Author and photos: Dobs Totev
Originally I am from Plovdiv, Bulgaria and have never seen the city as a place for working remotely until recent years. I have been living abroad for a while and every time I come back I have always been surprised that there are new things to do.
I have noticed that the city is growing massively on businesses, people, travelers, and digital nomads.
The community of people
If you are into quirky, alternative, hipster, creative and tech people, Plovdiv would be a great fit for you. Weekly there are networking events that are hosted in different cafes or co-working spaces. People tend to go out every night for drinks and some nights for dinner and then Fridays & Saturdays the nightlife goes on until the morning light. The must go place is the Kapana neighborhood also famous as the Creative District.
Cost of Living & quality of life
According to Nomadlist the cost of living in Plovdiv is about €1,100 per month, but in my opinion, you could live with a bit less in the city and still the lifestyle would feel great. You are able to find apartments to rent for about €300-€400 per month and your weekly grocery shopping would be about €100 (if you would like to eat well and make your own food)
The city has a great relaxing vibe with many places to relax outdoors like the central park or the parks on the hills.
Co-working Spaces & Cafes
Bulgaria is famous for being in the top 30 countries with the fastest broadband in the world. Plovdiv doesn’t fall behind. You can find great places to work for free such as cafes and bars with a great internet connection.
The options for co-working spaces are also available. Although not yet ideal, in recent years we hope that there would be new places that can satisfy the demands and requests of young remote workers. A few that I have tried and like are BizLabs and Cat And Mouse Coworking. In both the average price for a desk a day is about €7.
Not only that you would get a great, relaxing lifestyle living in Plovdiv but you would also get to live in one of the oldest cities in Europe. It has kept its ancient architecture in the old town that is located on a hill above the city center.
If you get stuck in the city in the summer there are plenty of outdoor pool options that you can go to sunbathe and swim. The best pools are usually always outside of town. I personally drive to get to those places but taking a taxi from the city is also an option and it wouldn’t cost you more than €10.
In/near Plovdiv, you are able to find about 10 different outdoor pools which are open from May till November (sometimes).
Food & Restaurants
The city center is full of places to eat out. It’s not a problem finding something that a person would like. In some of the most popular places to eat for Fridays and Saturdays, you would definitely need a reservation. The variety of food is big.
The best time to be in the city is the spring and the autumn where the temperatures are at about 25ºC (77ºF). Summers can get quite hot – sometimes 35-40ºC (95-113ºF) where winters can be sometimes quite cold. The city is generally dry, it is not humid and the rainfall is very moderate.
Overall Plovdiv is great for a relaxing and quiet lifestyle. With a moderate level of partying happening in the city and plenty of sunshine, I think a 3 month experience living in the city is totally worth it. The best times would be either from the Spring through mid-summer or from mid-summer till the end of Autumn.