The Republic of Macedonia is bordered by Albania to the west, Greece to the south, Bulgaria to the east and Serbia to the north. Macedonia is divided into the regions of Eastern Macedonia, Western Macedonia and Povardarie (the region along the Vardar River, including the capital city, Skopje). The country has a rich cultural heritage in poetry, music, art and architecture. Macedonia is home to beautiful churches, Ottoman mosques and monasteries.
Matka Canyon is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Macedonia and is located west of Skopje. Matka is also well-known for its wide variety of animals, plants and natural sites. There are around ten caves in this area. The Vrelo Cave, located on the right bank of the Treska River, is considered to be the deepest underwater cave and was listed as one of the top natural sites in the world.
The Capital City of Macedonia – Skopje
The capital city of Macedonia, Skopje, is located in the center of the Balkans on the banks of the Vardar River. Skopje is bordered by the foothills of the Osogovo Mountains to the east, Šar Mountains to the west and the Jakupica chain to the south.
Skopje is home to many architectural monuments and historic landmarks. The Millennium Cross, the largest in the world, is a popular tourist attraction and was built on the highest point of Vodno Mountain in order to celebrate two thousand years of the existence of Christianity.
The Ristiḱ Palace is located at Macedonia Square and is one of the most popular buildings in Skopje. The palace was designed by Dragutin Maslać and survived the 1963 Skopje earthquake. After the earthquake, the Skopje Fortress’s square towers were restored and are also a popular spot for tourists. The Stone Bridge, built under the patronage of Sultan Mehmed II, was built between 1450 and 1470 and represents the connection between the city’s past and present. Stone Bridge is also a connection between Macedonia square and the city’s Old Bazaar. Kapan An, Kuršumli An and Suli An are located in the Old Bazaar and features architecturally significant domes and arches.
Skopje is the birthplace of Mother Teresa. Ensure to visit the Memorial House of Mother Teresa which opened early 2009. The authorities honoured Mother Teresa’s work with a thirty meter-high statue.
The city has a diverse nightlife with a large emphasis on casinos and restaurants. Some of the exciting nightclubs in Skopje include Maracana, Hard Rock, Colosseum, Havana and Midnight. Popular concert venues include Boris Trajkovski Sports Center and Philip II National Arena.
For great Macedonian food and Macedonian music you can visit one of many kafeani. It was said that Kafeani is a place where sad lovers cure their sorrows in alcohol and music, gamblers squander entire fortunes, husbands run away from mean wives while shady businessmen, corrupt local politicians and petty criminals do business. As in many other societies, Kafeani is mainly a male activity, and honest women dare only visit finer ones. Today, there are 989 kafeani in the capital city.
Explore the Town of Kruševo in Macedonia
Kruševo is a mountainous town and is home to the remarkable Mečkin Kamen, Museum of Ilinden Uprising and the Makedonium monument. An interesting architecture has developed in Kruševo. The back of the houses are built of stone and the front of the houses are typically made from wooden columns. On the upper floor there is usually a small balcony and the window frames are often blue.
Ensure to visit the Nikola Martinovski gallery. Nikola Martinovski was one of the most important Macedonian contemporary painters and was born in Kruševo. He donated 62 paintings to the town which are now exhibited in his birth house. The house itself is an excellent example of Kruševo architecture and it is worth exploring.
The Republic of Macedonia reflects Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences and also some of Hungary. Macedonian food is well-known for its diversity and quality of dairy products. Pork is seldom used. The traditional dish, Tavče gravče, is prepared with beans, onions and red pepper and is served in most restaurants.
Other traditional Macedonian dishes include Kisela Zelka and Rasolnica – sour cabbage, Mekici, tiganici or pishii – fried lumps of dough, Chorba od Kopriva – a creamy Nettle Soup, Kompir Mandza – a potato and meat stew, Pleskavica or burger and Selsko meso – a roast beef with mushrooms, white wine and yellow cheese on top.
Traditional Macedonian desserts include Kadaif, Med, Tulumba, Palačinki, Kompot, Lokum and Baklava. Kadaif is a Levantine cheese pastry soaked in sweet sugar-based syrup, typical of the regions belonging to the former Ottoman Empire.
Tulumba is made from fried batter soaked in syrup. It is first deep-fried to golden colour and then sugar-sweet syrup poured over it when still hot and eaten once it is cold. Kompot is a non-alcoholic clear juice obtained by cooking fruit in a large volume of water, like strawberries, apricots, peaches, apples, rhubarb, gooseberries, or sour cherries.
Visa Requirements for the Republic of Macedonia
Visitors to the Republic of Macedonia must obtain a visa from one of the Republic of Macedonia diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries.
International Calls to Macedonia.