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A view of the central old quarter.

Coat of arms
Nickname(s): The city of the seven hills (Градът на седемте хълма)
Motto: Ancient and eternal (Древен и вечен)
Plovdiv is located in Bulgaria
Location of Plovdiv in Bulgaria
Coordinates: 42°9′N 24°45′E / 42.15°N 24.75°E / 42.15; 24.75
Country Bulgaria
Province Plovdiv
 - Mayor Slavcho Atanasov (IMRO)
 - City 101 km2 (39 sq mi)
Elevation 164 m (538 ft)
Population (2010.01.15)
 - City 380,760
 Density 3,769/km2 (9,761.7/sq mi)
 Metro 592,223
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Plovdiv (Bulgarian: Пловдив) is the second-largest city in Bulgaria with a population of 380,683.[1] Plovdiv's history spans some 6,000 years, with traces of a Neolithic settlement dating to roughly 4000 BC.[2] It is the administrative center of Plovdiv Province in southern Bulgaria and three municipalities (Plovdiv, Maritsa and Rodopi) and Bulgaria's Yuzhen tsentralen planning region (NUTS II), as well as the largest and most important city in Northern Thrace and the wider international historical region of Thrace. The city is an important economic, transport, cultural and educational center.[3]

Known in the West for most of its history by the Greek name Philippopolis, it was originally a Thracian settlement before becoming a major Roman city. In the Middle Ages, it retained its strategic regional importance, changing hands between the Byzantine and Bulgarian Empires. It came under Ottoman rule in the 14th century. In 1878, Plovdiv was made the capital of the autonomous Ottoman region of Eastern Rumelia; in 1885, it became part of Bulgaria with the unification of that region and the Principality of Bulgaria.

Plovdiv is situated in the southern part of the Plovdiv Plain on the two banks of the Maritsa River. The city has historically developed on seven syenite hills, some of which are 250 m (820.21 ft) high. Because of these seven hills, Plovdiv is often referred to in Bulgaria as "The City of the Seven Hills".

Plovdiv is host to economic and cultural events such as the International Fair Plovdiv, the international theatrical festival "A scene on a crossroad", the TV festival "The golden chest". There are many remains preserved from Antiquity such as the Ancient amphitheatre, Roman odeon, Roman Stadium, the archaeological complex Eirene and others.



The City Hall of Plovdiv.

Plovdiv was given various names throughout its long history. It was originally a Thracian settlement by the name of Eumolpias. Philip II of Macedon conquered the area in 342-341 BC and renamed the city Philippoupolis (Greek: Φιλιππούπολις), of which the later Thracian name for the city, Pulpu-deva, is a reconstructed translation. After the Romans took control of the area, the city was named Latin: Trimontium, meaning the Three Hills. During the Middle Ages the city was known as Philippoupolis in Byzantine Greek and Paldin (Пълдин) or Plavdiv (Плъвдив) in Old Bulgarian, variations of the town's earlier Thracian name. The city was known as Philippopolis in Western Europe well into the early 20th century. The city was known as Filibe in Turkish during the Ottoman Empire.

The asteroid (minor planet) 3860 Plovdiv is named after the city. It was discovered by the Bulgarian astronomer Violeta G. Ivanova on 8 August 1986. Plovdiv Peak (1,040 m/3,412 ft) on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is also named after Plovdiv.


A view over Plovdiv.

Plovdiv is located on the banks of the Maritsa river, approximately 152 km (94 mi) southeast of the Bulgarian capital Sofia. The city is situated in the southern part of the Plain of Plovdiv, an alluvial plain forming the western portion of the Upper Thracian Plain. The heights of Sredna Gora rise to the northwest, to the east are the Chirpan Heights and the Rhodope mountains surround the plain from the south.[4] The city had originally developed to the south of Maritsa and it spawned across the river in the last 100 years. Modern Plovdiv covers an area of 101 km2 (39 sq mi), which is less than 0.1% of Bulgaria's total area. This makes the city is the most densely populated in the country with 3,769 inhabitants per km².

Inside the city proper are located six syenite hills, called tepeta. In the beginning of the 20th century there used to be seven of them, but one (Markovo tepe) was destroyed. Traditionally the citizens have called them Dzhendem tepe, Bunardzhik, Sahat tepe, Nebet tepe, Dzhambaz tepe and Taksim tepe. The last three form the area of the Three Hills (Bulgarian: Трихълмие), a lively section of the city centre.[5]


The climate is temperate with influence from the Mediterranean Sea and is typical of southeastern Europe. Summers are generally extremely hot and dry. Winters are cold, with a slight Mediterranean influence, often they're very cold with a Continental character. The average annual temperature is 12.3 °C (54.1 °F). The average maximum temperature is in July - 30.3 °C (86.5 °F) and the absolute maximum was recorded during the same month in 2000 45 °C (113 °F). Weak winds (0–5 m/sec) are predominant in the city and the surrounding area. The average minimum temperature is 6.5 °C (43.7 °F) and the absolute minimum was −31.7 °C (−25 °F) measured during an inversion. The average relative humidity is 73%, it is highest in December - 86% and lowest in August - 62%. The total precipitation is 540 mm - the wettest months of the year are May and June with an average precipitation of 66.2 mm, while the driest is August with an average of 31 mm. The average number of days with a snow blanket in Plovdiv is 33. The average depth of the blanket of snow is 2 to 4 cm (1 to 2 in) and the maximum is normally 6 to 13 cm (2 to 5 in) but in some winters it can reach 70 cm (28 in) or more. Gentle winds (0 to 5 m/s) are predominant in the city with wind speeds of up to 1 m/s representing 95% of all winds during the year. Mists are common in the cooler months especially along the banks of the Maritsa. On average there are 33 days with mist during the year.[6]

Climate table:

Climate data for Plovdiv
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 16
Average high °C (°F) 5
Average low °C (°F) -3
Record low °C (°F) -23
Precipitation mm (inches) 39
Source: BBC Weather Centre[7] 2010-03-07



The Roman odeon.

