Exploring Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Recently, I have visited Mostar, a city in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina, straddling the Neretva River. This small but beautiful town can easily be reached through a three-hour bus ride from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital.

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Philippine passport holders and other nationalities can visit Bosnia and Herzegovina without needing to obtain an actual Bosnia and Herzegovina Visa if you have a valid dual or multiple-entry Schengen Visa.

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Top reasons To Visit Mostar

It is cheap! With that being said, your dollar can go a long way in this city. An amazing dinner with one main course, one pint of beer and a plate of dessert would only cost you less than 10 Euros. Accommodations are very affordable as well, the average nightly rate for an airbnb apartment is only around 15 Euros.

It is a city like no other! Mostar is one of those places which instantly transports you back in time. Its stunning old town will make you feel as if you are in a medieval era.

Very Hospitable Locals! Mostar is one of those very few places which has made me feel very welcome during my stay. The hospitality of the locals are just beyond compare.

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Things to do:

Explore The Old Town

There are definitely tons of things to do in this stunning town. But if you are only spending a day or two then I highly suggest that you explore the old town and dine in one of the local restaurants and try some local cuisine.

Visit the Stari Most a.k.a Mostar Bridge

Stari Most, also known as Mostar Bridge, is a rebuilt 16th-century Ottoman bridge in the city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This spectacular bridge is basically Mostar’s most famous and beautiful landmark.

This year, the bridge was the backdrop for the spectacular Red Bull cliff diving competition. It was the tournament’s sixth stop.

Read Also: HOW I TRAVELLED ACROSS NORTH MACEDONIA, KOSOVO, BULGARIA AND SERBIA USING MY PHILIPPINE PASSPORT

Where to stay:

I stayed at ‘APART AS’ an amazing Airbnb apartment very close to the old town and I highly recommend it! Our host Almir even picked us up from the bus station for free, and not only that, he also served us some homemade fig cakes and a glass of homemade wild fruit juice to welcome us. Probably the best Airbnb Experience I’ve ever had. So when you are looking for an affordable and nice Airbnb apartment to stay at in Mostar, then this place is definitely a must.

Our Airbnb Host Almir.
Living room with kitchen and sofa bed
Photo courtesy of Apart AS
Bedroom with beds that can be conected from one to another
Photo courtesy of Apart AS
Apart AS Apartment 2
Photo courtesy of Apart AS

You can check the apartment on Airbnb here.

Here are more images to finally convince you to visit Mostar on your next travel 😀

I’ve spent a total of two days exploring and discovering everything this stunning town has to offer. I can say that it is one of the most underrated destinations in Europe. Maybe probably because of its past, but I am happy that I was able to visit this underrated gem and witness its Beauty.

Thank you for reading! Happy travels!

New to the blog? Click here to get to know me more. 😀

What I’ve Learned From Visiting Yick Cheong Building in Hongkong

Maybe it’s not a proper adventure, but if we are talking about deep feelings, my second time visiting Hong Kong was definitely the one. 

I’ve being living in Shanghai for more than a year now, working as a Head Chef de Cuisine, so I’m pretty used to big Asian cities… but HongKong has something different, and in particular, I would like to share my experience at the Yick Cheong Building.

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You need to know that the Yick Cheong Building is one of the most famous spots in the world for photographers. This building is, first of all an apartment complex, with lots of people living in it, like a lot! And for this reason, the locals sometimes close the entrance gate to avoid hundreds of tourists flocking-in to take a photo. 

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However, when I got there, the weather was not exactly the best, hence, there were no tourists, but despite this, the entrance was closed. Quite unfortunate as it could be, cause I needed to leave Hongkong the next day as well, so I just told myself to return next time on another trip. 

I’ve visited HongKong several times since then and on my second trip, I took the opportunity to head to the Yick Cheong Building  again. It was close when I arrived but I found a way in,  and sneaked to the courtyard, Italian Style! haha I will always remember that moment for life.

Inside, I was alone and the atmosphere was moody. The silence, interrupted by just the sound of some people cooking food or some children running around. It was cloudy, with only a weak ray of light hitting the façade, adding more drama to the atmosphere.

