Nesebar, “the city of 40 churches” is a World Heritage Site. Located on a peninsula on the Black Sea, Nesebar is one of the oldest cities in Europe. It is the richest city in Bulgarian medieval architecture: 23 churches and other monuments will remind you the Greek, Roman and Byzantine past of Nesebar.
The old city is 850m long and 350m wide. It is therefore not long to go around. During its existence, Nesebar lost one third of its territory in the sea. Remains of the walls can be seen by divers, at 80 meters from the coast.
The new and the old town are distinct.
On the peninsula is only the ancient city of Nesebar, which is pedestrian. Heritage Site by UNESCO, this is where you will find all the monuments and old churches. You can stroll through the narrow streets between the courtyards with fig trees and houses with wooden balconies. You will also find traditional restaurants, souvenir shops, cafes and small cool places.
Be careful, it seems that it is crowded with tourists during the day. We have not experienced this since we made a night visit! (For the story: we were a little tight in our schedule and we had to visit the city at night). The crowd of tourists invade the streets from 10am in the morning until late at night. Better get up early to enjoy the charm of the city!
Most hotels and small food stores are located in the new city on the coast. The distance between the two is a few kilometers but we recommend you to take the bus.
SUNNY BEACH, the BEACH RESORT
The peninsula is connected to the mainland by a narrow dike with a wooden windmill. It provides a stark contrast to Sunny Beach, nearby, dedicated to mass beach tourism.
Since there is no hostel in Nesebar, you had to spend the night in Sunny beach, the seaside resort, a few kilometers from Nesebar. Sunny beach hosts huge hotel complexes, nightclubs & bars, good enough to attract tourists, but totally without any charm. It’s a little cheap Las Vegas in Bulgaria, for example with a Pirate of the Caribbean hotel shaped like a huge boat.
We booked into the only “hostel” of Sunny Beach, 415 FourFifteen Hostel, which was more like a hotel than a hostel. There was hardly anyone there when we went (we were alone in a dorm of 8 people), so the atmosphere was not great. But the manager is very friendly and has even taken us to the bus station the next morning at dawn. In addition, she speaks French and prepares a large breakfast. Plus: there is a nice pool, but we did not have time to take a dip. We walked for over an hour to find the hostel, but according to the manager, it is very easy to find … given our incurable orientation disability, it is not impossible that she was right
Bus commute every 5 minutes, but the last bus is around 11pm. We were strongly advised not to take a taxi, in order not to get ripped (with special rates for tourists pigeons).
WHERE TO GO AFTER NESEBAR?
There are regular buses to Varna and Bourgas.