Plovdiv has settlement traces dating from the Neolithic, roughly 4000 BC.[2] Archaeologists have discovered fine pottery[8] and other objects of everyday life from as early as the Neolithic Age, showing that in the end of the 4th millennium B.C. there already was an established settlement there.[9][10] According to Ammianus Marcellinus, Plovdiv's written post-Bronze Age history lists it as a Thracian fortified settlement named Eumolpias. In 4th century BC the city was a centre of a trade fair (called panegyreis).[11] In 342 BC, it was conquered by Philip II of Macedon,[12] the father of Alexander the Great, who renamed it "Φιλιππόπολις", Philippopolis or "the city of Philip" in his own honour. Later, it was reconquered by the Thracians who called it Pulpudeva (a reconstructed translation of Philipopolis)[13]

In 72 AD it was seized by the Roman general Terentius Varo Lukulus and was incorporated into the Roman Empire,[14] where it was called Trimontium (City of Three Hills) and served as metropolis (capital) of the province of Thrace. It gained a city status in late 1st century.[15] Trimontium was an important crossroad for the Roman Empire and was called "The largest and most beautiful of all cities" by Lucian. Although it was not the capital of the Province of Thrace, the city was the largest and most important centre in the province.[16] In those times, the Via Militaris (or Via Diagonalis), the most important military road in the Balkans, passed through the city.[17][18]

"This [Plovdiv] is the biggest and loveliest of all cities. Its beauty shines from faraway..."

Roman writer Lucian.

The Roman times were a period of growth and cultural excellence.[19] The ancient ruins tell a story of a vibrant, growing city with numerous public buildings, shrines, baths, and theatres. The city had an advanced water system and sewerage. It was defended with a double wall. Many of those are still preserved and can be seen by tourists. Today only a small part of the ancient city has been excavated.[13]

Middle Ages

The Slavs had fully settled in the area by the middle of the 6th century and changed the ethnic proportions of the region.[20] With the establishment of Bulgaria in 681 Philipopolis became an important border fortress of the Byzantine Empire. It was captured by Khan Krum in 812 but the region was fully incorporated into the Bulgarian Empire in 834 during the reign of Khan Malamir.[21] It remained in Bulgarian hands for a relatively short time until it was reconquered by the Byzantine Empire in 855-856.[22][23] Under Byzantine control the city became the centre of Paulician heretics transported from the eastern borders of the empire to serve as military settlers on the European frontier with Bulgaria. From Philippopolis the influence of dualistic doctrines spread to Bulgaria forming the basis of the Bogomil heresy. Under tsar Simeon the Great (893–927) the city and most of the Byzantine possessions in the Balkans were conquered by the Bulgarian Empire. The city remained in Bulgarian hands under Simeon's son, Peter I (927–969).[24][25]

In 970 the Asian army of the Byzantine Empire under the eunuch Peter was destroyed by the Bulgarians near Plovdiv.[26] The city again came to be known as Philippopolis and became Byzantine in character. Aime de Varennes in 1180 encountered the singing of Byzantine songs in the city that recounted the deeds of Alexander the great and his predecessors, over 1300 years before.[27]

Khan Krum was the first Bulgarian ruler to capture Plovdiv.

Byzantine rule was succeeded by that of the Latin Empire in 1204, and there were two short interregnum periods as the city was twice occupied by Kaloyan of Bulgaria before his death in 1207.[13] In 1208 Kaloyan's successor Boril was defeated by the Latins in the Battle of Plovdiv.[28] Under Latin rule, Plovdiv was the capital of the Duchy of Philippopolis governed by Renier de Trit, and later on by Gerard de Strem. Bulgarian rule was reestablished during the reign of Ivan Asen II between 1225 and 1229. In 1263 Plovdiv was conquered by the restored Byzantine Empire and remained in Byzantine hands until it was re-conquered by George Terter II of Bulgaria in 1322.[29] Byzantine rule was restored once again in 1323, but in 1344 the city and eight other cities were surrendered to Bulgaria by the regency for John V Palaiologos as the price for Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria's support in the Byzantine civil war.[30]

In 1364 the Ottoman Turks under Lala Shakhin Pasha seized Plovdiv.[31][32] The Turks called the city Filibe. It was the capital of Rumelia until 1382 when the Ottomans captured Sofia which became the main city of the province. Plovdiv survived as one of the major cultural centers for Bulgarian culture and tradition. The name Plovdiv first appeared around that time and is derived from the city's Thracian name Pulpudeva (assumed to be a translation of Philippopolis, from Pulpu = Philippou and deva = city), which was rendered by the Slavs first as Pəldin (Пълдин) or Pləvdin.

National revival

Under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, Plovdiv was a focal point for the Bulgarian national movement in the Eastern Rumelia province of the Empire. During that period Plovdiv was a major economic center along with Istanbul, Odrin and Solun. The richer citizens constructed beautiful houses many of which can still be seen in the Architectural reserve Old Plovdiv. Plovdiv was a sanjak centre of Rumelia Province between 1364-1864 and was the sanjak centre of Edirne Vilayet between 1864-1878 during Ottoman Rule.

Plovdiv had an important role in the struggle for Church independence which was according to some historians a peaceful bourgeois revolution. Plovdiv became the center of that struggle with leaders such as Nayden Gerov, Dr Valkovich, Joakim Gruev and whole families. In 1836 the first Bulgarian school was inaugurated and in 1850 modern secular education began when the "St Cyrill and Metodius" school was opened. On 11 May 1858 the day of Saints Cyril and Methodius was celebrated for the first time, this later became a National holiday which is still celebrated today. In 1858 in the Church of Virgin Mary the Christmas liturgy was served for the first time in the Bulgarian language since the beginning of the Ottoman occupation. In 1868 the school expanded into the first grammar school. Some of the intellectuals, politicians and spiritual leaders of the nation graduated that school.[13]

The city was liberated from the Ottomans during the Battle of Plovdiv in 1878.[32]

Eastern Rumelia

According to the Treaty of San Stefano on 3 March 1878 the Principality of Bulgaria included the lands with predominantly Bulgarian population. Plovdiv which was the biggest and most vibrant Bulgarian city was selected as a capital of the restored country and for a seat of the Temporary Russian Government.[33] Great Britain and Austria-Hungary, however, did not approve that treaty and the final result of the war was concluded in the Congress of Berlin which divided the newly liberated country into several parts. It separated the autonomous region of Eastern Rumelia from Bulgaria and Plovdiv became its capital. The Ottoman Empire created a constitution and appointed a governor.[34] As of 1 January 1885, the city of Plovdiv had a population of 33,442, of which 16,752 were Bulgarians (50%), 7,144 Turks (21%), 5,497 Greeks (16%), 2,168 Jews (6%), 1,061 Armenians (3%), 151 Italians, 112 Germans, 112 Romani people, 80 French people, 61 Russians and 304 people of other nationalities.[35]

In the spring of 1885 Zahari Stoyanov formed the Secret Bulgarian Central Revolutionary Committee in the city which actively conducted propaganda for the unification of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia. On 5 September several hundred armed rebels from Golyamo Konare (now Saedinenie) marched to Plovdiv. In the night of 5–6 September these men led by Danail Nikolaev took control of the city and removed from office the General-Governor Gavril Krastevich. A provisional government was formed led by Georgi Stranski and universal mobilization was announced.[36] After the Serbs were defeated in the Serbo-Bulgarian War, Bulgaria and Turkey reached an agreement according to which the Principality of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia had a common government, Parliament, administration and army. Today 6 September is celebrated as the Unification Day and the Day of Plovdiv.