A place that is normally bombarded by loud tourists and photographers, but was so quiet during that time. Then I realized that I’ve  been staring at the building for quite some  time that I couldn’t tell how long I’ve been there already. And there it came the perfect moment for me to take the photo I have been dreaming to take. 

Timer was set, remote control from the phone was activated, and camera position has also been set! 

I took a photo, but I can’t seem to remember if I have heard any “click”, as my eyes were lost again staring at the wonderful but contradicting piece of architecture. 

Lost in thought, trying to think about the fact that Gucci has one of its stores just several meters away from the Yick Cheong Building… and that bus advertisement I’ve seen just a few minutes earlier on my way to Yick Cheong, with the ad of Cartier on it… and then this… people living in apartments as large as their mattress… often with no walls, just some cage-like barricades, and people eating on the corridor because they have no space inside their own home. . . It was just quite overwhelming.

Then a shout from somewhere broke the silence, and there I saw one of the security guards signaling that I wasn’t allowed to be there, so I left. Well, at least this time, I was able to achieve my purpose before being told to leave.

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Traveling is not just for fun. Traveling changes you, gives you opportunities to think a lot about what you have and how lucky you are, even if some days you don’t even realize it because you take everything for guaranteed. 

Traveling  leads us to places which often leave a huge impact in our lives. From my experience, traveling has brought me to Yick Cheong and it has strongly changed my view towards life. It is true, few minutes of observing something significant can really change our perspective towards all aspects of life, that’s what happened to me on that day. 

This Travel Story is written by Marco Erba. You can follow more of his adventure on his instagram @marco_erba
ALL PHOTOS IN THIS ARTICLE ARE FROM MARCO ERBA’S PERSONAL ARCHIVE.

Marco Erba is an Italian chef de cuisine, a traveler and a videography & photography enthusiast currently based in Shanghai. On his spare time, he likes to edit photos and videos which he took from his previous trip. He also travels a lot across Asia and often wanders around unfamiliar places in search for great photo locations. 

Marco’s Travel Essentials

Camera body: Sony Alpha 7iii

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CAMERA LENSES: Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 AND Zeiss 55mm f/1.8

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CHECK THE LATEST PRICE OF SONY ZEISS 5MM F/1.8 HERE

DRONE: DJI Mavic Air 

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How I Travelled Across North Macedonia, Kosovo, Bulgaria and Serbia using My Philippine Passport

Few weeks back, I traveled across several countries in the Balkan Region in Europe. I was able to cover four Balkan Countries in eight days. Well it took a few days of planning like booking all accommodations and transportations in advance to get the cheapest deal available. 

As a Philippines Passport holder, I needed to have a valid visa to be able to visit these countries. But fortunately, all of these countries allow passport holders from several countries to enter without having the need to obtain a visa for each, as long as they are holding a valid multiple-entry Schengen Visa. And obviously in my case, I used my valid Schengen Visa to travel across these countries. 

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Traveling to several countries in a single trip doesn’t need to be tough, especially when you are traveling across Europe. Whenever I go on a trip, I try to cross-out at least two countries in each trip to save on flight costs. And countries in Europe are pretty much situated near each other and can easily be accessed through land transportations such as buses, trains, etc. which makes it more easier. I travelled pretty much through buses across these countries with seven hours being the longest time.

Crossing the border to some of these countries can be quite tough though, especially to people who are holding passports from third-world nations. So I highly suggest that you should always have all the useful documents like onward tickets, accommodations etc.  ready with you whenever you cross a border to prove that your main purpose of visit is merely for tourism. 

Skopje, North Macedonia

My first stop was in Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia. Skopje is a pretty compact capital surrounded by beautiful mountains. I spent a total of two days exploring this city. It is also quite affordable to travel in this city, like a pint of beer ordered from a pub or restaurant would only cost you less than a Euro. 

So far, the best places that I recommend in Skopje are Canyon Matka and Skopje’s Old Town. Canyon Matka is one of the main highlight of North Macedonia, it is also one of the most beautiful canyon I’ve ever seen. It can easily be reached through a 20-minute taxi ride from Skopje’s Town Center. The old town is just located in the city-center itself. Here you can see countless different giant statues and stunning cobbled streets.

