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Orientation  / Life in Blagoevgrad

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Life in Blagoevgrad 

by Julia Musha, AUBG Graduate 

The city of Blagoevgrad, home of the University, lies at the foot of the Rila and Pirin Mountains, just 100 kilometers south of Sofia. Blagoevgrad lies within the Mediterranean climate zone. Summers are dry and hot, while winters are cold and have little precipitation. This said, keep in mind that Blagoevgrad weather is very changeable. 

One regional attraction is the Rila Monastery, founded in the tenth century. It is located north of Blagoevgrad, and the trip there takes just 30 minutes. In the opposite direction is the town of Melnik, famous for its wine and architecture. Not far from Melnik is the Rozhen monastery. If you are looking for characteristic architecture visit the old part of the town, "Varosha," where the Orthodox Church is located. 

As an AUBG professor said, "Blagoevgrad is the perfect university town - there is not much to distract you from your studies." And yet, as you might have already noticed, this is a nice place: clean, quiet, and small enough so that you can find anything you need within a few minutes. Blagoevgrad has a fair amount of shops, an open air "pazar," hypermarkets, hundreds of cafes and bars, and a number of nice restaurants. 

The AUBG main building is situated in the center of the town, close to other important buildings. All other buildings are located on the Skaptopara Campus. 

What can you do in your free time in Blagoevgrad? As you will notice, the town has a professional theater, an opera house, a cinema, cafes and night clubs. The cinema shows mostly American movies, subtitled in Bulgarian. There are also many good video stores where you can rent old and recent movies for a reasonable amount of money. 

Remember that while you can always find a coffee shop open, opera and theater performances are rare and there is not much variety. You can always make up for this by getting on a bus or train to Sofia, only an hour and a half drive away. In any case, you will not have time to get bored. 

If you are a sports fan, Blagoevgrad has a sports stadium where soccer games are played weekly during Spring and Fall. There are also facilities in town for tennis, volleyball and baseball. And you can always jog or ride a bicycle on the way to the Bachinovo park, a place where a lot of Blagoevgrad residents spend a day in nature.