Recent history

After the unification Plovdiv remained second city in population and significance after the capital Sofia. The first railway in the city was built in 1874 and in 1888 it was linked with Sofia. In 1892 Plovdiv became host of the First Bulgarian Fair with international participation which was succeeded by the International Fair Plovdiv. After the liberation the first brewery was inaugurated in the city.

In the beginning of the 20th century Plovdiv grew as a significant industrial and commercial center with well developed light and food industry. German, French and Belgian capital was invested in the city in development of modern trade, banking and industry. In 1939 there were 16,000 craftsmen and 17,000 workers in manufacturing factories, mainly for food and tobacco processing. During the Second World War the tobacco industry expanded as well as the export of fruit and vegetables. In 1943 1,500 Jews were saved from deportation in concentration camps by the archbishop of Plovdiv, Cyril, who later became the Bulgarian Patriarch.

On 6 April 1956 the first trolleybus line was opened and in the 1950s the Trimontsium Hotel was constructed. In the 1960s and 1970s there was a construction boom and many of the modern neighborhoods took shape. In the 1970s and 1980s antique remains were excavated and the Old Town was fully restored. In 1990 the Sports complex "Plovdiv" was finished, it included the largest stadium and rowing canal in the country. In that period Plovdiv became the birthplace of Bulgaria's movement for democratic reform, which by 1989 had garnered enough support to enter government.

Plovdiv has hosted specialized exhibitions of the World's Fair in 1981, 1985, and 1991.



The population by current address for the municipality of Plovdiv for 2007 is 380,682,[1] which makes it the second in population in the nation. According to the data of NSI (National Institute of Statistics) the people who actually live in Plovdiv are 346,790.[37] There have a been a number of reports in recent years contending that Plovdiv has been surpassed by Varna in population.[38][39] None of them, however, have been confirmed by official statistics.

Demographic evolution of Plovdiv between 1880 and 1939


1884 1887 1892 1900 1910 1920 1926 1934 1939


33,442 33,032 36,033 43,033 47,981 64,415 84,655 99,883 105,643

Plovdiv was the largest city in Bulgaria after its liberation with 24,053 inhabitants.[40] After the Unification Plovdiv was the largest city in the country for several years with 33,032 inhabitants compared to 30,428 for Sofia. According to the 1946 census Plovdiv was the second largest city with 117,563 inhabitants compared to 487,000 for the capital.[33] Today the city is also the centre of the second largest agglomeration in the country with a population of 575,298.[41]

Ethnicity and religion

In its ethnic character Plovdiv is a cosmopolitan city inhabited by Bulgarians, Turks, Armenians, Jews, Greeks and Gypsies. According to the 1884 census the Bulgarians were 50,09%, followed by Turks (21,36%), Greeks (16,44%), Jews (6,48%) and Armenians (2,93%). After the Wars for National Union (Balkan Wars and World War I) the city became home for thousands of refugees from the occupied Bulgarian lands in Macedonia, Western and Eastern Thrace. Many of the old neighbourhoods are still referred to as Belomorski, Vardarski. Most of the Jews left the city after the foundation of Israel in 1948. The Bulgarians are a majority followed by Gypsies and Turks.[42]

From left to right: A view from the central square; the City hall; a fountain in the City garden; a church near the Post Office.

The vast majority of the inhabitants are Christians - mostly Eastern Orthodox, but there are also Catholics, Eastern Catholics and Protestant trends (Adventists, Baptists and others). There are also some Muslims and Jews. In Plovdiv there are many churches, two mosques and a synagogue.

City government

Plovdiv is the administrative center of Plovdiv Province, Municipality of Plovdiv, Maritsa municipality and Rodopi municipality. The Mayor of the Municipality of Plovdiv Slavcho Atanasov,[43] together with the six district mayors represent the local executive authorities. The Municipal Council which consists of 51 municipal counselors, represents the legislative power and is elected according to the proportional system by parties’ lists.[44] The executive government of the Municipality of Plovdiv consists of a mayor who is elected by majority representation, five deputy mayors and one administrative secretary. All the deputy mayors and the secretary control their administrative structured units.

According to the Law for the territorial subdivision of the Capital municipality and the large cities[45] the territory of Plovdiv Municipality is subdivided into six district administrations, their mayors being appointed following approval by the Municipal Council.

The Trimontsium Hotel.
District Neighbourhoods
neighbourhoods Kapana, Stariya grad, Marasha, Centar
neighbourhoods Karshiaka, Gagarin, Filipovo, Zaharna Fabrika
neighbourhoods Hristo Botev - Yug, Hristo Botev - Sever, Vastanecheski, Uhoto, Yuzhen, Komatevo, Ostromila, Belomorski
neighbourhoods Kamenitsa, Izgrev, Stolipinovo
neighbourhoods Hristo Smirnenski, Proslav, Maldezhki Halm, Mladost
Olga Skobeleva, Lauta

In 1969 the villages of Proslav and Komatevo were incorporated into the city. In 1987 the municipalities of Maritsa and Rodopi were separated from Plovdiv which remained their administrative center. In the last several years the inhabitants from those villages had taken steps to rejoin the "urban" municipality.[46]


Plovdiv is a major cultural center. The city has more than 200 archaeological sites,[47] 30 of which are of national importance. There are many remains from antiquity - Plovdiv is among the few cities with two ancient theatres; remains of the medieval walls and towers; Ottoman baths and mosques; a well-preserved old quarter from the National Revival period with beautiful houses, churches and narrow paved streets. There are numerous museums, art galleries and cultural institutions. Plovdiv is host to musical, theatrical and film events.

The city is a starting point for trips to places in the region, such as the Bachkovo Monastery at 30 km to the south, the ski-resort Pamporovo at 90 km (56 mi) to the south or the spa resorts to the north Hisarya, Banya, Krasnovo, Strelcha.[48] There are more that 50 hotels with 7,000 beds as well as hostels and other forms of accommodation.[48]

Roman Town

The Roman Amphitheatre of Plovdiv.

