For most people, retirement is one of the most important and emotional events in life and it brings with it a number of personal changes. On the one hand, the feeling that you are free and every day is just for you, and on the other - the need for ongoing social contacts and more exciting experiences to keep you active.
And while some prefer to spend this period in a state of tranquility and even remoteness from city life, for others - we will try to prove in the following lines that Plovdiv is a good alternative.
It’s the second largest city in Bulgaria, but at the same time it’s cozy and compact in location. With the exception of the more remote neighborhoods, which are gradually joining the city in terms of infrastructure, everything is almost within walking distance. Especially for people who have nowhere to hurry, a walk of 30 minutes is perfect for movement and a good occasion to get to know the small streets around you. In each part there are large hypermarkets, clinics, even shopping malls and local markets, from which you can easily buy a variety of household goods.
Located in the very center of the country, Plovdiv has an extremely favorable climate in which low winter temperatures are quite rare. There is usually almost no snow here, and spring and autumn are some of the most enjoyable seasons of the year. Sometimes during the summer there are consecutive days with higher temperatures, but then it is very appropriate to escape to the mountains. In just an hour you find yourself in the heart of the Rhodopes, which are very picturesque and offer thousands of opportunities for mountain and rural tourism throughout the year. We won’t miss the fact that on the highway - the sea is only about 3 hours away and with good planning frequent weekends on warm days are no exception.
A real archeological treasure in the open - we have heard this definition of the city under the hills from a number of tourists and we can’t disagree with it. For all lovers of history and even architecture - Plovdiv is a valuable gem. When you have time, you can literally get lost in it and constantly discover something new among the buildings of different eras. The old town is like a pearl in the crown and on most days it is so calm and quiet that it is the perfect place to spend time outside, whether you are alone or in company!
We should not underestimate the opportunities for social life in the city. Despite the coronavirus pandemic and its adverse impact on a number of areas of culture and entertainment, you can still enjoy quality performances, concerts and events here. For all expats, a very valuable source of contacts is the extremely active group on Facebook, where you can always find a supporter for a good leisure time.
Last but not least, the cost of living. Here the factors are too subjective and yes - in Plovdiv it is much cheaper compared to large European cities, but for Bulgaria the standard of living is rather high. If you want a place to retire with low bills, you may want to consider moving to a village or small town nearby. If you’d also like to do some gardening, this would be an even bigger bonus.
For all those who decide to take this important step and choose Plovdiv as the place to spend their old age, it is good to keep in mind some of the shortcomings. Especially in winter, the air quality in the city is poor due to non-environmentally-friendly heating methods. It is also important to choose the right place for your home, as in recent years there has been a trend of overbuilding in certain neighborhoods.
The city has a wide range of health and medical facilities and various specialists. If you come from another country, you should find out how the health system works here to be prepared in case of need for treatment.
In conclusion, the decision whether Plovdiv is suitable as a place to stay after retirement is largely individual, but if you are a fan of the urban lifestyle and a calmer atmosphere - this may be your place!