Skopje: Weird or Wonderful?

Skopje: Weird or Wonderful?

I was totally blown away with Lake Ohrid when I visited Macedonia last year. Its natural beauty and history is outstanding and I’d rate it in my top 10 places to visit in the Balkans. I was also blown away by the capital Skopje but for totally different reasons. Skopje is… interesting.

Quirky Monuments in Skopje

Another fountain and another flag in Skopje

Motherly Love in Skopje Macedonia

Macedonian Warrior Fountain

A bit of Paris in Macedonia LOL

It looks like this lion is vomiting on that monument.

I used to think Tirana was the quirkiest capital in Europe but I now happily bestow that title upon Skopje. The city is going through a bit rejuvenation at the moment in the form of weird and wacky monuments popping up everywhere. There doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to it but in a way it works. It has added a bit of a spark to the city.

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Nobody knows what this is.

The Circle of Life - Skopje

Statues outside the theatre in Skopje

A new monument every 5 metres.

Without all the craziness Skopje would be just another bland city but as things stand there are interesting albeit often over the top monuments around each corner. The most impressive is the massive eight storey high statue of Alexander the Great in the centre of the main square.

Officially this is not Alexander the Great but everyone knows it is.

Alexander the Great in Shkupi

Mother Teresa was Albanian but born in Skopje and there’s a museum dedicated to her in the centre of the city. I passed on visiting that but did track down the statue of Skanderbeg, another notable Albanian famous in the region.

Mother Teresa was tough and kinda nasty.

Statue of Albanian Hero Skanderbeg in Skopje

The construction of around 20 buildings and 40 monuments since 2010 has been part of the government’s Skopje 2014 project. It was designed to make the city more appealing but in reality it’s starting to look like a theme park. Most people consider it a huge waste of money and much of the senseless construction is a bit of a joke. It’s quite sad when you think around €500 million is being spent on the project while so many citizens are struggling in poverty. It’s definitely a unique place to visit though.

READ NEXT: Lake Ohrid: The Most Peaceful Destination in the Balkans

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Visiting Skopje in Macedonia

About Andrea

Andrea Anastasakis is the founder and author of road trip blog Rear View Mirror. She is currently driving her Fiat 500 around Europe. Follow her travel adventures on Instagram.


  1. Great photos and write-up about Skopje. I loved it there too, and I loved Tirana, Pristina, and a whole raft of other places in the region. In fact, I loved it so much I wrote a book about my travels. It’s called The Balkan Odyssey, by Jason Smart – if you’re interested!

    Anyway, happy travels.

  2. Maybe it looks nice to some…. but in a country where an average pay is 200 euros per month do u think is reasonable to build more then 500 euros projects so u would like them. Is it reasonable to spend all this money when u still have villages with no drinking water no sewers and no asphalted roads? But still we the people who live in Macedonia are glad u like it. We don’t for the simple fact that we know that all this project Skopje 2014 was build only for money launder and nothing else.We may live poorly and a lot of us are fleeing this country looking for a better life in western Europe and the USA,but still we are glad u like it

    • If someone ruined Skopje, it is the war in 2001 then brought us 150 000 Kosovo Albanians, normally falls and average pay and everything else.In past 9 years goverment built invest go forward, raise wages and pay.Come and see 🙂

      • What the fuckoff people am born in Skopje 9 years ago was total mess but now is wonderful go to Macedonia,Skopje and you are gonna see how much Skopje is wondereful…… 😀

  3. These pictures are wonderful !
    I do agree that the city is a tad too crowded and that it could be overwhelming. In a way though, I understand the concept. When you visit a certain country like Macedonia, main thing that will capture your attention is what is located in the centre. So I feel like they tried shoving all of the great history into such a little centre. The monuments representing the history are too beautiful but it does seem tidious to pile them in a such a small area. I was born in Skopje but I have been raised in Canada but I still remember the old city. The changes are drastic to what the city was before to what it is now. I have brought many friends back and they never thought that they would see such a hidden gem like they did. Besides many visitors that I’ve seen, the tourism rate has drastically increased. So in a way the outcome of this project was good because it increases tourism. Yes some of the money could’ve gone to something else, especially once you look at the total of expenses, but aside from that it is hard to look at this city and say it is not brilliantly appealing.

  4. Nicolas says:

    Wow, perfect photos…now i must visit this old, beautiful and mesmerizing country!

  5. Visit Macedonia