The Roman theatre (Antichen teatur) is probably the best known monument from Antiquity in Bulgaria.[49] It was built in the beginning of the 2nd century during the reign of the Roman Emperor Trajan. It is situated in the natural saddle between the Dzhambaz Tepe and Taksim Tepe hills. It is divided into two parts with 14 rows each divided with a horizontal lane. The theatre could accommodate up to 7,000 people.[50] The three-story scene is located on the southern part and is decorated with friezes, cornices and statues. The theatre was studied, conserved and restored between 1968 and 1984. Many events are still held on the scene[51] including the Verdi festival and the International Folklore festival. The Roman Odeon was restored in 2004.[52] It was built in the 2nd-5th centuries and is the second (and smaller) antique theatre of Philipopolis with 350 seats. It was initially built as a bulevterion - edifice of the city council - and was later reconstructed as a theatre.

The remains of Roman stadium.
The Roman Aqueduct.

The Roman Stadium[53] is another important monument of the ancient city. It is situated between Sahat Tepe and the Three Hills in the modern Dzhumaya Square. It was built in the 2nd century and modeled after the stadium in Delphi. In Roman times it could hold 30,000 spectators.[3] Only a small part of the northern section with 13 seat rows can be seen nowadays - the larger part lies under the main street and a number of buildings.

The Roman forum dates from the reign of Vespasian in 1st century and was finished in the 2nd century. It is located near the modern post office next to the Odeon. It has an area of 11 hectares and was surrounded by shops and public buildings. The forum was a focal point of the streets of the ancient city.[3]

The Eirene Archaeological complex is located in the southern part of the Three Hills on the northern part of an ancient street in the Arheologicheski underpass. It includes remains of a public building from the 3rd-4th centuries which belonged to a noble citizen. Eirene is the Christian name for Penelopa - a maiden from Megadon who was converted to Christianity in 2nd century. There are colourful mosaics which have geometrical forms and figures.[54]

On Nebet Tepe are found remains of the first settlement on the Three Hills which in 12th century BC grew to the Thracian city of Eumolpias, one of the first cities in South-eastern Europe. Massive walls surrounding a temple and a palace have been excavated. The oldest part of the fortress was constructed from large syenite blocks - the so called "cyclop construction".

Museums and protected sites

The Archaeological Museum was established in 1882 as a People's Museum of Eastern Rumelia.[55] In 1928 the museum was moved to a 19th century edifice on Saedinenie Square built by the famous Plovdiv architect Josef Schnitter. The museum contains a rich collection of Thracian art. The three sections "Prehistory",[56] "Antiquity"[57] and "Middle Ages"[58] contain precious artifacts from the Paleolithic to the early Ottoman period (15th-16th centuries).[59] The famous Panagyurishte treasure is part of the museum's collection.[60]

The Historical Museum of Plovdiv[61] was founded in 1951 as a scientific and cultural institute for collecting, saving, and researching historical evidence about Plovdiv and the region from 16th to 20th centuries. The exhibition is situated in three buildings.[59]

The Regional Ethnographic Museum - Plovdiv was inaugurated in 1917. On 14 October 1943 it was moved to a house in the Old Town. In 1949 the Municipal House-museum was reorganized as a People's Ethnographic Museum and in 1962 it was renovated. There are more than 40,000 objects.[59]

The Museum of Natural Science was inaugurated in 1955 in the old edifice of the Plovdiv Municipality built in 1880. It is among the most important museums in the country with rich collections in Paleontology, Mineralogy and Botanic sections. There are several rooms for wildlife and it contains Bulgaria's largest freshwater aquarium with 40 fish species.[59] It has a collection of minerals from the Rhodope mountains.

The Museum of Aviation was established on 21 September 1991 on the territory of the Krumovo airbase[62] 12 km to the south-east of the city. The museum possesses 59 aircraft and both indoor and outdoor exhibitions.[59]

The Old Town of Plovdiv is a historic preservation site known for its Bulgarian Renaissance architectural style. The Old Town covers the area of the three central hills (Трихълмие, Trihalmie) —Nebet Tepe, Dzhambaz Tepe and Taksim Tepe. Almost every house in the Old Town has its characteristic exterior and interior decoration.

Churches, mosques and temples

There are a number of 19th century churches, most of which follow the distinctive Eastern Orthodox construction style. Those are the Saint Constantine and Saint Helena, the Saint Marina, the Saint Nedelya, the Saint Petka and the Holy Mother of God Churches. There are also Roman Catholic Cathedrals in Plovdiv, the largest of them being the Cathedral of St Louis. There are several more modern Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, and other Protestant churches, as well as older style Apostolic churches. Two mosques remain in Plovdiv from the time of the Ottoman rule. Of them the Djumaya Mosque, converted from a church by the Ottomans in 1364, is considerred the oldest European mosque outside Moorish Spain. There is also a synagogue.


Theatre and music

A house in the Old town.
A performance in the Roman Odeon.

The Plovdiv Drama Theatre[63] is a successor of the first professional theatre group in Bulgaria founded in 1881. The Plovdiv Puppet Theatre, founded in 1948, remains one of the leading institutions in this genre. The Plovdiv Opera was established in 1953.

Another post of Plovdiv's culture is the Philharmonic, founded in 1945.[64] Soloists such as Dmitri Shostakovich, Sviatoslav Richter, Mstislav Rostropovich, Yuri Boukov and Mincho Minchev have worked with the Plovdiv Philharmonic. The orchestra has toured in almost all of the European countries. The Trakiya Folklore Ensemble, founded in 1974, has performed thousands of concerts in Bulgaria and more than 42 countries.[65] The Trakiya Traditional Choir was nominated for a Grammy Award. The Detska Kitka Choir is one of the oldest and best known youth choirs in Bulgaria, winner of numerous awards from international choral competitions.


Plovdiv is among the nation's primary literary centres - in 1855 Hristo G. Danov created the first Bulgarian publishing company and later the first printing-press.[66] The city's traditions as a literary centre are preserved by the first public library in Bulgaria, the Ivan Vazov National Library, by the 19 chitalishta (cultural centres) and by numerous booksellers and publishers. The library was founded in 1879[67] and named after the famous Bulgarian writer and poet Ivan Vazov who worked there for five years creating some of his best works.[68] Today the Ivan Vazov National Library is the second largest national library institution with more than 1,5 million books,[69] owning rare Bulgarian and European publications.


The Art Gallery of Plovdiv

The city has traditions in Iconography since the Middle Ages. During the Period of National Revival a number of notable icon-painters (called in Bulgarian zografi, зографи) from all regions of the country worked in Plovdiv - Dimitar Zograf and his son Zafir Zograf, Zahari Zograf, Georgi Danchov and others.[32] After the Liberation the famous Bulgarian painter of Czech origin Ivan Mrkvička came to work in the city. The Painters' Society was established there by artists from Southern Bulgaria in 1912 whose members included the prominent painters Zlatyu Boyadzhiev, Sirak Skitnik, Tsanko Lavrenov.

