Plovdiv is one of the largest cities in Bulgaria, which attracts tourists with its historical monuments, modern buildings and colorful events. The fairground is considered one of the largest in the Balkans, it is here that numerous exhibitions are held in spring and autumn. To enjoy the local atmosphere, you should rent a car and visit the Old Town, where the basilica, stadium, theater, and therms are perfectly preserved. Fans of unusual architectural solutions should visit the house of Lamarten and Nedkovich, Kuyumdzhiugluvy house. The most popular religious places are: Jumaya and Imaret mosques, St. Marina's Church, Holy Week Church. Between excursions, you should definitely look at different local institutions and get acquainted with the cuisine of Bulgaria.
Plovdiv International Airport ( Plovdiv International, Airport then )
IATA code: PDV
Location: 12 km from Plovdiv
Official website: www.plovdivairport.com
Information: +359 32 601 127
The following companies provide car rental services at Plovdiv Airport: Hertz, Thrifty, Choice Rent a car, Firefly and Sixt. Rental car rental desks are located in the arrivals area. There is also an open parking lot near the airport, where the first 15 minutes of parking are free.
When you rent a car, go see the main shrine of Plovdiv, the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin. Historians claim that it was built on the site of an ancient church dating from the 9th century. During the existence of many events. The temple was looted, after being restored. Several centuries later, the holy monastery was destroyed. Today, the Cathedral is a massive building, the interior of which is divided into three naves. The first thing that impresses is the iconostasis, decorated with floral motifs. The pride of the shrine is the icon “The Blessed Virgin Mary with the Baby Jesus”, dating from the second half of the 19th century. Interestingly, the cathedral does not have a dome. This is due to restrictions established during the Ottoman rule.
St. Consolidation, 1 www.archaeologicalmuseumplovdiv.org
To get acquainted with historical documents, objects of religious culture and everyday life, it is worth visiting the archaeological museum. The collection contains a huge number of exhibits that relate to the Bulgarian, Ottoman, medieval, Roman, ancient Greek, Thracian, prehistoric periods. The pride of the museum are the treasures of Panagurishte, among which nine vessels of gold weighing 6 kilograms. Attention deserves a numismatic meeting. The most ancient coins date back to the VI century BC.
The ruins of the Roman theater are one of the most popular attractions built during the reign of Emperor Trajan. The ruins were accidentally discovered during archaeological excavations. It took specialists 10 years to completely unearth the theater, which was at a depth of 15 meters. The theater was reconstructed and equipped in accordance with modern technology. Today, during the local festivals, concerts, about 5,000 spectators gather here.
If you want to diversify your tourist itinerary, go to the Aqualand water park by rental car. There are rides for representatives of all ages. The water slides “Tsunami”, “Centrifuge”, “Kamikaze” are popular. For children there are playgrounds with fountains and shallow pools. Take a ride on one of the 16 slides or swim in the pool with the effect of artificial waves, you can eat in the fast food cafe.
The symbol of Plovdiv is the Gate of Hisar Kapiya. The cobblestone base dates from the 2nd century. The first gate built on this site served as the entrance to the ancient city of Tricholmie. On both sides were the barracks, which were considered part of the defensive complex. The cobbled street and adjoining buildings look like they were built many centuries ago, although the age of the buildings is a little over a hundred years.
At one of the peaks of the Tricholmia there is an open-air archaeological complex “Nebet tepe”. It is known for certain that as early as the 4th century BC, several settlements existed here. One of them grew rapidly, and eventually occupied the neighboring hills and the valley. After the conquest of land by Philip of Macedon, due to its favorable position, the area became an important center in the Balkans. In the 14th century, a part of the city fortification was built here, built of large uncemented syenite blocks. Today you can see the ruins of the western wall of the fortress, a large reservoir for storing 300 thousand cubic liters of water, an underground secret corridor that was used by scouts and couriers.
Rent a car and go on an excursion to the small town of Koprivshtitsa, which preserved the architecture of the period of the national revival. Each street is riddled with traditional Bulgarian motifs. Walking, you can see more than 200 houses of the XVIII-XIX centuries in different styles, with different layouts, interesting details. The most ancient examples are Pavlikyansky and Vakarelsky houses - these are wooden one-story buildings with utility rooms. Later ones are distinguished by bay windows, painted facades, carved ceilings, and European furniture. Lyutov’s house, built in the middle of the last century, is especially noteworthy. It is decorated with frescoes with landscapes of Cairo, Venice, Constantinople. Interestingly, it is in this small town that a festival of folklore art is held every few years,
In the vicinity of Plovdiv is the popular city of Banya, which is famous for its healing springs. In addition, fragrant pink, lavender, peppermint oils are produced here. Taking a dip in the mineral pools, you can stroll through the beautiful park and enjoy the beauty of the local nature. It is interesting that there is also a swimming pool, operating all year round, despite the change in temperature. The city pays special attention to the development of sports. The program has equipped sports grounds, swimming pools, a stadium where training camps of Bulgarian teams are held from time to time.
