How to buy a SIM Card at Sofia Airport 2024: Best Plans + Updated Price

Buying a SIM card at Sofia Airport makes international travel easier by allowing visitors to remain in contact.

This article helps travelers know how to buy a prepaid SIM card at Sofia Airport. It mentions the various SIM card choices for tourists and expats at SOF, including their costs and what they offer. The goal is to assist readers in picking the best data plan for their needs and provide options for buying a SIM card away from the airport.

guide to buy a sim card at sofia airport

I. Should You Buy a SIM Card at Sofia Airport (SOF)?

Yes, it’s a good idea to buy a SIM card at Sofia Airport (SOF) for several reasons:

  • Saves time, no need to find a phone shop, and activate service right away.
  • Airports have many carriers, compared to find the best deal.
  • Use SIM immediately for data, texts, and calls.
  • Traveler-friendly SIMs with good rates for short visits, and no long contracts.
  • Airport staff help in many languages, making it easy to get the right SIM in Bulgaria.

In short, getting a Bulgaria prepaid SIM at Sofia Airport is the most hassle-free way to stay connected upon arrival.

II. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Sofia Airport?

sofia airport map

There are 2 ways for you to get a SIM at Sofia airport:

  • Buy online and pick up at the airport
  • Buy upon arrival

Let’s check more details about 2 ways!

1. Buying a SIM Card online and picking up at the Sofia Airport

To get your eSIM at Sofia Airport, go to the pickup point near baggage claim or arrivals to quickly get your package and connect instantly.

What to prepare:

  • Unlocked, eSIM-compatible device
  • Payment method to purchase the eSIM plan online

Pros:

  • Convenient pre-arrival setup
  • Avoid the hassle of buying a physical SIM card at the airport
  • Can keep your home SIM active while using the local eSIM

Cons:

  • Requires eSIM-compatible device
  • May be more expensive than buying a physical SIM card at the airport

2. Buying at the airport upon arrival

yettel store at sofia airport

There are several mobile operator stores and kiosks located in the arrival and baggage claim areas, making it easy to get connected as soon as you land.

VIVACOM Store:

  • Located in Terminal 1
  • Open 24/7
  • Sells VIVACOM network SIM cards with various data, talk, and text packages

A1 Store:

  • Located in Terminal 1 and Terminal 2
  • Open daily from 6am to 10pm
  • Offers A1 network SIM cards with prepaid and postpaid plans

Yettel Store:

  • Located in Terminal 1
  • Open 24/7
  • Sells Yettel (formerly Telenor) network SIM cards with voice, data, and SMS bundles

What to prepare:

  • Unlocked phone
  • Passport for registration
  • Local currency (Bulgarian Lev) for payment

Cost: SIM card packages at the airport cost $10-$20, varying by plan and allowances.

Pros:

  • Convenient airport pickup
  • Variety of plans and operators to choose from
  • Cash and credit card payment options

Cons:

  • May be slightly more expensive than buying online
  • The registration process can be time-consuming

► Remember to disable data roaming on your regular SIM card before inserting the new Bulgarian SIM to avoid unexpected roaming charges.

III. Best Tourist Sofia Airport SIM Card Options and Price?

We will give you the packages of SIM cards from 3 operators: A1, Vivacom, and Yettel at Sofia Airport. Please note that the price will depend on the provider, package, and time of year of purchase. It is best to check and compare prices between suppliers before buying.

CarrierDataPrice (USD)Price (BGN)Validity
A110 GB~$10~18 BGN10 days
20 GB~$15~27 BGN20 days
Vivacom10 GB~$8~15 BGN7 days
20 GB~$12~22 BGN14 days
Yettel8 GB~$6~11 BGN7 days
15 GB~$10~18 BGN14 days

Recommendation:

  • Best Value: Vivacom 10 GB/7 days – ideal for short visits.
  • Longer Stay: A1 20 GB/20 days – perfect for long trips.
  • Budget: Yettel 8 GB/7 days – great for budget travelers.

Additional Tips:

  • Buy pre-loaded SIM cards from airport kiosks or stores.
  • Make sure your phone is unlocked for a local SIM.
  • Choose a package based on data needs and trip length.
  • Top-up for extra data or minutes if needed.

IV. What to Prepare for Getting a SIM Card at Sofia Airport – Registration Process

To get a SIM card at Sofia Airport, Bulgaria, remember:

  • Bring a valid passport or ID.
  • Have a document showing your address, just in case.
  • Carry cash for the SIM card and initial credit.
  • Check out Vivacom, Telenor, and A1 beforehand to pick the best one.
  • Make sure your phone can use a local SIM and isn’t locked.
  • Be ready to give your name, passport details, and maybe your job.
  • Ask when the SIM will start working.

V. Bulgaria eSIM for Sofia – an Alternative to Prepaid SIM Card at Sofia Airport

Using an eSIM is handy for travelers because it gets rid of the need to buy a physical SIM card when you get there, offers smooth internet access, and helps you avoid extra costs for using your phone abroad. Gigago is a very trusted eSIM service for people traveling to other countries.

Key features of Gigago’s eSIM service:

  • Coverage in Bulgaria and 42+ other European countries
  • Data plans ranging from 1GB to 50GB
  • Validity options from 3 to 30 days
  • Supported by popular network operator A1
  • Hotspot/Tethering enabled
  • Instant delivery via email after purchase
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 a SIM Card Outside Sofia Airport?

Buying a SIM card outside Sofia airport is not very hard. Below are some suggestions for you:

  • Tobacco shops (Tabac) 
  • Street vendors near the airport 
  • Hotel/hostel receptions – Ask at your stay near the airport to buy SIM cards or for suggestions.
  • Bus/train station vendors 
  • SIM card machines – Find automatic kiosks with prepaid SIM cards around Sofia.
  • Online marketplaces – Use websites like Amazon.bg or local ads for SIM card delivery.

VII. FAQs about SIM card at Sofia airport

How much are SIM cards at Sofia Airport?

Prices usually range from 5 to 20 BGN (Bulgarian Leva), depending on data, minutes, and how long they last.

Do the shops selling SIM cards at Sofia Airport have staff who speak English?

Many shops are set up for travelers from other countries, so you’re likely to find someone who can help you in English.

Can I start using a SIM card from Sofia Airport right away?

Yes, you can usually activate and start using the SIM cards right after you buy them.

Are there any rules about using a SIM card from Sofia Airport?

There might be some rules about using SIM cards for roaming, internet speed, or how long they’re good for outside Bulgaria.

VIII. Conclusion

In general, buying a SIM card at Sofia Airport is very easy thanks to our guidance. You can find them at kiosks near arrivals affordable network access and data bundles suited for your stay. Or you can give an eSIM a try. We mean both ways are very efficient, but eSIM might be better in some cases. So hope you have a great trip there.