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Friday, January 19, 2024

Best Things To Do In Plovdiv

Plovdiv, the second largest city in Bulgaria, holds the title of being its cultural capital due to its vibrant arts and music scene. In fact, it has been chosen as the future European Capital of Culture for the year 2019.

With a history spanning over 6,000 years, Plovdiv is one of the oldest cities in Europe, and its fascinating past can be seen in its Roman ruins, Ottoman influences, and Bulgarian National Revival architecture.

Whether it's exploring restaurants and cafes, visiting historical sites and museums, or capturing beautiful photos, there is no shortage of things to do in Plovdiv.

Best Things To Do In Plovdiv

The Roman Amphitheater

Plovdiv's Old Town is renowned for its well-preserved ancient amphitheater, constructed by the Romans almost two millennia ago. Despite its age, this amphitheater stands as one of the finest examples of its kind worldwide.

Surprisingly, even though it is centrally located and in remarkable condition, the number of visitors to these ruins remains relatively low. During my visit in August, which is considered the peak season, there were only a handful of other tourists present.

The entrance fees are quite reasonable, with a modest price of 5 leva (equivalent to 2.50 euro) or a combined ticket for 15 leva (7.50 euro), which grants access to five other historical sites within the Old Town. Remarkably, the amphitheater is still utilized today, hosting various concerts and events throughout the year.

Roman Stadium

In the heart of Plovdiv, there are the ruins of the Roman stadium, which should not be mistaken for the amphitheater. Although not as well-preserved as the amphitheater, the stadium still showcases the remains of the curved part called the "sfendona", along with a gate and several rows of seats.

Despite being mostly destroyed today, the stadium was once capable of accommodating up to 30,000 spectators, making it one of the largest Roman ruins discovered in the Balkans.

This historical site is just one of the many remnants of Plovdiv's ancient past as the city of Trimontium, also known as the "City of Three Hills" that now forms the Old Town of Plovdiv. Interestingly, the stadium is conveniently located at the foot of the Dzhumaya Mosque, allowing visitors to easily explore two significant attractions in Plovdiv at once.

Dzhumaya Mosque

Plovdiv, like many other cities in Bulgaria, bears the architectural influence of the Ottoman occupation. One notable example is the Dzhumaya Mosque, which has stood in the city since 1363. It is worth noting that entry to the mosque is free, but visitors are expected to dress modestly. In the event that one does not have suitable attire, covers are provided at the entrance for convenience.

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