March 12, 2014
Plovdiv City - Places to visit in Plovdiv - must-visit places

10 must visit places in Plovdiv; Part 2

This is our second part of the “10 must-visit places in Plovdiv”. You can find Part I here. We are going to tell you about 5 more places in our city and their history. 10 must visit places in Plovdiv #6: The City Art Gallery The City Art Gallery of Plovdiv is one of the most remarkable cultural institutions in Plovdiv. There you can see some of the best examples of Bulgarian fine arts. The expositions of the gallery are situated in five different buildings, which are close to each other in the downtown area of the city. Four of them are in the Old Town of Plovdiv and the other one is on the main street of the city.          For bigger image of the map click here. Representative Permanent Exhibition – it contains over 200 works of Bulgarian art. There you can find the oldest example of non-religious Bulgarian painting, dating from 1812. This is the portrait of Sofronii Vrachanski, one of the most significant Bulgarian Revival leaders. Icon Gallery: the […]
December 24, 2013
Koleduvane-Koledari

Koleduvane: Have a very Bulgarian Christmas!

Christmas is a favourite holiday of young and old. There is a tradition that makes the Bulgarian Christmas even more special. Koleda or Rozhdestvo Hristovo is thе time of the year on which we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It is one of the brightest and most awaited holidays in the Bulgarian calendar, celebrated with century – old traditions. Although many of the Christmas rituals have been forgotten by the contemporary Bulgarian, one has been preserved – the tradition to celebrate with the family. At Christmas every Bulgarian family gathers to spend a holy, but not a very silent night! The atmosphere is cheerful, the food is delicious, the spirits are high. Being with loved ones is the most important component of the Bulgarian Christmas! Bulgarians are Eastern Orthodox, and Christmas celebrations start at 20th December, the day on which St. Ignatius of Antioch is honored (Ignazhden). Ignazhden begins the preparation for one of the most important rituals in the Christmas night – Koleduvane.  Koleduvane As Christmas Eve comes […]
December 8, 2013
Plovdiv City - Places to visit in Plovdiv - must-visit places

10 must-visit places in Plovdiv; Part 1

Welcome to Plovdiv! Here we’ll post some of the most intriguing and famous places in the city. The fact that Plovdiv is not a large city is very convenient in terms of visiting numerous sites in a relatively short period of time. The thing is that the city is one of the oldest ones in Europe – founded approximately 6000 BC by ancestors of the Thracians. Plovdiv is full of history and amazing facts so you’ll need at least 3-4 days to get a relevant idea of its character. You can always visit the Free Plovdiv Tour – you will get to know the city in only a couple of hours. But still, Plovdiv is not all about the past – it is the second largest city in Bulgaria and is populated by a lot of young people, studying in its universities (6 universities and 4 colleges) and exploring the city’s diversity. One of the oldest European cities offers cultural and entertaining tourism and its environs are a great place […]
November 24, 2013
The Bachkovo Monastery

The Bachkovo Monastery

Bulgarian Monasteries Bulgaria is a country with rich cultural heritage and important parts of this heritage are the Bulgarian   monasteries. These unique temples are not only historical and architectural landmarks, but also symbols of the Bulgarian spiritual power which preserved the Christian faith during many turbulent times. The Bachkovo Monastery is our next must-see place in the Plovdiv region (pronounced “Bachkovski manastir”). This beautiful landmark is situated 29 km south from Plovdiv and 9 km away from Asenovgrad, in the valley of the Chepelarska river in the Western Rodopi mountain. The monastery is only 2 km south from Asen’s fortress so you can combine the two landmarks in a single trip and go on an exciting Bulgarian adventure! The monasteries have played an important role in our history. They are beacons of traditional Bulgarian and Christian culture. Many of them have impressive architecture and unique interior. The magnificent wood-carving works and wall – paintings also contribute to the one of a kind atmosphere in the Bulgarian temples.  Some of the biggest […]
November 22, 2013

