Rachele Mayne

Written by Rachele Mayne

Modified & Updated: 19 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

Source: Lonelyplanet.com

Plovdiv, the second-largest city in Bulgaria, is a destination that combines rich history, charming architecture, and a vibrant cultural scene. With over 6,000 years of continuous human settlement, Plovdiv is one of the oldest cities in Europe, with a past that stretches from the Thracians and Romans to the Ottoman Empire and beyond. Today, Plovdiv is a bustling city that effortlessly blends its ancient heritage with a modern and cosmopolitan atmosphere.

In this article, we will take a deep dive into the fascinating city of Plovdiv and explore 39 facts that shed light on its unique characteristics. From its well-preserved Roman amphitheater to its vibrant arts and music festivals, there is no shortage of interesting tidbits to discover about this remarkable city. So let’s embark on a journey to uncover the secrets and stories that make Plovdiv such a captivating place to visit.

Key Takeaways:

  • Plovdiv, one of the world’s oldest cities, offers a captivating blend of ancient history, vibrant culture, and modern charm, making it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a unique and memorable experience.
  • From well-preserved Roman ruins to a thriving arts scene and a rich culinary tradition, Plovdiv’s diverse attractions and warm hospitality make it a city that truly has something for everyone to enjoy and explore.
Table of Contents

Plovdiv is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.

With a history dating back over 8,000 years, Plovdiv is steeped in ancient heritage and has witnessed the rise and fall of numerous civilizations.

The city was originally known as Philippopolis.

Plovdiv was named after Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, who conquered the region in the 4th century BC.

Plovdiv is home to a well-preserved ancient Roman amphitheater.

The amphitheater, built in the 2nd century AD, is one of the city’s main attractions and is still used for various cultural events today.

The Old Town of Plovdiv is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Its charming cobblestone streets, colorful houses, and Roman ruins make it a picturesque and historically rich area to explore.

The city has been appointed the European Capital of Culture for 2019.

This prestigious title recognizes Plovdiv’s vibrant art scene, cultural diversity, and commitment to promoting cultural exchange.

Plovdiv has a thriving arts and music scene.

The city boasts numerous galleries, theaters, and music venues, attracting artists and performers from around the world.

The Plovdiv International Fair is one of the oldest and largest trade fairs in Southeast Europe.

First held in 1892, the fair brings together exhibitors and visitors from various industries, showcasing the economic vitality of the region.

Plovdiv is known for its distinct architectural styles.

The city is characterized by a fusion of Roman, Ottoman, and Bulgarian Revival architecture, creating a unique and visually stunning urban landscape.

The Plovdiv Regional Ethnographic Museum showcases the city’s rich cultural heritage.

Visitors can explore traditional costumes, crafts, and artifacts representing the diverse ethnic groups of the region.

The Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located near Plovdiv.

This ancient burial site dates back to the 4th century BC and is famous for its well-preserved murals depicting Thracian funeral rituals.

Plovdiv is home to numerous Roman ruins.

In addition to the amphitheater, visitors can explore the Roman Stadium, Aqueduct, and the Ancient Forum, providing a glimpse into the city’s Roman past.

The city is divided into six hills.

Each hill offers stunning views of the cityscape and provides a unique perspective on Plovdiv’s history and architecture.

The Plovdiv Regional Historical Museum houses a vast collection of artifacts and exhibits.

It showcases the city’s history from prehistoric times to the present day, giving visitors a comprehensive understanding of Plovdiv’s cultural evolution.

Plovdiv hosts an annual International Fair of Folklore.

This vibrant festival celebrates traditional music, dance, and costumes from Bulgaria and around the world, attracting participants and spectators from near and far.

Plovdiv has a thriving wine industry.

The region surrounding the city is known for producing high-quality wines, and visitors can enjoy wine tasting tours and explore local wineries.

The Plovdiv Roman Mosaics are among the most impressive in the Balkans.

These intricate mosaics, discovered in the 1980s, depict scenes from everyday life and showcase the skill and craftsmanship of the Roman era.

The city’s motto is “Ancient and Eternal.”

This motto reflects Plovdiv’s commitment to preserving its rich heritage while embracing modernity and innovation.

Plovdiv is a multicultural city.

Throughout its history, the city has been influenced by Thracians, Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, and Bulgarians, creating a diverse and inclusive community.

The Dzhumaya Mosque is one of the oldest Islamic buildings in Bulgaria.

Constructed in the 14th century, it stands as a testament to Plovdiv’s cultural and religious diversity.

The city offers numerous parks and green spaces.

Among them are the Tsar Simeon Garden and the Rowing Canal Park, providing residents and visitors with plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities.

Plovdiv has a vibrant culinary scene.

From traditional Bulgarian dishes to international cuisines, the city offers a wide array of restaurants and food markets to satisfy every palate.

Plovdiv has been featured in several films.

Its unique architectural charm and historical significance have made it a popular filming location, including movies like “The Expendables 3″ and “The Way Back.

The city is known for its lively street art.

