Borovets was the first ski resort in Bulgaria, and it still lives up to its fame today with more than 58 km (36 mi) of marked ski slopes of all levels for both skiers and snowboarders. The ski resort is the closest to Sofia, and it often hosts international ski competitions.
Bansko ski resort is another perfect snowy option for those who get excited every time it starts snowing. You will have 75 km (45 mi) of marked ski slopes at your disposal and the impressive Todorka Peak dominating the skyline above you. The town of Bansko has an old-fashioned historical center and an ample choice of bars, Irish pubs, and traditional Bulgarian taverns.
Skiing in Pamporovo includes views of endless pine-covered hills and a breathtaking view from Snezhanka Peak where most of the ski trails start. Pamporovo is now connected with a shuttle bus to the Mechi Chal trail, one of the longest in Bulgaria, so you can enjoy a long ride with a refreshing change of views. The ski resort is located in the Rhodope Mountains, 80 km (50 mi) from the beautiful city of Plovdiv that makes for a great cultural day trip.
Pirin National Park
If you are in good shape and you enjoy hiking in winter, Pirin National Park is full of trails that are equally exciting for hiking and snowshoeing. Take a map and follow the winter markings (yellow and black striped poles) to end up in a cozy mountain lodge (Tevno Ezero Hut or Yavorov Hut are always a good idea). If you are not a seasoned hiker, it’s better to hire a mountain guide as the weather on Pirin Mountain is unpredictable and can change in minutes.
At a village guesthouse
The best destination to experience true Bulgarian hospitality is… any guesthouse in a remote village. While towns and cities are quite close in atmosphere to what you will experience in other parts of Europe, the villages are where the spirit of old times is still alive. Choose a place with a fireplace, and enjoy homemade goodies by the fire.
Finally, Sofia is the major cultural hub in Bulgaria with the winter being the peak of the season, with dozens of theatrical, opera, and art events taking place every day. Keep an eye on the program of the National Opera and Ballet, where you can watch world-class performances for only a fraction of what you’d pay in other parts of Europe.