Every year at the end of June, nomads from all over the world flock to this small town in Bulgaria for the Bansko Nomad Fest. It’s a week full of fun, learning, and adventure, and it’s a great place to make new friends and reconnect with old ones!

The Bansko Nomad Fest (or BNF) is the largest digital nomad fest in the world with over 700 people from over 40 nationalities. In 2024, the fest is actually expected to surpass 1000 participants due to increased popularity (maybe you’ll be a part of this). 😉

We’ve now participated in the nomad fest twice, and we’re definitely planning to come back again for a third time!

So what makes the Bansko Nomad Fest so special?

In this post, we’ll go over the different logistics of the fest such as the ticket cost, what’s included, and also what’s not included. We will share our personal experience as well and why we are already planning to come back for BNF 2024!

Disclosure: This post has been created in collaboration with Bansko Nomad Fest. Everything in this post is based on our personal opinions and experiences. The post also contains affiliate links which means if you decide to use the links and make a valid purchase, we will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Why Bansko and Bansko Nomad Fest

A few years ago we were talking about Solana and which alt-coins or NFTs were going to the moon.

The following year all you could hear at the Coworking Bansko Lounge was AI and how it was going to take all our jobs (it made some jobs easier though, right?).

Now, all the buzz is about the $3500 VR headset that Apple’s going to sell us and how in-person communication is going to be a thing of the past. 

Some of these fads last a month or two and some a little longer. But the one “fad” that’s here to stay is the amount of digital nomads coming back to Bansko year after year. 

A group of digital nomads at the Bansko Nomad fest 2023.
Bansko Nomad Fest 2023 group photo | PC: Alli Pereira

Bansko has become a home away from home for many nomads and even a permanent home for others. That’s all thanks to Coworking Bansko, the Bansko Nomad Fest, and word of mouth from all the nomads sharing this incredible mountain town wherever they go. 

The numbers don’t lie. Every year there are more and more of us coming together in this little digital nomad heaven tucked away in the middle of Bulgaria under the Pirin Mountains. 

The town of Bansko deserves a lot of credit as well since, without it, the nomad fest wouldn’t be possible.

The infrastructure of the town is set up in a way that makes the event and festival possible.

There are enough restaurants, places of accommodation, and coworking spaces to host everyone without it making a negative impact on the locals. And there are actually a lot of locals involved in the event as well – both as volunteers and as logistics partners.

So thank you, Bansko! 

(Hopefully, in the not-so-distant future we’ll be thanking Coliving Semkovo as well!😉)

Use the code ‘redwhite’ to get 10% off at the 2024 Bansko Nomad Fest!

Why we love Bansko

Jo and friends at Bansko Nomad Fest 2022

No matter what kind of event you’re participating in – a music festival, a conference, or a digital nomad fest – the location plays a significant role in how well the event turns out.

For us, Bansko is the perfect place for an event like this that brings digital nomads from all around the world together. We’ve fallen in love with this mountain town, visiting twice before and now we are back for our third time. 

The charm lies in the things you don’t see on the internet or on the typical Youtube or Instagram videos. What makes Bansko so special can’t be described in words. It has to be experienced.

An example is the Sunday market where you communicate with hand gestures and smiles as you try to buy local honey and homemade peanut butter from one of the local vendors.

Another example is the deep friendships you form even within a few days after arriving here. We have friends we made during the first week of our first-ever visit to Bansko that we have now met in multiple different locations around the world. And every year, we are reunited in Bansko.

This is the reason why we nomad!

It’s the connections you make at the nomad fest (and the coworking) that make Bansko and Bansko Nomad Fest so so special.

It’s the small-town charm, the rich Bulgarian culture, and the sheer happiness you feel being in Bansko that keeps us coming back to this little paradise hidden away in the Balkans.

What do you get out of the BNF?

Now we’ve covered a few reasons why we love Bansko and the Bansko Nomad Fest so much.

