Visiting Plovdiv in Bulgaria: Europe's Oldest City

When exploring the rich tapestry of European history, Plovdiv, the second-largest city in Bulgaria, stands out as a true gem. This enchanting city has a history that stretches back over 6,000 years, making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Europe. As you step into its ancient streets, you'll be transported through time, discovering layers of history that have shaped this remarkable destination.

A Glimpse into the Past

Plovdiv's history is a fascinating blend of Thracian, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and Bulgarian influences, which have left their mark on the city's culture, architecture, and traditions. With a history dating back to the 4th millennium BC, the city offers a unique opportunity to explore its past while enjoying modern amenities and the warmth of Bulgarian hospitality.
Old Town - One of the most captivating spots in Plovdiv is its charming Old Town, a well-preserved open-air museum that takes you back in time. From the cobbled streets to the array of beautifully restored Revival-era houses. This town plays homage to its years of cultural blend, with the houses showcasing the city's unique architectural style.
👀 Keep an eye out for its colourful facades, ornate wooden balconies, and stunningly decorated interiors.
Roman Heritage - The Roman influence on Plovdiv is evident in its well-preserved Roman amphitheatre, a testament to the city's role as a key regional centre during the Roman Empire. The amphitheatre, built during the 2nd century AD, accommodated up to 6,000 spectators who gathered to watch gladiator contests and various performances. Today, it serves as a magnificent backdrop for cultural events and concerts.
The Ancient City of Philippopolis - Plovdiv is renowned for its Thracian heritage. The city was originally founded as Eumolpias by the Thracians and later named Philippopolis by Philip II of Macedon. Archaeological sites like the Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Museum of Thracian Art provide a glimpse into the sophisticated civilisation that thrived in the region before the arrival of the Romans.
Kapana District - While Plovdiv proudly preserves its ancient history, it's not stuck in the past. The city has a vibrant contemporary scene with a thriving arts community, music festivals, and a burgeoning culinary landscape. The Kapana district, for example, is a trendy area filled with art studios, boutiques, and hip cafes, where you can experience the city's modern artistic spirit.

Planning Your Visit ✈️

Plovdiv is easily accessible by train, bus, and car from Sofia, Bulgaria's capital. The city offers a range of accommodation options, from boutique hotels to budget-friendly hostels. While exploring Plovdiv's Old Town is best done on foot, you can also use the city's public transportation system to reach attractions outside the city centre.

A Warm Welcome 🤗

Perhaps the most enduring charm of Plovdiv is its people. Bulgarians are known for their warmth and hospitality. As you explore this ancient city, you'll be welcomed with open arms and friendly smiles. Engaging with the locals, hearing their stories, and learning about their traditions will make your visit here one of a kind!

Starting from Skratch? Here are some links to help you get started:

Explore some of the most iconic provinces, states and regions of countries in closer detail here.

Bulgaria — Facts before you go


🇧🇬 Bulgarian


💸 Bulgarian lev


🪙Tipping is standard practice in Bulgaria and travellers should aim to tip around 10%

Famous for…

🏘 Plovdiv

🍧 Yoghurt

🥵 Hot Springs

Share this post

Imogen Kemp
October 27, 2023
posted in

More like this