Skopje is a strange mix of architecture, which makes it difficult to decide if the city is pretty or not. It may depend on which direction you look and what your personal likes are.
Macedonia has been conquered by Serbs and Turks and became part the Ottoman Empire. In more recent times, Macedonia was a part of Yugoslavia, but gained its independence in 1991. The city was hit by an earthquake in 1963. When it was rebuilt, it incorporated much communist architecture.
With the Skopje 2014 project, the plan was to give the city a facelift and its inhabitants a sense of pride and belonging. Several impressive buildings have been erected, in addition to adorning the city centre with many statues.
There is one thing that strikes you when you visit central Skopje and that is all the statues. The biggest one being Alexander the Great. Alexander was the son of Philip the 2nd of Macedonia and the country seems to have him their own. If you arrive in Skopje by plane, Alexander the Great airport is you’re destination, where you will find a statue of him in the arrivals hall.
It might be a little less known, that Macedonia is also Mother Theresa’s home country. Skopje is the city where she was born and there is a memorial house to her here.
The river Varda divides the city in two, where the newer district is on the south side, with the old Ottoman part on the north. The Old Town attracts the tourists into the narrow alleys where you will find everything from bars and restaurants, to shops and stalls.
On the north side of the city is the ancient Kale fortress. It has been destroyed and rebuilt several times and what remains is a shadow of its former glory. Restoration is on going, but mainly only the outer wall is in tact. It is worth the trip up, as the view over Skopje is spectacular from here.