Recently called the oldest city in Europe, Plovdiv is a must see if you enjoy history and culture. Also called the city of the seven hills it is a very relaxing and beautiful city to visit for a long weekend.
The city excists of an old part and a new part. The new part has some nice features, but the old part is beautiful! It dates back to the 6th century BC during the neolithic era. There a several antique relics to be found including a roman theatre, an ancient stadium and the ruins on the Nebet Tepe hill.
It was also ruled by the Ottomans that left the beautiful old city with a lot of exquisite architecture from those times. There a couple of Ottoman houses open for the public and it is interesting to see a bit more of how people lived during the period.
The old town is small, but with its cobbled stone streets, friendly people and interesting history a nice get a way!
If you like to do some antique shopping (as I do too by the way), you are at the right place. Lots of stores are filled with (authentic) folkloric costume parts, stuff from the communist era, furniture and cute little pots to make your own Bulgarian home cooked meals. Make sure to have enough money with you! (:
Love the Bulgarian slippers they are selling in the shops. They make great gifts!
Wining and dining
The food is great! There are several restaurants, but one of the best was a traditional restaurant called Chuchurra. Here I had a oven cooked meal with vegetables and Bulgarian white cheese. Yum! Bulgaria is also known for a good glass of wine.
Pro tip: Go have a glass while watching a beautiful concert at the Roman theatre at night.
How to get in and out
There are different ways to acces the city and get out.
1. Train to Sofia
The train takes aproximately 2 tot 2,5 hours to reach Sofia. But expect a bit of delay (at least I did both ways). Sofia is a good city to take you elsewhere in the Balkan area.
There is an airport nearby. Ryanair has some cheap offers to and from the city.
3. Bus to Greece
Despite laying relatively close to the border, the connexion to Greece isn’t that great. There is a busline that can take you to Greece, but it will take a while to get there as the area is very mountainous.
4. Train or bus to Turkey (Edirne, Istanbul)
There is a good connection either by bus or train to Turkey. The train is the cheapest option, but takes the longest (9 hours to Istanbul). There are several buslines that go to Istanbul which takes 6 hours.
So whether you want to go just for the weekend or want to travel through the area for a longer time, the city is easily reachable.