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Plovdiv: Why it could be Bulgaria’s – and Europe’s – best-kept secret

Climbing a narrow stone path alongside the remains of a 2000-year-old wall, I emerge at a vast hilltop ruin.

Three-metre thick Roman walls frame a view of mosques, churches and Soviet-era apartments stretching out to snowy mountains in the distance. A woman walks a labrador through the ruins like it’s just another city park and I feel like I’m the only tourist in Plovdiv.

Where, you ask? Situated in the south of Bulgaria, Plovdiv is the country’s second-largest city and one of the most ancient settlements in Europe – people have lived in the area for over 8000 years.

Bordering Turkey,…

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