birthplace – Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia. Mother Teresa returned to Skopje four times. Last time she was there in 1986.
Monday – Friday: 9 am – 8 pm
Weekend: 9 am- 2 pm
The time you can spend here: 2 – 3 hours
The Old Bazaar in Skopje is our favorite place in the whole city. Although is located close to the “modern” part of the city, it is more homey and not so overwhelming like Macedonia Square. There are stone pavements, narrow streets, small shops, and smiling people. Being there, you can feel as if you went back in time when there were no major shopping centers yet, and everyone was shopping in local markets.
You can buy souvenirs here, drink Turkish coffee, eat a delicious home-made Balkan-style dinner in one of the family restaurants, buy takeaway baklava, and get lost in the narrow bazaar paths. In the area of the Old Town, there are several mosques, two churches, and a clock tower, which, together with the buildings of the Museum of Macedonia and the Museum of Modern Art, constitute the core of a modern bazaar.
The road to Old Bazaar leads through a stone bridge. When you cross it, you may hear high-pitched squeaks. According to residents, they are supposed to deter homeless dogs from entering the representative part of the city (such as Macedonia Square).
The time to spend here: 30 minutes – 1 hour
Skopje Fortress from the outside looks quite interesting and impressive. Inside there are mainly walls, without any significant monuments or places that you can visit. The entrance to the fortress is free, and it’s worth going there for a beautiful view of the city. It is better to be careful because it is quite dangerous in several places.
The time to spend here: 2 – 3 hours
Vodno Mountain is one of the city’s biggest attractions and the final stage of our one-day trip to Skopje. On top of the Vodno Mountain, there is a Millenium Cross, which used to be the largest cross in the world. When the cross is illuminated, it can be seen from a distance of 100km!
You can get to the top of the mountain by cable car. To get there, take a bus from Transporten Centar (the bus has a visible cross sign). Buses depart approximately every 30 minutes and you can buy the ticket directly from the bus driver.
Tuesday to Sunday: 10 am – 8 pm
closed on Mondays
bus one way ticket: 35 MKD / $0.6
cable car return ticket: 120 MKD / $2
One day in Skopje – Getting around
On your feet
Choose to walk and get a feel for the beat of the city. Walk on the diverse Skopje streets, meet the locals, and feel like you are a part of the town.
During our stay in Skopje, we preferred to walk rather than use public transport. Nevertheless, we recommend this very detailed article about public transport in Skopje or you can check the timetables directly on the public transport website here.
Prices in Skopje
- A meal in the inexpensive restaurant: $6
- Beer 0.5 liter in a restaurant: $1.8
- Water 1.5 liter in the market: $0.5
- Cappuccino: $1.5
- Local transport – one-way ticket: $0.6
- Gasoline 1 liter: $1.22
- Cigarettes 20 pack: $2.5
Firstly, before your visit to Skopje, we highly recommend visiting a web page of the Skopje Tourist Information to get the latest news about events in Skopje which will take place during your stay and read more about the city.
Here you can see Skopje in 90 seconds:
Where to stay in Skopje
There is a wide choice of accommodation in Skopje (200+ properties on booking.com), and the selection criteria depend on your preferences, needs, and expectations. In our case, we chose something extraordinary but still on budget.
We spent two nights in the boat-like design Hotel Senigallia in the center of Skopje. The hotel was very comfortable with a delicious breakfast that was served in the restaurant with a beautiful view of the city.
One day in Skopje – summary
We hope that you enjoyed our Skopje travel guide, so you know now how to plan your perfect day in the city. As you can see, there are many exciting things to do in Skopje in one day, and believe us – there is much more to see! We carefully chose places to visit in Skopje in 1 day based on our experience, however, feel free to add your ideas in the comments below.