Tetovo (Albanian: Tetovë, Macedonian: Тетово) is a town tucked into the northwestern corner of Western Macedonia, in the shadow of the Šar Mountains. The town has about 65,000 people, making it the third largest city in Macedonia.
The population of Tetovo is majority ethnic Albanian, with a minority of Macedonians and others. While the city is often known as the unofficial capital of the Albanians of Macedonia, and expressions of Albanian national pride, in the form of flag waving from houses and cars, and graffitis depicting the map of the "Greater Albania", are common, this is by no means an exclusively Albanian city, and referring to it as such will offend the non-Albanian residents, particularly the ethnic Macedonians—and you can never know who you have been talking to.
The Roman alphabet, in which the Albanian language is written, dominates throughout the city, while Cyrillic signage can be seen on one of the main streets which is probably the part of the city where the Macedonian community gathers.
Travellers will be rewarded with local hospitality and beautiful scenery in Tetovo.
Although there may have been inhabitants in Tetovo's area as early as the Bronze Age, Tetovo was officially mentioned for a first time in the beginning of 13th century as a small medieval Orthodox settlement around the Sveta Bogorodica church in the upper part of town.
At the end of the 14th century, Tetovo, along with all of Macedonia, fell under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. As the Muslim population in Macedonia began to expand in the early Ottoman period mosques, baths, and markets began to appear as early as the 15th century. Tetovo under Ottoman tutelage became an important trade center for the local farmers and craftsmen, as well as an important military fortification. Turkish influence deeply impacted Tetovo and it was renamed Kalkandelen (Turkish for "shield breaker", in honour of the blacksmiths of the city then, who should have been producing powerful swords and spears) to reinforce the new Islamic presence. Haci Halife in the 17th century noted in his writings that Kalkandelen was expanding at an amazing rate in its lowland areas.
By the 19th century, when the population of Tetovo began to increase with settlement from the surrounding villages, the French traveler Ami Bue noted that the population had reached about 4,500 people. In 1912, due to the Balkan wars, Tetovo became a Serbian city. In World War II Tetovo was jointly ruled by Italy and its regime in Albania. The Communist Party of Macedonia, was formed on March 19th 1943 in Tetovo.
Today, Tetovo is prosperous city with many private companies, stores, two universities and lots a things to see.
- Bus Station (Тетово Автобуска Cтаница), Boris Kidrich Street (Борис Кидрич), ☎ +38944 339130. 24/7. There is perfect and regular bus connection with all of the cities in Macedonia. There is a regular bus line from/to Skopje on every 30 minutes, taking around 50 minutes to an hour to cover the route, costing 110 den one-way. Sat-bus departs, to Gostivar (hourly, between 6.00-19.40), to Skopje (half hourly, 6.00-19.40), to Kičevo (6:00, 7:00, 12:00, 13:20, 15:20, 17:00, 19:20), to Struga (seven times per day, 6.00-18:25), Kumanovo (three times). - Eurobus is an international coach operator based in Macedonia that has almost daily tours from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Slovenia. Prices from 70€ and possible to get student discount. Almost daily in modern coaches from Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia. Stops in the major cities Skopje, Tetovo, Ohrid.
The highway Skopje-Gostivar goes through Tetovo. It is very nice and smooth road, but you have to pay on pay-tolls to drive on it twice (once while leaving Skopje, and once again on the approach to Tetovo), price 30 denars each time.
- Arabati Baba Teke - Dervish Monastery, Lyubotenska. - it was made in the last decades of the 18th century by Redzep Pasha. It is comprised of several buildings used for religious ceremonies. It was abandoned in 1945 and is now used as a museum.
- Bal Tepe Fortress (Tetovo Kale).
- Sarena Mosque (Colour Mosque), Brakja Miladinovci and Ilindenska corner.
- The Painted Mosque. - this mosque was made in 1459 on the foundation of an older edifice. An example of early Constantinople style, this mosque is adorned with an elaborate painted fasade and interior, making it unique in Macedonia. It is located on the Pena River. In the turbe next to the mosque is the body of the two women who provided money for the mosque to be built in 1459.
- St. Cyril and Methodius Church (Црква Св.Кирил и Методиј), Gotse Delchev (Гоце Делчев) (N 1 km). - this church, made in 1903, is one of the biggest and most beautiful churches in the Polog Plain. It was built in the Two Elm Trees district, which is in the old part of the town. This is a three-nave basilica with a single dome and a cruciform basis. The fresco painting on the walls was done by painter Danilo Nestorovski in 1924.
- Holy Virgin Mother of God Church, Cventan Dymov (Цветан Димов) Rd.
- Turkish Amam. was built in the 15th century. It covers a surface of 335 m2. In 1962 it was transformed into an art gallery and in 1984 it was declared cultural heritage.
- Saint Nicholas Church (Saints Petka and Nedela), Radovan Conikj.
- Town Hall.
- Gostivar (Гостивар, Gostivari) (S 23 km).
- Kičevo (Кичево, Kërçovë) (S 67 km).
- Mavrovo National Park (S-SW 51 km). There is a lot of outdoor activities
- Popova Sapka (Попова Шапка) (W 18 km). - Famous skiing center, 1780 m a.s.l.
- Sar Mountain (Sharr Mountains, Шар Планина, Šar planina) (N 51 km). - the third largest mountain in Macedonia that extends to Kosovo and to northeastern Albania.
- St. Atanasie - was bombed by Albanian rebels in the 2001 Macedonia conflict, but has since been rebuilt. It is located just outside Tetovo.
