City Orientation Tour

City Orientation Tour, Plovdiv, Bulgaria (A)

Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria and the 6-th oldest still inhabited city in the world. In this unique city you can see modern architecture as well as that from Roman times. Plovdiv isn`t just an antique city, there are lots of nightclubs,restaurants and cafes where you can relax, grab a beer and enjoy the nice weather. Take our tour to feel the spirit of Plovdiv.
How it works: The full article is featured in the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on iTunes App Store and Google Play Store. Download the app to your mobile device to read the article offline and create a self-guided walking tour to visit the sights featured in this article. The app's navigation functions guide you from one sight to the next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Sights Featured in This Article

Guide Name: City Orientation Tour
Guide Location: Bulgaria » Plovdiv
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (A))
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2.0 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles
Author: Iv Ka
Author Bio: I`m a student and i`m also some kind of a travel maniac. Travelling helps me to explore new places and meet new people and i believe it gives me the opportunity to see life from a different perspective. “Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Hotel Trimontium
  • Central Park
  • Stefan Stambolov Square
  • Knyaz Aleksander Street
  • Djumaya Square
  • Djumaya Mosque
  • Unification Monument
  • Turkish Baths
  • International Plovdiv Fair
Hotel Trimontium

1) Hotel Trimontium

Hotel Trimontium is one of the symbols of Plovdiv. In fact "Trimontium" was the name of Plovdiv when it was part of Roman Empire. The hotel was built in 1956 and is now the biggest one in the heart of Plovdiv, as well as being close to shopping centres and the City garden. During communism in Bulgaria, it was a place visited mostly by the political elite, now it`s a high class hotel often frequented by famous visitors to the city. The hotel is also a preferred place for wedding ceremonies and graduation parties. The hotel`s casino is very popular with locals and tourists alike.
Image Courtesy of Nenko Lazarov.
Central Park

2) Central Park

The Central park in Plovdiv was designed and built by the Swiss gardener Lyusien Shevalas, working at the end of the 19th century as the main gardener of Sultan Abdul Azis. There is a fountain with a statue of Demeter, the Goddess of Grain and Fertility by Italian sculptor Arnoldo Dzoke in the eastern side of the park. Also a lake with a light show and singing fountain, but only in the summer. The International Sculpture Symposium was held here and you can see many sculptures around the park, like some historical figures of Bulgarian writers and revolutionaries (Hristo Botev, Rakovski, Naiden Gerov).
Image Courtesy of Михал Орела.
Stefan Stambolov Square

3) Stefan Stambolov Square

This is a very popular venue in Plovdiv known as "kopchetata" (which means buttons). It`s called that because of the seats around the fountain which are shaped like button. Here you can see mothers with children, teenagers and old people just siting around the fountain, relaxing and enjoying the sun. Also in the summer many concerts and performances take place here. The cafe next to the fountain is known as "Greek cafe", a place where one can taste many delicious Greek deserts. Back in 1997, a protest meeting against the socialist government was held in the square, it was the biggest protest ever. I`ll never forget that.
Image Courtesy of Nikola Gruev.
Knyaz Aleksander Street

4) Knyaz Aleksander Street

This is the busiest spot in the summer. Also it`s a place where locals go to "see and be seen". There are many upper class shops, restaurants and cafes. Also there is the City Art Gallery of Fine Arts where you can see works from the National Revival period. The main street lies on the tracks of ancient streets from Roman times and antique stadium. The buildings along are mostly restored. Back in 1928 there was an earthquake which destroyed half of the buildings on the street. A lot of TV commercials and music videos are filmed here because of the great atmosphere on the street. I`m sure you will feel it.
Image Courtesy of Jeroen Kransen.
Djumaya Square

5) Djumaya Square

Here you can see the Plovdiv Roman Stadium, one of the largest Roman buildings in the Balkans which could hold 30 000 people. The stadium, which dates back to the 2nd century AD, was built during the rule of Septimus Severus(193-211). Now the stadium is located in the heart of the city, under the art trade centre, near the mosque. The larger part of the stadium is still underground. Some archeologists believe that here the Alexandrian games where held, which were something like the Olympic games of today. After finishing a new restoration project started recently this will be one of a few underground museums in the world.
Image Courtesy of Eva Popp.
Djumaya Mosque

6) Djumaya Mosque

It is the main Muslim temple of the city and one of the biggest mosques in Bulgaria. It is called Djumaya (which means Friday), because the services are held on Friday. The mosque was built to honor Sultan Murad. When the Ottomans conquered Plovdiv in 1371, they destroyed several churches. The Muslim temple was built in the place of one of them, Saint Petka church. The east side door of the mosque was for the sultan and his wives and the north side door for the rest. Now only the north door is open. Right near the entrance to the temple is a Turkish cafe where you can taste many delicious specialties.
Image Courtesy of Zaparojdik.
Unification Monument

7) Unification Monument

The monument is in the center of Unification Square and was built to honor the one-hundredth anniversary of Bulgaria`s re-unification of 1885. After The Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) Bulgaria was separated into two different administrative regions. The monument's bird wings represent the unity of the two separated parts of Bulgaria. Unification Square is also a meeting place for street skaters where you can see some great performances. Last year thr Prime-minister of Bulgaria did not visit the celebration of Unification day because he was in conflict with the Mayor of Plovdiv and the President of Bulgaria. That was a huge mistake which now is always connected with the Unification day.
Image Courtesy of Neriyana Ivanova.
Turkish Baths

8) Turkish Baths

It`s also called "Chifte" which means "Couple" because of 2 bath departments - men’s and women’s. Turkish baths was built in the 16th century and today it`s an international center for contemporary art. The annual International Poster Competition will be held here. It was a meeting place where people got massages and some kind of a spa procedures. In 2009, the mayor of Plovdiv decided to ban Czech artist David Černý from exhibiting his work here. One of Cerny's art installations depicted Bulgaria as a Turkish toilet, which irritated a lot of people in Bulgaria while others took it as ironic, although not very original.
Image Courtesy of Edal Anton Lefterov.
International Plovdiv Fair

9) International Plovdiv Fair

The International Plovdiv Fair is the exposition center for many prestigious events in Bulgaria. The first exhibition was held in 1892 and it was an industrial and agricultural show. The main goal of the Fair was to show the new Bulgarian production and bring Bulgarian views closer to the World and Europe. In 1936 the Fair was announced the only International Fair in Bulgaria. Today the Fair is the biggest complex in Eastern Europe with an 95,000 m² exhibition area and 60,000 m² indoor space. Every year it holds 50 exhibitions with participants from 60 countries. The most popular exhibitions are the INTERNATIONAL TECHNICAL FAIR, International Exhibition of Vine-Growing and Wine Producing Wine Festival, International Agricultural Exhibition, International Exhibition of Hairdressing, Beauty, Make-up, Perfumery and Fashion.
Image Courtesy of Иван Иванов.