Sunny Beach is probably one of the most famous places in Bulgaria. The advertising of it isn’t all good though, which has an impact on how people view the rest of the country unfortunately.
I have chosen to avoid Sunny Beach when travelling around the country previously, however this year I decided that I should go and explore it. I’ve avoided it because a party town really isn’t my kind of place. This is partly because I feel too old surrounded by all the teens and partly because I have developed a love for drinking red wine instead of shots and I doubt most bars in Sunny Beach even serve red wine …
Anyway, in my plan to explore more of the Black Sea Coast, I decided to spend two nights in Sunny Beach to see what it was like!
I have to confess that I cheated a little as I arrived in Sunny Beach at the end of May and this is when the resort is just opening for the summer. It was very quiet and probably not anything like it is in the crazy months of June-August, but for me this was good!
I stayed in two different places so I could experience both a hotel and an apartment complex. My first night was at Hotel Jeravi, right in the centre and on the beach. I was very impressed with this hotel, you can read my full review here. The location was great and the hotel had lots of facilities. My second night was at Sun Village Apartments, these were slightly out of the centre (still walking distance) but had a great pool and were great value, perfect for a group or family who want to stay together. You can read my review of Sun Village here.
Sunny Beach is actually very small and the centre is one main street full of bars and restaurants, which in the summer is packed with holiday makers enjoying the cheap drinks and parties! It’s the perfect place if you want to roll out of bed onto the beach and then head straight from the beach to a bar! I didn’t try many restaurants in the short time I was there but I can highly recommend both the restaurant at Hotel Jeravi, and, Restaurant Bolero (which was very close to Sun Village).
There is another cool place that is slightly out of the town centre, perhaps 5 minutes drive, and that’s Cacao Beach. This is a beach front area with around 5 clubs/beach bars. They usually open from around 11pm and most have an entrance charge of around 10 leva per person but it my opinion it’s totally worth it if you’re looking for a good club! My favourites here are La Cubanita and Bedroom Beach. Both are really cool beach clubs with great music and nice cocktails. You’ll also find the popular Latin American dance star Alfredo performing in La Cubanita most weekends!
Oh, one last thing I learned about Sunny Beach was that in fact the name on the road signs isn’t ‘Sunny Beach’ written in Cyrillic, it’s actually called Slanchev Bryag (only translated to Sunny Beach for the tourists). This is really obvious to Bulgarian speakers but if you don’t understand the language you can easily drive right past all the signs and completely miss the place!