The 22 best sights in Plovdiv – descriptions and photos

Plovdiv sights

Ethnographic Museum Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary Bachkovo Monastery Asenova Fortress Pogrebok Todorov Vain Diversion Devil’s Throat Club Cherlivo

The site contains Plovdiv attractions – photos, descriptions and travel tips. The list is based on popular guidebooks and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you can find answers for what to see in Plovdiv, where to go and where to stay in Plovdiv.

Ethnographic Museum

Ethnographic Museum (photo)

The Ethnographic Museum in Plovdiv is located in the magnificent old house of Kuyumdzhiev, which is considered a cultural monument in Bulgaria. The museum in Plovdiv, which was founded in 1917, is considered a regional museum and at the same time the second most important among the museums specializing in the folk life.

The exhibition introduces visitors to the traditional culture of the 18th and 19th centuries, the time of the Bulgarian National Revival. It tells the history of farming and cattle breeding, traditional crafts: coppersmithing, pottery, production of ironmongery and fabrics, jewelry workshop. There are folk costumes, jewelry, ceremonial props, icons, paintings, carpets, musical instruments and much more in the museum. More than two thousand exhibits are kept in the ethnographic museum.

Coordinates: 42.15004200,24.75322400

Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary (photo)

The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a symbol of the Bulgarian Revival. It was the first temple where, for the first time, after years of Turkish oppression, services were conducted in Bulgarian.

The temple was built in 1844 and is located in the northern part of the Old Town on one of the Seven Hills, which is called Nebet Tepe. The bell tower of the temple is decorated with unique wooden carvings. The bell tower has an inscription that reads: “In memory of the liberators” as a thank you to the Russian soldiers who liberated the city from the Turks January 4, 1878.

In addition, the church is interesting because of its unusual frescoes, which depict not only the characters of Scripture, but ordinary people. For example, chained peasants whose backs are bent under the blows of a Turkish whip, leaders of the national liberation movement fighting for the rights of their people or ordinary schoolchildren sitting peacefully within the walls of a classroom.

Coordinates: 42.14786000,24.75069500

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Bachkovo Monastery

Bachkovo monastery (photo)

Bachkovo Monastery is located on the bank of the Bulgarian river Chepelare. It is it that has a unique organic interweaving of Georgian, Bulgarian and Byzantine cultures united by one common faith.

Bachkovo monastery was founded in 1083 by Grigori Pakoryanos. He was a famous Byzantine military commander and statesman. By his decision a seminary for young people was later established in the monastery.

The monastery was patronized by many rulers. This is also reflected in the structure of the monastery. Thus, the image of the king of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom is present on its vaults and in the vault of the narthex. An unknown artist painted the walls of the refectory. Its creation refers to the beginning of the seventeenth century.

The monastery was repeatedly invaded by foreign invaders. Thus, the Turks tried to rob and destroy it. They practically succeeded. Only in the fifteenth century the monastery was restored. By the way, it has become the last resting place of many clergymen.

Coordinates: 41.94276600,24.84991600

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Asenova Fortress

Asen's fortress (photo)

Asen’s Fortress is a medieval structure located in the Rhodope Mountains near the town of Asenovgrad. Initially it was a low tower around which the rural settlements of Stenimaka and Petrich soon began to form. In ancient times, the fortress due to its favorable location was a key center, which controlled the passage from Plovdiv to the Aegean Sea through the valley of the river Chernatitsa. In 1083 the structure was granted monastic status. In 1231, due to tense relations with the Latin Empire commander Ivan Asen ordered to strengthen and expand the defenses of the citadel, turning it into a border fortress. Today, it is thanks to this event that the structure got its former name.

For the locals, Asen’s Fortress acts as a national monument, getting into the program of “Top 100” national tourist sites. The access to it was opened in 1991, after the restoration works were completed. The site holds many stories and secrets, which you can learn from the local guide.

Coordinates: 41.98666700,24.87333300

Todorov cellar

Todorov Cellar (photo)

Cellar Todorov is located in the complex with the same name, which also has a hotel, a SPA and a restaurant. The cellar itself is not only a tasting room, but also a place which will help you to taste the real Bulgarian wine. The tasting room is built in such a way that it has excellent acoustics. That is why it is often used for chamber music concerts.

