Happy End Hummer Bansko 1 Bansko Apres Ski Guide: The Most Exciting Bansko Nightlife, Best Bansko Bars, and Unique After Ski Activities
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Bansko Apres Ski Guide: The Most Exciting Bansko Nightlife, Best Bansko Bars, and Unique After Ski Activities

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Looking for the best way to unwind and relax after a day on the slopes in Bansko? Discover the best of ski apres and Bansko nightlife with our complete guide to Bansko nightlife, ski apres activities, bars, and restaurants.

Bansko is one of Eastern Europe’s most exciting alpine regions with fantastic skiing and snow sports in winter and a range of outdoor activities in summer. But what do you do when the sun goes behind the mountain in Bansko? Well, you’ll be pleased to know, beyond some of Europe’s best and cheapest skiing and outdoor adventure, Bansko also knows how to ski apres. From traditional Bulgarian hot springs to late-night clubs, Bansko has something for everyone. We set out to find the best ski apres and Bansko nightlife on offer.

What Is Bansko Apres Ski Like?

Ski apres mean something different to everyone. For many, it’s a way to wind down after a hard day on the slopes. For some, skiing is just the warm-up, and skiing apres the all-night main event. For families, it might mean hot chocolate and mulled wine at the lodge. For students on winter holidays, shot skis and late nights at the clubs.

Bansko is a place that caters to everyone’s idea of ski apres equally well. There is a range of activities on offer to keep everyone happy, no matter what you’re looking for in an after-ski activity.

Some of the most popular ways to end a day’s skiing are enjoying a drink at one of the many Bansko bars near the gondola station. Traveling to nearby Banya to enjoy a hot soak in the thermal baths. Discovering hospitality of a Bulgarian traditional tavern known as a mehanna. Enjoying a relaxing massage and much much more.

Bansko is a popular winter holiday destination and most people here are on vacation meaning ski apres happens every day of the week. Nevertheless, weekends have the greatest buzz as the town swells with out-of-town Bulgarians and visitors from neighboring regions looking to enjoy a weekend away on the slopes.

Around 5 pm is the crescendo of ski apres in Bansko. Most people have made it down off the mountain and the main ski bars around the bottom of the gondola are packed. After this time people slowly filter out to restaurants, other ski apres activities, an early night before the next day’s skiing, or to have a brief interlude before returning to town when Bansko’s nightlife starts to kick off after 10 pm.

What Is There to Do in Bansko at Night?

Bansko has plenty of activities to keep you busy after the ski runs close for the day. Besides a range of restaurants, bars, and pubs to suit any taste, budget, and style, there are also some more unique activities like thermal baths, ice skating, and traditional cultural evenings that can be enjoyed by the whole family

Here is a list of some of the most popular activities available to enjoy after hours in Bansko.

Bars and PubsCasinos
Mehanna – Traditional Bulgarian TavernSpa and Massage
Ice SkatingBulgarian Folklore Experience
Fine DiningThermal Baths
However you apres-ski…you’ll find it in Bansko

What Is Bansko Nightlife Like?

If it’s pubs, clubs, and nightlife you’re after, Bansko has you well and truly covered. There is a huge range of bars, pubs, clubs, and other nightlife to keep you busy every night of your trip to Bansko.

Whether it’s sampling some local wines, enjoying a couple of quiet pints over the game, or dancing the night away, Bansko has something for you.

Bars open in Bansko from around mid-morning and most serve breakfast, coffee (or an Irish Coffee if you’re looking for the hair of the dog that bit you), and of course alcohol. Spruikers are employed at some of the bars, enthusiastically waving you in. Most bars stay open until at least midnight while many popular bars and clubs regularly stay open until 4 am. Nightclubs here stay open until 6 am. The casinos are open 24/7.

With a young crowd mostly from Russia, the UK, Turkey, Israel, Bulgaria, and neighboring eastern European countries, who come to enjoy the great skiing and lively nightlife, you’ll find plenty of people to party with all night long.

Bansko evenings experience two waves of revelers. The first is the ski apres crowd which starts building from 3 pm and hits full stride by 5 pm with ski apres bars filling to the brim. After five, the bars start to empty out for a few hours before the second wave of partiers begins to fill up the popular late-night spots around 9 pm with bars busiest around 11 pm.

