Headed to Sunny Beach? Since most travelers will be arriving either at the Burgas airport, train station, or bus station, you’ll likely need to find your own onward travel from Burgas to Sunny Beach. While you can certainly risk showing up in Burgas and jumping in a random taxi, we’ve found that this is the easiest way to run into a taxi scam.
Instead, here are instruction on how to get from Burgas to Sunny Beach with as little stress as possible! We cover taxis, buses, and private transfers. You can also choose to rent a car at the Burgas Airport and drive to Sunny Beach, just keep in mind whether your accomodations have parking avaiable (some do and some do not).
Starting your trip in Sofia? Here’s how to get from Sofia to Burgas.
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Where to Stay in Sunny Beach
We are in the process of writing a complete Sunny Beach hotel guide, but in the meantime, we have several recommendations for Sunny Beach on our guide to the best Bulgarian Beach Resorts.
If you’re not looking for something all-incusive, we personally like to use Booking.com. Make sure to book as early as possible. Sunny Beach is extremely popular with international tourists, and the great hotels can sell out.
How to Get from Burgas to Sunny Beach
If you’re heading directly into the Burgas Airport, we have a tailored guide for specific instructions for how to get from the Burgas Airport to Sunny Beach. If you’ll be arriving at the bus station or train station, check out these instructions instead.
Burgas to Sunny Beach by Taxi
If you want to grab a taxi when you get in, keep a few things in mind. Unlike most of Bulgaria where taxis are strictly metered, taxis on the coast are kind of the wild, wild west.
We negotiated a fifty leva taxi ride from Burgas to Sunny Beach. You will want to negotiate a price before you get in. I would personally ask for fifty leva which is a little less than $30 USD, and we were lucky that our taxi driver accepted this rate as our first offer. We paid sixty leva for the return trip from Sunny Beach to Burgas in the rain.
I know people who negotiated seventy leva. It all depends on what time of day you get in and how much competition there is from other passengers.
The taxi ride itself takes up to an hour (depending on traffic). The roads can be a bit winding and the cars can be on the hot side.
Burgas to Sunny Beach by Bus
If you’re traveling on a budget and don’t mind sacrificing some time and comfort to save on cash, there is a bus that serves Sunny Beach (destination: Слънчев бряг, Slanchev Bryag in Bulgarian) and the company is M-Bus.
It costs 6 leva (3 euro) per ticket. It runs starting around 6 AM and takes about 45 minutes to an hour reach Sunny Beach. It has stops in Nessebar and Ravda as well. You can buy your ticket from the driver.
Keep in mind the final bus is at around 8 PM according to this timetable, so if you’re arriving after 8 PM we recommend a transfer.
We used the city buses in Sunny Beach and found them to be great for quick trips, but I would not personally have enjoyed being on a bus with all of our luggage (and our dog) in the heat of the summer.
Burgas to Sunny Beach by Private Transfer
If you want a seemless ride from Burgas to Sunny Beach without the hassle of negotiating your own taxi and worrying about scams, and without the dreariness of beginning your vacation on a public bus, you can book a private transfer.
While the price is a little more than if you negotiate a taxi yourself, you won’t have to deal with the safety issues that arise when you accidentally get into a scam taxi. I would especially encourage this option for families traveling with children and anyone arriving at night.
When you schedule your trip, make sure to let them know where to pick you up in Burgas, especially if you’ll be at the bus or train station instead of the airport.
5 Things to Pack for Sunny Beach & the Bulgarian Riviera
If you’re planning a trip to Bulgaria, you’ll want to pack all the normal essentials, but here are a few things we strongly recommend bringing that may not have crossed your mind. For more, check out our complete Bulgaria packing list.
– A physical guidebook, in paper or on Kindle. We love Lonely Planet Bulgaria & Romania for this region and strongly recommend it to supplement blogs. Blogs are great, but a combination of a blog and a guidebook is key to having the best access to information easily at your fingertips.
– A water bottle with a filter. While generally, the tap water in big cities in Bulgaria is drinkable, such as in Sofia and Burgas, we generally recommend using a water bottle with a purifying filter to reduce your plastic consumption and ensure you won’t drink any funny-tasting water on your stomach that could make your trip unpleasant! We recommend the GRAYL water bottle – it filters water perfectly in an instant so that you can even drink from lakes, bad taps, etc.
– Motion sickness pills. Bulgarian train and bus rides can be hot and cause motion sickness! If you have a weak stomach as we do, save yourself and bring some non-drowsy motion sickness pills.
– Wet wipes, hand sanitizer, TP & other Balkan transit needs. Bathrooms in the Balkans on trains and buses tend to be… how can we say it?… not so well-stocked. Save yourself the disappointment and bring a mini-rescue pack of wet wipes & hand sanitizer.
– Travel safety items. We think Bulgaria is very safe to travel, but at the same time, it never hurts to be prepared! Some people like to carry money belts, but neither Allison or I use these. Instead, we both carry the same PacSafe anti-theft backpack. It has locking zippers, slash-proof construction with metal mesh hidden in the fabric, and tons of other smart security features — all while being cute and stylish enough to be our everyday bag. We recommend it highly for both male and female travelers, as it’s neutral enough to be unisex. We also strongly recommend travel insurance! Our recommendation is at the bottom of the post.
More Bulgaria Travel Resources
If this will be your first time in Bulgaria, we have some resources to help make your first trip here a breeze. Check out our guide on how to plan your trip to Bulgaria, which goes over everything from visas to ground transportation to budgeting your trip.
Don’t forget to check out our Bulgaria packing list which has details of everything you’ll want for your trip.
We have a guide to the best Instagram spots in Sunny Beach and Nessebar so you can take incredible photos of your trip! You’ll also want to set aside time to visit the stunning Pink Lake just outside Burgas.
Next, check out our guide to avoiding taxi scams in Sofia. We don’t have taxi guides yet for Varna and Burgas, but the information about common scams and how to avoid them is the same.
You will also want to check out our overview of Balkan currency, which describes Bulgarian leva and what to tip in Bulgaria.
Headed to the Bulgarian Coast? Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!
Finally, make sure you always travel to Bulgaria with a valid travel insurance policy. The country is a very safe place to travel, but accidents or theft can easily ruin your trip if you don’t have the travel insurance coverage to recover the losses. Recently my aunt fell on a train in France and needed surgery, but luckily her travel insurance covered the costs in full. Thank goodness!
For travel insurance, I use World Nomads. I’ve been a happy customer of theirs for almost three years, and I’ve never had an issue when making a claim. I’m happy to refer them to anyone I meet.
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Stephanie has been living in and traveling around the Balkans for the past three years. She’s written for National Geographic Online, appeared on CNN Arabic and in the New York Times, and ridden more Balkan buses than is good for a person.