Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria and also one of the oldest cities in Europe. While demonstrating which is the oldest metropolis in the world is not easy, the second city of Bulgaria presents historical evidence of having been inhabited since 6000 a.C. with the settlement of the Kendrisas, which would make it one of the oldest in the world. In the struggle for this title, cities such as the now besieged Aleppo and Damascus in Syria, Jericho in the West Bank and Byblos and Beirut in Lebanon, among others, also compete.
Plovdiv was one of the great cities of the Eastern Roman Empire and this is attested by the enormous and adequately preserved Roman legacy of which the city nowadays presumes. The ancient amphitheatre, built in the 2nd century AD by Emperor Trajan, is located in the old part of the city and every year in summer it is used for concerts and theatrical performances for its excellent acoustics and its unique location. With 19 centuries of antiquity, it has been recently restored after 20 years of works and now presents a sensational aspect being the best preserved of the Balkans.
The best way to tour Plovdiv is on foot, its medium size allows it perfectly. In fact, there is a free tour in English to know the basic history of the city and visit its key points without entering any church or house-museum. It is a perfect aperitif before immersing yourself in it, as the enthusiastic guides, mostly young university students, also stop at the anecdotes of some of the city’s amazing urban sculptures. Its duration is two hours and leaves daily at 2:00 pm from the fountain located in front of the Town Hall (from May to October they organize two views a day, at 11 am and 6 pm).
You can not miss Kapana, the artistic district of the city. Kapana means ‘trap’, for the convoluted streets that form it on which Viennese style houses are based in vogue in the city at the beginning of the 20th century. It has a curious history because, after suffering a fire, the city council decided to restore the neighbourhood by making a curious offer to the artists. He allowed them to reside for free for a year in their homes in exchange for carrying out an artistic project in the same, initiatives today completed by recent samples of urban art in its walls. In addition, more and more cafes and designer shops are opening their doors in streets that invite you to take a brunch at midday or enjoy a coffee or a wine in the afternoon.