Skopje - A view from our expert author

Skopje Archaeological Museum Macedonia by zefart ShutterstockSkopje Archaeological Museum © zefart, Shutterstock

Skopje is an up-and-coming city of many cultures, home to an interesting array of historical buildings influenced by both Islam and Christianity.

The up-and-coming town of Skopje is divided by the River Vardar into the predominantly Muslim half to the north of the river, and the predominantly Orthodox Christian half to the south. Most government offices, main shopping centres and the main railway station are found on the southern side of town, although the old Turkish side of town, known as Čaršija, remains the main tourist attraction, with a large daily bazaar, a variety of interesting old buildings and cafés, the remnants of the Kale fortress and a small but buzzing nightlife.

Skopje is a city of many cultures and is worth at least a couple of days itself. It is currently going through a massive urban renewal programme, so there is lots of controversy to see and experience around town. Don’t miss out on the cable car up to Vodno Mountain, the Jewish Holocaust Museum, Kale Fortress, and a taste of Čaršija old town. Further just outside Skopje, Katlanovska Banja hot springs is worth a visit, as is the Church of Sv Pantelejmon for its rare Byzantine frescoes.

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