Plovdiv is a non-resort city in Bulgaria. And, probably, therefore, not the most popular among tourists. And in vain. Because Plovdiv is a very old city and there are enough buildings asking for a lens. And he is the second largest city in Bulgaria (after Sofia). Plovdiv has many wide streets, brand shops and expensive restaurants. But here it is much calmer than in Sofia. Our geocaches friends for some time seriously considered Plovdiv as a city in which it would be nice to live in retirement. I didn’t fall in love with Plovdiv so much, but I won’t deny that I’ll have a look at Plovdiv.
Sights of Plovdiv are briefly and succinctly described on Wikipedia. So capacious that it looks like excessive modesty:
“Plovdiv is a large cultural center, there is an archaeological museum (since 1882), a natural science museum (since 1951), a historical museum (since 1951), a museum of the Bulgarian national liberation movement (since 1956), an ethnographic museum and several art galleries. There are a number of theaters. ”
There is no sea in Plovdiv, but there are mountains on the horizon and several hills in the city itself. And Plovdiv is the twin city of St. Petersburg. You can walk here, you can also look into museums. But is it worth spending more than two days on Plovdiv. We'll figure out.
Where to go and what to see in Plovdiv?
I will be a little more verbose than Wikipedia. It is strange that this mega-popular resource did not mention the main attraction of Plovdiv - the hill on which the world famous Alyosha stands. Everyone knows about the monument, but not everyone knows that Alyosha has a real prototype.
The soldier Alexei Skurlatov went through the war on the front line, fought near Rzhev, near the village of Kryukovo, on the Kursk Bulge. His mother received a funeral twice. But Alyosha survived, and met victory in Plovdiv. And, when the Bulgarian government decided to put monuments to Soviet soldiers-liberators, his Bulgarian friend offered sculptors a photograph of Alexei Skurlatov. And then, at the opening of the monument, he wrote on the pedestal: "Alyosha." I talked about this story in sufficient detail in LiveJournal (I advise you to read it).
So the monument to Alyosha in Plovdiv is the main attraction of the city. You need to climb the hill on foot, and in the heat I do not recommend it - we almost died while in the forty-degree heat we climbed to the top. On it, in addition to the Alyosha monument, a stele was installed in honor of the victories of Alexander II and there are growing trees planted by Soviet cosmonauts. And overlooks the city.
The second hill in Bulgaria is a little less interesting, but the old Plovdiv is visible from it.
In addition to the hills, I advise you to walk along Old Plovdiv. Actually, it is worth walking for it. Since modern buildings are faceless five-story buildings with a touch of scoop. There are museums, temples, and mosques in Old Plovdiv. And even the Roman antique theater.
Studying the theater from the inside costs money. But for those wishing to save advice - do not rush to buy a ticket. Outside, through the fence, everything is perfectly visible. Many call this ancient landmark of Plovdiv an amphitheater, but this is a mistake. The amphitheater has the shape of a circle, and what you can now see in Plovdiv is semicircular.
Excavations of the ancient theater in Plovdiv were found in 1968, preserved and used for concerts.
Interesting fact. In ancient times, the places of honorary citizens of Plovdiv in the theater were signed - that is, specific places were assigned to specific citizens. Important citizens included the emperor, friends of the emperor and ministers.
Dzhumaya Mosque (Zhelezarka St., 2). The main Muslim temple of Plovdiv. It is considered one of the largest and oldest Muslim buildings in the Balkans:
Near the mosque, the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin:
And this is the temple of the Great Martyr Marina:
Unusual, and architecturally knocked out of all the churches that we happened to see in Plovdiv.
The oldest church in Plovdiv is the church of St. Konstantin and Elena (24 Soborn St.). It was built in the 4th century on the site of the execution of Christian martyrs in honor of Emperor Constantine and his mother Elena. The church has repeatedly collapsed and what can be seen now is the result of the work of restorers in 1832. But we did not see this either, because of the heat we did not reach. But you can google if you wish.
Normal photo for the outskirts of Plovdiv:
The main museums in Plovdiv:
Archaeological Museum (address: 1, Sedinenie St.). The museum is old, founded already in 1882. coins, documents, icons, paintings and household items, a rich Roman collection. The museum covers all historical periods of the country's development - from prehistoric to Bulgarian.
