This guide was written by Francine Carrel, Assistant Editor of Guides.Global (firstname.lastname@example.org).
It was written on 06 January 2017. The law and practice in Bulgaria change all the time. Our guides are updated as frequently as possible - typically every three years - but may be out of date.
Our guides are prepared by professionals from many countries. They are, of necessity, both brief and general and can take no account of your personal circumstances. They are intended to be a good introduction to the subject BUT ARE NO SUBSTITUTE FOR PROPER PROFESSIONAL ADVICE, which our contributors will usually be happy to provide upon request.
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The scope of this guide
This guide looks at the internet in Bulgaria: penetration, speeds, prices and providers.
Depending on where you are in Bulgaria, the internet can be surprisingly speedy or hair-pullingly slow. The popular expat city of Varna, for instance, has notoriously bad internet speeds - whilst little Pazardzhik (with around 70,000 occupants) has the fastest internet speeds in the country.
Overall, Bulgaria has good internet access and speeds. This is largely because of a fragmented and competitive provider market.
Internet penetration in Bulgaria
There were 4,155,050 internet users in Bulgaria in 2016 - 58.5% of the population. This is up from 27.1% in 2006.
Bulgaria has about the same level of internet penetration as neighbours Romania (58%), Turkey (58%) and Serbia (54%). It lags behind Macedonia (69.2%) and Greece (64.8%). See the drop-down tool below to compare Bulgaria with other countries.
Bulgaria, or at least parts of it, has good speeds of internet available. The country has an average download speed of 13.3mbps - similar to the UK and the US, and ranked 22nd in the world, just after Luxembourg. Connection speeds of up to are available, for a price.
However, the quality of your internet connection - and the choices you have - are severely limited the further you get from the cities. If you're looking to live in a village, and the internet is important to you, make sure to research the type and speed of internet connection that will be available to you. Asking your potential neighbours is the best method or, failing that, asking on an online forum or calling up a Bulgarian internet provider.
Types of internet in Bulgaria
The most popular options for the internet in Bulgaria are ADSL and fibre-optic connections.
There are loads of different internet providers on a local level - be sure to check them out as well, as they may offer the best deal. See operator.bg, a comparison site (Bulgarian-language but Google translate works pretty well on the website).
The price of internet in Bulgaria
This depends on whether you buy your internet in a package with cable television.
A stand-alone broadband subscription will cost from around 15.54 лв/US$8.50 (10mbps) to around 70 лв/US$38 (100mbps) per month.
As with every country, be aware that the advertised top speeds of your internet connection with not always - perhaps not even often - be achieved in reality.
What has your experience been with Bulgarian internet? Share your thoughts and stories with other expats by emailing email@example.com.
There are lots of providers to choose from in Bulgaria. Hunt around for the best deal for your internet.
Other guides of interest
Bulgaria Country Guide Essential facts and figures about Bulgaria
I hope you have found this guide useful. If you need any further help, please contact me.