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Matthias Zeitler
Bansko according to Matthias Zeitler

Founder of Coworking Bansko in Bulgaria.

Written by Eloise Stark
Cover photo by Vitaliy Paykov

Bansko is rich in Bulgarian history. The city was home to a number of notable poets, and the revolution against the Ottomans began in this region. In the city's Old Town, you can still see the remnants of this period. The houses are protected by walls like little fortresses, built with stone and dark wood. It’s a valuable reminder of what the country has been through.

The city is small and picturesque. It takes only 20 minutes to walk from end to end. I live at the edge of town, on a hill overlooking the mountains of the national park bordering the city. It's the perfect home base for someone that wants to be connected to nature, while having a community of like-minded people around.

Don’t let the size fool you — you’ll be anything but bored. Travelers end up having the opposite problem. There’s always so much going on! For example, tonight’s agenda: a skillshare session, then volleyball and basketball, and a lakeside dinner with friends. It’s easier to connect with people here than it is in bigger cities. As soon as you arrive in Bansko, you'll be welcomed by the nomad community.

The pristine nature is unlike anything else you've seen. There are numerous natural hot springs in the villages around Bansko. Some charge for entrance, but you can find unclaimed hot springs in the forest. They're great to go explore with a small group of friends!

Scenic as it is, Bansko’s magic comes from its people. I used to travel to get inspired, and now people come here and inspire me. They start initiatives based on their interests, they share their knowledge and experience with the community here. You can expect anything from parties to spiritual events like cacao ceremonies and ecstatic dance sessions.

This is a great place to recharge. Nomads find tranquility in this village that is hard to find while traveling. They keep coming back for the community and the lifestyle, and when they recharge, they’re ready to get back to traveling. Finding a tight-knit community like this is rare. Plus, life is slower than in the city and very affordable. Money rarely limits what you can take part in, which helps to sustain an inclusive community.

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“I used to travel to get inspired, and now people come here and inspire me.”
Matthias Zeitler

The culinary scene is simple and rooted in Bulgarian tradition. Most of the local businesses do what they’ve always done — traditional food with live Bulgarian music, a cozy fireplace and handmade embroidery on the walls. And it works. Recently, we had a few new initiatives pop up. For example, Casa di Papi is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that also does excellent sushi. Five M offers a refined, innovative menu. And The House is a great local place for steak. There is a lot to explore outside of Bansko as well! Visit the city of Plovdiv nearby, an ancient city full of musical and artistic events, as well as food and beer festivals. Then there’s Melnik, a wine region where you can explore vineyards and wine tastings. Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia, is also close. If you're craving the beach, Greece is just 3 hours away! Bansko truly has everything you'd need for a healthy, active life.

City guide

Nomad communities
Nomad communities
Nomad communities
The latest on local nomad groups and the best coworking spaces in the area.
Travel info
Travel info
Travel info
Check the country's Covid-19 restrictions and visa requirements.
Health & safety
Health & safety
Health & safety
Local hospitals, things to watch out for and safety for solo travelers.
Culture
Culture
Culture
A guide for art, theatre & live music in the city.
Nature & outdoors
Nature & outdoors
Nature & outdoors
Activities in and outside of the city, along with weekend trip suggestions.
Living like a local
Living like a local
Living like a local
Accommodation, coliving spaces and everything you need to feel like a local.

Volunteer & connect

Coworking Bansko always has projects & initiatives in collaboration with the local community, so check with them when you arrive!

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