Our next stop Plovdiv (letter E on map) which is about a four-hour drive from Sozopol, is the oldest continuously-inhabited city in Europe and the second largest city in Bulgaria. Standing on the banks of the river Maritsa, in the historical region of Thrace. It’s also known as the City of seven hills, because of the seven hills the city is built on. When we arrived we settled down in a street café to look for a nights accommodation as we had cut short our stay in Sozopol. We settled on the Hotel Expo as it was in a good location and reasonably priced. After checking in we ventured into town and were delighted to discover it was everything we expected and read about.
The town is split into three areas, the new part the old quarter, and the Kapana or trap, a truly amazing area of very chic art galleries, restaurants and trendy bars. The area is also known for it’s amazing street art. After a nice relaxing walk around getting our bearings and a couple of nice cold beers it was back to our hotel to look forward to our next few days in this amazing city.
Plovdiv has so much to see and do, to much to write about in detail so I will just list them. Click on the links for more imformation.
- The Ancient Theatre of Philippopolis Is reported to be one of the best preserved amphitheatre’s in the world, although in my opinion Ephesus in Turkey is pretty amazing.
- Ancient Stadium of Philipopolis Which is the remains of what was once a huge Roman stadium, a lot of which is below street level. There is currently an ambitious plan to excavate under the streets and shops to reveal it in entirety, although this will probably take years.
- Ancient Town Of Plovdiv — Architectural Reserve Like stepping back in time
- Regional Ethnographic Museum Plovdiv This museum is the second largest of its type in Bulgaria
- Dzhumaya Mosque Part of the mosque at the side of the building is a restaurant. It’s great to sit here with some food or a coffee and people watch and let the world go by.
- Museum – Gallery Philippopolis situated in the old town, which incidentally is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s an amazing place to visit. It houses works of art both contemporary and classic.
- Balabanov’s House The house was demolished in the thirty’s but was reconstructed in the seventies using old photographs and plans.
- City gallery of fine arts Which we did not visit as it was closed due to refurbishment.
- Sveta Petka Church
- Tsar Simeon’s Garden Nice place to stroll around during the day. Also, every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 21:00. They have a spectacular light show with music. Although we did get to see the show, but judging by the pictures we saw it looks amazing,
There is so much to see and do in Plovdiv, it’s an amazing city and should not be overlooked if visiting Bulgaria. We loved it so much we wanted to stay longer than our four nights. We shall definitely return. Next stop Melnik