READ ALSO:

Top Things To Do in Skopje North Macedonia

Top Reasons To Visit Canyon Matka

Pristina, Kosovo

My second stop was in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. I arrived in Pristina through a two-hour bus ride from Skopje and spent a day exploring everything that this city has to offer. Crossing the border from North Macedonia to Kosovo is one of the quickest and easiest border crossings I’ve ever done in my whole life of traveling. 

Pristina is a beautiful city, you can pretty much explore everything in this city within a day. Mother Theresa Boulevard is a must-visit when in Pristina. Here you can find countless hip cafes and authentic local restaurants where you can have a taste of amazing Kosovo cuisines. The same as Skopje, this city is also quite affordable to travel to.

Sofia, Bulgaria

My third stop, Sofia! Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria and one of the most  beautiful European cities. I spent a total of three days exploring everything that this city has to offer. Sofia can easily be reached through a four-hour bus ride from Skopje in North Macedonia or Pristina in Kosovo.

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Sofia has so much history, and you can see it from the ruins which still remain intact until today. Some of the few things I recommend worth visiting in this city is the Vitosha Boulevard, their main street and the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the whole of Europe. 

READ ALSO: Top Things To See and Do in Sofia 

Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade or Beograd, the capital of Serbia is my final stop on this trip. I arrived in Belgrade’s main bus station after a seven-hour bus ride from Sofia, Bulgaria. From the bus station, the city center can easily be reached in less than ten-minutes by foot. I stayed for a total of four days exploring and discovering everything this city has to offer. 

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Belgrade is a big and beautiful city, I know it’ll be beautiful prior to visiting it but I wasn’t expecting it to be very vast. It has also been dubbed as ‘the city that never sleeps’. The capital has two main areas worth exploring, New Belgrade and Old Belgrade. New Belgrade is on the left side of the Sava river while Old Belgrade is on the opposite. 

Although the whole city itself is worth exploring, there are few things in Belgrade that I highly recommend worth visiting. The Knez Mihailova Street and the Belgrade Fortress shouldn’t be missed when you are visiting Belgrade. The Knez Mihailova Street is one of the oldest and most valuable landmarks of the city and there you can find countless shops, restaurants, cafes, pub, etc. While the Belgrade Fortress is one of the most beautiful spots in Belgrade for sunset viewing and it can easily be reached from the other end of the Knez Mihailova Street. 


Have you been to and of these countries? How was your experience? Share it with us through the comment section below. 

New to the Blog? Click here to get to know me more.


10 Photos That Will Make You Wanna Visit Prague

Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic, a country bordered by Austria, Germany, Poland, and Slovakia. Prague is famous for its stunning bridges and gothic churches.

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Prague is one of the best cities out there. Also, it is one of my favorite destinations to travel to. It’s just so picturesque no matter what season it is . I have visited it many times and I still get the same excitement as if it’s my first time visiting each time. Definitely a city I would always suggest whenever someone asks me where the best destination is.

In this article, I will be sharing some of my favorite photos which I took from my previous visits in this beautiful city. Hope these photos will make you wanna visit Prague.

One of my favorite scenes whenever I cross the famous Charles Bridge were the musicians busking on the bridge. They just simply add to the magical vibe of Prague, especially during sunsets.

Aside from Prague’s stunning bridges and gothic churches, the city is also famous for its swans which reside at the Vltava River. These swans are not only an attraction but they are also the symbol of LOVE in Prague. You can find them on the banks of Vltava by the right side of Charles Bridge when you are facing the direction towards Prague Castle.

One of the many things I admire about Prague is the interior of their subway stations. It’s just stunning! I took this shot inside Malostranská Station on Line A.

Prague is a very busy city, no matter what season it is. But its just beautiful to see all these people from different parts of the world enjoy the beauty of Prague.

I would definitely say that Prague has one of the most beautiful sunsets in the whole world. Just look at the next two photos below! If you are looking for the best sunset location in Prague with a stunning view of the old town, head over to Riegrovy Sady Park, aka Sunset Hill. You can also order some beer to accompany your sunset-watching from the beer gardens in the area.

