Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria and an administrative center of Plovdiv County. It is situated in the Upper Thracian Plain, on both banks of the Maritsa River. The population of the city is about 350,000 people. The climate is transitional–continental with mild winters and hot summers. The town in its present appearance was built around seven hills – the hills of Plovdiv which are an inseparable part of the city’s history. Plovdiv is one of the oldest cities in Europe – the beginning of its history dates back to 4,000 years BC. In the beginning the ancient settlement was situated on the natural elevation between Nebet, Taksim and Dzhambaz hills (the Three Hills). Besides cultural attractions, the city offers very good sports and recreation conditions. On one of the city ends lies a rowing base of Olympic size, which offers great conditions for rowing, running and cycling. In the past there were seven hills in Plovdiv. Nowadays, only six of them are preserved. Markovo hill was turned into pavement for the cobble stoned streets. The city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country and a cultural and economic center of southern Bulgaria. There are many accommodation options here – from luxurious hotels to hostels. The main street of the city offers excellent opportunities for entertainment and shopping; the restaurants options are numerous.