Europe's Cheapest Digital Nomad Haven? Bansko!

August 31, 2022

 Europe's Cheapest Digital Nomad Haven? Bansko!
 As pioneer digital nomads since 2006, featured in Tim Ferriss's famous book 4- Hour Workweek, we are thrilled to see that digital nomads from the U.S. have more than tripled—from 4.8 million in 2018 to 15.5 million in 2021.The number of US van lifers grew to 2.6 million in 2021 and remote work, location independent living and worldschooling are thriving. Bansko, Bulgaria is a mountain paradise much like very expensive Switzerland, but the cheapest by far and least crowded, best weather place to be in high season Europe or really any season depending on your weather preferences. Bulgaria has the lowest cost of living of all European countries, very strong internet connection and is outside the Schengen Area, yet a short, cheap flight or even drivable from all of Europe, so ideal for remote workers. When it was crowded,  super expensive and hot as hell this August in Portugal, France and Spain, it was super cheap and never too hot in Bansko ( love them all, but timing is everything). Bansko is a lot cheaper even than our rental apartments in Southeast Asia and Malaysia!

For two months, we are renting a large one bedroom furnished apartment with balcony,  pool, sauna, fast internet, washer, great hiking, walkable to all needs, for 260 euros a month! I will give you more specific details once we leave this digital nomad haven and popular winter ski resort. Like most digital nomads we do slow travel, so we have a nice balance between work and play, travel explorations and getting things done. 

 Europe's Cheapest Digital Nomad Haven? Bansko! beautiful unesco mountains

Bansko is located in the UNESCO world heritage Pirin mountain range and is famous for being fantastic for winter skiing and for the seventh consecutive year topped the list for the cheapest ski resort in Europe and North America! The town is walkable from end to end, there are plenty of great restaurants with food delivery widely available, good grocery stores, endless hiking, mineral spas, mountain biking, horseback riding, river rafting, mountain climbing  are all popular activities. It has a historical center, interesting architecture, welcoming locals and it's a wonderful destination for nature lovers. Plus there are vineyards, interesting excursions nearby and it is only a 2 hour drive to some great beaches in Greece!

 Europe's Cheapest Digital Nomad Haven? Bansko! bargain apartment rentals
We like the slower, small medieval village pace and charm ( with all modern conveniences). We have fast internet in our apartment and lots of places to work and rest. We have had no need for air conditioning or heat as the weather has been lovely and we usually have the windows open with nice breeze. Mostly sunny days, but also partly cloudy some parts of the day and sometimes mild, short rain/sprinkles or fast thundershowers ( more of the latter lately as we move towards September).

 Europe's Cheapest Digital Nomad Haven? Bansko! like bargain switzerland mountain paradise
We can walk to anything we need and there are many charming places around the town and always things to do, like they had a big international  Jazz festival one week and a outdoor opera thing another week since we have been here and there is a great farmers market ( every day, but big one on Sunday). I hear there is a fun night life, but not my cup of tea as I am perfectly content reading, watching movies or chatting with friends online during evenings.  

 Europe's Cheapest Digital Nomad Haven? Bansko! charming swiss alps ambiance
Tons of restaurants and the food is fantastic ( similar to food in Greece) and many restaurants deliver. As cheap  and good as they are, we have not ordered anything yet as it is just easiest and cheapest for us to just grocery shop and make our own. Plus I am on a low carb Keto diet for my weight loss journey, so like to avoid temptation, although I might do one splurge meal on the delicious specialties before we leave. 

 Europe's Cheapest Digital Nomad Haven? Bansko! cowokring remote work community digital nomad fest
In 2016, a digital nomad called Matthias Zeitler ( from Germany) co-founded Coworking Bansko, which started the trend of making Bansko a digital nomad haven and then several various co-working and co-living spaces blossomed here. We're actually living in a different Bansko coworking place, but we don't participate because we feel no need as we have each other ( and it costs extra), although we have met some who are doing it here. I do see how it is advantageous for young single nomads and all of the coworking places have short trips and various group things available. There are tons of places to rent, so very easy to find a cheap and nice apartment rental whether one wants to cowork or not. 

In 2020, Matthias and Coworking Bansko started the summer annual Bansko Nomad Fest. The first summer in 2020, there were 100 participants, then in 2021 300 digital nomads came and this year there were almost 600 and they expect 775 in 2023. My fellow pioneering digital nomad friend Nora ( The Professional Hobo) was one of the speakers at this years Nomad Fest and loved it. 

 Europe's Cheapest Digital Nomad Haven? Bansko! bargain rental apartments
The kitchen and living room of our apartment is large and has everything we need to cook and also work as it is all comfortable and quiet. I will show lots of photos of this place when we leave and I do a full review. 

 Europe's Cheapest Digital Nomad Haven? Bansko! ancient tourist attractions
The center of the village, church ( storks in bell tower and on some streets) and old town and parks are all lovely to walk around and explore.

 Europe's Cheapest Digital Nomad Haven? Bansko! beautful nature lakes mountains hikes
There are also great places to hike right outside our door ( as our apartment is on the outskirts of the town)  and many lakes and mountains to explore. We still have a bunch of hikes we want to do and still have not even gone on the gondola, but will write about more soon. 

 Europe's Cheapest Digital Nomad Haven? Bansko! intersting architecture great food
I love the old stone buildings here and there are tons of flowers and beautiful gardens in every home with each one seeming to have a grape trellis, lots of veggies and colorful blooms. Also there are more huge wood piles than I have ever seen in my life and each one perfectly stacked. Their gardens and their wood piles are very well done and has to admire that!  

 Europe's Cheapest Digital Nomad Haven? Bansko! delicous cheap food restaurants and delivery

Here is a peek at some of the food and we will definitely be back! They take great pride in their food and most of the people in town are very friendly, even if most do not speak much English. Recently, we passed by a hair salon, so Gar got his haircut and it worked out fine even though she did not speak a word of English and we have trouble with the simplest phrases here ( even thank you is hard to say in Bulgarian). 

 Europe's Cheapest Digital Nomad Haven? Bansko! coworking community digital nomad haven

The mountains and water elements here are stunning and comforting. I would not want to live here, but I would definitely like to return. I like it in summer, perfect for high season budget escape and would likely enjoy it in spring and fall, but they say it is covered in 3 feet of snow in winter and cold, so I doubt if I would ever come  in winter. But if I was a skier, I would love the bargain prices and just avoid the holiday highest season. 

What else would you like to know?

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