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Expat Exchange - 15 Best Places to Live in Bulgaria
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15 Best Places to Live in Bulgaria

By Betsy Burlingame

William Russell
William Russell

Summary: If you're dreaming about living in Bulgaria, here are the 15 Best Places to Live in Bulgaria in 2023.

Sofia

Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, is a vibrant city with a population of approximately 1.2 million people. It is located in the western part of the country and is surrounded by picturesque mountains. Sofia is relatively close to other notable cities, such as Belgrade, Serbia, which is 374 kilometers (232 miles) away, and Skopje, North Macedonia, which is 245 kilometers (152 miles) away. The city has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trams, and a metro system, making it easy to navigate and explore. The climate in Sofia is characterized by cold winters and warm summers, with average temperatures ranging from -1°C (30°F) in January to 20°C (68°F) in July. The city offers a variety of recreational activities for both locals and tourists. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the beautiful Vitosha Mountain, which is perfect for hiking, skiing, and snowboarding. For those who prefer a more leisurely activity, there are several golf clubs in the area, such as St. Sofia Golf Club & Spa and Pravets Golf Club. Sofia is also home to numerous parks, including the popular Borisova Gradina and South Park, where visitors can relax, have a picnic, or take a leisurely stroll. Overall, Sofia, is a charming city with a rich history, beautiful scenery, and a wide range of recreational activities to suit all interests.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of Sofia with a visit to Made in Home, a cozy eatery offering a delightful fusion of Bulgarian and European cuisine, made from locally sourced ingredients. For a more traditional experience, head to Rakia & Co, where you can indulge in authentic Bulgarian dishes, accompanied by the country's signature drink, rakia. Vegetarians and vegans will love Soul Kitchen, a trendy spot serving up delicious plant-based meals in a stylish setting. After a day of exploring, unwind at the luxurious Sense Hotel Sofia, boasting a rooftop bar with stunning views of the city. Alternatively, opt for the charming Les Fleurs Boutique Hotel, where each room is uniquely designed with floral motifs, creating a serene atmosphere for a perfect night's sleep.

Plovdiv

Plovdiv is a vibrant city with a rich history and cultural heritage. It is located approximately 150 kilometers (93 miles) southeast of the capital, Sofia, and 280 kilometers (174 miles) west of the popular Black Sea resort town of Burgas. The city is well-connected with other major cities in Bulgaria through a network of buses and trains, making it easily accessible for travelers. The climate in Plovdiv is characterized by warm summers with average temperatures around 30°C (86°F) and mild winters with temperatures around 0°C (32°F). There are numerous recreational activities available in Plovdiv, catering to a wide range of interests. The city is home to several beautiful parks, such as Tsar Simeon's Garden and the Lauta Park, which offer a perfect setting for leisurely strolls, picnics, and outdoor sports. For those interested in golf, the Air Sofia Golf Club is located just outside the city and offers a challenging course for players of all skill levels. Plovdiv is also known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, with numerous galleries, museums, and theaters to explore. The Ancient Theatre of Philippopolis, a well-preserved Roman amphitheater, hosts various performances and events throughout the year, providing a unique cultural experience for visitors.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of Plovdiv, by indulging in the culinary delights of its top-notch restaurants. Begin your gastronomic journey at Pavaj, a cozy eatery tucked away in the city's charming Kapana district, where you can feast on mouthwatering Bulgarian and Balkan dishes. For a more contemporary dining experience, head to Smokini, a stylish restaurant that artfully combines traditional Bulgarian cuisine with modern culinary techniques. Finally, treat your taste buds to the exquisite Mediterranean and European flavors at the elegant Hemingway Restaurant, located in the heart of the city. After a day of exploring Plovdiv's rich history and vibrant culture, unwind at one of the city's highly recommended hotels. The elegant Hotel Residence Hebros, housed in a beautifully restored 19th-century building, offers luxurious accommodations and top-notch service. Alternatively, opt for the modern and stylish Alliance Hotel, conveniently located near the city center and offering a range of amenities to ensure a comfortable stay.

