A Week in the Life of a Digital Nomad in Bansko, Bulgaria

A week in the life of digital nomad in Bansko, Bulgaria, including cost of living.
[The view of the woods from the gondola up to the slopes]
Wondering what life is like for digital nomads in Bansko, Bulgaria? Or what the cost of living is like? What is there to do? What exactly is Bulgaria like??? If you have these questions, well, I’ve got answers!

I spent 3 months at Coworking Bansko, from December to March. I really loved spending the colder months in a real “winter” destination (it is a ski resort, after all!), although it was an unseasonably warm year. In my head, snow would fall continuously as I looked out my balcony window. Inside, I would be cuddled up with a chunky knit blanket and a cup of tea while fairy lights twinkled and a fire roared in the fireplace.

House in the woods in Bansko, Bulgaria
[Saw this house on our hike to the monastery in Bansko]
But as you can imagine, that was not the case. My winter wonderland fantasy was unfortunately trumped (pun intended?) by unseasonably warm weather. Think temperatures in the 40’s F (like 4-8 C, finally starting to understand Celsius after being in Europe for over a year LOL) and sunny (an abomination) most of the time. Nor did my apartment have a fireplace.

Ah well, I still really enjoyed my time in Bansko! So much that I’m already planning to head back, possibly as early as summer!

I thought it might be fun to show what an average week might look like. And since Bansko is a little bit more affordable than other destinations in Western Europe, I decided to track my spending, too (I should probably be doing this anyway…).

To be honest, I probably I could have saved more but I was too busy having lots of fun with new friends…Ooops. But gotta live, ya know?

Mexana in Bansko, Bulgaria in the snow
[A Mexana, or traditional Bulgarian restaurant, in the snow]
NOTE: This was BEFORE I started snowboarding – once I added that into the mix, I certainly spent a bit more. I’ll do a breakdown of that below.

EXTRA NOTE: If I don’t mention food, it means I ate at home. I pretty much survived off of smoothies, Shakshuka (eggs sunny side up in a tomato-based sauce from the market), and salad while I was there.

MONDAY

Risk at Coworking Bansko's game night
[Playing Risk at game night – I actually won, which was quite surprising – I always lose]
  • Taught English online (my main gig) at home
  • Walked downstairs (I literally lived right above it!) to the Old Town coworking space, where I worked on my blog or freelance writing assignments
  • Went for run (I’d usually jog from my place to the start/middle of the monastery trail, then head back. To find it, look up “Belizmata Dam” and then the monastery nearby)
  • Game night at the coworking space

TOTAL SPENT: $0

TUESDAY

A presentation at Coworking Bansko
[A presentation at Coworking Bansko]
  • Morning yoga at the coworking space (it’s on a “pay what you want” basis when the yoga teacher is in town) – 5 BGN/$2.90 USD
  • Taught English online at home
  • Worked in the quiet space at the coworking (there are 2 buildings in the Old Town – the social space and the quiet space – so I’d alternate between the two)
  • Doner for dinner at the local kebab stand – 4 BGN/$2.32 USD

TOTAL SPENT: $5.22 USD

WEDNESDAY

Working on a Coworking Bansko laptop in Bansko, Bulgaria
[Working hard or hardly working? Lol, definitely the latter! This was just a fun ‘digital nomad’ photoshoot we did around Bansko]
  • Taught English online at home
  • Went to the coworking space
  • Veggie burger from Happy Food for dinner – 11 BGN/$6.38 USD
  • Fenix Gym (it’s a pretty basic gym with weights and some machines near the coworking space) – 4.50 BGN/$2.62 USD

TOTAL SPENT: $9 USD

THURSDAY

River in Bansko, Bulgaria
[The river we went ice bathing in – so pretty right??]
  • Morning yoga at the coworking space – 5 BGN/$2.90 USD
  • Teaching English online at home
  • Coworking space
  • Ice bathing – Someone at the coworking space was really into it and talked a lot about the health benefits, so I decided to try it out. It was really cold, but surprisingly, not terrible! Definitely better the second time when we had a hot pool nearby to jump into.
  • Bulgarian class – One of the members teaches every week for fun.
  • Izgreva Hot Springs – This is a reoccurring event that happens every Thursday! Promise me you’ll get the 3 Cheese Potato dish and the Izgreva Cake. – 7 BGN/$4.06 USD entrance, 6 BGN/$3.48 USD for 3 Cheese Potato dish & tip

