Bitola Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by Vanity666
  • Things to Do
    by MacedonianUK
  • Things to Do
    by MacedonianUK

Most Recent Things to Do in Bitola

  • planxty's Profile Photo

    Money matters.

    by planxty Updated Jul 13, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Exchange office, Bitola, Macedonia.

    It is a fact of life in Macedonia (as indeed most of the Balkans) that you must register your presence with the police within 24 hours of arrival in any new place. This requires depositing your passport with the hotel / guest house / hostel you are staying in, and I have never had a problem with it. However, needing local funds, I went to a bank just off the main square in Bitola to change money but was told I couldn't do it as I didn't have my passport. Slight problem then. I can't get my passport as my lovely landlady (see seperate tip for Chola Guesthouse) quite properly has it for my registration and the bank are not allowed to change money without it.

    However, in the way of things in this lovely country, it was not a problem. The delightful lady in the bank who, thankfully, spoke a bit of English and directed me a very short walk to the little exchange office pictured. For some obscure reason, exchange offices apparently do not need your passport. I duly repaired there, spoke to the gentleman who spoke good English and was the proud owner of a walletful of Macedonian dinari in about three minutes flat. Checking with my Macedonian friend Valentina, I found that the exchange rate was competitive. I would have no problem in recommending this place.

    I cannot for the life of me find the business card I acquired so I will have to describe where it is, see the later section of this tip.

    Was this review helpful?

  • planxty's Profile Photo

    A hero who caused me a small problem.

    by planxty Updated Jul 3, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Stiv Naumov memorial, Bitola, Macedonia
    1 more image

    The Balkan region, strategically important as it is, has been the scene of some very serious warfare over many centuries, if not millenia. I would like to say that the subject of this tip was the product of the last conflict, namely World War II but unfortunately that would not be true. His story, however, deserves to be told as does his part in my downfall (as Spike Milligan once famously said) and I hope this does not offend anyone conerning the death of an heroic young man who died far too early.

    Allow me to explain. I had come to Bitola with my dear friends Mat and Urzsula. I thank them yet again for their great friendship and the lift from Serbia down to Macedonia. True VT hospitality. Like most of the VT crew, they were staying at the Millenium Hotel, right in the centre, which became our sort of base, and very nice it looked to. I, however, had opted for the delightful Chola Guest House (see seperate tip.)

    OK, so this should not be a problem. The problem was my complete and idiotic ineptitude. I had memorised the name of the place but not the addess and no access to Wifi. Easy, said I, declining Mat's kind offer to use his Satnav, it can't be that far. I took myself to a local internet cafe, delightful place with a really nice guy and excellent coffee, and set myself down. I checked my reservation to find it was on Stiv Naumov (street?) so I checked it on Google maps.

    My friends, do not trust Google maps. I went a short distance to the place indicated (Stiv Naumov), looking for number 80, only to find that the road went to 23. OK, Houston, we have a problem. There was statue of a very heroic looking young man which didn't really register with me. Imagine asking for Churchill Avenue in England or Roosevelt Boulevard in America and you will get the idea. Google had directed me to the statue of a man called Stiv Naumov which was about as far away from where I wanted to be as it was possible to get.

    Went to a local bar and made enquiries whereby I decided to get a taxi which they very helpfully got for me (Bitola people are really friendly, even with lost idiots) and he deposited me at my destination in about three minutes flat and for pennies (Bitola cabbies do not try to screw you like Skopje cabbies do) and the job was done.

    Back, however, to Stiv, and I apologise for slightly trivialising this young man who gave is life and is, rightly, a local hero. I assure you, no disrespect was intended and I would like to think he would have seen the funny side of a foreign traveller getting lost in his home town.

    Stevan (Stiv) Naumov, as far as I can make out, was a partisan who was killed in 1942 at the age of 22 leading an attack on a Nazi supportive police station in a village near the city. I am sure some of my Macedonian friends can fill me on the full details but I did rather like the photo, totally random, with the young lad bouncing his basketball in front of the statue. I think Stiv might have liked that.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • JLBG's Profile Photo

    Angel

    by JLBG Updated Jul 1, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Angel

    I am puzzled by this winged statue built in 2001 and standing in the park : does it represents and angel or the god Mercury ? As it has none of the attributes of Mercury, I bet it has been designed as an angel. It looks like a monument celebrating citizens that died from 1969 to 1978.