Best Bars in Bansko for Apres Ski

Bansko prides itself on ski apres, and for many, that takes place in the awesome ski bars on and off the mountain. These are our favorite bars to grab a drink after (or during) the last run of the day.

The Happy End

The Happy End Lounge Bar is one of the best ski apres bars in Bansko.
The Happy End is the most popular place for ski apres in Bansko

The biggest ski apres party every day. The massive, two-story Happy End bar right smack bang at the end of the ski road, next to the bottom gondola, is hard to miss as you cruise off the slopes. By 5 pm this place is packed to the rafters with skiers, instructors, ex-pats, and locals all in high spirits after a full day on the slopes.

Inside you’ll find kitsch ski apres decor, colorful lights, and live music. Outside, the open-air deck gets busy and boisterous, packed wall to wall with partiers drinking and dancing the (early) evening away.

Yes, drinks are expensive and the staff can be surly, but if your looking for the liveliest Bansko ski apres The Happy End is your best bet!

  • When: Daily, 4 pm – 7 pm
  • Price: Pint = €4
  • Where: Pirin Str. 94, 2770 (next to the gondola station)

Hub 360 Bansko (Bar 360 Bansko)

The interior of bar 360 Bansko, great for nightlife and ski apres
Enjoy the best of Bansko’s ski apres at one of the newest additions to Bansko nightlife

This modern bar is decked out with a neat interior fit-out, a great sound system, pool table, heaps of TVs to catch the game, and a cool outside area for when things get busy. The staff at Hub 360 are warm and welcoming and interested in making sure everyone is having a great time.

Oh, and with 2-for-1 pints of beers for €3 during their epic 4 pm – 6 pm happy hour, Bar 360 offers some of the cheapest ski apres in Bansko.

Best Ski Apres Bars on the Mountain

If you looking to get the party started before you’re off the mountain, or just need to get out of the cold and recharge for a bit there are some great options to pull in for a pint on the pistes. Predictably, prices on the mountain can be a little more than in town, usually about 30% more if you are drinking above the middle gondola station.

Kolibata Bar & Grill

Kolibata bar and grill outdoor area, a ber in the foreground. Bansko bars, nightlife and ski apres
A beer from Kolibata on your ski home might become part of your Bansko ski apres tradition

Close to home, and cheap, this bar is popular for skiers making their way off the mountain along Bansko ski road 1.

With beers a couple of lev cheaper than you’d pay further up the mountain, you can afford to stay for one more round, and as luck would have it, Kolibata stays open until 6 pm, compared to 4 pm close time for other bars on the mountain.

With a cozy inside restaurant, ample outdoor seating, and speakers for pumping house music, it’s a fun spot to stop as you cruise home on your final run of the day.

Bar 180

Kelli bar 180 Bansko Apres Ski Guide: The Most Exciting Bansko Nightlife, Best Bansko Bars, and Unique After Ski Activities

With an inviting inside bar, a fantastic terrace to sit out when the weather is nice, heaters, bean bags, and a DJ, Bar 180 attracts a good crowd all day but especially in the afternoon as people retire from skiing for the day and begin their Bansko apres ski.

The Kettles

Happy End Hummer, mobile dj booth in Bansko
The Happy End Hummer sets up in the afternoon to supply the tunes

Bunderishka Polyana is home to the top gondola station and the beginning of ski road 1 meaning a lot of people pass through here on their way home for the day. It is also home to four bars. A hive of activity each afternoon, stopping off for a post-ski drink at one of them is a rite of passage for many here. The Kettles is a great option with plenty of outdoor seating to watch the skiers fly home on run 9 or the Happy End hummer which often sets up to play tunes.

The Umbrella Bars

Four Umbrella Bars can be found as you make your way down the mountain, they offer informal dining and drinking. They are popular places to kick off Bansko ski apres.

  • When: Daily, 9 am – 6 pm
  • Price: Pint = €4
  • Where: Chalin Valog, Shiligarnika, Bunderishka Polyana and the top of the Kolarski Chair lift.

