As a traveler exploring Albania, obtaining a sim card is essential to stay connected. With internet access on hand, navigating through new cities becomes effortless. Whether you’re seeking the best restaurants, searching for directions to your accommodation, booking a taxi, or sharing photos with your loved ones, having on-the-go internet makes the entire journey smoother.
While roaming is an option, the charges pile up quickly, especially for international travelers. Hence, we strongly suggest purchasing an eSIM or a local sim card to benefit from the local phone rates. The good news is, getting your hands on either of these in Albania is a breeze, but knowing which one to choose can make all the difference.
This guide offers everything you need to know about purchasing a sim card in Albania, including updated prices and the ultimate sim card guaranteed to meet your needs.
If you are only visiting Albania then we would recommend the eSim offered by Airalo as the best sim card in Albania. For roughly the same price as a local sim card you can save the hassle of having to visit a store and wait for the card to be activated (this took us about an hour in total).
If you are planning to visit Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina and / or Serbia then we recommend purchasing a sim card from Vodafone. The Vodafone sim card here offers free roaming in the above countries which will save you the effort and cost of purchasing additional sim cards when you arrive there.
Similarly, if your phone does not support eSims (these days most phones do, including all iPhones since 2018), then we would again recommend purchasing a local sim card from a Vodafone store near your hotel.
A Tourist Sim Card in Albania costs between 1,500 and 1,800 LEK in February 2024, however, the exact price will often depend on the store you visit and the plan you choose.
Alternatively, an eSim in Albania will cost between $4.50 USD and $26 USD. This, again, depends on how much data you require and which eSim provider you choose.
I generally recommend this Airalo plan for most tourists visiting Albania which includes 3GB of data which is valid for 30 days and costs $11 USD.
In Albania, the main SIM card providers are Vodafone Albania, Telekom Albania, and ALBtelecom. Among these, Vodafone Albania, operating under the brand VodafoneOne Albania, stands out as one of the leading telecom companies in the country. VodafoneOne Albania offers a wide range of mobile services, including voice, data, and messaging, along with attractive prepaid and postpaid plans to cater to the diverse needs of its customers. With a robust network infrastructure, VodafoneOne Albania ensures seamless connectivity throughout Albania. Moreover, VodafoneOne Albania prides itself on providing exceptional customer service and innovative solutions, making it a preferred choice for many Albanian mobile users.
Vodafone Albania is a leading telecom company that provides reliable and affordable tourist SIM cards. With excellent network coverage and high-speed internet, tourists can stay connected while exploring Albania’s rich culture and breathtaking landscapes. Vodafone’s tourist SIM cards offer convenient packages with generous data allowances, international calls, and SMS. Whether it’s sharing travel memories or staying in touch with loved ones back home, Vodafone ensures an incredible connectivity experience for tourists in Albania.
The price of a Vodafone tourist sim card in Albania is between 1500 LEK ($15 USD) and 1800 LEK ($18 USD) including a 200 LEK fee for the physical sim card..
The plan offered by Vodafone stores includes 8GB data + 2500 minutes or 22GB data + 3500 minutes valid for 30 days.
One Albania offers tourist sim cards for travelers visiting Albania. Their sim cards provide data, calls, and texts, allowing tourists to stay connected during their stay. With reliable network coverage, travelers can easily navigate through Albania’s stunning landscapes, explore historical sites, and share their experiences on social media. One Albania’s tourist sim cards are available at affordable prices, making it convenient for tourists to have access to seamless connectivity while enjoying all that Albania has to offer.
The price of a One Albania tourist sim card in Albania is 1500 LEK ($15 USD)..
The plan offered by One Albania stores offers 15GB data + 500 minutes + 50 SMS valid for 21 days.
In Albania, tourist sim cards are widely available and popular among travelers. Telecom providers offer competitive packages with varying data and call allowances to cater to different needs. These sim cards can be easily purchased at airports, local shops, or online. With reliable network coverage, tourists can stay connected, browse the internet, and make calls without any hassle. Affordable prices and convenient options make these tourist sim cards a great choice for exploring beautiful Albania.
The price of a tourist sim card in Albania is .
The plan offered by stores includes valid for .
Identify mobile providers: Vodafone, One Albania and are your best options in Albania.
Find your nearest store: Locate a store or retailer by searching on Google Maps for your nearest store or asking at your hotel reception. I’ve never had issues finding a store as they can usually be found in major cities, shopping centers, or tourist areas. If possible, I always recommend to to avoid airports and head in to an official store in the city.
Bring the necessary documents: It is always a good idea to carry your passport or identification documents for sim card registration purposes. We’ve found most providers will need to confirm your identity to provide a sim card and it can be a major hassle to head to a store only to have to come back again later with your passport.
