Bitola is never boring, always suprising and alive.
No convinient transport connections to Greece
Well worth the visit
As I have mentioned elsewhere VT Euromeets are wonderful fun and I recommend them but they do have one slight drawback when it comes to writing tips later on. Our hosts in Serbia and Macedonia (Keti and the two Valentinas respectively) had spent so much time and trouble that I haven't a clue about admission prices, normal opening times etc. for...more
Bitola as important political & cultural centre on the Balkans & under the Ottomans had deversity of inhabitants.One of the majority of the inhabitants were the Safaradim Jews known as MANASTIRLI Jews.Their couture left rich trace in the every day tapestry of life in Bitola.Lots of buildings with rich architectural art, traditions & history are...more
During my week in Macedonia it seemed that every afternoon about three o'clock the sky would cloud over and the heavens would open up. Fortunately I was never far from shelter when this happened and on this particular afternoon in Bitola I was passing this place - Restaurant Korzo.The covered terrace suited me admirably, the waiting staff were...more
In Bitola's 19th century role as a major Ottoman trading centre the various magazas within the city were the fortified storerooms, and sometimes marketplaces, where tradesmen and merchants would hold their wares prior to being sold either by private negotiation or in the bazaar.One of the few remaining is this one at the top end of the Shirok...more
OK this is yet another bar but in this one I only had coffee. Caffe Leo is a characterful little pizzeria down at the bottom end of the Shirok Sokak and is distinguished from the crowd by its impressively wood-panelled interior.Located in the lower half of the main drag means that is firmly in "Old Fogey" territory and so suited me perfectly - the...more
It's not often I stay in a hotel that I can unreservedly describe as absolutely faultless but the...more
Located about 10 km from Bitola on the skiing tereins of Pelister National Park is Hotel Molika....more
Great family run place. clean comfortable rooms. Very helpful staff and owners. Can't praise them...more
Being the venue for our first official dinner of Euromeet 2011 our experience of Grne wasn't a typical visit. We had the whole of the main restaurant to ourselves and the food laid on was a buffet showcasing Macedonian cuisine.Obviously as a private party we created our own atmosphere and a great night out was had by all but extrapolating from my...more
Those that know me know that I'm a real foodie. I love a good restaurant meal and enjoy all the bells and whistles that go with it but I also appreciate good street food - "food on the hoof" as I call it. That necessary nibble before the real work of my touristic day begins - the beer bit!I was suitably impressed with this little bakery....more
The Millenium Hotel offers a choice of three distinct dining areas: the informal cafe-bar with its terrace; the busy and buzzy pizzeria at the back and the semi-formal first floor restaurant where we found ourselves on the first evening of Eurommeet 2011.This perhaps wasn't the best introduction to the Millenium's food offerings as we were a...more
This is a cracking little bar that I discovered on my first night here in Bitola. Early evening there were only a couple of regulars and the proprietor present, the ashtrays were taking a beating and there was some chill, vaguely recognisable, music being played over the speakers. My stumbling effort at asking for a beer in Macedonian resulted in...more
I didn't have occasion to use either of Bitolas bus stations and so this is just a general observation.The main bus station is about 1.5 km out of town, next to the railway station, and buses from here leave and arrive from Skopje, Ohrid and Sofia on a regular basis.For a useful guide to times and prices check out MacedonianUK's page here - Bitola...more
I only had one occasion to use use a taxi here in Bitola, to get from the train station to my hotel. The city is compact and emminently walkable and all the main sights are on and around the pedestrianised main street.The train and main bus station however are about 1.5 Km out of town and as far as I'm aware there isn't a regular bus service to and...more
If, like myself, you appreciate a scenic train journey then you'll enjoy getting to Bitola from Skopje by train. There are four departures a day (early morning, mid afternoon, early evening and mid evening) with a journey time varying from 2hours 50 minutes (the 1700 express) to about 3 and a half hours.I've only done this journey once, on the...more
Skovin is one of Macedonia's major wine producers whose vineyards are located around Skopje, at the top end of the Vardar Wine Region. I can't attest to the quality of the white or rose offerings but the reds I've tried, their Vranec and the Markov Monastir, certainly suited both my palate and my pocket (always a winning combo).You'll find their...more
I never had the necessity to use this shop but It was good to see that it exists and with its Shirok Sokak location and bright frontage would have been easy to find had I required its services.As the name subtly suggests this is one of the city's 24 hour convenience stores and as well as tobacco products also stocks other useful items such as...more