Museum of Natural Sciences (address: 34 Christo G. Danov St.). The largest museum in the city, representing the flora and fauna of Bulgaria. Plants, birds, marine and freshwater fish ... And several dozen aquariums. Near the museum is the Dondukova Gradina Park.
Ethnographical museum (ul.Doktora St. Chomakova, 2). The museum is built on an old fortress wall and on the facade there is a two-story building, and on the back - a four-story building. Basically, the museum displays expositions of the 18-19th centuries - jewelry, clothes, musical instruments, processes of wine preparation and metal processing.
Address of the tourist office in Plovdiv: Central Square, 1
How to get to Plovdiv?
By train from Sofia. The train runs for about three hours and costs 11 leva. On the railway site of Bulgaria you can see the schedule and buy tickets.
By car or bus. Buses to Plovdiv run from Sofia and Burgas (tickets cost on average 14 leva and do not require a purchase in advance). By car, Plovdiv can be reached from anywhere in the world. You will go along the A1 highway (the distance in kilometers is slightly lower).
By plane. Plovdiv has an international airport (you can see in which months and from which cities it is more convenient to fly):
Housing in Plovdiv is not too expensive. For example, the SimplyComfy guest house in the very center of the city, with free parking in mid-April, will cost 18 euros per room. Hotel Hotel Ostrova with the same rating and conditions - at 43 euros. The average cost of hotels with reviews above 8 starts from 35 euros, hostels and guesthouses - from 19 euros. Almost all proposed overnight stays are booked with free cancellation, and most of the hotels include breakfast.
And yet ... I would love to walk around Plovdiv. I do not mind returning for a day or two. But spending a week here is unlikely. I would be bored.
Such species for Plovdiv are not a regularity, but not an exception:
Distance from Plovdiv to other cities in Bulgaria:
|Sozopol - 288 km|
|Pomorie - 271 km||Varna - 367 km|
|Burgas - 255 km||Sofia - 144 km|
You can choose a ready package tour to Bulgaria here (there is an opportunity to compare prices of different tour operators):
Independent search for housing and excursions (do not be afraid to independently build routes and plan):
This might be interesting:
Koprivshtitsa is a small town in which the traditional Bulgarian architecture of the time of the national revival is preserved. In this city, more than 200 houses are considered architectural monuments, they are also striking examples of architecture of the 18-19 centuries. Samples of the most ancient houses of this. read more
Roman and Thracian ruins
Since the Thracian era, the remains of the fortress walls, a tomb of the 4th century, have been preserved in the city. The city wall, which was built by the Romans, was destroyed by the Goths in 251. Excavations of only one tower were found, which defended the complex. Near the Main Post Office are the ruins of the Roman market of the 3rd century. Near. read more
Church of St. Marina
The church of St. Marina was built in 1854. In architecture, it is similar to the ancient Byzantine buildings, as the walls are made of unprocessed stone. The only building in Bulgaria of this kind is a wooden 6-tier bell tower, which is located near the church itself. read more
Church of St. Konstantin and Elena
Church of St. Konstantin and Elena were erected in the place where an older building once stood, which was destroyed by a fire in the 17th century. Of great interest in this church is the 5-tier bell tower. The carved iconostasis with gilding, which was carried out by Ivn Pashkula, is preserved in the temple. Certain. read more
For the first time, a mention was made of the Jumaya Mosque in a written source in 1553. The prayer hall of the mosque is decorated with 9 small domes, and this is its feature, unlike other similar structures. The decoration of the minaret is a white and red brick ornament. The interior of the mosque is very strong. read more
Plovdiv is the second most important city in Bulgaria. This is the administrative center of the homonymous region, located in the central part of the country. The population of the city is over 370 thousand people.
Plovdiv is considered one of the most ancient cities in Europe. He is much older than Carthage, Athens and Rome. Throughout its history, the city has repeatedly changed owners. And each of them brought something of their own to the city. As a result, modern Plovdiv is a symbiosis of several cultures at once.
By the number of attractions, Plovdiv is a recognized leader in the country. Over 200 buildings and structures are historical monuments. In addition, it is the theater and science center of Bulgaria. Here are the country's oldest theater troupes, which have their own long traditions. This is a surprisingly cozy city in which Orthodox churches are adjacent to Muslim mosques. And the historical center of the city is able to transfer the visitor to the ancient era, allowing you to enjoy the life of the ancient city.