Today the city has 30 art galleries. The Art Gallery of Plovdiv was founded in the late 19th century.[70] It possesses 5,000 pieces of art in 4 separate buildings. Since 1981 it has a section for Mexican Art donated by Mexican painters in honour of the 1,300-year anniversary of the Bulgarian State.


A new business centre in Plovdiv

Located in the middle of a rich agricultural region, since the beginning of the 20th century Plovdiv grew as an industrial center. Food processing, tobacco, brewing and textiles were the main pillars of the industry.[71] During Communist rule the city's economy greatly expanded and was dominated by heavy industry - it still produces lead and zinc, machinery, electronics, motor trucks, chemicals and cosmetics. After the fall of Communism in 1989 and the collapse of Bulgaria's planned economy, a number of industrial complexes were closed.

Plovdiv has one of the country's fastest growing economies with average GDP growth of 12-13%. As of 2005 the total revenues are 9.4 billion leva (approximately 4.8 billion euro), which is with 88% more than in 2001. The profits for the same period rose 4.5 times.[72] Unemployment is 6,5%[73] which is lower than the national average. One recent problem is the municipality's administrative borders, which almost completely coincide with the city limits. Due to the constant increase of investments which are $465,000,000 for 2005 some of the businesses have to be redirected to the Maritsa or Rodopi municipalities such as the industrial zone of Radinovo village.[72]

Industry has been expanding again since the late 1990s, with manufacturing plants built in the city or in its outskirts, mainly the municipality of Maritsa. In this period, some €500,000,000 has been invested in construction of new factories. Some of the new plants include the Liebherr refrigerator plant with 1,850 employees and a capacity of 450,000 items per year, the Socotab tobacco processing plant (2,000 employees), a bicycle plant (500 workers, capacity 500,000 units),[74] а Schneider electronics factory,[75] a biodiesel plant, the Bulsaphil textile plant (790 workers), and several electronics and high-tech plants producing CD players and other electronic equipment. The largest electronics plant in the Balkans was inaugurated in the nearby village of Voivodinovo.[76]

Due to the demand for business office space Business Park Plovdiv is going to be constructed in the district of Trakiya. The investment is for €68,000,000 and the park will occupy an area of 110,000 m2 (1,184,030.15 sq ft).[77][78] A commercial and industrial park is to be built in the village of Radinovo at several km to the north-west of the city with a built-up area of 50,000 m2 (538,195.52 sq ft).[79]

Shopping and commerce

A new shopping center in the Trakiya District.

The commercial sector is developing quickly. Shopping centers have been built mainly in the Central district and the district of Trakiya. Those include Shopping Center Grand,[80] Market Center[81] and two more all on the Kapitan Raycho Street,[81] Forum in Trakiya, Excelsior and others. There are several malls under construction - the €40 million Mall of Plovdiv with a shopping area of 40,000 m2 (430,556.42 sq ft), 11 cinemas and parking for 700 cars,[82] €50 mln. Central Mall Markovo tepe,[83] a huge €60 mln. mall and hotel complex in the district of Trakiya[84] as well as several other projects planned or under construction.

Several hypermarkets have been built mainly on the outskirts of the city: Metro, Kaufland, Sani (2 outlets), Praktiker, Billa, Mr. Bricolage, Baumax, Technopolis, Technopark Europa, and others. The main shopping area is the central street with its shops, cafés and restaurants. A number of cafés, craftsmen workshops and souvenir shops are situated in the Old Town and the small streets in the centre, known among the locals as "The trap" (Bulgarian: Капана).

The Plovdiv International Fair, held annually since 1892, is the largest and oldest fair in the country and all of southeastern Europe, gathering companies from all over the world in an exhibition area of 138,000 m2 (1,485,419.64 sq ft) located on a territory of 352,000 m2 (3,788,896.47 sq ft) on the northern banks of the Maristsa river.[85] It attracts more than 600,000 visitors from different countries.[86]

The city also has a duty-free zone since 1987. It has a customs terminal handling cargo from trucks and trains.[86]


The Central Railway Station of Plovdiv.
Plovdiv airport.

Plovdiv has a geographical position which makes it an international transport hub. Three of the ten Pan-European corridors run into or near the city - Corridor IV (Dresden-Bucharest-Sofia-Plovdiv- Istanbul), Corridor VIII (Durrës-Sofia-Plovdiv-Varna/Burgas) and Corridor X (Salzburg-Belgrade-Plovdiv-Instanbul).[87][88] A major tourist center, Plovdiv lies at the foot of the Rhodope Mountains, and most people wishing to explore the mountains choose it as their trip's starting point.

Plovdiv is a major road and railway hub in southern Bulgaria:[89] the Trakiya motorway (A1) is only at 5 km (3 mi) to the north. It lies on the important national route from Sofia to Burgas via Stara Zagora. First-class roads lead to Sofia to the west, Karlovo to the north, Asenovgrad and Kardzhali to the south, Stara Zagora and Haskovo to the east. There are intercity buses which link Plovdiv with cities and towns all over the country and many European countries. They are based in three bus stations: South, Rodopi and North.

Railway transportation in the city dates back to 1872 when it became a station on the Lyubimets-Belovo railway line. There are railways to Sofia, Panagyurishte, Karlovo, Peshtera, Stara Zagora, Dimitrovgrad and Asenovgrad. There are three train stations - Central Railway Station, Trakiya and Filipovo as well as a Freight Station.[87]

Plovdiv has an extensive public transport system,[90] including around 40 bus and trolleybus lines.[87] Six bridges span over the Maritsa river including a railroad bridge and a covered bridge. There are important road junctions to the south, south-west and north.

Plovdiv International Airport is located near the village of Krumovo, 5 km (3 mi) southeast of the city. There are plans for its modernisation and expansion. It takes charter flights from several European countries. A number of other, mainly small airports are located in the surroundings of the city including the important military airbase in Graf Ignatievo to the north of Plovdiv.


Around two thirds of the citizens (62,38%) have secondary, specialized or higher education. That percentage has increased in the period 1992-2001.[91]

Plovdiv has 78 schools including elementary, high, foreign language, mathematics, technical and art schools. There are also 10 private schools and a seminary. The number of pupils for 2005 is 36,964 and is constantly decreasing since the mid 1990 due to lower birth-rate.[91] Among the most prestigious schools are: Ivan Vazov Language School Plovdiv English Language School, National Schools of Commerce - Plovdiv,[92] the English Academy,[93] National School for Music and Dance Art Plovdiv,[94] French High School of Plovdiv.[95]

The city has 6 universities and a number of state and private colleges and branches of other universities. Those include Plovdiv University[96] with 900 lecturers and employees and 13,000 students, the Medical University of Plovdiv with 2,600 students,[97] the Medical College, Technical University of Sofia - Branch Plovdiv,[98] Agrarian University - Plovdiv,[99] University of Food Technologies,[100] the Academy for Music, Dance and Fine Arts[101] and others.[91]

International Olympiad in Informatics(IOI) in 2009 took place at University of Plovdiv "Paisiy Hilendarski", during 8–15 August 2009. Honorary Patron of IOI 2009 is Georgi Parvanov President of Bulgaria.

Sports and recreation

Plovdiv Sports Complex in autumn.

The Plovdiv Sports Complex is the biggest in Eastern Europe. It consists of the Plovdiv Stadium with several additional football fields, tennis courts, swimming pools, rowing base with 3 km long channel, restaurants, cafés situated in a spacious park in the western part of the city just south of the Maritza river. There are also playgrounds for the children. It is popular among the citizens of Plovdiv and the guests of the city who use it for jogging, walking and relaxation. The Plovdiv Stadium has 55,000 seats which makes it the largest football venue in Bulgaria.[102]

Other stadiums include Botev Stadium (22,000 seats), Lokomotiv Stadium (the capacity is 11,000 seats), Maritsa Stadium (5,000 seats) and Todor Diev Stadium (7,000 seats). There are also six indoor sports halls - Lokomotiv, Dunav, Stroitel, Chaika, Akademik, Total Sport. In 2006 a water park was opened near the city centre called Aqualand.[103] Several smaller water parks are situated in the city as well.

A view from the City garden.

Football is the most popular sport in the city. Plovdiv has four professional football teams. Botev Plovdiv[104] was founded in 1912, and is named after one of the most ardent Bulgarian poets and revolutionaries, Hristo Botev. The city also has PFC Lokomotiv, founded in 1936.[105] Both teams are a regular fixture in the top Bulgarian league. The rivalry between them is considered to be even more fierce than the one between Levski and CSKA of Sofia. There are also two other football clubs in the city – Maritsa FC (founded in 1921) and Spartak Plovdiv (1947).[106]

Plovdiv is host of the international boxing tournament "Strandzha" which takes place since 1949.[107] In 2007 ninety-six boxers from 20 countries participated in the tournament. There is a horse racing club and a horse base near the city. Plovdiv has several volleyball and basketball teams.

Three of the city's seven hills are protected natural territories since 1995. Two of the first parks in Bulgaria are located in the city center - Tsar Simeon garden (also known as the City garden) and Dondukov garden. Some of the larger parks include the Botanical garden, Beliz Brezi, Ribnitsa and Lauta.

Notable citizens

Old Plovdiv.
Church of Saint Nedelya.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Plovdiv is twinned with the following cities:[108][109]


