Traveling to Bulgaria soon? The best way to avoid high roaming costs is to get a local sim card. Overseas data roaming packages? They are slow as they always reduce internet speed. This is your complete guide for buying a prepaid sim card in Bulgaria on arrival. I will show you where to get it, up to date prices for 2021, who has the best network and more tips.

Lately I took a trip to Bulgaria to explore the capital Sofia and traveled by bus to Burgas on the Black Sea. After a smooth and cheap metro ride took me from Sofia Airport to the city center I tracked down the Bulgaria mobile internet operators and checked out their prices and packages for a Bulgaria sim card for tourists.

Bulgaria sim card and traveling in Europe

Sim cards you buy in Bulgaria are not the best for traveling onwards into Europe. Although since 2017 there are no roaming costs within the EU most of the prepaid sim cards in Bulgaria cap their data bundles outside the country. Always ask before you are buying a sim card in Bulgaria if free roaming in the EU is included.

Traveling onwards to Europe? Check out my comparison of all the Europe sim cards and I show you the best one for your trip.

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Order a sim card for Europe online

Don't want to go through the hassle of buying a sim card on arrival in Bulgaria? Then ordering a sim card for traveling in Bulgaria and Europe online is something for you. Through the Simoptions website you can order a handful international sim cards for Bulgaria. The sim card will be shipped to your home address and is automatically activated from its first use, Click on the link above or the banner below.

europe sim card orange 728x90

Mobile internet providers Bulgaria

There are three main mobile operators in Bulgaria: Vivacom, A1 and Telenor. All of them are reliable, have shops in the city center of Sofia, Burgas and other tourist destinations in Bulgaria and sell prepaid sim cards for tourists.

Best Bulgaria 4G/5G network in 2021

To determine the best mobile network in Bulgaria I had a look through the data collected by Nperf. It showed me the following mobile internet coverage maps. For more detailed 4G/5G network maps of Bulgaria click on the link and you can zoom in all the way.

Is there 5G in Bulgaria?

Yes there is! As of January 2021 there is 5G in Bulgaria, although not every providers offers 5G yet. 5G in Bulgaria is also limited to Sofia and Burgas only. A1 has the best 5G network in Bulgaria.

Telenor Bulgaria 4G/5G network map

telenor bulgaria 4g 5g network 2021

Vivacom Bulgaria 4G/5G network map

vivacom bulgaria 4g 5g network 2021

A1 Bulgaria 4G/5G network map

a1 bulgaria 4g 5g network 2021

We can clearly see that the Telenor has the weakest 4G coverage in Bulgaria and A1 has the best 4G network in Bulgaria as of January 2021.

For tourists though when buying a sim card in Bulgaria the network is not something in particular to think about. Most of the popular tourist destinations in Bulgaria like Sofia, Varna, Plovdiv and Burgas are fully covered by all operators.But may you go skiing in Pamporovo then I recommend you to buy an A1 prepaid sim card.

Prices prepaid sim card Bulgaria in 2021

Telenor Bulgaria

The people in Telenor stores are inquired were very friendly, helpful and spoke decent English. They took the time to explain me their available packages for a prepaid data sim card in Bulgaria. This are their prepaid plans as of January 2021:

  • 6 BGN ($3,70) = 1.5 GB data + 30 minutes to all of Europe
  • 8 BGN ($5,00) = 4 GB data + 100 minutes to all of Europe
  • 10 BGN ($6,20) = 6 GB data + 100 minutes to all of Europe

Packages are valid for 30 days. For more details about the above Telenor Bulgaria prepaid data sim cards check out the picture below.

telenor bulgaria sim card prices 2021

For the latest Telenor Bulgaria sim card prices check their website.

Vivacom Bulgaria

Vivacom prepaid sim cards costs pretty much the same as Telenor. They have the following sim cards for tourists, valid for 30 days:

  • 8 BGN ($5,00) = 6 GB data + 400 minutes to all of Europe
  • 20 BGN ($12,40) = 25 GB data (5.8 GB free data roaming in the EU)

vivacom bulgaria sim card prices 2021

These are the up to date prices as per January 2021. Check the latest Vivacom Bulgaria sim card prices on their website.

A1 Bulgaria

Last but not least A1 (M-Tel) where they were very helpful explaining me the only options available for buying a sim card in Bulgaria:

  • 6 BGN ($3,70) = 1.5 GB data + 30 minutes to all of Europe - valid for 10 days.

Top-up for 5 GB extra data is 30 BGN ($18,60).

They also offer data only starter packages:

  • 15 BGN ($9,30) = 15 GB - valid for 30 days
  • 25 BGN ($15,50) = 30 GB - valid for 30 days.

For the latest A1 Bulgaria sim card offers check their website.

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Best sim card for Bulgaria in 2021

The starting price for Bulgaria sim cards is cheap, however data packages are rather small. Comparing all the above Bulgaria prepaid sim card offers I come to the following conclusion:

Vivacom is the best sim card for Bulgaria in 2021!

For $5 you get 6 GB data and 400 minutes in all of Europe. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me and the Vivacom network is good too.

Buy a Hungary sim card online

Not keen on finding a mobile phone store and getting in line for buying a sim card in Bulgaria? Then ordering a Bulgaria sim card online on the Simoptions website might be a great idea for you! Here are some of the best deals you can find in the link above:

1. Orange Holiday ZEN - $29.90

  • 8 GB data
  • Unlimited calls in Europe
  • 30 minutes worldwide
  • Unlimited sms in Europe
  • 200 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days

2. Three PAYG AIO15 - $29.90

  • 10 GB data
  • Unlimited calls within Europe
  • Unlimited sms within Europe
  • Valid 30 days

3. Three PAYG AIO20 - $39.90

  • 12 GB data
  • Unlimited calls within Europe
  • Unlimited sms within Europe
  • Valid 30 days

4. Orange Holiday Europe - $49.90

  • 20 GB data
  • Unlimited calls in Europe
  • 120 minutes worldwide
  • Unlimited sms in Europe
  • 1,000 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days

Personally I would recommend you one of the last two options: Three or Orange. Sim cards will be shipped to your home address and are automatically activated from its first use. Click on the links above or the banner below for more info.

europe sim card orange 728x90

Portable wifi device for Bulgaria

When buying a sim card in Bulgaria is too much hassle for you then don't waste time and check out TEP Wireless. Bring a Teppy on your travels and enjoy unlimited data in more than 100 countries! Great for traveling to Bulgaria with kids as you can link up to 5 devices at the same time.

portable wifi device for traveling

Mobile internet speed Bulgaria in 2021

Mobile internet is valued in Bulgaria and surprisingly the internet speed in this Eastern European country is pretty high. Sitting around spot number 25 in the world and outranking countries like UK and neighbouring country Turkey. Check the complete list of mobile internet speed here on Wikipedia.

The average download speed for mobile in Bulgaria is a little over 31Mbps as of 2021.

I hope the above tips for buying a prepaid Bulgaria sim card were helpful for your upcoming trip to Bulgaria. In case you have any additional questions don't hesitate to leave me a comment below and I am more than happy to help.

Enjoy your trip to Bulgaria!

Some links in this article about Bulgaria sim cards are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using the outgoing links I’ll earn a small commission. Don’t worry this is at no extra cost to you, but I have the duty to inform you. Thank you for your understanding!

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