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About city Gallery Where to stay

Nesebar (often also Nessebar) is a unique town on the Bulgarian coast. For those still choosing where in Bulgaria to go on holiday, the ancient town is one of the best choices. It‘s divided into two parts – an old and a new. Both of these parts in their own way show the traveller Bulgarian lifestyle, and the beauty and traditions of the country's resorts.

The old part of Nesebar can be seen shining from a distance – it's a proper Black Sea island town, with authentic little houses and streets with a pier connecting it to the mainland. It was one of the oldest European towns to be put on the UNESCO world heritage list. Its history goes as far back as the 6th century B.C.E., when it was a Greek colony, which became an important centre of trade. Some of the ruins from the town's oldest times still remain on the island. In the Middle Ages, Nesebar was also one of the main strongholds of the Byzantine Empire. Right until the 19th century, the town was in somewhat of a decline and eventually was, for a time, a  fishing and wine-making village. However, in the first half of the 20th century it began to expand and grow into one of Bulgaria's most important resorts.

Church of Christ Pantocrator, Nesebar
Photo taken by wikimedia.org | Gérard Janot.  Church of Christ Pantocrator, Nesebar

Nowadays in the summer, this small island town reminds more of a quarter of shops and restaurants for tourists to wander than an old historical town. Be that as it may, Nesebar's aura encircles every visitor to the island – children play football between ruins of old churches, and the restored and renovated houses look like what one would sooner expect to see in Italy or Germany than Bulgaria. The town is surrounded by seagulls circling in the air and the intermittent smell of fish freshly caught from the Black Sea.

In Nesebar‘s Old Town, you can eat out in restaurants relatively cheaply, and the food is delicious. Just make sure you don‘t give in to the first tout who tries to coax you into his restaurant. Do a survey of the small town, choose a terrace with a beautiful view, ask about the menu and the fresh fish dishes, and kick back and enjoy the evening.

Sunset over Nesebar
Photo taken by Flickr | www.bdmundo.com.  Sunset over Nesebar

The New Town is situated along the mainland‘s coast. Large hotels with aqua parks, swimming pools and restaurants are popping up all the time on the Sunny Beach coast and elsewhere in the new part of the city. The sandy beaches and cosy bars along the coast invite you to stay longer, and small improvised trains transport take tourists between the new and old parts of the town.

There is also a third part of the city, built in the Soviet era, and home to blocks of flats, schools and gardens. Old cars rust and decay in run-down yards, and elderly folk hang out the windows of their high-rise blocks of flats – just as in any other Eastern European residential area. The town is a mosaic of everything from Greek antiquity to the present day.

Nesebar
Photo taken by Flickr | kismihok.  Nesebar

Nesebar is 37 km from the large Bulgarian coastal city Burgas, where aeroplanes full of tourists flock in the high season. The other side of the coast, home to Varna and Golden Sands resort is somewhat more remote.

Where to stay

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