It took us some time to leave the Rila Monastery and head towards Macedonia. Like on our arrival in the Rila National Park, there were works to expand the road, so we had to wait a lot for the machines to get out of the way or to move the recently cut trees out of the road.
Slowly, but surely, we made it, though. And we instantly started to appreciate the Macedonian music. I forgot to mention this, but we only listened to what was on the radio on this road trip. And the music we found, regardless of the radio channels, was like the music from the ’80s!
Arrival in Skopje
Once in Skopje, Tim found Urban Hostel & Apartments, where we stayed for two nights. It was a great deal: we had two rooms, a balcony, a small kitchen and, most important: a washing machine in the bathroom. More information on our hostel is available in the quick guide at the end of the article.
We started searching for a restaurant recommended by Lonely Planet, but it was no longer there. However, in the area, we found a really nice place, with tasty food.
Our first discoveries in Skopje
After a hearty lunch/dinner (or linner, as a Londoner friend likes to call it), we went to the Skopje City Park or Gradski Park, past the stadium (Philip II National Arena or Telekom Arena) and across the Vardar River. We were heading towards the fortress but I was feeling sick, so I went back to our rooms. Ana and Tim, however, went on and saw a good part of the city centre by night, too.
As bad as I felt, I still loved all the treats the streets of Skopje had to offer and I hadn’t even seen the most interesting parts yet.
At the hostel, I went and talked to the guy at the reception about things to do. I got a Balkan Bucket List and some info on a walking tour for the next morning. After my friends returned, I talked Ana into joining me for the walking tour.
Did you travel to Skopje, Macedonia?
What were your first impressions?
Were did you stay?
Quick Guide for Skopje – Part 1 of 4
Where to Stay
Urban Hostel & Apartments
Located in a secure, urban, yet quiet neighbourhood, 10 minutes away from Skopje’s main square by foot. The hostel offers free coffee, tea, maps, parking, Wi-Fi, computer and printer access. Delivery and laundry services are also available.
The reception is open 24h. Check-in is from 14.00 and check-out by 12.00.
Reservations are valid until 23.00, on the announced arrival day.
Book on Hostel World (9.4 rating)
What to see
Philip II Arena (Telekom Arena)
Address: Aminta the third, 1000 Skopje, Macedonia (FYROM)
Gradski Park (Skopje City Park)
Address: 89 Ilinden Boulevard, 1000 Skopje, Macedonia (FYROM)
Also known as Axios, the Vardar is not only the longest and most important river in Macedonia (FYROM) but also one of Greece’s major rivers.
Length: 388 km
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Featured image © Ana Maria Gavrilă