One of my favorite Arches in Prague, the Arch of the Malá Strana Bridge Towers. It is a gateway at the other end of Charles Bridge to Prague’s Lesser Town but definitely a site to behold. The details on the arch are just superb!

The Vltava River is definitely a site to behold when in Prague. You can basically get a wonderful view of the river from almost all the different bridges which intersect it. But for a magical view, head to one of its bridges during sunrise or sunset.

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I usually travel alone, hence I have my GoPro with me at all times to take some self portraits. And what is a more perfect backdrop than Prague’s beautiful streets. Almost all of Prague’s street in the old town are great locations for the perfect gram.

Prague’s Tram 22 is a must when in Prague. It is the most scenic tram route of em all. This line will take you to some of the major attractions in Prague.

The Old Town Square is one of the greatest tourist attractions in Prague, along with Charles Bridge and Prague Castle. Here you can find other attractions such as the Astronomical Clock, the gothic Church of our Lady Before Tyn, etc.

The ancient splendor and beauty of Prague, a city beyond compare, left an impression on my imagination that will never fade –Richard Wagner

Have you been to Prague? How was your experience? 😀 Share it with us through the comment section below!

New to the Blog? Click here to get to know me more.

10 Photos That Will Make You Wanna Visit London

London is one of my favorite of all the cities I have been to. Simply because of its captivating vibe and picturesque streets. When we think of London, we think of the London Eye, The Big Ben, The Tower Bridge, etc. But let’s skip those for now. In this blogpost, I will be sharing 10 unique photos that will make you wanna visit the English Capital.

Covent Garden is one of the most beautiful districts in London. I spent half-day exploring this gem when I was in London. Definitely a place I would like to explore again when I will visit London soon.

After a day of exploring, a pint of beer is the best idea! So why not head to Cafe Brood. I found this gem while exploring Borough Market on my second day in London.

If you’re looking for the best backdrop for your instagram photos, head over to the Southbank Skate Space, here you can find stunning graffitis and other street arts. Or if you simply wanna skate, then this is the best place for you.

I visited St. James Park on my second day in London. The views are breathtaking even though most trees didn’t have any leaves mainly because it was winter during that time. What mostly caught my attention though are the squirrels. They’re very cute and they seem to be really tamed, maybe because they got used with people giving them food.

If you’re visiting Greenwich in London, make sure to include the The Old Royal Naval College in your list. The Old Royal Naval College is an architectural center piece in Maritime Greenwich, a World Heritage Site in Greenwich, London. Definitely a must-visit for architecture lovers.

The Old Royal Naval College
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If you wanna travel back in time or simply want to admire a great piece of architecture, then Churchill War Rooms is the best place for you to go. The Churchill War Rooms is a museum in London the museum comprises the Cabinet War Rooms, a historic underground complex that housed a British government command centre throughout the Second World War, and the Churchill Museum, a biographical museum exploring the life of British statesman Winston Churchill.

reference: Wikipedia

Churchill War Rooms

I visited Columbia Road Flower Market on my third day in London. It was a Sunday and it is the only day where the market is open, so take note of that. Columbia Road Flower Market is located in Bethnal Green in London. But aside from flowers, you can also witness amazing street performers showing their respective crafts here.

‘People Watching’ is definitely one of the most therapeutic activities out there. Have you ever tried picking up on idiosyncrasies like language, expressions, clothing and activities to try to guess at another person’s story? Well, I always do and it’s pretty relaxing haha. Anyway, I took this photo between St. Pauls Church and the Millennium Bridge. I though it would be nice to add at here.

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Exploring Bratislava, Slovakia | Small but Lovely City

Bratislava is Slovakia’s capital, a country bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the southwest and the Czech Republic to the west. Bratislava is known for many things like its gorgeous old town, its castle in the city center, etc. But aside from these, Bratislava is also known for its beautiful people -those types which you see in pageants haha. 

