How To: Go to the seven hills
So, let’s get our hills straight – in Plovdiv, they’re called “tepe” (singular). We have Nebet Tepe, Taksim Tepe and Dzhambaz Tepe (The Old Town is situated on top of these three). Then we have Sahat Tepe (Clocktower & TV Station), Markovo Tepe (which no longer exists as a hill), Bunardzik Tepe (where the Alyosha monument is situated) and Dzhendem Tepe (the tallest hill in the city). The hills are mostly known by their Turkish names.
Here’s what you need to know about them!
– Nebet Tepe, Taksim Tepe and Dzhambaz Tepe make a Trimontium (which means Three Hills in latin). Right on top of them is situated our beautiful and colorful Old Town. The complex has been formed as a result of the long sequence of habitation from prehistoric times to present day and combines the culture and architecture from Antiquity, Middle Ages and Bulgarian revival.
*Pop-up Notification* The Nebet Tepe hill is currently closed for renovation until the end of 2023.
Perfect in any weather, you can combine the visit of the revival houses (Balabanov House, Danov House, Kuyumdzhioglu House, Hindliyan House and Lamartine/Mavridi House) with a stroll to the top, where you’ll find a magnificent view over the city. This location is perfect for a hangout spot in the long summer nights. Just remember, put on some comfortable and stable shoes when going up Nebet Tepe and strolling around the Old Town. The streets are cobbled.
– Sahat Tepe is our next spot and we promise, it’s a charmer! This is the smallest hill, also known as Danov Hill. On top of this tepe, you’ll locate the Medieval Clock Tower, which rings its bell every round hour. Sharing the hill with the Clock Tower is also the Television Tower, which is magnificent to check out with all of its satellite dishes and retro vibes.
From the main pedestrian street you can go to the hill by climbing the steps behind the sign “TOGETHER”, right next to the statue of Miliyo. This is the east side of the hill and it is a quick way to get to the top, but not that pleasant, due to all the steps you’d need to go. Besides, sometimes there might be people drinking and smoking there. From the West side of the hill, right next to the Summer Cinema “Orpheus” you can climb to the top by going through a colorful path in the park of the hill. Bear in mind that like most places in Plovdiv, the streets and paths in the city center are mostly cobbled.
You can go with your dog, bring a date, or in a group – this location is friendly and open for outdoor improvised picnics, having a coffee there, or a drink. However, there are no dedicated toilets there, or any kind of shops or buffets, so it’s up to you when nature calls, just keep it clean.
– Markovo Tepe
Back in the day, Romans built an aqueduct going from the near Markovo village all the way to the Markovo Tepe where the water was distributed to the whole city.
However, legend has it that Krali Marko (A skillful and brave man who had powers that were unique and unheard of. He was known as the strongest man on Bulgarian territory. People admired him.) was after his rival Musa Kesedžija and while on his tail, he made a giant leap from Bunardzhik hill and landed on the nearest hill. Later to be named after Krali Marko – Markovo Tepe.
– Bunardzik Tepe is maybe the prettiest hill. It has gorgeous parks, which turn into real gold in the autumn season. A great location for walks, riding a bike (adolescents go there to practice mountain biking), coffee time, a walk with the dog, or just a stroll up to the top. On the top, you’ll find a spectacular 360° view of the city.
*Pop-up Notification* If you have a friendly dog, it’s a good spot to socialize, as there are a lot of fluff owners taking their pups up the hill after work (4:00PM - 5:00PM), depending on the season.
The hill is located to the west of the central part of the city. With its impressive height of 108 meters, it ranks second among the seven hills in Plovdiv, right after Dzhendem Tepe.
– Dzhendem Tepe, also known as the “Youth Hill” is really something else. At the foot of the hill is situated probably the prettiest living area – if you have the chance, don’t be afraid to explore the neighborhood around the hill, especially on the north and east side. The south side is probably the most attractive spot. There, the Youth Hill provides a gorgeous meadow, where you can have a picnic, go with your dog or play ball, badminton, etc. A huge open space park-area, where annually the Shake That Hill festival is held.
The hill itself has a main path to the top, which is gorgeous, but also has a lot of hidden paths as well, so keep an eye out.
*Pop-up Notification* Fun fact is that around the Youth Hill goes the Childrens Railway. It has two different schedules, depending on the season:
Winter Season: October 16th to March 31st, from Wednesday to Sunday between 8:45 AM and 5:15PM
Summer Season: April 1st to October 16th, from Wednesday to Sunday between 9:30 AM and 6:15PM
So, all in all, the Dzhendem Tepe is perfect for family activities, quality time in nature amidst the city, and just a laid back relaxed time. Don’t miss it!