A1 Bulgaria SIM Cards & eSIM for Tourists: How to Get and Activate 2024

A1 Bulgaria SIM card & eSIM offer tourists a cheap way to keep in touch in Bulgaria. It’s a solution for visitors without a local phone plan to get reliable mobile access.

Finding the right SIM in Bulgaria can be hard for newcomers. This guide is here to help travelers figure out what the A1 Bulgaria SIM card & eSIM offers in terms of network coverage, speed, and how to stay connected. We’ll cover the top SIM card and eSIM options, where to buy them, and how to activate them easily.

A1 Bulgaria sim cards esim

I. Quick Facts about A1 Bulgaria

A1 Bulgaria is a top telecom company in Bulgaria.

  • Started in 1994, first known as Mtel or Mobiltel.
  • Provides a lot of services: landlines, mobiles, cable TV, satellite TV, IPTV, and fast internet.
  • Currently has 6.5M users.
  • Works all over Bulgaria, in cities and rural areas.
  • Has many stores and partner places to help customers.
  • Offers 24/7 customer support online, by phone, and in stores.
  • Won awards for being innovative and focusing on customers, including being the first Bulgarian operator to offer EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA, HSPA+, and LTE services.

II. Why A1 Bulgaria When Traveling Bulgaria – Coverage and Speed

When you visit Bulgaria, picking a good mobile network is important for a great trip. A1 Bulgaria seems to be the best choice mobile operator for local SIM cards in Bulgaria because it has a good signal and fast internet. Let’s check it out below!

1. A1 Bulgaria Coverage in Bulgaria

a1 bulgaria mobile coverage map (Source: nPerf)
  • Coverage in places people live, work, and travel. According to nPerf, A1 achieved a Coverage Experience score of 6.9/ 10, beating Telenor (Yettel).
  • A1 had an availability of 98% of the time, meaning strong signals across Bulgaria.

2. A1 Bulgaria Speed

a1 bulgaria mobile speed map (Source: OpenSignal)
  • Overall download speed of 81.7Mbps from OpenSignal’s tests, far faster than Vivacom and Telenor (Yettel).
  • Upload speed of 16.6Mbps, also faster than competitors.
  • Speeds remained high regardless of location, with an Excellent Consistent Quality score of 82.7%.

Overall, A1 gives you the best mix of good coverage and fast speeds in Bulgaria. Travelers can count on strong and quick internet no matter where they are because A1 has a wide network that always works well.

III. What are the Best Connectivity Options of A1 Bulgaria for Travelers to Bulgaria?

Here are the main ways to stay connected when you’re in Bulgaria:

  • Get a local SIM card
  • Rent a portable WiFi
  • Use your current provider’s roaming

To pick the best one for you, let’s check out the pros and cons of each:

Connectivity OptionProsCons
A1 Bulgaria Prepaid SIM CardAffordableRequires SIM unlock
Local number for calls/textsLimited data packages available
Pocket WiFiShareable connectionRental fees apply
Convenient for groupsBattery life limitations
Data RoamingFamiliar setupHigh roaming charges
No need for additional purchasesInconsistent network coverage

Recommendation: When choosing your A1 Bulgaria connection, consider these things:

  • Stay Length: Short visits? Get a prepaid SIM. Staying longer? Pocket WiFi’s better.
  • Data Needs: Use a lot of data? Skip roaming; go for prepaid SIM or pocket WiFi to save money.
  • With Others? In a group, share a pocket WiFi. Alone? A personal SIM card works best.

IV. Best A1 Bulgaria SIM Cards for Tourists & Cost

The table below shows you guys the best A1 SIM card plans for tourists:

PlanPackage DurationPackage DetailsPrice (BGN)Price (USD)
Tourist Plan7 days5 GB Data, 50 mins to A1 network, 50 mins to other networks, 50 SMS10.00 BGN$5.40
Tourist Plan30 daysUnlimited Data, 50 mins to A1 network, 50 mins to other networks, 50 SMS27.40 BGN$14.80 

Note: The exchange rate used is 1 BGN = 0.54 USD.

