Macedonia : Skopje+Matka Canyon

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Preface : As many of you may have no idea where Skopje or Macedonia is located. It is located in the Balkan Peninsula, and northwest of Greece. Skopje is the capital city filled with brand new buildings, because it was destroyed by various unfortunate events such as an earthquake in 1963, and the wars during the Socialist Yugoslavia period, plus some other various disputes. Anyhow…before this journal turns into a history channel, I should tell you about Skopje and my trip.

In my opinion for
Skopje

Public transportation : ✪ ✪
Getting around on foot : ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪
Daytime safety : ✪ ✪ ✪
Nighttime safety : ✪ ✪

Matka Canyon
Don’t forget to bring these; 
drinking water, snack, a hat or a cap and sun screen lotion for summer time

Public transportation : ✪
Getting around on foot : ✪ ✪ ✪
Daytime safety : ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪
Nighttime safety : N/A

✪ = poor,  ✪ ✪ = fair,  ✪ ✪ ✪ = good, ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ = very good

 

 

THE FIRST 2 DAYS

THE THIRD DAY

First of all, I would like to use the rate of 1 Euro = 60 Macedonian denar for this entire journal.


How to get to the city:

By booking a round trip transfer services from Vardar Express (300 Macedonian denar for a round trip). It was quite helpful, because:

  • I didn’t need to exchange any money at the airport, which always offers a bad rate.
  • There was no need to be worried about how to get the city like…. do I need to travel by taxi ? will the taxi driver charge me with a hefty bill ? and so on….

FYI, the Vardar Express bus stops at 2 places :
1st The Main Bus Station which located a bit outside the old town.
2nd The Holiday Inns Hotel stop which located next to the Vardar River and is in the old town. This means, if you choose to stay in the old town, you won’t need to jump out of the bus at the The Main Bus Station!!


Where to stay:

Usually I always book a hotel close to an airport bus stop or the main train station of the city, so there is hassle free. In Skopje, I chose to stay at Hotel Senigallia.

Here were my reasons:

  1. It is located 5 minutes walk from The Holiday Inns Hotel airport bus stop (Vardar Express).
  2. It is located right in the heart of the old city.
  3. In my opinion, this is the most beautiful hotel in Europe…Why ?….because the hotel is inside a ship!! plus a spectacular view from the roof deck to the Archaeological Museum Of Macedonia and beautiful bridges. It is really a WOW view…believe me. Apart from this WOW, the hotel staffs were totally friendly and very helpful.


Where to go:
Skopje is a small capital city, so you actually don’t need to be worried about how to commute from one to another place, because every place can be reached by walking.

Most of the places situate near the Vardar River namely: Archaeological Museum Of Macedonia, Old bridges, Macedonian Orthodox Church , Mother Teresa Memorial, The Old Bazaar, and The Skopje Fortress. Speaking about The Skopje Fortress, actually I found that going up there I could get a better view of the city, because the city is so small and there is no prominent skyline. Although many people try to go up to The Millennium Cross in Vodno.

The Archaeological Museum Of Macedonia

The Old Bridge (left) and The Archaeological Museum Of Macedonia

Skopje’s Main Square

The Archaeological Museum Of Macedonia and new bridges

Mother Teresa Memorial

Monuments in front of The Old Bazaar


A view to the city from The Skopje Fortress


The Skopje Fortress

FYI 1, if you want to go up to Vodno, you’d better take a taxi which costs you around 400- 500 Macedonian denar for a round trip. The taxi will drop you at the cable car station and from there you will have to pay for a ride around 120 Macedonian denar for a round trip.

FYI 2, I was advised that a single tourist shouldn’t go alone at night to The Old Bazaar due to some petty crimes.


THE THIRD DAY
Where to go

Apart from mentioned places above, you gotta visit Matka Canyon!! It is another breathtaking place to see. To get to Matka, you can either take a bus no. 60 at The Main Bus Station (150 Macedonian denar for a round trip ticket) or a taxi. I would suggest that you should take a taxi, because it costs only 1500 Macedonian denar for a round trip and Matka is located about 30 -40 minutes from the city. I, myself, tried to wait for a bus, but it never came after 40 minutes according to the time table.  So I had finally decided to take a taxi instead.

In Matka, there is only one restaurant and if you want to sit by the lake and enjoy the Matka warm air during summer, you’d better reserve a table in advance. And if you don’t want to sit in the restaurant, you’d better prepare some food, drink for the entire trip. And don’t forget to bring some sun protection cream with you too, because the summer sun in Matka is scorching hot!!

This was one of my memorable trips ever, because the city is beautiful, the landscape is amazing, and more importantly the Macedonian are totally friendly, lovable, and kind. Thank you to the Macedonian for helping me complete my unforgettable journey 🙂

Useful Information
Information about Macedonian Entry Visas