If you’ve never heard of Blagoevgrad, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. The Rough Guide to Bulgaria named the town the ‘coolest place in southwest Bulgaria,’ and with good reason.
It’s a small, vibrant university town (20,000 of the 80,000 residents are students!) within easy reach of the capital Sofia (a 1hr drive or easy bus ride away.)There’s something for everyone in Blagoevgrad; the restored old quarter bustles with cafes and bars in a lively cultural scene set against beautiful architecture.In town you’ll be spoilt with 2.5km of leafy park alley for strolling, a fascinating historical museum and a rich program of events. Nightclubs, opera, restaurants and over 100 theater performances per year keep the lively population entertained.
It’s easy to get away and experience some of Bulgaria’s most stunning natural attractions too: the spa town of Sandanski, the Seven Lakes of Rila and two world class ski resorts are close by. There are biking adventures to be had around town, and fans of hiking can take in some breathtaking views on foot.
For those seeking adventures further afield, you’ll be happy to find Macedonia on the doorstep (30km) and the delights of Greece only an hour’s drive away.