Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria

Economy | Industries | Transport | Building | Economy : Retail | Arts and Culture | Education : University

🇧🇬 Blagoevgrad is а town in Southwestern Bulgaria, the administrative centre of Blagoevgrad Municipality and of Blagoevgrad Province. It is the economic and cultural centre of South-western Bulgaria. It is located in the valley of the Struma River at the foot of the Rila Mountains, 101 km south of Sofia, close to the border with North Macedonia.

Blagoevgrad features a pedestrian downtown, with preserved 19th-century architecture and numerous restaurants, cafés, coffee shops, and boutiques. It is home to two universities, the South-West University "Neofit Rilski" and the American University in Bulgaria. The town also hosts the "Sts. Cyril and Methodius National Humanitarian High School". The former Bulgarian Men's High School of Thessaloniki moved from Thessaloniki to Blagoevgrad (then Gorna Dzhumaya) in 1913.


Economy Because of the large number of students (partly due to the South-West University and the American University in the town), its cross-road location, nature and number of social factors, the town has relatively well developed economy. There are many clothing stores, cafés, and restaurants. The district has the sixth largest economy in Bulgaria, for its share of the GDP, after the more industrial districts of Sofia City, Varna, Sofia District, Plovdiv, and Burgas. The number of people registered as unemployment is slightly below 10%, less than the average for the country.


Industries: 1 Food and tobacco processing industries - Animal products, fruit, vegetables, tobacco, and liquor production. High export potential.

2 Textile industry - Foreign investors have helped the development of many firms that produce ready-made clothing.

3 Timber and furniture industries - The easy access to local resources makes gives that branch perspectives for development. There are open foreign markets for furniture. Increasing interest of foreign investors.

4 Iron processing and machinery industry - Firms specialize mainly in production of metal constructions and details. Radio-electronic equipment and other electronic communication components are being produced.

5 Construction materials industry - The terrain characteristics are suitable for the extraction of certain minerals, used in construction. Marble is extracted at numerous locations in Sandanski municipality, Koprivlen, Petrich, Strumyani.

6 Other - Tourism, pharmaceuticals, plastics, paper, shoes.


Transport: The town is situated on the European road E-79 and the Republican road I-1. Blagoevgrad is 31 km away from North Macedonia, 83 km away from Greece, 88 km away from Serbia. The distance to Sofia is 96 km, to Plovdiv it is 193 km and to Skopje (the capital of North Macedonia) - 183 km. The town is a main crossroad for tourists who want to visit the mountains and their ski resorts such as Bansko, Dobrinishte, Sandanski.


Building The town is very attractive to investors, both foreign and native. It is no coincidence that Blagoevgrad is the third largest town by number of building permits. Blagoevgrad is growing and the small bordering villages of Elenovo and Strumsko are now considered part of it. Recently there was a major overhaul of the town park and a new bridge was built.


Economy: Retail Currently the town has seven hypermarkets: Metro, Technopolis, Technomarket Europe, Mr. Bricolage, Billa, Kaufland, and Lidl.


Arts and Culture Francofolies Blagoevgrad is the host of the most important francophone music festival "Francofolies", which takes place annually in only few other locations: La Rochelle, France; Montreal, Canada, Spa, Belgium. The festival has attracted some big names, including French pop singers Patrick Bruel, Patricia Kaas, Zaz, rapper Fefe, and the groups Nouvelle Vague and Gypsy Kings.

Bansko International Jazz Festival Blagoevgrad is also one hour away from the prestigious Bansko Jazz Festival. which takes place every year in August. Former participants of Bansko Jazz Fest include Jamie Davis, Joss Stone, and Vasil Petrov.

Bulgarian National Radio Awards Blagoevgrad was also chosen by the BNR to host its annual awards show, which brought to the city Bulgaria's greatest musical talents. The recently inaugurated Art Salon of Radio Blagoevgrad is the host of monthly art shows, book opening presentations and exhibits.


Education: University • South-West University "Neofit Rilski" • American University in Bulgaria.

Image: Photo by Svetlozar Apostolov on Unsplash

Blagoevgrad has a population of over 70,250 people. Blagoevgrad also forms the centre of the wider Blagoevgrad Province which has a population of over 323,552 people.

To set up a UBI Lab for Blagoevgrad see: Twitter:

Twin Towns, Sister Cities Blagoevgrad has links with:

🇷🇺 Akademgorodok, Russia 🇺🇸 Auburn, USA 🇬🇪 Batumi, Georgia 🇭🇷 Čakovec, Croatia 🇧🇪 Dendermonde, Belgium 🇷🇸 Gornji Milanovac, Serbia 🇸🇪 Lund, Sweden 🇲🇰 Prilep, North Macedonia 🇬🇷 Serres, Greece 🇭🇺 Székesfehérvár, Hungary 🇸🇰 Žilina, Slovak Republic
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license

Antipodal to Blagoevgrad is: -156.905,-42.017

Locations Near: Blagoevgrad 23.0947,42.017

🇧🇬 Kyustendil 22.683,42.283 d: 45  

🇧🇬 Pernik 23.038,42.61 d: 66.1  

🇧🇬 Sofia 23.324,42.697 d: 78  

🇲🇰 Strumica 22.66,41.425 d: 75  

🇲🇰 Štip 22.193,41.747 d: 80.5  

🇬🇷 Serres 23.557,41.093 d: 109.8  

🇬🇷 Kilkis 22.876,40.994 d: 115.2  

🇷🇺 Dimitrovgrad 22.778,43.015 d: 114  

🇲🇰 Kavadarci 22,41.433 d: 111.7  

🇷🇸 Pirot 22.588,43.158 d: 133.5  

Antipodal to: Blagoevgrad -156.905,-42.017

🇵🇫 Papeete -149.566,-17.537 d: 17205.2  

🇹🇴 Nuku'alofa -175.216,-21.136 d: 17130.4  

🇦🇸 Pago Pago -170.701,-14.279 d: 16657.5  

🇼🇸 Apia -171.76,-13.833 d: 16570  

🇺🇸 Hilo -155.089,19.725 d: 13147.1  

🇺🇸 Maui -156.446,20.72 d: 13038.9  

🇺🇸 Maui County -156.617,20.868 d: 13022.6  

🇺🇸 Kahului -156.466,20.891 d: 13019.8  

🇺🇸 Wailuku -156.505,20.894 d: 13019.6  

🇺🇸 Honolulu -157.85,21.3 d: 12973.9  

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