Best Sports Bars in Bansko

A man watches a  game at a Bansko sports bar
Win lose or draw, Bansko’s a great place to celebrate or commiserate your team

If you’re worried about missing the match, you can put your mind at ease. It couldn’t be easier to catch your favorite match in Bansko. Here are some of the best spots to watch the game.

Hub 360 Bansko (Bar 360 Bansko)

A woman playing pool at bar 360 Bansko. Bansko nightlife, bars and ski apres.
Play a game of pool, while you catch the game on the big screen

Hub 360 hits our list of the best Bansko bars again as one of the best places to catch a game. With heaps of TVs dialed in to the latest sports matches, an enthusiastic crowd, and a pool table in viewing distance of the big screens, it is our pick for the best bar in Bansko to catch the match.

The Lions Pub

This British-themed pub has heaps of TVs, fair prices on drinks, and prides itself on playing any and all the matches you are interested in watching. If it’s being played, it’s likely being played at the Lions Pub.

Best Bansko Bars for Live Music

Cover band Step By Step, seen from the top level of the Amigo Pub Bansko
Step by Step Amigo’s resident band creates a lively atmosphere

Amigo Pub

Amigo Pub is a fun two-story pub with live music, reasonably priced beers, and a high energy atmosphere. Their regular live band, Step by Step, gets the crowd going with an impressive cover repertoire and the pub usually stays busy until after midnight. The place fills up early but tables can be reserved in advance for the best seats in the house.

Best Lounge Bars in Bansko

If your idea of a nice evening out is more top-shelf whiskey than Jäger shots served in a ski, Bansko has just the ticket.

Piano Bar Sing Sing

Part of the Kempinski Hotel, Piano Bar Sing Sing is only open Friday and Saturdays in winter. The sophisticated lounge bar features a luxury interior, regular live music, and an extensive menu of liquor, cocktails, and wine.

  • When: Fridays and Saturdays 10:15 pm – 2:15 am
  • Price: Top shelf liquor, cocktails and wine from €6.50
  • Where: Pirin Str. 96, 2770

The Best Wine Bars in Bansko

If it’s vino you’re after, there are a surprising number of wine bars in Bansko. Unfortunately, we only had the opportunity to try one when we were visited, Wine and Tapas, but we had been hoping to try Oscar Wine Bar and Gastro and Wine Bar 25 but they were closed when we visited, if you get an opportunity to try these wine bars, please let us know in the comments below.

Wine and Tapas

Wine and Tapas isn’t on Google you’ll find it at Pirin 90, across from Bar Pirin 75. They specialize in Bulgarian wine and are more than happy to recommend something. They also have a short menu of tapas and charcuterie to enjoy with your wine. They only have a couple of small tables with stools outside, but it’s a great place to sample some local wine and tapas when the weather is nice.

Best Family-Friendly Pubs in Bansko

If it is family-friendly apres ski in Bansko you are after, Bansko has got you covered.

The Queens Pub

the exterior of the Queens pub Bansko
The Queens Pub is one of the best family-friendly Bansko bars

The Queens Pub is a great option if you have the kids in tow.

They have great pub fare and a children’s menu. Every night they have live music, DJs, and a magic show for children. They also have other rotating nightly shows including, dancing, circus performances, and more.

With a range of games and activities like pool, darts, board games, and even a PlayStation the Queen’s Pub means a good night for kids and parents alike.

  • When: Daily 8:00 am – 4:00 am
  • Price: Top shelf liquor, cocktails and wine from €6.50
  • Where: Pirin Str. 96, 2770

Best Casino in Bansko

Casinos are popular in Bulgaria, and Bansko is no exception. With a number of small 24/7 casinos operating in town featuring electronic games, you won’t have trouble finding somewhere to have a flutter. However, if it’s live games you’re after you’ll need to head to the Platinum.

Platinum Casino Bansko

Attached to the Platinum Hotel, the Platinum Casino is a small hotel-casino, albeit the biggest casino in Bansko. It has two roulette tables, poker, and blackjack tables as well as electronic games and slots. You’ll also be treated to free drinks while you play. The casino uses 2 euro chips and the minimum bets on the tables start from €10. You will need an official ID or passport to be allowed in the casino.