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Varna

Varna

Varna is a beautiful coastal city located on the Black Sea. It is approximately 470 kilometers (292 miles) east of the capital city, Sofia, and 125 kilometers (78 miles) north of Burgas, another popular destination. Varna has a well-developed public transportation system, including buses, trolleybuses, and taxis, making it easy to navigate the city and its surroundings. The climate in Varna is characterized by warm summers and mild winters, with average temperatures ranging from 1°C (34°F) in January to 23°C (73°F) in July. There are plenty of recreational activities to enjoy in Varna, such as visiting the beautiful Sea Garden, which is the largest landscaped park in the Balkans. The park features various attractions, including an open-air theater, a zoo, and an aquarium. For those who enjoy golf, the Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort is located about 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Varna and offers a stunning 18-hole course overlooking the Black Sea. Water sports enthusiasts can take advantage of the numerous beaches in and around Varna, such as Golden Sands and St. Constantine and Helena, where they can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and various water activities. Additionally, the city is rich in history and culture, with attractions like the Varna Archaeological Museum and the ancient Roman Thermae.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of Varna, by indulging in the culinary delights of Happy Bar & Grill, a local favorite known for its delicious burgers, steaks, and seafood. For a more traditional experience, visit Mehana Chuchura, where you can enjoy authentic Bulgarian cuisine in a cozy, rustic atmosphere. Don't miss the chance to dine at The Sea Terrace, a stylish restaurant offering stunning sea views and a mouthwatering selection of Mediterranean and European dishes. Rest your head at the elegant Graffit Gallery Design Hotel, a contemporary boutique hotel boasting luxurious rooms and a relaxing spa. Alternatively, opt for the Rosslyn Dimyat Hotel Varna, where you can unwind in spacious accommodations and take advantage of the hotel's impressive wellness center.

Burgas

Burgas

Burgas is a vibrant city located on the Black Sea coast with an approximate population of 200,000 people. It is situated about 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of Varna, another popular coastal city, and 385 kilometers (239 miles) east of the capital city, Sofia. Burgas offers a well-developed public transportation system, including buses, trolleybuses, and taxis, making it easy to navigate the city and its surroundings. The climate in Burgas is characterized by warm summers and mild winters, with average temperatures ranging from 0°C (32°F) in January to 27°C (81°F) in July. There are numerous recreational activities available in Burgas, catering to a wide range of interests. The city is known for its beautiful beaches, such as Burgas Beach and Sunny Beach, which are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports. Nature lovers can explore the nearby Strandzha Nature Park, which offers hiking trails, birdwatching, and picturesque landscapes. For those interested in golf, the BlackSeaRama Golf & Villas is a world-class golf course located about 90 kilometers (56 miles) north of Burgas. The city also boasts several parks, such as the Sea Garden, which is a popular spot for leisurely strolls, picnics, and outdoor events.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of authentic Bulgarian cuisine, head to Incanto, a cozy restaurant located in the heart of Burgas. The menu offers a variety of traditional dishes, such as kavarma and banitsa, as well as a selection of local wines. If you're craving seafood, The Sea Terrace is a must-visit. This stylish eatery boasts stunning views of the Black Sea and serves up fresh, expertly prepared fish and seafood dishes. For a more casual dining experience, Happy Bar & Grill is a popular choice among locals and tourists alike, offering a diverse menu of burgers, pizzas, and salads. After a day of exploring, unwind at the luxurious Aqua Hotel, which features a spa, fitness center, and indoor pool. Alternatively, the boutique Hotel Bulgaria offers a more intimate experience, with elegantly appointed rooms and a central location near the city's main attractions.

