The Old Plovdiv, Bulgaria, is the oldest city in Europe and the sixth oldest in the world. It has been populated since 6th century B.C. You can’t claim to have visited the oldest city in Europe, without walking on the cobbled streets of Hilly Plovdiv. The place is famous for its beautiful and well-preserved Ottoman-era townhouses, the most notable of which is the Hindliyan House.
The beautiful building features a hayet or rose-water fountain in its main living space. A rose-water fountain is exactly what it sounds like. Being in the living area of the house is a treat to the senses as you inhale the scent of roses while admiring the beautiful interior. You should also visit the Kilanti House. An odd feature of the house is its tiny rooms complete with little doors.
If you happen to be there, head to Kapana. Now, it is known to be the creative center of the city, but that was not always the case. In the 90s, Kapana was just one big parking lot with houses in various states of decay. Now, it’s a lively district frequented by creative types. Bustling establishments such as cafes, art galleries, and boutiques, replaced the ruins. While you’re there, don’t forget to drop by Cu29, which is a cafe and an art gallery in one. If you’re up for a drink or two, then Ginger Tale is highly recommended. It’s a cool cocktail bar with lots of hipster vibe.
If you’re looking for a local taste, try to have a meal in traditional diners. Make sure to order a banitsa, which is a staple in breakfast tables in Bulgaria. It’s a flaky pastry with a filling of sirene cheese, Bulgaria’s version of the Greek’s feta. Bakeland, located at the Old Town district serves the best banitsa in the city. The place also serves handmade cakes and other desserts.
For a nightcap, the perfect thing to do in Old Plovdiv is to drink wine. Plovdiv’s climate offers the best conditions to grow dark red grapes. And the locals have been making delicious wine out of the grapes since ancient times. If you’re a serious wine aficionado, or if you really just want to taste a lot of wine, then you can book a wine tour that will take you to the local vineyards including Villa Yustine, Dragomir, and Zagreus, which produces organic wine. If you just want to drink, then you can go to Bendida’s bar and shop located at the Kapana art center. The place serves the best bottles from the winery of the Portev family. Don’t forget to try their award-winning rosés.
If you’re happen to be in Bulgaria, Old Plovdiv is a must see destination.