  • When: Daily 8:00 am – 4:00 am
  • Price: Drinks free while gambling, €2 Euro Chips, €10 minimum bet
  • Where: Georgi Nastev 2, 2770

Best Night Clubs in Bansko

The nightclub scene in Bansko can be hit and miss. There are plenty of seedy places only interested in separating you from your lev as quickly as possible before sending you back into the cold night. Nevertheless, if you are set on a big night out with friends and not concerned about spending a few lev to do so, you can generally find the liveliest atmosphere at Jack’s House.

Jack’s House

Jack’s House stays pretty quiet until around midnight, but once it gets going it’s lively and can be difficult to get a drink. They have regular DJs and occasional shows and events. They stay open until 6 am, but things usually start winding down after 2 am.

Best Restaurants in Bansko

If your idea of ski apres is gathering around a table and sharing generous helpings of rich, tasty filling food with cold local beer, homemade wine, and a nip or two of rakia then you have certainly come to the right place. Traditional Bulgarian taverns, known as mehannas, line the streets. Amongst them, you will also find greek restaurants, burger joints, Italian restaurants, fine dining, and everything in between.

However, separating the truly great from the tourist traps can take a bit of trial and error. These are our favorite post ski restaurants.

The Station Bankso: Best Cheap Eats in Bansko

The station Bansko great cheap eats in Bansko
The Station quickly became our go-to for quick cheap eats in Bansko

We can’t say enough about this awesome low-key diner ideally located directly across from the gondola station.

We dropped in one evening for a gyro and a beer for dinner. The place was packed and the staff seemed constantly run off their feet but were always friendly and fast. The gyros were some of the best we’ve had.

We went back several times during our stay, we tried the greek feta pie, the cheese ham and mushroom crepe, the full English breakfast, the club sandwich, pizza and several more gyros. Every single time, the food was insanely fast, fresh, and delicious, it is also the cheapest restaurant at the gondola end of town, by a long shot.

They don’t just have your post-ski feed sorted out, you can also drop by from 8.00 am for a coffee, greek or western breakfast and to grab a couple of sandwiches to keep you going all day on the mountain.

The Station also offers free delivery between 11:00 am and 11:00 pm if you are having trouble leaving the apartment.

  • When: Daily, 9 am – Late
  • Price: Gyros €3.5 Pint €2.5
  • Where: Nayden Gerov, 2770 Bansko (accross the road from Euphoria)

Kasapinova Mehanna: Best Mehannas in Bansko

There are plenty of traditional Bulgarian mehannas to choose from in Bansko, and we strongly suggest trying at least one out when you visit. As you get further into the old town and away from the gondola station the quality of the mehannas increases and the prices drop. Our favorite traditional Bulgarian mehanna was Kaspinova.

This traditional restaurant is warm and inviting, furnished in the classic Bulgarian manner. After you’ve been welcomed with a shot of homemade rakia or a glass of homemade wine, the owner is more than happy to take you through the extensive menu and explain some of their most delicious and interesting dishes. We thoroughly enjoyed the pork knuckle, baked goats cheese in honey and nuts, and veal tongue, but it’s hard to go wrong here.

They can get pretty busy at peak times so a reservation is a good idea.

Skabrin RestoBar: Best Bansko Fine Dining

While Bansko might appear to run only on pizza slices, doner kebabs and great hunks of bbq’d meat from the mehannas, there are actually some great options for fine dining too. The absolute cream of the crop as far as we are concerned is the Skabrin Resto Bar.

Fine dining in Bansko, Bansko nightlife and apres-ski

A brand new restaurant on the Bansko dining scene and one that appears to be going to great lengths to do things differently. Our experience at Skabrin was one of our favorite post-ski activities we did in Bansko.

They have a short menu (uncommon here where you are often handed a document wallet, stuffed with 10 plus pages of options) offering some modern takes on Bulgarian cuisine. Our waiter took us through the menu carefully and was also happy to recommend some of the highlights including the grilled octopus, veal cheek, gypsy pie, cauliflower steak and ‘the egg’. We were also recommended some fantastic locally produced wine made from the Melnik, a grape a varietal unique to southwest Bulgaria.

