Parking in major European cities has long been a problem, and the trend in recent years has not passed Bulgaria. Not only in the capital, but also the center of Plovdiv, it is full of cars, and sometimes finding a parking space is a matter of luck.
Although the local government is constantly trying to push through reforms and designate special parking spaces, vehicles are constantly multiplying and accordingly there is not enough space to safely leave your car for minimal pay, especially in the center. It should be noted here that the central city area is divided into blue and green zones. The blue zone covers several streets near Main Street, the Grand Hotel Plovdiv area, the Tsar-Simeon's Garden and all the way to the University of Plovdiv. The green zone is a box of intersections around the creative district of Kapana. There are parking spaces reserved for residents and you need to have a pass to leave your car.
It is important to note for tourists and guests of the City under the hills that it is almost impossible to save a parking space when booking accommodation in the ideal center of Plovdiv. Even large hotels cannot guarantee one upon arrival by car without prior request. The choice of a top location must be consistent with the fact that this entails additional parking fees. So there are several options upon accommodation:
Leave your car in the blue zone (if there are available spaces)
In these cases, the price per hour is 2 BGN. Working hours are from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm from Monday to Saturday. You can pay one of the municipal employees (you will recognize them in the blue vest) who is responsible for the specific streets, the parking meter (you need the exact coins), or you can send a text message from your mobile phone to 1332. Don’t forget to put the stay time document on the inside of the windshield after paying an employee or a parking meter.
Parking in a paid parking lot
There are several in the central area, the biggest one in front of the Ramada Princess Trimontium Hotel. The price varies in the range of 2-3 BGN per hour, more often in the upper limit. Most of the parking lots in the area work part-time, not 24/7.
Leave your car in the blue zone for free
This can only happen during off-hours, on Sunday or public holidays. If you are staying in an area with a blue zone, you can leave your car at the venue after 5.30 pm and move (or pay) after 8.30 am.
If you want to park without paying, this can be within 3 km of the center. In remote areas, the parking problem is on a much smaller scale and there are no fees, but you should always comply with the signs and be careful not to stop in front of a residential entrance or garage. When improper parking is found, there are several options for a fine:
A sticker on the windshield of the car
It is usually applied for offenses such as parking on the sidewalk (even if you have cars stopped in this way, this is not in accordance with the rules). The fine is from 20 to 50 BGN.
Putting a wheel clamp
It is applicable for parking in the blue/green zone in case of non-payment or delay of stay. Typically, the fine is 30 BGN for the removal and is paid on the spot to employees.
Forced removal of an improperly parked car to a dedicated parking lot
When you don’t find your car at the place you left it but have exceeded the parking time or stopped in violation, the car has likely been moved to a penal parking lot. You can check this at +359 32 630 777. The fine is 60 BGN and you pay separately for the stay per hour.