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About Nessebar

Thanks to its favourable location, Nessebar is one of the nine national sites in Bulgaria included in the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List.

The world organisation preserves its old part, located on a small peninsula, connected to the “mainland” by a 400-meter narrow isthmus. Exactly one of the symbols of the city – the windmill – is there. Nessebar is only 35 km away from the second largest port city on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast – Burgas. Also, it is a neighbour of the largest seaside resort in Bulgaria – Sunny Beach.

Nessebar is one of the oldest cities in Europe, dating back more than 3,200 years. Its old name is Mesemvria. One of its first settlers were Greeks who arrived here in the 6th century BC. In ancient times the city was characterized by strong economic and cultural development. He had active trade relations with the cities around the Black and Aegean Seas, even minting his gold coins. According to sources from antiquity, here in 620, BC. was born the legendary author of the fables Aesop. Today, the old town is an architectural and archaeological reserve. Also, a favourite place for tourists from all over the world.


Nessebar is a jam of history – over 40 churches from different eras / V – XIX century/ existed on a relatively small area in the Old Town, 18 temples – very well preserved.

The most visited church is St. Stephen, dating from the X century. Of all the Christian churches here, this is the most lavishly decorated church. Frescoes from the 16th century are on its walls – 258 compositions with over 1000 figures! Among the other, most famous temples in the Old Town are the Old Metropolitanate “St. Sophia” from the IV century, St. John Aliturgetos from the XIV century, Christ Pantocrator from the XIII century, St. John the Baptist from the XI century, etc., as well as the small church of St. Savior, the only one built during the Ottoman rule in the Bulgarian lands in 1609.

In antiquity, the town was protected not only from the sea by a strong fortress with towers and fortifications, some of which still exist and determine the today silhouette of the city. The museum “Ancient Nessebar” presents the two most known churches in the town – St. Stephen and St. Spas (Savior). The local Archaeological Museum has a rich collection of findings too. 

The wooden houses from the XVII – XVIII century are the other important landmark in Old Nessebar. They are the most numerous and best-preserved cultural monuments of this kind on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast.

The Nessebar residential architecture from the Bulgarian Revival era distinguishes by some typical features: stone masonry on the first floor and a bay window on the second floor with wooden cladding on the facade.

To stroll through the narrow, winding streets, dotted with small souvenir shops, open-air art galleries, studios for jewellery and local crafts, is an exquisite romantic pleasure.

Visit the cosy cafes and restaurants, some of which are located on the outskirts of the old town, to enjoy the magnificent sea views.

The old town offers accommodation, mostly in small hotels, perfectly intertwined in the Revival atmosphere. In the last years, new residential properties along with some family and boutique hotels emerged in the new town of Nessebar.

There are also some hotel complexes of category 4 and 5 stars, working mainly on all-inclusive.

Activity ideas and attractions

Near the city is one of the largest water parks on the South Black Sea coast – Aqua Park Nessebar, spread on more than 55,000 square meters, which is considered the facility with the most water attractions in Europe!

Sixty types of attractions for children and adults, summer vacation an unforgettable experience:

  • Water slides;
  • Pools;
  • Rivers;
  • Springboards.

Many hotel complexes have direct access to the beach. The beach boasts the most popular water attractions: surfing, parasailing, banana, jet, etc.

Rent a yacht

Next to the Old Town is the marina, where you can rent a yacht for a sea adventure or go fishing. Boiana-MG Travel agency offers, for example, an evening boat cruise with champagne. Or a catamaran visit to Sozopol – the other remarkable ancient town on the south coast. In Sozopol, you can take a romantic boat trip along the Ropotamo River in the eponymous nature reserve or visit the Castle of the Winds in the nearby village of Ravadinovo.

Culture or Off-road activities nearby

New for the season is the trip to Burgas with a tour of the city from the Sea Station and a visit to the authentic fishing village of Chengene Scaffolding. 

A Trabant safari brings back memories from the time of socialism when these small two-stroke cars fluttered across Europe from former East Germany to the Bulgarian seaside resorts. Excursions to the sea capital Varna and the Varna Dolphinarium, to the Palace of the Romanian Queen Maria of Edinburgh in Balchik and Cape Kaliakra, complete the opportunities for exploring the cultural and historical landmarks of the northern coast.

Burgas is also a frequent host of many festivals and events, which makes it an attractive place for tourists and enlarges the to-do list of activities in the region.

Parties and nightlife

The proximity of Nessebar to Sunny Beach guarantees to the lovers of nightlife and parties there is no boredom. Numerous nightclubs, discos, romantic restaurants on the beach, and bars have hospitably opened their doors to guests on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast.

If you are looking for a party during the day, a great opportunity is an adventurous pirate catamaran cruise to the nearby island of St. Anastasia.

For guests who prefer more relaxed entertainment, the many restaurants in the city and the surrounding area offer live music and the best of Black Sea cuisine.

In the area, several villages offer a traditional Bulgarian folklore evening. Their programs introduce the ancient ritual of a Bulgarian wedding, the famous dance on fire embers, rich national cuisine, and Bulgarian drinks.

What else do you need to know about Nessebar?

We have already talked about the marina. But large cruise ships have also moored in Nessebar. Among them is one of the largest liners in the world – “Queen Elizabeth” with a length of 300 meters and a capacity of 2200 tourists. He stopped for a few hours in the ancient city on his way to the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul. Probably after the end of the covid pandemic, such large passenger ships will again seek the port in Nessebar. And if you need accommodation in good hotels and various attractions, you may find them at reasonable prices on the website of Boiana-MG Travel company.