Sofia Architecture Week 2013

Does architecture fascinate you? Would you like to hear some interesting ideas about sustainable urban planning and discuss them with well-known architects from around the world? Do you want to share your vision of a city of the future? Well, if the answer to all these questions is “Hell yeah!” then you should definitely visit the 6th edition of Sofia Architecture Week!  From the 22nd of November untill the 1st of December, the guests of the festival can enjoy all kinds of entertaining and educational events related to architecture! This year the theme of the festival is “Future city” and for the first time SAW takes place in Plovdiv! The official opening is on the 22nd of November, at 19:00, at the House of culture.  Later, the ceremony continues with an opening party at club “Gramophone” on 37 Kniaz Aleksander Batenberg at 22:00. The first weekend of the festival hosts 9 exhibitions. Six of them are of the famous architect studios – Atelier OSLO, Mjolk Architects , Amin Taha Architects, […]
November 5, 2013

Asenova Krepost (Asen’s fortress)

The Asenova Krepost (Asen’s fortress) Working time: 8:00 h – 17:00 h; Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday Tickets: Adults – 4lv; Children – 2 lv GPS: 41.986466,24.872957 Tel: 0331/ 6 22 50 If you have finished your tour in Plovdiv and you are eager to visit another interesting destination in the region, we strongly recommend the Asen’s fortress („Asenova krepost” , „Асенова крепост”).   Location of Asen’s Fortress (Asenova Krepost) This fascinating place is seated on a high, rocky ridge in the Rodopi mountain, on the left coast of the Asenitsa river, about 2-3 km south from the little town of Asenovgrad (“the town of Asen”) and 20 km south from Plovdiv. The castle was built during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian the Great in VI century. A stone inscription says that in 1230 Ivan Asen the Second rebuilt the fortress after he won the glorious battle near Klokotnitsa.The place is known also as “Stanimahos” (Станимахос) or “Petrich”. “Stanimaka” is  the old name of Asenovgrad. A legend explains […]
July 11, 2013

​Our First Birthday is coming up!!!

One year ago locals from Plovdiv together with guides from Free Sofia Tour Association (now Association 365) took the initiative and started a walking tour in Plovdiv. The name was easy to choose- Free Plovdiv tour- connecting the name of our city and the name of our organization. The date was the 13th of July, Friday, which is our lucky number (our two other projects were started on the very same date- the 13th of August 2010 and the 13th  of April 2012. One year later we look back and smile – we’re now better, wiser and a bit more experienced guides. But all of us still remember the first thrill and the first nervous “Hello, I will be your guide today.”   For the past one year  we had a lot of fun, met  new friends and build a great team. Here are some of the achievements we managed to accomplish: Almost 2000 guests from all over the world have joined the Free Plovdiv Tour and discovered the city with […]
June 24, 2013

Lyusien Shevalas – The Minister of Flowers

Lyusien Shevalas is Swiss by birth, but his heart always belonged to Plovdiv Lyusien Shevalas graduated from the Forestry College in Paris. He worked not only in Europe, but also in Africa, Brazil and the Ottoman Empire. In Bulgaria he came at the invitation of knyaz Aleksander Bogoridi.  That was after the Liberation of Bulgaria and he was given the task to teach Bulgarian gardeners to design beautiful gardens, like the ones in Europe. In Plovdiv Once in Plovdiv, he fell in love with the city. The Gardner knew in his heart that he will never leave. He gave it his best effort and Plovdiv bloomed in his care. Shevalas created his best work here and his gardens are still appreciated and loved today – over 130 years later. In 1901 he received the award for Honourable Citizen of Plovdiv. Since then he was endearingly called the Minister of flowers. And it’s no wonder – he transformed what was a wasteland into a beautiful park with bamboo, palms, pines, cacti […]
May 30, 2013

New summer schedule

Free Plovdiv Tour and its summer schedule since the 1st of June – everyday at 6 pm. With summer lurking round the corner and hot summer days are taking over to Plovdiv. In this regard, Free Plovdiv Tour changes its initial hour during the summer season, so there won’t be any fainting, tiered or bored by the heat tourists. From 1st of June onwards the free walking tours will take place at six o’clock pm. The venue is known – under the clock of the Central Post Office near the Tourist Information Centre Plovdiv. The change in the schedule is made so as to better accommodate guests and partners of the tour. It marks the beginning of a new permanent schedule of the tours – from October to April inclusive the tour will take place at 2 pm, and from May to September at 6 pm.