As a handy stop over city on route from Veliko Tarnovo (a splendid city where I stayed in the Hotel Comfort) enroute to Sofia, I decided to do the obvious touristy thing for a change and stay in Plovdiv. Plovdiv is a classic Bulgarian city with a real ancient Roman feel about it. Despite the fact I thought I was being touristy, I was surprised as I backpacked the streets of Plovdiv only to find I was the only backpacker in all the places I went. I must have been out of season, or crazy. Or neither. First though, I needed to have a safe, secure and comfortable base and I first looked at the hostels in the Old Town area as this was my main target of interest for Plovdiv.
I found the Old Plovdiv Guest House, run by local lad Hristo and so I plumped for a bed in a 3 bed dorm. I arrived off my bus from Veliko Tarnovo and was greeted by Maria. Straight away – towel and hot shower to be had and ready to explore the city. The hostel Plovdiv left a mark on me though – I loved the antique value of the building it is housed in. There was something endearing about it that gave Plovdiv that cultural edge I didn’t expect. Here are 5 reasons why I’d also suggest basing yourself in the Old Plovdiv Guest House when you backpack the city.
1. Unbeatable Location
Quite simply if you are exploring the Old Town, the location of the Old Plovdiv Guest House cannot be beaten. It is in the heart of the Old City – you are within walking distance to everywhere. In fact, I even decided it was close enough to the bus station too so I walked it (took 20 minutes only).
You’re on a quiet street with the main Old Town sights all nearby – the amphitheatre, the ruined fortress, the Cathedral of the Assumption etc.
2. Charming Building
What’s great about Old Town Plovdiv is the pure vibrancy and character of the buildings. The Old Plovdiv Guest House is one such building. Character and charm creeps through it’s wooden old school walls.
3. Breakfast Included
Hostels in Europe are just not good at free breakfast normally. Well except for the awesome Hostal Barcelona and the Abraham Hostel in Israel (if that even counts as Europe?) but here at the Old Plovdiv Guest House the breakfast isn’t just included and is free – it’s good!!
You get a choice of many coffees and teas. You have a choice of three fresh juices. There are three types of cereal, two types of bread, a range of fresh fruits and then wait – a full on breakfast platter! The platter had tomatoes, olives, cucumber, salami, ham and cheese. A tasty morning start before you backpack your way through Plovdiv.
4. Bar Out the Back
The back garden has a bar out the back. I was here in December time so probably the vibe was quieter and different. In Summer months, this will be a cool spot to socialise and lap up the $1 beers!
It wasn’t just the fact there was good wi-fi – there was a cosy lounge upstairs where I could relax with my laptop out and blog away to myself. A really nice aspect to what is a charming hostel in Old Town Plovdiv.
As a recommendation though, I also have to say that the impressive looking Gramophone Hostel wanted me to stay there and I had already booked into the Old Plovdiv so for this reason, I have to recommend them both. Go for the Old Plovdiv if you want the charming building, and the Gramophone if you want to see one of the newest hostels on the scene in under-rated Plovdiv.
Here are my videos from my stay in the Old Plovdiv Guest House: