"Evet Sevgili İzleyiciler,
Balkanlar'dan bildiren Muhabirimiz ( değil değil, Gönüllümüz) Sezgi Şahin gittiği Makedonya'dan sizler için, size bildiriyor. Gezip, dolaştığı, keşfettiği Üsküp'ten toplayıp getirdiği tavsiyeleri okumadan sakın Balkan topraklarına geçmeyin..."
I'm here with too many stories about Balkan countries! Let's start with my first destination; broken heart of Balkans; Skopje! Enjoy!
1- For those who want to travel Skopje; from Thessaloniki/ Greece you can travel only for 25EU to Skopje. (round trip) From Turkey, you can take the bus from Esenler Otogar and it costs aprx. 80-90EU for round trip. Keep it in your mind that if you are Turkish citizen you don't need to have visa! Yaay! And one more little suggestion, from Thessaloniki everyday around 17:30 you can find a bus.
2- Ok, finally you reach Skopje around 4 hours of trip from Thessaloniki. First thing you should do is find a tourist-friendly exchange office. Keep it in your mind, they use Dinars and you can only change soft-cashes.
EU coins are useless in Skopje:)
3- Before you go, you should definitely book a hostel! I suggest you to try Urban Hostel. Prices are reasonable and hostel stuff is very friendly. Here you can find the details; Urban Hostel Info
4- After a restful sleep here you go! It's time to explore the city! From Urban Hostel, you can walk through the center around 20-25 min. Are you hungry? Fallow the smell. Soon, you reach an amazing bakery.
5- When you reach the center, a huge statue of Alexander the Great welcomes you! I mean it, it's huge!
6- OK, you had your breakfast and now you need a coffee! I suggest you to go a very nice coffer shop name Cafe Di Roma. It's just in front of the Mother Therese’s memorial house. Ask someone, they'll help you for sure!
7- You had your coffe and it's time to explore the city. Cross the road and you reach Mother Theresa's memorial house. The original house was destroyed by earthquake and they made an replica in the very center. Also it has a small chapel in it.
8- Go to the old city and see the real old Macedonian architecture. Cross the "Stone Bridge" and here you are! You'll have a journey in time! Maybe that's why Macedonian's say; Skopje; Timeless City :) Nowadays, most of the Albanian minorities live there. You'll have the sense that city is like devided two parts; European and Balkan at the same time. For those who like contrasts it's an amazing experience.
9- Eat meat! Do it! If you compare with Euro zone, Skopje is very very very cheap and has amazing Balkan cuisine. Also they usually drink Rakia with meal. I don't have one of these Balkan stomach so i suffered a lot! If you breave enough, go for it! By the way I added at least. 2 kilos during my visit. Shame on you Macedonians! :)
10- City has too many art-galleries, museums and touristic attractions. I'm not that kind of person who admire to museum freak- Japanese tourists but if you like that kind of stuff, you are in the right place. You can visit National Gallery, Macedonian National History Museum and Archeological Museum.
11- Sometimes statues around the city can be "pain in the eye" but keep it in your mind that Macedonians take it very serious. I feel like they admire the glamour of national pride.
12- In old part, you can see too many bars, tea shops, wineries and etc. I suggest you to try one of these Mecedonian wines. You'll not regret! Trust me, i was drunk when i left Skopje.
13- To commemorate of 2000th years of Christianity, they built and amazing statue name Millennium Cross. I'm very very lucky that i have a local friend and he took me there! For those who wants to go there, i suggest you to ask! I have no idea how to get there by bus or taxi. To reach Millenium Cross you should use teleferic! Amazing experience, you can see the city from top!
14- Skopje has its own music inside! Just fallow the rhythm and relax. You are in Balkans, you've already cross the red-line!
15- I'm kind a addicted to goodbyes and long journeys away from home. This time saying -half drunk goodbye- was too weird for me. Don't say goodbye to Skopje. For sure you want to come back! Some say; Goodbyes hurt till the sun comes shining through again:)