Getty Images

Skopje

Skopje has plenty of charm. Its Ottoman- and Byzantine-era sights are focused around the city's delightful Čaršija, bordered by the 15th-century Kameni Most (Stone Bridge) and Tvrdina Kale Fortress – Skopje's guardian since the 5th century. Don't miss the excellent eating and drinking scene in Debar Maalo, a lovely tree-lined neighbourhood.

For most of its existence, Skopje has been a modest Balkan city known for its rich local life, but the last decade has seen its centre transformed into a bizarre set design for an ancient civilisation. Towering warrior statues, gleaming, enormous neoclassical buildings, marble-clad museums, hypnotic megafountains…and plenty of lions.

This is the result of a controversial, nationalistic project called 'Skopje 2014' implemented by ex–Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. Some of the buildings along the riverbank are already suffering flooding and have unsteady foundations.

Explore Skopje

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Skopje.

Guidebooks

Learn more about Skopje

Uncover the heart of travel and be inspired to see new sights with one of Lonely Planet’s in-depth, award-winning guidebooks.