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Veliko Tarnovo

Veliko Tarnovo

Veliko Tarnovo is a picturesque city with a rich history and a population of approximately 68,000 people. It is located about 240 kilometers (150 miles) northeast of the capital city, Sofia, and 228 kilometers (142 miles) southwest of the popular Black Sea resort town of Varna. The city is well-connected by public transportation, including buses and trains, making it easily accessible from other parts of the country. Veliko Tarnovo experiences a temperate climate, with average temperatures ranging from -1°C (30°F) in January to 25°C (77°F) in July. There are numerous recreational activities available in Veliko Tarnovo, catering to a wide range of interests. History enthusiasts can explore the medieval Tsarevets Fortress, while nature lovers can enjoy the scenic beauty of the Yantra River and the surrounding hills. Sveta Gora Park is a popular spot for picnics and leisurely strolls, offering panoramic views of the city. Although there are no golf clubs within the city itself, the nearby town of Sliven, about 110 kilometers (68 miles) away, is home to the Air Sofia Golf Club. In addition to these attractions, Veliko Tarnovo hosts various cultural events and festivals throughout the year, such as the International Folklore Festival and the Opera Festival, providing entertainment for both locals and tourists alike.

Local Recommendations:

Discover the culinary delights of Veliko Tarnovo, by indulging in the mouthwatering dishes at Shtastlivetza Restaurant. Perched on the edge of a cliff, this eatery offers stunning views of the Yantra River and Tsarevets Fortress while you savor traditional Bulgarian cuisine with a modern twist. For a more casual dining experience, head to the cozy Mehana Izbata, where you can enjoy authentic Bulgarian dishes, live music, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Alternatively, treat your taste buds to the delicious wood-fired pizzas and homemade pasta at Ego Pizzeria & Restaurant, a favorite among locals and tourists alike. When it comes to accommodation, the boutique Yantra Grand Hotel is a popular choice, boasting a prime location near the city center, a luxurious spa, and breathtaking views of the Tsarevets Fortress. For a more intimate stay, consider the charming Gurko Hotel, nestled in the heart of the old town and offering cozy rooms with traditional Bulgarian decor and stunning views of the river and fortress.

Bansko

Bansko is a charming town nestled at the foot of the Pirin Mountains, with a population of approximately 8,500 residents. It is located about 160 kilometers (99 miles) south of the capital city, Sofia, and 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the popular ski resort town of Borovets. Public transportation in Bansko includes buses and taxis, making it easy to explore the town and its surroundings. The climate in Bansko is characterized by cold winters and mild summers, with average temperatures ranging from -2°C (28°F) in January to 20°C (68°F) in July. Bansko is best known for its ski resort, which offers a variety of winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. The ski season typically lasts from December to April, attracting tourists from all over the world. In addition to winter sports, Bansko offers a range of recreational activities throughout the year, including hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding in the beautiful Pirin National Park. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round at the nearby Pirin Golf and Country Club, an 18-hole championship course designed by Ian Woosnam. The town also hosts several cultural events and festivals, such as the annual Bansko Jazz Festival and the Bansko Opera Fest, showcasing the rich history and traditions of the region.

Local Recommendations:

Indulge in the culinary delights of Bansko, with a visit to The Log House, a cozy, traditional restaurant offering mouthwatering Bulgarian and European dishes. For a more upscale dining experience, head to Le Retro, where you'll be treated to exquisite French cuisine in an elegant setting. Don't miss out on the authentic Bulgarian flavors at Mehana Bansko, where you can enjoy live music and folk dancing alongside your meal. Rest your head at the luxurious Kempinski Hotel Grand Arena, boasting a world-class spa and breathtaking mountain views. Alternatively, opt for the charming boutique-style Lucky Bansko Aparthotel, offering top-notch amenities and a serene atmosphere for a perfect getaway.

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Ruse

Ruse is a charming city located along the banks of the Danube River, close to the border with Romania. With an approximate population of 150,000, it is the fifth largest city in Bulgaria. Ruse is situated about 320 kilometers (200 miles) northeast of the capital city, Sofia, and 75 kilometers (47 miles) south of Bucharest, Romania. The city boasts a well-developed public transportation system, including buses and taxis, making it easy to navigate and explore the area. Ruse experiences a temperate-continental climate, with average temperatures ranging from -1°C (30°F) in January to 25°C (77°F) in July. There are various recreational activities available in Ruse, catering to different interests. For nature lovers, the beautiful Lipnik Park, also known as Orlova Chuka Park, offers a serene environment for relaxation and leisurely strolls. History enthusiasts can visit the Ruse Regional Museum of History and the impressive architectural landmark, the Monument of Liberty. For those interested in sports, the Ruse Tennis Club provides excellent facilities for tennis enthusiasts. While there are no golf clubs within the city itself, golfers can find courses in the nearby cities of Pravets and Razgrad. Overall, Ruse offers a diverse range of recreational activities for visitors and residents alike.

