It is not a secret that recently more and more people talk about Plovdiv as one of the oldest cities not only in Europe but in the whole world. Its earliest inhabitation dates from 4 000 BC! You can notice the layers of all the cultures which settled there throughout the centuries, as the first who did it there were the Thracians. Later on the city became a major Roman city and there is aclear evidence about it as you can still see and visit the Roman Stadium, the Ancient Roman Theater, the aqueducts and more. In the Middle Ages it was under the ruling of Byzantine Empire and for a while under Bulgarian Empire reign. In 14th century the Ottoman Empire conquered the city as well as the whole country of Bulgaria for 5 centuries. As you can guess the Ottoman presence is really strong and even now you can visit the Ottoman baths or any of the mosques.
Nowadays Plovdiv is not just the second biggest city in Bulgaria, but it can be recognized as a cultural capital of the country. It is even in the competition for Cultural Capital of Europe 2019 and already passed the first selection among other Bulgarian cities. Different cultures, religions and ethnoses are living peacefully in this lovely city.
Plovdiv had many names but the most famous one of all of them is Philipopolis, its Greek name, which was mentioned in 340 B.C. It has always been a city if many interests as it has really strategic importance.
During the Day – a Brief Review What to Do
If you decide to visit this antique pearl on the Balkans you won’t regret. You can enjoy a walk on any of the magnificent seven hills which are a landmark of the city. A must is to climb the hill to the Old Town of Plovdiv where you will meet the local culture from the Revival, visit many museums and galleries. You will also see how it is mixing with the Roman ruins. You will be really lucky one if you visit the city during the summer period as they still organize a lot of festivals, concerts and theaters, some taking place on the Ancient Roman Theater in the Old town from where you can also enjoy spectacular view over the city and to the Rhodopi Mountains. Or if you walk the whole way on the coubles to the other part of this hill you will be able to observe the other hills, the river and even the Balkan Mountains to the north.
Those who feel lazy to climb hills can go for a walk along the shores of Maritsa River or the pedestrian part of the center of the city which will lead you to the City Park. Locals would enjoy having a cup of coffee in the street cafes with friends or alone just observing the crowd. It can be a good idea for having a short break from the long walk around the central part of Plovdiv.
Sport Activities in the City
If you are sportsmen you should visit the Sports base of the city where the Regatta channel is located and many championships of European and World rank take place. There are many fields for tennis, football, and many other sports, even for beach volleyball, which makes you feel that the seaside is not 300 km far away. There are several local marathons that are annually organized in the city. The coordinator organization for the European Move Week for Eastern Europe was a local one agai and it was the city with the biggest variety of sports activities in this reagion during this “move festival”.
Late at Night
And last but not least the nightlife in the city is really loud! It is one of the cities with the most universities so almost every night you can enjoy a different student party in the clubs. Of course, there are clubs for any taste. In the city you can enjoy everything from the street musicians to the alternative music concerts and huge house and techno parties, the pop music clubs as well as the so called pop-folk clubs which are quite popular in Bulgaria or a Greek bouzouki. But if you are not so much into the clubs you caqn go to any of the tradidional restaurants which happen to be even non-stops and sometimes you can enjoy a special folklore program. For the most romantic couples before you goback to your hotel I would suggest to check the view over the city from one of the hills… it is worth it!
Visiting one of the world’s oldest cities will remain always in your mind with its atmosphere and culture, with its festivals and architecture. And most of all with the friendly people you will meet and the memories you will share!