The town of Plovdiv (376 276 inhabitants, 160 m above sea level), is situated in the western part of the Upper Thracian valley.
The town is located 150 km from Sofia, 19 km from Assenovgrad, 102 km from Smolyan, 90 km from Stara Zagora.
It ranks as the second Bulgarian city in population and size after the capital.
The most ancient inhabitants of these areas date back to the New Stone, Stone-copper and Bronze Ages. During the 1 st millennium B.C., the Thracians founded the ancient settlement of Eumolpius. In 342 B.C. the town was conquered by Philip II, the Macedonian, the town was named Philippopole and was turned into a fortress. With its fall under Roman rule, it was turned into a key economic, cultural and political center of Thracia province. The Romans named the town Trimontzium. During the next two centuries it was many times ruined and set on fire by the huns and the gothic tribes.
At the end of 6 th century the Slavs populated the area and named the town Puldin In 815 Khan Krum included it within the boundaries of Bulgaria. In 1364 the Ottoman Empire conquered the town and called it Phillibe. Being left in the far most back area of the Ottoman Empire, it had lost its strategic location and gradually declined. It was only during the Revival Period that Plovdiv regained its glorious name of a large economic and cultural center.
The six hills, as well as the old town of Plovdiv bring specific colour and atmosphere to the town and shape up its unique view and nature. The stately shape of Sahat hillock with the clock tower dating back to 16 th century, Bunardjika with the Russian soldier statue and the Djendem hillock are noticeable.
Maritza river splitting the town into two uneven parts, connected by six bridges has its significance for the town of Plovdiv.
On the area of the northern part the Fair Facilities are located (37, Tzar Boris the Third, blvd, phone 032 553 120). Currently the International Plovdiv Fair is conducted twice annually – in the beginning of May the Fair is dedicated to consumer goods and commodities, while the Fair organized in September focuses in industrial goods.
- June – International Chamber Music Festival
- May-June - Opera days in the Amphitheatre
- August – International Folklore Festival
- September – International Muppet-Show Festival
- September – National Autumn Art Exhibition “The old town of Plovdiv”.
The first ranking landmark is the Architectural complex "The Old Town of Plovdiv". The architectural complex "The Old town of Plovdiv", covering the Three-hill area - the original location of the town - attracts visitors from all over the world. During the Bulgarian Revival in 18th century Plovdiv was a centre of enlightenment, cultural and political activity. Old Plovdiv nowadays is an original living museum, an architectural phenomenon with many of the houses of those times' most prominent bulgarians turned into museums, galleries hosting various art exhibitions, festivals and biennials, and even tourist dormitories.
When you go to the Old Town, go up to the top of the hill - Nebet Tepe. Not only that you will get a great panorama of the city and the mountains surrounding it, but you also would be standing on top of the ruins of an old Tracian temple, which was later built up by the Romans. There is an improvised terrace, which is converted to an informal bistro in the summer, so you can have a drink there before you head back down the hill. Serenity and great view!
Djumaya Mosque dating back to 14-15 th centuries, working hours: 6.00 a.m.-7 p.m. each day of the week
“Holy Mother of God” Church, constructed during the age of Murat the Second and dating back to 1844 – 6, Saborna Str.,phone 032 223 265, working hours: each day of the week 7.30 a.m.-7.00 p.m.
Church “St. St. Konstantine and Elena” dating back to 1832
Church "St.Marina" – 1856 with a very interesting wood-carved iconostatis.
The Ancient theatre is situated close to the Southern entrance of the fortress. The marble amphitheatre , built up by Emperor Mark Avrelii during the II century, is the best preserved amphitheatre in our lands. It frequently hosts various performances.
Archaeological Complex “Nebet Hill” – remains within the Northern part of the Threehill area. Philipopolis fortress walls can be seen within the central part of the Ancient town.
Hissar Kapia – the eastern gate of the fortress, constructed more than 2000 years ago.
Тhe House and cellar of Hadji Dragan from Kalofer, the House of Andrei Geogiadi, the House of Argir Koyumdjiouglu (presently hosts the Ethnographic Museum, phone: 032 225656, working hours: 9.00 – 12.00 and 14.00 – 17.00, closed on Monday and Friday morning). The Etnographic Museum in Plovdiv is one of the most interesting museums in Bulgaria. Its exhibits are on show in a beautiful house, which is a fine example of the Bulgarian Baroque architecture of the National Revival Period.
the House of Georgi Mavridi, where the French poet Lamartine lived in 1833
the House of Dimitar Georgiadi, 1 Tzanko Lavrenov Str, now turned into a Museum of the Bulgarian Revival, phone: 032 223350, working hours: 9.00 a.m.-12 a.m. and 2.00 p.m.-5 p.m., closed on Sunday.
the House of Dr. St. Chomakov, 18, Saborna Str., now hosting the Art Gallery, phone 032 260707.
the House of Nikola Nedkovich, 3, Tzanko Lavrenov Str, currently serving as Museum of the Urban Revival Style (phone: 032 626216).
The Balabanovs House - now a Museum of the Revival Style.
