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Things to Do in Plovdiv

Plovdiv is widely known for being Bulgaria’s second-largest city, but few realize it’s also the oldest continually inhabited city in Europe, with recorded residents dating back over 8,000 years. As such, a visit to this lively town offers travelers a truly unique taste of Bulgarian history and an epic look into the nation’s past.

Old Town, which is closed to cars, is home to some of the city’s oldest architecture, roads and churches. The neighborhood’s art galleries, bars, and even an open-air roman opera house, add to the charm of this truly unique part of the city. Travelers say wandering the surrounding hillsides, which offer incredible sunset views, is a perfect way to spend an afternoon in Plovdiv, and the city’s close proximity to the Bachkovo Monastery and Asen’s Fortress make it an ideal base for exploring the surrounding sites, too.
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Bachkovo Monastery
35 Tours and Activities

The well-preserved Bachkovo Monastery is tucked into the hillside of Asenovgrad alongside the scenic Chepelare River. It’s the perfect destination for travelers looking for a natural escape from Plovdiv or Sofia. Its peaceful beauty and quiet spaces for reflection have drawn visitors to its gates since it was built in 1083.

The monastery grounds include an original ossuary, decorated with ancient frescos and a home to a first floor burial crypt; a cathedral, which houses a statue of the Virgin Mary Eleusa and attracts pilgrims to pray her feet; the Archangels’ Church covered in paintings by Joan Mosch; and an expansive garden tended by monks who still live and work on the monastery today. The small but impressive museum at Bachkovo has an extensive collection of religious artifacts, wood carvings and old-school frescos that’s worth checking out.

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