25 hotels in this place
Bansko is in Southwest Bulgaria. It is the birthplace of the Bulgarian revival movement.
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Points of Interest
- Business object
- Civic property
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Points of Interest in Bansko
In a nice day, with good visibility the view of the mountains is beautiful, especially if you take the lift to the ski tracks. (You should get to the ski tracks at least once even if you do not ski yourself)
- Belitsa Bear Park - 33 kilometers from Bansko is the Four Paws Bear sanctuary, offering a new home to bears that were previously forced to dance. Situated in a huge park with several large enclosures, the bears can now roam relatively freely with others of their kind. Upon my visit, there seemed to be no-one there so unsure of entrance fee's etc. Information suggests that there are tours that leave hourly. A taxi (unofficial!) from Bansko, with 2 hours wait cost 60Lev though a lower price could probably be gotten with more bargaining over beer. Take good walking shoes.
Popular events in Bansko in the near future
Bansko is a good place for skiing in winter. The resort is mainly suited to beginners and those more advanced will get bored quite quickly. Also don't expect the runs to be groomed to often. Skiers and Snowboarders could find BanskoSki useful.  It is also a good idea to avoid any Englsih school holidays as there will be insane amounts of people everywhere (and a 3 hour wait to get up the mountain via gondala) as well as the skiing world cup as half of the runs will be closed for the weeks leading up to it.
You can rent ski gear at the first station and get a discount at the lift ticket, though if you want to leave your skis there overnight there is an extra charge. A lot of ski rental shops can be found around the first station, where you can probably rent gear in better condition and get a good price if you book for more than 1 day (recommended) . (full ski gear for 4 days cost 100 leva - 50€). You can probably arrange to leave the gear at the shop overnight for free. The weather in Bansko is obviously colder than some Greek ski resorts, so warmer clothes and a full face hood is nice to have.
You can get a multiday ticket for the lifts, although the discount is negligible. There is also a half day ticket after 12:30 or 13:00 each day, but you can also buy tickets at a better price from people leaving the ski centre before the end of the day, around the ticket offices.
Most hotels offer a bus service to the ski lift station in the morning and afternoon. Try to get to the lift station not later than 9:00 to avoid long queues. It is also advisable to buy the tickets from the previous afternoon for the same reason. There are also minibuses to ferry people up the mountain in the morning which is included in the lift pass.
Bansko is an excellent entry way to the Pirin Mountians, Bulgaria's wildest and least developed mountain range. Vihren hut, named after the nearby Mt. Vihren, is the best place to begin both short and long distance treks. During the peak season (2012 - June 15 to September 15) a bus will take you several times a day to and from Bansko. Great one day hikes include Mt. Vihren, the 2nd highest mountain in Bulgaria and 3rd highest in the Balkans, and The Koncheto, a ~200m long and ~1m wide ridge between the second and 3rd highest mountains in Pirin with vast cliffs on either side. With a full day it is possible to hike them both.
- In the beginning of August an annual jazz festival, the Bansko Jazz Festival, is held in the town.
- The highest peak of Pirin Mountain (Vihren - 2916m) is at a day's walk from the city.
- My Bansko - Mein Bansko. The Movie - free production. open for everybody. http://www.mybansko.com/The_Movie_.html
Bansko is rife with traditional Bulgarian taverns ('Mehana'; plural 'Mehani'), as well as cafes and modern bars along the main roads. Price should be around 10€ per person in most places. There are also a lot of places where you can get a slice of pizza or a sandwich. The "Friends Pub" near the first ski lift station is really nice, you can get a slice of pizza in the kiosk outside, or a full meal inside.The best tavern in Bansko is Matsurev han.The inn offers Bulgarian national cuisine, traditional dishes from Bansko, prepared on live coals, on a plate and in an oven. ”Matsurev’s Inn” is located at the foot of the Pirin mountain in the heart of the town of Bansko. It is located over the church “St. Trinity” at 100 m from the central square of the town and only at 15 minutes walking from the first station of the cabin lift.
By the end of the ski season (March-April) many restaurants offer large discounts to repeat customers too, sometimes up to 60% off, making eating out at this time incredibly cheap.
- Harry's Bar, Kandahar apartments (Close to bottom of gondola). Comfortable and modern lounge bar. Quiz and theme nights, cocktails and food served daily.
The hot thing to buy in Bansko at the moment is property. Several real estate agencies line the main road to the mountain, many of them aimed at English investors. Note, however, that prices are even higher then in the centre of Sofia.
There are some fashionable clothing retailers, as well as ski shops in the town. The prices for ski and sports gear are quite good, but usually not exceptional. You should be able to lower the initial price if you negotiate.
On a smaller budget, there are also numerous souvenir shops selling a range of generic Bulgarian items, as well as Bansko specific ones.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Bansko on Wikivoyage.