Bulgaria is an Outstanding country at the crossroads between Asia and Europe.
Its tradition is a living history which unites Thracian, ancient Portuguese, and Roman influences. Visitors are spoiled for choice in regards to tourism chances.
Over 6,000 Decades of History
What to See and Do
Whether you are gastronome, a history buff, or even a beach bum, Bulgaria provides something for every sort of traveler. Check out what to see and do in Plovdiv — one of the oldest cities that are inhabited of Bulgaria. But first, here’s a little history on Plovdiv…
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The city of Plovdiv was ranked 6th amongst the oldest living cities in the world and the earliest in Europe from the Daily Telegraph. Plovidv was also included in the Huffington Post’s article,”10 Historical World Cities You’ll Be Still See.” Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia. This was originally a Thracian settlement evolved into a bustling Roman city, but even before that Plovdiv was home into a Neolithic settlement dating back to 4,000 B.C. Over the centuries Plovdiv has been called Eumolpia, Trimontium, and Paldin. But its most renowned name was Philippopolis, which literally translates into”City of Phillip.” Phillip II of Macedon (father of Alexander the Great) conquered town 342 B.C. and named it in his honour. By 46 B.C. the city landed in the hands of the Roman Empire. Plovdiv eventually became the largest and most flourishing city in the state of Thrace.
“Plovdiv is the biggest and loveliest of all cities. Its beauty stems from afar” -Lucian of Samosata, Historical Greek satirist (120 — 200 A.D.)
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It afterwards fell into Byzantine and Ottoman hands, prior to becoming a part of Bulgaria. Plovdiv remains one of the most culturally important destinations within the Balkans. Walking across town will reveal remnants from historical periods including Ottoman, Roman, early Thracian, Medieval, and the Bulgarian National Revival. Plovdiv is one of four Native cities shortlisted to function as the”European Capital of Culture 2019″ — a name it has an excellent chance of winning because of its many monuments and lively program of events.
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Click here to See our episode of the top things to see and do in Plovdiv
Plovdiv has a bustling and vibrant city centre. By comparison, the Old Town is a lot more quiet and laid back. Both regions are pedestrian-friendly, making it effortless for visitors to take in the main sights on foot. The city centre, boasting an array of boutiques, cafés, and hotels and though updated, does contain some historic sites.
A good Spot to get introduced into Roman Plovdiv is by Visiting That the Stadium (Knyaz Alexander 1) near the Tourist Information Center in Dzhumaya Square.
Located beneath modern Plovdiv at the original level of early Philippopolis, the Arena was commissioned by Emperor Hadrian in the two nd century. The first construction had seating for over 30,000 audiences. What remains is that a chunk of the Stadium 14 marble rows. Visitors will see a part of the track, semi-circular rows of seats, and a panoramic replica of their crossover.
No Roman city that was proper existed without a Forum; a open public square dedicated to political matters, spiritual, and economic. A Forum served as the market and meeting point. The ruins of this Historical Forum can be found behind the main post office on General Gurko Street. The northern portion of the Forum complicated contains the Odeon; a 300-seat theater used for concerts, council meetings, and theatrical props.
Underneath the overpass of Tsar Boris III Obedinitel Blvd. would be the ruins of a three rd century aristocratic house called”Eyrene’s House.” Housed inside the Cultural Centre Trakart are some beautiful floor mosaics that suggest there was a top quality mosaics studio in Philippopolis at the moment. Even the Trakart Cultural Centre also offers an exquisite assortment of ancient ceramic and glass artifacts spanning over 1,000 decades. The collection contains decorative objects produced by the people of Plovdiv, functional, and ritualistic, as well as Thracians and Romans.
Plovdiv’s Main Street, Knyaz Alexander I, runs from the Tsar Simeon Gardens via Dzhumaya Square, Where it turns into ul.
Raiko Daskalov. It then strikes the Maritsa River as a pedestrian bridge. The Main Street is pedestrianized and broad, lined with cafés, shops, and trees; perfect for strolling day or night.
Even the Old Town includes a completely different look and feel. Cobblestone streets wind between vibrant 19th century homes comprising Bulgarian National Revival structure (a cultural move by Bulgarians to recover their individuality by the Ottomans). Homes from this time were fancy characteristically big, and embellished with murals, columns, porches, and handmade furniture. A number of these homes are museums which are available to the public.
Walk up Hissar Kapiya Street, Throughout the Southern gate of the Philippopolis citadel.
It’ll lead you around Nebet Hill, a Roman fortress complicated that provides beautiful bird’s eye views of the city and also the Maritsa River. Among the Museum-Houses of the Old Town you will find the Balabanov (57 Konstantin Stoilov), Hindliyan (4 Artin Gidikov) and Nedkovich Houses (Tsanko Lavrenov, 3). Each Museum-House has an admission cost of 5 BGN for adults and one BGN for students and children. For 15 BGN that you can buy a ticket which grants entrance to all three plus the Zlatyu Boyadzhiev Gallery, Dimitar Kirov Exhibition, and the Theatre.
The Historical Roman Theatre is arguably the most remarkable of all of the things to see and do in Plovdiv. It is also one in the world and still employed today for many different performances. In actuality, the Plovdiv International Folklore Festival is held here every year — an event which brings in numerous spectators from all around Bulgaria that come to watch traditional tunes and dances from other countries. Plovdiv also hosts the Yearly International Festival of Jazz. This three-day event occurs in late fall.
Regional Ethnographic Museum
2, Dr. Stoyan Chomakov Street (Old Town)
+359 32 625 654
Housed inside the historic Rennaissance home of Argir Kuyumdzhiouglu, master builder Hadzhi Georgi built the mansion. Exhibition includes jewelry, costumes, musical instruments, antique furniture, weapons, and pottery.
