Eight Reasons Why Bansko, Bulgaria Should Be Your Next Digital Nomad Destination
As Brent and I have mentioned before, coming to Bulgaria was pretty much the last place we expected to end up when left Seattle in December 2017 to become digital nomads. (Eastern Europe? Yikes!) Yet, after having lived here for three months, we can say ending up here is one of the best things that happened to us.
So what makes Bansko such a great destination for digital nomads? Here are eight reasons!
1) It’s cheap, cheap, cheap!
A lot of digital nomads need to watch those euros, dollars, and Thai baht. And that’s super easy to do in Bansko where you can get an apartment for less than €200 (okay, it might catch on fire), food is cheap (and pretty delicious), and thanks to low-cost airlines, getting here won’t break the bank.
2) It’s not in the Schengen Zone!
This won’t matter for EU citizens, but for those of us who can only spend 90 days out of every 180 in the European Union, Bulgaria is a fantastic backup. You get three months here and don’t need a visa ahead of time.
3) Coworking Bansko
Brent and I have stayed at a number of different co-working and co-living situations now and while most have been pretty good, we both agree that when you take all factors into account, Coworking Bansko comes out on top. They’ve got super-fast, reliable internet, ergonomic chairs, two different locations in town, a great community, and all for only €99 a month.
4) Outdoor activities
Unlike some places (looking at you Koh Lanta, Thailand), Bansko is heaven for active people. Located right next to Pirin National Park, there are tons of amazing hikes and mountain bike rides to do. You can either hike starting right in town or take the ski lift deep into the national park and start your hike there. (If you’re really feeling brave, try the Knife’s Ridge!) And by car or bike (the latter of which are available at Coworking Bansko), you can go even farther afield to explore. Plus, there are dozens of easy day or night trips you can take to places like the Rila Monastery, Velingrad, Plovdiv, and even down to Greece.
5) The Hot Springs!
One of our favorite Bansko traditions was the Thursday night trips to one of the many hot springs dotting this geothermally active region. Every week, a dozen or so of our fellow digital nomads would pile into a van for a quick trip across town, soak in the springs for an hour or so, then have a wonderful group dinner. It was a great way to get know everyone.
6) The community
The folks at Coworking Bansko do a marvelous job of creating a great sense of community. With well attended events like game and movie nights, a weekly Friday night BBQ during the summer, and events where members introduced themselves and what they’re working on, Bansko had one of the strongest communities we’ve found so far. In fact, the community was so strong that folks were constantly organizing spontaneous dinners out, hikes, and even trips to other nearby countries. (Part of that might be that unlike some other co-working places with up to a hundred members, Coworking Bansko usually had about half that, making it a lot easier to get to know folks.)
7) The town of Bansko
Best known as a ski town, Bansko is simply put an incredibly charming place. A mountain village of 12,000 , Bansko has two parts: “down the mountain” and “up the mountain.” Down the mountain is old town, which has wonderful cobble-stoned streets (including Delchev Street with a gorgeous little stream running down the center), stone buildings with red-slate roofs, a wonderful tree-lined central square where they hold jazz and movie festivals in summer, and a fantastic farmer’s market every Sunday. Up the mountain is where you’ll find the ski lift, the bigger hotels, and fancier restaurants serving the European hordes in the winter. We definitely preferred old town.
8) The Weather
We came to Bansko directly from Matera, Italy where the July temperatures had been hitting as high as 33 degrees. But located in the Razlog Valley, Bansko rarely went above the high 20s, making for perfect summer days. And come October, the weather turned cool and crisp!