Located at the foot of the Pirin Mountains, the town of Bansko is a wonderland for skiers and snow sport enthusiasts alike!
Located in the beating heart of Pirin National Park, Bansko is Bulgaria’s number one ski and snowboard resort, with slopes on the imposing Tordoka Peaks, home to the iconic Tomba Run. The park is also known for the magnificent high-altitude Vihren Peak.
Bansko is surrounded by sensational landscapes of forested ridges and spectacular glacial lakes. So if you are not a fan of skiing, don’t worry, there are plenty of things to do away from the slopes. For a start, you’ll love exploring the cobblestone streets and historic stone buildings of the old town.
When it comes to deciding on where to stay in Bansko, choosing the most appropriate neighborhood to base yourself in is crucial. A bad choice could ruin your whole holiday. The same is true for accommodation too.
But don’t worry, because I am here to help. In this guide, I’ll show you the best neighborhoods, some accommodation options and a handful of awesome things to do in each neighborhood.
Looking for a place to stay in Bansko but overwhelmed by the choices? Don’t worry! I’ve got you covered with my overall recommendations of the coolest places to book.
Best Apartment in Bansko: Homely Apartment near the Slopes
With a fantastic range of facilities and amenities, this homely one-bedroom apartment is hands down the best apartment in Bansko! Located within the quaint neighborhood of Blagoevgrad, this wonderful property puts you right in the heart of the old town. Within walking distance to the gondola, the apartment is well located. It features a huge living space, double bedroom, and a fully-stocked kitchen. What more could you want?
Best Hostel in Bansko: Wonderful Bar and Hostel
For its central location, good security, and notable levels of comfort it’s hard to top Le Retro Hostel and Bar for a hostel in Bansko! Situated on 5th October Street, this charming property is contained within a building that dates back to 1832. Close to the gondola and ski zone, but far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the new town to not be disturbed by it, the hostel provides you with a fabulous setting in the original old village square of Bansko.
Best Hotel in Bansko: Fantastic Luxury Boutique Hotel
Is being near the Gondola Lift important to you? Then you can’t get much better than this wonderful hotel in Bansko! Situated just 400 meters from Gondola Lift, this fabulous boutique hotel has a terrace that showcases sensational views of the mountains. It also has a world-class spa center as well as plenty of ski storage space. Rooms are stylishly decorated and kitted out with a range of state-of-the-art amenities that are guaranteed to provide you with a very comfortable stay.
Offering a nice central location that incorporates both the skiing and cultural parts of the town you will find everything from permanent art exhibitions and ice skating to an ayurveda retreat and even an escape room.
The charming Old Town is a lovely place to stay for those on a budget. Whilst you still get plenty of deluxe hotels in the area you will also find a number of more affordable accommodation.
Gondola Ski Lift
If you have come to Bansko predominantly to ski than the area around the Gondola Ski Lift is the perfect place to base yourself.
Bansko is Bulgaria’s top ski resort. It’s also home to incredible history, a lively annual Jazz festival and many cute and cosy cafes.
But most of all, this is a town for nature lovers. Lying in the shadow of the soaring peaks of the Pirin National Park, this year-round destination gives you plenty of opportunities to get out on the mountains. Whether it be hurtling down the mountain on a freestyle ski run or zipping around a dirt track on a mountain bike.
If you are wanting to visit Bansko, you will need a place to stay and in this respect, some areas stand out more than others.
Bansko itself is a lovely area to explore. It’s full of character, and perfectly fuses together a modern ski resort with a charming town. It also offers everything from impressive churches and cool mountain vineyards to hot springs and ayurvedic centers. So is a great base for the first time visitor.
Nearby, the historic Old Town is a place where the cobbled streets are lined with horse and carts still. There are plenty of notable architectural structures here too, as well as a number of museums and churches to explore. Whilst you should definitely take the chance to enjoy the gastronomic delights on offer at one of the local taverns.
If you are in Bansko for skiing, one of the best places to base yourself is near the Gondola Ski Lift. Not only will this give you easy access to the slopes for mountain biking, hiking, and of course downhill skiing, but it will also put you close to the hot springs and some of the best bars and restaurants in town.