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Pogrebok Todorov offers “concept wine tours”, which include visits to historical monuments in the region, churches, and local wineries. Everything ends with a traditional Bulgarian dinner and tasting.

Coordinates: 42.07662900,24.59619400

Wine Diversion

Vine Diversion (photo)

Wine Diversion will advise you on Bulgarian wines, organize visits to Bulgarian vineyards and conduct wine tastings. The company conducts individual and group wine tours, wine vacations and wine tasting events. Here you can be trained on how to choose wine, how to store it, get the characteristics of this ancient drink, learn how to properly use it.

If you are planning a cozy evening with friends or family, Wine Diversion will help you choose the wine to enjoy unforgettable moments.

In addition, you can learn about investment opportunities in the Bulgarian wine industry, as well as bring your own wine in order to get our objective opinion about its quality.

Coordinates : 42.13744100,24.78255500

Devil’s Throat

Devil's Throat (photo)

The Devil’s Throat Cave is so named because of the legend and its appearance. To this day, part of the cave remains a mystery to explorers. The cave is located in the middle of a high canyon, with a river flowing into its tunnel, which then does not flow out anywhere.

Until recently, this place was dangerous and impassable. But now you can go through a long 150-meter man-made tunnel, from where you can get into a huge underground hall. The cave holds waterfalls and magnificent views of the subterranean kingdom. The roaring hall, home to many bats, is home to the world’s second largest underground waterfall at 42 meters.

Devil’s Throat Cave and its surroundings are a national nature monument in Bulgaria.

Coordinates: 41.61247600,24.38809100

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Club Cherlivo

Club Cherlivo (photo)

Club Cherlivo in Plovdiv is located on Hristo Botev Street. The club has a good reputation for its short history, both among locals and visiting tourists. It gathers companies to spend time together, dance, listen to live music, drink and relax. It offers a wide range of drinks, at reasonable prices. The club attracts good DJs who will make sure you have a great time. In addition to the daily programs, the club Cherlivo hosts various musical events. For upcoming events and activities in the club you can follow the official website of the organization.

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Coordinates: 42.13614000,24.75142000

The most popular attractions in Plovdiv with descriptions and photos for every taste. Choose the best places to visit famous places in Plovdiv on our website.

More Plovdiv attractions

Domein Boyar Cellar, Plovdiv, Bulgaria Regional Historical Museum, Plovdiv, Bulgaria Antique Stadium “Filippopolis”, Plovdiv, Bulgaria Regional Ethnographic Museum, Plovdiv, Bulgaria St. Louis Cathedral, Plovdiv, Bulgaria Roman Aqueduct, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Plovdiv on the world map / Plovdiv Detailed Map / Hotel Map

Ancient city where ancient monuments and medieval, and ruins from the Neolithic times stand together with modern houses. A must-see place and a place you will not want to leave behind.

Geography and climate

Plovdiv is situated in the center of the Upper Thracian Lowlands between the Rhodope Mountains and the Balkan Mountains. The city is situated 150 km southeast of Sofia on the Maritsa River. Plovdiv is spread over six hills. There used to be seven hills, but Markov Hill was leveled to the ground in the process of quarrying stone for the construction of a fast-growing city.

Plovdiv has a moderate continental climate with warm summers and cool winters. The greatest amount of precipitation falls in spring and late fall. In winter, there can be both palpable frost and prolonged thaws.