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I visited Bratislava on the fall of 2018, I arrived from Vienna, Austria by bus. Bratislava is the fourth city I have visited on my first ever Eastern Europe tour. The bus ride took only two hours from Vienna, Yeah, they are pretty close. But often times, people skip Bratislava and often proceed to Bratislava’s more famous neighbors like Budapest or Prague. I have read online that Bratislava is virtually non-existent in the eyes of a typical western tourist. I’m not western, but I’m glad I was able to visit Bratislava, now it’s one of my favorite cities and it has become one of those cities in Eastern Europe that I always recommend when someone asks for the best places to visit in that area.

There are tons of things to love about Bratislava. First, it’s a very lovely town, second, it’s cheaper than most European Cities, third, its people are friendly and fourth, they serve really great food! I love the Cafe and pub atmosphere as well.

Courtesy of @tomdxbscot
Courtesy of @tomdxbscot

This city can be explored in a day as well, but in my case l was able to visit all the major attractions in less than a day. 

Here are some of the Top Things I suggest worth doing when in Bratislava. 

Visit Bratislava Castle

The castle’s view deck offers a spectacular 360 degree view of Bratislava. It’s pretty easy to get here as it is just located near the old town. You can just follow signs which are posted on most street corners if you are coming from the old town. If not, then you can always have your google map handy with you. 

View of the UFO Bridge from Bratislava Castle
Photo by Tom Henderson @tomdxbscot

Explore Bratislava’s Old Town

I will mention it here again, Bratislava’s old town is simply gorgeous. You can find countless pubs, cafes, restaurants and shops here. Basically the best place to unwind when in Bratislava. 

Go and See Michael’s Gate

This gate is the only city gate that has been preserved of the medieval fortifications and ranks among the oldest town buildings. Definitely a place to take that winning influencer shot lol. 

Visit Most SNP

Commonly referred to as Most Slovenského národného povstania or the UFO Bridge, and named Nový most from 1993 to 2012, is a road bridge over the Danube in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. It is the world’s longest bridge to have one pylon and one cable-stayed plane.

reference: wikipedia. 

Of course, there are other things to do aside from the ones I mentioned above. But for me, being able to see those is already enough for me to appreciate the beauty of Bratislava, especially that I only stayed in the city for 24 hours. 

Have you been to Bratislava? How was your experience? Share it with us through the comment section below. 

New to the blog? Click here to get to know me more. 😀

Exploring Sofia Bulgaria, Top Things to See and Do in This Beautiful Capital

Recently, I’ve traveled across North Macedonia, Kosovo, Bulgaria and Serbia in Southeastern Europe. One of the cities I’ve visited was Sofia, Sofia is the capital as well as being the largest city of the Balkan nation of Bulgaria. 

I travelled to Sofia from Skopje in North Macedonia by bus. The bus ride took around four and a half hours, that’s already including the time it takes to get through security at the border. Getting from Skopje to Sofia and vice versa is pretty easy and the bus ticket only costs $19 for one way. The bus station in Sofia is located in the city center itself, just a walking distance to the major accommodation areas and attractions in Sofia so it’s pretty much convenient when you have booked your accommodation in the city center of Sofia itself.

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You can book your bus tickets in advance online through omio.com. You can then just show your booking confirmation to one of the staff at the ticketing booth of the bus company mentioned in the booking confirmation in Skopje for them to give you a printed pass for you to show to the bus driver.

In this article, I will be discussing some of the best attractions to see and things to do in this beautiful capital. 

So here are the Top Things to See and Do in Sofia which I highly recommend! 

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Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

In my opinion, I think this is one of the most beautiful churches I have seen in Europe, I mean the whole world rather. It boasts a Neo-Byzantine style architecture, hence the stunning details. Visit this church during sunrise or sunset for you to be able to take the best photos of it with a dramatic sky in the background. 

Vitosha Boulevard

My favorite place in Sofia, the Vitosha Boulevard or sometimes referred to as Vitosha Street is the main commercial street of Sofia. Here you can find countless bars, pubs, cafes, restaurants and posh shops. During late afternoons, you can witness several street performers here as well, so definitely it’s the best place to unwind for both locals and foreigners in Sofia.

