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When it comes to destinations for digital nomads, Bulgaria may not be the first place that comes to mind.
But this Eastern European nation is really great for digital nomads, with one destination in particular fast becoming a hotspot for digital nomads: Bansko.
Bansko is off the beaten track for many travelers, but winter sports fans know it’s a great budget skiing and snowboarding destination in Europe.
Located in the Pirin Mountains, Bansko is a popular winter destination that attracts the “digital snow crazy” crowd of remote workers who want to hit the slopes in their spare time.
Even if you don’t like to ski or snowboard, here are the reasons why Bansko is a great place for digital nomads:
Bansko nomad party
One of the most unique things about Bansko is that it is home to Bansko Nomad Festival. This is an annual week-long event for digital nomads that packs tons of activities into a short amount of time. It’s a great place to meet and network with like-minded digital nomads.
The event attracts hundreds of attendees and features keynote speakers from a variety of industries. There are also many events that allow you to socialize with other digital nomads.
Growing community of digital nomads
Bansko is growing as a digital nomad hub as more and more remote workers establish a base of operations there. Although it’s busiest in winter during the ski season, you’ll find digital nomads living in Bansko year-round.
With a growing community of digital nomads and several coworking venues, Bansko is a great place to spend a few months working and meeting other people who live the digital nomad lifestyle.
beautiful all year
Although Bansko might be more famous for its winter sports and its proximity to skiing and snowboarding, it’s actually a year-round destination. The annual Bansko Nomad Fest takes place during the summer, so the city is far from dead during the summer months.
In the summer, you can enjoy exploring the surrounding mountains and participating in activities such as hiking, rafting, and visiting the local hot springs.
A big factor that attracts digital nomads to Bansko (and Bulgaria in general) is affordability.
Bansko is an extremely affordable destination. according to a couple of digital nomads who lived thereIt costs between $1,400 and $1,700 a month, and includes rent, dining out, groceries, transportation, and activities for two.
(And this is with dining out multiple times every day – you could easily live in Bansko for less than $1,000 if you’re on a tighter budget.)
Great base to explore
Although there is a lot to do in Bansko, you can also explore much more of Bulgaria and neighboring countries. The Bulgarian capital of Sofia is less than two hours from Bansko and the « cultural capital » of Plovdiv is two and a half hours.
You can even visit Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, in less than three hours from Bansko, and there are other hidden gems in northern Greece that are even closer, like the coastal city of Kavala.
Not part of the Schengen area
Finally, Bulgaria is not part of the Schengen Area in Europe, which means that for Americans and many other nationalities, time spent in Bulgaria will not count against the Schengen Area’s 90-day limit of 180 days.
Americans can stay in Bulgaria for up to 90 days within each 180-day period. This makes Bansko a great place to go if you don’t have time in the Schengen Area and want to wait for it to « restart » somewhere that is still in Europe.
However, this may not last much longer: both Bulgaria and Romania will join the Schengen Area in the near future, perhaps as early as 2024.
traveler alert: Don’t forget travel insurance for your next trip!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com