Plovdiv is located in the Western part of the Upper Thracian Plain at 160 m above the sea level, on the shores of Maritsa River, onto and around six syenite hills with area 53 sq km, at 42º 9`N Latitude and 24º 45` E longitude. Plovdiv is the second biggest city in Bulgaria with population of about 376 911. It is the administrative center of South Central Region, District Plovdiv. There are important road arteries passing through the City, which since ancient times connect the East with Europe, the Baltic with the Mediterranean and Black Sea with the Adriatic.
Plovdiv is equally remote from all Balkan capitals, you can reach it within one day either from Skopje, Tirana, Thessaloniki, Istanbul or Bucharest.
If you first arrive in the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia, you can get to Plovdiv by taxi, rented car, intercity bus or train. The distance between the two cities is 130 km or 1 h and 30 min drive or around 2 hours bus ride on highway Trakiya. The express train reaches Plovdiv for 2 h and 15 min, and the fast train for 2 h and 45 min.
If you first arrive in one of the two seaport cities – Varna and Burgas, you should know that the distance Varna – Plovdiv is 398 km or about 5 hours, and from Burgas to Plovdiv is 260 km which is about 3 h and 30 min.
The people arriving in Bulgaria from Western or Central Europe by car or bus usually cross the country’s western border at Kalotina or Gyueshevo. The distance from Kalotina to Plovdiv is 204 km on the first-class road E80, via Dragoman and Sofia, and from Gyueshevo to Plovdiv is 221 km on the first-class road E871 via Kyustendil, Pernik and Sofia.
Most of the land traffic coming form Romania to Bulgaria is via the Danube Bridge connecting Giurgiu (Romania) and Ruse (Bulgaria). The distance between Ruse and Plovdiv is 299 km on the first-class road E85, passing the towns of Byala and Veliko Tarnovo, then Gabrovo, the Shipka Passage, the Valley of Roses and Karlovo on road E64. The ferryboat connections are through Vidin, Nikopol and Oryahovo.
The access from Greece is through Checkpoint Kulata, Checkpoint Novo Selo, Checkpoint Ilinden and Checkpoint Zlatograd.
The traffic from Turkey to Plovdiv passes through Checkpoint Kapitan Andreevo – 160 km from Plovdiv, Checkpoint Malko Tarnovo – 291 km and Checkpoint Lesovo – 194 km.
The international railway transport to Plovdiv is done by the trains en route from Western Europe to Istanbul and the Middle East.