But what about the cost and the logistics?

How much does the ticket cost?

The ticket price varies depending on when you buy the ticket for the fest. If you buy the Super Early Bird ticket, it costs €129 + VAT. (You can buy this one already now if you scroll to the bottom of the BNF page).

As you get closer to the fest, the ticket price goes up. I think the last tickets this year went for around €250 + VAT. So getting your tickets early definitely makes a big difference in price.

There is also the option of volunteering at the fest. This year, there were 114 volunteers + media representations and bloggers (like us) who received a free ticket in exchange for 25 hours of in-person volunteering.

We received a free ticket in exchange for this blog post (all opinions are still 100% honest), but if that wasn’t the case, we still would’ve bought a ticket and participated in the nomad fest.

That’s what we will be doing next year unless we decide to volunteer!

What’s included in the ticket?

Brit Smith, the lead coordinator of BNF welcomes us all

This event works a little differently than some of the other conferences we’ve been to in the past.

At the Bansko Nomad Fest, you buy a low-price ticket (€129 + VAT for the Super Early Bird) and then you get access to the different talks, the venues (stages + park), the community, the sponsors & business representatives, and a bunch of free activities almost every afternoon and evening.

The free activities include Jeopardy, karaoke, ecstatic dance, volleyball, yoga, fitness workouts, a soccer tournament, a quiz night hosted by Travel Massive with great prizes from the sponsors, and so much more.

What we like about the BNF (and what some people dislike) is that the ticket is pretty low-cost but there are also things that are NOT included in the ticket price.

We like this because it means we can get a cheap ticket and then select which things we want to participate in and pay for. Other people dislike this because they prefer everything to be included in the cost of the ticket.

Let’s dive a bit more into details about the things that are included…

Nomad Knowledge Exchange

Akina Shu giving a presentation on podcasting

Yes, it’s not just a week-long holiday and party in Bansko (ok maybe for some it is). There is definitely a lot of partying but there’s also a lot of knowledge being exchanged between everyone. 

This year there was a lineup of over 65 speakers at Bansko Nomad Fest 2023 and on top of that over 100 unconferences.

Between the two of us, we went to a bunch of different keynotes, panels, workshops, and unconferences that covered topics such as storytelling, starting a podcast, remote work best practices, entrepreneurship, personal growth, using AI in your business, and a whole lot more…

One of the best parts of the festival is that it’s not catered to just one type of nomad.

As we said, there were over 65 speakers, 100 unconferences, and 200 events so there’s something for everyone!

This week we met multiple people who’ve been living this lifestyle for 10+ years and then we also met people where this Bansko Nomad Fest was their first interaction with the digital nomad world. 

BNF is a melting pot of knowledge from all around the world.

Jo & Chris from RemoteBase at the SafetyWing workshop

We loved connecting with SafetyWing (nomad travel insurance) and learning more from them about what they offer and how we can promote their services on our blog. 

We even took part in one of their skill-shares and met other SafetyWing ambassadors and it was a whole lot of fun!

The speakers and other BNF members are genuinely good people who are trying to help out others succeed in this space and further themselves.

Whether you’re looking for personal growth, business advice, or the digital nomad lifestyle in general, you’ll find nomads with an abundance of knowledge who are trying to help each other succeed!

Connecting with other nomads

For us, one of the highlights of every BNF is connecting with the people we’ve met before – either here in Bansko or in another country around the world.

We’ve been on a hike in Madeira with a stranger who we ended up meeting again here in Bansko two years in a row. She’s now a great friend!

We’ve been to an open-mic comedy show in Prague just to realize that the MC was the one performing at the closing ceremony at BNF just a few weeks earlier.

Especially now after 3 years of coming to Bansko, there are so many familiar faces and nomads we’ve met before that end up here at the festival that it almost feels like a mini-reunion.

Bansko brings people together!

Use the code ‘redwhite’ to get 10% off at the 2024 Bansko Nomad Fest!

