Travel guide to European cultural city of Plovdiv



PLOVDIV

Plovdiv is a great place for a city break, whether as a stop-over from Bulgaria trip or for a weekend getaway. Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia and it is considered as European cultural city in 2019. And there is many reasons why it is such a cultural and historical city. This ancient city reflect Roman, Persian and Ottoman influences as well as the new emerging creative and youth quarter of Kapana. It is a beautiful city full of charm and history. Read more and bookmark places to visit and see while travelling in Plovdiv.

What to do and see


Garden of Tsar Simeon
Tsar Simeon’s Garden in Plovdiv is created in 1892 by the Swiss landscape architect Lucien Chevalas. This large public park have many children playgrounds, benches to relax as well as what they calling it as "Singing fountains". Come and see a music and light show around the fountains every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening at 21:30.

Roman Forum and Odeon
Roman forum of Philippopolis is an area of ruins of what it once was ancient administrative buildings. Located not too far from gardens of Tsar Simeon, this Roman Forum ruins can be easily passed through. Plovdiv Is one of the few modern cities with a well-preserved Roman forum with Odeon. The forum was a commercial, administrative and religious center of the ancient city. 

Ancient theatre of Philippopolis
This Roman theatre is one of the well-preserved ancient theatre in the old town. It is the main attraction and icon of Old Philippopolis. It was constructed in the 90s of the 1st century AD and it can host 5000-7000 visitors. Currently, this theatre is still in use for plays and for events. The theatre is located in between of hills. Therefore, you can admire the great views of Plovdiv as well from here. Do you know that Plovidv was once named Philippopolis?

Danov hill
Plovdiv is also known as the city of the seven hills, from which three of them is located in the Old Town (Nebet Tepe, Taxim Tepe and Dzhambaz Tepe) and other three are located not too far from a city and they are slightly higher up to hike and for admiring the scenic view of the city (Danov's hill, Bunardzhik hill and Youth hill).

Ancient stadium of Philippopolis
The Roman Stadium is located in the main pedestrian street of Plovdiv. The larger portion of the stadium lies beneath the building and some parts are visible in basements of several shops around it. It is unusual location for an ancient place to be located it. Up until now, this place is still used for regular events.
Dzhumaya mosque Plovdiv
The mosque is located in the city center, west from the Old Town.  Built in 1363-1364 and it is the main Muslim mosque in Plovdiv.  This is one of the oldest cult Ottoman buildings of the Balkans. Its construction shows the influence of Byzantine and Old Bulgarian architecture technique – two layers of bricks were built up after each layer of stone.
Gate "Hisar Kapia"
A medieval gate in the old town was built in the 11th century AD and it is one of the three entrances to the acropolis of ancient Plovdiv. 


Regional ethnographic museum
The museum is the second largest specialized museum of this type in Bulgaria. This spectacular museum is located in the old town and it attracts tourists to explore the local market, cultural movements and other national significances. The house from 1847 belonged to Argir Kuyumdzhioglu. In Plovdiv, you may find many beautiful old houses open for public to explore for a small fee. In this ethnographic museum, you will find expositions across 6 rooms. 

Nebet Tepe 
Nebet Tepe is one of the hills of Plovdiv where the ancient town was founded. As the town expanded, Nebet Tepe became the citadel of the town's acropolis. There are remains of a fortress walls, towers, and a postern from the time of Justinian leading down to the Maritsa river. 

Kapana district
Kapana district is the trendy and creative quarter of Plovdiv, located west from the Old city. If you want to immerse yourself into more youthful and lively part of the city, definitely explore the streets of Kapana. Starting in 2014-2015, the district was fully reconstructed and it turned into vibrant pedestrianized place for locals and visitors to enjoy their day and nights. From cool art galleries, boutiques shops, craft beer halls to wine bars. A trip to Plovdiv is not finished if you haven't hang out on the streets of Kapana.


Where to stay?

Whether you prefer to stay in the old town or outside, there are plenty of hostels, Airbnb or hotel choices to tailor your needs. Plovdiv is relatively small and walkable city, so easily to get around anywhere by foot.  The train station is about 20/30 minutes away or easily accessible by taxi or bus.
    
                                   

      

Getting here

There are many ways how you can get to Plovdiv. 
The easiest and direct way is to flew directly to Plovdiv by Ryanair or other airlines. 
Alternatively, you may flew to Sofia and can a direct train or bus to Plovdiv which takes about 2.5-3 hours. You may purchase the train tickets on the day from a train station. 
The last way is by hiring a car from Sofia airport or from wherever you are and drive through the cities. 

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