Some time ago in this blog published an article about the benefits of Plovdiv as a tourist destination (Plovdiv, the city of 7 hills). We explain why there is a city you should not miss if you travel to Bulgaria, but now we will realize and we will advise you what to see in Plovdiv in one day. We know that sometimes trips to Bulgaria are of short duration and unfortunately not allow more than one day in Plovdiv. It is a medium-sized city, 400.000 people, and many tourist attractions have made it difficult to choose. Must be priorities because in one day is hard to visit and learn all that Plovdiv can offer tourists.
To find out what to see in Plovdiv in one day we will divide the day between cultural visits, shopping and dining, then every traveler can lengthen or shorten the time spent on each of them according to their tastes… But not since been declared Plovdiv European City of Culture 2019 and it has a great architectural heritage and museums, worth spending the most time to make cultural visits.
We'd start the morning with cultural visits in the evenings as places to visit close not too late, to the 16:00-17:00 hours while other shops are open until 19:00 from 19:30 hours.
Plovdiv has had a long history, in fact it is the oldest inhabited city in Europe, It predates Rome, Athens and Istanbul. The tribes founded Thracian (Bulgarian ancestors of today) ago 6.000-8.000 years and was much later an important city for the Romans. Proof of this is that the Romans built an impressive stadium in Plovdiv to celebrate festivals and chariot races, also a theater, a forum and Odeum, mosaics, walls, sewerage, etc…
Priorities to decide what to see in Plovdiv on a day within the set of Roman buildings:
- Roman theatre, It has an amphitheater of the best preserved in Europe and lies within the old city to go on foot.
- Roman stadium. It has been only a small part in sight, most of it is underground, under the main pedestrian promenade, so you can quickly see the part that is outdoors because you are passing through and continue visiting the rest of the city.
- Odeón, Mosaics and Forum, They are south of the city next to the Central Plaza but have less aesthetic interest than the two previous buildings, unless you're a big fan of Roman Culture…
Next to the Roman Stadium in the same square is the Dzhumaya mosque, reminding stage Ottoman occupation in Bulgaria, do not miss it, though smaller than those of Istanbul is beautiful inside and out, including a nice minaret, richly decorated unlike most who tend to be more austere minarets, which gives an idea of the importance of this mosque in Plovdiv. Walk around the building and up the stairs to entry, the door will open and you will see its main hall, if you wish you can enter that room but you have to descalzarte and if you are woman put a “that” that covers the body and providing right there. Outside on the ground floor there is a curious cafe with wooden facade, managed by the mosque itself offering the typical Turkish tea like you're in the very Istanbul…
To the right of the main pedestrian promenade of the city is the Old Town of Plovdiv, a neighborhood in the center of Plovdiv which is an architectural jewel for its picturesque buildings and many old streets. In the Old Town of Plovdiv they are concentrated the best places on our list of sights in Plovdiv in one day. Just have circulation of vehicles, so you can walk along the cobblestone walkways quietly, yes, with comfortable shoes and watching your steps because some pavers are huge stones are not always well supported due to the passage of time… A walk through the Old City is a trip back in time, an experience you should not miss, old houses decorated with different colors and different architecture to the rest of Europe. Inside the Old Town of Plovdiv is the Roman Theater we said before is a must. There are also several houses museum showing the lifestyle and customs of the time of the Bulgarian Renaissance Cultural eighteenth century.
Priorities to choose what to see in Plovdiv on a day within the set of buildings and museums in the Old Town:
- Regional Ethnographic Museum. The museum building itself and its courtyard and worth being visited by itself, and also inside the building the original rooms of the house are now museum halls showing the customs and crafts of the era of the eighteenth century. Do not forget to look at the ceiling, Each room has a wooden ceiling carved by hand of different design.
- Exposition “Bulgarian National Revival”. It occupies an old and huge old house facade painted in red and inside there is a museum on the history of the country's occupation by the Ottomans (for almost 500 years) and their subsequent release revolutionaries led by several Bulgarian, there are paintings, weapons, flags used by the Bulgarian rebels. In addition, the visit to this house allows us to pass under the “Hissar door”, old gate in the wall of medieval times, before the Ottoman occupation, and make some nice photos.
- Church of St. Constantin and Elena. It is next to the door Hissar and apart from letting us know esthetics and liturgy of the Orthodox churches it has a nice patio.
Casa Balabanov. It is a house museum that recreates a house of the eighteenth century aristocrats Plovdiv, with period furniture, luxury lamps, rugs, wooden ceilings and decoration that hoarded the rich merchants in ancient Plovdiv. There are other houses in the Old City Museum, but if you have to choose to enter into a, we opted for this and other see them outside because they are all very nice.
- house Lamartine. It is closed to the public because it is a private home but worth take a picture in front of it because it is very picturesque, It is also near the Roman Theater.
With these 5 Old Town buildings, plus the Roman Theater, the Dzhumaya Mosque and the walk itself through the Old Town of Plovdiv morning is complete. There are other buildings and museums in the city but are farther from the center and if you only have 1 day are not abarcables, but I mention them: Regional Museum of Archeology, Museum of Natural History, Orthodox Icons Gallery, Catholic Cathedral Basilica, clock tower, Thracian remains of the fortress on the hill “Nebet Tepe”, Assumption Cathedral, other houses in the Old City Museum, etc.
For lunch we can go to some of many restaurants and taverns that are on the main pedestrian street or go to the neighborhood “Exciting”, which it is just north of the Dzhumaya Mosque. This neighborhood is small streets, many pedestrian, There are many taverns and nightlife too. South of downtown, a bit off, to some 20 minute walk, there is a traditional restaurant where daily offer dances and Bulgarian folk songs while dinner tasting the rich cuisine of the country. This typical restaurant is open for lunch and dinner but the show is only at night. We always recommend visiting travelers traveling counting on our services and spend a fun night. Prices are similar to other restaurants but has the added value of folk live show.
In the afternoon you can still see houses museum or stroll through the Old City if there was no time in the morning but also you can use to make purchases, the main pedestrian street is the ideal area to buy comfortably, everything is close and do not bother vehicles.
We do not give the exact address of each place to visit and what to see in Plovdiv that appear in any plane that you can deliver in the hotel where you stay when you travel to Plovdiv. On the other hand we will notify you that most museums have information only in Bulgarian therefore difficult to use the visit if you do not understand. Bulgaria has little tourist tradition in the face of foreign, most of it is domestic tourism, and therefore they have not yet translated the texts into English or other languages, It's a shame but on the other hand the scarcity of tourists can stroll and visit the city without the hassles suffered in other European cities.
If you wish we can provide you with a Spanish-speaking guide to lead you through the city, show you what to see in Plovdiv and help you with the language, Contact us and let us know your travel dates you can do a proposal please.