Plovdiv is officially considered as the oldest existing town in Europe with a history dating back as early as the 4th millennium BC. It is situated along six hills and it is crossed by the big Maritza river, which makes it a very beautiful place. In the antiquity, it was populated by the Thracians who fortified the Nebet hill and established a village there. Later, it was conquered by Philip the Second of Macedonia and it was named after him – Philipopolis. In the 1st century AD, the area became a Roman province. Plovdiv was important Roman town, administrative center of its region. It expanded to the next two hills and was named Trimontium – the town on the three mounts. When the Bulgarians came to the Balkans in the 7th century, Plovdiv was a border fortress, often changing hands between Bulgaria and the Byzantine Empire. In the 14th century, the region was conquered by the Ottomans and remained under their rule for the next five centuries so this period also left its mark on the town. In the 19th century, during the Bulgarian National Revival period, the town flourished and many big and beautiful housed were built by the rich merchants who were living there. Nowadays Plovdiv is the 2nd biggest town in Bulgaria, with a population of about 400 000 people, and being the European capital of culture for 2019 it is definitely a place that must be visited!
Since Plovdiv has such a rich history, there are a lot of interesting sites and places which you can see there. From the Roman period are excavated and restored the theater, the Odeon (this was the city council in ancient times), parts of the Forum and parts of the big stadium. The theater is entirely restored, it gathers about 5000 people and now every summer it is used for different cultural events and concerts. From the stadium is visible mostly its North end. It was for about 30 000 people, which once again underlines the importance of the Roman town. Both the theater and the stadium currently are open for visitors.
On the top of Nebet hill you will find the remains of the old fortress and you will see beautiful panoramic views of the town. From the Turkish period are preserved the old Djumaya mosque, dating back to the 14th century, and the old clock tower on Rahat hill, dating back to the 16th century. Plovdiv is also very famous for its unique 19th century Revival town, with its colorful houses, some of which are now working as house – museums, with the one hosting the Ethnographic museum, being probably the most famous and beautiful one.
All of these sites are situated in the central part of the town and this will give you the opportunity to explore its beautiful main walking street as well, considered the longest pedestrian street in Europe and the ‘’Kapana” district – a place dedicated to arts and crafts.
You can choose between several different types of trips with which you can explore Plovdiv. If you prefer to spend more time there, you can choose a trip which is just to Plovdiv itself. If you would like to try some of the local dishes, you can add a traditional lunch to it. Or if you want to visit some other places in the area as well, you can choose a trip which includes a visit to the old Asen`s Fortress or to the Bachkovo Monastery – both situated in the nearby Rhodope Mountain. Finally, if you would like to have a longer trip, you can combine it with a visit to the Revival Village of Koprivshtitsa. All of these tours are led by passionate and knowledgeable local guides that are a guarantee for memorable experiences!