Local Recommendations:

Discover the culinary delights of Ruse, by indulging in a meal at Happy Bar & Grill, a local favorite known for its delicious burgers, steaks, and salads. For a taste of traditional Bulgarian cuisine, head to Mehana Chiflika, where you'll be treated to mouthwatering dishes like kavarma and banitsa in a cozy, rustic atmosphere. Don't miss the chance to dine at Restaurant Niko, a hidden gem offering a fusion of Bulgarian and Mediterranean flavors, with a stunning view of the Danube River. After a day of exploring, unwind at the elegant Anna Palace Hotel, boasting a prime location near the city center and a charming garden terrace. Alternatively, enjoy the modern comforts and stylish design of the City House Hotel & Restaurant, where you'll be treated to warm hospitality and a delightful breakfast.

Stara Zagora

Stara Zagora is a vibrant city with an approximate population of 140,000 people. It is located about 230 kilometers (143 miles) east of the capital city, Sofia, and 108 kilometers (67 miles) northwest of Plovdiv, another popular destination in Bulgaria. The city is well-connected with public transportation, including buses and trains, making it easy to travel to and from other parts of the country. The climate in Stara Zagora is characterized by warm summers and mild winters, with average temperatures ranging from -1°C (30°F) in January to 26°C (79°F) in July. There are various recreational activities available in Stara Zagora, catering to different interests. Nature lovers can enjoy the beautiful Ayazmoto Park, which offers walking trails, picnic areas, and playgrounds for children. History enthusiasts can explore the ancient Roman ruins at the Augusta Traiana Forum, while art aficionados can visit the Stara Zagora Art Gallery. Although there are no golf clubs within the city itself, the nearby Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort, located about 270 kilometers (168 miles) away, offers a world-class golfing experience. Overall, Stara Zagora provides a diverse range of recreational opportunities for visitors and residents alike.

Local Recommendations:

Discover the culinary delights of Stara Zagora, by indulging in mouthwatering dishes at the highly recommended Shtastlivitza Restaurant. This charming eatery offers a delightful fusion of Bulgarian and European cuisine, with a cozy atmosphere and friendly service. For a more casual dining experience, head to the popular Pizza Palace, where you can enjoy a wide variety of delicious pizzas and pasta dishes. If you're craving something sweet, don't miss the chance to visit the famous Zlatna Krusha Bakery, known for its scrumptious pastries and desserts. After a day of exploring the city, unwind at the luxurious Park Hotel Stara Zagora, boasting elegant rooms, a spa, and an indoor pool. Alternatively, consider the stylish Hotel Elegance, which offers modern amenities and a convenient location near the city center.

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Sozopol

Sozopol is a charming coastal town located on the southern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, approximately 35 kilometers (22 miles) south of Burgas, a major city and popular tourist destination. Known for its rich history and stunning beaches, Sozopol attracts visitors from all over the world. The town is easily accessible by car or bus from Burgas, with regular public transportation services available. Sozopol experiences a humid subtropical climate, with average summer temperatures ranging from 20 to 28 degrees Celsius (68 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit) and mild winters averaging between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius (36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit). Recreational activities in Sozopol are abundant, with a focus on beach and water-based activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. The town is home to two main beaches, Central Beach and Harmanite Beach, both offering beautiful sandy shores and crystal-clear waters. History enthusiasts can explore the ancient ruins of the town's fortress walls and the Archaeological Museum, which houses artifacts dating back to the Bronze Age. For nature lovers, a visit to the nearby Ropotamo Nature Reserve is a must, where one can enjoy boat trips along the Ropotamo River and observe diverse flora and fauna. While there are no golf clubs within Sozopol itself, golf enthusiasts can find several courses within driving distance, such as the BlackSeaRama Golf & Villas and Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort, both located about 150 kilometers (93 miles) north of Sozopol.

