Walking tour in Plovdiv with Audio Guide
Plovdiv has been selected European Capital of Culture in 2019 and once you visit it, it is easy to see why. I absolutely loved the place: there were not many tourists around and it is full of historical sites and ancient monuments, which are within walking distance of one another. Plovdiv has a mix of cultures and a hipster area for all your Instagram/coffee breaks/craft beer needs.
As the city centre is quite compact, I decided to explore it on foot with my daughter Letitia and with the help of Audio Guide Bulgaria, which you can collect in the Tourism Office before you start your walk.
Together with an audio guide you will get a fantastic map with illustrations. The map certainly makes the walk more entertaining, compared to following your google map on your phone. Hey, when was the last time you explored the city with the paper map?
Once you reach a building you can press the relevant number and listen to the story or additional material, if you want to discover a bit more. The audio guide is very user friendly and you can even return it the next day before a certain time, just in case you want to explore the city in the evening.
We found that we could just about manage to see majority of the buildings on the walk, but we only went inside two houses, so if you are planning to see more museums, I recommend reserving the audio guide for 2 days, so you can have more time discovering the Old and New towns in Plovdiv.
The Audio Guide is not only available in Plovdiv, but in other cities like Sofia and Nessebar or Bansko. It is also available in English, Russian, Spaish, Italian, French, Turkish and Greek.
I want to show you couple of places that we loved most of all on our walk.
I could not believe my eyes that right in the city centre a part of the ancient Roman stadium is readily available for your exploration. And it is free. Majority of the stadium lies under the main street, but there is a post half way up the high street to show where the stadium ends. It is an absolutely massive structure and it is refreshing to see it being in free access. You can literally touch history by sitting on ancient stairs, like Romans did, so many years ago.
The House of Hindliyan
The colour of this house is like the sky and it is like a jewellery box inside. The house used to be a residence for a very wealthy merchant family. Some of the rooms are so full of atmosphere, I just wanted to sit there and imagine, what these rooms might have seen. It is a very human house, so there is no grandeur and majority of the rooms are not roped, so you can walk around and see the views from the windows or admire the paintings in the alcoves.
In order to preserve the anciet art of crafts , some houses have been turned into artists/craftsmen residences, where you can see them working or admire examples of their work. Again, this was such a great introduction to the world of the Bulgarian craft: you can have a chat with artists as they all spoke English, no problem, and they would show you what they are working on, if you ask nicely.
Unless you have an audio guide with you, it is likely you are going to walk past this place and never look inside. The restaurant used to be a hall for Dancing Dervishes and there are still signs for it everywhere: wall paintings and the way the hall is built. That was really a gem and if you like to stay for some time, you can, as they have lovely open courtyard with comfortable seats. The restaurant is open all day, so you should be able to visit it as part of your tour even outside of food-serving times.
These places are just part of the 25 places which form part of Plovdiv walking tour, so I urge you, while Plovdiv is still not discovered, to go and see its beauty with your own eyes.
The use of audio guides was complimentary, but all opinions are my own.