Hostel Mostel – The most affordable and comfortable hostels in Sofia and Veliko Turnovo


Bulgaria is a small country offering white sandy beaches, white snowy mountains and lush green valeys. Million cities are pulsing with their night life and medieval villages are cuddling in high mountain folds. Food is amazing and value for money is just great.

Bulgaria Map


An ancient crossroads between East and West and Bulgaria’s second largest city today, Plovdiv has preserved unique treasures from its 24 centuries long history.

The Old Town

Plovdiv Old TownThe old town is a must, the architecture is awesome! Take a walk around and enjoy what it has to offer.

It is perfect for those who like to wander through atmospheric old cobblestone streets and gaze at 19th century "Plovdiv Baroque" houses, old churches and Roman time ruins . Several houses have been turned into ‘Museum houses’. It’s really impossible to provide directions to any of these houses since they are all over the old part of the city, and part of the joy of wandering is discovering these for yourselves at different times of day with different shadows and looking at the street from different angles. Time gives the impression to stand still in the old cobblestone streets with its old architecture.

Go up to the top of the hill – Nebet Tepe. Not only that you will get a great panorama of the city and the mountains surrounding it, but you also would be standing on top of the ruins of an old Tracian temple, which was later built up by the Romans. There is an improvised terrace, which is converted to an informal bistro in the summer, so you can have a drink there before you head back down the hill. Serenity and great view! Definitely postcard image material!

The Main Street

Knyaz Aleksander Battenberg locally called "Alexandrovska" is the main pedestrian thoroughfare in Plovdiv.

This is city’s place to see and to be seen. It’s the city’s busiest spot year-round as countless young, fashion-concious Bulgarians stroll up and down the length of the street, popping in and out of the various shops and clothing boutiques. Lots of cafés invite you to stop for a coffee and/or ice cream.

The main street sits above the remnants of a giant stadium built by Philip of Macedonia about 2300 years ago. The scant remains of the once grand structure sit on one end of the street, while above ground, fine Baroque buildings loom above the pedestrians. The beautiful houses along the street are mostly restored or in the progress and are home to fashion shops.

This is the perfect place to sit and observe Bulgaria’s youth strive for the material lifestyles that mark the cultural standards of neighboring countries to the West, and slowly shed Bulgaria’s communist legacy.


  • The Roman Amphitheatre
  • The Old Town
  • Fortress walls and gate
  • Ancient odeon
  • Roman stadium
  • Roman forum
  • Roman aqu a duct
  • Eirene mosaic
  • Ancient synagogue
  • St. Constantine and Helena Church
  • Sahat Tepe hill and clock tower
  • Nebet Tepe hill complex
  • Dzhumaya Mosque
  • Imaret Mosque
  • Old Turkish Bath (now an art gallery)
  • Virgin Mary Church
  • St Petka Church
  • St Marina Church
  • St Ludovic Roman Catholic Cathedral
  • Gothic Evangelist Church
  • Tsar Simeon’s Garden and The Singing Fountains
  • The main street
  • The Rowing Canal (sports and recreation park)

Day Trips


Bachkovo Monastery situated about 29km South of Plovdiv , reachable in mere 30 minutes by car is the second largest in Bulgaria.

Bachkovo MonasteryIt was founded in 1083 by Prince Grigol Bakurianis-dze, prominent Georgian statesman and military commander in Byzantine servic e . Since the 13th century, Georgians lost their domination over the monastery, but nevertheless Georgian traditions were preserved until the beginning of 14th century.

During the time of the Second Bulgarian Empire, Bachkovo Monastery was patronized by Tsar Ivan Alexander, which is evidenced by an image of him on the archs of the ossuary’s narthex. Since the 11th century a school was housed in the monastery.

It is believed that the founder of Tarnovo Literary School and last patriarch of the mediaeval Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Evtimiy was exiled by the Turks and died in the monastery in the 14th century.

Although the monastery survived the first waves of Turkish invasion in Bulgarian lands, it was later looted and destroyed but restored near the end of the 15th century. The refectory whose mural paintings by an anonymous author bear a significant artistic value, was reconstructed in 1601 and the Church of Virgin Mary, still preserved today, was finished in 1604.

Stalls infront of the monastery offer everything that grows or is being manufactured in the Rhodopi mountain – rare herbs, home-made jams of wild fruit, yogurt and white cheese made of sheep or buffalo’s milk, woolen carpets, etc.

Assen’s Citadel (Assenova Krepost)

Assen's CitadelLocated on a steep rock cliff offers stunning views towards the way to Bachkovo Monastery and dates back to the 11-12 cc AD.

It was built during the reign of Tsar Ivan Assen II, one of the greatest Bulgarian kings . There are just some ruins left now, and the medieval church "Holy Mother of God" which was partially restored. The views are great as the fortress sits on a hill in the Rhodope mountains surrounded by many green peaks. On another hill next to the road to the fortress there is the chapel of St. Ilia.