Ustinsky waterfall is a picturesque place where powerful streams of water break down from a cliff 15 meters high. Near the attraction there are recreational areas, as well as a small chapel of St. George. Looking around the waterfall, you can see the ruins of the fortress wall, on the site of which under the emperor Justinian there were watchtowers. It was they who ensured the safety of the northern slopes of the Rhodope Mountains. Away from the natural attraction is the village of Ustina. There used to be a Roman road that connected Filipopol and the Aegean Sea. If you wish, you can drop into the village for an hour-long excursion, examine the remains of an ancient road, take a walk around the park and linger at the life-giving fountain.
You can get acquainted with the architectural image of a typical Bulgarian settlement by going to Svezhen by rental car. It is known as the liveliest center of culture and education among the Bulgarian communities during the Ottoman rule. It was here that the first school opened, and later - the village library. After a major fire that occurred in the second half of the 19th century. About 100 buildings have survived, which today are considered part of the architectural and historical reserve. Low wooden houses decorated with wood and decorated with original decorative elements are especially colorful.
St. Cyril and Methodius, 16 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bakery-Art/433086113457670
For breakfast in Plovdiv Bakery Art. The facility is open from early morning. Having managed to open, you can try local baking only from the oven. The assortment contains all kinds of bread products, sweet rolls, sandwiches. Looking into the bakery for a hearty snack, you can safely go on a trip to Plovdiv. Bakery Art is especially popular with locals who like to buy bread for the whole family here.
St. Antim, 1 https://www.facebook.com/MonroeBarFoodFriends/
For a delicious lunch, head to Monroe Cafe & Bar. The menu offers Bulgarian and English cuisine. A large assortment of menus will allow you to choose a wide variety of dishes during your stay in Plovdiv, and thanks to large portions you can fully get enough. Polite staff will certainly offer wine to the ordered and signature dessert - this is definitely not worth giving up. In hot weather, it will be especially nice to sit in the shade on a summer terrace.
St. Madezhka, 28 www.lepetitparis.bg
When you rent a car, go for a meal in one of the most popular establishments in Plovdiv - Le Petit Paris. It is worth trying veal with baby potatoes, a rack of lamb, frog legs, cheese bread, French onion soup. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are also on the menu. The institution is suitable for a family meal, as well as for a quick snack in the company of friends. The competent staff will quickly serve and advise the dishes based on your preferences.
Princess Princess Maria Louise, 43A https://www.facebook.com/Elea-Plovdiv-116666791716228/
Seafood lovers should visit Elea Restaurant. The establishment has a cozy atmosphere, which offers a pleasant meal. Pleasant music plays in the background, and the staff tries to please every visitor. It is worth trying grilled octopus, fried zucchini, fried calamari, Caprese salad, appetizer Zadziki. You can also taste the offered wine, which will complement the pleasant impression of local dishes.
Jagerhof is a great Bavarian brasserie where you can spend your evening time in pleasant company. It has its own small brewery - visitors have the opportunity to try fresh beer according to traditional German recipes. As a snack, light national dishes are offered. The institution is open until late in the evening, so you can slowly enjoy your favorite drinks, cozy atmosphere and live music.
St. Konstantin Stoilov, 51
+359 32 260 180 www.hebros-hotel.com double room - from € 66
For a romantic weekend in Plovdiv we recommend choosing the Hebros Hotel. It is located in the center, in an old mansion. The spacious rooms overlook the courtyard with garden and the cobblestone street that leads to the ancient Thracian rampart. The hotel is perfect for those who plan to rent a car. The property offers free parking.
St. Generala Gurko, 15
+359 89 227 3297 www.artguesthouse.com double room - from € 81
8 1/2 Art Guest House is located in the historical center of Plovdiv. At the entrance, guests will receive pleasant compliments - fruits and champagne. The interior of the rooms is elegant, the apartments are equipped with everything necessary. There is a balcony from where you can watch the life of the city and enjoy the views. You can have a delicious breakfast in the hotel restaurant, and in the evening drink wine with light snacks. Attentive staff can take care that each guest is comfortable.
If you are looking for a budget accommodation, opt for Hotel Leipzig. It is located a 10-minute walk from the city center, and there is a park area with fountains nearby. An organic combination of bright colors in the interior immediately impresses. In the morning, a hearty breakfast is served (omelets, ham, cheese, fruit, yogurt). On the ground floor there is a bar and a casino for a fun evening. It will be conveniently located during a business trip or travel.
St. St. Valentine, 1
+359 32 599 170 www.landmarkhotel.bg double room - from € 41
Landmark Creek Hotel is located on the Rowing Canal. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, with beautiful views. In the morning it will be especially pleasant to ride a bike along the canal, breathe in fresh air or go for a run. If you don’t want to go anywhere in the evening, you can go up to the top floor to a bar and enjoy a signature cocktail. Facilities include a spa, fitness center, and meeting facilities. Car rental tourists can park for free.
St. Khan Presiyan, 15
+359 32 967 451 www.hotelavion.info double room - from € 38
If you plan to stay in Plovdiv for a couple of days, Avion Hotel is an excellent choice. The rooms are decorated in a Bulgarian rustic style. Everything looks unpretentious and simple, while there is everything you need for a comfortable stay. In case of a business trip, a work area with a computer and a desk is equipped. The rooms also have a balcony where you can have breakfast or watch the sunset. The hotel offers a shuttle service, conference facilities, dry cleaning.
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© Anastasiia Voloshina, 2017