You planned your trip to Bulgaria. You checked all the main points of interest in the country and you booked your accommodations… and you have read about its history, culture, modern life and places for partying. But did you include Plovdiv in your itinerary? To understand Bulgaria you HAVE TO spend some time in Plovdiv, it’s old but also new cultural capital and one of the oldest cities in the world.
Your visit to Plovdiv can focus on a few of the cities’ features. One and inevitable of them is history. No matter where you go, you will always find something connected with its history that goes back to 6,000 BC. Then, you may be surprised by the ubiquitous presence of culture and art.
Or maybe you will like to see its many faces through the different cultures represented. No matter what is your interest, you will find something that will surprise you and will make you keep warm memories from Bulgaria’s second-largest city. These are the main reason to visit Plovdiv right now!
1 – Plovdiv is a Romantic City
Plovdiv is a romantic city. Night walk in the city centre is as romantic as the wandering the streets of Taormina in Sicily.
2 – Plovdiv is the Cultural Capital
The city is one of the European capitals of culture in 2019. It is the first ever Bulgarian city chosen to be a centre of the European culture for a whole year. Plovdiv is known for its cultural traditions for centuries and even during the communist era was famous as the cultural capital of Bulgaria.
3 – Plovdiv is a Multicultural City
Plovdiv was and still is a multicultural city. From Romans and Thracians to important town during the Ottoman Empire, Plovdiv has always been home to a mixture of cultures that can be seen even today.
4 – Plovdiv is a Home to Many Religions
As a place where different cultures are living together, it is nice to see a peaceful coexistence of different religions. The proof is one of the main landmarks of Plovdiv, the Dzhumaya Mosque.
5 – Plovdiv is the Wealthy People’s City
In Bulgaria, Plovdiv always has been known as the city of the Bulgarian wealthy people. Even if this is not so true today, you can see the glorious past through classical architecture, the lifestyle of its citizens (laid-back, enjoying the life) and cultural atmosphere.
6 – Plovdiv’s Nightlife is Vibrant
The nightlife is vibrant and also stamped by the multicultural side of the city. For the beer lovers I can recommend Cat & Mouse beer bar and for wine go to Vino Culture. If you like Jazz, Bee Bob Café is the perfect place for you.
7 – Plovdiv Has Artistic Cafes and Restaurants
There are plenty of artistic cafes and restaurants in Plovdiv. All of them have an atmosphere that usually is connected with Western Europe but here it is on a different level – the urban lifestyle is mixed with the laid-back lifestyle of a provincial town.
8 – Plovdiv Offers a Variety of Food
Plovdiv offers a variety of food that it is not common for most of the other big cities in Bulgaria.
It is again thanks to the multicultural diversity and the long history that you can taste a delicious doner at Aladin Foods or to have a great start of the day in the KinoCafe with mekitsa (traditional Bulgarian breakfast made of deep-fried kneaded dough, served with jam or honey and white cheese).
You migh want to check this Unique Plovdiv Gourmet Tour
9 – Plovdiv is Perfect for Day Trips
Plovdiv is located in the central part of Bulgaria and it is perfect for day trips. Staying in Plovdiv for few days will allow you to visit special places like Bachkovo Monastery, the natural formation Marvelous Bridges, the Rose Valley and city of Kazanluk, the Valley of the Thracian Kings and the museum-town of Koprivshtitsa.
10 – Plovdiv Has Good Climate Conditions
The climate conditions in the region of Plovdiv are perfect for a visit during the mid seasons. Best months to plan your trip are May and September because during the summer the region can be quite hot.
11 – Plovdiv Is Abundant of Galleries and Museums
The abundance of art galleries and museums makes Plovdiv one of the must-see places in Bulgaria. My favourites are the Ethnographic Museum and the Exposition “Zlatyu Boyadzhiev” displaying the artwork of one of the most significant Bulgarian painters.
12 – Plovdiv is Walkable City
Plovdiv is one of these tourist places that you can explore entirely on foot.
Everything is within walking distance if you stay at the central, most interesting part of the city. Ideas for great walks – climb one of the seven hills or reach the Alyosha Monument from where you can have the best view of the city; stroll on the streets of the Old city but prepare yourself with good walking shoes because the cobbled stones can turn your walk into a little adventure.
13 – Plovdiv is a Home of the Best Bulgarian Chocolate
And for those who like to indulge in the sweet life, the chocolate factory Gaillot is Bulgarian-French venture from Plovdiv that produces artisan chocolate from bio cocoa beans.
I can tell you that all Bulgarians adore this chocolate! Unfortunately, they don’t have their own shop (as far as I know) but you can ask for it in the shops selling bioproducts and gourmet food all over Bulgaria and especially in Sofia (shops Zoya).
14 – Plovdiv Offers Unique Accommodation Options
Plovdiv has some unique accommodation options that are both affordable and traditionally Bulgarian. Check hostel Old Plovdiv that was named one of the best 10 value stays of 2014 from Lonely Planet.
15 – Plovdiv is One of the Oldest Cities in the World
As I have said, in Plovdiv the history is at every corner. Why? Because it is one of the oldest cities in the world and the oldest in Europe and the oldest still inhabited city in Europe. Plovdiv is older than Athens and Istanbul!
16 – Plovdiv is a Place of Mysticism
Plovdiv is a mystical place. It is said that the seven hills with which the city is famous are centres of energy balanced by Maritsa River. True or not, people always feel better when the place has good energy, right?
17 – Visit Plovdiv for Its Folklore and Festivals
September is the best time to visit Plovdiv. During the month, there are a few festivals and celebrations of which you may want to visit The Night of the Museums and Galleries and the Holidays of the Plovdiv Old Town.
I am a Bulgarian and maybe I am not impartial about the beauty of this city. I always loved to wander on its streets and take photos of its dilapidated at some places but beautiful architecture.
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