Blagoevgrad is а city in southwestern Bulgaria, the administrative centre of Blagoevgrad Province. It lies on the banks of the Blagoevgradska Bistritsa River. The city is the economic and cultural centre of southwestern Bulgaria. It is located in the valley of the Struma River at the foot of the Rila and Pirin Mountains, 101 km south of Sofia, close to the Greek, Serbian and Republic of Macedonia borders. Blagoevgrad features a pedestrian downtown with preserved 19th century architecture and numerous restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, and boutiques.
Blagoevgrad is home to two universities, the South-West University "Neofit Rilski" and the American University in Bulgaria. The city hosts also 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. Attractions in the surrounding area include the resort Bodrost.