Please remember that tipping is acceptable and expected in Bulgaria.
Restaurants: 10 - 15%
Taxis: Round up to the nearest whole number
Hotels: 5 - 10 % So many fond memories...
The willingness of Bulgarians to accept 'others'.
The kindness of the people.
The sense of humor.
Cheap Coffee and Free WiFi at the Station
Somtimes railway station cafes can be real dives but this little one at Plovdiv is friendly, clean and cheap - a decent cup of coffee a mere 80 stotinki. The WiFi connection is fast and reliable (you'll need the code from the server or you can access a couple of "roaming services") and the place does good simple eats too. Not only that but, unusual for Bulgaria, there is a separate non-smoking section to the left of the counter (that's the area where no-one else is sitting!).
How did Plovdid developed after the old town was finished in the National Revival period? From 1878 untill 1890 it were foreign engineers and architects doing the planning and building, after this period also Bulgarians took responsibity. On the right bank the District Assembly and the Male High School arise. In 1892 the International Agricultural Exhibition was held and it was organised on the former grounds of a Turkish cemetery. This ground was transferred into a Park and was given to the people after the Exibition as the Simeon park. New Plovdiv came into being thanks to moden architect Joseph Schnitter, who enabled the connection of the railway station with the centre of the town. Making the hills green and preserving ancient constructions. Plovdiv evolved from mediaval Ottoman settlement to modern city. From 1900 till the 1930’s the town was influenced by Secession, decorations and abundance. See the buildings in the main street and Vazov street. After worldwar one the urban planning got frustrated by the fact that new inhabitants, refugees, build their new homes outside the plan. And in 1928 there was also an earth quake. This chaos stayed until the Communist rule. The Stalinist architecture of the fifties took Plovdiv traditions not into consideration. In the sixties the city as industrial centre needed new city planning which resulted in extensive suburbs with multi storey blocks of flats. This new General Urban Plan of 1968 didn’t take the Maritsa River as a part of the city center. This can still be felt. After the souleless architecture of the communists, the nineties gave urban planning back to the Bulgarians and a rise in the creation of individual residential building can be noticed since then.
Jazz Festival-Plovdiv Jazz Nights
The event is held for the first time in 2004. The idea is presenting leading jazz performers and creators from all over Bulgaria. There is also foreign participation.The concerts are on the summer cinema"Orpheus".
It's in September.
Bulgaria's National Aviation Museum
Bulgaria's only Aviation Museum is located out by Plovdiv Airport near the village of Krumovo. For those interested in aviation this makes for an excellent day out and the exhibits cover the Bulgarian history of flight from balloons to the Soyuz 33 spacecraft.
This is mainly a Military Museum with most of the aircraft and other displays associated with the Bulgarian Air Force and charts not only the technical development but also the people involved.
The museum comprises an indoor chronologically-arranged exhibition and the outdoors array of restored planes. Winter opening times are 9 am to 4 pm, Wednesday through Sunday, with an admission charge of 2 leva. Whilst there is a 10 leva charge for a guided tour I personally got my own little mini one from the friendly curator included in my 2 leva :)
Although the museum is addressed as being at Krumovo the train stop is actually Mavrudovo which is just outside the museum entrance (as I found out the hard way having gotten off at Krumovo to find myself with a two mile walk!). At the time of writing trains run hourly during the day (the Asenovgrad line) leaving Plovdiv at 30 minutes past the hour and returning at 7 minutes past. It's about 15 minutes journey with an e/w fare of 1.20 leva and you should allow at least 2 hours to appreciate the visit.
First website is the unofficial, but excellent, "All Bulgaria Virtual Guide". The second is the official Military Museums site and a dedicated Aviation Museum site is currently under construction.