All you digital nomads, start up crews, developers, creatives, freelancers and other free souls out there, we bet you’ve probably read tons of blogs and travel guides describing the beauty and freedom of Bulgaria but have you also heard that despite a lovely destination for all season vacations it is quite convenient and accessible place to work from? Well, yes! The co-working wave hasn’t surpassed this part of the globe and the co-working spaces are growing like mushrooms around the country, offering not only one of the fastest internet in the world but also great conditions to meet like-minded people and professionals, individuals or shared offices as well as great open spaces and lounges with variety of amazing professional events and entertainment. Another good thing comparing with other countries is that the co-working spaces are not situated only in the capital Sofia. It’s quite easy to find a convenient cosy spot with all the necessary equipment almost anywhere across the country, providing the chance to experience the rich historical and cultural heritage of Bulgaria as well as the incredible nature and wildlife.
Here is a selection of the best spots around.
Zheleznitsa (Blagoevgrad province)
Our first stop is Co-mad. Situated in the south-west of Bulgaria, in the beautiful Rila Mountain, less than 1 and a half hours drive from Sofia. Co-mad is the ultimate co-working and co-living space in the nature which provides not only the must haves like fast speed wifi connection, super modern interior, lots of day light and cosy accommodation but also various options for outdoor activities like trekking, rafting, horseback riding as well as the chance to visit some of the most popular landmarks like the Rila Monastery and the Stob pyramids. Co-mad offers flexible renting options varying from 1 day events to 3 day co-working for a team of up to 21 people and weekend co-working packages. Mad or no, working in the nature will not only increase your productivity but will also assure some quality fun for you and your team.
Going on the same route there is another great co-working and co-living spot a bit north from Co-mad in the Balkan Ski capital Bansko. Co-working Bansko is a gathering spot for all those workaholics who are also crazy about winter sports and activities. Situated in the midst of one of the best winter resorts Co-working Bansko is the right space for your winter workation. It offers great working conditions combined with something very-very important – great community of like-minded people. The team behind this co-working space is truly dedicated to not only provide a desk or an office but bring its guests together through the various events and activities they organize. So the next time you are torn between the tight deadlines and the pulling power of the ski and snow-board slopes the solution is Co-working Bansko.
The nature has its charm and power but it’s not suitable for everyone, so here are some options for those of you who prefer the city crowd and concrete base instead of trees.
We move to the centre of Bulgaria and its cultural capital Plovdiv. A city with incredibly rich history, beautiful architecture and a large amount of art and cultural events topped up with buzzing and dynamic atmosphere.
The co-working space fully matching the spirit of Plovdiv is BizLabs. Built in the oldest print house in Bulgaria founded in 1857, BizLabs aims to provide space and establish communities which share the passion of creativity and productivity, bridging between the local and global companies and tying the relationship of business and technology. At BizLabs you’ll find modern and beautiful co-working space shared by people focused on innovating and doing their job with love and creating better and better solutions. If you feel like one of them, choose from the various renting options which BizLabs offers: flexible or fixed single or multi desk; conference room with video equipment or event room hosting up to 20 people.
Fresh and bright Limacon stands out with its inspirational power and willingness to unite people who share their vision – start up enthusiasts, marketers, entrepreneurs and all other tech savvy guys and girls. Their rich event calendar overflows with discussions, presentations, workshops and trainings and despite the regular co-working offers you can also benefit from the human capital, event and CSR management services which they offer. Book your spot at Limacon and enjoy free parking, cosy open space, fully equipped kitchen and that’s not all – they serve even breakfast!
Plovdiv offers also a bit more conventional space which of course doesn’t lag behind in terms of convenience and value for money. Achiever’s Business Centre has everything you need: comfortable desks and chairs, fast speed internet as well as conference and event rooms at affordable prices.
Another gem in the crown of Plovdiv is Otsreshta. it’s not a standard office space rather a cosy charming café very close to the city centre where you can work peacefully, commune with your team and clients as well as enjoy a delicious cup of coffee or a couple of beers and learn a lot about sustainability and what the organizations of the future will look like. Otsreshta characterizes with friendly atmosphere, reliable wifi connection, quiet during the day and serving a variety of art events, exhibitions and trainings in the evenings. If you manage to pass by Plovdiv, jump in Otsreshta.
Moving straight east from Plovdiv and after exactly 2 and a half hours drive you’ll end up right on the Black Sea coast and the city of Burgas. One of the most economically developed cities in Bulgaria, with the best summer parties in the nearby resorts. Sadly, life isn’t only about partying so here is the best co-working space in town – BurgasLab. It is the Burgas haker space, IT club and an NGO all at once. Their goal is to develop and unite the IT community in the town by organizing various events and provide an open and convenient meeting and a co-work space. BurgasLab is spacious and flexible space, where you could not only get a desk but bring a topic or spend a day for skill sharing and learning of new IT hacks and tricks.
The Black Sea coast is a charming area to explore, with diverse relief and flora together with sand dunes, relaxed beaches, refreshing waves and adventurous rocks. Another couple of hours drive up north from Burgas will take you to Varna, the pearl of the Black Sea. Similar to Plovdiv, Varna offers historically and culturally rich experience, various landmarks and monuments, plenty of entertainment and art options, plus one of the most emblematic theatre (VIA Fest) and film (Love is Folly) festivals. Of course, like the other locations, Varna has what to show in terms of co-working spaces. One of the most renowned is Beehive. This co-working space provides variety of options for renting a single or double desk, team desk for up to 4 people or one of the 3 meeting and conference rooms. Beehive offers also free tea, coffee and water as well as the option to get a premium subscription and benefit from a fixed desk and unlimited access to all Beehive events.
Open work space, single desks and team tables, plus huge lounge room, conference room and events hall – all of these are available at StartUP Center Varna. The majority of their residents are start-ups, but the community of like-minded people is enriched with digital nomads, designers, consultants and other professionals. StartUP Center is located in the very centre of the city, in a walking distance from the Sea Garden and the beach, the railway station is just around the corner and there are also few museums at close proximity.
It’s time to leave the sea now and head to Ruse. Situated right on the border with Romania and the beautiful Danube River, Ruse is a picturesque town, often called by the locals the little Vienna due to its similar architecture. Key part of the Roman Empire during Emperor Vespasian (60-70 CR), the door of Bulgaria to the world in the 18th and 19th century and a home of the legendary Orient Express. Ruse’s glory has vanished during the years passed, but its entrepreneurial spirit is still alive and you’d be able to best feel it at StartUp Factory – the co-working which aims at developing the city’s IT community and entrepreneurial eco system as well as to bring people together and unite them around common goals and shared visions. StartUp Factory offers 120 sq.m. of space and 10 working spots, plus support for your projects, access to talent and shared resources as well as a creative atmosphere and friendly community.
Alone or with your team, on a tight budget and schedule or free to move around, Bulgaria and it’s co-working spaces is a great value-for-money choice, promising great experience, as well as lots of new friends and ideas.