The town serves as the main shopping area for many local villages and the famous ski resort of Borovets which is 10km to the south east.
From the bus station "Autogara YUG" (Автогара ЮГ) in Sofia there are regular services (usally every 30 minutes) which commute to Samokov. Travel time is around an hour, depending on the traffic. Prices range between 4-6 Leva.The bus station in Sofia is located under a bridge and might look a bit shady compared to what you might know from other stations. You can purchase a ticket by asking the bus driver. Just make sure you get a receipt.
Take the 60km long road B2. From time to time, small to medium sized rocks lie on the street so make to dodge them. If you drive the same way many locals do, you will need less than an hour for the ride. However, due to the narrow and serpentine roads it is better to take some time.
Take highway A1 from Plovdiv. Take the exit to "Ichtyman" and continue on road B22 to Samokov. If you need to stop, you might want to avoid some spots around Ichtyman as there are reports from the local police where stopping cars have been raided. In some cases you can find a policeman there who will warn you, but most likely they will not speak English.
The town itself is attractive in and around its centre but there's a few ugly tenement blocks that remind you of the communist past. The town is nicely isolated from the surrounding villages which include Dospei, Reliovo, Rayovo, Shipochene, Beli Iskar, Govedatsi and the spa village of Belchin Banya.
A daily fresh produce market and a big monday market selling clothing, hardware, bric a brac, hooky watches and designer gear are well worth going to.
The town is well served with restaurants serving traditional Bulgarian cuisine such as Kavarma which is a delicious mildly spicy meat stew with peppers and onions.
- Old House.
- Rila - 1.5 hours away, home to a UNESCO-listed monastery