15 Things to Do and Visit in Bitola

Top 15 attractions and sights to visit in Bitola in 2024. Discover different and local places recommended by locals, that are worth visiting.

Bitola is a city full of history, culture, and charm. Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins, hiking in nature in the oldest National park Pelister, or just enjoying in a some of the awesome coffee bars on Shirok Sokak, here are the absolute best things to do and visit in Bitola, Macedonia.

Situated south in the country with just 15km from Greek border, compare with other cities in Macedonia, Bitola city in general has casual atmosphere. 


Table of Contents 15 things to visit in Bitola

    1. Stroll Down Shirok Sokak

Wander through the bustling heart of Bitola! This charming main street is lined with cafes, shops, and historic buildings. Perfect for people-watching and maybe even some accidental window shopping. Who knows? You might just trip over a great deal!

In general probably like everyone who has first time visit Bitola, you will ask is anybody working in this city? 🙂

Reason for this that you will see a full coffee bars, where it will be difficult to find free spot between 11:00-14:00 o’clock and after 20:00 o’clock. Everybody we will tell you a different story, and we can say that almost in every story has true fact about. Someone will say it’s a tradition old more than 100 years, another one is that people no matter what must drink coffee in that period of time…Whatever reason to be, this is and one of the most interesting to try to find a spot on some of the coffee bars and enjoy in the atmosphere.

Shirok Sokak Bitola, Macedonia - Photo by Benita Stojmirova

2. Explore Heraclea Lyncestis

Step back in time at these ancient ruins founded by Philip II of Macedon. The amphitheater and stunning mosaics will leave you in awe. Just remember, no gladiator fights are allowed!

The best way to get to the Heraclea is to start from the center of the city from the Clock Tower and go just straight through out the Shirok Sokak street, continue to the park, until the end, and from there when you arrive to the supermarket you go right, from where you have 500m more for waking you will arrive at the ancient city Heraclea.

Unique Mosaics in Heraclea

The antique theatre is located at the rear of the complex. You are allowed to clamb all the way up to the last row of the cavea to look down over the stage and just imagine how was it back in that time.

For great acoustic of the theatre, you can find by yourself if you stand in the middle of the stage and start speaking normally. The people on the last row can hear everything you speak.

Feel free to sing some song if you are good at that 🙂

3. Wander the Old Bazaar

Dive into the vibrant culture of Bitola’s Old Bazaar. Shop for local crafts, savor delicious street food, and haggle like a pro. Don’t worry, smiling is the universal language for “I want a discount.”

4. Hike in Pelister National Park

Lace up your hiking boots and explore the breathtaking landscapes of the oldest National Park in this part of Europe, Pelister National Park.

From mountain lakes to lush Molika pine forests, it’s nature’s playground. Warning: you might get addicted to the views!

If you want to BOOK HIKING TOUR click on the link to see all hiking tours we offer. EXPLORE PELISTER HIKING TOURS.

5. Visit Bitola Museum

Discover the rich history of Bitola at this fascinating museum. From ancient artifacts to modern exhibits, it’s a history buff’s dream. Bonus points if you can pronounce “Heraclea Lyncestis” without tripping over your tongue.

Find why second name of the city back in the time was City of Pianos, learn more about most important person of Turkish history, the Kemal Ataturk, which was studying military schools back in the time, and read about the love story of Balkan Romeo and Juliet about Kemal Ataturk and Eleni from Bitola.

6. Relax at Magnolia Square

Chill out at Magnolia Square, the perfect spot to relax and watch the world go by. Grab an ice cream, find a comfy bench, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. It’s like hitting the pause button on life.

7. Check Out the Clock Tower

This iconic landmark of city Bitola is a must-see. The Clock Tower has been keeping Bitola on time for centuries.

Fun fact: It’s also great for playing “guess what time it is” without looking at your phone.

The original clock tower was first built in 1664 by Mahmut Bey when the city was part of the Ottoman Empire and known as Manastır. The 30-metre-high tower is rumored to be fortified with mortar made from chicken eggs (apparently the Ottoman authorities collected 60,000 eggs from the villages around Bitola for this purpose).

On the opposite side, the minaret of the Yeni Mosque reaches even higher than the Clock Tower. If you stand in just the right spot, you can get a photo of the statue framed by both the spire at the clock.

If you find there at 12:00 o’clock, wait a minute to hear the most popular and known songs of city Bitola (Bitola Moj Roden Kraj) play from bells of the clock.

8. Admire St. Demetrius Church

Marvel at the stunning architecture of St. Demetrius Church. Its intricate designs and peaceful ambiance make it a perfect spot for some quiet reflection. Just don’t confuse the priest with a tour guide!

9. Chill in City Park

Take a break and enjoy the greenery of Bitola City Park. Ideal for picnics, leisurely walks, or simply lying on the grass and cloud-gazing. Who says you need Wi-Fi to have fun, all you need is just cold beer.


Find more about the first cinetomography in the Balkan region.

In 1921, they bought a courtyard on Shirok Sokak with the intention of building a movie theater and founded the “Manaki” cinema, where the first movie projection was shown in August, and later in the spring of 1922, the construction of the cinema building began. The project for the new cinema building was simple, but an accident occurred during the construction itself, probably as a result of a construction error, and two walls collapsed. This caused further financial difficulties for the Manaki Brothers who had already spent all their own and family money.

That was also the reason for taking a loan from the Mortgage Bank and additionally receiving a deposit from the new partners Kosta Chomu and Dimitrie Georgievski, which completed the construction and equipping of the cinema.

Here you can see some video from 1905 and Shriok Sokak.


Another interesting part of the Bitola is to visit the Old Bazaar. Old Ottoman Quarter lies just across the Dragor River, 500 meters further on from Magnolia Square and Clock Tower.

Bitola’s bazaar was developed under the Ottomans back in the time for trading between cities. At its prime, there were somewhere between 100 and 500 shops and up to 20 cafes tucked down its stone passageways. 

Find some coffee shop or restaurant by the river Dragor and enjoy under deep shadows of the trees.


In Ottoman times, Bitola boasted no fewer than 50 mosques of its own, a testament to the Empire’s prolific influence in Bitola, and very important place for Otoman Empire, where one of the most biggest Military schools was in Bitola.

  • Ishak Chelebi Mosque (1506) – Located opposite the Bezisten, this is one of the oldest mosques in the region. 
  • The Ajdar Kadi Mosque (1562) – Recently restored, this is one of the most beautiful mosques in Bitola.
  • The Yeni Mosque (1558) – Standing prominently behind Magnolia Square, this mosque now houses an art gallery.


End your day with a breathtaking sunset at Golemo Ezero or peak Pelister at 2601m above sea level. The mountain lake and vibrant sky make for an Instagram-worthy moment. Don’t forget to bring your “deep thoughts” notebook.


14. Try Local Macedonian Food

Treat your taste buds to some delicious Macedonian cuisine at a local restaurant. From delicious SHOPSKA salad, TAVCHE GRACHE, KEBAPI, BAKLAVA SELSKO TAVCHE, it’s a flavor explosion.

And yes, you can diet tomorrow.


Discover the vibrant nightlife of Bitola. Dance the night away at a local club or enjoy a quiet drink at a cozy bar. Remember, what happens in Bitola… makes for great stories later!

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