We’ve been living as digital nomads for a few years by now, and we’ve visited some amazing places over the years! But one that beats them all is Bansko in Bulgaria. It’s been long overdue but we finally went to this famous digital nomad destination. It’s been amazing living in Bansko and experiencing the beauty of this little mountain town.
It feels like we’ve been planning this adventure to go live in Bulgaria for the past few years and it finally happened. We found out about Coworking Bansko on Youtube and then got hooked on the idea of going there. Mountains, nomad communities, awesome coworking spaces, and Sunday markets. Yes, please!
So September 2021 finally came along and we flew off to Sofia to start off on our digital nomad journey to Bansko…
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Our experience as digital nomads in Bansko
If you love the mountains, being surrounded by like-minded people, and living a slower-paced lifestyle then you will LOVE Bansko. We honestly don’t even know where to start because there’s so much to talk about when it comes to living in Bansko as a digital nomad.
We had an awesome experience and we still can’t get over the fact that it took us so long to finally visit this digital nomad community in Bulgaria. Also kudos to Matthias and Coworking Bansko for everything they do. From the day we arrived, we could tell they take pride in Coworking Bansko – and there’s a reason for it.
Let’s dive in!
Cost of living in Bansko
One of the most important parts to consider when moving to a new location as a digital nomad is how much it’s going to cost. Thankfully in Bansko, we didn’t have to worry too much about finances because Bulgaria is quite cheap compared to the rest of Europe.
Bansko is great if you’re looking to save some money for a few months or if you’re just starting out as a digital nomad and are working on growing your business. It’s a lot easier to focus on your business when you know expenses and cost of living aren’t going to eat away at your bank account.
Here’s a quick little estimate for the cost of living in Bansko:
- Rent in a shared room or a private apartment: €150 to 250 (around $170-280) per person/month
- Food at a standard Bulgarian restaurant: €4 to 6 (around $5-7)
- Coworking Bansko Membership: €130 (around $150) a month
The fact that rent is so cheap already puts the cost of living way down. On top of that, everything else is significantly cheaper than a lot of other places we’ve visited as digital nomads. It makes it really comfortable living in Bansko.
We had so much time to work and just enjoy life without worrying about how much we were spending. It can get a little dangerous because you do end up eating out a lot and spending money more often. But your money definitely goes a long way in Bulgaria!
Finding an apartment in Bansko
One other important thing to look at prior to your trip is finding an apartment. From what everyone told us before it can be really hit or miss with finding an apartment in Bansko. Some are amazing and some are not.
We did some digging and found this gem up past the Gondola. The apartment was spacious, modern, and clean and it had everything we needed during our time in Bansko. Our favourite parts about the apartment were how good the heaters were (this is important once fall and winter come around) and the view from the balcony.
The apartment is a bit out of the center of the city but we enjoyed the walks, and it’s close to the gondola and the Coworking Bansko Gondola workspace. We absolutely love this part of town.
We booked the apartment directly through Airbnb and the owner + the lady who manages the place are really sweet. The lady who manages Airbnb even picked us up from the bus station when we arrived!
We loved staying up in the gondola area closer to the mountains, but if you’re looking to stay more central in town the Avalon Apartments is a fantastic place to stay. Lots of digital nomads usually stay there for months at a time and the vibe there is awesome.
There are also some great options here at Bansko Nomad Apartments if you want to check out even more options. All these apartments have been approved by Coworking Bansko so you can be sure they’re in good buildings and located close to the center of town.
Getting from Sofia to Bansko
There are quite a few busses and trains that go from Sofia to Bansko including a bus that goes once a day from the Sofia Airport to Bansko.
When we got to Sofia, the bus was supposed to leave at 4:30 pm which was 10 minutes after our flight landed. We were about 5 minutes late and had to wait until the next day to get to Bansko.
So we ended up taking the metro to the city and staying at a hostel (Moreto & Caffeto) for the night before heading to Bansko the next day.
We have a full post on how to get from Sofia to Bansko here. Basically, you can either take a bus, train, or hire a private company to take you to Bansko. We took the bus as it is the cheapest option and it was super easy!
Joining Coworking Bansko
For us, community is super important and it is the main reason why we chose to spend some time in Bansko. We’ve heard from a few digital nomads how awesome their experience in Bansko was. Every single one of them highlighted the community as their favourite part of it.
The beauty of Coworking Bansko is that it’s not just a great coworking space but also a great place to connect with people. There are always events and fun things going on. You can find things to do in the community almost every day of the week.
I feel like 5/7 days of the week we were busy doing stuff with other members and friends. We would go to board game nights, make a trip to the hot springs near Bansko, group dinners, and other random events.
Coworking Bansko is so community driven and in our opinion, it’s one of the reasons why it thrives the way it does. We summarized why we think Coworking Bansko is the best coworking space here.
Fun things we did in Bansko
When we got to Bansko, we were surprised by how many things there are to do! Every day we were doing something different since there was always something going on. I don’t think we missed a single board game night.
We always looked forward to Thursday because Thursdays meant hot springs. After hiking in the mountains and staring at your computer all week it’s nice to relax in some proper Bulgarian hot springs.
Surprisingly, it never really got overwhelming for us and we found a good balance of time to relax and time to be social.
We love being social and doing things so it was perfect for us. Some days we’d just hang out in the lounge area and play cards and board games with people after work!
Hiking in Bansko
The fact that there are mountains right next to Bansko is one of the other reasons why we wanted to check out Bansko. We went hiking at least once a week during our time in Bansko. One day, we actually hiked from our apartment to Vihren Hut and it was awesome!
