Travel and Leisure — November 27, 2014 at 5:00 am

Black Sea Coast: Best Towns for Great Nightlife

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©istockphoto/serdar415

©istockphoto/serdar415

The Black Sea is growing in popularity with the current political situations.  Until the fall of the USSR, it was mostly a playground for powerful politicians.  But, Romania and Bulgaria are members of the European Union, and travel in the region is becoming more prevalent.  Even in non-EU countries there are many more opportunities appearing, and the popularity only seems to be growing.

Bump into Bulgaria
When the Iron Curtain fell in 1989, the nickname of the Bulgarian coast began a transition from the “Red Riviera” to the “Bulgarian Riviera.”  That may not seem like much, but it’s a big deal to everyone who didn’t have a lot of power in the Soviet Union.

The two largest towns on the coast are Varna and Burgas, in the north and south respectively.  They’re good places to start because they both have nice airports serving them, and they offer plenty to do once the sun goes down.  If this isn’t enough, however, try heading to some of the luxury resort party spots such as Sunny Beach or Golden Sands.

You can in Ukraine
Even with the recent issues between Ukraine and Russia, it’s still safe to visit a very well-known Black Sea destination:  Odessa.  The third largest city in the Ukraine is very diverse because of its role as a major sea port for centuries.  This doesn’t just affect the food and architecture, though.  There are pubs and nightclubs to suit everyone’s taste.

Rage in Russia
To remain diplomatic, it’s best not to leave Russia out of a list that mentions Ukraine.  It’s more difficult for most westerners to get a visa here, but is still relatively safe and worth a visit.  Also, it’s a well-known fact that the Russian government spent billions beefing up Sochi to make it the host of the 2014 Winter Olympics, and despite the coldness of that event, the weather warms up in the summer.  All the criticism surrounding those games doesn’t change the fact that this is a city full of hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs.

Gamble in Georgia
When buying your plane ticket, make sure you don’t mistakenly purchase one to the U.S. state, or you’ll be very disappointed.  It’s a country that is still having ups and downs, but the town of Batumi is definitely one of the ups.  This city had a big turn-around when it was decided to allow gambling in an attempt to make it the Monaco of the Black Sea.  It seems to be working, and hotels and party spots are popping up like crazy.  It sounds like you should be prepared to see James Bond roaming these streets before long.

Roam through Romania
As another recent addition to the European Union, it’s not too difficult to get to the coastal cities in Romania.  The resort city of Mamaia is the most popular, and its character is shown by the fact that it’s a complete ghost town in the winter.  But, if you wander in between June and September, then you’re going to find loads of beachgoers who are ready to party after sunset.

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