One of the best parts of starting more of an online presence is virtually "meeting" people from all over the world. When Sandra from the blog and Insta Travelholic Girl reached out about doing an Instagram shout out I jumped at the opportunity to not just do the shout out (her blog and Instagram aesthetic are amaze) but to also get her to write a piece on her home town, Skopje, Macedonia. I did a project on Macedonia in the 6th grade and have wanted to visit ever since! Thank you so much to you contribution, Sandra! Hopefully see you in Skopje soon :) - A
There is an old Macedonian saying "This is the place where the sun always shines."
Introducing Republic of Macedonia, located on the sunny side of the world, right in the heart of
the Balkans. Just like the Macedonian flag, represented by the sun and its rays, Macedonia is
connecting Europe and the Balkans to Asia and Africa through Turkey and Greece.
Macedonia is a country, rich with natural beauties and history and Skopje is the capital city of this amazing country. This city is nothing like you've ever seen. Amazingly strange and confusing and yet so lovable.
The city of Skopje has 3 very meaningful phases of development. First to know, after being 80% destroyed after a dreadful earthquake in 1963, it was completely rebuilt and leads us to the first two phases: Skopje before 1963 - a small city in Yugoslavia, capital to Socialist Republic of Macedonia, Skopje after 1963 - rebuilt by the International community and becoming a fast growing city. The singularity for this period is the specific architecture "Communist Concrete Style" in which many famous architects were involved including the Japanese legend Kenzo Tange.
Finally, we get to the most recent phase three, a project called "Skopje 2014". Introducing a completely new architectural style to the city and causing controversy and reactions worldwide. The "new" Skopje full of new day baroque style changed the city visually, but also in spirit. This was one of the most important turning point to the drastic increase in tourism, because of the reaction worldwide calling the city "The most Kitsch City in The World."
Although there was (and still is) a lot of domestic rejection toward the extreme project, it definitely contributed to the touristic aspect of the city, putting Skopje on the map.
Introducing this city:
If you are bored by the cliché destinations, visiting Skopje is a very good choice. It's definitively different than anything you've ever seen. The perfect combination of communism with a lot of "gold". Visiting Skopje, will not only awaken your visual senses, but also you will be overwhelmed by all others. Having a lot of fun is not something you'll be able to skip. Skopje tends to put people out of their comfort zone. One of the key features of the city is the people living here and their hospitality. You'll make many friends for sure! The next big thing is the food. The Macedonian people are gourmet, due to the fact that the food here is amazingly delicious. Don't skip trying out some traditional food and of course our traditional spirit drink Rakia (However, be careful. It's quite strong).
My recommendation list
Things to do: Museum of the City of Skopje, Skopje Fortress, Skopje Old Town, Macedonia Square, The Contemporary Art Museum of Macedonia, Church St. Spas, City Park, Mountain Vodno, Canyon Matka
Fun places to visit: Visit the first and only craft brewery in Macedonia - Craft Brewery Temov / Old Town Brewery in the unique and extraordinary Old Town in Skopje; Kolektiv Bar on Macedonia Square – a very nice place to have lunch or dinner, amazing beer and great atmosphere, Kjosh Bar in the old and traditional Skopje neighborhood Debar Maalo
Foods to try: shopska, kebab, traditional plate (in the Old Town Brewery), ajvar
The rest I'll let you figure out by yourself.
*All Photos by Sandra