- State University of Tetovo - is one of the three Macedonian state universities. The university was established in 17 December 1994, however, it was not officially recognized as a state university by the Macedonian government until January 2004. Classes are held in Macedonian, English, and some in Albanian.
- South East European University - It was founded in October 2001 and is a member of the European University Association. It is a recognised and accredited autonomous higher education institution which was established in 2001 by an agreement between international donors, the government of the Republic of Macedonia and the local academic community.
- City Shopping Center, Ilindenska St.
- Vero Supermarket (Веро), Vidoe Smilevski Bato.
- Market, Illyria and Blagoja Toska corner.
- Komercijalna Banka AD Skopje, Ilirija bb.
Tetovo is a food paradise. It is said that Tetovo produces the best Burek, a sort of greasy, phyllo dough pastry filled with cheese or ground meat that is popular throughout the Balkan peninsula. It resembles a cheese pie, but contains more fat and has stronger flavour. Also, by general consent, it is much more delicious. Some vendors sell other varieties such as apple, spinach or pizza burek (frequently just a combination between the meat and cheese Burek).
The Shopska salad is another phenomenal, yet simple, dish to be found in Tetovo. It consists of chopped up tomato, cucumber, onion, oil, a little salt and a generous topping of a domestic feta-like cheese. The local feta is usually less sharp than feta typically found in the west by a considerable margin. Most websites with recipes simply call it a brined sheep cheese and the French are known to make a similar feta. Another local trademark is the 'Urnebes' salad, literally translated as 'chaos' or 'pandemonium' - basically cream cheese in oil mixed with ground peppers, garlic and sometimes sesame.
Sharska Pleskavica, burger with yellow cheese, contains a concoction of spiced ground beef, pork and lamb. It may be served in a bun, pita bread or by itself on a plate depending on where you get one. It usually is accompanied by onions, a paprika based sauce and in the case of the fast-food-esque vendors you'll have a variety of sauces and toppings to accompany it.
Vegetarians had been almost totally neglected in Balkan regions until recently, but now most restaurants will have some options for them, too. Vegans might encounter more problems, although most are usually solved with the help of kind local restaurant owners. Note the traditional fasting periods, especially in April before Orthodox Easter holidays, when many restaurants offer fish and non-animal food, including some specialties.
- Carpe Diem, ☎ 044/350069. 24/7.
- Restaurant Dubrovnik, Boris Kidrich, ☎ +389 44 338 66970 336330.
- Punto Verde Restaurant, Dimo Gavrovski Kara St, ☎ +389 44 337 498.
- Restoran Belamia, Goce Delcev 108, ☎ +389 44 331332.
- 3 Fenera (Fine Dining Restaurant), Dervish Cara, 8 (Getting to the 3fenera is remarkably easy, since most people already use us as a landmark when giving directions.), ☎ +389 44 335514, e-mail: email@example.com. M-Su 7:00-23:00,. Breakfast Lunch Dinner Coffee Drinks
- Delfin, Illyria Street,
- Rima, Jane Snadanski bb, +389 44 338 686
- Burger House, Jane Sandanski, +389 44 529 444
- MEANA Egej, Boris kidrik, bb, +389 44 341 360
- Restaurant Shushu, Blagoja Toska (Благоја Тоска ББ), +389 70 840 121
Tap water is drinkable in Tetovo. Locals like to boast that, Tetovo has the best water on Balkans. Although this claim can probably be contested, the water from the central supply system is drunk by most residents. More cautious visitors are advised to buy bottled water in any shop: a variety of brands are available.
There is a throng of cafes in downtown Tetovo, most of which serve various coffee drinks, beers and liquors. Some specialty bars serve a more limited scope of beverages.
Local wines are usually of the best of quality. The more expensive the better. International brands are offered in most bars.
Rakija, a powerful brandy made from various fruits (usually plum or grape), is a local favorite. Attention: some kinds may be pretty strong for a newbie.
- Hotel Dinamika, Illyria бб,, ☎ +389 44 338669, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Hotel Lirak, Bulevard Ilirija (Next to Market).
- Hotel & Restaurant Tivoli, Bulevard Ilirija, 19, ☎ +389 44 352370, fax: +389 44 352 371, e-mail: email@example.com. Mob. +389 71 389213 sgl/dbl €45/€60 (2014).
- Skopje (E 42 km). the Capital
- Bitola (S 145 km). — one of the most European-flavoured cities in the country, Bitola is known for its colourful neo-classical architecture and the Ancient Macedon ruins of Heraclea Lyncestis nearby
- Brajčino (southward three and half hours drive) is a picturesque village located in the mountains
- Debar, relaxing in its thermal mineral spas }}
- Galičica National Park (southward three hours drive).
- Kičevo, southward one hour drive. Visit St. Bogorodica Precista, - a monastery with the 'flying icon'
- Kruševo, southward two hours drive. A museum-city nestled high up in the mountains.
- Ohrid (around three hours by bus) — with ancient churches and flower-filled balconies in the hillside old city, and beach life down below on the lake coast, this is no doubt the "Macedonian Riviera"
- Prizren (110 km via Globocica). — Kosovo's historic city is just north of Tetovo, looking fairly close on a map. However, the sheer wall of the Šar Mountains inbetween makes it longer than expected to reach to. While there is a shortcut-ish remote mountain route going there from Tetovo, detouring through Skopje is probably more reliable, especially if you want to take the public transport.
- Pelister National Park an outdoor heaven. Located in the Baba Mountain massif