When considering whether to book a ski holiday to Borovets in Bulgaria, you are sure to be contemplating Borovets nightlife almost as much as you are wondering what the skiing is like?! After all, the apres ski is a huge part of any ski holiday experience. If I’m honest, after my first ski holiday, Borovets nightlife was probably one of my favourite parts!
It usually takes a few days on a holiday, to find your feet and suss out where all the best bars are, the cheapest beers, the latest karaoke… So I decided to write this guide to Borovets nightlife to ensure you find the best bars, nightclubs and restaurants to really get the most out of your ski holiday experience!
A heads up, most of the restaurants and bars in Borovets have slightly crude names so please don’t be offended…
What you can expect from this article...
- 1 Read on for my Borovets Nightlife Review…
- 1.1 What are the average food & drink prices in Bulgaria? (And more importantly how about the price of beer?)
- 1.2 The Best Restaurants in Borovets
- 1.3 Best Bars in Borovets
- 1.4 Best Clubs in Borovets
- 1.5 What to Wear on Night out in Borovets?
- 1.6 Where to stay in Borovets?
- 1.7 What to pack for a holiday to Borovets
- 1.8 A final note on Alcohol and Altitude
Read on for my Borovets Nightlife Review…
What are the average food & drink prices in Bulgaria? (And more importantly how about the price of beer?)
Without a doubt, it’s cheaper to eat & drink at a ski resort in Bulgaria than it is in France, Austria or Italy! However, it is still a ski resort! Prices will still be inflated compared to the rest of the country as they have a captive audience and businesses are sure to cash in on this! I definitely noticed inflated prices on the higher pistes where there were fewer options for places to eat. Here are a few prices you can expect:
Meal on the slopes: 20 lev
Beer or cider on the slopes: 6-7 lev
Meal in Town: 10-20 lev
Takeaway van fast food: 4-6 lev
Beer : 6 lev (but often 2-4-1)
Cider: 6-8 lev (not on offer as much as beer)
Mulled wine: 6 lev ( can be as low as 2 lev if you buy from a takeaway hut further away from the gondola)
Cocktails: 6-10 lev (often on offer, sometimes 2-4-1)
Currently 1 lev = 45 pence (UK) or 63 cents (USA) at the time of writing.
[bctt tweet=”Without a doubt, it’s cheaper to eat & drink at a ski resort in Bulgaria than it is in France, Austria or Italy!” username=”@globetrottergp”]
Top Tip: Unless you have access to one of the big supermarkets like Lidl, then eating at home works out just as expensive as eating out. We bought ingredients for a pasta dish with some wine and the price came to the same as our meal out the previous night. Cheese, in particular, seemed very expensive.
I was told Lidl was very cheap but it’s not easily accessible from the town and the smaller supermarkets were actually pretty pricey! Again possibly the captive market theory…
Tempted now by a ski holiday to Borovets? In which case head over to my beginners guide to skiing in Borovets post packed full of tips about ski hire, ski passes, accommodation, other activities, flights and ski school!
The Best Restaurants in Borovets
The Golden Horn
If you ignore the name on the door, this restaurant had a cute storybook appearance and led straight off the main slope so was convenient for watching all the night skiers zooming past!
The staff were incredibly friendly and couldn’t do enough to help us. This seemed a little unusual in Bulgaria as in general, I found Bulgarians to be very ‘to-the-point!’ It had that sort of family restaurant feel and was really cosy being set inside an alpine wooden hut.
The menu was somewhat extensive so it took us all a LONG time to decide what we were eating but we were provided with a free drink whilst we made our choices! The options were somewhat interestingly named but I have to say ‘Chicken Britany Spears’ was super tasty!
Top tip: The word ‘garnish’ seemed to cause some confusion when translated. It essentially means a side, not something they decorate the meal with. They insisted ‘Chicken Britany Spears’ did not come with pasta, there was just a garnish. A pasta garnish?! Weird. “Ok, I’ll order some chips with that then please.” Yes, I somehow ended with chips AND pasta which was way too much carb overload, even on a ski holiday!
Possibly one of the busiest restaurants in town which I always think is an excellent sign! There was live music as well – 2 men with guitars singing old classics – which was great! The music wasn’t so loud that you couldn’t chat either. Don’t be surprised if you suddenly end up wearing a sombrero hat – it’s certainly a lively restaurant!
But the best bit of Mamacita’s was most definitely the fantastic Mexican food, cooked to perfection. I almost had to roll myself out – the only problem was the carb slump which followed! I can also highly recommend the cocktails – especially if margaritas are your thing..!
When we found ourselves in Victoria, the plush interiors, well-stocked cocktail bar and attentive table service, led us to believe the prices would match. We decided to stay and splurge on cocktails anyway and were pleasantly surprised to realise the prices were actually not that dissimilar to elsewhere in Borovets! So we returned the following day for our last meal out before our flight the next day.
The food and cocktails fully met our expectations. I am now obsessed with ‘Hot Eskimo’s’ essentially a hot chocolate with lots of cream and a healthy shot of Cointreau. I ate cumin spiced minced meat which was essentially like a spicy sausage served with an equally spicey white creamy sauce. I added some roasted veg as a side and it was delicious. We found that vegetables were on occasions, hard to come by in Bulgaria so the veg here was a hit!