Local Recommendations:

Discover the culinary delights of Sozopol, by indulging in mouth-watering dishes at The White Dolphin, where you can savor fresh seafood and traditional Bulgarian cuisine while enjoying a stunning sea view. For a more casual dining experience, head to Verano, a cozy beachfront restaurant offering a variety of pizzas, salads, and local dishes. Don't miss out on the authentic Bulgarian flavors at Mehana Neptune, where you can feast on traditional dishes like kavarma and shopska salad, accompanied by live folk music. After a day of exploring, unwind at the luxurious Green Life Beach Resort, boasting a private beach, spa, and multiple pools. Alternatively, experience the charm of Sozopol's Old Town at the boutique Hotel Martinez, offering elegant rooms and a relaxing pool area just steps away from the beach and historical sites.

Nessebar

Nessebar, is a picturesque coastal town located on the Black Sea coast, approximately 35 kilometers (22 miles) north of Burgas and 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of Varna. This ancient town, often referred to as the "Pearl of the Black Sea," is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and beautiful beaches. The climate in Nessebar is characterized by warm summers with average temperatures around 28°C (82°F) and mild winters with average temperatures around 5°C (41°F). There are various recreational activities available in Nessebar, catering to both history enthusiasts and beach lovers. The town is famous for its well-preserved Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, featuring ancient churches, narrow cobblestone streets, and charming wooden houses. Visitors can also enjoy the beautiful sandy beaches, such as Sunny Beach and South Beach, offering opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports. For those interested in exploring the surrounding areas, there are regular bus connections to nearby towns and cities, as well as boat trips along the coast. While there are no golf clubs directly in Nessebar, golf enthusiasts can find several courses within driving distance, such as the BlackSeaRama Golf & Villas and Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort, both located near the city of Varna. Additionally, Nessebar offers various parks and green spaces for relaxation and leisure, including the Nessebar Ethnographic Complex and the lush greenery surrounding the town's ancient fortress walls.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of authentic Bulgarian cuisine, head to The Old Nessebar Restaurant, where you'll be treated to a delightful menu featuring local seafood and traditional dishes, all served in a charming, rustic setting. If you're craving Mediterranean flavors, don't miss out on a visit to Plakamoto, a cozy eatery offering a variety of fresh seafood, grilled meats, and delicious salads. For a more casual dining experience, grab a table at Bistro Alexander, where you can enjoy a selection of pizzas, sandwiches, and local beers. When it comes to accommodation, the luxurious Sol Nessebar Palace is a top choice, boasting a private beach, multiple swimming pools, and a relaxing spa. For a more intimate stay, consider the boutique Hotel St. Stefan, which offers elegant rooms and a picturesque location in the heart of Nessebar's old town.

balchik

Balchik is a charming coastal town in Bulgaria, located approximately 42 kilometers (26 miles) northeast of Varna and 500 kilometers (310 miles) east of the capital city, Sofia. This picturesque town is nestled along the Black Sea coast, making it a popular destination for tourists seeking a relaxing beach getaway. The climate in Balchik is characterized by warm summers with average temperatures around 28°C (82°F) and mild winters with temperatures averaging around 5°C (41°F). There are various recreational activities available in Balchik, catering to a wide range of interests. One of the main attractions is the Balchik Palace, also known as the Quiet Nest Palace, which was built for Queen Marie of Romania in the early 20th century. The palace is surrounded by the beautiful Balchik Botanical Garden, which boasts a diverse collection of plant species and offers stunning views of the sea. For golf enthusiasts, there are three world-class golf courses nearby: Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort, BlackSeaRama Golf & Villas, and Lighthouse Golf & Spa Resort. These golf clubs not only offer challenging courses but also provide luxurious accommodations and amenities. In addition to golf, visitors can enjoy water sports, boat trips, and exploring the town's rich history and culture. With its picturesque scenery, pleasant climate, and various recreational activities, Balchik is a delightful destination for travelers seeking a unique and memorable experience in Bulgaria.