Artistic murals and graffiti can be found throughout Plovdiv, adding a touch of creativity to its urban landscape.

The International Puppet Festival is held in Plovdiv.

This annual event attracts puppetry artists from around the world, showcasing the artistry and imagination of this unique form of entertainment.

Plovdiv has a well-developed public transportation system.

With buses, trams, and a comprehensive network of routes, getting around the city and exploring its attractions is convenient and efficient.

The city has a vibrant nightlife.

From trendy bars and clubs to live music venues, Plovdiv offers plenty of options for those looking to dance the night away or enjoy a relaxing evening out.

Plovdiv has a Mediterranean climate.

This means mild winters and hot summers, making it an ideal destination for outdoor activities and alfresco dining.

The city hosted the 2018 European Gymnastics Championships.

Plovdiv proved to be a fantastic venue for this prestigious sporting event, attracting athletes and spectators from all over Europe.

Plovdiv is home to the Ivan Vazov National Library.

This grand library houses a vast collection of books and serves as a hub for educational and cultural activities in the city.

The city has a rich literary history.

Plovdiv has been an inspiration for numerous poets and writers, and it continues to nurture a vibrant literary community.

Plovdiv hosts an annual festival celebrating Bulgarian wine and spirits.

The Thracian Wine Festival showcases the finest wines from the region, accompanied by traditional music and dance performances.

The city has a well-preserved Roman bridge.

The Philippopolis Bridge, dating back to the 2nd century AD, is an architectural marvel, connecting the different parts of Plovdiv.

Plovdiv has a strong sense of community.

The locals take pride in their city and actively participate in events, festivals, and initiatives that promote its cultural and social development.

The Plovdiv Drama Theatre is one of Bulgaria’s most renowned theatrical institutions.

It stages a diverse repertoire of classic and contemporary plays, attracting theater enthusiasts from near and far.

Plovdiv has a vivid and colorful folklore tradition.

Throughout the year, visitors can witness traditional Bulgarian dances, music, and costumes during various folk festivals and events.

The city has a thriving antique market.

The Kapana District is known for its antique shops and flea markets, offering unique treasures and vintage finds for collectors and enthusiasts.

Plovdiv is an important educational center.

The city is home to several universities and educational institutions, attracting students from all over Bulgaria and abroad.

The Plovdiv Roman Stadium is one of the best-preserved ancient stadiums in the world.

Originally built in the 2nd century, it could seat up to 30,000 spectators and was used for various sporting events.

Plovdiv has a vibrant LGBTQ+ community.

The city hosts an annual LGBTQ+ Pride event, promoting inclusivity and equality for all.


Plovdiv, with its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture, continues to capture the hearts of locals and visitors alike. This city, known as one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the world, boasts a treasure trove of fascinating facts that make it a must-visit destination.With its ancient Roman ruins, charming old town, and thriving art scene, Plovdiv offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply looking to soak in the unique atmosphere of this Bulgarian gem, Plovdiv won’t disappoint.From its status as the European Capital of Culture in 2019 to its 7,000-year-old Thracian origins, Plovdiv offers a truly captivating experience. So don’t miss the opportunity to explore the narrow cobblestone streets, indulge in the local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the lively festivals and events that bring this city to life.So pack your bags and get ready to uncover the wonders of Plovdiv. This charming city is sure to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.


1. What is the best time to visit Plovdiv?

The best time to visit Plovdiv is during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) when the weather is mild and pleasant. Summers can be hot, while winters can be cold and snowy.

2. How do I get to Plovdiv?

Plovdiv has its own international airport, with regular flights from major European cities. Alternatively, you can reach Plovdiv by train or bus from Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.

3. What are some must-visit attractions in Plovdiv?

Some must-visit attractions in Plovdiv include the Ancient Theatre, the Roman Stadium, the Old Town, and the Ethnographic Museum.

4. What cuisine is Plovdiv famous for?

Plovdiv is known for its delicious Bulgarian cuisine, which includes dishes like banitsa (a pastry filled with cheese or spinach), kebapche (grilled minced meat), and tarator (a cold yogurt soup).

5. Is Plovdiv a safe city to visit?

Yes, Plovdiv is considered a safe city for tourists. However, as with any travel destination, it’s always advisable to take normal precautions and be aware of your surroundings.

6. Can I explore Plovdiv on foot?

Absolutely! Plovdiv’s compact size and pedestrian-friendly streets make it ideal for exploring on foot. Walking allows you to fully immerse yourself in the city’s charm and discover hidden gems along the way.

7. Are there any annual events or festivals in Plovdiv?

Yes, Plovdiv is known for its vibrant cultural scene, and it hosts several annual events and festivals, including the International Fair Plovdiv, the Kapana Fest, and the Night of Museums and Galleries.

Plovdiv's rich history and vibrant culture make it a captivating destination for travelers. Beyond the city's fascinating facts, football enthusiasts can explore the storied pasts of PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv and PFC Botev Plovdiv. For those interested in legendary Bulgarian athletes, delving into the life of Hristo Stoichkov is a must.

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