Macedonia is blessed with incredible natural beauty and an intoxicating mix of cultures that draws on both Balkan and Mediterranean influences, a fascinating country to explore that is still very much off the beaten path. The cities in Macedonia are worth visiting. Ruled at various times by the Romans, Ottomans, Serbs, and Soviets, there is a wealth of historic sites dotted around the country. Heading out to explore the old monasteries and hilltop fortresses in major cities in Macedonia is a magical experience. Mosques, Orthodox churches, and amazing archaeological ruins are also prevalent, and many of its cities have delightful Old Bazaars at their heart which date back to Ottoman times. Here are some of the best cities to visit in Macedonia.
List of Top Cities in Macedonia
Skopje is most definitely Europe’s most eclectic capital city. It is one of the largest cities in Macedonia. The result is something grand that has come to symbolize a new national identity for all Macedonians. In places like Kameni Most (Stone Bridge), Sveti Spas Church, Tvrdina Kale Fortress, and the old Turkish bazaar Caršija the history still remains. Be sure to check out the giant statue of Alexander the Great, commissioned to celebrate Macedonia’s 20th year of independence. The shopping and nightlife in Skopje are also something to experience – if this is what you’re looking for, head straight to Makedonija Street.
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One is known as the “City of Consuls” because it served as a diplomatic center for the region, Bitola is an old Ottoman town. Elegant and sophisticated are the best words to describe it. You’ll see colorful in this most beautiful cities in Macedonia townhouses from the 18th century and Turkish mosques throughout. To sit along the Širok Sokak (Wide Street), sipping espresso, and watching everyone come and go is not-to-be-missed and certainly often repeated experience. Bitola is the second-largest city and is a favorite among Macedonians for its café culture and European atmosphere. Discover the Deboj Amam Turkish Bath (17th century), the Old Bazaar, Jeni Mosque, and Isak Beg Mosque (both the 16th century).
Kruševo is one of the top cities in Macedonia though it only has 10,000 citizens. Macedonians equate the town with the centuries-long struggle to win independence from the Ottoman Empire. As it looked like Macedonia might be successful, during the last revolution. The two monuments built to commemorate the uprising you can visit Mechkin Kaman and Makedonim. As you explore the city you’ll learn the many reasons why August 2 is an important date throughout the country and such an intense point of pride.
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Prilep is famous for a few unique things. First, agriculturally speaking, and Second, became known as “the city under Marko’s towers,”. This city is known as one of the main cities in Macedonia. When it was the medieval capital for Kings Marko and Volkasin who populated the town with monasteries and churches located in Western Macedonia. Prilep is considered as one of the best cities to see in Macedonia. At the top of the hill are the ruins of a medieval fortress.
Tetovo is the fifth biggest and the best city in Macedonia and it is located on the foothills of the Šar Mountain. The city is divided by the Pena River and covers an area of 1,080 square km. Since ages, Tetovo has a rich history and has housed multiple ethnic groups. The city serves as the unofficial capital of a predominantly ethnic Albanian region, presently. Around one-third of Tetovo’s population are ethnic Macedonians. The State University of Tetovo is also built-in the city.
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Famed for the beautiful Byzantine monasteries lying just outside of the city, Strumica is located in the east of Macedonia. This popular city in Macedonia surrounding countryside is full of magical waterfalls and mountains. A quiet and relaxed city, Strumica is home to some lovely ruins and archaeological sites, such as the Roman Therma and the Carevi Kuli Fortress dates back to the 5th century. While many people simply stop by on their way to the nearby border crossing into Bulgaria, the stunning countryside, historic sights, and the glittering Kolesino and Smolare waterfalls certainly warrant a longer stay. The best time of year to visit is during the Strumica Carnival, when the whole city comes together to celebrate, with various parades, music and traditional events taking place.
Sometimes known as ‘the Jerusalem of the Balkans,’ as this beautiful city in Macedonia was once home to 365 churches, Ohrid is a very historic town that is among the most beautiful and atmospheric in Macedonia. Wandering around its old cobbled streets is a treat; you will pass by some delightful architecture and its quaint little restaurants and cafes make for a perfect stop when you feel like taking a break to watch the world go by. Among its most popular attractions is the captivating Samuil’s Fortress which overlooks the town, and the Church of Saints Clement and Panteleimon – one of the most impressive of the numerous churches in Ohrid. What really sets Ohrid apart, however, is its beautiful location on the shores of Lake Ohrid. This famous city in Macedonia is blessed with numerous breathtaking views out over the turquoise waters. As well as taking a scenic stroll along the town’s shoreside boardwalk, visitors should not miss out on Saint John at Kaneo Church for the incredible panoramas it has out over the lake.
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The ancient city of Stobi is one of Macedonia’s most significant archaeological sites. Stobi was first founded in the 7th century by the Kingdom of Paeonia, then eventually overtaken by the Kingdom of Macedon, and later on by the Romans and Byzantines. A list of cities in Macedonia is incomplete without it. Stobi was the capital city of the province of Macedonia Secunda during Roman times. Along an old Roman trading route, the Stoby’s importance stems from its strategic position that led from the Danube River (Serbia) all the way down to the Aegean Sea (Greece). It became an important trading hub because Stobi was located along this road. During the early Christian period, the city had several churches, basilicas, and a baptistery.
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