Local Recommendations:

Discover the culinary delights of Balchik, Bulgaria, by indulging in mouth-watering dishes at the popular Hemingway Restaurant. This charming eatery offers a diverse menu, featuring fresh seafood and traditional Bulgarian cuisine, all while enjoying stunning views of the marina. For a more casual dining experience, head to Bistro Kestena, where you can savor delicious homemade pizzas and local draft beers in a cozy atmosphere. Alternatively, immerse yourself in the authentic Bulgarian dining experience at Izvora Restaurant, where you can feast on traditional dishes like kavarma and banitsa, accompanied by live folk music. When it comes to accommodation, the Lighthouse Golf & Spa Resort is a top choice for visitors seeking luxury and relaxation. This upscale resort boasts a world-class golf course, a rejuvenating spa, and breathtaking views of the Black Sea. For a more intimate stay, consider the White Rock Castle Suite Hotel & SPA, a charming boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Balchik, offering modern amenities and easy access to local attractions.

Sunny Beach

Sunny Beach, is a popular seaside resort located on the Black Sea coast, approximately 35 kilometers (22 miles) north of Burgas and 95 kilometers (59 miles) south of Varna. The resort is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, vibrant nightlife, and a wide range of recreational activities. The climate in Sunny Beach is characterized by warm summers with average temperatures around 28°C (82°F) and mild winters with temperatures around 5°C (41°F). There are various recreational activities available in Sunny Beach, including water sports, beach volleyball, and amusement parks. The resort is home to Action Aquapark, a popular water park with numerous slides and attractions for all ages. For those who enjoy golf, there are several golf courses in the nearby area, such as the BlackSeaRama Golf & Villas and Lighthouse Golf & Spa Resort. In addition to these activities, Sunny Beach offers a wide selection of restaurants, bars, and clubs, making it an ideal destination for both relaxation and entertainment.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of Sunny Beach, with a visit to Djanny Restaurant, a local favorite known for its diverse menu and friendly atmosphere. Indulge in mouthwatering seafood dishes at The Fat Cat, where the fresh catch of the day is served alongside stunning sea views. For a taste of traditional Bulgarian cuisine, head to Chuchura, where you'll be treated to authentic dishes in a cozy, rustic setting. After a day of exploring, unwind at the luxurious Barceló Royal Beach Hotel, boasting a prime location and top-notch amenities. Alternatively, opt for the charming Helena Sands Hotel, nestled amidst lush gardens and offering a serene retreat from the bustling beach scene.

Borovets

Borovets is a popular mountain resort located approximately 70 kilometers (43 miles) from the capital city of Sofia and 126 kilometers (78 miles) from Plovdiv, another notable city. Nestled in the Rila Mountains, Borovets is well-connected to Sofia by public transportation, including buses and shuttles. The climate in Borovets is characterized by cold winters with average temperatures around -4.6°C (23.7°F) and mild summers with average temperatures around 15.2°C (59.4°F). Borovets is renowned for its recreational activities, particularly skiing and snowboarding, with its ski season typically lasting from December to April. The resort offers a variety of ski slopes and modern ski facilities, catering to both beginners and experienced skiers. In addition to winter sports, Borovets also offers activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding during the warmer months. The nearby Rila National Park provides a stunning backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts to explore, while the Seven Rila Lakes are a must-visit natural attraction in the region. Although there are no golf clubs in Borovets itself, the Ibar Golf Club is located about 60 kilometers (37 miles) away, offering golfers a chance to enjoy their favorite sport amidst the beautiful Bulgarian landscape.

Local Recommendations:

Nestled in the heart of Borovets, The Happy Duck is a must-visit for food enthusiasts seeking a taste of traditional Bulgarian cuisine. With its cozy atmosphere and friendly staff, this charming eatery offers a delightful dining experience. For a more upscale option, head to Samokov Hotel's Panorama Restaurant, where you can indulge in a variety of international dishes while enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. After a day of exploring, unwind at the luxurious Hotel Rila, boasting a world-class spa and wellness center, or opt for the quaint and budget-friendly Euphoria Club Hotel & Resort, which offers a serene retreat amidst the picturesque landscape.

