Silvia and Ashleigh are our experts in travel to Plovdiv, and Silvia knows the country intimately after living in Bulgaria. Her knowledge is invaluable when planning a trip to Bulgaria. Silvia and Ashleigh can maximize your time and plan the best methods of travel within the country.
Plovdiv is Bulgaria’s cultural hub. Artists still live here among Thracian and Roman ruins. Stroll through the Old Town with its remnants of many civilizations. Don’t miss the ancient and imposing Roman Ampitheater, which looms ponderously over the center of the city. An archaeologists treasure-trove, Plovdiv’s Roman remains include the aqueduct, the stadium and the odeon, amongst others. Lively cafes and a vibrant nightlife scene make this a fun city to visit. It was also designated the European Capital of Culture in 2019.)
Surrounded by hills and situated on the banks of the River Maritsa, Plovdiv enjoys a scenic location in the south-central part of Bulgaria. Several national cultural events take place here every year.
To experience Plovdiv at its best, we recommend visiting between April through June, and September through early November. Traveling during these time frames not only helps you avoid the crowds during the summer months, but also helps you avoid the summer heat.
Late September to early November is a quieter time to visit as well. Many of the smaller villages in the mountains start to shut down in November as the country moves into winter.
Plovdiv is a fantastic city to explore for those interested in history, as the city has built around (and on top of) ancient ruins. Your local guide will take you to visit the Roman Amphitheater, where you can stand where gladiators once fought for their lives. After, stroll along its cobble-stoned streets through the Old Town, to admire its beautifully restored Baroque houses. See for yourself why Plovdiv was chosen to be the European Capital of Culture in 2019!
From Plovdiv, you are only a short drive from many incredible cities and towns. To the northwest lies Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, which makes a fantastic day trip option! To the east you can visit Veliko Tarnovo and Kazanlak. If you are interested, you can continue to travel east to spend a few nights in the coastal towns along the Black Sea. South of Plovdiv lies the Rhodope Mountains, and to the west is the Struma Valley. Both areas are perfect for those interested in experiencing Bulgaria’s traditional culture and the outdoors!
A private driver-guide will transfer you throughout your entire journey, as the roads can be difficult to maneuver.
If you are traveling between Plovdiv and Sofia, we highly recommend you take some time to explore the Bachkovo Monastery. It holds the title for the second largest Bulgarian monastery and is in a river valley in the Rhodope Mountains. It is best known for its icon of the Virgin Mary with Jesus and its stunning frescoes, which date back to the 17th century.
A local favorite is Pavaj, located in the heart of the Kapana district. They only use fresh produce and meats. The bread is homemade and freshly baked throughout the day, and the vegetables come from the owner’s personal garden.
When visiting Bulgaria, you will notice their love of rose oil. Bulgarians use rose oil in many different forms, with the most popular being lotions and perfumes. The scent of the rose perfume will not only bring back memories of your journey through the Rose Valley, but it also makes a fantastic gift to bring home for loved ones!