Best Places to Live in Bulgaria | 10 Blissful Bulgarian Cities

Bulgaria is one of eastern Europe’s hidden gems and fast becoming one of the best places to live. Boarded by beautiful places to live in Romania and with the Black Sea as its coast, the country offers fast internet, affordable living, and a rich history.

But knowing where to live in a diverse country with many extremes can be challenging. Here are some of the best blissful Bulgarian cities to live in:

Best Places to Live in Bulgaria for…

  1. Expats: Varna
  2. English Speakers: Plovdiv
  3. Digital Nomads: Bansko
  4. Solo Travelers: Sofia
  5. Couples: Veliko Tarnovo
  6. Groups: Burgas

Top 10 Places to Live in Bulgaria

1. Varna

The Best Place to Live for Expats

Cost of Living: $$$

The idyllic city of Varna is situated on the coast of the Black Sea. The city offers a perfect historical, modern, charming, and cosmopolitan balance.It is also an affordable city to live in as an expat.

Tip: Make sure to visit the Sea Garden, a great place to spend a relaxing day by the sea amongst locals and expats.

Who Would Like to Live There: Expats

Pros:

  • Affordable restaurants, bars, and nightclubs
  • Reliable internet
  • Excellent public transport and international airport

Cons:

  • The city can be crowded in summer
  • Be cautious of pickpockets and scammers
  • It can get freezing in winter

2. Plovdiv

The Best Place to Live for English Speakers

Cost of Living: $$

Plovdiv is Bulgaria’s second-largest city on the Banks of the Maritsa river. The city attracts a large international community due its universities and many of the street signs were translated into English. As the sixth oldest city in the world and the country’s cultural capital, Plovdiv has a lot to offer, making it one of the best places to live in Bulgaria.

Tip: Enjoy the unique experience of seeing the opera, or a rock band, in the Roman Theater of Philippopolis.

Who Would Like to Live There: English Speakers

Pros:

Cons:

  • Medical care isn’t great
  • There is not much nightlife entertainment
  • It gets very cold in the winter

3. Bansko

The Best Place to Live for Digital Nomads

Cost of Living: $$

Bansko is a mountain town located at the foot of the Pirin mountains and is a popular skiing destination. This beautiful town offers great outdoor activities for an active lifestyle but is also a brilliant place to live all year round.

Tip: Visit the wonderous thermal baths dotted all around the village.  

Who Would Like to Live There: Digital Nomads

Pros:

  • Fast internet speeds
  • Developing co-working community
  • The town is safe

Cons:

  • Nearby hospitals aren’t the best
  • It can have a high cost of life
  • English is not well-spoken here

4. Sofia

The Best Place to Live for Solo Travelers

Sofia, the capital city, and one of the best places to live in Bulgaria.

Cost of Living: $$

Sofia is Bulgaria’s capital city and a multicultural hub. The buzzing town offers something of everything: green parks, a selection of eateries, vibrant nightlife, and entertainment venues. It’s also the safest city in the country, so you can stay safe when traveling solo.

Tip: Bulgaria boasts a lively football culture, so attend their games at the city’s stadiums, especially in the city’s largest stadium Vasil Levski National Stadium.

Who Would Like to Live There: Solo Travelers and Expats

Pros:

  • Frequent, reliable, and inexpensive public transport
  • Good clinics and public hospitals
  • Plenty of outdoor and cultural entertainment

Cons:

  • The city can be dirty with a poor air quality
  • The city has poor public administration and high levels of corruption
  • Some neighborhoods should be avoided due to poor infrastructure

5. Veliko Tarnovo

The Best Place to Live for Couples

Cost of Living: $$

Situated alongside winding rivers and rolling hills, Veliko Tarnovo is a picturesque city with unique architecture. The city offers many outdoor activities, eco-paths, and fascinating historical monuments, perfect for couples to spend the day exploring.

