Bulgaria is one of Europe’s hidden gems. It’s not as popular as France, Italy, Greece, or even some of the other Balkan states, but it should be.
Not only is there so much to see and do, but it is also one of the cheaper places to visit in Europe.
You don’t have to spend so much to live large in Bulgaria, but you can also take advantage of the affordability and maximize your trip.
One of the best places in Bulgaria to do that is Plovdiv, the country’s second-largest city.
You don’t need to spend a lot to feel the city and to experience its ancient culture and architecture.
Getting to Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Plovdiv is not that difficult to get to, and it is usually very cheap.
From London, there are direct flights going from Stansted to Plovdiv starting at $40. It takes three and a half hours on Ryanair.
If you are planning on seeing more of Bulgaria and stop in Sofia before Plovdiv, you can take a train or a bus that takes two hours and has a one-way fare of only $10.
It doesn’t cost much to get to the city, and it is way worth it once you get here.
Places to Stay
Like a lot of European cities, there are options for places to stay.
You can go for the luxury accommodation, which will be a lot cheaper than in a place like Paris or Rome, or you can stay at one of the city’s many guesthouses.
If you do, you will be rewarded with unique experiences, amazing hospitality, and low prices.
According to the experts at the site MoneyPug, which is known as a platform for finding cheap holidays, in the historic Old Town, where most tourists spend their time, you can stay at one of these accommodations for as little as $20.
You won’t regret the unique look into Bulgarian culture. You will be treated right.
Food & Drink
Since the Old Town is touristic, to get the best prices on food and drink, it is best to venture outside of it.
You will likely have a meal or two in the Old Town, as well as drinks, but if you take the time to get out of the tourist zone, you will find cheap plates, great drinks, and friendly locals.
This is the best way to eat and drink in Bulgaria.
Not only will it be cheaper, but the food will also be better, and the atmosphere will be authentic. A great way to eat and drink is to head to Kapana.
Go for a walk around this artistic and vibrant neighborhood. And keep an eye out for places where the locals pour out on to the street and sit outside.
You will be in for good food, drinks, and times.
Cheap Activities in Plovdiv
There is no shortage of great things to do in Plovdiv, and a lot of them are very affordable.
Something you can’t miss is the ancient Roman Theater.
While you can see a show here still, it doesn’t cost anything to visit this architectural and historical landmark.
It seats 7,000 people, and the view of the mountains is spectacular.
Another option is to take a picnic to the Star Simeon Gardens, where you can enjoy the scenery for free.
On weekend evenings, the fountains light up, creating a romantic atmosphere for locals and tourists alike.
Visiting the Kapana neighborhood is another must. Come for dinner but stay for the nightlife.
Spend some time here; the artsy environment is inspiring.
Finally, walking the main pedestrian street is a great way to get a feel for the Roman history here.
Stroll passed mosques and cafes, stopping for a beverage when you see fit.
Don’t forget to wear good shoes. The Roman cobblestone streets are not soft.
While walking is the most popular way to get around Plovdiv, public transportation in the city is cheap, although it can be a bit confusing.
Utilize it to get out of the main tourist areas and see a part of the city few visitors do. Taxis are also cheaper than most places in Europe.
Plovdiv is one of the best destinations for the budget traveler. It has it all: culture, architecture, history, food, drink, and friendly people all in a small area.
Don’t miss out on this must-see destination. It is, after all, the 2019 European Capital of Culture.
This story was published in partnership with Cheap Travel To Go and Money Pug.