When it comes to digital nomad destinations, Bulgaria might not be the first place that comes to mind.
But this Eastern European nation is actually great for digital nomads, with one destination in particular quickly becoming a digital nomad hotspot: Bansko.
Bansko is off the beaten path for many travelers, but winter sports aficionados know it’s a great budget-friendly destination for skiing and snowboarding in Europe.
Located in the Pirin Mountains, Bansko is a popular winter destination that attracts the “digital snowmad” crowd of remote workers who want to hit the slopes in their free time.
Even if you’re not into skiing or snowboarding, here’s why Bansko is a great spot for digital nomads:
Bansko Nomad Fest
One of the most unique things about Bansko is that it’s home to Bansko Nomad Fest. 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 across 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 set up a home base there. Although it’s most crowded in the winter during ski season, you’ll find digital nomads living in Bansko year-round.
With a growing community of digital nomads and several coworking spots, Bansko is an excellent spot to spend a few months working and meeting others who are living the digital nomad lifestyle.
Although Bansko might be most famous for its winter sports and proximity to skiing and snowboarding sports, it’s actually a year-round destination. The annual Bansko Nomad Fest is actually held during the summer, so the town is far from dead during the summer months.
In the summer, you can enjoy exploring the surrounding mountains and partaking in activities like hiking, rafting, and visiting local hot springs.
A huge factor that attracts digital nomads to Bansko (and Bulgaria as a whole) is affordability.
Bansko is an extremely affordable destination. According to a digital nomad couple who lived there, it costs $1,400 to $1,700 a month, including rent, dining out, groceries, transportation, and activities for two people.
(And this is with dining out multiple times every single day — you could easily live in Bansko for less than $1,000 if you’re on a tighter budget.)
Great Base For Exploring
Although there’s plenty to do in Bansko, you can also explore a lot more of Bulgaria and surrounding countries. The Bulgarian capital of Sofia is less than two hours from Bansko, and the “cultural capital” of Plovdiv is 2.5 hours away.
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, meaning that for Americans and many other nationalities, time spent in Bulgaria will not count against the 90 days every 180 days limit of the Schengen Area.
Americans can stay in Bulgaria for up to 90 days within every 180-day period. This makes Bansko a great place to go if you’re out of time in the Schengen Area and want to wait for it to “reset” somewhere that’s still in Europe.
However, this may not last much longer — both Bulgaria and Romania are set to join the Schengen Area in the near future, perhaps as early as 2024.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com