The Old Town of Plovdiv is one of the most popular places in the city. With its amazing authentic atmosphere, the place can easily bring you back to the past while you are on a trip around the magnificent Revival houses of the rich merchants that lived here during the Ottoman rule. Or it can take you back to the time of fortresses and strong defensive walls when different nations held battles for our beloved city.
Today, the Old Town is also a preferred place for tourists to stay, since it’s close to the main pedestrian area and one can find lots of options for accommodation around.
If you are one of the lucky visitors who decided to stay in a hotel or a hostel in the Old Town of Plovdiv, you will need some directions to get yourself around in this area.
Let’s establish the central place of the Old Town. It’s the crossroad of the following streets: Saborna (ул. Съборна), Chetvarti yanuari (ул. Четвърти януари), Doctor Stoyan Chomakov (ул. Доктор Стоян Чомаков) and Tsanko Lavrenov (ул. Цанко Лавренов).
On this spot, you’ll find yourself on Hisar Kapiya square with several souvenir shops around, one of the Tourist Information Centers in Plovdiv, the Hisar Kapiya gate, and the high walls of the St. St. Constantine and Helen Church. From here you can choose which part of the Old Town of Plovdiv to explore. Or in that matter – which part of the modern city to reach.
Let’s say you choose to follow Doctor Stoyan Chomakov street up. It will lead you to the top of Nebet tepe – one of the three hills of the Old Town. Nebet Tepe is a favorite place for young people to gather and enjoy the sunset. The place will provide you with a breathtaking panoramic view of the city. Don’t forget to take a picture of this magnificent sight!
On the way to the top, you will pass two places we highly recommend you to visit.
A former home of a merchant, today the fantastic house hosts the ethnographic exhibition of Plovdiv. The yard is beautiful, the building itself is gorgeous and inside you can learn a lot about Bulgaria. If you like museums and also want to see something typical Bulgarian this is the place!
It’s just before the top of the hill – and a nice place to go for dinner after the sunset. The restaurant has typical local dishes, reasonable prices, and provides a view over the Eastern part of Plovdiv.
Let’s follow Saborna street! It will bring you past many antique and souvenir shops, galleries, and museums – like the Pharmacy museum and the Zlatyu Boyadzhiev Gallery. Also, you will walk past a bar called Konushnite na tsarya (Конюшните на царя, meaning the King’s stables). Keep this place in mind for having a drink and listening to live music on a warm Plovdiv night.
After you pass the Pharmacy museum you will be able to make a left turn two times before you reach the main pedestrian street. Both paths will lead you to the Roman theater of Plovdiv. When you exit the Old Town (there is a barrier at the end of the preserved area) you will find yourself between the Garden of the Seventh hill and Dzhumaya Mosque. And then – there are the Roman stadium and the pedestrian street.
If you take the path under Hissar Kapiya (between the walls of
St.St. Constantine and Helen Church and the Ethnographic Museum) you will reach Tsanko Lavrenov street. Just look around – behind the gate you immediately find the magnificent bright building of the Revival museum and the Street of the Crafts.
You can take several small streets to the right to explore the hidden gems of the Old Town. If you continue walking on Tsanko Lavrenov street, you will pass Saint Nedelya church, Nedkovich House and you will reach some impressive Roman remains – the Eastern gate of Philipopolis.
If you have the Old Town behind you and the Eastern gate in front, go right to reach the main pedestrian area of Plovdiv.
The way to reach the most popular neighborhood in town – Kapana, is to follow Chetvarti yanuari Str. to St. St. Constantine and Helen square. Then take street Konstantin Stoilov and make a right turn on Pernik street to reach the underpass on the boulevard separating Kapana and the Old Тown. It sounds complicated, but it will actually take you around 3-4 minutes.
There are three recommendations for places to visit on the way.
Impressive, beautiful revival houses that used to be private homes but are house-museums nowadays. Both of them will definitely amaze you with their fascinating lavish interior and beautiful exterior. The houses have connected yards, so you just need to follow the path when you enter one of their yards.
The Retro photo in the Old Town of Plovdiv gives you the unique opportunity to see yourself in authentic Bulgarian clothes from the past. This would be a nice souvenir from Bulgaria, don’t you think?
If you have the chance, take your time to explore more and expand your walks and check the small narrow streets in this special part of Plovdiv. The Old Town has lots of hidden gems to be found – everything you need to do that are some comfortable shoes.
Author: Free Plovdiv Tour Guide – Adelina Kalapchieva