December 3, 2019

Gifts and souvenirs from… our tourists?

It’s December – the last month in the calendar and the end of the current year. Time to think back and see if we are happy with the last twelve months we had and what are we thankful for. Furthermore, it is time to look in the future and make some resolutions and promises to ourselves. December is also the time to give others the most precious gifts – give them joy, happiness and gratitude for having them by your side. The Christmas Holidays have one great power over religious and non-religious people – they remind everybody about the joy of giving. The joy of making others happy. It’s up to you whether you are going to achieve that by charity, spending merry time with beloved people or by giving presents. Gifts from tourist But what do walking tours have to do with gifts? Surprisingly – a lot. Isn’t that the best thing about traveling and meeting new people from all over the world – enriching ourselves and others? And […]
October 23, 2019

Drinking coffee in Plovdiv – a special ritual

For every true Plovdivian the day begins with a good cup of coffee. Furthermore, the refreshing beverage is considered a must-drink for every guest of our city too. Although nowadays drinking coffee is so popular all over the world, not many people actually know where it comes from. History and origins It all began in the old Islamic world. In the 15 and 16 centuries, the Sufi followers in Yemen started drinking coffee. Soon everyone from Mecca to Cairo would do so. It is believed to originate from Ethiopia. For the first time, people there realized they could use the coffee beans. Eventually, in the entire Arabic Peninsula, parts of India, all of the Ottoman Empire and even the Balkans people realized the magical effect and amazing taste of the coffee. A special ritual in Bulgaria In Bulgarian lands, it was introduced during the Ottoman rule, exactly in the time frame mentioned above. Coffee has always had a socializing effect on people. You would not just drink it while you […]
October 22, 2019

Cycling in Plovdiv: a Basic Guide

What is cycling and why should we do it? And is cycling in Plovdiv a good idea? Tackling the question of ‘why’ is the most important in any new discipline. There are many reasons why you should ride your bike, and the first of them is purely egoistical: For yourself! It’s an easy, low-impact form of exercise that is time-efficient, good for strength and stamina and fun! Replacing your automobile with a bicycle for your daily commute is one of the best decisions you can make, and you will soon see changes in yourself. You’ll burn more calories and get leaner, and benefit from improved mental focus. Also, you’ll arrive at meetings happier and more energized from the exercise you just did. It’s also good for cities, making them more people-friendly and quiet, as one more cyclist is one less automobile on the road. Furthermore, last but not least, it’s eco-friendly, not producing any emissions. Just the presence of a cyclist passing by cars in a traffic jam gets people […]
September 22, 2019
Bulgaria's Independence Day

Bulgaria’s Independence Day

One of the most confusing facts about Bulgarian history is that we have a Liberation Day (our biggest national holiday, celebrated on the 3rd of March) and Independence Day (celebrated on the 22nd of September)… and these are two completely different things! In this blog post we will try to make it clear what the difference is. Also, why is the 22nd of September a significant date in our history. Liberation Day The contemporary Bulgarian state appeared on the map in 1878. It was a result of a war between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire. The Russians won that war. The preliminary ceasefire was signed on the 3rd of March at San Stefano (nowadays a suburb of Istanbul under the name of Yeshilkoy). According to its provisions, a fully independent Bulgarian state was to be formed. The Bulgarian territory was supposed to include almost 170 000 sq. It included many regions, which are nowadays in Greece, Northern Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia. These provisions, however, never became a reality. The […]
September 17, 2019

Bulgarian superstitions and curious traditions

A black cat crossing your path or walking under a ladder. Knocking on wood. Friday the 13th. These are all among the „classics“ of superstition all over the world. But did you know that Bulgarians have a number of superstitions, which aren’t that common in other countries? Some of them have roots in pre-Christian rituals. Others are so old that no one knows how they came to be anymore. But all of them are quite bizarre. Here you can take a deeper look into four of the most interesting and curious ones! The charm of the chimney sweep Cleaning chimneys usually involves getting one’s clothes all black and dirty. Therefore, it is understandable why most people wouldn’t want to shake hands with a chimney sweep after a hard day’s work. This isn’t the case in Bulgaria. Because according to one of the country’s most popular superstitions touching a chimney sweep and getting soot on your hands will bring a person good fortune for the rest of the day. Of course, […]
August 14, 2019

Matera – the sister European Cultural Capital of Plovdiv

What is a European Cultural Capital? You probably have heard about the title European Cultural Capital. But who had the idea of such a title on the first place? On a windy January day of 1985, two ministers of culture were having coffee at the Athens airport. They were waiting for their delayed flights. Those were Melina Mercouri from Greece and her French colleague Jack Lang. They had just attended a meeting of European ministers of culture. What a shame, they thought, that there are so few cultural events to bring nations together! According to a popular lore, this is how Ms. Mercouri came up with the idea of creating an annual series of events. They would not only put the spotlight on culture in European cities but also unite Europeans by showing them how much they have in common. Now, more than three decades later, the European Cultural Capital is perhaps the largest collaborative cultural project in the European Union. Two, sometimes three cities from different countries are awarded […]
July 31, 2019

Cats of Plovdiv

Plovdiv is a very ancient town with lots of history and traditions. If you are already familiar with the city you probably know what is symbolic for it – the Old Town, the hills, the Revival Houses, The Maritsa river, Ancient theater … The hills and the river are even on the coat of arms of the city. But nowadays there is one more symbol you can see everywhere. The Cats of Plovdiv. Cats as a symbol Yes, cats. Many visitors notice that we have many cats in the town and they are so loved that we even have them on souvenirs. The felines can be found on badges, bags, t-shirts and so on. We even have them as a part of our Arts and Crafts Tour. But how did that happen? In the past Plovdiv was an important trading center in the Ottoman empire. Have you been to Turkey? Did you see all the houses for stray kitties and the food people provide for them? It is said that […]
July 17, 2019
Street Art in Plovdiv

Best of Street Art in Plovdiv and where to find it

Undoubtedly, it is a challenge to name the best examples of street art in Plovdiv. While some admirers prefer tiny murals, others would get astonished by giant ones. In other words, no matter what you like, it is certain that no one else has exactly the same taste as you. Therefore, since street art, just like any other kind of art, is subjective, we would show you the abundance of pieces in Plovdiv first. Then we will let you choose your own favorites. Where to find street art in Plovdiv? Many electrical boxes, shutters, facades, underpasses, cultural buildings, schools and even garbage containers in Plovdiv look quite unusual nowadays. That is thanks to the creativity of many artists. For this reason, these days finding examples of street art in one of Europe’s capitals of Culture for 2019 is just as easy as finding ancient Roman ruins there. To put it differently, they are everywhere! Take a look. Fortunately, you won’t find much art on ancient walls, instead, visit the so-called […]
June 11, 2019

5 typical Plovdiv slang words and phrases

Many cities are famous for something unique- food, cars, rich history, amazing festivals, and colorful day or nightlife. Yet others are famous with special urban slang – phrases used only there. Plovdiv is very modest and we have everything-  8 thousand years of history, one of the biggest folklore festivals in Europe and indeed very bright lifestyle, no matter day or night time. But the Plovdiv slang is by far the most unique aspect of its culture. Here is our list of funny untypical words and phrases that can be found in the vocabulary of a local citizen. Maina First of all – Maina (Майна). This is so unique to Plovdiv that you can’t find it anywhere else. Maina is a meaningless word, even though it is loosely related to the word “mother”. Maina is an exclamation used quite often in the everyday language of almost 100% of the inhabitants of the city and no matter if you were born here or you are just living in Plovdiv you’ll have […]