Magical Sunsets on the Plovdiv Hills and Their History

Magical Sunset Locations in Plovdiv and Their History

I remember travel youtuber Tom Hooker say that one thing he always googles before each trip are the best sunset spots. That was something I had never thought to do. How silly of me. But you know what? I still venture out to find them nonetheless. I guess I like it complicated. Or spontaneous. Either way, I was climbing up and down the hills of Plovdiv to see the same yellow orb in different places each day. And sunset locations in Plovdiv can be found in abundance.

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Magical Sunset Locations in Plovdiv and Their History

Sunset Location Plovdiv #1: Ancient Fortress

Magical Sunset Locations in Plovdiv and Their HistoryWho needs beaches anyway when you can simply see the best sunsets over Plovdiv from an ancient ruin? I had come to Plovdiv on unison recommendations. While Veliko Tanorvo is generally labelled the most beautiful city in Bulgaria, Sofia and Plovdiv have to take turns being seen as digital nomad havens. After all, Bulgaria is the most affordable country in the EU and the wifi is spectacular. But all this pales when seeing the sun set at the end of the day, after having worked hard and climbed hills. And when it comes to hills and sunsets, Plovdiv is number one!

I stayed in a hostel right in the Old Town, which is located on a hill. Plovdiv is known as the City of Seven Hills and though the hills themselves are not spectacular, their views are splendid. With its cobblestone streets, antique churches and half-timbered houses, the Old Town is charming as can be. I actually didn’t want to leave.

Working all day at my laptop, only leaving the house for food. Plovdiv might be the second biggest city in Bulgaria, but it’s affordable. Especially for those coming from Western Europe. That is why I more than occasionally treated myself to Turkish desserts in the afternoon and filling meals in nearby traditional restaurants. But the evenings were reserved for worshipping the sun. I walked the short way towards the Ancient Fortress, took a seat on a former wall and took in the view.

Magical Sunset Locations in Plovdiv and Their History

Sunset Location Plovdiv #2: Alyosha

Magical Sunset Locations in Plovdiv and Their HistoryDid you know Plovdiv is the oldest continuously inhabited city on the continent and is among the top ten oldest existing cities worldwide? There seriously is so much to discover here. Every history buff will be over the moon! Thracians, Macedon, Romans all conquered the city and left their traces. And with each hill you climb, you can see some signs of the past.

With Alyosha on Bunarjik Hill, you get a more recent look into the past. It is a statue of a soldier and serves as a memorial to commemorate Soviet casualties in World War II. The soldier who modeled for the statue was called Alyosha and served in the war. Fun fact: the official anthem for Plovdiv until 1989 was also called “Alyosha”. The name is a nickname for Aleksey. The statue even has a poem written about it by Robert Rozhdestvensky.


Getting up Bunarjik Hill is relatively straightforward although a bit more long winding and challenging than the other hills. It’s well worth it though since you get a 360° view over the whole city and its other hills. This is the tallest one, after all.

Magical Sunset Locations in Plovdiv and Their History

Sunset Location Plovdiv #3: Youth Hill

Magical Sunset Locations in Plovdiv and Their HistoryRight next to the city centre and main shopping streets and behind the graffiti covered theatre, you can find stone steps. These lead up to two connected hills that will present a fantastic view over both the ancient fortress and Bunarjik Hill as well.

But why are there so many hills and why are they so prominent? Plovdiv has a mysterious tale for an explanation. Once there was a boy who went to serve Alexander the Great in his Army. He was so brave and successful that he was appointed governor of Babylon. But when his hometown Plovdiv was attached by barbarians, he was too busy to help.

His mother was furious and cursed him. Her anger let her to grab a sword and lead the attack herself, thus actually winning. When the cursed man sought retirement and came back to the city with seven camels decked in all his luxurious possessions, the curse came true. Right before he entered the city gates, he and all he owned turned to stone. He would never set foot in the town he deserted ever again.


Would you climb a hill for the best sunset locations in Plovdiv? Which one would you pick first?


Magical Sunset Locations in Plovdiv and Their History


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Comments

  1. Reply

    Hi Annemarie,

    The first sunset shot is beyond priceless. Classic. I have snapped a few classics in SE Asia; one particularly in Koh Lanta that I turned into an eBook cover. Thanks for sharing :)

    Ryan

    1. Reply

      Hi Ryan,

      Thank you so much! It was fun shooting it, but hard setting it up. I cannot wait to see a SE Asia sunset myself. Still haven’t made it there (apart from Japan and Korea). Do you have a link to the photo on your blog?

    • Edu
    • 02/07/2017
    Reply

    the scenery is truly magical, thanks

    1. Reply

      Hi Edu, it truly is. Have you ever been to Croatia?

    • Dan
    • 19/07/2017
    Reply

    What do you think about Plovdiv? I have heard good things but it’s a little hard to tell. I like nice small towns but I do long-travel (3 months) and am a bit concerned about how easy it is to “live” there.

    1. Reply

      Hi Dan, thanks for your question. I absolutely loved Plovdiv!! It is such a cute place, especially the Old Town. I definitely preferred it over Sofia and I feel like living here is easy. The wifi is decent, there are plenty of cafes to chill out, nature to explore, everything is affordable… I would have liked to stay much longer. I would go for it. If you don’t like it, you can always catch a cheap bus to Sofia or even Bucharest. Bucharest is really nice. I have a blog post about Romania’s capital as well.

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