Three of us spent approximately €50 euros per person here, sampling the menu, some cheese, and a couple of bottles of wine.

Best Bansko Restaurants on the Mountain

If you looking to wrap up your days skiing with a nice lunch, or perhaps just a brief interlude and a bite before the afternoon session, there are a number of great dining options on the mountain.


This traditional Bulgarian restaurant is our favorite place to eat lunch after a morning on the slopes. Perfect to satisfy a big hunger after a few hours skiing, Peshterite serves up Bulgarian favorites like homemade meatballs and sausages, chips with white cheese, salads, and homemade bread.

Peshterite has plenty of tables inside the large log hall, complete with a cozy fireplace and bar. Outside, large tables with ample seating are great when the weather is nice.

Peshterite is a little easier on the wallet than other options on the mountain with beers for just €1.75 and meals for as little as €5.

It can be a little more difficult to reach this restaurant than some options higher up. You will find it below the Chalin Valog lift along ski road 1. You’ll need to ski back to the bottom gondola station and take the gondola back up the mountain after lunch if you want to keep skiing, but this is a great opportunity to take a post-meal power nap.

  • When: Daily, 9 am – 6 pm
  • Price: Meal = €7.5 Pint = €1.75
  • Where: Along ski road 1

BBQ Restaurant Picnic

BBQ Picnic Area Meal Bansko Bansko Apres Ski Guide: The Most Exciting Bansko Nightlife, Best Bansko Bars, and Unique After Ski Activities
Delicious home-cooked Bulgarian food, at a great price, hidden in the forest

This secret restaurant is hidden ‘off piste’ so to speak, in the forest next to the gentle 1a ski road. Look out for the canvas signs along the ski road. You’ll need to leave the ski road and follow the tracks in the snow through the woods to reach this secluded Bulgarian tavern.

Picture perfect amongst the trees draped in snow and sausages, a log restaurant and outdoor wood-fired oven welcomes weary skiers. Bulgarian bread is made to order, alongside various grilled meats such as their famous homemade horse sausage, vegetables, and salads.

Bar 180°

Aside from being a great place to grab a beer at the end of your day, Bar 180 is also a nice place to drop in for lunch on the mountain.

This popular Italian bar and restaurant is more expensive than some other options lower the mountain (or in town), but they also have a great position, lovely interior and outside areas, and decent food. A great place to stop for a beer and pizza before continuing on your day.

Alternative Ski Apres and After Ski Activity

If you are looking for something to do in Bansko after skiing that doesn’t involve cradling a beer, there are definitely alternative ways to unwind. Some of the most popular are options are spas, saunas, thermal baths, massage, ice skating, and cultural activities.

Banya Thermal Baths

Thermal Baths Banya Bansko Apres Ski Guide: The Most Exciting Bansko Nightlife, Best Bansko Bars, and Unique After Ski Activities
Enjoying a thermal bath in the falling snow must be one of the best ski apres activities Bansko has to offer

Fifteen minutes from Bansko, the town of Banya is built upon thermal springs. As such, there are a number of traditional hot baths here that make for the perfect ski apres activity. Relaxing in the warm mineral waters of the springs is the perfect post-ski recovery.

You can arrange a trip to Banya’s most popular bathhouse through Traventuria Tours. Saving you the hassle (and expense) of organizing a private taxi there and back.

  • When: Anytime between 10:30 am and 8:30 pm
  • Price: €19 per person (includes transport and entry to thermal pools)
  • Where: Meet at Ski & Board Traventuria, Pirin Str. 92E, 2770 Bansko for transport to Banya

Bulgarian Folklore Experience

If you are looking for a family-friendly and unique after-ski activity that will deepen your knowledge and understanding of Bulgarian culture, join a Bulgarian Folklore Experience tour.

An evening with traditional Bulgarian hospitality includes stories, music, dancing, and of course food.

