Explore Plovdiv Like A Local: Part 2
If you enjoyed getting lost around Plovdiv with us in Part 1 of our guide, then you’ll certainly love what’s to come even more! Here are more awesome ways to explore the oldest city in Europe like a local:
Out for a bite like a Plovdivian
Around here eating is somewhat of a ritual for socializing. People like to get together with friends, family and coworkers at any time of the day to have a meal and catch up. They also like a place that treats them well. They care about the vibe as well as the quality of the food.
Here are some of the favourite places of Plovdivians:
Eddy’s Cafe and Food – breakfast & lunch
We, Bulgarians were pretty much raised on pancakes. Our mothers and grandmas prepared them for breakfast when we were kids and we grew to love them. So where do Plovdivians go when they crave a pancake?
Eddy’s cafe is a popular spot! They use family recipes and real products with all natural ingredients. Try one of their apple, cinnamon and cream pancakes or with turkey and caramelized onion, simply delicious!
Yes For You – breakfast & lunch
This lovely bakery in the city centre is where locals like to go for a coffee and to grab a traditional pastry, or a sweet treat. Try their freshly baked banitsa (Bulgarians most favourite snack), any of their cookies (like medenka – another favourite) or pop in at lunch for a traditional Bulgarian hot meal, like stuffed peppers, moussaka and many others.
Smokini – lunch & dinner
The people of Plovdiv can’t get enough of this modern restaurant. This is probably because the food is simply amazing (with generous portions) and the prices are affordable. The menu is simple but with really good quality dishes to choose from.
Try the fig salad, the beef steaks or the veal carpaccio with mushroom, rucola and walnuts. Top that with a dessert (a classic tiramisu or a glass of good wine).
Pavaj – lunch & dinner
Locals love to hang out in the trendy district of Kapana. Pavaj won the award for ‘’restaurant of the audience’’ and was declared a favourite place for the citizens of Plovdiv in the annual awards for tourism of the Plovdiv Municipality.
The menu is small but has great local dishes and all the ingredients are grown in the owner’s private garden close to Plovdiv. Make sure to try our famous shopska salad – we truly love it. Plovdivians recommend the veal cheeks with risotto along with any of their amazing wines or the baked cheese with strawberry jam.
Tip: It’s pretty busy every day of the week so call in advance to get a table (+359 87 811 1876).
With Plovdiv City Card, you’ll get discounts at these locations!
Experience the local culture like a Plovdivian
The people here love to go out when there’s something happening in the city. It’s our way of spending time with those we care about and do fun things that bring us closer together. Plovdivians love to go to the theatre, spend an afternoon visiting museums and galleries or dance a night away at a local fest or concert.
Here’s a list of venues Plovdivians love to visit again and again:
Zlatyu Boyadzhiev Gallery
Gallery Zlatyu Boyadjiev is located in the Old Town, in the former house of Dr. Stoyan Chomakov. Zlatyu Boyadzhiev was one of the most famous Bulgarian artists of all time. He painted mostly portraits and everyday life.
Art Gallery Philippopolis
Art Gallery Philippopolis showcases exhibitions of 19th- and 20th-century Bulgarian art. It’s located inside a beautiful house museum from the National Revival period.
The Balabanov house is one of the most beautiful National Revival era mansions located in the Old Town of Plovdiv. On the ground floor, you can see a permanent exhibition of modern Bulgarian art. The second floor has an incredible interior, typical for the Revival period and nowadays serves as a popular venue for many cultural events.
Regional Ethnographic Museum
The museum has over 4000 artefacts from the past traditions and customs of the people who have lived in Plovdiv and the region.
Regional Natural History Museum
The museum is housed in an old town hall. It has an aquarium, geology, zoology and botany exhibits.
State Opera Plovdiv
The State Opera of Plovdiv has quite a lot of performances nowadays, connected with the opera, the symphony, the musical-humoristic genre and the ballet.
Ancient Roman Theatre
The Ancient Roman Theatre is one of the best preserved ancient theatres in the world and an emblem of Plovdiv. It’s also one of the most loved by locals venues for concerts and events during the summer. The Opera Open festival is held there every year.
With Plovdiv City Card, you’ll get free admission or a discount at these locations!
Shop like a Plovdivian
Plovdivians love to go shopping! The shopping ritual is usually combined with a stop at a cafe, a drink, a meal at a restaurant and of course our love for socializing (bringing people along is absolutely essential).
Mall Markovo Tepe
When in need of shopping therapy most locals will drop by the mall. But around here it’s not just about the shopping. People meet with friends and families to have coffee in the mall, go to the cinema, have a pizza or just walk around.
Main Shopping Street
No doubt the local’s favourite place for walking around, shopping, eating, drinking and sightseeing. On warm weekends (even weekdays) and nights, the street (the longest pedestrian street in Europe) is filled with people socializing and enjoying themselves with friends and family.
The shops in the Kapana focus on handcrafted merchandise and local businesses. Locals love to go there to buy handmade home decorations, jewellery, clothes, custom made leather bags, natural cosmetics or teas and herbs.
Old Town Plovdiv
In the old part of town locals usually buy things like art prints, paintings or something handcrafted that reminds them of Bulgarian traditions such as hand weaved cloth, carpets, rose oil, and antiques.
With Plovdiv City Card, you’ll get discounts or gifts with purchase at these locations!
Party like a Plovdivian
Making the most out of life is certainly a priority for a local here. Especially when it’s the weekend and everyone just wants to let loose and enjoy themselves with friends over a drink and some good music. Here are some places where you can enjoy a dinner with friends or dance to some good music!
Monroe Bar Food & Friends
On weekends, Plovdivians like to go to places where they can have dinner, sip on cocktails at the bar and enjoy live music. Monroe is a piano bar/restaurant where you get just that. Try their baked salmon with potatoes, the olive bruschettas or any of their tasty wines while enjoying classy piano music.
Piano Bar Sinatra
Sinatra is an excellent high-end bar for night entertainment. Locals like to visit it for a bit of luxury now and then. Trademark of the bar is the high-quality live music, singing waiters and bartenders as well as the fine drinks (you can find a 125-year-old selection of Chivas Regal and Bushmills).
Locals like to catch up in Fargo over a good cocktail. The music is not too loud so it’s great for a drink and talk with friends.
And a few more…
No Sense: The best place for dancing according to locals. They play a different kind of music every night and there are many types of beer and bar games.
Fabric: A colourful pub with rock music and good beer. The local’s favourite spot for a guy’s night out.
Plovdivians are also known for their hospitality. We like to share our philosophies, culture, experiences, we want to enjoy life and share that with others too. With so much to do on this list, by the end, you might just find yourself a little bit more ‘’ailyak’’ and chilled just like a real local here. Why not experience it for yourself?