Plovdiv is Bulgaria’s oldest and most colourful city and in 2019, it’s hotter than ever. Not because of global warming or the infamous heat of Thrace – now that it’s been crowned the 2019 European Capital of Culture, its bohemian chic is deservedly making rounds all over the world. To make the most of your time in the “ancient and eternal” Plovdiv, enhance your visit with Plovdiv City Card! You’ll get free admissions to many of the must-see sights as well as dozens of discounts in some of the coolest places around town!Continue reading
Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s fascinating second-largest city, offers you more than enough reasons to visit and then keep going back for more. In fact, what better reason than that ‘love’ is almost part of the city’s name, pLOVEdiv?
In a lively city of some 340,000 comfortably situated in the lowlands of Thrace, just north of the first foothills of the Rhodope Mountains, Plovdiv’s ancient history flirts with modern artistic trends. Indeed, beating the stiff competition of Sofia, Varna and Veliko Tarnovo, Plovdiv was recently elected the European Capital of Culture for 2019. What’s more, Lonely Planet included Plovdiv in its list of top 10 cities in the world to visit in 2015!
Before the crowds have arrived and changed it forever, kashkaval tourist gives you 7 reasons to love Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s artistic second city.
1. Plovdiv is one of the oldest cities in the world
Founded according to various estimates between 8000 and 6000 years ago, Plovdiv ranks right there among not only the oldest cities in Europe, but in the entire world. And this millennial history isn’t only on paper either – traces of Plovdiv’s ancient existence are to be found all over the place, from Ancient Roman theatres to Ottoman mosques.
Established by the local Thracians, Plovdiv was conquered by Alexander the Great’s father, who selfishly named it Philippopolis after himself. For the Romans who came after, Plovdiv was among their most important Balkan possessions. In the Middle Ages, the Bulgarian and Byzantine empires fought over it for centuries… only for the Ottomans to arrive and rule it for more than 500 years until Bulgaria’s independence.
2. Plovdiv’s Museum Night is an absolute blast of inspiration
Though it may have started in Berlin and it may also be taking place in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia, Plovdiv’s Night of Museums and Galleries – these days called just The Night – definitely eclipses Sofia’s rival event in the country’s cultural calendar.
Each year in September, Plovdiv’s historic streets come to life as crowds of young and old explore the city’s ancient heritage and hippest new cultural locations. All museums and galleries are free and stay open well into The Night, offering locals and visitors a unique glimpse into Plovdiv’s beating heart of inspiration.