  • When: Monday & Thursdays 5:30 pm
  • Price: €30 per person
  • Where: Transport leaves from Ski & Board Traventuria, Pirin Str. 92E, 2770 Bansko

Bansko Pub Quiz

The Bansko Pub Quiz gets together every two weeks in a different pub or restaurant for an evening of quiz and trivia fun. Their aim is to organize a fun night out, support local businesses, and raise money to support local street dogs. To find out where they’ll be next check out their Facebook page!

Bansko Ice Rink

If your all skied out but still looking for some winter fun, then a trip to the ice rink may be in order. Ice skating can be a great activity for the whole family. The Bansko Ice Rink has four, two-hour sessions each day so arrive before the start time of a session to maximize your time on the ice.

  • How Much: 2 hour session + skate hire Adult €17 / Children €10
  • When: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm, 2:15 pm – 4:15 pm, 4:30pm – 6:30 pm, 6:45 pm 8:45 pm
  • Where: 2770, Pirin Str. 89А

Spas and Massages

The interior at Kampinski Spa and Sauna, a great option for alternative Bansko ski apres
The Luxurious Spa at Kempinski

There aren’t many better ways to end a hard day skiing than with a relaxing massage or other rejuvenating treatment. Luckily, there are plenty of massage and spa services throughout Bansko.

The most luxurious spa is in the Kempinski Hotel. They offer a wide range of different massage, spa, and treatment options which come with access to their beautiful spa and sauna facilities including indoor and outdoor pools, multiple saunas, sensory showers, cold room, and more.

Other FAQS About Bansko Nightlife, Bars, Ski Apres and After Ski Activity

Still have questions about Bansko nightlife, bars, ski apres, and after-ski activities? Hopefully, this list of FAQs will have just the information you are looking for.

How Much Is a Pint of Beer in Bansko?

A pint of beer and two empty glasses in a Bansko Bar, Bansko nightlife and ski apres
You can afford to stay for another round in Bansko’s affordable bars

A pint of local draft beer costs 5 BGN or €2.50 in Bansko.

The average pint of local beer costs €2.50 / 5 BGN in Bansko. While this might be slightly expensive by Bulgarian standards it is a fraction of the cost of a beer in other European ski resorts where a pint can easily cost between €5 and €8.

The cheapest pint we had was €1.50 (2 pints for 6 BGN happy hour at Hub 360 4 pm – 6 pm). While the most expensive pint of local larger was on the mountain and at the Happy End bar where a beer cost €4 / 8 BGN.

Shots and basic spirits with mixers cost between €2 – €4.

Wine costs anywhere from €2.5 to €7.50 for a glass.

How Much Is a Meal Out in Bansko?

Budget options like street food including pizza, burgers, and gyros or cheap local Bulgarian diners toward the old town serve meals for between €3.5 – €10.

Mid-range restaurants like those around the bottom gondola station, restaurants above the top gondola station the mountain, and mehannas cost between €10 – €20.

Fine dining at restaurants like Skabrin, costs anywhere from €20 – €60.

What Time Do Bars and Pubs Open and Close in Bansko?

Bars and pubs generally open around 9 am and stay open until midnight. Many of the larger pubs such as Amigo Pub, Queens Pub, Lions Pub stay open until 4 am. Nightclubs stay open as late as 6 am and casinos advertise 24-hour availability (though we haven’t put this to the test).

Are Bansko Bars and Restaurants Open in Summer?

Yes! Many bars and restaurants remain open during the summer months.

It is true that Bansko is most popular in the winter as skiers flock to the popular resort, and once the busy ski season subsides, not all the bars and restaurants remain open. In fact, many larger bars like Ginger and Europhia have mirror operations in Bulgarian summer destinations like Sunny Beach, where they pack up and leave for in the warmer months.

However, many locally-owned bars and restaurants remain open for business during summer. You will find plenty of traditional Bulgarian taverns, local bars, and pubs, open for business, especially in the old town.

Looking For More Bansko Resources? Check Out These Helpful Guides!

Hopefully, we have helped with planning your Bansko apres-ski and after-ski activity with this article on Bansko nightlife, Bansko bars, pubs, clubs, tours, activities, and more. If you have a question about Bansko nightlife, please let us know in the comments below!

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