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The Sunny Beach FAQ

This page of frequently asked questions is a collection of advice and tips about how things work, or do not work, in Sunny Beach. Do you have advice you think the general public should be aware of and can benefit from, please tell us and we will consider and probably add it to the FAQ, with our thanks.

  • Where is Sunny Beach

Sunny Beach is in Bulgaria on the Black Sea coast, 34 kilometers or 21 miles Northeast of Burgas on the E87 main road/National road 9 to Varna. Nessebar is immediately South of Sunny Beach, and Sunny Beach is in the municipality of Nessebar. Currently it covers almost the entire area East of the E87 road between Nessebar in the South and the town of Sveti Vlas and the Stara Planina mountain chain foothills to the North.

If you have Google Earth installed on your pc, you can find Sunny Beach - more specifically the crossing of Flower Street and the Beach Promenade - using this downloadable placemark to Sunny Beach. Note that the satellite image currently showing Sunny Beach is years outdated, and consequently not very up-to-date in showing presently existing hotels. Unfortunately no map website currently covers Sunny Beach in any detail.

  • There is no official tourism information office in Sunny Beach

There are no official or public tourism information offices anywhere in Sunny Beach. The offices that claim to be such offices sell bus tours, and you will not find a single free brochure about Sunny Beach in these offices. This website is currently one of the best places to find information about Sunny Beach. If you travel by package tour to Sunny Beach then you will be able to get some information from the guides, and the hotel will probably have a map of Sunny Beach of some kind for you, but don't expect too much. Be advised that this goes for nearby Burgas as well - there is no official tourism information office there either.

  • Sunny Beach has no street names

Sunny Beach has grown without any kind of overall control, with one result being that no street in Sunny Beach have a name. The way you find something is by using a hotel close by as reference. Consequently a typical Sunny Beach address is something like "Next to Iberostar Sunny Beach" or "Across the street from the Helios Hotel". There is an exception to this rule - the central street going from the main road down through Sunny Beach to the Beach Promenade and the pier is called Flower Street.

  • The inner section is closed to cars not part of a business activity

If you drive to Sunny Beach, be advised that you cannot drive into most of the Sunny Beach area East of the Main Road. There is a checkpoint at the Svejest Hotel across from the bus station and next to the Disco Orange, where you have to convince a guard that you have business inside the closed area in order to get in.

  • Renting a car

The car rental companies in Sunny Beach are run in a rather unique fashion. You may get a car you have booked and paid for months ahead - or you may have to wait days for it, or never get it. This goes for established car rental brands as well. If you make an impulse decision to rent a car, know that if the rental office is closed even though it states its opening hours to be during the time you visit, this usually means that all their cars are rented out, and no cars are available. Their communication skills are somewhat limited in these situations.

  • Rain disrupts things greatly

When it rains at Sunny Beach then prepare to spend time in your room, with nowhere to go. When it rains it really rains, often accompanied by lightning and strong wind and even dust storms. Sunny Beach roads are not up to the standards you expect in Western Europe - for one thing there are no sewers or drainage, so rain stays on the roads until it evaporates when the sun comes out again. There are lakes on the Beach Promenade blocking you from going on stretches like between the Arizona Steakhouse/Raffaelo Restaurant South and the Victoria Hotel just North of the pier, and most of the first parallel road from the Beach Promenade is also flooded at the same stretch. It is not advisable to wade barefoot through rainwater lakes in Sunny Beach, as some tourists and locals are not very environmentally conscious and throw litter anywhere. Make sure you wear at least sandals.

  • A beggar is not a beggar

There are apparently sad and poor people in Sunny Beach, even on the Beach Promenade, who beg money or try to play an instrument in order to make you feel pity and give them money. These people do not get the money you give them - they work for members of organised crime who are very present and visible in Sunny Beach. If you give beggars money, your money go straight to organised crime.

  • ATMs and withdrawal amounts

As a general rule, the ATMs or Automated Teller Machines in Sunny Beach will let you withdraw 200 Leva at a time from bank or credit cards like Visa and Eurocard/Mastercard. With one exception - the ATM at First Investment Bank on Flower Street, one block up from the Beach Promenade crossing, will let you withdraw 400 Leva at a time. As you pay a fee per withdrawal to your card company, this is a good way to save money.

  • Leva is the current currency

Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007. The joining was almost delayed due to the lack of action in dealing with organised crime and corruption by the Bulgarian gouvernment, which you yourself can experience when you visit Sunny Beach. Bulgaria has not yet changed to Euros/€, the currency used is Leva/Lv - the rate is approximately 1,865 leva to a Euro. Until the change to Euro (sometime around 2010), do not try to pay with euros in Sunny Beach - you will at best get a very poor exchange rate. Change your euros into Leva and use them to pay with.

  • Brand name products are generally not from the advertised brand

The Black Sea coast resorts are to Europe what China is to the World - an imitation center. The clothes and accessories you buy in Sunny Beach is generally an imitation of the product you think you are buying. A rule of thumb - if you see it in Sunny Beach, it is probably a copy, regardless how much you are paying for it.

  • The most happening parts of the Sunny Beach Beach Promenade

When staying in Sunny Beach, you will find very different levels of activity and entertainment offers depending on where you are staying. Most activity on the Beach Promenade is North of the Pier/Flower Street crossing, up to the Victoria Hotel Casino. There is also some activity on the Beach Promenade South of the Pier down to the Helios Hotel, but it is more relaxed. South of the Helios Hotel there is no regular Beach Promenade and things are more disorganised.

  • The current weather in Bulgaria

Current weather in Bulgaria

This map from the Bulgarian Weather Service is both a way to see the current weather in Bulgaria and a great topological map of Bulgaria in general. Sunny Beach is located between the second and third weather symbol from the bottom on the right side of the map.

 

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