Plovdiv, Bulgaria is a gorgeous city everyone should visit. However, it's very important that you understand the city. You need to know how to get there, what to see, what to do and more. There would be no sense in visiting Plovdiv without any sort of game plan. All the information you find here will help your travel plans before and during your visit.
The most important thing you need to know about Plovdiv is that you should prepare to use many taxis and buses. Which one you choose depends on the size of your group. If you have at least 3 people who can help chip in, take a taxi. If not, a bus will be a better option. That said, never take a waiting taxi. Waiting taxis in Plovdiv will charge you much more than a company taxi. Even though it might take longer, you're better off calling a company taxi. You will save a fortune. They only take about 5 minutes to arrive, sometimes less.
As far as getting to the city of Plovdiv, you have several options. The first is to take a plane into Krumovo Airport. This is a small airport, but it's growing fast. They now offer flights to and from London, Milan and Frankfurt. Once you arrive at the airport, you will have to take a taxi to the City Centre.
Another way to get into Plovdiv is via train. You can take a train from Sofia. If it's an express train, you will arrive in about 2 hours. If it's not an express, it will be closer to 4 hours. There is also a daily train from Istanbul, which is an 11-hour trip. These are not the only trains into Plovdiv, but they're by far the most often used.
If you plan on taking a car to Plovdiv, you can take the A1 Expressway that stretches between Plovdiv and Sofia. That will be your only option. Bulgaria doesn't have an advanced road system like Western countries. However, the A1 Expressway is well maintained.
Plovdiv has three bus stations. Sever and Rhodopi are two of them, but Jug is the most popular and your best option for a variety of reasons. For one, there is an ATM at the Jug station that offers a currency exchange. Another reason is because there is a bus to and from Sofia every hour, and it's faster than the train. A third reason is a train that goes to and from Istanbul, which is a 7-hour trip.
Once you arrive in Plovdiv, it's recommended that you visit the following attractions: Roman Amphitheater, St. Marina Church, the mosque from the Ottoman Empire, Old Town Center, Puldin Restaurant, and Bachkro Monastary. There is also a free city tour at 9:30 every Wednesday morning. It's a 2-hour tour that offers English as an option. You can find this tour right next to the post office.
When you visit Old Town, be sure to see The Ethnographic Museum, which was built during the National Revival Period and has a beautiful garden. All the homes in Old Town are well maintained. The majority of them are from the 1800s. Some have been converted into museums and galleries.
The Roman Amphitheater should also be toward the top of your list. Just think; they used this theatre amphitheater in the 2nd Century. It's still used for local festivals today and it can fit up to 3,000 people.
If you're in need of more information once you arrive in Plovdiv, go to the tourist center next to the post office. It should be easy to find if you arrive by bus or train because it's right in City Centre, which is where the buses and trains pull into. The tourist center will have information on transportation, attractions, concerts, accommodations and more. As far as the latter is concerned, stay at the Trimantium Hotel. This is the best hotel in Plovdiv.
Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria behind Sofia. It's the oldest city in the world in which people still live today. The city sits in a valley between the Rhodope Mountains and the Balkan Range. The Rhodope Mountains are to the north and the Balkan Range is located in central Bulgaria.