The small Balkan country of Bulgaria mixes ancient history, rich natural resources, and modern technology with unique grace, creativity, and ambition. Once part of the Silk Road connecting east and west, Bulgaria is one of the oldest states on the European continent. Even before it became a formally organized nation, Bulgaria’s land contains some of the oldest remnants of human life in the world located in Kozarnika cave in northwestern Bulgaria, they date back over one million years B.C.
Adventurous digital nomads who make Bulgaria their home in the present day will find they have world-class skiing and the Black Sea at their fingertips even as they play and work in Sofia, the country’s capital. Bulgaria is well-equipped for getting work done: the small European country currently has the fourth fastest 5G internet download speed in the world and it is also great for enjoying a more luxurious lifestyle on a budget—the average meal in Sofia can cost $8 USD or less.
With great restaurants, a thriving cultural and nightlife scene, and a helpful expat community, digital nomads in Sofia will find it easy to thrive in Bulgaria, especially in Sofia. Check out our breakdown of the best places to live and hang while exploring one of Europe's trendiest cities.
Sofia’s city center is the obvious choice for anyone looking to integrate into the heart of the city. Start with a stroll down Vitosha Boulevard, a tree-lined pedestrian walkway with beautiful views of Mount Vitosha as you take your pick of shopping spots and restaurants with outdoor dining beneath twinkly lights. You can enjoy a meal at Moma Restaurant where traditional Bulgarian food meets modern standards for deliciousness and don’t miss the beautiful Shtaslivetsa restaurant for a special occasion. If you’re in the mood for pizza, check out Olio D’Olivo. For history lovers, the Serdica metro station houses the ancient ruins of a 3rd-century amphitheater that once hosted gladiator battles.
When it’s time to work, take your pick of local hubs for creativity and productivity, including SOHO, The Korner, and cafes like Sweet and Salty, where you’ll find your fellow nomads and remote workers in abundance. There is a large array of cultural events and theater productions at NDK, the National Palace of Culture and this is also where you’ll find Peroto, Sofia’s literary club that doubles as a great cafe for working. Depending on when you’re around, don’t miss the live open-air opera held in front of Alexander Nevsky Cathedral or other stunning national sites in Bulgaria. Come nightfall, you can enjoy an after-work drink at PUBLIC, a whisky at Caldo, or experience breathtaking views of the iconic gold-domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral at Sense Rooftop Bar.
Lozenets is the perfect neighborhood for anyone looking to upgrade their lifestyle on an Eastern European budget. With plenty of yoga studios, chic boutiques, coffee shops, and brunch spots like Forest Cafe, Lozenets is the natural choice for the digital nomad who wants a healthy work-life balance in one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in all of Bulgaria.
Lozenets is split into two parts: Upper and Lower Lozenets. Upper Lozenets is on a hill, with windy streets and cute new apartment buildings built in a Western European style. Many nomads prefer Upper Lozenets because it has better housing options, but you shouldn’t miss out on exploring Lower Lozenets, where Bulgaria’s history shines. Unique architecture and famous restaurants like former writers’ haunt Pod Lipite have many stories to tell.
Lozenets offers a range of coworking spaces sure to fire up your creativity and productivity. For a coworking space that doubles as your social escape, try out a day at Barter Community Club. After work, grab a beer at White Stork Republic, a bar known for its incredible range of craft brews and knowledgeable staff. For a bit of inspiration, the Earth and Man National Museum, features over 20,000 minerals from all over the world and serious art fans will love +359 Gallery, featuring contemporary art and productions inside an old water tower. For dinner, there are many places to grab a bite to eat, for local and international flavors. Restaurant Bankovich has delicious food from Bulgaria and Serbia with a lovely upscale ambiance and Haiku Sushi nearby is a good spot for date night.
Once the home of Sofia’s bourgeoisie class, artistically-inclined remote workers will find the perfect neighborhood in Doctor’s Garden: elegant, historic, laidback, and full of high-quality restaurants and cafes. It’s also close to the City Center, main metro lines, and the stunning St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. People who live in this neighborhood will have easy access to an abundance of parks, including Borisova Gradina, the oldest park in Sofia, and Knyazheska Gradina.
Digital nomads can enjoy breathtaking views of the neighborhood at Missia23, a coworking space with flexible work options and a rooftop bar. To rent an office for an important meeting or deep work time, check out Betahaus. Or, start your morning on the right foot with a macchiato and cake at Cakey Bakey, a chic, minimalist cafe with a downstairs meeting area. When you get hungry you’ll find sun and good food at Crazy Diamond, a friendly eatery with brunch options, and for dinner or evening tapas, don’t miss the exquisite food at Staria Chinar.
As part of your daily break between tasks, this neighborhood has a beautiful park from which it takes its name. The garden is home to many of Sofia’s historical monuments, including the Doctors’ Monument which was built for medics who died during Bulgaria’s liberation from Ottoman Rule in the late 19th century.
Mladost, split into Mladost 1 and Mladost 2 and containing Sofia’s Business Park area, combines the socialist past with the eclectic present, and an exciting high-tech future. Mladost 1 is a bit more modern, but Mladost 2 contains access to more open spaces and parks and easier metro access. Mladost is highly valued by Sofia’s Bulgarian population, so you can expect convenient grocery shopping and easy access to metro stations, buses, and light rail lines. While at first glance Mladost appears stuck in the concrete-block brutalist architecture of its past, you’ll notice the luxury apartments that have sprung up in the past decade.
For coworking options nearby, check out Campus X, where you can stick to a nine-to-five schedule if that’s what you need, or work in an inspiring, ultra-chic environment at Design Lab. Just walking distance from Campus X is one of Bulgaria’s many Happy Bar & Grill restaurants. While eating at a chain isn’t exciting for everyone, Happy offers the widest range of food and the friendliest service in Sofia. For a truly casual, authentic cafeteria-style lunch, visit Vkusno aka Delicious in Mladost.
If you want an adventurous exercise break, take advantage of running and hiking trails in an expansive, rugged Vartopo Park at the edge of Mladost 1. When you’re ready to recover, take a quick bus or cab ride to Lake Pancharevo and enjoy the day at the affordable Infinity Spa right on the lake.
Well-known for its nightlife, Studentski Grad is, as you might have guessed, a place where most of Sofia’s university students live. It’s a lively neighborhood with an up-and-coming feel. New apartment buildings are currently being built, indicating a chance that the neighborhood will serve more and more people living the post-student life. For remote workers who love bars, clubs, fast food, and the sense that something exciting is happening right around the corner, this is a great neighborhood. Well-balanced with Studentski Grad park, residents have an escape from the bustle of the rest of the neighborhood and a chance to unwind in a more peaceful haven.
Spend your busiest hours of the day at Work&Share Coworking Space if your work hours are pretty regular, or 1Hub if you need to work late. You can take the night off and enjoy live music and bowling at Joy Station. For dinner, there’s a good ambiance at Maison’s Bar & Dinner, or go for the great food with a down-to-earth feel at Restaurant Nacional. Music-lovers can get a real disco club experience at Club 33, where well-known artists perform almost every night of the week, but many bars and clubs in the neighborhood also feature house, techno, and trance music.
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