    Thank you Valentina (MacedonianUK) for the explenation that I quote here :

    This is a monument of an angel in honor of the fallen policeman, which were brutally butchered by the Albanian terrorist n 2001 conflict. Two of the names are friends of mine..

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • planxty's Profile Photo

    Sign of the times.

    by planxty Updated Jun 30, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Plinth, Bitola, Macedonia.
    1 more image

    As I wandered around the main squre in Bitola, one of the first things I noticed was the edifice you see in the photo. Aesthetically, I thought it was a little odd but I was quite prepared to accept local custom, that is the way I travel. I know nothing about statuary so it was with a bit of a sense of relief that I received the information I will now share with you.

    Let's be brutally honest here, the Balkans has a long and all too recent history of violence and very unfortunate things, many of which I remember in my lifetime. I am not going to go into it in any detail, primarily because I do not know enough and secondarily because VT very rightly excludes political / religious comments. This is entirely correct because this is a travel site. However it is impossible to write decent travel tips without the odd oblique reference to these matters. How, for example, could I have written a tip about the Killing Fields wothout mentioning the Khmer Rouge? I think the trick is to make it as apolitical as possible and speak from your own advised perspective. Enough of this.

    This is a monument, well not quite a monument yet, that adorns the main square in Bitola. As I mentioned, I thought is looked a little disproportionate and, thankfully, I was right. At least I am not losing it completely. Apparently, this is a monument to King Phillip II of Macedonia, father to Alexander III, better known as Alexander the Great. Herein lies the problem.

    If you read some of my tips from a few years ago when I travelled from Northern Greeece to Macedonia, I found all the Greeks called all of Macedonia Skopje. Skopje is the capital city of what (and I know they don't like it) is officially known as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Obviously, over millenia, boundaries have changed. Greece is now in the Federal States of E, also known as the EU, and is objesting to the Macedonians calling themselves Macedonians as they consider part of Macedonia to be in Northern Greece. Just recently, the limited train service I used from Greece has been shut down. There is a lot of sabre rattling because the Macedonians want to join E. I find it all very sad having Greek friends and Macedonian friends and loving both countries.

    If you are still with me, you will see that I wasn't actually wrong, there should be a statue on top of this plinth, namely one of Phillip II. It is not there because the Macedonian authorities are trying to reach some sort of rapprochment with Greece. I await the outcome with interest.

    Perhaps when the reader comes, there will be a statue there.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • planxty's Profile Photo

    A central monument.

    by planxty Updated Jun 30, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clock Tower, Bitola, Macedonia.
    1 more image

    If you visit Bitola, and you really should, it is impossible to miss the clock tower. Apart from providing an excellent reference point for navigation, it is of great interest inherently. Like a lot of places in the Balkan region, it is difficult to know what to believe as ancient ravalries and hostilities will colour rational historical thought. I find this terribly sad as I love this whole region but not incomprehensible. I am from Northern Ireland with all that that involves. I shall briefly discuss the whole Greek / Macedonian thing in other tips or travelogues. I shall attempt as always, to be rational and avoid politics and religion which are rightly banned on VT, there are other places to do that.

    So, back to the tower. As best I can research it, it was built in the 1830's on the site of a previous tower with a similar function. The Turks were in power in the region at the time and there is a story they demanded 60,000 eggs from the local populace to strengthen the structure. Who knows?

    What I can tell you is that it is an impressive structure and worth looking at. I am not sure if you can generally visit it, I am sure that the Valentinas, organisers of the Euromeet 2011 would have had us in there were it possible. I know they amazingly managed to open a few museums round the country well outside opening hours so my bet is that it is not open for general visiting.

    Even if you can't get inside, it is unavoidable and well worth a photo or two, or three, or..............

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • JLBG's Profile Photo

    Jeni Mosque

    by JLBG Updated Jun 23, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Jeni Mosque
    3 more images

    There seems to be on the web a lot of confusion between Ajdar Kadhi Mosque and Jeni Mosque (the New Mosque in Turkish)
    I had found on the web on several sites :
    “Ajdar Kadhi Mosque, also named Jeni Mosque was built in 1558 by Kadi Mahmud Efendi upon an old church” and took it for granted.
    Thanks to Valentina, I have edited my tip. Ajdar Kadhi Mosque and Jeni Mosque are two different mosques. Unfortunately, due to a tight schedule, I have not visited Ajdar Kadhi Mosque.

