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 […]
May 12, 2019

Bulgarian Traditional Crafts coming back to life – Knitting

The Traditional Craft Knitting and the overall processing of wool from the animal to the end product have always been a big traditional craft for Bulgarian people. It is a very special reflection on rural life in the country. Every household has the typical tools for knitting. Back in the days, girls learned how to do it ever since they were small. Because the better they knit, the bigger the chance to find a husband. Knitting was and still is also a good reason for elderly women to socialize. Whenever they gather to talk and gossip they’d simultaneously prepare socks for their grandchildren.  Knitting in Plovdiv nowadays There is a brand-new place in the heart of Plovdiv (Kapana neighborhood), which brings us closer to that traditional craft. It opened around Christmas 2018. The highlights inside are the handmade rugs, souvenirs, and mainly socks. They feature motives typical for each different mountain regions of Bulgaria. You can especially see that in the colors. Predominant red and blue color are typical for […]
May 4, 2019

The Amazing Revival Houses of Plovdiv

Every person who ever walked in the Old Town of Plovdiv was stunned with the beauty of the Plovdiv Revival Houses. At the end of the 18th century and especially during the 19th century, rich merchants were trading with Europe and the Orient. They had an understandable ambition to demonstrate their wealth by building large luxurious homes. Bulgarian craftsmen, skilled architects, masons, carpenters and painters combined their skills, proving extremely effective for the prosperity of the buildings in Plovdiv in those years. During this time Plovdiv was an important economic center. Because of that, many wealthy and educated people who lived in the city traveled extensively in Europe. From their travels, they brought not only exotic goods but also new cultural ideas. Wealthy merchants showed their wealth by building beautiful, richly ornamented houses which as a result became symbolic for the Old Town. The new houses were symmetrical – they had an oval hall with 4 rooms in the corners, erkers (sort of architectural windows/balconies)and gossip rooms on the top floor. […]
April 29, 2019

Free Plovdiv Tour – Working Time

While all countries from the European Union are thinking what to do with the daylight saving time, Free Plovdiv Tour is having its own daylight saving schedule. Better said, sunburn saving schedule. May – September The beautiful Plovdiv is not only magnificent and amazing but quite hot – literally too. Strong winds are not something typical for our town. So you can imagine – the dry summer season in Plovdiv is very warm. And since we want to provide a comfortable tour for our guests in the warmer part of the year the Free Plovdiv Tour is starting at 11h and 18h. The gathering point is the Municipality building of Plovdiv (1, Stefan Stambolov square). October – April One of the aims of the Free Plovdiv Tour is to show the beauty of our town. And although we have to agree Plovdiv is lovely in the night too, in the colder part of the year we start the tour at 14h so we walk with our guests in the warmest […]
April 13, 2019

The Must-See less Popular Sights in Plovdiv

As we entered 2019 and Plovdiv became officially the European Capital of Culture for this year the popular sights and tourist attractions in our city started to attract even more people. This is great news for! What is even better is that Plovdiv can offer even more. Therefore we are sharing with you a list of places which at this point remain a little off the radar. Still, they are definitely worth visiting. The Tobacco town Once a blooming industry and nowadays just a blast from the past. The tobacco business in Plovdiv started in the end of the 19th century. It left a big mark in the city’s history. Though very successful, even on an international scale, around 30 buildings of former tobacco factories and warehouses ended up abandoned or received residential functions. The historical monument Tobacco town can be experienced on the streets between the Central Railway Station and the modern city center (like the Ivan Vazov Str.) The hidden, in between the busy streets, a jewel of […]
March 21, 2019
Mevlevi hane

Mevlevi – the dancing Dervish

Most people know what the spinning dances of the Dervish mean, and it is more than an interesting scene to see. They are a religious movement, that was primarily set in Plovdiv. Who are the dancing Dervish? The Dervish were representatives of the Sufi movement, part of Islam. That movement revolves around the inner self. They were humble and poor, often begged. The Persian word for door is ‘’Der’’, so Dervish literally translates as “walking from door to door”. Also they were forbidden to beg for themselves, so they gave everything away. The order of the Dervish people was called “Mevlevi”, aka the dancing Dervish. During Ottoman times, they settled on our lands. Because of their wisdom, they gained an important social and political status. Ottoman heritage in Plovdiv – Mevlevi hane Mevlevi hane is an exquisite building in a typical Persian architectural style, both on the outside and inside. Located on the slopes of Dzhambaz hill (one of the tree hills of the Old Town), it sits on the […]