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Things to do in

Plovdiv Province

Our most recommended things to do in Plovdiv Province

Plovdiv: Full-Day Small Group Excursion from Sofia

1. Plovdiv: Full-Day Small Group Excursion from Sofia

This full-day trip begins with a 2-hour drive from Sofia to Plovdiv, one of Europe’s oldest towns. On a guided walking tour, discover the history and culture of this 8,000-year old city that was settled by Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Bulgarian civilizations. See the sights of the old town, including museums, historical monuments and revival period houses lining the cobbled streets. Explore the Ethnographical Museum and the impressive Roman Theater. An English-speaking guide will accompany the group throughout the day and will point out the most interesting architectural and cultural treasures of the region and provide commentary on modern life in Bulgaria.

From Sofia: Plovdiv, Asen's Fortress and Bachkovo Monastery

2. From Sofia: Plovdiv, Asen's Fortress and Bachkovo Monastery

After you have been picked up from your hotel or accommodation in Sofia, enjoy an hour and a half scenic drive to Plovdiv.  Visit sights of historic importance such as the Roman Theatre and the Roman Stadium. Walk around the Old Town and admire the architecture of the houses, museums and cobbled streets typical of the Revival Period. After a traditional Bulgarian lunch, take a 25-minute drive to Asenova Fortress situated on the top of a cliff in Rodopi Mountain. Admire this medieval building and breathtaking views across the valley.  Visit Bachkovo Monastery, founded in 1083 and see the beautiful mural paintings which are still preserved today. End your tour with a drive back to Sofia where you will be dropped off at your accommodation.

Sofia: Adventure Tour to Plovdiv and Rhodope Mountain

3. Sofia: Adventure Tour to Plovdiv and Rhodope Mountain

Your tour starts with pickup from your hotel/accommodation in Sofia at 8:00AM. After an approximate 1.5-hour drive, you will reach Plovdiv. Once there you will visit the highlights, such as the 1st-century Roman Theatre, the 2nd-century Roman Stadium, the oldest mosque on the Balkans, and an old pharmacy. You will then have the chance to take a walk through the Old Town where you can observe the typical Revival Period houses, museums, and narrow cobblestone streets. Scheduled throughout your itinerary are visits to 5 sites, as well as the top of the main hill which provides great views over the whole city. After you finish your exploration of Plovdiv, you will drive south to the Rhodope Mountain. This road is very scenic, and you will soon reach Vucha Dam where you will be picked by a boat before being taken to a place where you can enjoy lunch. Whist at this scenic location, you can also enjoy a nice walk up to the cliffs, a boat trip on the reservoir, and take the opportunity to hire a waverunner. At the conclusion of this unforgettable experience, you will head safely back to Sofia.

Plovdiv: Bachkovo Monastery, Fortress Asen, & Wonder Bridges

4. Plovdiv: Bachkovo Monastery, Fortress Asen, & Wonder Bridges

Begin the tour at the impressive Asen’s fortress, nearby the charming town of Asenovgrad. Explore the remarkable remains of King Ivan Asen's fortress and discover the nearby ancient 12th-century church painted with authentic pieces of iconography as well as the stone-made inscription carved by King Ivan Asen himself. Continue the tour with a drive to the picturesque Bachkovo monastery, the second largest in Bulgaria and over a thousand years old. Admire the sacred icon of the Virgin Mary dating back to the 14th century that rests inside, as well as the striking frescoed murals of the monastery's walls Conclude the trip with a visit to the "Wonderful Bridges". Situated high in the stunning Rhodope Mountains, 1,450 meters above sea level, admire these unique marble bridges formed by the erosive activity of what was once a high-water river. In summer the longest zip line on the Balkan Peninsula (240 meters) stretching between the 2 bridges is available for the more adventurous travelers.