Great networking opportunities

The friendships we make is the main reason we come to Bansko but it’s definitely not the only thing to gain from the fest.

Bansko Nomad Fest is also a great place for business opportunities and networking no matter which industry you’re in.

There are representatives from different nomad companies like SafetyWing and Ski Hostel Frilingue that you can meet and connect with.

This year there were also companies that could help you with your taxes (this can be challenging as nomads sometimes), apartment rentals around the world, and even an international club of founders running high net-worth businesses.

It’s so cool meeting people from companies like these that are specifically catered towards helping nomads. And often the founders and employees are nomads too!

Matthias, founder of BNF and Coworking Bansko

Free activities

On top of all the skill-sharing and networking, there are also a bunch of free events and activities that are included in the ticket price.

There are multiple free activities every single day starting from around 8 am with morning meditation, yoga in the park, and Wim Hof breathing.

After the talks, there are a bunch of different fun activities at the Park Venue such as afternoon yoga, volleyball, fitness workouts, a football tournament, jeopardy, and last year there was also a beer pong tournament.

In the evenings the schedule varies between free and paid activities.

On the days when there are free activities in the evening, you can participate in the quiz night, try out improv, participate in the scavenger hunt (see if you can beat us next year 😉), speed dating & speed networking, and dancing. Lots of dancing!

You can easily be busy from sunrise to sunset if you want. Once the sun sets there’s always a group of nomads looking to find a bar and keep the night going.

What’s not included?

As we said, there are things that are not included in the ticket.

One of the more obvious things that isn’t included is accommodation. You will have to book your own lodging for your visit to Bansko.

We usually come here for at least a month (often longer) and book accommodation a few months in advance to get a better place and price.

If you’re planning to stay for a longer period of time as well, we’ve written a full guide about Living in Bansko as a Digital Nomad here that you can check out.

If you’re planning to come just for the duration of the fest, you might want to check out this post about 5 Awesome Hotels to Stay at in Bansko, Bulgaria instead.

Some of the other things that aren’t included in the event that might be a bit of a surprise to some people who have gone to other conferences are food and paid activities.

During the fest, you will have to pay for your own food. This is pretty easy though.

There are multiple grocery stores and a market in town, you can order lunch through the app, and there are also different community dinners you can participate in.

Nomads having fun at the hot springs in Banya

Last but not least, there are also a bunch of paid activities you can participate in. These activities are optional but some of them are super fun!

You can go river rafting, horseback riding, on a day trip to the Rila Monastery, on a wine-tasting tour to Melnik, try out an alpine roller-coaster and so much more!

These activities all vary in price and range between €15 to €80+. All details are in the app which also explains what’s included in the ticket price. Some of them only cover transport and then the price of the activity itself comes on top such as the alpine roller coaster.

We signed up for a tour that took us to a Bulgarian traditional wedding dinner and it was absolutely amazing!

We were welcomed by song, dressed up in traditional Bulgarian outfits, danced the “Hora” (a typical Bulgarian dance), and had a home-cooked meal. It was such a unique and wholesome experience and we can highly, highly recommend it!

Also read: Best Things to Do in Summer in Bansko

What does a day at the Bansko Nomad Fest look like?

You can make the Bansko Nomad Fest as busy or as chill as you like. All the keynotes, unconferences, and free and paid activities can be seen in the BNF app which you can download on your phone.

In 2022, the app got quite a bit of backlash but in 2023 we honestly think the app worked really well.

You can filter through the different days and types of activities, sign up for the talks you want to see and the things you want to participate in, and also pay for food and paid activities directly in the app.

So what does a typical day at the Bansko Nomad Fest look like?