PerperikonDuring the last few years the name of Perperikon located at some 20 km to the northeast of the town of Kardzhali, in the wilderness of the Eastern Rodop Mountains made quite a stir. In the year 2000 AD, this has been still a small rocky summit, densely overgrown with thorny shrubs and blackberries. Here and there one could see masonry walls and deeply hewn crevices in the living rock left by ancient cultures long ago extinct.

Once archaeological excavations were carried out on this hill, but the pits were long ago abandoned and overgrown with weeds. F ew years ago even the people from the nearby villages have forgotten the path leading uphill.
Under such conditions, in the sultry August of 2000, a small group of students started to clear out the wild growth there. The time available to them was limited, the money – next to nothing and this made their professor to work on equal terms with them. The heat was indeed scorching and the temperature had never fallen below 39-40° C. However, everything was forgotten when before the eyes of the explorers the outlines of rooms, corridors and huge halls began to take shape. We had got into a grandio u se ancient palace, perfectly preserved because its entire lower floors we re hewn in the living rock.
The news spread in the media with a lightning speed. They immediately called Perperikon "The Sacred City of Thracians".


Plovdiv is very, very old. The Eternal City, as Rome is conventionally called, is much younger. Athens, Carthage and Constantinople came into being later. A contemporary of Troy and having survived Mycenae, Plovdiv is a city upon layers of cities and an epoch upon layers of epochs. Plovdiv is all in one: a Thracian and classical Greek polis, the pride of Philip II of Macedonia, the capital of Thrace under the Roman Empire, a centre of Byzantinism, a stronghold of the Bulgarians and a dream of the crusaders – a magnificent and important city.

Kendros, Eumolpia, Philippopolis, Pulpudeva, Thrimonzium, Pulden, Populdin, Ploudin, Filibe — those were the ancient names of Plovdiv throughout its 6000 to 8000 years of existence. The name Plovdiv first appeared in 15 century documents and has remained till today.

In the distant past Plovdiv was situated on seven hills: Taxim, Nebet, Jambaz, Sahat, Jendem and Bunarjik. The seventh hill, Markovo Tepe, has nowadays subsided completely under the pavement of modern Plovdiv.

 In 432 B.C. the town was conquered by Philip II of Macedonia. During his rule the ancient Thracian fortress and towers were rebuilt. The vain Philip II gave the city his own name, Philippopolis. Soon it became a Thracian town again, called Pulpudeva. During the 1st century A.C. it was conquered by the Romans. The practical Romans called the town Trimonzium (lying on three hills) because the Roman town was situated on three hills, Taxim, Nebet, and Jambaz Tepe. The Roman emperors Trayanus and Marcus Aurellius built solid fortresses around the town. They intoduced many improvements, as well as coin minting. At the time Plovdiv was known as Ulpia Thrimonzium, the most flourishing metropolis of the Thracian province.

The magnificent amphitheatre above dates back from Roman times. Now it is restored and classical drama, operas, and concerts are presented on stage in the open air…

In 447 the Huns ruined the town. In the sixth century the Slavs settled in the Balkan Peninsula and introduced the names Pulden and Plundiv.

In 815 Khan Kroum seized the fortress. In the following five centuries the town was ruled by Bulgarians, then conquered by Byzantium. The Bulgarian army came again later. The Crusaders demolished and plundered the town several times on their way to Mecca.

1365 was a fateful year for Plovdiv. The town fell under the Turkish yoke. Later it was renamed Filibe and became an important administrative and military center of crafts. Filibe was the seat of the ruler of the district of Rumelia. At that time the town possessed a mysterious charm and striking poverty typical of the Orient. The functioning Jumaia Mosque attracts visitors to the center of modern Plovdiv with its fine minaret and its sun-dial.

The commercial area of the town was between that mosque and the river Maritza. One of the oldest clock towers in Eastern Europe is located behind Sahat Tepe. The clock is working even nowadays. As the Turkish traveller Evlya Chelebi wrote in 1651, "Philibe is the biggest one among 10 big towns in the European part of Turkey, and is getting richer every day".

The 19th century brought Plovdiv closer to the rennaissance from cultural opression during the Turkish occupation. That was the time of spiritual awakening when the Bulgarian people began their struggle for religious, cultural and political independence.

The long cherished liberation came to Plovdiv on January 19th , 1878 after 500 years of waiting. However, the extasy of it was short. The Berlin Congress divided newly liberated Bulgaria into the Principality of Bulgaria and the autonomous region of Eastern Rumelia with its capital Plovdiv. Just seven years later the unification of Bulgaria was proclaimed on September 6, 1885. That was the first blow agains the unfair Berlin Agreement.

On September 9, 1944 the Nazi were driven off Bulgaria and the communists came on power. A very close relationship with the former USSR was established and many monuments were built in the honor of the USSR. One of them, the monument of the Russian soldier Aljosha, has remained at the top of a hill in Plovdiv.

The end of communism for Bulgaria is quite recent – November 10, 1989. Plovdiv was a place of major demonstrations of the democratic forces in the country. Some people refer to the city as "the blue (democratic) capital of Bulgaria."

Design Carlos Arner 
Facebook IconTwitter IconVisit Us on Google Plus