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
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in North Macedonia

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Rahul Kurup (11 months ago)
Amazing!!! Went there few times. A mix of culture and ambiance. Use all your senses when you walk around. Different languages, prayers from mosque and church ring, all products. Very organized and clean. Evening strolls are the best. Despite being popular tourist spot, the prices are local unlike other such places in countries.
Prince Andrew Ardayfio (2 years ago)
Located in the heart of Skopje, a place rich with history and cultural heritage. Warm and welcoming to tourists. Local food abounds as well as fashion, jewelry and anything you can primarily think of. Amazing and a sight to see. Just like any busy tourist place. Watch your belongings and keep safe.
Steve Bintley (2 years ago)
A great selection of small winding streets with a wide range of shops and restaurants. One of the nicest aspects is that none of the shop keepers are forceful or hassle you when walking past, and it doesn’t have any of the expected pressure you’d imagine when reading up on the area. There’s clearly a lot of history and some nice monuments as you’re passing through, and with plenty of cafes and restaurants you can easily spend a whole day exploring at a leisurely pace. Definitely one of the highlights of the city.
Spencer Hawken (2 years ago)
The old Bazaar is a cool place to hang out for a few hours, eat, drink, shop and just soak in the culture of old Skopje. When we visited there were quite a lot of people begging and if your someone who likes to give to those less fortunate it’s good to have some small notes with you! An amazing historic place to visit!
Lewis Mindy (3 years ago)
Lovely area for spending some quality time in central Skopje indoors and out. Lots of amazing architecture of various sorts in and around the Old Bazaar too from churches to mosques to museums and shops, restaurants, coffee shops and more. It's all winding streets so ambling is your best bet. Go, explore, get lost and find yourself again later.
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