Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia. The city is an important economic, transport, cultural and educational centre.Plovdiv is situated in the central part of the Upper Thracian Plain on the two banks of the Maritsa River. It is 10 km from the Rhodope mountains and 50 km from the Balkan mountains. Plovdiv is host to economic and cultural events such as the International Fair Plovdiv, the international theatrical festival "A scene on a crossroad", the TV festival "The golden chest". There are many remains preserved from Antiquity such as the Ancient amphitheatre, Roman odeon, Roman Stadium, the archaeological complex Eirene and others. In the 12th century BC the settlement on one of the hills grew to the Thracian city of Eumolpias which was among the first cities in Europe. Plovdiv is one of the oldest cities in Europe. It is a contemporary of Troy and Mycenae, and older than Rome, Carthage or Constantinople.
Plovdiv is a major cultural center. The city has more than 200 archaeological sites, 30 of which are of national importance. There are many remains from antiquity - Plovdiv is among the few cities with two ancient theatres; remains of the medieval walls and towers; Ottoman baths and mosques; a well-preserved old quarter from the National Revival period with beautiful houses, churches and narrow paved streets. There are numerous museums, art galleries and cultural institutions. Plovdiv is host to musical, theatrical and film events.
The city is a starting point for trips to places in the region, such as the Bachkovo Monastery at 30 km to the south, the ski-resort Pamporovo at 90 km to the south or the spa resorts to the north Hisarya, Banya, Krasnovo, Strelcha.There are more than 50 hotels with 7,000 beds as well as hostels and other forms of accommodation.
The Antique theatre which is wrongly referred to as the Amphitheatre is one of the most famous monuments from the Antiquity in Bulgaria.It was built in the beginning of the 2nd century during the reign of the Roman Emperor Trajan. It is situated in the natural saddle between the Dzhambaz Tepe and Taksim Tepe hills. It is divided into two parts with 14 rows each divided with a horizontal lane.The Roman Stadium is another important monument of the ancient city. It was built in the 2nd century and modeled after the stadium in DelphiOnly a small part of the northern section with 13 seat rows can be seen nowadays - the larger part lies under the main street and a number of buildings.
There are numbers of museum in Plovdiv:the Archaeological ,the Ethnographic Museum, the Historical Museum of Plovdiv,the Regional Ethnographic Museum ,the Museum of Natural,the Museum of Aviation
The Old Town of Plovdiv is a historic preservation site known for its Bulgarian Renaissance architectural style. Almost every house in the Old Town has its characteristic exterior and interior decoration.
Trade centers have been built mainly in the Central district and the district of Trakiya. Those include Trade Center Grand, Market Center and two more all on the Kapitan Raycho Street, Forum in Trakiya, Exelsior and others. There are several malls,several hypermarkets: Metro, Kaufland, Sani , Praktiker, Billa, Mr. Bricolage, Baumax, Technopolis, Technopark Europa and others
The Plovdiv International Fair, held annually since 1892, is the largest and oldest fair in the country and all of southeastern Europe, gathering companies from all over the world in an exhibition area of 138,000 m² located on a territory of 352,000 m² on the northern banks of the Maristsa .