To the southeast of Bulgaria's capital, Sofia, sits Plovdiv, a bustling centre of culture and the country's second-largest city. A European Capital of Culture in 2019, Plovdiv plays hosts to numerous annual fairs and festivals. For travellers interested in leaving their Plovdiv hotel to do some historical sightseeing, the city won't disappoint — it has an ancient history and over 200 archaeological sites.
What should I know about business in Plovdiv?
Right along the Maritsa river, Plovdiv is as picturesque as it is culturally rich. The 'City of the Seven Hills', so-called as it is literally set over seven hills, plays host annually to the International Fair Plovdiv, a major trade fair in the region. As an industrial center, the city is home to food processing plants, parts of the tobacco industry, and automotive factories. While Bulgarian remains the most commonly spoken language, of course, recently and with the country's acceptance into the European Union, English has become more popular and more accepted in professional industries.
What can I do in Plovdiv after working hours?
A visit to the Old Town of Plovdiv is a must, with its cobblestone roads and beautifully preserved Bulgarian Renaissance buildings. The city centre is closed to car traffic but is easily accessible by public transportation. Be sure to check out the Archaeological Museum, which houses artefacts dating from the Paleolithic Period through medieval times. St. Marina Church, with its wooden tower, the 14 century Dzhumaya Mosque, and the ruins of an ancient Roman theatre are all representative of this melting pot of cultural history. For something totally unusual, visit the Eirene Residence, a 4th century residence notable for its incredible mosaic floors.
What should I eat and do while staying at a hotel in Plovdiv?
Bulgaria is famous for its hearty meals and in recent times, good wine. For a bit of both, try the Brestovitsa Wine House, a family-owned establishment serving delicious local cuisine alongside well-chosen Bulgarian wines. For local shopping, head from your Plovdiv hotel to the city's Old Town, which still houses local crafts people's workshops alongside pleasant cafés. And for a real taste of local culture, head to Restaurant Megdana, which serves traditional Bulgarian dishes and usually plays host to nightly Bulgarian folk dance performances.