Church of Saint George

The Church of Saint George is considered the oldest structure in Sofia. It one of the most unique churches I have ever seen because of its style and location. Go and see it for yourself to see what I mean. You can find it behind the Sheraton Hotel in the museum quarter in the center of Sofia.

National Palace of Culture

The National Palace of Culture is a large multifunctional conference and exhibition centre. If it is your first time in Sofia, then I highly suggest that you go and visit it. It’s situated just at the other end of Vitosha Boulevard. It’s a great place to do some physical activities and the view there doesn’t suck so it’s also a great place for some photos. 

Ivan Vazov National Theater

A great place where you can spend your free time. There are tons of buskers here so even if you don`t have anyone to go out with then you can still go and chill there without feeling alone. 

St Nedelya Church

St. Nedelya Church is an Eastern Orthodox church in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, a cathedral of the Sofia bishopric of the Bulgarian Patriarchate. Sveta Nedelya is a medieval church that has suffered destruction through the ages and has been reconstructed many times.

Reference- Wikipedia

Saint Sofia Church

Saint Sofia Church is a Byzantine style church which is located on the same compound as Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. This church has an underground museum where you can explore and witness ancient tombs on display for a small entrance fee.

Tsar Liberator Monument

An equestrian monument in the centre of Sofia, just a few meters away from Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. The monument was a tribute to Alexander II, a Russian Emperor who liberated Bulgaria from Ottoman rule during the Russo-Turkish War in the year 1877-1878. 

Lions’ Bridge

Coming from Sofia’s Central Bus Station, this bridge is what welcomed us on our way to our airbnb accommodation. It’s a pretty nice bridge, so I had to stop for several minutes to take some photos of it. Definitely a must-see when in Sofia.

Statue of Sveta Sofia

The Statue of Sveta Sofia is a monumental sculpture in Sofia, Bulgaria.Sophia was considered too erotic and pagan to be referred to as a saint. 24 feet in height, the copper and bronze statue by the sculptor Georgi Chapkanov, stands on a 48 feet high pedestal. Adorned with the symbols of power (crown), fame (wreath) and wisdom (owl), the crown is also a reference to the Goddess of Fate, Tyche, inspired by the old emblem of Sofia dating back to 1900. 

reference: Wikipedia

Thanks for reading! Have you been to Sofia? How was your experience? Share it with us through the comment section below!

New to the Blog, get to know me more here. 

Top Things to do in Skopje North Macedonia

Recently, I visited Skopje (pronounced as ‘skawp-ye’) in North Macedonia.  Skopje is part of my Balkan Road-trip Itinerary and basically it was my first stop. I flew directly to Skopje from Dubai with Flydubai. Flydubai flies to Skopje every three days, the flight took approximately around five hours. So if you’re based in the United Arab Emirates, try to consider Skopje as your next destination! 

Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia is located in the Balkan Peninsular. Some of the highlights of this capital are their countless giant statues, magnificent canyons, breathtaking mountains, deep caves and ancient towns with Ottoman and European architecture.

Filipino citizens and some other nationalities can visit North Macedonia without having to apply for a North Macedonian Tourist Visa if they are holding a valid unexpired multiple entry Schengen Visa, UK Visa, USA Visa, or Canadian Visa. 

Going back, so I arrived in Skopje Alexander the Great Airport, Skopje’s main International Airport. It’s a pretty compact airport, so I managed to get to the passport-control desk immediately after disembarking. For some reasons, the immigration officers are ‘very very very’ strict with visitors who are possessing a third-world passport-unfortunately, that’s including me, so they held me on the side together with some other people while they let other people(obviously people with strong passports) pass with ease. How humiliating ey’?

So after they’ve finished letting everyone through, some officer went back to interrogate us furthermore individually. They just asked the basic questions like what is the purpose of visit, the next destination after, etc. Thank goodness I was traveling with my very good friend, Tom, who is a Scottish Expat based in Dubai. The officer might have noticed that we were traveling together so he just asked to confirm if we we’re traveling together, and we said ‘yes’ and there goes the funny part- the officer faced Tom and started asking questions about me, right in front of me as if I wasn’t there. And when I tried to interrupt to answer some of the questions, the officer just ‘sssshhh!’ me with a hand gesture to literally tell me to shut the F*** up haha. After Tom answered some of his questions, then the officer was convinced that our sole-purpose was just for tourism, so the officer gave my passport back to me with an entry stamp. 

