Plovdiv has been captivating and vibrant at least since it was the Metropolitan city of the Roman province of Thrace. This is Europe’s most ancient continuously-inhabited city, older even than Rome, and contemporary of Troy and Mycenae. Throughout its 8-millennia history, it has preserved cultural sites from seven archaeological periods: Prehistory, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods, Middle Ages, Ottoman and Revival period, as well as modern culture.
Due to its favorable location on a crossroad between the East and the West, Plovdiv has been, as still is, a multicultural city, nowadays an important educational and business hub. As a leading tourist destination, it has been given a number of prestigious awards, such as Balkan Leader in Tourism 2016 and the equivalent to Oscar in the tourism branch Golden Apple, also listed in World ranks, like European Best Destinations 2016. With its perfectly preserved historical heritage, diverse cultural program and immense number of successfully-fulfilled projects, Plovdiv will be Bulgaria’s first European Capital of Culture in 2019!
The abundance of Roman sites, such as the best-preserved ancient theatre in the World, which is a venue of the modern cultural life, the Roman stadium, the impressive floor mosaics at the Early-Christian basilica and Bishop’s basilica – an unique in size and significance temple which is currently a site of archaeological research, and many others, is the reason why Plovdiv has been proclaimed the Most Beautiful Ancient City in the World. The pearl of the city – Archaeological Reserve Old Town, features not only pieces of Roman heritage, but also Medieval churches and Revival houses, most of which have been turned either into museums, or boutique hotels and restaurants. The diversity of art galleries and museums makes Plovdiv a must-visit destination. Especially attractive is the Kapana District, which offers various artistic activities. All of these sites can be easily negotiated on foot due to their location in the city’s pedestrian center.
Plovdiv is proud of hosts top-level events set in various areas, their venues including the Revival houses, Roman sites, Kapana district and the newly-constructed Multifunctional Hall Kolodrum. More than 120 internationally-renown festivals are annually included in the city’s Cultural calendar and 10 events are taking at different locations every day – from theatre performances and workshops, through concerts, to big festivals, enjoyed both by citizens and visitors of Plovdiv.
Having the biggest pedestrian area in Europe, Plovdiv offers diversity of places for food and entertainment and is the perfect place to indulge in retail therapy. The city’s romantic atmosphere can be felt anywhere around, whether meeting the sunset from the top of a hill, having a meal and glass of wine in a top-class restaurant or enjoying the fairy of dance, music and light at the Lake with the Singing Fountains.
Plovdiv is the center of the Bulgaria’s biggest wine region, with traditions in wine production established by the Thracians more than 5 000 years ago. Its central location turns in into perfect starting point for day-trips either to the wineries, or to the natural area in the Rhodopes, Asen’s Fortress and Bachkovo monastery, the Rose Valley or the Valley of Thracian Kings.