Plovdiv: Guided Walking Tour

5. Plovdiv: Guided Walking Tour

Make the most of your stay in Plovdiv with this guide city tour. Plovdiv is one of the oldest settlements in the world. The beginning of its history dates back to 4,000 BC and it has preserved Thracian, Roman and Bulgarian heritage from different epochs. There will be a 2-hour walking tour in the heart of the town, which will give you the chance to learn lots of historical facts and legends while exploring the most interesting sightseeing locations. See the Roman theatre and parts of the Roman stadium. Walk along the longest pedestrian street in Europe. Explore the magnificent revival area with its unique colorful houses from the 19th century. This year Plovdiv is the current European capital of culture. Don't miss this chance to come and learn all about this wonderful place.

From Plovdiv: Bachkovo Monastery & Asen’s Fortress Tour

6. From Plovdiv: Bachkovo Monastery & Asen’s Fortress Tour

Drive to the dramatic Rhodope Mountains for this half-day tour from Plovdiv, passing the pretty town of Asenovgrad to see the remarkable fortress remains of King Ivan Asen, a wise ruler of the 2nd Bulgarian Kingdom. Visit the 13th-century Church of the Holy Mother of God to admire the historic iconography and stone inscriptions. Enjoy panoramic views of the mountain scenery, and learn why the fortress gained importance in the Middle Ages, and how it was conquered by the armies of the Third Crusade. Next, head to picturesque Bachkovo Monastery deeper in the mountains. Founded in 1083, and one of the most sacred places in Bulgarian history, the monastery’s main church contains a valuable icon of the Virgin Mary from 1310 that, according to legend, can work miracles. Admire the 12th-century Church of the Archangels and its 19th-century paintings. The refectory, with beautifully preserved murals from 1643, is another jewel. Together with the Doomsday fresco, marvel at images of sainted monks and ancient philosophers, such as Socrates, Aristotle, and Diogenes. Admire the stunning mural on the outside wall of the refectory, representing a bird’s eye view of the surrounding buildings. The monastery tour ends at the Church of Saint Nikola, built between 1834 and 1837, but nature lovers can continue with a short walk in the “Red Wall” nature reserve, hiking to a beautiful waterfall, located some 15 min. away from the cloister.

From Sofia: Europe's Oldest City, Plovdiv including Pickup

7. From Sofia: Europe's Oldest City, Plovdiv including Pickup

Plovdiv, the second biggest city in Bulgaria, is considered to be one of the oldest settlements in Europe, with more than 7000 years of history. Plovdiv is situated on the crossroads between the West and the East, amid the fertile plain of Thrace, where history and modernity go hand in hand. See how culture and art have always thrived in this city as you explore a vivid medley of shapes, styles, and colors. The city is home to the fabulous remains of the Ancient Roman Empire – the Roman Stadium, the Roman Forum, and the Amphitheatre. During your time in the city, you can discover the Old Town of Plovdiv, situated on the three hills of the ancient Trimontium. See the houses from the National Revival period, which  have been proclaimed an architectural open air museum. Discover many of the main sights in the area with a guide.

Starosel Thracian Temple and Hissaria Spa Resort Day Tour

8. Starosel Thracian Temple and Hissaria Spa Resort Day Tour

In recent years archeologists made a sensational discovery near the village of Starosel in central Bulgaria. They uncovered the enormous temple-grave of what is believed to be a Thracian ruler, possibly Sitalkes I, the first king of a combined Thracian empire. On this 5-hour trip you’ll stop first to visit the temple and then continue on to Hissaria, a small resort town noted for its hot mineral springs. Located near the Sredna Gora mountain range, it boasts a very mild climate and over 2 dozen mineral springs. The Starosel temple dates to the 4th or 5th century B.C. This impressive site is also known as the Starosel Thracian Cult Complex, as several tombs were discovered around the central temple. Hissar is one of the 3 international spa resorts in Bulgaria, and is also known for its Roman ruins. The ruins are visible everywhere, and include public buildings, a small amphitheater, the barracks of the Roman garrison and the best-preserved Roman fortress in the country. Take a walk in the town’s green parks and pass mineral hot springs, fountains and ruins.

