High in Bulgaria’s picturesque Pirin Mountains, the resort town of Bansko has become a new hub for digital nomads. No surprise that this is happening, though. When you first set foot in the little town, you’ll be engulfed in the charm of Bulgarian culture coming from every side. The cobblestone small streets, the architecture of the old Bulgarian Revival houses, the monuments and the Bulgarian voices will hit you immediately and transfer you to the world of Eastern Europe.
Bankso is more than a tourist resort though: It’s a town that defines the heart and spirit of Bulgarian culture.
Oh, and there is something else to know about this little Bulgarian town; In the past six years, Bansko has
emerged as a digital nomad hub in Europe. While many DNs have returned to their countries of origin, many nomads have become permanent residents of Bansko. What’s more, this year an event increased Bankso’s world-wide popularity … and its reputation as a fabulous destination.
High quality of life, low cost of living
Bansko Nomad Fest has turned into one of the biggest and most famous celebrations of digital nomad life. Surprisingly to many local people, Bansko has turned into the ultimate place for remote workers.
With remote work skyrocketing, locations all over the world are competing to draw remote workers. According to the Nomad List, Bansko has taken the top place for “consistently growing remote work hubs in the last 5 years.”
For a native of Bulgaria, it is very interesting to see a Bulgarian small town amongst the most popular world destinations people would choose. To some extent, I understand.
Earning a salary from an employer outside of Bulgaria, yet paying Bulgarian prices (far lower than in countries such as Germany), is rather tempting.
Bansko and Bulgaria in general is quite affordable. What I mean is, cocktails cost around 5-6 euro, maybe less, depending on location. You can also have a proper meal at a restaurant for approximately 10-15 euros. Additionally, you could rent a nice apartment for 300 euros per month, give or take. This would most likely depend on size and location but surely, you have the chance to land a good deal in the town.
I believe that a budget of up to 1,000 euros per month is going to be more than enough to enjoy life to the fullest and save some money. This, compared to the standards other Europeans countries, is indeed a good deal.
Another aspect that makes Bansko such an inviting location for Digital Nomads is that it offers a variety of activities. In the winter you can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and other outdoor activities. During the warm months you can explore the nearby locations such as the Rila Monastery and every little hidden corner of the mountains.
Besides the above-mentioned reasons, I think that most digital nomads choose Bansko because of the community they can find there. Currently, Bansko is home of more than 300 remote workers and this number changes rapidly during the winter as the ski season arrives.
It’s all here for you
Currently, there are nine coworking space run by four different companies, companies which host an array of social events, as well. They include dinners, quizzes, barbecues, board games, sports and many other options.
Many of these events are open to everyone.
• Altspace is one of these options. Divided into three different locations, DNs who decide to use them have access to the cobbled streets, picturesque streams, bars, and cafes at their doorsteps. If you decide to go with this space, you can choose from three different subscription. They range from a day pass to a 3-month subscription allowing you to use conference rooms, wifi and other benefits. The prices of course are based on the duration of which you would like to be part of the space.
Alspace is great for digital nomads because you could also decide whether to use the social plan subscription. This purchase offers access to social events, workshops and discounts at local establishments.
• Another one of the spaces that attracts digital nomads is Coworking Bansko. This space has three different building across town which offer completely different vibes. The membership also gives multiples perk such as discounts on restaurants and grocery stores, cheap rental car options, access to Bansko nomad apartments, good networking opportunities and more. The price per month is 129 euros, but there are other flexible options available.
Similar to Altspace, you can buy a 1-day pass or 3-month subscription depending on your needs or flexibility. Moreover, this space offers a home office subscription that give you the chance to go to the office once a week but benefit from all community events.
• Finally, there’s BanskoLab. BanskoLab is a community-driven café and cultural centre that focuses on innovation and education. There are active projects including Bitcoin for Kids and Decentralised Coffee. Honestly, there are multiple ways in which you can get involved in BanskoLab because it offers many opportunities for volunteers which range from content creation to mentorship and fundraising. So, there is practically something for anyone.
These coworking spaces will allow you to meet new people and network. You’ll most likely meet people with all kinds of backgrounds and careers willing to help each other and get involved in the community. Other coworking spaces that could be of interest for all digital nomads are Nestwork, Coliving Semkovo, and Four Leaf Clover.
As I mentioned above, Bansko Nomad Fest has become the top event to attend. Although it already took place in June 2023, the upcoming year promises an even better experience. The goal is to gather 1,000 attendees who will share expertise, engage with one another and promote their brands.
Moreover, the festival welcomes speakers on various topics which may include YouTube, real estate investment, co-living, course creating and practically any topic that may be of interest to any Digital Nomad.
If you’re interested in attending this event, you can purchase tickets from the website here.
Also, keep in mind that it would take place between 23 June 2024 thru 30 June 2024. So be prepared to bootravel to Bulgaria around these dates.
Polya Plamenova Pencheva is a young Bulgarian journalist based in Groningen, Netherlands. Polya holds a Master's degree in journalism from Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and loves writing and telling the untold stories of interesting people. You can find her dining at cute café, shopping at markets, scouting second-hand shops or just chillin' at home with something great to read.