In my case, I used my valid Schengen Visa to gain entry, although I could’ve used my Canadian Visa, but still, despite having different visas from highly-industrialized countries, the decision will still be upon the immigration officer. Sometimes, I really cannot blame them for being so strict, especially with people who are holding a passport from countries with a very bad reputation of overstaying in another territory. 

The key is to keep your cool whenever you are going through passport-control and facing immigration officials. As long as you are brutally honest with your intention of visiting a place, then I think there is nothing to worry about. They might held you for some reason, but that is just for their own security.

Well, That wasn’t a warm welcome, but that definitely didn’t stop me from discovering some of the great things that this City has to offer. 

Well, in this article, I will be discussing some of the main highlights of Skopje. Places I’ve seen and activities which I have done in this beautiful city that I highly recommend.

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Top Things to See and Do in Skopje

Canyon Matka

Canyon Matka is basically one of the main highlights of Skopje. It is one of those places which you shouldn’t miss when you are visiting Skopje and it’s pretty much easy to get there from town. From the city center, you can take a taxi directly to Canyon Matka for less than 10 euros, the same is with going back from the canyon to the city center. I highly suggest people who intend to visit Canyon Matka to spend at least three hours exploring this gem to actually admire its beauty from every angle. 

When in Canyon Matka, consider taking a boat tour to Vrelo Cave. Vrelo Cave offers different rock structures like stalagmites and stalactites and is believed to be the the deepest underwater cave in the whole world. Definitely a must visit place when in Canyon Matka. Other option to get to this cave is through kayaking, so if you are feeling adventurous, rent a kayak and paddle your way to Vrelo Cave. The boat ride only costs around 400 Macedonian Denar (around 5 Euros) per person while the kayak rent is around 200 Denar, so quite affordable. 


Macedonia Square 

Macedonia Square is North Macedonia’s main square. It is one of the famous spots in Skopje. A giant statue of Alexander the Great on a horse can be seen here. The square also has fountains which is usually filled with joyful children playing with the water. The music played that is heard from this monument complements the whole atmosphere of beauty in Macedonia. 

Stone Bridge

Located near Macedonia Square, this bridge can easily be reached by foot. This bridge connects the old and new part of the town. The bridge is also less frequently known as the Dušan Bridge after Stephen Dušan, Emperor of Serbia. Come and see it during dusk to admire its beauty with the colorful Macedonian sunset in the background. 

Museum of Macedonia

Stunning piece of architecture! That’s how I describe the Museum of Macedonia. It is situated on the other side of the Vardar River and it can easily be reached from the main square. Definitely a place to go if you wanna see some artifacts and different historical collections being exhibited or simply if you wanna know the in-depth history of North Macedonia. 

Vardar River

Vardar River is what separates the old and new part of Skopje. Along the banks are countless cafes and pubs that offers both local and international cuisines. Take a stroll at the Vardar River during sunset to admire its lively vibe and to appreciate its real beauty with the colorful sunset reflecting on its waters. 

Explore Skopje’s Old Town

One of my favorite things to do when visiting a city is to explore its old town.  Skopje’s old town didn’t disappoint, I pretty much just wandered around and admired its beauty. Here you can find countless souvenir shops, so a must-go place when you intend to take some souvenirs home. If you’re feeling hungry, the old town is home to several local restaurants where you can taste local cuisines. 

Go on a day-trip to Pristina in Kosovo from Skopje

I will be discussing my experience in Kosovo in a different blogpost though I just wanna highlight it here that you can pretty much go on a day-trip to Kosovo’s capital Pristina from Skopje as they are pretty much located quite near each other. The travel time from Skopje to Pristina takes around 2 hours, including the time it takes to get through passport control at the border. Buses from each city departs every hour, and one way ticket costs around 6 Euros.