Best Bars in Borovets
Yep, it’s actually called BJ’s…
This was my favourite apres ski bar, conveniently right opposite the gondolas. There was plenty of outdoor seating for late afternoon beers straight off the slopes. Indoors was cosy with a great atmosphere. Beers and cocktails were often 2-4-1 which was an added bonus!
We also loved playing the Bulgarian drinking game where you have to hammer a nail into a log using the narrow end of a hammer. Each person takes it in turn and the winner is the first to hammer their nail in. It’s surprisingly tricky, especially after a few drinks! Be careful if you do play this game – health and safety in Bulgaria is clearly not quite as prominent as it is in the U.K…
A no-frills pub with cheap drinks and friendly locals. There was plenty outdoor seating close to the slopes though careful not to sit too close to the edge of the tarpaulin – I saw them accidentally tip water all over a girl sat near the edge after some heavy rain – poor girl was soaked but seemed to see the funny side…
A lively bar on the main strip with friendly bar staff – one even taught me a magic trick! (Ask me to show you if we ever meet on our travels..!) They also had a little fire outside on the verandah so you could stand outside if you were feeling brave!
Red Lion Karaoke
Best for karaoke – this place was lively and no frills. Seeing my friend sing ‘Ice Ice baby’ is still a holiday highlight!
Best Clubs in Borovets
This place got pretty lively and again, was a great place for karaoke with an extremely extensive catalogue of songs to sing! Ladies get a free drink on arrival (sorry gent’s) and they certainly don’t hold back with the alcohol..!
This place can be hit or miss. We really weren’t fans on the Friday night where it felt more like a rave than a club with the pumping dance music. Ok, do I sound old now?! Oops. But we returned the following day and the music was much better! There’s also a large outdoor area if you want to brave the cold. The main downside was the toilets. They were not good! Also, be warned there is a pole and large amounts of alcohol can lead you to dance in ways you’ll regret in the morning when you realise your mate filmed you…
What to Wear on Night out in Borovets?
Well, the dress code is super casual. Some people go straight from the slopes, others nip home to change but no one wears anything smarter than a pair of jeans with boots and a jumper. If you plan to go straight from the slopes, I recommend wearing some colourful yoga style leggings under your salopettes and keeping some comfy snow boots in your locker. (Ski boots are no fun to walk about in!)
You can read more about what to wear and where to buy your snow gear in my article ‘A skiing packing List for beginners.’ The article even includes a free printable checklist..! How handy is that?!
Where to stay in Borovets?
I’ve written about this in my article ‘A Borovets Ski Resort review‘ so head over there if you want more tips on places to stay.
I usually use Booking.com to find accommodation. There’s loads of choice and you can filter the results by your preferences. Swimming pool and jacuzzi, please…
What to pack for a holiday to Borovets
What to pack for skiing
- Salopettes with braces. The braces are important. Get salopettes without braces and you’ll regret it when you are constantly pulling up your trousers. These ones come in different colours and all have braces.
- A ski jacket. Get one with lots of pockets including one in the arm where you’ll put your ski pass so you don’t have to keep getting it out to swipe it. Also, get a roomy jacket because you will be wearing lots of layers. This one has a detachable fleece layer and loads of pockets, perfect for skiing.
- Waterproof gloves. Don’t scrimp on gloves, get good quality, waterproof ones like these ones.
- Ski Goggles. Make sure they are UV protected. You may choose to wear sunglasses on sunny days but if its windy or wet, you will definitely want ski goggles with you.
- Thermal layers. Sometimes its warm and you’ll be in a t-shirt even in the snow. Other times it will be absolutely FREEZING. So definitely take some thermals with you!.
What to pack for a night out in Borovets
- Warm leggings. Master apres ski style by wearing these leggings under your salopettes in the day time and at night time you can wear them for the apres ski with some cute boots and a jumper.
- Snow Boots. Get yourself some super comfy snow boots – you’re feet will thank you for it after wearing uncomfortable ski’s all day. I love these ones. Also, when it ices over at night, the grip on these boots will ensure you don’t end up falling over. If you do, however, make sure you blame the altitude for mixing with your alcohol…
- Cosy jumpers. No one wears anything smarter than a jumper with jeans or leggings so make sure you pack a few of cosy jumpers like these ones to keep you warm and stylish.
- A colourful buff. There’s no avoiding it, you WILL get helmet hair. So if you plan to go straight to the apres ski from the slopes, do yourself a favour and pack a buff. Great for keeping warm in the day and hiding the frizz at night.
Read more | A complete packing list for beginner skiers.
A final note on Alcohol and Altitude
Whilst altitude does not increase the level of alcohol in your blood, you can occasionally feel the effects more quickly. This is likely because altitude can reduce the amount of oxygen in your blood and can make you feel a bit dizzy and makes it harder to concentrate. Therefore alcohol can make this worse and you can appear drunker quicker.
So take care whilst on the apres ski. Pace yourself, especially at higher altitudes and on the first few days. Especially if you want to avoid killer hangovers the following day. Also, since altitude causes dehydration, make sure you drink more water than normal. I only wish I’d followed my own advice…
Have you been to Borovets? What was your experience of Borovets nightlife like? Anywhere I’ve missed off the list? What have your experiences of apres ski in other places been like? I’d love to hear about it…
- Things to do in Borovets for non-skiers
- A Borovets Ski Resort Review
- Skiing Essentials for beginners: what to wear skiing for your first time.
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