The 3 Best Areas to Stay in Bansko
To make the most of your visit to Bansko it is always a good idea to pick an area as your base that most incorporate what you are interested in. Whichever neighborhood you choose, you will find some excellent accommodation options in Bansko to pick from.
If this is your first time heading to Bulgaria’s premier ski resort you are going to want to base yourself in Bansko.
As a nice central location that incorporates both the skiing and cultural parts of the town, you will find everything from permanent art exhibitions and ice skating to an Ayurveda retreat and even an escape room.
Many of the best hotel accommodations can also be found in this area, while there are plenty of terrific bars, restaurants, and shops to check out too.
Best Apartment in Bansko – The Butterfly Studio
Located on a quiet street, but close to the main street which features all the main restaurants and bars, this entire rental unit is a terrific option for the first-time visitor to Bansko. The studio is about a 10-minute walk to the Gondola ski lift and has been fully refurnished in light, warm and airy interiors. It has a terrace that showcases an amazing view of the mountains, and the living room also contains a pull-out sofa that transforms into a comfortable bed.
Best Studio in Bansko – Cosy Studio Apartment
Boasting a terrific mountain view, this homely studio apartment is the perfect base to relax and chill out during your stay in Bansko. A well-furnished self-catering apartment, you will find everything you need within it for a comfortable stay. This includes a wide range of kitchen facilities like a hob, fridge, kettle, microwave, and freezer, that will enable you to prepare and store meals. The studio also consists of one cosy bedroom with a double bed, as well as a private bathroom with a shower and an open-plan living space.
Best Hotel in Bansko: Lucky Bansko Aparthotel
From a fully equipped playground for kids to a world-class spa center for adults, the Lucky Bansko Aparthotel provides something for everyone. A fabulous place for all the family to stay, all units have a fully equipped kitchenette, stylish bedroom, and private bathroom. While the complex also boasts three excellent restaurants on-site too, as well as a fitness center and a kids club. The hotel also organizes excursions to cultural sites and monasteries for those who want to venture further afield.
Things to See and Do in Bansko:
- Check out the Radonova House Historical and Ethnographic Museum to see how they lived in the old days.
- See history come to life at the House Museum of Nikola Vaptsarov.
- Rejuvenate yourself with an Ayurveda retreat
- Visit the Escape Rooms in Bansko.
- Visit the Jazz festival in August, especially if you love music and a good party!
- Check out the Bansko Film Festival in November.
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2. Old Town – Best Place to Stay in Bansko on a Budget
The charming Old Town is a lovely place to stay for those on a budget. Whilst you still get plenty of deluxe hotels in the area you will also find a number of more affordable accommodation choices here.
Blessed with a romantic, old-worldy charm, the cobblestone streets and historic architecture are perfect for exploring on foot. While culture buffs will get their fix at the various museums and galleries that are dotted around it.
There is actually decent shopping here too, whilst a number of excellent taverns abound too.
Best Apartment near Bansko Old Town – Cedar Lodge
If you are looking for a spacious, well-designed studio apartment that won’t break the bank then the Cedar Lodge is a very good option. Located in a great location, the studio is equipped with everything you will need to ensure your stay is a comfortable one. This includes a large double bed, as well as a sofa bed as well as a bathroom and self-catering facilities. The property is within easy reach of the local bars, restaurants, and the Gondola Ski Lift. It is also one of the few apartments in Bansko with access to a lift!
Best House near Bansko Old Town – Cozy self-catering house
Want a home away from home whilst in Bansko? Then this charming property in the Old Town could well be right for you. A quaint listed building, it lies just a five-minute walk from the bars, restaurants, and shops of the main street. The house is set up for self-catering, with a fully equipped kitchen that features a kettle, microwave, oven, dishwasher, and coffee-making machine. So it is perfect for families or larger groups of people. The house also has a splendid garden that blooms beautiful flowers in the summer, as well as a pleasant outdoor sitting area and ski /snowboard storage room.