The currency they use in Kosovo is Euro. So if you are not going for a day-trip and you’re leaving North Macedonia to Kosovo and not coming back, then I highly suggest that you change your remaining Macedonian Denar to Euros as most exchange centers in Kosovo doesn’t accept Macedonian Denar for some reasons. 

Have you been to Skopje? How was your experience? Share it with us through the comment section below.

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Exploring Istanbul | Things to do in Istanbul | Top City to Explore

Istanbul, modern day Constantinople is one of the most beautiful cities which I’ve visited. It’s quite a big city to explore, so when you visit, make sure to allot at least three full days. Istanbul is situated between two continents! Yes, you’ve read that right, two continents! ASIA and EUROPE to be specific and it is separated by the Bosphorus River. This Turkish City is one of the easiest cities in Europe to get in to, as it is one of the biggest aviation hub in both Europe & Asia and there are lots of flights from almost any parts of the world flying to or through here. 

The two main airports in Istanbul are Ataturk Airport and Sabiha Gocken Airport. Istanbul’s old town in its Euro-side can be reached within 30-minutes from Ataturk Airport and 2-hours if you’re coming from Sabiha Gocken Airport. There are actually multiple shuttle buses from these airports going to Istanbul’s Euro-side which departs every 30 minutes. And the best thing about these shuttle-buses is that it stops near Taksim Square where you can start your stroll around the old town!

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Below are some of the best things to see and do when in Istanbul!

TAKSIM SQUARE

Taksim Square is the most famous square in Istanbul, it is one of the main gateways to Istanbul’s magnificent streets and avenues. Here you can spend a good 20 minutes for photos. You can also buy some bird-feedS from some of the local vendors in the square if you want to feed the thousands of pigeons roaming on the square, trust me, it’s therapeutic!

Istiklal Avenue

So after spending some time in Taksim Square, you can directly head to Istiklal Avenue from there, you just need to follow the railway from the square stretching all the way to Istiklal Avenue . In my opinion, I think Istiklal Avenue is the most beautiful avenue in Istanbul and one of the best in the whole world. Here you can walk past hundreds of cafes and shops. It is estimated that there are about three-million people in total which passes through here in the course of a weekend.

TAKSIM NEVIZADE

Taksim Nevizade is one of the highlights of Istanbul’s nightlife. It is the Red Light District in Istanbul. You can find it in the middle of Istiklal Avenue. Just enter the alley beside MAC Cosmetics Shop in the middle of Istiklal and there you can find the Nevizade.  Here you can enjoy a great local beer and lots of amazing Turkish Cuisines.

GALATA TOWER

Galata Tower is a medieval stone watch tower built centuries ago. It is situated at the other end of Istiklal Avenue. You can climb the tower to get a magnificent view of Istanbul. Tip: Head there in the morning to avoid long queue during busy hours. You know what they say, you have never actually been to Istanbul if you didn’t have any photo of Galata Tower in the background.

BOSPHORUS RIVER CRUISE

After exploring the streets of Istanbul, head over to the Bosphorus River Bank and get yourself a Bosphorus River Cruise Ticket! Your Istanbul trip wouldn’t be complete without going on a Bosphorus River Cruise. This is the best option if you want to witness the real beauty of both Istanbul’s Europe and Asian side from the middle of the Bosphorus. 

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THE BLUE MOSQUE AND HAGIA SOPHIA

The Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia are some of the most beautiful pieces of architectures in this modern world. These structures were built during the Byzantine Era, so imagine how much history these places have. They are both located on Istanbul’s European Side, so when exploring the old town, make sure to include these in your itinerary. The two are just situated quite near to each other.

ISTANBUL GRAND BAZAAR

According to wikipedia.com, the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops on a total area of 30,700 m2, attracting between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. Must be quite an attraction! So why not include it on your list of places to visit when in Istanbul!

Istanbul, a universal beauty where poet and archaeologist, diplomat and merchant, princess and sailor, northerner and westerner screams with same admiration. The whole world thinks that this city is the most beautiful place on earth.  – Edmondo De Amicis

Have you been to Istanbul? How was your experience? Share it with us through the comment section below!

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