As one of the oldest and largest marketplaces in the Balkans, Old Bazaar has been Skopje's centre for trade and commerce since at least the 12th century.

The earliest known sources that describe the existence of a merchant quarter on the bazaar's territory date back to the 12th century. During Ottoman rule of Skopje, the Old Bazaar developed rapidly to become city's main centre of commerce. The Ottoman history of the bazaar is evidenced by roughly thirty mosques, numerous caravanserais and hans, among other buildings and monuments. The bazaar was heavily damaged by the earthquake in 1555, the burning of the city in 1689, the earthquake in 1963, as well as during the First and the Second World Wars and faced various rebuildings following these events.

Beside its importance as a market place, the Old Bazaar is known for its cultural and historical values. Although Ottoman architecture is predominant, remains of Byzantine architecture are evident as well, while recent reconstructions have led to the application of elements specific to modern architecture. The Old Bazaar is still home to several active mosques, türbes, two churches and a clocktower, that, together with the buildings of the Museum of the Republic of North Macedonia and the Museum of Modern Art, form the core of the modern bazaar.

In recent years there have been a raising interest to make the Bazaar a touristic attraction. On 13 October 2008, the Macedonian Parliament adopted a law recognising the Old Bazaar as cultural heritage of particular importance for the country to be permanently protected. In early 2010, the Macedonian Government began a project for the revitalisation of the Old Bazaar, which includes the restoration of several objects and aiming a further economic and cultural development of the site.



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Founded: 12th century


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User Reviews

Lex Universe (16 months ago)
The Old Bazaar is one of the few remaining remnants of the centuries long Ottoman rule. The minaret of the Mustafa Pasha Mosque overseeing the area from above gives it kind of a Istanbul-like vibe. Just head out into the little crooked streets and staircases, buy some trinkets or souvenirs or try out some of the best Macedonian and Albanian dishes.
Sarah B (16 months ago)
Very nice to wonder, shop, or eat. Sometimes is very crowded sometimes its not. Cafes are nice and all shop owners I interacted with were kind.
Marija Nešić (17 months ago)
Everything is beautiful and in oriental style. And the best place to try the original Turkish coffee in Skopje is in Ottoman Caffe in the Old Bazaar. The host is very welcoming, friendly and kind! He prepares coffee on sand which makes it extraordinarily good! I strongly recommend this coffee shop because there you can experience the true Oriental atmosphere in this part of the city.
M Ullaga (17 months ago)
Love this area! Takes you to a different time, back in the days! The community is amazing here, everyone knows each other and they can refer you to the right spot if you need any type of repair. My favorite is the small street, right below the semaphore, where 3 brothers are small business owners, one has filigran's store, one has a souvenir shop, one has a restaurant! They're truly the nicest!
Thomas Zippert (2 years ago)
Great place to have dinner or visit some very nice bars. Pedestrian zone. Amazing place to relax.
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