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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Nessebar

Nessebar Holidays

Over 3,000 years of history has converged in Nessebar, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre and also happens to have some of the finest beaches on the Black Sea. A peninsula reaches out into the water to embrace a cluster of quaint cottages and grand classical architecture.

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Cuisine by the coast

As you'd expect of a city of such antiquity and culture, the restaurants of Nessebar offer fantastic meals, and most of them are pretty affordable too.

You might be surprised to learn that Bulgarian food shares similarities with the kind of meals you'd enjoy in Turkey or Greece. You'll also enjoy more than traditional tastes during your visit, because Nessebar's connection to the sea makes it something of a hotbed for seafood of all shapes and sizes. What's more, the increase in tourism to Nessebar over the decades has made it rich in international dining options, so those of you with a soft spot for French, Italian, Indian and Chinese meals will find plenty to offer.

Largely, you're going to find that Nessebar offers a good selection of restaurants that are divided between two parts of the city, namely the coast and the inland cobbled streets. While the latter option gives easy access to inner city nightlife, where live music and rustic bars are frequently the order of the day, you're going to also have plenty of options for eating with a sea view. Many of the vistas offered by these clifftop cafes and beachfront restaurants have to be seen to be believed.

Quick Tips

  • Bulgarian Orthodox
  • Bulgarian Lev
  • Bulgarian
  • Gmt + 2

Meet local artisans

While you're immersed in such a cultural city, you owe it to yourself to connect with the locals. The people of Nessebar are warm and friendly, with a great deal of them practising a craft that has been passed down the generations. Delicate laces, handmade sculptures and all manner of other forms of art are all practised in the streets and shops of this city of history, so get ready for some bargain hunting as you track down those perfect souvenirs.

Centuries of influence

Nicknamed the Pearl of the Black Sea, the entire city of Nessebar has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Centre, and just a few minutes of strolling its cobbles amid stonework and mystery will be enough to tell you why.

The town has been inhabited for 3,000 years, giving it a unique perspective on human history in Central Europe. Because it was once an Ancient Greek colony, as well as a medieval Ottoman city, you're going to find a blend of influences in its crumbled castle walls and impressively preserved fortresses, yet with a distinctly Bulgarian flavour of gabled houses and Gothic architecture.

Museums, galleries, tours and over 40 churches combine to make the old town district of Nessebar a fascinatingly complex place to spend your Balkan holidays, where modern life and myths mingle on a tiny island linked to the mainland by a natural land bridge. They call Nessebar the Pearl of the Black Sea – a name that resonates while you explore its streets.

Beaches for miles

Huge swathes of shoreline make Nessebar as popular with sun worshippers and beach lovers on cheap Bulgaria holidays as it is with history buffs and culture vultures. The distinctive lay of the land ensures that the beaches seem to almost go on forever, with New Nessebar Beach proving a particularly popular spot for those looking for loungers, cool cocktails and unrestricted access to some fun in the sun.

For a true taste of the most loved beach in Bulgaria, you're going to want to head just north to Sunny Beach, which lives up to its name with its hot balmy days and late night beach parties. It's a Blue Flag beach as well, which guarantees its quality, while lifeguards are on patrol across the entirety of Nessebar's shore to keep you and the little ones safe and happy.

If the water itself is where you want to be, you're also in luck. Watersports are always popular in Nessebar, and whether you're a beginner or an adrenaline master there'll be experts on hand to help you slide into some scuba gear, race over the briny blue on a jetski or ride the waves on a surfboard.