How To Use Cell Phone In Bulgaria 2024: Traveler’s Guide To Stay Connected

As international travel rebounds, many tourists are wondering how they can use cell phone in Bulgaria while traveling abroad.

This article offers tips for travelers on how to use cell phone in Bulgaria. Many travelers struggle with using their phones abroad because of network issues and roaming fees. Here, you’ll find out how to make sure your phone works in Bulgaria, whether to keep your current phone plan or buy a local SIM card and how to affordably keep in contact while traveling in Bulgaria with your cell phone.

everything about using phone in bulgaria

I. Highlights of Phone Compatibility, Frequencies, and Networks in Bulgaria

According to what’s on the Kimovil website, here’s a simple breakdown of how phones work, what signals they use, and the networks in Bulgaria:

TechnologyBands
5Gn1 (2100), n3 (1800), n78 (3500)
4GB1 (2100), B3 (1800)
3GB1 (2100), B8 (900)
2GB3 (1800), B8 (900)

To ensure your phone works well in Bulgaria, it should support all or most of these frequency bands, especially the 4G and 5G bands used by major operators like Vivacom, A1, and Telenor.

II. Will My Cell Phone Work In Bulgaria?

YES, most cell phones will work in Bulgaria if they support the right frequency bands used by Bulgarian carriers. Here’s a table with the specific bands used by major Bulgarian operators:

Carrier2G Bands3G Bands4G Bands5G Bands
Vivacom900, 18002100, 90018002100, 1800, 3500
A1900, 180021002100, 1800
Telenor900, 180021001800

As long as your phone supports the listed 2G, 3G, 4G, and/or 5G bands used by Bulgarian carriers, it should work fine for voice, text, and data services in Bulgaria.

III. Do I Need An International Plan In Bulgaria?

do i need an international plan in bulgaria

Yes, you’ll need an international plan in Bulgaria. Even though you can find free WiFi in some hotels, cafes, and public places, it’s not always the best because:

  • WiFi can be slow or not work well, making it hard to call, text, or use apps.
  • You won’t have internet while moving around or outside of WiFi spots.
  • Public WiFi can be risky because others might see what you’re doing online.

Some good reasons to get an international plan include:

  • Cheap calls and texts to family and friends.
  • Low-cost mobile data in Bulgaria, always online.
  • Keep your phone number and easy contact.
  • Choose a package for calls, texts, and data.
  • No need for WiFi, avoid big roaming fees.

Basically, an international plan is cheaper and lets your phone work in Bulgaria, avoiding WiFi searches. It helps you stay in touch with home affordably.

IV. What Are Options To Use Cellphones In Bulgaria For Tourists?

Here are mobile internet options in Bulagaria to use cell phone for tourists:

  • eSIM (embedded SIM) – Requires an eSIM-compatible smartphone.
  • Physical SIM card
  • Pocket WiFi

Let’s go into details:

1. eSIM Plan for Bulgaria

esim plan for bulgaria

An eSIM is a built-in digital SIM in some smartphones, so you don’t need a physical SIM card.

  • For: The latest phones.
  • Buy from: reliable retailers like Gigago.
  • Pros: No need to look for a physical SIM. Easy to start using on your phone. Easy to change carriers.
  • Cons: Only works with phones that are eSIM-ready. Not as many choices as with physical SIMs.

2. International SIM card for Bulgaria

international sim card for bulgaria

A prepaid local SIM card gives you cheap options to use data and talk at local prices.

  • For: Any phone that can use any SIM card, even old ones.
  • Buy from: Stands near airports or malls in Bulgaria from companies like Vivacom, Telenor, and A1.
  • Pros: Works well everywhere in the country. Cheap to call and text locally. Can add more data if needed.
  • Cons: You have to put the SIM in yourself. Can’t get money back for data you don’t use.

3. Pocket WiFi

pocket wifi for bulgaria travel

A small, portable WiFi rental that lets many devices use the internet at the same time.

  • For: Families or groups on trips who want to keep using the internet.
  • Buy from: Places like EuroRental have portable WiFi that can be sent anywhere in Bulgaria.
  • Pros: Connects 5 devices simultaneously. Unlimited data. No extra fees for different locations.
  • Cons: Initially more expensive than a SIM card. Internet may be slow with too many devices connected.

V. Will My Local Network Work In Bulgaria?

YES, you probably can. Here’s why:

  • Bulgaria uses the same internet stuff as most places, so your devices should work fine together.
  • No special rules for local networks in Bulgaria, so setting one up should be easy.
  • Lots of VPNs work in Bulgaria, helping you connect to your network from far away.

But keep in mind:

  • Check with your internet company because they might have their own rules about local networks.
  • Some online stuff might be blocked in Bulgaria, affecting what you can do on your network.
  • Depending on where you are in Bulgaria, your internet quality might change, which can affect your network’s performance.

VI. Gigago eSIM – An Alternative To Get Internet In Bulgaria With Your Cell Phone

Going to Bulgaria, don’t stress about changing SIM cards or high roaming fees. Gigago’s Bulgaria eSIM makes it easy to stay connected. 

It’s simple to set up, has plans that can change with your needs, and gives you good coverage. With Gigago eSIM, getting online in Bulgaria is a breeze.

esim bulgaria gigago

Which Bulgaria eSIM plan should you choose for your trip?

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. Extra Tips To Use Cell Phone in Bulgaria

Tips for using phones in Bulgaria are:

  • Check roaming fees before traveling. EU rates have caps but can be high. Get a Bulgarian SIM card/eSIM if needed.
  • Use WiFi in hotels/cafes to save on data.
  • Learn simple Bulgarian like “Dobar den” (hello) for easier communication.
  • Download mobile payment apps like PayByPhone for buses or parking.
  • Save emergency number 112 for police/fire/ambulance.
  • In crowded places, be mindful of noise when on your phone.
  • Don’t take photos of military areas unless allowed.
  • Buy chargers or adapters locally in tourist spots if you forget yours.

VIII. FAQs about Use Cell Phone in Bulgaria

Can I use my US/European phone in Bulgaria?

Yes, most new phones work in Bulgaria. But, check with your phone company about extra costs or think about getting a local SIM card for cheaper calls and internet while you’re there.

What kind of SIM card do I need for my phone in Bulgaria?

Bulgaria uses the same network system as most of Europe. Make sure your phone can use a Bulgarian SIM card by checking it’s unlocked and works with GSM/UMTS. Most US phones are okay. You’ll probably need a Micro/Nano SIM.

Is it cheaper to buy a local SIM card or just use roaming in Bulgaria?

Buying a local SIM card is usually cheaper than roaming. Roaming can get expensive, especially for data and calls. In the EU, prices are limited, but it can still cost a lot.

IX. Conclusion

In conclusion, use cell phone in Bulgaria can make traveling easier. It helps with finding your way, translating, paying for things, and keeping in contact. Looking up phone companies, SIM card options, helpful apps, and safety advice before you go can make your trip smoother, and help you avoid extra costs or problems. With a bit of planning, a mobile phone can make exploring Bulgaria much better.