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Plovdiv Old Quarter

Plovdiv Old Quarter

Plovdiv, the cosmopolitan city of Bulgaria.

The city of Plovdiv is one of those places where you feel comfortable and comfortable from the first moment you visit it and where you want to stay a few more days. It is the second most populous city in Bulgaria with about 400.000 population, and the whole city breathes tranquility and the desire to enjoy life on the part of its inhabitants.

Plovdiv is a cultured city, modern and at the same time with a past that has left a worthy architectural heritage. If we add to this its attractive gastronomy offer, of cultural and entertainment tourism, It is easy to understand why we recommend dedicating a minimum of two or three full days to your visit to discover and savor its most emblematic places without haste. As highlights, has been the European Capital of Culture 2019, for something will be… also the prestigious worldwide travel guide “Lonely Planet” placed it between 10 most recommended world destinations to visit in 2015.

But we are going to give you some reasons to visit Plovdiv. (and if you are in a hurry you can read our article: “What to see in Plovdiv in one day“):

1. Plovdiv is one of the oldest cities in the world and the oldest in Europe still inhabited.

It was founded by the Thracian tribes (ancestors of present-day Bulgarians) according to estimates between 6.000 and 8.000 years, being therefore in fourth position in the ranking of oldest cities in the world still inhabited, they only surpass it in seniority 3 Asian cities: Damascus, Jericho and Shush, being the oldest city in Europe still inhabited, therefore it is older than Rome, Athens, Carthage or Constantinople. But throughout its turbulent history the city has had different names, the current Plovdiv has it since 1.878 when the liberation of the country occurred after centuries of Ottoman occupation (Turks). And it is not only the oldest city in Europe on paper, Traces remain throughout the city as proof of its long history: Roman buildings and remains, ottomans, etc,…like an amphitheater, Roman forum and stadium that can be visited, some Turkish baths and a mosque from the Ottoman period, still in use, etc…

Interior of the Dzhumaya Mosque

Interior of the Dzhumaya Mosque

Roman amphitheater in winter

Roman amphitheater in winter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. The Old Town of Plovdiv is one of a kind.

Lamartine House in Plovdiv

Lamartine House in Plovdiv

Located on one of the seven hills of the city, the Old Quarter is perhaps the perfect place for a quiet walk through its cobbled streets and surrounded by colorful buildings of the centuries-old Bulgarian artistic Renaissance 18 and 19. There are cataloged 150 houses of the former wealthy merchants, many are still inhabited and others have been converted into museums, Hotels, etc. At the end of the walk, a dinner with local products of the land in one of the traditional restaurants would be a perfect culmination.. The Old Quarter has a unique aesthetic in Europe with its centuries-old cobbled streets, entrance porticoes in ramparts, old bourgeois mansions and historic churches of different religions that together create an atmosphere unmatched in the rest of Europe. I recommend taking your time to visit the Old Town of Plovdiv. It is an activity to do without haste, on the contrary, we will surely miss many details.

 

Old Wall Gate & quot; Hissar"

Old wall gate “Lifts”

 

3. Plovdiv is a fascinating mix of cultures and exotic influences.

Plovdiv, ethnographic museum

Plovdiv, ethnographic museum

This city has always had a strategic location as a crossroads of Europe and Asia, Plovdiv has always been on the main road connecting Asia (Istanbul) with Western Europe, which has given it a very particular multicultural character and of which Bulgaria is proud and is an example for the rest of the world. As a result, currently here you can find several mosques of Ottoman origin, an armenian church, a catholic baroque cathedral, a Protestant Gothic church, a Jewish synagogue and various Christian-Orthodox churches (majority cult in Bulgaria), all living in harmony for centuries in a relatively small city.

Centuries of coexistence among Bulgarians, Turks (ottomans), greek, romans, Armenians, Jews and many other nationalities make Plovdiv a cosmopolitan city, but not from now like other European cities, rather, it has been cosmopolitan for centuries and that can be seen in the atmosphere of the city.

 

4. Plovdiv, the city of seven hills.

View of three of the seven hills of Plovdiv

View of three of the seven hills of Plovdiv

Plovdiv, just like the famous capitals of Rome, Lisbon and Istanbul sits on seven hills. Each of the seven hills of the city towers a few hundred meters above the city providing great views of its surroundings: also with their spring and summer greenery they are especially attractive. Also, each hill is quite different from the rest. “Dzhendem Tepe” It is the tallest and is crowned by a huge bronze statue of Apollo. Second highest “Bunardzhik” for its part, it has a giant monument honoring the Russian soldier for his help in the liberation of the Ottoman occupation of Bulgaria.

 

 

5. It is the main cultural destination of Bulgaria.

Much of the fame of Plovdiv is in its History but Tourism in Plovdiv also has a lot to offer in the present and future. In recent years Plovdiv has been at the forefront of cultural and artistic events in Eastern Europe, hosting a large number of festivals and events of various disciplines: design, architecture, folklore, museum, artistic, etc… which has earned it the honor of being declared a European City of Culture in 2019. Like in Berlin and other cities in Europe, the Plovdiv Museum Night in which the city's museums are open and free, has acquired international fame.

For those curious about the latest trends in art and culture, we recommend the bohemian neighborhood of “Kapana” where old buildings like the Cosmos cinema, a tobacco factory and Turkish baths, all before abandoned, have been converted into showrooms for innovative local artists.

 

6. It is at the forefront of entertainment, day and night.

If the talk about History and Culture bores you and what you need is group fun and a beer, don't worry because Plovdiv also offers that kind of fun both day and night. Cult bars, pubs and clubs like the bohemian “Nylon”, the classic “Rorschach’s Blot” and the refreshing summer terrace “The Tsar’s Stables” They have become leisure institutions in this city where locals and foreigners can extend the night with friends, music and drinks.

 

7. Ideal city for quiet and exclusive tourism.

Plovdiv is a delight for the traveler who wants to avoid the crowded European capitals, it is a medium size city, It does not require long journeys and is perfectly accessible on foot, in fact it is the most recommended to discover its corners between alleys. When sightseeing in Plovdiv it is not necessary to ask for the time to take a photo of a monument or an interesting building as in other cities. Restaurants and hotels keep the atmosphere welcoming for newcomers and prices are very affordable, no tourist restaurants with extortionate prices and mediocre quality, as it happens in other tourist cities in Europe, here native and foreign inhabitants share premises and environment. Take advantage of it and come to know this beautiful city before it becomes fashionable among the great tour operators of travel in Europe…

The city for you alone

The city for you alone

Plovdiv, la ciudad de las siete colinas

Strolling around Plovdiv without stress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would you like to know Plovdiv?, we are an agency specialized in active travel in Bulgaria, If you want to visit it, don't wait any longer and get to know it before it becomes fashionable, we have trips with local guide that will tell you all the secrets and History of Plovdiv, or you can choose self-guided tours so that you know it your way, it's up to you….

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