The article was updated in April 2021
Lost in Plovdiv is the place where you can find everything about the city under the hills that you need to experience it as the locals. The site is categorized and easy to navigate, but arriving at a new location can be quite stressful sometimes, especially when you have a limited time. In this article, we have selected some of our preferred locations. Here you will find a recommendation for every meal, what to do and what you can see, as well as where to stay. And if you have more time available, you can safely browse through the categories and we are convinced that you’ll find many more places to impress you.
Mouse House is a boutique guesthouse with two locations now in the top center of Plovdiv – just a few steps from the biggest landmarks. Even if you arrive before your check-in time, we’ll immediately offer you a pleasant way to spend your time. Most likely the trip to Plovdiv was tiring, so you feel ready for a bite. Dive in boldly in the creative district, which has quickly become a favorite place for delicious food and constant entertainment. There is a real culinary gem in every small street, and you can make your choice from our last article about the best restaurants in Kapana. Whether you are in the mood for a craft burger or a dish worthy of a Michelin star - this is your place.
After lunch, the creative district is full of workshops and ateliers you shouldn’t miss on your way to the hotel. If you are looking for a spectacular handbag, go to the Giovanna art studio, where you’ll be greeted with a smile. Handmade jewelry or an accessory is never unnecessary and it can complete your outfit nicely, and fortunately, you can find it in many places in Kapana. In Piuma D'oro on Magura Street, you will find handmade jewelry from genuine leather and in Rakodelnitsata - a bunch of other magical things.
Perhaps it’s time to relax, so why not drink a beer in the first craft beer bar in Plovdiv Cat and Mouse? Beer lovers gather at the bar to enjoy the beer, talk and have fun, the way you can only in Plovdiv - culturally. Of course, there is everything else - from home-made lemonade to super classy aged malt scotch.
After returning for a moment to freshen up and get ready for dinner, we suggest you take a walk along the Main Street, which is the longest pedestrian street in Europe. Don’t miss looking up because the facades of the buildings are majestic. It is time to eat and about 5 minutes away from the hustle and bustle, there is a cozy place where the food is like an explosion of colors and tastes. d’Asti Osteria Italiana is like a culinary journey through Italy and will amaze you with its authentic offerings. Everything is perfectly selected and sorted to ensure that the customer will receive the highest quality products and taste. For the connoisseurs, the restaurant recommends pork cheeks and veal tails that are cooked for 40 hours using sousvvide technology. This way, the meat becomes extremely tender and melts directly into the mouth. From personal experience, we advise vegetarians to rely on melanzane, because in combination with parmesan, its texture is excellent and the bitter taste is pleasantly softened by the milky touch of the cheeses.
It’s Saturday morning, and after resting well, you are ready to go on a crazy tour of all the sights the oldest city in Europe has to offer. Two minutes away is the Old Town, where you can literally "lose" all day on the narrow cobblestone streets. There, the weather seems to have stopped and it brings magic unlike anywhere else, and you’ll find not just beautiful architecture and history. You will find joy! It is situated on three of the hills of Plovdiv - NebetTepe, DzhambazTepe, and TaksimTepe. The Ancient Theater, The Three Hills, the Roman Stadium are just a few of the stops on every tourist route, especially if this is your first visit to Plovdiv.
After the long walk you are sure to be hungry, so head to one of the city's top restaurants under the hills - Hemingway. The aroma of deliciously prepared food and freshly baked bread is carried through the air and lures for a glass of wine. And the customer feels at home. And always returns for more. Just opposite is one of the most recommended pastry shops - Dolce Fellini, and we sincerely hope you left the dieting for later because the temptations are countless - from hand-crafted Italian ice cream to artwork cakes.
Lunchtime has most likely passed into afternoon coffee, and then it is time for a walk in the largest park in the city - Tsar Simeon's Garden. Surrounded by long-lived trees, fresh air, a playground and adjacent restaurants, it is a small paradise in the city center. The greenness, the laugh, the performances of the street artists make you feel in that particular state of mind that the Plovdiv people call "aylyak" (something like mañana but without all that tension).
The whole trip can end even more impressively if you can catch the sunset at the Rowing Channel, which, although away from the center, is easily accessible by public transport or taxi. The view of sinking into the clouds fireball is astonishing and magical, and it is no coincidence that it is one of the most preferred places in Plovdiv for recreation and relaxation. There, you just open your senses and relax, surrounded by the magnificence of nature and the water.
Photo credit: Anton Atanasov
We end the day with food, and without "running" too far from this urban oasis, you can choose from the recommended restaurants around the Rowing Base according to what kind of cuisine you feel like eating today. For Mediterranean food, bet on Mykonos, and if you are looking for a large garden - Grebetsa is your place.
We return to the center where Saturday night the city is alive and thriving. No matter which bar on our routes you choose, the great experience and the party up to the small hours of the night is guaranteed.
Sunday morning always predisposes to a leisurely breakfast or brunch. You can bet on delicious mekitsi or try the international offers of Multi Culti, and why not choose something from one of our favorite bakeries!? The options are very different, but do eat well, because you can’t leave the city under the hills without visiting its latest gem. The Bishop’s Basilica of Philippopolis opened its doors exactly two weeks ago, and the reviews for it are more than impressive!