Plovdiv on the map of Bulgaria
Plovdiv or Greek Philippopol, and in Turkish Filibe is located in southern Bulgaria, in the foothills of the Rhodope Mountains. Plovdiv's age is evidenced by artifacts discovered in its vicinity related to ancient cultures: Thracian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman.
Although it is not located on the Black Sea coast and is not included in the list of fashionable resorts, lovers of nature and historical attractions in this picturesque area have something to see.
The city is located in the center of Bulgaria on six hills in the west Upper Thracian Plain on the banks of the Maritsa River.
Distance the capital (east) is one and a half hundred kilometers, the Black Sea port of Burgas is 270 km west of it, and the fashionable resort of Nessebar is located 282 km from Plovdiv.
You will find detailed weather conditions in Bulgaria throughout the year in our article.
How to get there
There is a small international airport 12 km from the metropolis Krumovo. There are no scheduled flights from Russia. From Moscow, you can get Air Serbia liners to Sofia with a change in Belgrade, the flight takes 5 hours. Buses run regularly from Sofia to Plovdiv, and can be reached in less than 2 hours. You can also order a taxi.
From Burgas to Plovdiv every 3 hours depart Shuttle Buses, the journey takes about 4 hours. Also, once a day, the Regional train leaves, the journey will take a little more than four hours.
Another way from Moscow: airline Turkish Airlines to Sofia with a change in Istanbul, the flight takes 5-6 hours.
There are direct flights to Sofia with a Bulgarian airline or Aeroflot airplanes in 3 hours.
From St. Petersburg you can also fly to the Bulgarian capital by air Turkish airline with change in Istanbul in 18 hours. You can use the services of a Polish airline with a transfer in Warsaw and fly in 8-26 hours.
You can purchase tickets for any of the flights using this search form. It’s enough to indicate the names departure and arrival cities, date and number of passengers.
Trains from Moscow to Sofia cover almost 3,000 km. From there, you can take a train to Plovdiv in 2 hours. There are regular bus services from Burgas. It takes about 5 hours. From Nessebar you need to get through Burgas.
Before you travel to Bulgaria, find out here whether you need a visa to travel.
Weather in the city
Most of the year the weather in Plovdiv windless, most precipitation falls in May and June, and least in August-September. Autumn comes in October, when daytime temperatures do not exceed 20 degrees, and nights become cool. The best season for the rest is May-September.
In winter the average daily temperature is slightly above zero, in spring it does not exceed 17 degrees, in the hottest July it rises to 23 degrees.
Things to do?
Old Plovdiv - A separate area within the city, this is essentially a large museum. The main pedestrian street of Prince Alexander I is a quiet street, where almost every house is a historical monument of two hundred years old Turkish and Bulgarian buildings.
New part of town stands out by the ensemble of the international fair, held twice a year, where you can just buy souvenirs.
The international fair is visited annually by more than two hundred thousand tourists.
Famous monument to the Soviet soldier Alyosha, erected to the 10th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War, is located on the Bunardzhik hill.
Those who wish can visit numerous museums, galleries, theaters. There are famous geothermal springswhere the baths are located. Also in the city there are many nightclubs with a varied program and several casinos, the largest of them in the style of Las Vegas.
Plovdiv also entertainment center with fishing and mountain tourism routes. A huge water park and zoo are interesting for children. There is a sports center where international water sports are held.
Where to stay - hotels
In and around the city there are more than one and a half hundred hotels, family apartments and hostels. Five star two of them: Novotel Plovdiv with 326 rooms in the new city and the Hebros Hotel with 9 rooms in the old part.
A trip to the ski resorts of Bulgaria promises to be fascinating and full of impressions. Read about them in this article.
Brief characteristics some hotels in Plovdiv:
- Hotel hebros Located in the Old Town, dates back to the Renaissance, its chic rooms are decorated in a medieval style. This is one of the oldest hotels in the city,
Boris Palace located next to the prehistoric stadium and amphitheater. The rooms here are decorated in a classic style, but with a full range of services, including accommodation with children and ordering food in the room. There are cots, you can live with pets for free,
Maritza hotel - a business hotel on the banks of the river, next to the exhibition center. Parking and internet are free. Allowed to stay with children, there are cots, there are rooms with soundproofing, rooms for honeymooners. VIP apartments with safes and others. Room service is also available.
