How to become a digital nomad in Bulgaria

Become a digital nomad in Bulgaria
Updated 2017-09-29 13:56

Bulgaria is another name in the list of underestimated travel destinations, but things are changing. Having been nicknamed “the Chiang Mai of Europe”, this small Balkan country is about to make it onto every nomad's itinerary.

Why Bulgaria

Tucked away on the coast of the Black Sea, Bulgaria is a lesser known destination in Europe ' and with that come an air of mystery and a lower cost of living. The country ticks the three key boxes of an up-and-coming travel hotspot: beaches, good internet speed, and affordable living costs. Add to that a pleasant climate with four distinct seasons, inspiring nature, interesting culture, healthy lifestyle, and flavourful cooking. Are you now wondering why the country isn't flooded with travelling freelancers? One answer could be the language barrier ' most local residents will have limited knowledge of English, while the older generation is unlikely to speak any English at all.

Best cities to work from

Bulgaria's capital is the dynamic city of Sofia, home to over 1.7 million people. The city mostly serves as a gateway to seaside and skiing resorts, and is often overlooked as a travel destination in itself. However, when it comes to setting up a freelance work camp, Sofia is on par with some of Europe's famous capitals with fast internet speeds and reliable coworking spaces.

Varna is a seaside resort, port and naval base, and offers travellers something that the capital is missing ' easy beach access and Bulgaria's largest Roman baths complex. It would make the perfect base for those preferring a healthy balance of work and leisure. However, you will have to overcome the challenge that comes with most holiday destinations ' you will need to learn to stay away from the distractions.

The internet and coworking spaces

Bulgaria's average broadband download speed is 15.6Mbps, bringing the country in the top 20 best results across Europe. You will find easy access to free Wi-Fi in cafés and coffee shops, as well as in some public areas.

Big cities offer a decent selection of coworking options ' from incubators and startup meetups to hot desking and temp offices.

Coworking spaces in Sofia

Puzl CowOrKing, Bulevard "Cherni vrah" 47, 1407 Promishlena zona Hladilnika

Betahaus, ul. "Krum Popov" 58, 1421 g.k. Lozenets

Cosmos, ul. "Angel Kanchev" 3, 1000 Sofia Center

Coworking spaces in Varna

Beehive, 9000 Varna Center

Leisure in Bulgaria

Bulgaria's main attractions are its Black Sea coastline and the ski resorts of Bansko, Borovets, Pamporovo, and Vitosha. To learn more about Bulgaria's past, pay a visit to Perperikon archaeological site, Aladzha cave monastery, and Belogradchik Fortress.

What to know before arriving

Bulgaria is on the way to joining the Schengen Zone, and its current visas policy already reflects that. Residents of all member states of the Schengen Zone can travel to Bulgaria visa-free and stay for a period of up to 90 days. If you come from a country where a visa for Bulgaria is required, you will need to apply for one in advance at a Bulgarian Embassy or Consulate.

Useful links:

Bulgaria Ministry of Tourism

Map of free Wi-Fi hotspots in Bulgaria

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