See also

External links


  1. ^ a b General Directorate of Citizens' Registration and Administrative Services: Population Chart by permanent and tempoprary address (for provinces and municipalities) as of 15 November 2009, (Bulgarian). Retrieved on 2009-11-17
  2. ^ a b Rodwell, Dennis (2007). Conservation and Sustainability in Historic cities. Blackwell Publishing. p. 19. ISBN 1405126566. 
  3. ^ a b c (in Bulgarian) Пътеводител България. София: ТАНГРА ТанНакРа ИК. 2002. p. 138. ISBN 954-9942-32-5. 
  4. ^ (in Bulgarian) Пътеводител България. София: ТАНГРА ТанНакРа ИК. 2002. p. 145. ISBN 954-9942-32-5. 
  5. ^ Седемте чудеса на България - Пловдив
  6. ^ Общински план за развитие на Пловдив 2005 - 2013 г., посетен на 10 ноември 2007 г.
  7. ^ BBC Weather Centre
  8. ^ Pre-historic Art Archaeological Museum Plovdiv
  9. ^ Детев, П. Разкопки на Небет тепе в Пловдив, ГПАМ, 5, 1963, pp. 27-30
  10. ^ Ботушарова, Л. Стратиграфски проучвания на Небет тепе, ГПАМ, 5, 1963, pp. 66-70
  11. ^ История на България, Том 1, Издателство на БАН, София, 1979, p. 142
  12. ^ История на България, Том 1, Издателство на БАН, София, 1979, p. 206
  13. ^ a b c d История на Пловдив
  14. ^ Dimitrov, B. (2002) (in Bulgarian). The Bulgarians - the first Europeans. Sofia: University press "St Climent of Ohrid". p. 17. ISBN 954-07-1757-4. 
  15. ^ История на България, Том 1, Издателство на БАН, София, 1979, p. 307
  16. ^ Lenk, B. - RE, 6 A, 1936 col. 454 sq
  17. ^ "Cultural Corridors of South East Europe/Diagonal Road". Association for Cultural Tourism. 
  18. ^ Николов, Д. Нови данни за пътя Филипопол-Ескус, София, 1958, p. 285
  19. ^ Dimitrov, B. (2002) (in Bulgarian). The Bulgarians - the first Europeans. Sofia: University press "St Climent of Ohrid". pp. 18–19. ISBN 954-07-1757-4. 
  20. ^ Dimitrov, B. (2002) (in Bulgarian). The Bulgarians - the first Europeans. Sofia: University press "St Climent of Ohrid". p. 25. ISBN 954-07-1757-4. 
  21. ^ Аndreev, J. The Bulgarian Khans and Tsars (Balgarskite hanove i tsare, Българските ханове и царе), Veliko Tarnovo, 1996, p. 66 ISBN 954-427-216-X
  22. ^ Gjuzelev, p. 130 (Gjuzelev, V., (1988) Medieval Bulgaria, Byzantine Empire, Black Sea, Venice, Genoa (Centre Culturel du Monde Byzantin). Published by Verlag Baier)
  23. ^ Bulgarian Historical Review, p.9 (Bulgarian Historical Review (2005), United Center for Research and Training in History, Published by Publishing House of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, v.33:no.1-4).
  24. ^ Fine, pp. 160-161: John V.A. Fine Jr., The Early Medieval Balkans, Ann Arbor, 1983.
  25. ^ Делев, "Българската държава и общество при управлението на цар Петър", История и цивилизация за 11. клас, 2006.
  26. ^ Syuzyumov, М (1916). "Sources from Leo Deacanus and Scyzitzes (Ob istochnikah Leva Diakona i Skilitsi, Об источниках Льва Дьякона и Скилицьi)" (in Russian). ВО (2). 
  27. ^ Vacalopoulos, Apostolos E. Origins of the Greek Nation. (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Eutgers University Press, 1970) p. 22
  28. ^ Аndreev, J. The Bulgarian Khans and Tsars (Balgarskite hanove i tsare, Българските ханове и царе), Veliko Tarnovo, 1996, p. 180 ISBN 954-427-216-X
  29. ^ Аndreev, J. The Bulgarian Khans and Tsars (Balgarskite hanove i tsare, Българските ханове и царе), Veliko Tarnovo, 1996, p. 253 ISBN 954-427-216-X
  30. ^ Аndreev, J. The Bulgarian Khans and Tsars (Balgarskite hanove i tsare, Българските ханове и царе), Veliko Tarnovo, 1996, p. 272 ISBN 954-427-216-X
  31. ^ Аndreev, J. The Bulgarian Khans and Tsars (Balgarskite hanove i tsare, Българските ханове и царе), Veliko Tarnovo, 1996, p. 274 ISBN 954-427-216-X
  32. ^ a b c (in Bulgarian) Пътеводител България. София: ТАНГРА ТанНакРа ИК. 2002. p. 139. ISBN 954-9942-32-5. 
  33. ^ a b Очерци из историята на Пловдив (стр. 80 - Космополитен град. Махали и квартали в ново време)
  34. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, History and Geography
  35. ^ "Източна Румелия между Европа и Ориента" (in Bulgarian). Регионален исторически музей Пловдив. Retrieved 11 January 2010. 
  36. ^ Аndreev, J. The Bulgarian Khans and Tsars (Balgarskite hanove i tsare, Българските ханове и царе), Veliko Tarnovo, 1996, p. 322 ISBN 954-427-216-X
  37. ^
  38. ^ Varna, the City that Outran Statistics (Bulgarian). Retrieved on 2008-02-09
  39. ^ Plovdiv uncrowned on New Year 2007, it's now put third after Varna.
  40. ^ Eastern Rumelia between Europe and Orient, 17 January 2008 г.
  41. ^ "Fore-Note" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  42. ^ Information for Plovdiv Demographic features (in Bulgarian)
  43. ^ "Кмет". Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  44. ^ "Община Пловдив". 
  45. ^ Law for the territorial subdivision of the Capital municipality and the large cities, посетен на 16 ноември 2007 г.
  46. ^ Темите на 2007-ма: Ягодово - квартал на Пловдив,, 3 February 2008 г.
  47. ^ Balabanov, G. (2005) (in Bulgarian/English). This is Bulgaria. Sofia. p. 371. ISBN 954-91672-I-6. 
  48. ^ a b Balabanov, G. (2005) (in Bulgarian/English). This is Bulgaria. Sofia. p. 395. ISBN 954-91672-I-6. 
  49. ^ "Античен театър - Пловдив, информация за градове, региони, забележителности::". PureBulgaria. 2009-04-09. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  50. ^ The Antique theatre
  51. ^ (in Bulgarian) Пътеводител България. София: ТАНГРА ТанНакРа ИК. 2002. p. 140. ISBN 954-9942-32-5. 
  52. ^ The Roman odeon
  53. ^ The Roman stadium
  54. ^ Eirene Archaeological complex
  55. ^ Archaeological Museum Plovdiv
  56. ^ Archaeological Museum Plovdiv - Prehistoric art
  57. ^ Archaeological Museum Plovdiv - Roman art
  58. ^ Archaeological Museum Plovdiv - Middle Ages art
  59. ^ a b c d e Museums of Plovdiv
  60. ^ Archaeological Museum Plovdiv - Panagyurishte treasure
  61. ^ Plovdiv Regional Historical Museum
  62. ^ Infoplovdiv - Museum of Aviation
  63. ^ Drama Theatre Plovdiv
  64. ^ Philharmonic of Plovdiv
  65. ^ Trakiya Folklore Ensemble (in Bulgarian)
  66. ^ Hristo Danov
  67. ^ History of the Ivan Vazov National Library
  68. ^ With the exception of Under the Yoke the other significant works of Ivan Vazov (Nemili-nedragi, Eppopee of the Forgotten, Uncles) were written in Plovdiv.
  69. ^ Structure of the Ivan Vazov National Library
  70. ^ Art Gallery of Plovdiv
  71. ^ Plovdiv - BGP
  72. ^ a b Plovdiv regains its business positions
  73. ^ Unemployment in Plovdiv
  74. ^ Bicycle factory in Tsaratsovo
  75. ^ A new Schneider factory to be built in Radinovo near Plovdiv
  76. ^ The biggest electronic plant to open in Voivodinovo (in Bulgarian)
  77. ^ The construction of Business Park Plovdiv begins in October 2008
  78. ^ Business Park Plovdiv
  79. ^ ИТ парковете - нова концепция за България, ИТ парк Пловдив
  80. ^ Grand Trade Center to open in Plovdiv
  81. ^ a b Пет големи търговски центъра слагат край на сергиите в центъра на Пловдив
  82. ^ Construction of MALL of PLOVDIV begins
  83. ^ A Bulgarian-Israeli company to build a mall in Plovdiv
  84. ^ Мол за 60 млн. евро ще строят в пловдивския райoн Тракия
  85. ^ Plovdiv International Fair
  86. ^ a b Balabanov, G. (2005) (in Bulgarian/English). This is Bulgaria. Sofia. p. 393. ISBN 954-91672-I-6. 
  87. ^ a b c Transport in Plovdiv
  88. ^ See the map
  89. ^ (in Bulgarian) Пътеводител България. София: ТАНГРА ТанНакРа ИК. 2002. pp. 143–144. ISBN 954-9942-32-5. 
  90. ^ A map of the Plovdiv Public transport
  91. ^ a b c Information for Plovdiv - education
  92. ^ National School of Commerce - Plovdiv
  93. ^ English Academy Plovdiv
  94. ^ National School for music and dance art Plovdiv
  95. ^ French High School of Plovdiv
  96. ^ University of Plovdiv "Paisiy Hilendarski"
  97. ^ Medical University
  98. ^ Technical University of Sofia, Plovdiv branch
  99. ^ University of Agriculture
  100. ^ University of Food Technologies
  101. ^ Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts
  102. ^ World Stadiums
  103. ^ Aqualand
  104. ^ Official site of Botev Plovdiv
  105. ^ Official site of Lokomotiv Plovdiv
  106. ^ Spartak Plovdiv
  107. ^ International boxing tournament Strandzha
  108. ^ Plovdiv Sister cities
  109. ^ Plovdiv Twinning
  110. ^ "Partnership towns of the City of Košice" (in Slovak). © 2007-2009 City of Košice Magistrát mesta Košice, Tr. SNP 48/A, 040 11 Košice. Retrieved 2009-07-12. 
  111. ^ "Twinning Cities". City of Thessaloniki. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 

Coordinates: 42°9′N 24°45′E / 42.15°N 24.75°E / 42.15; 24.75

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Balkans : Bulgaria : Plovdiv

Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria, and one of the oldest cities in Europe. It is located in the large plain between the Rhodope Mountains in the south of Bulgaria and the Balkan Range, or Old Mountains (Stara Planina) that runs through the center of Bulgaria. Both ranges are visible on clear days. The Maritsa River flows through the city on its way southeast before forming the Greek/Turkey border to the Aegean Sea.