Pets are allowed at Maritza Hotel for a fee.
Mini Hotel. It is located next to the Old Town in the Kapan area. The rooms are equipped with every comfort. This is a non-smoking hotel. You can live with children if a child over 2 years old is entitled to a surcharge. For accommodation with pets is also a decent surcharge,
Hotel Duffy It has soundproofed and non-smoking rooms. It is located in the very center of the city, children are allowed, but pets are not allowed,
Dafi's restaurant serves Bulgarian cuisine, and the salad bar serves a wide range of national and original salads.
Book one of your favorite hotels using this search form. Enter town, arrival and departure dates, and number of guests.
What to see?
Plovdiv is fancy combination antiquity and modern technological achievements and a combination of various world cultures - Ottoman, Bulgarian, Ancient Roman, Byzantine, Thracian and Macedonian.
Man Made Attractions
It is not possible to describe all the objects that are worth seeing. That's just some of them:
- Dervish Muslim Monastery Mevlevi Hane. It belongs to the Persian community of dancing dervishes. There is an ancient mosque, a hall for ritual dances and housing. Preserved elements of the ancient fortress wall.
Church of St. Constantine and Helena. This is the oldest building in the city, it was built in the 4th century in honor of Emperor Constantine and his mother Elena. Repeatedly destroyed during the Turkish yoke, the building was reconstructed in the century before last. Here is a majestic gilded iconostasis and a large collection of 19th century icons.
Jumai Mosque - tribute to the centuries-old Muslim dominance. This is a 14th century Turkish temple, considered one of the largest in the Balkans.
In the mosque, the 9-domed prayer hall and the white-red minaret ornament, as well as the walls painted with quotes from the Koran, amaze.
The ruins of the ancient theater, built in the second century BC - the pride of the city. After 700 years, the building was partially destroyed by the Huns. It was completely dug out from under a 15-meter subgrade.
The theater was located semicircle, divided into two sectors of 14 rows, it accommodated 7 thousand spectators. Almost 40 years ago, the theater was restored to 5 thousand seats and equipped in a modern way. It holds concerts and festivals.
At one of the tops of the hills is a complex “There is no heat”. These are the remains of the prehistoric Thracian settlements that laid the foundation for the city, which in the days of Philip of Macedon was called Philippol. Therefore, Plovdiv is one of the six oldest cities in the world that existed until now.
The part of the fortress dating back to the 14th century is well preserved. The ruins of a wall with a tower of Hellenistic times are also visible. Under the complex in the rock was found roman tunnel 6th century.
The Nebet Tepe complex also has a gigantic stone reservoir for storing water.
Interesting natural sites
The nature surrounding the city is majestic and unforgettable. One of the most interesting nearby sites is Ustinsky waterfall in the north of the Rhodope, near the village of Ustin. Its height is 15 meters.
Ustinsky waterfall looks best in late spring or after heavy rains.
There is a tiny chapel of st george. On the surrounding rocks in the era of Roman rule, watchtowers were located, in some places the remains of the fortress were preserved. The fortress rested on the most beautiful peak of Kulat - the most elevated place in this part of the mountains.
Near the village you can find the remains of a road that goes to the Aegean Sea. In the mountainous part of Ustina there is a picturesque square with a fountainlocated on the shore of a fast river. The journey from the village to the waterfall takes about half an hour.
Snezhanka Cave located 2.5 km from the city highway, if you climb the mountain serpentine by bus. Then comes an almost kilometer-long hiking route to the top of the mountain, where the observation deck is located. It is not difficult to climb here even with children. Then opens the entrance to the cave with stalactites.
The cave is pretty cold. The duration of the tour is about half an hour. The backlight creates an unforgettable effect. The descent into the cave is quite steep; it is beyond the reach of older people.
What other places created by people or mother nature can be visited in Bulgaria, read here.
Visit to ancient Plovdiv - wonderful vacation. Here you can find something for every taste and for any age. This tour is informative and exciting. Fresh air, historical places, various entertainments, delicious food and a welcoming overnight stay - all this creates an excellent impression of one of the most pleasant Bulgarian cities.
You can see a considerable part of the sights of Plovdiv in this video: