24 hours in Skopje
There are so many travelers who are doing the Balkan tour and from my experience as a tour guide, I can notice that must of the time they are spending just 24 hours in Skopje.  

I often try to change their plans, because that’s not enough time to explore Skopje. But sometimes is just impossible to stay more days and because of that I decided to write this post and help the “short-term” travelers who are visiting Skopje in 24 hours.

General information:

If the night before you were sleeping in Skopje and you are starting your day from the morning,  then I will suggest you first to go and have a traditional Macedonian breakfast (burek, gevrek, banichka, simit, perek) in some of the local bakeries. They are behind every corner of the city.

If you are here in winter/autumn it will be a good idea to start your day visiting the canyon Matka, because without Matka you will never have the full Skopje experience. The day in winter is very short so it’s always better to visit first the Canyon and later explore the city. And don’t worry Matka is beautiful during all the seasons.

If you are coming to Skopje in spring/summer you will have an advantage because the day is longer, and you will have more time. In that seasons it is always better to start the city tour in the morning, when still is not so hot. Then when the temperature in the city is high, move to the Canyon, where the temperature is always 10 degrees less than the city.

If you are tired of thinking how to organize your day in Skopje and you need some local expert to show you the best places and make your itinerary then you can have a look here SKOPJE TOURS 

24 hours Skopje Itinerary winter/autumn:

  • Wake up around 8am
  • Go for a breakfast in the local bakery closest to your accommodation
  • Catch the bus or taxi to reach the canyon Matka.
  • Bus n.60 is going to the Canyon almost every hour or two, it leaves from the main Bus Station, (timetable n.60 ). You need to have the card for the bus that you can buy from the office on the bus station. The ride to the canyon takes almost one hour, depend on the day, time and traffic. If you decide to go by taxi, the cost shouldn’t be more than 15 eur one way.
  • 2-3 hours are enough for the Canyon during cold season. You have enough time to walk around, take photos, take the boat and visit the Vrelo cave (boat return ticket around 7 eur ). You will have time to visit the churches around and have a coffee or some food in the restaurant with a breathtaking view over the lake.
  • Around lunch time you can come back to the city and have a lunch in some of our traditional restaurants in the bohemian neighborhood of Debar Maalo. And later from Debar Maalo you can explore the city park, the National Stadium, the neighborhood with a traditional architecture and move toward the Old Bazaar.
  • I will suggest you to go first to see the Fortress Kale because in winter/autumn it closes earlier, around 5 pm, the entrance to the Fortress Kale is free! After Kale, you can go up to the museum of Contemporary Art to have another panoramic view and to see the museum.
  • Then go back to the Old Bazaar and see some of the buildings that we have there or simply walk through the narrow streets between the shops and observe what the locals are doing. You can also have some food or some traditional tea or coffee.
  • Leave the “new part” of Skopje for the end of the day, because you can see it also with night lights. Explore all that new buildings around and find out something more about the controversial project Skopje 2014. But you can also see the Museum of the city of Skopje and the Museum of Mother Theresa (the entrance in this one is free). If you decide to go inside of the old shopping mall on the square you can go downstairs and see some street art and graffiti.
  • If you are leaving Skopje in the night, before leaving go in some of our local bars and try the famous Skopsko beer, a glass of Macedonian wine or rakija.
  • Time to leave, have a nice and safe travels and come back soon 🙂

24 hours Skopje itinerary spring/summer:

  • Wake up around 8.30/9 am
  • Breakfast in a local bakery
  • After breakfast go directly to the old Bazaar and explore the local life, visit the local green market, talk with locals, go inside of the old buildings from Ottoman time, take pictures and have a lunch in some of the traditional restaurants in the Bazaar. If you are not hungry so early, you can have the lunch after you will return from the Canyon
  • Try to catch the bus or taxi before 12 pm and go to the canyon Matka. The temperature in Skopje in summer is really high, so it is always better to spend that period of the day around the lake.
  • Bus n.60 is going to the Canyon almost every hour or two, it leaves from the main Bus Station, (timetable n.60 ). You need to have the card for the bus that you can buy from the office on the bus station. The ride to the canyon takes almost one hour, depend on the day, time and traffic. If you decide to go by taxi, the cost shouldn’t be more than 15 eur one way.
  • 3-4 hours are enough to see the Canyon, go to visit the cave Vrelo by boat (return ticket around 7 eur), you can also rent a kayak (5 eur per hour, single one), trekking around the lake, or simply have an ice coffee in the restaurant above the lake.
  • Come back to the city around 16 pm or 16.30 pm and go to visit the “new part” of Skopje. Explore all that new buildings around and find out something more about the controversial project Skopje 2014. But you can also see the Museum of the city of Skopje and the Museum of Mother Theresa (the entrance in this one is free). If you decide to go inside of the old shopping mall on the square you can go downstairs and see some street art and graffiti.
  • Before sunset go up to the Fortress Kale and enjoy the most beautiful sunset and view of Skopje.
  • After sunset go in some of the bars in the bohemian neighborhood of Debar Maalo and have a cold Skopsko beer.
  • Time to leave, have a nice and safe travels and come back soon 🙂