Bulgarian Revival Exposition
1, Tsanko Lavrenov Street (Old Town)
+359 32 623 378
This rich photographic exhibition is situated within the 19th century home of Dimitar Georgiadi, one of Plovdiv’s richest merchants. The home is impressive with bright crimson hue and its outside murals. It is found beside the Philippopolis citadel’s eastern heart.
Tsar Simeon Garden
In the southwest end of the main street of their city is. The backyard includes sculptures fountains and lakes, and monuments dedicated to Bulgarian heroes. There are also temporary sculpture exhibits through the year.
A fantastic day trip out of Plovdiv would be the early Thracian royal tombs at the Starosel Thracian Temple Complex, which date back over 2,500 year into the end of the 5th and beginning of the four th century B.C. Thracians buried their elite in underground tombs beneath mounds. Rows of rock blocks then shielded All these mountains. But what stands out in regards to the tombs are their richly decorated interiors, having beehive-style ceilings and often painted with vivid colors. The Starosel tombs would be the earliest imperial tombs. There are just six temples here, of which only two are available to people (Chetinyova Mogila and Horizon Temple). Finds from the sites can be seen at the Archaeological Museum in Sofia. The Horizon Temple is a brief drive away and is now currently in a state of disrepair, however it possible (and free) to enter inside. Entry into the Starosel Thracian Temple Complex is 3 BGN. Excursions are included in the ticket’s purchase price. It takes about an hour to drive into Starosel from Plovdiv.
The city of Hisarya sits 40 km north of Plovdiv. Known as one of the best health spa centers of Bulgaria, Hisarya boasts a sunny climate year round and has 16 natural mineral springs. Hisarya has been continuously occupied since the 5th century B.C. Massive fortifications and public buildings have been erected in the three rd century A.D. beneath Roman Emperor Diocletian; the ruins still visible today. Are bathrooms, streets city walls, tombs, and an amphitheatre. Lots of the items found in Hisarya are placed in the town’s Archaeological Museum (2 BGN entry / Open 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. / Closed Mondays). Many visitors opt to remain for an evening or two in one of the many spa hotels of the town.
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If you plan to spend a few days we advise picking a hotel. Hotel Odeon is located right behind the Historical Forum, and that means that you will not be bothered with the noise of the major street, but will nevertheless be walking distance from the majority of Plovdiv’s attractions. Hotel Odeon has eight big guestrooms, two of which are flats, and one is a lavish studio. Each of the rooms include Wi-Fi cable TV, and ac. The hotel also offers a restaurant in the bottom level, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. Things we enjoy are the vibe, clean rooms, and close proximity to the city centre. Prices range from 80 to 120 BGN.
Brestovitsa Wine House appears to be an amazing wine shop, but is in fact one of Plovdiv’s best kept secrets. Simply ring the bell and then head downstairs to try some remarkable wine and food pairings. Inspired by Porteva family, this elegant restaurant is the location to wines. A tasting menu can take you through seven varieties, including mavrut, rubin, and merlot. You make to indulge in dishes created to rival the wine selection of the evening, also’ll try Bendida, the Portiva family own tag. Brestovitsa Wine House often hosts wine club meetings and tastings, therefore it is highly advisable that you book a table ahead of time.
Together with five locations through Plovdiv, Restaurant Dayana is obviously a crowd-pleaser. This collection of rustic, casual eateries serve up the most well-known dishes in Bulgarian cuisine –“kavkazki” fashion skewers, traditional sac platters, scrumptious appetizer dips, homemade breads, barbecued meats, and refreshing salads. Great for dinner or lunch, the Dayana restaurants are fairly priced and have a folk theme décor. Dayana is very good for large groups and families, in addition to the portions are super generous (available in 300 grams, 500 grams, 800 grams, and 1,200 grams!)
Restaurant Megdana is probably the most fun you will have while residing outside in Plovdiv. The atmosphere is a traditional”mehana” having a beautiful outdoor garden, big indoor dining area, and plenty of outdoor seating around the landscaped courtyard for the very best views of the nightly operation. Restaurant Megdana hosts Bulgarian folk dances every day. This area gets packed therefore it would be wise to generate a reservation at a lower level table in advance so you can enjoy the display. The food, such as the entertainment, is absolutely fantastic. Cuts of pieces vegetables, family recipes, and beef. Though it is a mehana, the area calls for casual attire. Don’t forget your camera.
Philippopolis is perhaps the fanciest restaurant in Plovdiv, Located in a quiet location close to the entrance to the old city and located in a stately, elegant mansion. Philippopolis provides a dining experience that is lovely and intimate , particularly if you choose to sit outside on the terrace. The house comes with a personal art gallery with works by master painters that are famous. The menu is Mediterranean and Bulgarian using chef’s recommendations and an assortment of daily specials. Philippopolis serves fusion food in a refined setting. Reservations are recommended.
Time zone: GMT +2
Electricity: 220-240 Volts.
The European 2-pin round plug is taken by electrical sockets. To get 110-120 V (U.S. and Canada) appliances, a plug adapter, and in some cases a voltage converter is needed.
Money: The national currency is the Bulgarian Lev, which is made up of 100 stotinki. The emblem for your Lev is”BGN”
Tip: Tipping 5 — 10 percent of the whole invoice is customary at restaurants and bars.
Tourist Information Center of Plovdiv: Central Square Knyaz Alexander I Street (+359 32 656 794 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tours: The Municipality of Plovdiv supplies free walking tours every Wednesday at 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 6 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. Tours are awarded in English and Spanish. Call the Tourist Information Center to book your place.
Museums hours of operation: Summer working hours (April — October) 9 a.m. to 6 pm Winter functioning hours (November — March) 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays. Free entry first Thursday of every month for students and retirees.
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