Even a full-time traveler needs a vacation from time to time. That is how we ended up booking a full week in Bansko. Considering hotels have only about 5% of their rooms booked, there is still a reasonable amount of restaurants and shops open.
With no specific attractions other then the mountains we are left with some time on our hands to get some work done or relax. Living out of the fully serviced apartment we get the chance to cook for ourselves and make some dishes we have been missing from home.
In winter season Bansko is a very busy ski resort city with anything from ski slopes to apres ski. In summer the absence of tourists make prices for accommodation sink to interesting level for bargain hunters like us. >>> see “where to stay”.
Even though it’s low season, the first gondola up the mountain is still in service. In summer the price of a return ticket for the skilift costs 24 leva.
It can take you up to 1600 meters where some fields are dedicated to summer attractions like bouncy castles, a tubing slide and the biggest inflatable water slide of Europe! Measuring 350 meters long this impressive champion of slides cought our attention. Gazing into the eyes of this mild danger we set out for tickets to this adventure. For a full video review of our waterslide adventure click here: Longest waterslide Bansko Bulgaria
There are many opportunities to go hiking in the mountains. The most popular one is the hike up mount Vihren. We skipped that hike, but we heard it was really nice.
The old town of Bansko allows for a more quiet stroll past century old merchant houses. In the 18th century Bansko was a wealthy town so the citizens of Bansko built their houses to protect their wealth and families from outside attackers. The traditional houses have a basement in which most of the activity took place. In the center of the house they had a room with extra thick walls which served as a panic room. The small windows are often barred.
The second weekend of July there is an annual folklore festival where traditional dance groups from all over the country gather to show their skills. The festival takes 3 days and the whole of Bansko is filled with people in traditional clothing. The festival is held in the city park and there are many food and drink stands.
On Sunday, just north of the old town center, there is a local food market. Fresh fruit and vegetables can be bought here along with honey and homemade wine and rakia. To add to the party, the local butcher takes it upon himself to grill some delicious hamburgers and meat sticks for the hungry shoppers. This market is truly worth a visit and can be very busy at early hours.
Where to sleep in Bansko
We slept in an Airbnb for a week. Pine Tree Apartment 2 – B7. The best place we slept in Bulgaria. It is a big 6 persons apartment. Very clean and very good location in winter near the gondola. Good beds and strong Wi-Fi.
Costs: 30 leva/night (15 euro).
Where to eat in Bansko
Since we had our own kitchen we cooked for ourselves most of the time. There are plenty of restaurants in the center of town. We ate lunch once at the Log house but we found it disappointing. The french fries were not properly fried and the omelet was very oily.