Bitola is an excellent place for shopping, with so many outdoor and indoor markets as well as shops, you are really spoiled for choice. There are lots of shops selling local souvenirs and craftwork and for anybody with room in their luggage to bring home gifts, these offer lots of variety. I chose the Bazaar for shopping and bought various things I...more
I had my laptop with me and an excellent freebie wifi connection at the Hotel Millenium but if you do need internet access then I noticed these two internet cafes. The first is the OK Internet Cafe which is located above the Cafe Simbol in the middle of the Shirok Sokak whilst the second is Makedonia in the covered bazaar at the top end of the city...more
One of things I love about Southern Europe is being able to do things outdoors. In my case it's usually smoking and drinking but it's certainly good to see more intellectual pursuits followed.OK This is another little tip written unashamedly as an excuse to use the pic but it does constitute a local custom - the guys from this domestic plumbing and...more
Obvious being impressed with Bitola's many bars I was equally impressed with the local drinking culture. This is the sort of place where people go out to bars to socialise and have a proper drink unlike the majority of us Brits who go out to get drunk (or the french who go out to be seen and stay sober).Anyway this is really just an excuse to use...more
Be careful when walking around Bitola, especially when crossing the streets, cause cars have the right of the way instead of pedestrians. I was told that after I almost got hit by a car few times, so I asked what the hell is happening.... And I almost forgot, I'm not 100% sure but I think i haven't seen a single traffic light in the city.... So be careful....
Luggage and bags:
Good backpaking rucksak or medium size ludgage is more than OK.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If you are visiting Bitola in summer, please take care not to have sunstroke!
Macedonian sumers are hot, hot, hot !!
Bitola seems to be even hoter!
Please pack light colours, and prefferably natural materials.
Sun block is MUST, bottled watter too. Do not forget sun hat!!!
If you are sampling the nite life, than make sure you pack LBD & killer hills for girls, and nice pair of jeans,pair of shoes & good shirt for boys :)
Do not forget some sturdy hiking boots and pair of confortable sandals.
If you visiting in winter:
Make sure you have good warm jaket & longjones & good winter boots.
Winters can be very cold in some cases up to -20c, with snow.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Your usual toiletries bag is enough.
There are lots of shops & supermarkets where you can buy whatever you need.
Shops you can buy pesonal higiene things:
Super Mario Drogist
Hronometar drogist (old Bazzar)
Photo Equipment: Good photo camera, and plenty of bateries are needed. Lots of photo oportunities :)
Good photo equipmqant stockist:
Germanos (Shikok sokak)
Tehno Market (Shirok sokak)
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: If you are visiting Pelister NP near Bitola, where you can do lots of hiking, than you will need good pair of hiking boots, small backpack & bottled watter.
In Bitola, we took a cab which took us to a dead-end road close to a hotel at the foot of Baba mountain (Baba means grandmother).From there we did a short hike through the forest to the mountain hut Kopanki, where we cooked our dinner (soup + pasta, it´s hard to make something else on the rudimentary cooking-range in the little kitchen next to the...more
I was just wandering past here when I caught the most amazingly melodic sounds emmanating from what appeared to be a derelict building. A piano was accompanying a choral piece and the acoustics were reverberating powerfully enough to reach me on the street. I stopped, stunned, and just stood and listened until the piece finished. Only then did I...more
When I entered the local stadion (between Heracleia and station), I got to see the local footballers training. Pelister Bitola is the name of the club.
Behind the bars (so to speak) another thing than enamoured me to the city was the profusion of local artists. There always seemed to be youngsters wielding paintbrushes around the city during my wanderings. As well as the two main galleries (the Yeni Mosque and the Magaza) there are several small commercial galleries dotted around, as well as...more
OK so my intro page might lead you to believe that all I'm interested in when travelling is beer and pretty women but honestly (please believe me) I'm not that shallow a person.I also love a good food market (especially one with pretty girls and surrounded by bars) and the market here in Bitola, attached to the main bazaar, is a perfect one. For me...more
From the ground level Bitola comes across as a very neat little city with everything compactly clustered around its centre. To appeciate just how neat and compact it in fact is you only need to take a short walk along the river, up the Blvd 1st May, and have a brief scrabble up the hill where the Tsoi Most (Bridge) leads to ul Dragorska.From here...more