Bankso is a quaint Bulgarian town known for epic skiing and magnificent natural surroundings. With cobblestone streets and alpine-style buildings, it is a scenic town and a year-round beauty. Filled with history, and home to a range of different outdoor activities, Bankso is a must visit on any European adventure.

The small town has a little bit of everything from luxury ski resorts, to cheap and cheerful hostels. If you are looking to save some cash on your Bulgaria visit, hostels are a great way to cut back.

Digital nomads, ski-pros, mountaineers and relaxers, check out these Bankso hostels for an affordable and comfortable stay!

Old Town, Bansko

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What to Expect from Hostels in Bansko

Exploring Bulgaria is a must on any Europe trip. For such a small town, there’s actually a lot to do in Bankso! Snow activities are the most popular, but exploring the atmospheric old town, marveling at intricate old buildings, and exploring museums and art galleries is a must!

I’ll be straight up with you, there are very limited hostels in Bankso. Okay, there’s only 1 that I would recommend. That being said, the town is filled with affordable accommodations that offer the same vibe and amenities as a hostel – sometimes better – for the same price! For those budget travelers who rely on cheap places to stay to afford their European backpacking adventures, we’ve got exactly what you need.

Staying in a Hotel in Bansko

Bansko is a fairly small town, meaning most spots are in the heart of town, or in Old Town. The majority tend to be gathered around the ski lift, perfect for the budget skiers. Getting around is super easy, with most things just walking distance away.

When you’re looking to book a hostel, HostelWorld is the go-to. You can check reviews, pictures and get the best price on the web.

Best Hostels in Bansko

There is only one hostel in Bankso, check it out!

Le Retro Hostel & Bar Bansko – Best Hostel in Bansko

Bansko is divided into Old and New Town, each with its own appeal and attractions. Le Retro Hostel is located a short distance from New Town, the more busy and vibey area. You can get the best of both worlds staying in peace and quiet, but close by to bars and fun.

In the middle of the old village square, the hostel is surrounded by history and culture. The beautifully intricate House of Velyan, and the traditional house-museum “Neofit Rilski” are nearby – you can get in among the best bits of Bankso in mere steps.

Le Retro has all the classic hostel room options. There are shared dorm rooms, and private rooms with their own ensuite bathrooms. It’s perfect for solo travelers, or groups of friends who want their own space. The private rooms are situated in a small garden cottage, the ultimate European dream.

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Vegan and vegetarian options
  • Shuttle to the gondola
  • Pet and child friendly

Money savers will know that food is a big bulk of your budget. Le Retro has a communal kitchen where you can meet the other hostel guests, and store your snacks for those late night munchies.

The large and welcoming common areas have lots of places to lounge and relax after a long day. They are a great place to sit and get to know the other travelers, sharing stories and making adventure plans.

With a shuttle to get you to the nearest ski gondola, friendly staff, and lots of extra amenities, it may be the only hostel in Bankso, but its still a GREAT place to stay!

Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Hide Yo’ Money!

Other Budget Accommodations in Bansko

This is where Bankso will really shine. Despite its limited hostel options, there are some amazing affordable accommodation options.

Forest View Apartment

Forest View Apartment

Who said affordable accommodation can’t be cute? Forest View Apartment is a quaint and cozy home located right by the Bankso gondola. Looking over beautiful forest views from the windows and private balcony, you can enjoy the scenery from the comfort of the home.

Featuring 1 plush bedroom, roomy living areas and a full kitchen, you can prepare delicious homemade meals to dine overlooking the natural landscape.

Simply designed and decorated, the views really do all the talking. With free parking and air conditioning, for the same price as a dorm room, you can have total privacy and comfort.

Guest House Hayloft

Guest House Hayloft is one of the most centrally located hotels in Bankso. Next to Pirin Street, the town’s central hub, it’s surrounded by shops, pubs, and restaurants. Just a short walk from the ski elevator, you can easily enjoy the famous winter activities without relying on public transport.

The guest house rooms feature beautiful hardwood floors and wooden furniture, as well as private bathrooms and all the usual hotel amenities. Guest House Hayloft has a traditional Bulgarian tavern serving up national specialties. After a long day on the slopes and exploring the town, it is the perfect place to wind down with a tasty meal.

Dedo Pene Inn

Located next to the famous Sveta Troitsa Church, and dating back to 1820, Dedo Penn Inn is filled with history. With a classic tavern feel and friendly staff, you will be transported back to centuries old Bulgaria. Just walking distance to the ski elevator and the center of town, it is an idyllic Bankso base.

Dedo Penn Inn has a restaurant that serves tasty regional cuisine and house wine, with a roaring fire in the cold weather. For something more casual on summer days, you can chill in the courtyard and enjoy a delicious feast prepared on the BBQ.

Encompassed by a sprawling terrace, enjoy views of the Pirin Mountains and the surroundings from the comfort of the inn.

Mountain Lodge Apartment

Mountain Lodge Apartment

Incredibly affordable and super comfortable, this Mountain Lodge Apartment is a GEM. It has a chic and modern design, with lots of homey amenities for an easygoing stay. Featuring 1 bedroom, but with enough room for up to 4 guests, if you are sharing with friends it is a steal! Cheaper than a hostel!

Mountain Lodge is perfectly located on the outskirts of the hustle and bustle, and just an easy walk away from restaurants, supermarkets and the ski elevator. Sit back and enjoy peace and quiet before heading out into the crowds.

The spacious balcony looks out over the Pirin Mountains and is fitted with a BBQ – a beautiful setting for a meal with friends.

I’m gonna say it, this is my favorite Airbnb in Bankso.

What to Pack for your Bansko Hostel

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hostel Packing list for even more top hostel packing tips!

Bansko Hostels FAQ

How much do hostels in Bansko cost?

Le Retro Hostel is a very budget friendly spot. You can book a single room with a private ensuite for around $30 depending on your traveling dates, and how early you book!

What are the best hostels in Bansko for couples?

Clean and cozy room, and perfect location makes Le Retro Hostel & Bar Bansko the coolest hostel for couples in Bansko.

What is the best hostel in Bansko near the airport?

Le Retro Hostel & Bar Bansko offers transfer from Sofia (SOF) Airport, the nearest airport to Bansko.

Travel Safety Tips for Bansko

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Final Thoughts

The natural beauty of Bankso is unparalleled all-year round. It’s a hotspot for skiing and snowboarding during the winter months, but there are some incredible activities for summer too.

Exploring Bankso on a budget is pretty easy. With cheap accommodations across the town, you can shack up at a cozy spot for a reasonable price. The one hostel in Bankso, Le Retro Hostel & Bar Bansko, is located in an incredible historical building close by to the best bits of town.

Looking for more info on travelling to Bansko and Bulgaria?