Svilengrad is close to the road borders of Greece and Turkey (supposedly one of the largest road customs in Europe). Svilengrad is located ESE of Sofia and Plovdiv, South of Varna and Burgas, West of Edirne and North of the nearest Greek community Ormenio and Alexandroupoli in Greece. There is a higher level of employment than in surrounding villages. Most people work for customs and border related industries e.g. TIR servicing, hotels, border police, etc. The town centre has a pedestrianized high street mostly filled with cafes, bars, phone shops and hotels. The town has 3 DVD rental shops, two cinemas and a library. The Maritsa river flows through Svilengrad. The Evros regional unit of Greece is bordered to the south. The Rhodope mountains lie to the west and southwest. The area to the southwest is famous for its fruit trees.
During Ottoman times, the town's name was Cisr-i Mustafapasha, which was meaning "Bridge of Mustapha Pasha". In 1529, the Old Bridge (Bulgarian: Старият мост) over the Maritsa, one of the symbols of the town, was erected. The town was ceded to Bulgaria in 1912 after the First Balkan War.