Tip: The city is small enough to explore on foot, so take a walk around the city and explore the bars, cafes, and historical sites.

Who Would Like to Live There: Couples

Pros:

  • Property is affordable
  • Decent nightlife
  • Easy to get around on foot

Cons:

  • Limited employment opportunity
  • Far away from the country’s international airports
  • English is not well-spoken

6. Burgas

The Best Place to Live for Groups

Burgas, the city on the coast of the Black Sea and one of the best places to live in Bulgaria.

Cost of Living: $$$

Burgas is one of Bulgaria’s largest cities and is situated on the coast of the Black Sea. With its natural landscapes, beautiful shoreline, buzzing nightlife, and rich history, Burgas has a lot to offer if you’re traveling in a group.

Tip: During the summer season, Burgas hosts many literature, musical, and folklore festivals which are a must-attend.

Who Would Like to Live There: Groups and Digital Nomads

Pros:

  • The internet is fast and reliable
  • Modern motorway connection to the capital
  • It has a thriving social and cultural entertainment scene

Cons:

  • English communication can be difficult
  • It can get very cold in the winter
  • There are pickpockets and scammers

7. Haskovo

The Best Place to Live for Wine Enthusiasts

Cost of Living: $$

Haskovo is one of the oldest cities in Bulgaria and is located in the Thracian Valley, close to the Greek border. It is home to oak forests, mineral springs, famous vineyards, and comfortable living.

Tip: Go wine tasting at Katarzyna Estate or Villa Bassarea to taste and experience the region’s history.

Who Would Like to Live There: Wine Enthusiasts

Pros:

  • Easy to walk around town
  • It is very safe
  • Close to the bigger city of Plovdiv

Cons:

  • A small range of shops and cultural activities
  • English is not widely spoken
  • Not great healthcare

8. Popovo

The Best Place to Live for Nature Enthusiasts

Cost of Living: $$

Popovo is a small town surrounded by nature and home to many historical sites, like the Tsarevets Fortress. The city offers a comfortable way of living with exquisite traditional cuisine and is surrounded by wildlife and birdlife.

Tip: Spend weekends camping, hiking, and birdwatching at Sveta Gora Park.

Who Would Like to Live There: Nature Enthusiasts

Pros:

  • The locals are friendly
  • The town is very safe
  • It is very affordable to live here

Cons:

  • It is a small town with fewer amenities to the bigger cities
  • English is not widely spoken
  • There is little in terms of social entertainment.

9. Blagoevgrad

The Best Place to Live for Students

Blagoevgrad, the sunniest city and one of the best places to live in Bulgaria.

Cost of Living: $

Blagoevgrad is one of the sunniest places in Bulgaria and is a student city with great schools, colleges, and universities. The city is also home to a striking landscape, buzzing nightlife, and rich culture.

Tip: Hike the Stob Earth Pyramid’s Trail to get a breathtaking view of the city below.

Who Would Like to Live There: Students

Pros:

  • The city is safe
  • The city is very clean and healthy
  • It is an affordable place to live

Cons:

  • It is a small city with limited healthcare
  • The city does not offer much in terms of shopping experiences
  • Choices for eating out can be limited

10. Stara Zagora

The Best Place to Live For History Buffs

Cost of Living: $

Stara Zagora is one of the oldest cities in Bulgaria and is the sixth largest in the country. Due to its long and rich history, the city is home to many historical sites and museums like the Antique Forum. You can also enjoy a vast array of vibrant cafés and restaurants.

Tip: Make sure to visit the ancient city remains in the city center. After this, head over to the Regional History Museum, which is home to thousands of artifacts throughout the city’s history.

Who Would Like to Live There: History Buffs

Pros:

  • Good public transportation and easy to walk in the city
  • There are plenty of green parks in the city
  • There is a thriving cultural, social, and nightlife scene

Cons:

  • It is a small city and gets very quiet
  • English is not well spoken
  • There are pickpockets and scammers

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