One our way home from Sofia, my husband suggested to spend some hours in the oldest living city in Europe and among the six oldest cities in the world, Plovdiv. I was wondering how is possible to not hear about this city before.
As we had a great experience with free tour in Sofia, we decided to join the free Plovdiv walking tour . An excellent way for a better introduction to Plovdiv’s best sites and learn about the unique history of the town. The adventure begun at 2:00 pm in front of the Municipality Building.
Adi, our guide took us to the most important tourist attractions from the town, so we will list those ones in this article.
We started our tour with Knyaz Aleksandar I, it is said to be the longest pedestrian street in Europe, spanning 1.7 km. It is a nice street with shops, coffees, restaurants and maybe the most impressive is the Roman Stadium that is buried underground.
The stadium has only been partly excavated due to its difficult location. It is practically impossible to destroy the lively pedestrian street, so we could enjoy only the northern end of it. It was amazing to know that beneath our feet are the remains of great Roman structures dated sometime between 117-138 AD.
Kapana “The Trap” is one of the oldest parts of the city and it was known as a home of craftsmen. The project of making Plovdiv European Capital of Culture 2019 have changed this small corner of the city into an artistic and creative district. Nowadays, it is a place where contemporary businesses are opened, like ateliers, studios, workshops, coffees and friendly bars.
Walking through these small and colorful streets of The Trap, recharged us with positive vibe.
Old Town is the perfect place to walk through the narrow cobblestone streets, breath history and enjoy the ancient houses and ruins. There are a lot of landmarks that we loved.
Dzhumaya Mosque is a still-working mosque and we were surprised to found out that is the second-oldest in Europe.
Nearby, we enjoyed a traditional Turkish coffee.
Hisar Kapia, the fortress gate situated in the heart of the Old Town. This famous stone arch is about 2000 years old.
Church of Sveti Konstantin & Elena, it is Plovdiv’s oldest church.
Roman amphitheater is impressively preserved site, which is actually still used for various musical and opera performances. View of the city beyond the stage creates a unique frame. This symbol of the town is simply spectacular.
We promise ourselves to come back and to live the unforgettable experience of a life concert on this glorious theater.
Plovdiv Ethnographic Museum is a stunning building outside with a gorgeous baroque architecture. The lovely facade impressed us. We heard that is worth to see the museum inside, we didn’t enter because it was closed due to the Christmas holiday.
The time we spend exploring the Old Town, worth each minute.
One of Plovdiv’s nicknames is “The city on seven hills”.
The history of Plovdiv hills is really interesting. While Plovdiv once had seven hills, it only has six today. Markovo Hill, the seventh, was destroyed during the early 20th century and used for raw building material.
If you have more time to spend in Plovdiv, you can hike its hills and enjoy the splendid view over the city from the top.
Due to limited time we has in Plovdiv we could wonder on the beauty of the city only from the top of one hill.
Strolling around the city, we felt like we were in a history book –seeing the buildings and evidence from almost every historical period.
After our unforgettable experience in the city it is not a surprise to us that Plovdiv has been listed as the European Capital of Culture in 2019.
The motto “Ancient and eternal” is not random.
The future European Capital of Culture combines history, art, culture and business- things that very barely can be found together in one city.
Have you heard of Plovdiv before? It is Plovdiv on you bucket list? Tell us in comments, we’d love to hear from you 😊