    The photos of this tip are of Jeni Mosque.
    It stands in the center of Bitola, close to the extremity of Širok Sokak. It is not used as a mosque anymore but houses Bitola’s art gallery with permanent and temporary exhibitions. The diameter of the dome is 19 meters, and the minaret is 39 meters high.
    I have read that it was built upon an old church; Is it a confusion with Ajdar Kadhi Mosque ? Or may be that both Mosques were built upon an old church. The later is very likely.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ekaterinburg's Profile Photo

    The Bezisten - covered market

    by Ekaterinburg Updated Jun 15, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the entrances to The Bezisten
    1 more image

    Quite close to the Bazaar and food market is this building, one of the oldest in Bitola. It's an indoor market built in the 15th century and still operating in the 21st century. Formerly used to sell luxurious fabrics and to store money before being transferred to the royal treasury. nowadays the units are just operating as ordinary shops, selling everyday consumer goods.

    This building looks very impressive from outside, with four entrances and many, many windows it is really huge. Insdide though, I was disappointed. Compared with the other markets , it was almost deserted and most of the retail units were unoccupied. The atmosphere seemed a little forlorn to me and the place looked a bit rundown. But architecturally it is superb and I was very glad to finally find a shop where I could buy a notebook and pen.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ekaterinburg's Profile Photo

    East meets west at The Bazaar

    by Ekaterinburg Updated Jun 15, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Traditional shop inthe bazaar
    3 more images

    The very word Bazaar has an exotic ring to it and this was the second place in Bitola that I couldn't wait to see. This area, over several streets was home to the many local craftsmen and manufacturers, with certain streets and areas, home to markets for specific products. Today, while some of the crafts live on here, it's more shops selling clothes, shoes etc as opposed to 'the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker.'

    The magic lives on though and on Friday morning with market day in full swing, The Bazaar was a hive of activity and a sea of people, buying, selling and browsing. The streets were so crowded and the displays outside shops, so big, that in places it was almost impossible to pass. The streets here are cobbled and ancient, the buildings an extraordinary mishmash of colours and styles. In the smaller shops, assistants sit on the steps outside, drinking coffee and chatting with their neighbours, here and there some old people rest and over-excited children tug at their mother's hands.

    Quite a change for those of us ued to the sterile surrounds of shopping centres and malls. Don't miss it !

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ekaterinburg's Profile Photo

    Food as art - The Food Market

    by Ekaterinburg Updated Jun 15, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    'Honey honey, how you thrill me...'
    4 more images

    The food market, at one edge of The Bazaar, is a delight for all the senses. It's absolutely enormous and wandering through row after row of stalls you wonder why you've only just now realised how beautiful onons and leeks can be. The produce is stacked high in rainbow mounds of mostly green, red and yellow and business is brusque. Though mainly fruit and vegetables there are lots of other foods for sale as well. The egg display is a marvel and how so many eggs can be piled up high without any breaking is a marvel of co-ordination and precision on someone's part. Naturally clumsy, I give the stall a wide berth but can't resist photographing the alternating rows of white and brown. The cheese stalls are inviting too but for me, the star of the market was the honey stall with jar after jar of rich, glowing, liquid gold. As I said, a feast for all the senses !

    Photo 4 is the egg stall, the rest are miscellaneous shots of gloriously colourful fruit and veg.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ekaterinburg's Profile Photo

    Isak Mosque

    by Ekaterinburg Updated Jun 15, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Impressive entrance to the mosque
    3 more images

    Having read the guide book and several pages on Bitola, this was the building I most wanted to see in the city. I loved the history of the mosque, which I first read on Valentina's ( VT member Macedonian UK) page. The story of Isaac, born in Bitola, studied in Istanbul and then appointed a Kadi or judge on returning to his native city which was then named Manastir.

    The mosque that Isaac built in 1506, was part of a grand plan that included a Medresa ( school ) , shops, watermills and vineyards and the guide book to Bitola tells us that the property 'was supposed to be maintained by his income from his shops in the Bazaar......and other parts of his property.'

    Near the bazaar and the Clock Tower, Isak Mosque is an impressive building from outside with its huge dome and minaret that is almost 50 metres high. The door from the street leads to an enclosed porch with four pillars and large colourful mats pointing you in the direction of the double doors which access the prayer space of this 'single room, under-dome mosque. '

    The interior is just one large space with no seating but the walls and ceiling are richly decorated, right up to the dome. Large chandeliers hang from the ceiling and light streams in from the circle of windows overhead. A lot of the decoration on the walls and woodwork is gold-coloured and this combined with the rich blue of the carpet, give the mosque quite a luxurious feel even though the walls apart from the decorative elements, look badly in need of a coat of paint.

