Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria and the administrative center of Plovdiv District, Plovdiv Municipality, Maritsa Municipality and Rodopi Municipality. The city is situated on both banks of the Maritsa River, in the central part of the Upper Thracian Plain. Its territory comprises 102 sq. km and the population of the city is 383 127 inhabitants with permanent address, respectively 365645 inhabitants with current address, according to the National Register of Population as of 15.03.2021. In addition to Bulgarians, the city’s population includes people of Armenian, Jewish, Greek, Turkish and Roma origin.
The Municipality of Plovdiv includes entirely the city of Plovdiv and is divided into 6 districts: Central, Eastern, Western, Northern, Southern and Trakia.
Plovdiv is the most important administrative, academic, economic, commercial and transportation center of the south central region.
The city is a major link in the chain of transport routes connecting Europe and Asia Minor, as well as an intersection of three pan-European corridors (IV, VIII and X). Plovdiv is a main rail hub in southern Bulgaria. The Plovdiv International Airport handles both passenger and cargo flights, strengthening its position as an alternative to Sofia Airport. The city has a duty-free zone and a customs terminal, as well as an intermodal terminal.
Plovdiv is the oldest city in Europe and the sixth oldest in the world, where life has never stopped /The Daily Telegraph in 2010/. It is estimated that it was founded around the beginning of 6th century BC. Having established itself as a Thracian center, the city grew during the times of Philip of Macedonia, flourished in the heyday of the Roman and Byzantine empires, was preserved in the years of the Ottoman Empire and was on the rise again during the Bulgarian National Revival.
After the Liberation of Bulgaria, Plovdiv became the capital of the autonomous region of Eastern Rumelia. After the Unification and to this day Plovdiv has remained the second largest city after the capital Sofia.
The unique cultural, historical and natural attractions, the sports facilities and the Fair, the cultural calendar, rich in international events, turn the city into a tourist attraction. Plovdiv is the starting point of many tourist destinations in the country and abroad.