In this article I’d like to talk about my home country Bulgaria. According to my observations, most of the digital nomads choose countries from SEA (South East Asia) like Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam or the Philippines. All these countries offer amazing lifestyle – you can enjoy sun almost every day, food is healthy and delicious, beaches are amazing. But if you’d like to move to a country which has more European appearance and the cost of living is still like in South East Asia – I think Bulgaria is worth checking.
Well, the night life in Sofia cannot compare with that in Bangkok but still Sofia has its advantages, and of them is the low cost of living.
Another price comparison is between the city of Varna, located on the Black Sea cost and Phuket.
As you can see on these images according to Numbeo, it could be pretty cheap to live in Bulgaria. Of course you will not have amazing beaches with crystal clear water like in SEA and the street food in Bulgaria is not good at all (just my opinion) but there are other reasons to make you choose Bulgaria for a digital nomad destination. What reasons? Just stay with me…
1) Fast Speed Internet
Bulgaria has decent Internet speed. According to Speed Test Global Index, Bulgaria in top 30. Not leading the ranking but definitely you will have good, stable and cheap Internet here.
2) Affordable accommodation
According to Mercer – Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital is one of the cheapest big cities to rent an apartment in the world. Cheaper than Lusaka (Zambia), Islamabad (Pakistan), Rabat (Morocco), Kiev (Ukraine), Harare (Zimbabwe) and many others.
Even if you’d like to stay a week or two it won’t cost you much. You can find an one bedroom apartment in Sofia for as little as 20 leva ($12) per night, depends on the location and the quality.
3) Cheap food in restaurants
Sorry, to disappoint you. It is not as cheap and as delicious as in SEA but you still get very good value for your money! If you’d like to drink beer on the Vitosha Boulevard (the main commercial street in the center of Sofia), you pay $2-3 for a draft Heineken and that’s considered expensive! (You can find it cheaper).
4) Beach destination from June to September
Bulgaria is beach destination during June, July, August and September. You can choose one of the big cities like Varna and Burgas or quite places like Irakli, Silistar, Kara Dere, Arkutino, Pasha Dere, Krapet or Bolata.
Also, if you choose to settle in Sofia, it could be faster for you to travel to beaches in Northern Greece.
5) Ski destination during the winter
Ski season in Bulgaria begins usually in December, and then you have January, February and March to enjoy skiing.
Also, in Bansko which is the Bulgarian top ski resort, you can find a lovely co-working space with friendly stuff and members from all over the globe.
6) Easy to go around
You can visit a new country every weekend. Extremely cheap flights are available from Sofia, Varna and Burgas to many European cities, and also Romania, Macedonia, Serbia and Greece are accessible by car or bus. You can visit all countries in the Balkans and Central Europe in a few months if you set it as a goal.
7) Communities for digital nomads
Bulgaria has co-working spaces in the biggest cities but also in some small towns. According to Edit, there are 33 co-working spaces in Bulgaria. It is important to have such places because being a digital nomad could be a lonely journey. In co-working spaces you can find friends, people to work with and share ideas. There are also Facebook groups that you can participate to find events and meetups with other nomads and like-minded people.