Old Plovdiv
Old Plovdiv


Plovdiv is an ancient city, with a history stretching at least 5000 years. Originally it had 7 tall hills, some of which were used for quarries. It was controlled by the Romans and was called Trimontium at that time (the Three Hills), and by Philip of Macedonia (father of Alexander the Great), lending the city another old name, Philipopolis. There is a statue to Philip in the downtown business center. During the long occupation by the Ottoman Empire, a large mosque was built, still present in the downtown area as well. During Communist times, a statue to the liberating Russian soldiers was erected on one of the three main hills which overlooks the center.

Plovdiv hosted specialized expositions of the World's Fair several times in the 20th century. It has an Olympic-sized rowing lake and many hotels. [1]

Get in

Plovdiv has a small airport, but is most accessible by bus from Sofia.

By train

There are many daily trains to and from Sofia. Duration is about two and a half hours. There is also one daily train from Istanbul in Turkey which takes about 11 hours.

By car

The A1 expressway connects Plovdiv westward to Sofia. It also extends a short distance to the east. This is one of two true expressways in the country (the other was built north from Sofia to communist leader Todor Zhivkov's birthplace). Other destinations require two-lane roads, such as the most direct route to Pleven, which is the somewhat adventurous Troyan pass road.

By bus

Buses run approximately hourly from Sofia, and are slightly faster than the trains.

There are also buses to most other major Bulgarian cities several times a day.

By boat

There is no boat transportation to Plovdiv.

Get around

Taxis and buses are prevalent. Downtown has a large pedestrian zone. Taxis are (Summer 2007) as cheap if not cheaper than bus rides when split between 3-4 people in general. A 5-7km of traveled distance was charged at around 2lv. The taxi arrives in about 3-5min. Remember to order the Taxi from the companies that offer the best deals and wait for it. Generally taking the taxi that is already waiting will cost you more (sometimes upto 5-times more) avoid them or ask for flat price that fits you! Learn who offers best prices from the locals who often use taxis.

Taxiservice: [2]


The old center of Plovdiv is compact and walkable, with the main downtown road blocked to car traffic. There is a good collection of Bulgarian revival buildings in use as museums, hotels, and restaurants etc. and is worth a visit if you have chance. The nearby Roman Amphitheater, discovered in the 1970's during a construction project, is part of the pedestrian zone, and typically has merchants selling art and other items nearby. Wander the cobblestone streets near the downtown to find the centuries old St. Marina church with a unique wooden tower, a mosque from the Ottoman Empire, and on the nearby hill the old town center. The old town center was walled, and has a famous gateway entrance. Nearby Puldin Restaurant has subterranean rooms where the old wall and historic artifacts can be seen. Continuing up the hill several older houses are now museums and the Roman amphitheater with an overlook of the town below is partially restored and still used for concerts and other occasions.

To the south of the city there is the Bachkovo Monastery, still in use. Farther into the Rhodope mountains one can find ski resorts and other natural attractions, such as the impressively narrow gorge and caves leading to Trigrad, not far from the mountainous Greek border.


Despite of the fact that Plovdiv is a relatively small city compared to a large multi-million population mega-polis it offers surprisingly many things to do.

  • The Hills - For starters enjoying the sunset from all the different hills is a must. Walk all the way to the top in the late afternoon, pick something to drink and stay there for the sunset. Go down to enjoy the nightlife once it's dark.
  • Old Town - Another must is the old town of Plovdiv which is full of art, free of cars and very enjoyable. Go take a walk try it at day, try it at night it's amazing. Try some of the bars there are life performances sometimes there. You might be even lucky enough to catch an opera performance in the old roman theater.
  • Center - Enjoying the central park during the day, especially if it's a very, very hot day. Once the weather settles hit the main street and the bars/discos.


Generally speaking eating in Plovdiv should be cheap for the westerner's pocket. Fast food is available and of high quality (in general).


Cheapest fast food could cost as little 0.50-1.00lv to 2-3lv and can be found along the main street. There are plenty of such places offering pizza, traditional food, and duners


There are some low-end restaurants that will be fairly affordable pay attention to the menu and think about 10-15lv for a full meal (salad, main course, dessert, drink(s)).


Paying more will probably get you a slightly better food than the options above but most of the cost will definitely go towards the overall experience. The priciest places are located in the old town, on top of the hill. Expect to pay a bit more say 20-30lv and above. There are also a few restaurants outside the center.

  • Hotel Plovdiv Guest [3], 20 Saborna Street, +359 32 622 432 (e-mail: Twelve rooms in the heart of the touristic zone - The Old Town of Plovdiv. Not just a hotel but also a place for cultural activities and meetings where one can also find a tourist information center, exhibition hall with a stand for selling pieces of art and souvenirs, art cafe with an art gallery where various cultural events and seminars take place. The art cafe (24 seats) is also used for breakfast and at the same time it's a perfect place for exhibitions, seminars, literature readings and other cultural events. The rooms are very clean and shiny. Each has got own its colour and spirit.
  • Hiker's hostel [4] - very helpful and friendly staff. 22 lv per person per night with free breakfast. Very centrally located and if there is no room they will provide tents in the garden. Will also organise trips to a number of local attractions if you can find a few people to go with you.
  • Trimontium Hotel [5] - Probably the best service you will ever receive and the most luxurious rooms to ever stay in, some comlpete with jacuzzi. There is a price to pay for luxury and the Trimontium is around 100 USD per night.

Stay safe

Generally speaking Plovdiv is a very safe place. Avoid the ghetto area and you will be very safe. Old town and the main street are generally very busy and safe. Parks during the day are safe avoid them at night unless you are with a larger company. Avoid picking a verbal fight with locals! Avoid wearing football shirts or scarves of the Plovdiv or Sofia-based football teams,especially on match days. Overall the city has improved in terms of safety over the past years.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Proper noun




  1. a city in southern Bulgaria


  • Bulgarian: Пловдив

See also

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