V. Does A1 Bulgaria Support eSIM in Bulgaria?

YES, A1 Bulgaria is now the first company in Bulgaria to let prepaid customers use eSIM services. You can get an eSIM in 2 ways from them: directly from the company or through other eSIM sellers.

When you buy directly from the company, you might have to show your passport. Buying from other sellers is usually easier because you don’t need to show any ID.

That’s why it’s a good idea to buy from eSIM sellers like Gigago. Here are some reasons why Gigago is great for travelers:

  • Different data plans to choose from
  • You get the eSIM emailed to you in just 5 minutes.
  • No ID or passport needed.
  • Customer support available all the time.
  • Free roaming in over 42 European countries.
esim bulgaria gigago

For Bulgaria, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 1GB/day for 3 days with $3.50 . What is great about Gigago’s Bulgaria eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $3.50$125.98 . Thus, it does not matter how many Internet users you are and how long your trip is in Bulgaria, there is always an option for you with Gigago.

VI. Where to Buy A1 Bulgaria SIM cards & eSIM?

where to buy a1 bulgaria sim cards esim

Having a reliable A1 Bulgaria SIM card or eSIM makes getting around much easier. It offers great options for staying connected.

1. Where to buy A1 Bulgaria SIM?

You can get A1 Bulgaria SIM cards at:

  • A1 Bulgaria retail stores in cities like Sofia, Plovdiv, and Varna.
  • At Bulgaria airports like Telenor or Burgas Airport.
  • Authorized resellers: Look for them in convenience stores, electronics shops, and travel agencies.
  • Online: Purchase directly from the official website or authorized online retailers.

2. Where to buy A1 Bulgaria eSIM?

For convenience, consider an A1 Bulgaria eSIM, which you can buy and activate through your smartphone or device before your trip. Get one from:

  • A1 Bulgaria’s official website: Find the eSIM section for purchase and activation.
  • Authorized eSIM providers: Companies like Gigago offer downloadable A1 Bulgaria eSIM packages.

VII. How to Activate A1 Bulgaria SIM cards & eSIM in Bulgaria?

Activating a new A1 SIM card or eSIM in Bulgaria lets you make calls, send SMS, and go online. Here are the setup steps:

1. Using an A1 SIM Card in Bulgaria

  • Remove SIM from pack, put it in phone.
  • Turn on phone, it sets up A1 SIM.
  • Enter PIN from card, connect to A1.
  • Visit A1 site, pick plan, pay.
  • Get text, activation done. Enjoy!

2. Activating A1 eSIM

  • Sign up online for a QR code.
  • Scan the QR with My A1 app to link your plan.
  • Pick the A1 eSIM plan.
  • Use A1 data to begin your service.

You can switch between eSIM and regular SIM in your device settings as needed. Set up your SIM in minutes to use maps, travel apps, post updates, and arrange meetups while in Bulgaria!

VIII. How to Top-up A1 Bulgaria SIM cards & eSIM?

Here’s how you can top-up your A1 Bulgaria SIM card and eSIM:

1. Topping up A1 Bulgaria SIM card

  • Go to A1 Bulgaria or reseller
  • Buy a top-up voucher or card
  • Scratch off the code
  • Dial the code on your phone and follow steps

2. Topping up A1 Bulgaria eSIM

  • Open A1 Bulgaria eSIM app
  • Click “Top-up” or “Recharge”
  • Pick an amount
  • Pay with card or mobile payment
  • Balance updates instantly

XI. FAQs about A1 Bulgaria SIM cards & eSIM 

Can I roam in the EU with an A1 SIM? 

Yes, with an A1 SIM, you can use your normal plan in the EU without extra charges, but watch out for fair use limits.

What ID is needed to buy an A1 SIM? 

You need a valid passport or an EU ID card to buy and activate an A1 SIM.

When does my A1 SIM expire?

Most prepaid SIMs last 6-12 months before they expire unless you add more credit. Keep some money on it to keep it working for a long time.

XII. Conclusion

In general, getting and turning on an A1 Bulgaria SIM card & eSIM is easy for people visiting Bulgaria. A1’s network covers the whole country, so buying a starter SIM pack from their stores means you can count on a good signal and even when you roam in the EU. They offer both physical SIM cards and eSIMs, so visitors can pick the best option to keep in touch while traveling.

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