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Pirin Mountains, Rila Monastery & Mummer’s Day in Bansko, Bulgaria

Best things to do in Bansko Bulgaria - Maria Stoyanova - Hiking around Bansko

Hiking around Bansko

I’m really excited to interview Maria Stoyanova of Travelling Buzz about Bansko, Bulgaria. Maria’s tips for the best things to do in Bansko are awesome because she’s a digital nomad who came to Bansko for the coworking space and community but fell in love with the local mountains and natural beauty.

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Best things to do in Bansko Bulgaria - Maria Stoyanova - cobblestone streets

The cobblestone streets of Bansko

Bansko, Bulgaria

Bansko is quite the dichotomy as an old-world city with cobblestone streets that is also the home to a community of 80+ digital nomads. It is a popular ski resort destination and a beautiful place to hike with the three mountains that surround the city.

The city experiences all four seasons with cold, snowy winters, hot summers, and chilly spring and autumn. There are a variety of festivals throughout the year, such as the Bansko International Jazz Festival, the International Mountain Film Festival, and Bansko Opera Festival. Mummer’s Day Festival is locally known as “Starchevata” and is an annual event held in January where locals share folklore and dress up in Mummer costumes.

During your visit, stop by the Rila Monastery, which was built in the 10th century and is a UNESCO Heritage Site. The Holy Trinity Church is another beautiful site that was built in the 19th century. Pirin National Park is a popular hiking destination.

We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Visit Bansko, the local visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests.

If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.

Best things to do in Bansko Bulgaria - Maria Stoyanova - Sunrise from Vihren peak

Sunrise from Vihren peak

Getting around Bansko

The local airport is Sofia International Airport (SOF), which is about a two-hour drive to Bansko. Use our Expedia tool below to find flight, hotel, and rental car options.

Maria says that if you’re just staying in the city, there is no need to rent a car. Everything you need within the town is within walking distance. But, to do day trips and travel outside the city, you will want to rent one. For the best offers, visit Avis, Budget, or Hertz. Maria says that you can rent a car for approximately 60 to 80 Euros for the week.

Best things to do in Bansko Bulgaria - Maria Stoyanova - Pirin in winter

Pirin Mountains in winter

Places we talked about on the podcast

Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Maria Stoyanova about Bansko, Bulgaria. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.

  • Red dots = best places to eat in Bansko, Bulgaria
  • Green dots = best things to do in Bansko, Bulgaria
  • Yellow dots = best places to stay in Bansko, Bulgaria

Who is Maria Stoyanova?

Maria Stoyanova is a Bulgarian travel blogger and tourism professional. She holds a Ph.D. in Tourism Economy and is currently a Content Manager at Travel Massive & Community Manager at WHTT (Women in Hospitality and Travel Tech). Maria is a remote work advocate, snowboard, and hiking enthusiast.

She chronicles her travels and shares tips for traveling to cities within Europe and working remotely on her website Travelling Buzz. Her goal is to inspire people to travel more and follow their dreams by exploring new places and taking new adventures.

a woman sitting on a rocky mountain

Maria enjoying a sunset in Pirin.

Here is an article that was written by Maria and some other articles that feature her:

You can connect with Maria on her website and on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.


Click here to download our one-page guide of Maria’s tips for Bansko.

Big thanks to today’s affiliate partner – Acorns

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I’ve been using Acorns for years, and I love how easy it is to use. For a limited time, when you sign up at, we’ll both earn $5.

Best things to do in Bansko Bulgaria - Maria Stoyanova - Hiking Djangal Peak

Hiking Djangal Peak

Stay tuned for our next episode

The Park at OWA freeway exit sign almost there

Timothy and Scarlett at the Park at OWA freeway exit sign. Almost there!

Listen to the next episode when we celebrate 150 episodes with an interview with my kids, Timothy and Scarlett, about road tripping as a family. We talk about some of our favorite road trip experiences and they share their tips for parents to keep kids happy and entertained while on the road. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.

What’s your favorite part of Bansko? Send us a Tweet, let us know in the comment section below, or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!

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To see which cities we’ve interviewed and scheduled, please visit If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please submit an application at

Related episodes

We’ve had the pleasure of interviewing multiple members of the Travel Massive community, such as:


  1. Norman

    The Macedonians (a minority in Bulgaria, mostly in the PIrin region) living in this area are the most hospitable people I have ever met.

  2. Around Bulgaria

    I can say the Bulgarian nature is absolutely unique and it include 4 seasons, mountains, see, history and many traditions in a special mix. Everyone must visit Bulgaria 🙂