    Getting in was no problem on Friday morning. The door was open and with a nod from the old gentleman sitting outside I was able to walk in without any formalities. The mosque was completely empty so I was able to relax and enjoy it in peace and quiet. A wonderful place to visit and for me a definite high point of my visit to Bitola.

    Photo 1 is the entrance porch outside the prayer area, photo 2 is the extremely appropriate and very striking carpet, photo 3 shows some of the interior decoration and photo 4 is a shot from outside.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Photography
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    MOSAICS IN HERACLEA

    by LoriPori Written Jun 12, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    The MOSAICS IN HERACLEA are known for their exquisite beauty. The Mosaic "Universe" is made of small stones in 27 different colors and is considered to be one of the most beautiful floor mosaics in the world.

    The following is an excerpt I found explaining about different scenes depicted in the Mosaics.

    "What the site is famous for are the mosaics of the big basilica, made in the 5th century. The floor mosaic in the narthex is the most complete presentation of the world as they understood it back then. In the center of a rectangular field, there is a fountain out of which a grapevine comes - pic #3 (as a symbol of Christ's teachings) and peacocks and deer are gathered around (as symbol of eternal life), meaning if you accept the teaching of Christ you’ll have eternal life. On the left and on the right there are 5 trees rich with fruits, with birds flying around - pic # 1 #2 (representing the garden of Eden and the afterlife), and a huge red dog called Kerber (Cerberus) is guarding the entrance. Below the trees, animals like deer are presented attacked and eaten by wild animals - pic #4 (presenting the suffering of the Christian soul in the earth life). The field is surrounded by water with medallions in which 28 water animals are presented. The mosaic has been made with little stones in 27 different colours (the only “richer” mosaic is found in Pompeii - a wall mosaic made of stones in 32 colours). "

    Was this review helpful?

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE HERACLEA LYNCESTIS

    by LoriPori Written Jun 12, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Entrance to Heraclea
    4 more images

    Two km from Bitola town center are the remnants of the ancient town of Heraclea Linkestis, established as a significant strategic center by King Philip II of Macedonia, in the 4th century B.C. The town grew into a well-developed military and strategic center as it was situated on the most important crossroad in that period of time - Via Ignatia.
    The ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE HERACLEA LYNCESTIS includes the "Portic of the Court" which is the first 'building' that you come to. The "Aquaduct" leads to the "Terma" with its three 'rooms'. Next are the "Small Basilica" and the "Great Basilica". On the left is the "Amphitheater" Complex.
    There is also a museum with artifacts found on the site,
    Entry fee is 100 Denars.

    Was this review helpful?

  • dila's Profile Photo

    CHURCH ST. DIMITRIJA BITOLA

    by dila Written Jun 11, 2011

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    GyuriFT
    1 more image

    St. Dimitrij church was built in 1830 on the place of a former 'Paraklis' that burned down.
    The central altar is dedicated to St. Demetrius, northern to St. Nikolas and southern to the Annunciation.
    On the link you can see how beautifull it is woodcarved and gold plated.
    I liked this one very much pity it was not aloud to take pics inside.
    Dress properly cover knees and shoulders.
    on the photo you see George Vt name GyuriFT

    church

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • dila's Profile Photo

    Isak Celebi mosque

    by dila Written Jun 11, 2011

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The mosque was built in 1508 by judge Isak Celebi Ibni Asa.
    The diameter of the dome is 26 meters, and the minaret is 45 meters high.
    The mosque is still in use.
    Isac Celebi died in 1512 and was buried in the graveyard next to the mosque

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Roadquill's Profile Photo

    Museum Bitola

    by Roadquill Written Jun 11, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bitola - Museum
    1 more image

    Part of the National Institute, the Museum is situated in what once was the Old Barracks. The town museum was founded in 1934, moved to a new building on Marshal Tito, and currently at Kliment Ohridski street, on the NW side of the city park, off of the Southern side of Shirok Sokak. There are exhibitions from the Heraclea site, plus displays from the 1700's and 1800's. When we visited there was an exhibition of Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, who had studied at the military college. Impressive was the detail on the ancient gold jewelry.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Bitola

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

107 travelers online now

Comments

Bitola Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Bitola things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Bitola sightseeing.

View all Bitola hotels