Things to do in
Plovdiv Province

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Our most recommended things to do in Plovdiv Province

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

1. 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

2. 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: Full-Day Small Group Excursion from Sofia

3. 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 Plovdiv: Bachkovo Monastery & Asen’s Fortress Tour

4. 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.

Plovdiv: Bachkovo Monastery, Fortress Asen, & Wonder Bridges

5. 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.

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

6. 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

7. 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.

From Sofia: Full-Day Tour to Plovdiv and Asen's Fortress

8. From Sofia: Full-Day Tour to Plovdiv and Asen's Fortress

After a 2-hour drive, begin this full-day tour in one of Europe's oldest towns, Plovdiv. Walk along cobblestone streets and visit a 19th-century house to learn about the local production of alcoholic drinks and rose oil products. Explore the Roman Theater, Roman Stadium and church with virtual reality glasses before enjoying 2 hours of free time to walk around and have lunch and coffee along the main pedestrian street. After exploring Plovdiv, meet your van and guide to make the 30-minute drive to Asen's Fortress. Admire this beautiful, medieval structure and learn about the history of the place before taking photos from the top. Start your journey back to Sofia with an expected arrival time of approximately 6:00 PM.

From Sofia: Plovdiv, Fortress Asen & Bachkovo Monastery Tour

9. From Sofia: Plovdiv, Fortress Asen & Bachkovo Monastery Tour

Depart Sofia at 8:00 AM in the morning and travel by private van with a friendly English-speaking driver. Travel in this air-conditioned vehicle for a two-hour ride to the Rhodope mountains and admire the beautiful views from the medieval Asen's fortress. Continue by short 15 minute transfers to the Bachkovo Monastery, built in 1083 AD, and explore the old monastic complex at your own pace. Continue to the city of Plovdiv and enjoy more than four hours to sightsee in Bulgaria's second largest city, famous for its old town, Roman ruins and the Kapana artistic district. You can explore the area on your own, or learn more the history from a free guided tour starting at 2:00 PM. Board the shuttle bus at 5:00 PM at the agreed meeting point and return to Sofia in the evening (7:00 PM) to be dropped off at the meeting point.

Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa Day Trip from Sofia

10. Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa Day Trip from Sofia

Depart Sofia and relax in air-conditioned comfort on the 2-hour journey by shuttle bus with friendly English-speaking driver. Head towards the scenic Sredna Gora Mountains, and arrive at the charming old town of Koprivshtitsa to stroll the cobblestone streets and marvel at the old houses at leisure. Get 2 hours to discover architectural gems from the Bulgarian National Revival renaissance at your own pace. Then, continue to the historic city of Plovdiv, known for its huge variety of cultural events and historic monuments. Benefit from 3 hours to explore the Old Town at your own pace, and discover Roman remains such as the ancient theater and ancient stadium. Use the time to go to the artistic district of Kapana, and take an optional free guided tour at 2:00 PM to learn more about the rich history of Bulgaria's second city. Board the shuttle bus at the agreed meeting point, and return to Sofia to get dropped off at the meeting point on arrival.

Frequently asked questions about Plovdiv Province

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What people are saying about Plovdiv Province

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 719 reviews

It's a wonderful experience! Our guide, Maria, told us everything there is to know about this beautiful city. In addition, Maria is teeming with knowledge not only about Plovdiv but also about Sofia and Bulgaria in general. She is a very nice and approachable person and will be happy to answer all questions. We rode with an extremely comfortable car, visited the old town, the main street and ended up having free time for lunch, coffee and other. I definitely recommend if you have extra time in Sofia

Guide was knowledgeable & friendly the tour was excellent all 3 stops during the excursion were interesting & well worth seeing true out the tour the guide was informative & also allowed plenty of time for photographs i really enjoyed this day trip & would highly recommend it comfortable vehicle great guide plenty of historical things to see & learn about

Very good and informative Tour . Our tour guide Chris was very well organized and approachable/friendly . He was very knowledgeable and gave detailed information not only on Plovdiv area but also on the whole general history of bulgaria and traditional things in this country . He also gave us recommended places to visit . Good tour and bravo Chris!

Maria was absolutely brilliant. Her passion and extensive knowledge made the trip much better. She is a credit to her company.

Amazing guided tour. Guide was highly accommodating and had excellent subject knowledge, can't recommend enough.