Plovdiv (population: 338 000) is the second largest city in Bulgaria, considered by the majority of its visitors as the most beautiful and atmospheric. Situated at 160 m. a. s. l., Plovdiv is an important administrative centre in Southern Bulgaria, as well as the largest and most important city of the historical and geographic region Thrace, famous for its ancient and diverse culture and millenary history. Plovdiv is 150 km away from the capital Sofia and only 75 km from the international ski resort Pamporovo. Plovdiv is regarded as the gate to the beautiful Rhodope Mountains which are only few kilometers away, as most people who head for the mountains choose it as their starting point. The city is located on both banks of the Maritsa River in the central part of the Upper Thracian Lowlands. Plovdiv is particularly known, like Rome, for its 7 hills, one of which has been destroyed. A couple of key thoroughfares cross the city, including the one connecting Sofia and Europe with Istanbul and Asia, as well as the one between Sofia and Bourgas (Black sea coast). The Plovdiv International Fair, the first in the country since 1892, is the largest fair in Southeastern Europe, gathering companies from all over the world on an exhibition area of 95 000 sq. m.
Plovdiv is an eternal town. The foundations of the town on the 7 hills by the ancient Maritza River were laid some 8000 years ago. Plovdiv is older than Rome, Athens and Constantinople and is of the same age as Troy. According to some sources this is the second oldest European city (after Mycenae) and the oldest continiuously inhabited city in Europe. Plovdiv is all in one: a Thracian and classical Greek polis, the pride of Philip of Macedonia, the capital of Thrace under the Roman Empire, a centre of Byzantinism, a stronghold of the Bulgarians, a dream of the crusaders, a magnificent, wealthy and most important city. Plovdiv’s motto is: “Ancient and eternal”. In 1999 Plovdiv was supporting European capital of culture. In September 2014 Plovdiv was chosen to be the European capital of culture in 2019.
On this sightseeing walking tour we visit the most impressive landmarks in the city like The Old Plovdiv – an architectural and historical reserve, situated on The Three Hills. Here picturesque houses of the National Revival period stand close to ruins from antiquity and Bulgarian Renaissance churches. The Roman Theatre from II century that we discover on our way has been restored and is being used even today for different performances and festivals. Our walk continues down to the partly uncovered Roman Stadium and the 14-th century Djumaia Mosque. At the end we stroll along the longest main pedestrian street in Europe (1750 m) to discover the colorful and ornate end of 19-th – beginning of 20-th century houses, the oldest city park of Bulgaria and more Roman ruins including the Roman Forum and the small theatre – The Odeon. Many attractive high street cafes, restaurants, shops, fountains and street musicians add to this unique laid back feeling in the air of this spectacular city.
Period: Year round
Trip duration: 2,5 hours
Price: From 11 EUR per person depending on the group size
Included: English speaking tour guide
Not included: Food and tips
Note: Some cobble stones walking in the Old town