Archeological Museum - 1, Saedenenie Square, phone 032 22 43 39 ,accommodating the most valuable – Panagjrishte Golden Treasure.
Museum of History – Modern History Exhibition (14, Angel Bukureshtliev Str., phone 032 222014)
History Museum - “Reunion” Exhibition (1, Saedinenie Square, phone:032 260 252, 269 959, working hour 9-12 a.m. and 1-3 p.m., closed on Saturday and Sunday).
Museum of Natural History (34, Hr.Danov Str., phone: 032 226663).
Art gallery – temporary exhibition (15, Kniaz Alexander the First Str. phone: 032 224220)
Art gallery – exhibition of icons (22, Saborna Str., phone:032 226086).
Art gallery - permanent exhibition (14A Saborna Str., phone:032 267790).
Imaret Mosque (15 th century).
The Roman Stadium was constructed during II century reproducing the layout of the stadium in Delphi, Greece, and the marble seats accommodated 30 000 spectators of games and gladiator fights.
The main street, Aleksandrovska Street, which links the Trimontium Princess Hotel to the Roman stadium is traffic-free and paved along its full length. Numerous "open-air" cafes can be seen along its length. You can retreat to some of these cafes when the temperature soars in Plovdiv. Under the cooling shade of trees and umbrellas you can find a place to stop for a while and drink something cold or take a light snack or lunch, all very cheap.
Dramatic Theatre - 38, Kniaz Alexander the First , phone: 032 632348
Opera House - 1, Gladstone Str., phone: 032 225553
Muppet-show theatre - 14, Hristo Danov Blvd, phone: 032 223985
Plovdiv Philharmony - 1, Central Square, phone 032 282750
Foreign countries' consular sections
General Consulate of the Russian Federation – 20, Ivan Vazov Str., phone: 032 224767, fax: 032 230098.
Greek General Consulate – 10, Preslav Str., phone 032 232003.
Consular Section of the Republic of Turkey – 10, Philip Macedonski Str., phone 032 239010.
Two types of transport – road and railway - connect this city to the rest of the country. There is also an existing air transport infrastructure, but currently there are no flights to and from Plovdiv. Highway connects the city with Sofia, while major road infrastructures connect it with Pazardjik, Assenovgrad, Stara Zagora, Bourgas, Haskovo, Kardjali, Karlovo, Smolyan.
- Sever” (North) – 2, Dimitar Stambolov Str., close to Philipovo railway station, phone 032 553011, 553705, servicing the lines to the north of the city in the direction of Russe, Pleven, Troyan, Koprivshtitsa.
- “Yug” (South)- 47, Hristo Botev Blvd, phone: 032 626937, 226937, servicing the lines and routes to the southern part of the country – Blagoevgrad, Batak, Peshtera, Sliven, Svilengrad, Pazardjik .
- The “Express Transport” Private Association - 45, Hristo Botev Blvd., phone: 032 265787, specialized in express bus transport services between the cities of Plovdiv and Sofia.
- “Rhodope” – Macedonia Str., phone: 032 779267, 777607 services the region of the Rhodope Mountains : Assenovgrad, Bachkovo Monastery, Smolyan, Chepelare, Pamporovo, Devin, Kardjali, Haskovo.
One can buy tickets from the City transportation company for bus transport to Greece-1, Central Square, phone: 032 224271.
There are railway lines from Plovdiv to Sofia, Bourgas, Svilengrad, Karlovo, Panagyurishte, Peshtera, Hissarya and Assenovgrad.
- Central – 44, Hristo Botev blvd., phone 032 222729, 552730, 222940, info on departing trains: 032 175.
- Philipovo Railway Station – phone 032 23433602.
- City Railway Bureau – 29, Maria Louisa Blvd., phone: 032 622732, working hours: 8.30 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1.00 p.m.-5 p.m., closed on Saturday and Sunday.
- “Rila” International Railway Bureau – 31A, Hristo Botev Blvd., phone 032 446120, working hours Monday through Friday: 8.00 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday –8 a.m.-12 p.m. and Sunday – day off.
The Airport (no regular flights for the time being) is at distance of 18 km away from the town phone: 032 226173.
International Transport Ticket Bureau – 4, Gladstone Str., phone 032 633081, working hours Monday through Friday: 8.00 a.m. – 6.30 p.m.
The powerful shapes of the Rhodope Mountains rises 10-12 km south of Plovdiv. Its vicinity and accessibility turn the mountain into a favorite site for recreation and tourism.
The existence of the two summer camps (Students and Byala Cherkva), the availability of a multitude of huts and inns, hundreds of kilometers of crossing roads and marked paths, snack bars and other tourist infrastructure, facilitate the frequent visits to the wonderful mountain sights.
Public buses start from the "Rhodope bus station" to the villages in the foot of the mountain – Kuklen, Hrabrovo, Galabovo, which serve as starting points for different hiking routes.
Other places of interest in/near Plovdiv
- A hall with 120 seats
- A VIP hall with 20 seats
- A hall with picture gallery and fireplace
- Summer ...