Best Hotel near Bansko Old Town – Premier Luxury Mountain Resort
Situated in Bansko near the old town, and at the foot of the Pirin Mountains, the Premier Luxury Mountain Resort offers spacious rooms that feature a contemporary design with wooden interiors. A five-star luxury hotel, it offers a huge range of amenities that will make your stay a truly memorable one. This includes a fabulous restaurant that serves an international buffet-style breakfast and dinner as well as a world-class spa. It also has an indoor swimming pool, sauna, and hammam as well as a kids club for the young ones.
Things to See and Do near Bansko Old Town :
- Walk the streets of Old Town and marvel at the architecture.
- Visit the House of Velyan and learn about the old days.
- Take a step back in time at the House Museum of Neofit Rilski.
- Marvel at the stunning building and artwork in the St. Trinity Church.
- Enjoy an ale or two at the Banski Han Tavern, a great place to try traditional Bulgarian cuisine.
- Enjoy the number one site in the Balkans, the iconic Rila Monastery.
3. Gondola Ski Lift – Best Place to Stay in Bansko for access to skiing
If you have come to Bansko predominantly to ski then the area around the Gondola Ski Lift is the perfect place to base yourself.
Providing you with easy access to the slopes, you will be able to ski, mountain bike, and hike till your heart’s content. Once you have done that there is also a fabulous natural hot spring to explore too.
While at night there are plenty of bars and restaurants to enjoy as well.
Best Apartment near Gondola Ski Lift – Belvedere Holiday Club
Placing you just minutes from Vihren and the Gondola Lift a stay at the Belvedere Holiday Club is the perfect Airbnb in Bansko for those who come specifically for skiing. This stylish apartment hotel is also located close to attractions like the Bansko Ski Resort and Bansko – Banderitsa Meadow. The two-bedroom apartments come with a balcony that offers beautiful views of the Pirin Mountains. For guests’ enjoyment, the complex also has both an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, as well as saunas, a very cool lobby bar, and a lovely restaurant.
Best Studio near Gondola Ski Lift – Studio in Front of Ski Lift
Situated just 150 meters from the Gondola Ski Lift, this quaint studio property makes a fantastic base for hitting the ski slopes. Featuring a warm bedroom with a comfortable bed, as well as a fully equipped kitchen, the property also has a lovely bathroom and relaxed seating area. So you will be able to enjoy a homely experience during your time here. The studio also has an outdoor swimming pool for guests to enjoy, whilst its sun terrace provides you with a lovely spot to relax and take in splendid views.
Best Hotel near Gondola Ski Lift – Ice Jewel Chalet
At just 200 meters from the Gondola Ski Lift, the Ice Jewel Chalet offers you a location that is very hard to beat! Offering six bedrooms and seven bathrooms, as well as a flat-screen TV, dining area, and fully equipped kitchen, it is a great option for large families or groups. The property also has a terrific balcony that showcases lovely garden and mountain views, whilst you are not just close to the ski lift, but also the wider town of Bansko. If you stay at this property, a ski equipment rental service is also available to you too.
Things to See and Do near Gondola Ski Lift :
- Go mountain biking down the slopes in the summer.
- Visit a natural mineral hot spring and soothe those aching limbs.
- Go for a hike in Pirin Mountains, the Vihren is the most famous and most challenging hike.
- Enjoy some Italian food at the Restaurant Leonardo.
- Have a refreshing drink at Bar Pirin 75.
- Explore the traditional way of life in Gorno Draglishte.
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What To Pack For Bansko
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.
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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.
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.
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Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Bansko
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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Bansko
As you have read, Bansko has some interesting neighborhoods and fantastic options when it comes to places to stay. Irrespective of your budget, or what you are interested in seeing and doing Bansko, has something for everyone.
Blessed with world-class snow, you simply have to come here if you love skiing! If you’re on a Balkans road trip, it makes for the perfect stop to unwind in nature and enjoy a piece of Balkan history.
Should you decide to come here, I hope this guide has helped you choose where to stay on your visit to Bansko.
And while you’re considering where to stay in Bansko, you should also think about getting some travel insurance too, especially if you are visiting from abroad.
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!