Best Bulgaria SIM Cards for Tourists: 2024 Detailed Guide [+Internet & WiFi] 

Bulgaria SIM cards are a must-have for tourists visiting the country, providing an affordable and convenient way to stay connected while exploring this beautiful Eastern European destination.

This blog post is for tourists heading to Bulgaria. It’s designed to help you pick the right SIM card easily. You’ll explore the top Bulgaria SIM cards for visitors, including their costs, where to get them, and how to use them. This way, you turn your trip into a new height!

everything about bulgaria sim cards esim

I. Should You Get a SIM Card in Bulgaria?

Yes, getting a SIM card in Bulgaria is a good idea because:

  • SIM cards offer cheap, easy mobile internet access, letting you stay connected via 3G/4G without the high roaming costs.
  • They’re portable and easy to switch between devices, offering more flexibility than options like local WiFi hotspots.
  • Prepaid SIMs are ideal for short visits to Bulgaria, requiring no contracts and allowing you to manage your spending.


  • Visit mobile stores like A1, Vivacom, or Telenor. Airport shops also have tourist SIMs.
  • Opt for a data-only eSIM or physical SIM that supports 3G/4G.
  • Look for small data packages for short trips to avoid monthly fees.
  • Bring your passport for prepaid SIM registration if needed.
  • If traveling in the EU, consider a multi-SIM to avoid roaming charges.

II. Types of Bulgaria SIM Cards for Tourists – Which One is the Best?

To know which one is the best, let’s explore the key features of each.

1. Prepaid physical SIM card in Bulgaria

  • Requires purchase of physical SIM card from retailer in Bulgaria
  • Comes with data-only or data + voice and text packages
  • Note: for tourists who want the flexibility of a prepaid plan

2. Prepaid Tourist Bulgaria eSIM

  • Requires online purchase and digital delivery of eSIM profile
  • Also comes with data-only or data + voice and text packages
  • Note: available for use on eSIM-compatible devices only, convenient as no physical SIM is needed
Pros: Available for all devices, can switch phones easilyPros: Convenient digital delivery, no need to insert physical SIM
Cons: Require inserting physical SIM, possible to loseCons: Only compatible with eSIM-enabled phones, limited device options

Recommendation: Tourists should use an eSIM for convenience if their phone works with it, and pick the data-only option if they don’t need regular calls. Check if your device can use an eSIM first.

III. Best Bulgaria SIM Card Packages for Tourists and Price

Bulgarian prepaid SIM card prices are affordable, thanks to EU rules that limit roaming fees. Here are the basic offers from the 3 main providers: A1, Vivacom, and Telenor.

1. Best Bulgaria A1 SIM Card Plans and Price

PriceData Validity
15 BGN (~$8.25)15 GB30 days
25 BGN (~$13.75)30 GB30 days
40 BGN (~$22)50 GB30 days

2. Best Bulgaria Vivacom SIM Card Plans and Price

PriceSIM CardCreditDataEU/EEA DataLocal MinutesValidity
12 BGN (~$6.6)FREE2GO2 BGN12 000 MB5800 MB800 minutes60 days
20 BGN (~$11)DATA2GO N/A25 000 MB9600 MBN/A60 days

3. Best Bulgaria Telenor SIM Card Plans and Price

PriceSIM CardCreditDataEU/EEA DataLocal/EU Minutes Validity
8 BGN (~$4.4)Prepaid Starter Pack Telenor 8 BGN3 BGN (60 days)6000 MB2800 MB300 minutes14 days
10 BGN (~$5.5)Prepaid Starter Pack Telenor 10 BGN3 BGN (60 days)8000 MB3500 MB400 minutes30 days
15 BGN (~$8.25)Prepaid Starter Pack Mobile Internet 15 GBN/A15 GBN/AN/A30 days
25 BGN (~$13.75)Prepaid Starter Pack Mobile Internet 30 GBN/A30 GBN/AN/A30 days
40 BGN (~$22)Prepaid Starter Pack Mobile Internet 50 GBN/A50 GBN/AN/A30 days

Note: Price might change over time. Check it carefully before deciding to buy.

IV. Where to Buy a Tourist SIM Card for Bulgaria?

You can find 4 ways to buy a tourist SIM card for Bulgaria:

  • Buying online before departure
  • Buying a physical SIM at the airport
  • Buying a SIM in the city
  • Buying an eSIM

Now, let’s discover which is the best way based on the comparison:

Way of BuyingHow to Do ItWhere to BuyProsCons
Online before departureSearch online, choose a plan, pay online, and have SIM shippedWebsites of Bulgaria mobile carriers like Vivacom, A1, TelenorReady before trip, wide plan options, can research plans easilyExtra time for shipping, not ready for immediate use
At Bulgaria airportsPurchase SIM at kiosks in airports upon arrivalSofia Airport, Varna Airport, Burgas AirportConvenient pick up at airport, ready for immediate useLimited plan options, higher prices
In the citiesVisit mobile carrier stores in citiesStores in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna etc.Wider choice of plans compared to airports, SIM is readyTake time to locate stores
Buying an eSIMOrder online, activation done digitally through the appWebsites of carriers supporting eSIMConvenient activation, no physical SIM neededOnly work with the latest devices.