The Pirin Mountain range is a lot bigger than it seems and every time we went hiking, we added more new hikes to our bucket list. One of the best hikes we’ve done is the hike up to Vihren Peak. Vihren is the second tallest mountain in Bulgaria and the view from the top is amazing!
Hot Springs near Bansko
One thing Bulgaria and the Bansko area in specific is known for is their hot springs. We would usually go every Thursday evening with a bunch of Coworking Bansko members and we loved it.
It’s so relaxing to go on the weekend or on a chilly night where you want to hang out in a hot pool. As we mentioned above, we would go to the hot springs every Thursday. We would usually stay in for a few hours from around 6-8 pm and then have dinner with the other digital nomads at the restaurant afterwards.
Spikeball in the park
This was one of our favourite things to do! There’s a small Facebook group called Spikeball Bansko where people usually plan when to play. By the end of our time there it felt like we were out playing every day. It’s not a big group of people but we always managed to get 4-8 people playing whenever the weather was nice.
You can find the Spikeball group here and connect with the members there! You may even meet Phillip in the gondola coworking location – he’s the one who usually organizes it.
Movie nights at Coworking Bansko
Sundays are for movies. We were there in the fall so the evenings were dark and a little chilly and perfect for movie nights and snacks.
The movies we would watch would be a good mix of alternative movies and Oscar-winning movies such as Another Round by Thomas Vinterberg.
Board game night at Coworking Bansko
One of our favourite weekly activities in Bansko was the board game Mondays! We love playing games with friends while chatting and enjoying a beer and some snacks, so Mondays were always good fun!
There is an abundance of different games and there’s a good chance that any game you want to play is going to be there.
Matthias, the owner of Coworking Bansko, loves board games so Mondays are taken quite seriously. It’s a lot of fun!
Skiing in Bansko
One of the main reasons why digital nomads and expats come and spend time in Bansko is because of the skiing. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to experience the skiing since we were there in September and October (so just before the ski season starts) but from what we’ve heard it’s great.
One of the best parts about the ski resort in Bansko is how close the gondola and the ski slopes are from everything. You can wake up early, go do a few laps on the mountain, and come back after lunch and still get a full day’s work done!
Poker nights in town
During our time in Bansko, someone at Coworking Bansko would usually host a poker night every Tuesday, and the local expats also have a poker night every week. It’s not too serious, especially the Coworking Bansko one.
We joined a few times (Dom as a player and Jo as the dealer) and it was a lot of fun.
Sunday Markets in Old Town Bansko
Another one of our favourite days of the week is Sunday! (I feel like every day in Bansko was our favourite, haha).
Every Sunday we would go to the market and stock up on literally everything. There are so many goodies at the market that you just wanna shop forever.
There’s so much fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, baked goods, and everything else you can imagine at a Sunday market. It’s all from local Bulgarian farmers and everything is so fresh and cheap that it’s hard to not want to buy everything.
The peanut butter is to die for as well. It comes in a standard clear mason jar. There’s no logo and it looks very homemade. It’s absolutely delicious, so if you love peanut butter you have to try it!
Restaurants in Bansko
One of the nice things about Bansko is being able to eat out quite frequently without burning a hole in your pocket. We love to cook at home but it just made more sense going out for most of our meals in Bansko since it’s almost cheaper than cooking yourself.
We tried out quite a few restaurants in Bansko and have some favourites. If you love fresh smoothie bowls then check out Coconut Bansko which we only had a chance to try once before they closed for the quiet season.
The nomads have a few favourite spots to go to for lunch and most of them are in the Old Town of Bansko so some days we’d walk down to the lounge and work just so we could go out for lunch with everyone.
Is it easy to live in Bansko as a digital nomad?
This is honestly one of the hardest questions for us to answer. We spent a month in Bansko and absolutely loved it. Would we live there long term? That is a question that we can’t answer just yet.
We truly think it’s a great place to have as a base where you can leave your stuff and travel from. Housing (renting and buying) is super cheap in our opinion and you’re only a few hours away from an international airport. So it seems like the perfect base!
Bansko is one of the most densely populated digital nomad spots in Europe so you’ll never really feel alone. Especially if you’re a part of the Coworking Bansko community.
To go back on if it’s easy to live in Bansko? Personally, we could spend a few months of the year there. Enjoy some summer hiking and maybe a month in the winter for skiing but I don’t think I could live there long term just because it is small and very different from where we both grew up in Canada and Denmark.
Again, this is just a personal answer. Bansko is great and we’re already talking about the next time we plan to visit. But I think a month or two at a time is perfect for us!
You may also like…
- The Best Ways to Get From Sofia to Bansko
- 9 Best Restaurants in Bansko You Need to Try
- What is the Best Bank for Digital Nomads?
- The Best Coworking Space in Bansko
- 5 Hot Springs Near Bansko You Need to Visit
Recap of living in Bansko
If you love community and the outdoors this little mountain town in Bulgaria will be perfect for you. We had an amazing 5 weeks in Bulgaria living in Bansko and exploring the mountains and towns nearby.
The coworking space at Coworking Bansko is definitely the icing on the cake and makes living in Bansko super easy. We hope you enjoy it and if you have any questions about moving to Bansko then feel free to DM us on Instagram or comment down below.
If you do decide to go one day we hope you have the best time and maybe even see you there 🙂
Dom & Jo
Red White Adventures