Macedonia boasts a rich and diverse historical past that includes influences from the Roman Empire, Bulgarian Empire and the Ottoman Turks, which translates today in a unique architecture, diverse culture and delicious cuisine.
Macedonia is definitely on my list of top 10 eastern European destinations to visit as the country offers plenty of things to do outdoors and interesting places to see in abundance.
If you’re planning a getaway this year, here it is some of my favorite places to visit in Macedonia that you can add to your itinerary:
Ohrid is certainly one of the top eastern European cities to visit and one of the most popular places to visit in Macedonia because of its location overlooking the beautiful Lake Ohrid.
Ohrid has lovely beaches where you can enjoy a ton of water activities, as well as a charming old town filled with landmarks and monuments such as the statue of Kiril and Metodi and a Roman Amphitheater where the Ohrid summer festival is held.
Another of the top attractions in Ohrid old town it’s Samuil's Fortress, which offers stunning views of Ohrid lake. The city of Ohrid is also a great place to base your vacation in Macedonia if you want to explore nearby Albania. By the way, the bus ride from Ohrid to Tirana is inexpensive so if you decide to explore Tirana, it takes around 5 hour’s to get there.
Being the capital city, Skopje is one of the largest cities in Macedonia and one of the best places in the country to appreciate Macedonia’s diverse architectural influences.
There are an impressive amount of churches and mosques located in Skopje Old Bazaar which is a fantastic place to explore on foot on a warm day. Skopje is definitely home to some of the most interesting places to visit in Macedonia and exploring Skopje’s Old Bazaar and Main Square are two of the most rewarding thing to do in the city.
If you’re visiting Skopje on a day trip, I’d spend a couple of days in Skopje to soak in all the sights that the city has to offer. Some of the sights you don’t want to miss while in Skopje include:
- Kale Fortress, from where you can get lovely views of the city.
- Museum of Skopje, located at the Old railway station
- Millenium Cross on top of Vodno Mountain
- National Museum of Macedonia at Kursumli An
- Stone Bridge, built in the 6th century
- Mustafa Pasha's Mosque which is a beautiful example of Islamic influence in the city
Bitola is located in southern Macedonia and it is one of the most beautiful and most popular places to visit in Macedonia because of Pelister National Park.
Pelister National Park is just a stone-throw away from the city, and one of the main attractions at the park are the stunning glacial lakes. Bitola is also characterized by many historical buildings so you’ll love strolling through the streets marveling at the beautiful buildings.
Bitola is located 30 miles east of Ohrid so the city is not far at all to get to on a day trip so it’s worth adding to your itinerary. There are many things to do in Bitola such as visiting the churches and mosques; the Old Bazaar for a bit of shopping and Bitola’s National Theater for an evening out in the city.
Gradsko is another of the top places to visit in Macedonia because of the nearby Stobi archeological Site.
Stobi archeological Site is, undoubtedly, the best in the country and if you are looking for interesting attractions to add to your Macedonia itinerary, visiting the Stobi ruins are a definitely must-add attraction.
Macedonia boasts many villages and small towns worthy of visiting. For instance, the town of Krusevo is a great place to soak in traditional Macedonian way of life, and purchase genuine Macedonian hand made goods.
If you’re basing your vacation in one of the major Macedonian cities, Krusevo can be a refreshing day trip to escape the tourist trail and experience a different type of vacation. Once you get to Krusevo, you’ll immediately notice the old stone houses and workhorses transporting heavy woods.
Krusevo has a beautiful church that you can visit, as well as a market and a Cooper’s shop where you can purchase a traditional Rakija barrel.
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