Pamporovo

Pamporovo is a picturesque mountain resort located in the Rhodope Mountains. It is situated approximately 260 kilometers (162 miles) southeast of the capital city, Sofia, and 85 kilometers (53 miles) south of Plovdiv, the country's second-largest city. The resort is well-connected by road, making it easily accessible from these major cities. Pamporovo has a mild climate, with average winter temperatures ranging from -3°C to 3°C (27°F to 37°F) and summer temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). This pleasant climate makes it an ideal destination for various recreational activities throughout the year. Pamporovo is particularly famous for its ski resort, which offers excellent skiing and snowboarding opportunities during the winter months. The resort features over 50 kilometers (31 miles) of ski slopes, catering to both beginners and experienced skiers. In addition to skiing, visitors can also enjoy other winter sports such as snowshoeing and snowmobiling. During the summer months, Pamporovo transforms into a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The beautiful Smolyan Lakes, located nearby, provide a scenic backdrop for picnics and leisurely walks. While there may not be any golf clubs or parks in the immediate vicinity, the natural beauty and diverse recreational opportunities in Pamporovo make it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

Local Recommendations:

Nestled in the heart of the Rhodope Mountains, Pamporovo offers a delightful culinary experience for visitors. Start your gastronomic journey at The White Hart, a cozy restaurant serving mouthwatering Bulgarian and European dishes, perfect for a hearty meal after a day on the slopes. For a more upscale dining experience, head to Chevermeto, where you can savor traditional Bulgarian cuisine while enjoying live music and folk dancing performances. Don't miss the chance to try their signature dish, the slow-roasted lamb. If you're craving Italian, visit Gloria Mar, a charming eatery offering a wide selection of pizzas, pastas, and seafood dishes. When it comes to accommodation, the Orlovetz Hotel is a popular choice among travelers, boasting modern amenities, a luxurious spa, and stunning mountain views. For a more intimate stay, consider the boutique Mountain Lodge Aparthotel, where you can enjoy the comforts of home in their spacious, fully-equipped apartments.

Sandanski

Sandanski is a picturesque town located in the southwestern part of the country, nestled at the foot of the Pirin Mountains. It is approximately 166 kilometers (103 miles) south of the capital city, Sofia, and 74 kilometers (46 miles) east of the popular tourist destination, Bansko. Sandanski boasts a mild Mediterranean climate, with average temperatures ranging from 2°C (36°F) in January to 25°C (77°F) in July, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a pleasant climate year-round. The town offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors and locals alike. One of the main attractions is the Sandanski Park, also known as Sveti Vrach Park, which spans over 344 acres and is home to over 200 plant species, some of which are unique to the region. The park is perfect for leisurely strolls, picnics, and enjoying the natural beauty of the area. Sandanski is also well-known for its mineral springs, with numerous spa and wellness centers offering therapeutic treatments and relaxation. For those interested in history and culture, the Archaeological Museum and the Early Christian Basilica are must-visit spots. While there are no golf clubs within Sandanski itself, the nearby Pirin Golf and Country Club in Bansko provides a great golfing experience for enthusiasts. With its beautiful scenery, rich history, and various recreational activities, Sandanski is a charming destination for travelers seeking a unique Bulgarian experience.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of authentic Bulgarian cuisine, head to Restaurant Sandanski, where you'll be treated to mouthwatering dishes like kavarma and banitsa, all served in a cozy, traditional atmosphere. If you're in the mood for something more international, Bistro Berlin offers a delightful mix of German and Bulgarian dishes, with a charming outdoor terrace perfect for enjoying a leisurely meal. For a fine dining experience, visit Sintica Restaurant, located within the Sintica Winery, where you can indulge in exquisite dishes paired with their award-winning wines. When it comes to accommodation, the Interhotel Sandanski is a popular choice, boasting a prime location, comfortable rooms, and a luxurious spa. For a more boutique experience, consider the Medite Spa Resort, nestled amidst lush greenery and offering a serene atmosphere, perfect for a relaxing getaway.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


William Russell
William Russell

William Russell
William Russell

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William Russell
William Russell

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