Plovdiv is the first Bulgarian city chosen to be European Capital of Culture. In 2019, twenty years after the city was a host of the Month of Culture in 1999, we celebrate the most prestigious cultural initiative of the European Union.

European Capital of Culture is a unique project for Bulgaria which provides new opportunities for the development of the potential of the city and new international visibility and a perspective on Bulgarian culture as a whole. The programme of Plovdiv European Capital of Culture 2019 also includes  activities and events in the South Central Region of Bulgaria.
The beautiful Italian city of Matera, together with Plovdiv, has been chosen as the twin European Capital of Culture for 2019.

Plovdiv2019_ProgramBook_website-2After four years of preparation, Plovdiv 2019’s lineup includes more than 320 projects and more than 600 events covering not just Plovdiv but also the entire South Central Region as well as the cities finalists from the second round of the competition – Varna, Sofia and Veliko Tarnovo.

All the projects of  2019 are shown in the – Book of events – one year, one motto #together and more than 320 projects selected through open-calls according to the bid-book of Plovdiv and ordered chronologically and gathered thematically in the four platforms – FUSE, TRANSFORM, REVIVE, AND RELAX

The purpose of the European Capital of Culture programme is precisely to challenge preconceived notions towards the purpose and character of art, where it appears and the people who create it. The initiative aims to maximize the authenticity of cultural events within the city, to find actively engage the audience and, above all, to achieve the state which can be gathered simply and clearly in the motto ‘Together’.

N The LEGACY programme continues actively and supports and stimulates the development of cultural projects through the prism of the European Capital of Culture initiative. Check here the projects and opportunities for the period 2020 – 2022 HERE

Plovdiv 2019 in facts and figures


Plovdiv – European Capital of Culture will remain in the national cultural history with hundreds of events, 600 of which the city managed to present during the title year. With over 130 organizations and artists from all over Europe, Plovdiv 2019 successfully reaches its European dimension. There are many more Plovdiv residents who define themselves as Europeans thanks to the project. This became clear after a series of studies combined in the project monitoring, developed as a mandatory part for each Capital of Culture. Those studies were conducted during the period 2015-2019 and reflect important trends and conclusions related to the economic effect, interest in culture and image of the city before and during the title year. The national significance of the project is confirmed by the fact that over 1 million and 200 thousand adult Bulgarians from the country have attended at least one event of the program. The number of Bulgarians who have specially visited cultural events or sites in Plovdiv has tripled (38.6%), and for comparison in 2015 this was done by only 10.7% of them. The report also summarizes that everyone who visited Plovdiv spent an average of BGN 175 during their stay, which for the last two years amounted to about BGN 400 million in income, excluding ticket and transport costs. In the programme, which has developed on a large scale in the last two years, concerts, festivals, exhibitions and theater productions are among the most attended events. A survey of 3,632 participants in cultural events in 2019 shows that over 50% of them express strong satisfaction with the content. The summarized data clearly shows the broad socio-demographic profile of visitors, which includes students, workers, retirees, unemployed, people of all ages, ethnicities and genders. In tourism, as one of the key industries, there is a steady increase in the flow of Bulgarians visiting the city. Since 2015, their growth is 28% and reaches 39% in 2019, which makes nearly 2 million and 200 thousand citizens in 2019, according to the analysis. The economic effects, according to NSI data, also show an increase in foreign tourists by 27% only for large accommodation, as nearly half of them are EU citizens. Overnight stays marked a steady growth of nearly 18%, and revenues from them increased by 9% and reached BGN 29 million. The number of registered enterprises in the “Culture, Sports and Entertainment” sector in Plovdiv increased by 25% and the number of employees – by 16%.

Current news and events related to the initative European Capital of Culture in Plovdiv,  which continues its activities after the title year you can find here.

One of the key factors for the successful implementation of  the European Capital of Culture initiative is the implementation of the volunteers’ programme, which enables the involvement of people regardless of their gender, age, experience, social and ethnic background.

You can get involved in every step of the process of preparing and organizing cultural events, festivals and social projects. How to do this – check our here.


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