A walk in the heart of the city must include not just Macedonia Square, but also Macedonia Street, which begins from Macedonia Square.
The street is reserved for pedestrians and it is the place where one can find the smartest shops, cafes and bars. There are also many benches to sit down under the shadow of trees, and this makes the street even more pleasant and welcoming.
If you enjoy some people-watching when you visit a city, this is one of the places where you can indulge in your hobby.
As many other European (and not only European) cities Skopje has a square as its central point. Macedonia Square (Plostad Makedonija) is huge and open on one side to the river Vardar. The ancient stone bridge that crosses the river at that point makes the square even more scenic.
It was October when I visited, and the flower beds in the square were still full of colorful flowers, and the square was very lively and full of people.
I was told that one of the restaurants in this square, named DalMetFu, makes good pizza, but I did not try it. Anyway I pass the information, that I received from another Italian.
Going for a walk is especially pleasant if you choose to do it along the river. In fact there are very nice promenades along the embankments on both sides of the river Vardar. And the focal point of the walk is the beautiful Old Stone Bridge. It is a good example of the bridges that the Ottomans built in many places of their empire.
One of the places we go to on the first day of our visits to Skopje is the Gradski Park. It's not the biggest, most spectacular park in the world, but it has a very special charm and ambience which is definately to be experienced. Within the periphery of the park, is the Central soccer stadium where besides soccer matches, in the summer, they have hugely attended rock concers. Along the banks of the river, there are numerous restaurants and cafes offering mostly traditional Macedonian dishes, which must be experienced and which are very cheap. Within the grounds are the main clay tennis courts, I think about 8 or 10 and a club house, where raquets can be hired. The parents can wait in comfort at the tennis club restaurant which makes nice coffees. The courts are covered in winter time, so tennis enthusiasts can play all year round. Further down, there is a putt putt golf groung which is fun for the kids, although I don't think it's opened everyday. There is also a very run down mini luna park, but it's very basic and fun for small kids only. The best thing about the park are its walking tracks, quaint little wooden bridges, wonderfully old trees and lots of life in the warmer months.
Makedonia Plostad or Macedonia Square is hardly a welcoming sight for any visitor to Skopje. In fact, the typically Socialist square made me think that I had made a huge mistake coming here from Thessaloniki - thank God for Carsija!!! Despite its ugliness, the southern fringe of the square is where there are the trendy shops and restaurants (Ulica Makedonija has lots of designer shops) and it is the heart of nightlife on the weekends.
Walking away from the main square towards the ramstore i came across the tito statue, and I am informed that it was a recent purchase by the Macedonia Government for the local school that is named after him. Tito is still highly regarded by the Macedonians.
Walk along the river Vardar gives you some chances for nice pictures:
People fishing in the middle of the Vardar, the University Library with it's typical Eastern European architecture and signs on the pavement.
The river splits the city in two...the old and new town ..there are some bridges to cross it but the best and pedestrina is that in the pic coming from Makedonija square and running towards the turquish quarter
Enjoyed an hour or two exploring the town centre, here's a few photos, including the milennium cross and the fortress, neiter of which we found time to visit.
Suppose this has to be shoping tip , BUT I just wanted to show you the difference between the old shoping area and the new one .
Strictly downtown from where you can choose
between walking through the modern part or the old part ( Stara carsija ) of the city.
This photo was also taken at downtown, the part which is a shopping area with a lot of sidewalk cafes.