How To Visit Plovdiv’s Best Sights On A Budget
Plovdiv is a city which will surely surprise you – it’s most probably nothing like you imagine it to be. It’s 8000 years old, yet modern; it’s calm during the day, yet it has a vibrant nightlife. It’s an incredible mix of cultures which will enchant you from day one. So, how do you explore such a place without breaking the bank?
Enter Plovdiv City Card – your personal travel guide around Plovdiv! The carefully selected mix of museums, galleries, restaurants and entertainment venues will let you explore the city with ease, no matter how long you intend to stay – a day or a week. The best part? It will help you save time and money with free admissions to the best locations and deals to fill in the time in-between!
Here are the top locations in Plovdiv you can visit for free with City Card – discover, enjoy and share!
1/ The Ancient Theatre
The Ancient Theatre in the Old Town of Plovdiv is one of the best preserved ancient theatres in the world. It’s without a doubt one of the most iconic and impressive Plovdiv sightseeing locations – it was built more than 2000 years ago by the Romans and it used to hold up to 6000 seats! The theatre is still in use today and is a very popular venue for operas, plays and rock concerts.
2/ The Early-Christian Small Basilica
The Small Basilica in Plovdiv is an early-Christian church from around the 5th century AD and one of Plovdiv’s most distinctive landmarks. It’s located on Maria Louisa Blvd, just a short walk from the Main Pedestrian Street in the centre of town. You can take a look at the skills of ancient mosaic masters as there are many unique and well-preserved mosaics within the basilica, each with its rich architectural decorations representing various Christian symbols – deer, pigeons and others.
Hear what our customers are saying:
Having the Plovdiv City Card made our stay in the city so smooth. It provided a great blueprint of the best things to see in the city, and the entrances and events it covers are very well curated. I can recommend it!
Plovdiv City Card is the perfect tool for everyone visiting Plovdiv. Not only does it help you save money in the long run, but it also lets you discover new places to visit, that you might not even have heard of. It definitely happened to me, even though I had already been to Plovdiv before. It also comes with a booklet, a map and a free app, which makes everything much easier. Absolutely recommend!
3/ Cultural Centre Trakart
Inside the Cultural Centre Trakart, you can see some incredible antique floor mosaics from around the 3rd – 4th C. AD. They are located in the perimeter of the residential building “Eirene”, and there are two permanent expositions in the museum: “Glass in the Ancient Art” and “Miniature Marble Roman Portraits”.
Get started with your Digital Plovdiv City Card now and enjoy free admission at all these locations!
4/ Zlatyu Boyadzhiev Gallery
The building in which the Zlatyu Boyadzhiev Gallery is housed was built in 1860. Its owner was Dr. Stoyan Chomakov (1817-1893), an important Bulgarian Revival figure and one of the most prominent fighters for church independence.
In 1984 the emblematic house was transformed into a permanent exhibition for the paintings of one of the most famous Bulgarian artists – Zlatyu Boyadjiev. His work covers two major periods, separated from 1951 when he suffered a severe stroke that paralyzed the right half of his body.
5/ Stepan Hindliyan House
Built in 1834-35 by unknown master builders, House-museum Hindlyan is one of the few symmetrical houses in Plovdiv, preserved in their original condition.
Two artist painters known for their talent authored the decoration (one is thought to be Italian). The spacious hall on the second floor, known under the Turkish word hayet, used to feature a fountain that poured rose water.
The wall decorations abound in intricate geometrical, architectural and floral motifs and landscapes with some of them depicting views of Saint Petersburg, Stockholm, Lisbon, Athens, Venice, Alexandria and Constantinople. If you want to see what the life of a rich Bulgarian family was like – this is the place!
6/ The Balabanov House
The Balabanov house is a remarkable example of Bulgarian Renaissance architecture and one of the most frequented Plovdiv sightseeing locations. Built in the 19th century by one of the most famous local merchants, the house had three owners and today bears the name of its last owner, the tradesman Luka Balabanov.
The Balabanov House was demolished to the ground in the 1930s. In 1971, architects planned the complete renovation of the house, in the same place where it existed until its destruction. Today, the house is a museum, a cultural centre for exhibitions, theatre productions and concerts.
7/ Art Gallery – Museum Philippopolis
Art Gallery – Museum Philippopolis is located in an old Renaissance house, declared an architectural monument of culture in Plovdiv. The first floor is an exhibition hall where famous Bulgarian artists present their works in individual exhibitions. Art objects made from ceramics, wood and bronze are also available.
In the museum part on the second floor, there are pictures of some of the most famous Bulgarian artists from the late 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.
8/ Trakart Research Centre Museum
Trakart Research Center Museum is located on four floors, tracking the evolutionary development of our pre-existing cultures.
Here you can see a collection of fossils from 150 million years ago – fossils of flowers, fish, reptiles, flying animals and different species of trees! Presented in the museum are also 25 sculptures and masks of African art from the country of Dogon, as well as a collection of ceramic vessels and figures of the ancient Thracians from 5000-4650 BC.
9/ Regional Museum of Natural History
The Regional Museum of Natural History opened in 1955 in the old building of the former municipality in Plovdiv. The first exhibitions of the museum were rich collections from the former French College of St. Augustine.
Today, thanks to the expositions in the departments of Paleontology, Mineralogy and Botanica, the museum has become one of the most significant in the country.
10/ Ivan Vazov National Library
The Ivan Vazov National Library in Plovdiv holds the status of a regional library. It’s the second largest in the country after the National Library of St. Cyril and Methodius in Sofia. The library has a rich universal fund of over 1,925,000 library documents – scientific, fiction, old printed, rare and valuable publications, reference books, Bulgarian and foreign periodicals, audiovisual materials, electronic media, etc.
And if these 10 museums and galleries are not enough to fill your hunger for the true Plovdivian vibe – fret not! We’ve included 30+ deals to satisfy your hunger cravings and desire to have fun! The list is growing as we are continuously working to improve the Plovdiv City Card service. Let’s start exploring now!