The Old Bazaar is the oldest marketplace in Macedonia, and one of the oldest in the Balkans. This article will describe everything you wanted to know about it.
It Dates Back From the 12th Century
According to historical records, the Old Bazaar was a merchant quarter, back in the 12th century. After the Ottomans took over the Balkans, the Old Bazaar became the primary center of commerce for Skopje.
If you visit the Old Bazaar (also called the Old Town), you’ll notice over 30 mosques, old roads and many other things that remained from that period.
It’s One of Skopje’s Main Tourist Attractions
In fact, a lot of tourist buses make their first stop at the Old Bazaar. The difference between this “old town” and the “new part” of Skopje is very different. In fact, some people say that Skopje is two cities: A new, modern, western-like European part and an old Asian-like (the Old City) part.
The Old Bazaar is a pretty unique place, with streets made of stone that resemble the Ottoman’s architecture during that time.
Plenty of Places to Eat
The Old Bazaar is filled with classic food you won’t find near the new part of Skopje. Turkish tulumbas are one of the more popular meals.
Tourists from Turkey are quite frequent here, and some say this was the second largest bazaar during the Ottomans rule.
The main Residents are ethnic Albanians
Many people from Skopje know the “Old Town” as part of Skopje where mostly ethnic Albanians live. There are a lot of Turks as well. As you go through, you’ll notice mainly two languages being spoken: Albanian and Turkish.
Shops, Shops, Shops
This place is full of stops. You can get food, jewelry, antiques…you name it.
While reading through TripAdvisor reviews, I’ve noticed this is the most recent word mentioned among travelers: “shops”. I’m guessing it’s because of the contrast; the new part of Skopje also has shops, but they’re more spread-out, compared to the Old Town.
A Taste of Life in the Ottoman era
The whole vibe of the Old Bazaar will give you a taste of how life was like during the Ottoman rule. With streets covered with stone, old mosques, shops where you could buy the same food the Ottomans had hundreds of years ago…it’s all there.