TOTAL SPENT: $10.44 USD

FRIDAY

Aerial Yoga at Club Hanuman in Bansko, Bulgaria
[Hanging upside down is fun]
  • Teaching English online at home
  • Aerial yoga at Club Hanuman – 15 BGN/$8.58 USD
  • Teaching English online again afterwards
  • Coworking space
  • Indian curry buffet: Every Friday, there’s a dinner with people from the coworking space. – 25 BGN/$14.50 USD for food, 3.90 BGN/$2.26 USD for wine
  • Comedy night – 10 BGN/$5.80 USD for ticket, 4.50 BGN/$2.61 USD for beer
  • Bar 360 – 5 BGN/$2.90 USD for 2 cups of mulled wine (ask for their discount card)
  • Doner on the way home – 5 BGN/$2.90 USD

TOTAL SPENT: $36.65 USD

SATURDAY

Hiking in the countryside outside of Bansko, Bulgaria
[This was one of my favorite places to go walking/running! It’s the trail leading to the monastery near the Belizmata Dam just outside of town]
  • Teaching English online at home
  • Hike to the monastery
  • Bean soup at a restaurant (can’t remember the name, but every Mexana serves bean soup) – 3 BGN/$1.74 USD
  • Relaxing at home! LOL I needed a night off after the fun I’d had last night…

TOTAL SPENT: $1.47 USD

SUNDAY

The Sunday Market in Bansko, Bulgaria
[The Sunday Market was always poppin’ and one of my favorite places to go]
  • Teaching English online at home
  • Sunday market for groceries for the week – 65.10 BGN/$37.76 USD
  • Dinner at Cat Ballou – 15 BGN/$8.70 USD

TOTAL SPENT: $46.46 USD

The street ul “Gotse Delchev” in Bansko, Bulgaria has a river running through it and beautiful houses
[The street ul “Gotse Delchev” was another favorite – it was especially beautiful covered in snow]
TOTAL FOR THE WEEK: $118.06

Here are some other monthly expenses that I’m breaking up into a week:

  • Coworking Bansko Membership: €32.25/$36.58 USD (it’s €129 for the month, so I just divided by 4). I ended up staying for three months, so looking back, I would have saved a little money by paying the total for all 3 months (it’s €329 if you pay for 3 months upfront, which is about €110/month)
  • Rent: 100 BGN/$58 USD (total of 400 BGN/$232 USD for the month)
  • Utilities, including heating: 20BGN/$11.60 USD (80 BGN/$46.40 USD for the month)
  • Phone: 15 BGN/$8.70 USD for a SIM card with 15GB of data but no calling minutes. This was only supposed to work for a month, but for some reason lasted about 2.5 months! Then it randomly stopped working (even though I hadn’t used all the data) and I had to buy a new one for my last couple weeks in Bansko. My first one was from Vivacom, and the second was A1, and both were the same price and plan. I didn’t notice any differences in service, both were great!
  • Health Insurance: $9.24 USD ($36.96 per month) with SafetyWing

So, the GRAND TOTAL FOR THE WEEK: $242.18 USD

The top of the mountain at the ski resort in Bansko, Bulgaria
[Part of my snowboarding crew when we finally went to the top of the mountain]
Once I started snowboarding more often, life got a little pricier. I usually went 1-2x a week for about 5 weeks. Each time, I’d rent or purchase:

  • Snowboard + boots: 25 BGN/$14.50 USD
  • Ski pants/helmet/goggles if I wasn’t able to borrow from a friend: 10 BGN/$5.80 USD
  • Lift pass: 70 BGN/$40.61 USD. However, another option is to pay for a taxi (about 10 BGN per person) or take the gondola up (35 BGN) and take the ski road down. That’s what we did the first 3 times we went anyway, when we were just beginners!

So, I probably spent an extra $60 USD each time I went snowboarding.

Snow covered rooftops in Bansko, Bulgaria in winter
[SNOW SNOW SNOW – after it FINALLY snowed! It was just as magical as I’d hoped]
I hope this gives you an idea of what the cost of living in Bansko is like. Of course, some weeks were a little more expensive or cheaper than others, but on average, this is what I’d probably spend. Overall, I think you can live quite cheaply in Bansko – I probably could have saved a little more while I was there had I not done so many social activities.

However, I had just spent 2 months alone in England doing almost nothing social, so I didn’t mind using a little extra while in Bansko!

Scenery in Bansko, Bulgaria
[Isn’t the scenery in Bansko beautiful? This was also on our hike to the monastery]
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