According to wholevehicles, Plovdiv is the oldest city in Europe, the second largest in Bulgaria, located on the Maritsa River, 25 km from the Rhodope Mountains.
Plovdiv is a city of contrasts, distinguished by its special beauty and charm. On its territory there are both ancient architectural buildings and modern buildings. About 200 of them have been declared historical monuments and taken under protection. The cultural heritage of the city is unique not only for the country, but for the world as a whole. For its amazing picturesqueness, Plovdiv was called the “city of artists”.
How to get to Plovdiv
By train from Sofia (journey time from 2.5 hours by express to 4 hours by regular train). By train from Istanbul (Turkey) 1 time per day (journey time about 11 hours).
By car from Sofia on the A1 motorway.
By bus every hour from the main bus station in Sofia.
By plane (seasonally) on a regular flight from Domodedovo (Moscow) to Krumovo airport.
Walking in Plovdiv is more convenient on foot, since most of the city is closed to motor vehicles. Travel is possible only to the church of the Holy Mother of God (Saborna street).
Taxi fares in the daytime are from 0.52 BGN, at night – from 0.59 BGN per km.
Car rental services (tel. 623-496, Trimontium Princess Hotel) and Avis (934-481, Novotel) are well known but not cheap. You can find more affordable options at the tourist information center, for example, S&Z Rent-A-Car (967-410; Tsar Borisa St., 26).
For tourists there are hotels of various categories: two-, three-, four- and five-star. If necessary, you can book or rent private apartments or houses.
Entertainment and attractions in Plovdiv
Old Plovdiv is an autonomous region within the city. The pride of the locals, it has been restored and preserved as a large open museum. The theater, stadium, basilica, baths of the ancient city are perfectly preserved. And the Roman amphitheater, built in the 2nd century AD by Emperor Trajan, is still in operation!
The ancient part of the city is full of ancient quiet streets. The main pedestrian road – Prince Alexander I Street – is built up with the most beautiful buildings of the 19th century. You can also see two mosques – Jumaya and Imaret, and one of the oldest clock towers.
The most striking buildings in the Baroque style are: Kuyumdzhiugly house (or the Ethnographic Museum), Lamartin’s house (writers’ house) Nedkovich’s house (municipality building). The Bulgarian Revival era (19th century) includes: the Church of St. Nedelya, the Church of St. Dimitar, the Church of St. Marina.
The heyday of the city came in the 1st century AD. e. Then Trimontium (“City of three hills”) was an important military point for the Romans. Now the ruins of Trimontium, part of the acropolis, have been restored and are waiting for their visitors. Theatrical performances and opera concerts are still held here.
In the modern part of Plovdiv, it is worth highlighting the ensemble of the International Fair. Every year one of the most prestigious international exhibitions takes place here. And one of the most interesting sights is the monument to the Soviet soldier, known as “Alyosha” (erected in 1954). The prototype for the image was the Russian soldier Alexei Skurlatov, the monument is located on Bunardzhik Hill.
The city has many museums, galleries, theaters, as well as a number of educational institutions – Plovdiv, Medical and Agricultural Universities, academies of dance, music, arts. For those interested in sports, two well-known teams play in the city – Lokomotiv Plovdiv and Botev Plovdiv.
The region is rich in geothermal springs: Hisarya, Banya, Narechensky baths – are known not only in the district, but throughout the country.
Events in Plovdiv
In spring and autumn, major international exhibitions are held in the city. The Plovdiv Fair Square is the largest place in the Balkans for holding such events. More than 200 thousand business tourists visit Plovdiv every year.