Recommendation: For tourists, getting an eSIM is best because it’s eco-friendly, and saves time and money.

V. How Much Data is Enough for a Prepaid Tourist SIM Card for Bulgaria?

For most tourists, a 2-4GB data plan should be sufficient to cover your basic needs during your trip.

What can you do with 1GB of data?

  • Look at websites, check emails, and go on social media for 10-15 hours
  • Watch 3-4 hours of normal video
  • Get about 250-300 nice photos
  • Use GPS and maps for 5-6 hours

Data volume recommendations by user type:

User TypeRecommended Data VolumeDetails
Heavy users5-10GBStream/download lots of HD video 
Online gaming
Frequent video calls
Medium users2-5GBModerate social media/email use
Maps/navigation as needed
Some streaming/browsing
Light users1-2GBBasic social media/email 
Maps use when needed
Average tourists3-5GBBasic social media/email 
Maps used when needed
Businessmen5-10GBVideo calls/conferencing
File sharing
Constant connectivity
Device sharers5-10GBStreaming media for a group
Tethering other devices

Tip: To avoid wasting data or running out too soon, look at how much data you usually use and pick the right plan. Using Wi-Fi when you can will help save your data.

VI. Bulgaria eSIM – Alternative to Physical SIM Cards to Get Internet in Bulgaria

Traveling to Bulgaria has never been easier thanks to the introduction of eSIM technology. Gigago, a top company for digital SIM services, has a variety of prepaid eSIM plans that can really improve your experience in Bulgaria.

Using a Gigago eSIM in Bulgaria is easy and cheap. No roaming fees or physical SIM card hassles. With Gigago, tracking data and staying connected is simple.

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.

VII. Which Bulgaria Mobile Networks Are The Best for Tourists?

The best mobile networks in Bulgaria for tourists are:

1. A1 Bulgaria

a1 bulgaria mobile coverage map
  • Rank: #1 in Bulgaria, 40% market share.
  • Coverage: 99% of people, 95% of land.
  • 5G in major cities & tourist areas.
  • Speed: 80 Mbps, 1 Gbps in 5G zones.
  • Multiple awards for best network.

2. Vivacom

vivacom mobile coverage map
  • Rank: #2 in Bulgaria, 35% market share.
  • Coverage: 98% of people, 94% of land.
  • 5G: In big cities and tourist spots.
  • Speed: Avg 70 Mbps, up to 900 Mbps in 5G.
  • Awards: Named fastest mobile network.

3. Telenor Bulgaria

telenor bulgaria mobile coverage map
  • Rank: #3 largest in Bulgaria, 25% market share.
  • Coverage: 97% of people, 92% of land.
  • Network: 4G, planning 5G soon.
  • Speed: Average 60 Mbps.
  • Awards: Praised for customer service and reliability.

Recommendation: For tourists in Bulgaria, A1 is the top choice for mobile networks. It has the best coverage, speed, and 5G in big cities and tourist spots. Vivacom is also good, especially for 5G. Telenor is okay for its 4G and service but not as good as A1 or Vivacom in speed and 5G.

VIII. How to Use Bulgaria SIM Cards and eSIM?

Setting up your new Bulgarian SIM card/eSIM on your smartphone is very simple.

1. How to use Bulgaria SIM Cards?

  • Buy a SIM card
  • Place the SIM Card in your device
  • Turn on your device
  • Set Up Network Connections: In device settings, choose a mobile network or APN, and input your provider’s APN details.
  • Recharge and enjoy!

2. How to activate Bulgaria eSIM?

  • Make sure your device is compatible with eSIM technology.
  • Ask your chosen mobile network in Bulgaria for an eSIM QR code.
  • Go to your device settings and find eSIM or Cellular options. Choose “Add eSIM” or something similar.
  • Follow the steps shown on your device to activate your eSIM.

IX. FAQs about Bulgaria SIM cards

Which is better – prepaid or postpaid SIM cards?

For traveling, a prepaid SIM is good because you only pay for what you use and avoid long contracts.

Is it expensive to use my home SIM for data in Bulgaria?

Yes, using your home SIM abroad can lead to high roaming charges. Buying a local Bulgarian SIM for data can save money.

Do I need to show an ID to buy Bulgaria SIM cards?

Yes, you have to show your passport to get a prepaid SIM because it’s the rule there.

Can I add more credit to my prepaid SIM if I run out while in Bulgaria?

Yes, it’s easy to top up your prepaid SIM balance at retailers, online, or via ATMs using cash or cards with additional credit as needed.

What type of file is used for contacts on Bulgarian SIMs?

Contacts are stored in VCF (vCard) format, which works well for sharing contacts.

X. Conclusion

If traveling to Bulgaria, getting Bulgaria SIM cards or eSIMs can make your trip more convenient than usual. It’s cheaper for calls, texts, and data than paying roaming fees. Hope you have a great trip to Bulgaria!