Rose Valley & Valley of the Thracian Kings Day Tour

9. Rose Valley & Valley of the Thracian Kings Day Tour

Your first stop on this full-day tour is the small but charming Rose Museum in Kazanlak, featuring exhibits related to rose harvesting and rose oil production in Bulgaria. This is the only museum devoted to rose oil production in the whole world. Next you visit the local historical museum, dedicated to the rich cultural heritage of the Kazanlak region, including the tombs from the Valley of the Thracian rulers. Still in Kazanlak, explore the replica of the Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, impressive for its unique frescoes dating from the 4th century B.C. The exceptionally well-preserved murals and the condition of the original structure reveal the high level of culture and pictorial art in Hellenistic Thrace. Enjoy lunch in a traditional restaurant in Kazanlak where you'll taste some local dishes and wine.  Continue to the Golyama Kosmatka Thracian tomb, one of the largest mounds ever found on the Balkan Peninsula, dating from the end of the 5th century BC. Archaeologists believe they have found the tomb of the greatest Thracian king, Seuth III. The final stop on the tour is Shipka Memorial Church which is an outstanding Russian Orthodox temple built between 1885 and 1902 in Shipka town at the foothills of the Balkan Range. The Shipka Monument complex is dedicated to the Russian, Ukrainian, and Bulgarian soldiers who died for the liberation of Bulgaria in the Russo-Turkish War from 1877-78.

Rila Monastery: Day Trip to Bulgaria's Orthodox Jewel

10. Rila Monastery: Day Trip to Bulgaria's Orthodox Jewel

Rila Monastery, at an elevation of 1,147 meters, is situated along the Rilska River in the highest mountains of the Balkan Peninsula. Founded in the 10th century by the hermit St. Ivan Rilski, it is today Bulgaria’s most famous site. Known also as the Holy Rila Retreat, it is considered to be the most outstanding monument of the Bulgarian National Revival period, and the ultimate expression of the Bulgarian genius in matters of spirit, culture, architecture, construction, icon painting, and woodcarving. The monastery, as it now stands, was built in the period 1816-1847. The first stop at the monastery is the main church, the Nativity of the Virgin, elaborately decorated with murals both inside and outside. The church houses the holy relics of St. Ivan Rilski as well as the tomb of Boris III, the last Bulgarian king. Next to the main temple is the only structure that remains from the 14th century: the Tower of Hrelyu. This strong fortification was erected by the local feudal lord Hrelyu in 1334. The Transfiguration Chapel on the top floor features precious murals from the 14th century. In the monastery museum you’ll see the impressive wooden cross carved by the monk Rafail. This unique piece of art contains 36 scenes from the Bible and about 600 figures as small as a grain of rice. Before visiting the monastery you have the option of enjoying lunch at a restaurant perched above the Rilska River to try the local speciality; grilled or fried trout.

Other Sightseeing Options in Plovdiv Province

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What people are saying about Plovdiv Province

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 719 reviews

Excellent guide right in very clear and correct explanation times. and visits to the sites. Punctual and adhering to expectations. The only suggestion to bring water and food is the place where the bus stops, a sort of autogril (Happy) is a tourist shit.

It is a beautiful city, with a lot of history, the guide gave us a good explanation about the history and he was a friendly person overall. For a one day tour it meet the expectations, i will probably stay at least 1 night in the city next time.

Our guide Vasko was super. The fortress and especially Bachovko were impresive. Plodvid is a beatiful city. Unfortunately when we came back To Sofía we were stuck in a traffic Jam for 2 hours! because of an accident.

Great trip with a great guide Chris. Value for money, professional and informative. I used three different tour companies during my stay in Sofia and Traventuria was definitely the best. Highly recommended.

Absolutely amazing guide . It’s a big plus when doing this for the first time