Here’s an example of what a full day at the BNF could look like:

  • 8.00 am – 8:45 am: Morning meditation at the park
  • 9.00 am – 1:00 pm: Keynotes and panel talks
  • 1:30 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch at the park (pre-book through the app)
  • 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm: Unconferences or paid activities (i.e. river rafting)
  • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Community dinner (i.e. with a DN destination representative)
  • 9:30 pm – late: Karaoke at the park bar

Below you can also see the official overview from this year’s welcome presentation:

What we love about the Bansko Nomad Fest

Celebrating the nomadic spirit

The nomadic spirit was in full effect this year at BNF 2023!

For us, one of the highlights was actually the closing ceremony where BNF put on a talent show where different nomads performed and shared their talents with the rest of us.

Performance at the talent show

It’s fascinating being in a place where people from all different walks of life, cultures, languages, and professional backgrounds come together and share the joy of living this lifestyle together. 

There are definitely a bunch of memories I (Dom) can think of that brought the nomads together but one memory I’ll definitely cherish is meeting new friends & community from Japan.

Akina saw me and a fellow nomad playing tennis and she asked if her friends could join later in the week to play, which they did.

After playing tennis, they invited us over to their apartment where they brought a bunch of traditional Japanese foods from home and cooked up a delicious meal for all of us at the party. 

This is just one example of celebrating the nomadic spirit and connections you make with people from all around the world.

The best part, even though you think you may never see these people again there’s a good chance you will. 

We all love to travel, move around, and experience new things. If it’s not at Bansko Nomad Fest 2024 or Coliving Semkovo it will be somewhere else around the world!

Some of our favourite memories from Bansko Nomad Fest

  • Making new friends from Japan and trying out some traditional food they brought from home along with learning about a new coliving they plan to open up in Fukuoka, Japan.
  • Visiting Coliving Semkovo, a new digital nomad location only 45 minutes away from Bansko. This will supposedly become a new hub for nomads from around the world after it opens in 2024.
  • Playing tennis with old and new friends we’ve met here in Bansko during the small amount of free time during the Bansko Nomad Fest.
  • Running around town with our scavenger hunt team trying to complete all the tasks before the other teams just to realize that time and speed didn’t factor into the final score! (We still won though 😉).
  • Taking part in the quiz night and seeing my name go up and down the scoreboard and eventually falling to somewhere near the bottom after missing a few easy questions. 
  • Meeting like-minded people at all sorts of different unconferences and learning new skills.
  • Meeting up with friends from previous summers in Bansko!

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Wrapping up another awesome Bansko Nomad Fest

Group photo at Bansko Nomad Fest 2023

You couldn’t ask for a better setting, you couldn’t ask for a better organisation to create such a fun event, and you couldn’t ask for a better group of like-minded people.

We’re biased and we’re proud to say it because we love it here in Bansko and that’s why we keep coming back.

We like to come back a few weeks before the festival starts while the streets aren’t filled with nomads and it’s easy to reconnect with all our friends we’ve made before the wild BNF week arrives.

It seems like each year it keeps getting bigger and bigger and we keep coming back (next year we could expect up to 1000 people).

If you’re reading this and trying to decide if you want to come to the next BNF, just do it!

The outdoors are right in your backyard here. There’s an awesome community between the coworking space and colivings. The people you meet can turn into lifelong friendships.

Bansko is one of those places you stumble upon and wonder why you haven’t found it sooner. It’s a home away from home for us and hopefully, you’ll feel the same way when you come to one of the future Bansko Nomad Fests. 

We can’t wait to see you next year!

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  1. Supraja Lakshmi N on August 12, 2023 at 12:55 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this article on the Bansko Nomad Fest 2023. You have done a great job of summarizing the different options and highlighting their features and benefits. I like how you explained what a nomad fest is and what to expect from it. Your photos are amazing too, they make me want to join this fest myself. Thank you for sharing your information and inspiration for this event!

    • redwhiteadventures on August 16, 2023 at 10:52 pm


      That’s awesome to hear! Our goal was to showcase our experience and show you exactly what you could expect from the nomad fest! We definitely hope to see you at one of the future nomad fests!


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