PLEASE NOTE: The currency in Bulgaria is the Lev (I will refer to them as B$s). At the time of writing, US$1 = B$1.74.
We have just spent 6 weeks in Turkey.
It is, now, time for us to move on to Bulgaria …
The bus was comfortable. Each seat had Personal Entertainment that didn’t work, but each seat had a power supply (power plug – not USB) that did work. We arrived at the Turkey-Bulgaria border on the E87 at about 1:30pm.
It took about 30 minutes to clear the border. We were dropped off on the main road in Burgas opposite the main Bus Terminal.
I went to an ATM and withdrew B$400 then walked to the Bus Terminal. Local buses leave to Nesebar / Sunny Beach about every 30 minutes. The price is B$6.
Often referred to as the “Pearl of the Black Sea“, Nesebar is a city-museum defined by more than three millennia of ever-changing history. The small city exists in two parts separated by a narrow man-made isthmus with the ancient part of the settlement on the peninsula (previously an island) and the more modern section on the mainland side. The older part bears evidence of occupation by a variety of different civilisations over the course of its existence.
Nesebar became an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. As of December 2009, the town has a population of 11,626 inhabitants.
Beautiful and atmospheric.
My recommendation for the Turquoise Coast (Turkey) is to arrive mid May. In contrast, I recommend that GRANDPAckers don’t come to the Black Sea Coast, Bulgaria until at least July (the good weather doesn’t start until then). This makes Bulgaria a natural ‘next stop’ after Turkey for those travelling.
Hotels.com was booked out in the GRANDPAcking price range (of up to US$25 / night).
PLEASE NOTE: HOTELS usually display prices INCLUSIVE of TAXES. But many search sites (like HOTELS) don’t provide a ‘private bathroom’ filter, so be careful with some of the cheap hotels and make sure that you read the room details.
A good alternative is AirBnB or an Holiday Home:
PLEASE NOTE: AirBnB seems to be particularly good in Bulgaria. Other sites (such as Homeaway, FlipKey and VRBO are also worth a look).
There are (surprisingly to me) accommodation options to be found within GRANDPAcking price range … but, to get them, you will have to start looking well in advance.
The temptation is to get a cheaper place in the New Town in the hope that ‘it will be a good enough alternative’ … so, I had a look …
I didn’t stay in Nesebar … I went to Sunny Beach instead. I will tell you about Sunny Beach in my next post.
WHERE TO STAY:
The New Town is NOT ‘Nesebar’ as we know it. If you come to ‘Nesebar’, you have to stay in the Old Town / Island.
Have a look yourself:
INTERNET / WIFI:
Don’t trust your hotel to provide good wifi in this price range.
First, I went to A1. They were unfriendly and unhelpful. In addition, their main store had no Tourist Holiday+ simcards. Their smallest 1 month option was 30GBs for B$30.
I went next door to Vivacom and bought their 15GB Prepaid Data Package for B$15. Again, it was their smallest option. You need your passport. They configured in up for me. In the store, I immediately downloaded their Mobile App. They helped me sign in. Because I downloaded the App, Vivacom gave me an extra 10GBs for free.
WHEN TO GO
The summer lasts about five months from mid-May until late September. Winters are milder compared with the inland part of the country. Snow is possible in December, January, February and rarely in March.
The restaurants and bars will be more expensive than elsewhere and you can’t really do much about that unless you go a few kms out of town. Otherwise, very nice. Don’t expect a nice beach though … you will need to walk nearly 1 km to Sunny Beach if you want that.
Could you afford to retire here on a GRANDPAcking budget? MAYBE.