Snow in Plovdiv

Snow in Plovdiv

Older than Athens and Rome

The old town in Plovdiv

A street in the Old Town, about which we will write in detail

It is said that Plovdiv is the oldest European city, older than Rome and Athens. At the same time, officially it does not have the title of the oldest, we do not know why. But the fact remains: the first settlements here were founded in the sixth millennium BC, and since the IV millennium BC people lived here permanently, and Plovdiv, periodically changing its name, grew and spread. Now it is the second largest city in the country. It doesn’t suffer from the standard “second city” complex, because it’s obvious to everyone that Sofia can’t even be compared to it. Because the capital is great, but the ancient history is much more interesting. About the history can be told for a long time, 8000 years – not a joke. Plovdiv managed to change a lot of names – Evmolpia, Polpudeva, Philippopolis (in honor of Philip of Macedonia), Felibe, Plovdiv. The Thracians, Romans, Bulgarians, and Ottoman conquerors all left their footprints here. After the Liberation, Plovdiv was left out of Bulgaria and only joined it in 1885 on September 6 – a holiday celebrated throughout Bulgaria, but especially in Plovdiv, because it is also the day of the city. The motto of Plovdiv is “Ancient and Eternal”. The city is situated in the central part of the Upper Thracian Lowlands in the foothills of the Rhodope Mountains. The exact location can be seen on our interactive map. It is crossed by the river Maritsa, which is considered the most full-flowing river in Bulgaria, but to tell the truth it did not impress us, although we were in Plovdiv in April, when the rivers have not yet had time to dry out. By the way, about the time of the visit. March-April is perfect. In autumn, according to my friends, Plovdiv is also beautiful. But in the summer it is hardly worth planning a trip there – the temperature can reach up to 45 degrees. If we take into account that there are almost no trees in the center of the city, the whole hot stone, being in Plovdiv in the summer heat is a very unpleasant sensation. There are, of course, parks and fountains, including some very beautiful, such as Singing Fountains in Tsar Simeonov Gradina (King Simeon Park), where in the summer at 21.30 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays there are 25-minute shows. And yet, tourists tend to go sightseeing rather than sitting by the fountains, and it’s not easy to do in the heat. And right away, not to get up twice, let us remind you that the shoes must be comfortable. Many sidewalks are paved even in the modern part, and in the old town – all, so comfortable sneakers are vital for movement.

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Plan your route

Old Plovdiv

Old Plovdiv

Old Plovdiv.

The old part of the city is its heart, and the maze of cobblestone streets and alleys winds its way in different directions like arteries. Walking around this mostly car-free pedestrian area of Plovdiv, you will enjoy a unique cocktail of architectures, where typical Macedonian architecture coexists with Roman ruins.

Most of the houses in the old town are built in the so called half-timbered (wooden and brick) style, which got its start in Germany and quickly spread almost all over Europe.

This style is characterized by extraordinary colorfulness, so the richer the house was, the more brightly it was decorated. As an example, we can take the House of Stepan Hindliyan, built in the middle of the 19th century – an unusually beautiful mansion of bright blue color with characteristic delicate “sgraffitto” patterns around its window frames.

You can go inside this house and admire its inimitable interiors. It took six months to hand-paint one of the rooms of the house, although the other rooms of Hindliyan’s house are no worse and are also admirable.

Address: Ancient Town Of Plovdiv – Architectural Reserve, Str. Sborna 24, 4000 Stariya Grad, Plovdiv, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

History

Plovdiv is one of the oldest settlements in Europe, founded about 8 thousand years ago. Already in 1200 BC the Thracian city arose here, which in the 4th century BC was conquered by the Macedonian king Philip II and was called Philipopolis. In the 1st century AD. Plovdiv became part of the Roman Empire and was given a new name, Trimontium.

During the Roman period the city was one of the most important cities in the Balkan Peninsula. The Romans built here hippodrome, aqueduct, thermae and amphitheater. In the 3rd century the city was destroyed by the Goths. At the end of the 4th century Plovdiv became part of the Byzantine Empire, and half a century later was practically destroyed by the Huns.

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Roman ruins in Plovdiv

Roman ruins in Plovdiv

Plovdiv was rebuilt under Justinian and considerably fortified. In the 9th century the city became part of the First Bulgarian Kingdom. In the 11th century it was first mentioned under its modern name. At the end of the 11th century Plovdiv suffered from the raids of the Pechenegs and was again destroyed during the Third Crusade. In the 13th century Plovdiv became part of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom.

In 1364 the city was captured by the Ottomans, who demolished all its fortifications. Since then Plovdiv has developed as a commercial center. In the 19th century, Plovdiv became the center of the Bulgarian Revival (Bulgarian struggle for independence). In 1878, Plovdiv was occupied by Russian troops and declared the capital of Eastern Rumelia, which eventually joined the Bulgarian Principality. The city was severely destroyed by an earthquake in 1928. At the beginning of World War II, Plovdiv was the center of the movement in support of the union with the USSR.

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