Choose your plan: Either request the plan you are after or consult with the staff in the store to select the right plan for you. My recommendations at the beginning of this guide are a good starting point, but the staff will usually be able to suggest the best option.
Pay and activate your card: Pay for the SIM card and plan, and the staff will activate it for you.
Test: It’s always a good idea to check that you can access the internet before you leave the store. I always search for something on Google then refresh my Instagram feed to check it’s working fine.
Buying a prepaid sim card for Albania at the airport is usually considered the most convenient option for travellers arriving by plane.
However, airport stores selling sim cards are almost guaranteed to charge inflated prices, so if you are a cost-conscious traveller then you should definitely buy your sim card from a store in the city center.
In addition to this, we would argue that buying physical sim cards at all aren’t particularly convenient now that most people use esim compatible phones. If you are looking for the most convenient option, then buying an esim before you arrive or with the airport wifi is much easier and will save you having to queue up or communicate with staff.
If you must purchase a sim card at the airport in Albania then you will be in luck. All major international airports in Albania have stores selling sim cards. Despite the prices being higher than normal, the staff are knowledgable and will be able to get you set up with the correct sim card relatively quickly.
If you want to avoid the inflated sim card prices you’ll find at the airport and your phone isn’t esim compatible, then you’re going to need to head in to a store to buy your sim card.
I recommend visiting one of the official retail stores of the mobile internet operators such as Vodafone, One Albania and . Your best option is to enter their names into Google Maps and find the branch closest to your hotel or accommodation. Typically the staff in the official stores in Albania are knowledgable and helpful which means you can ensure you’ll walk away with a functioning sim card.
Despite this, it’s always a good idea to check your internet is working before you leave the store by loading a Google search results page and your preferred social media app. You should also ensure you always bring your passport with you when purchasing a sim card in case they need to register it.
If you like to be prepared and would prefer to arrive in Albania with your sim card all sorted and your phone ready to connect to the internet immediately then you should look into purchasing a sim card online.
The first option is to buy your sim card in advance via SimOptions, which is a company that will prepare and ship a sim card directly to your door. It’s a reliable and effective service, but with the invention of eSims it’s becoming obsolete.
The better option is to purchase an eSim online. We’ve written more on that below!
An eSim is a digital version of a traditional sim card and is most likely the future of connectivity for mobile devices. The convenience of no longer visiting a store, handing over your passport and purchasing a physical sim card is quickly making physical sim cards obsolete in favour of eSims.
We recommend Airalo’s eSim when travelling to Albania. The Airalo Albania eSim offers fast internet speeds, wide coverage and extremely competitive prices making it a far more compelling option than purchasing a physical sim card from any of the local sim card providers.
In order to get set up with an Airalo eSim, all you need to do is visit Airalo here and purchase the eSim online (the $11 USD plan is suitable for most travellers). Once you’ve purchased the sim card Airalo will email you instructions and a QR code. Following these instructions should take just a couple of minutes, then you’ll have a sim card in Albania without having to venture outside.
Our preferred eSim provider in Albania is Airalo. We used them, alongside a local sim card on another device, for our most recent trip to Albania and found the service to be equal to the local sim card but without the hassle of acquiring a sim card in a store.
Airalo’s Albania eSim uses the Vodafone to provide data and connect users to the internet. You can expect very good coverage and reliability with the Vodafonenetwork as they are amongst the best mobile internet operators in Albania.
Here are the plans and prices for Airalo’s Albania eSim:
1GB data valid for 7 days – Price: $4.50 USD
2GB data valid for 15 days – Price: $8 USD
3GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $11 USD
5GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $15.50 USD
10GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $26 USD
For most travellers we recommend the 3GB data plan for $11 USD which is valid for 30 days. Some travellers may prefer a larger plan, whilst travellers visiting for just a couple of days may be fine with a smaller plan.
An alternative eSim provider we can recommend is Holafly.
Holafly’s eSim is a suitable option for travellers who require large amounts of data, such as digital nomads and people who work online while they travel. All of Holafly’s Albania eSims offer unlimited data.
Holafly’s Albania eSim uses the Vodafonenetwork to provide data and connect users to the internet. This network will provide reliable speeds and coverage while in Albania
Here are the plans and prices for Holafly’s Albania eSim:
6GB data valid for 15 days – Price: $44 USD
An eSIM, also known as an embedded SIM card, is a digital SIM card that is already incorporated into a device, like a smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch. It eliminates the need for a physical SIM card to be inserted into or removed from the device.
Unlike traditional SIM cards, the eSIM is integrated into the hardware of the device and can be remotely activated and programmed by a mobile network operator. This enables users to switch between various mobile networks or plans without having to physically change SIM cards.
The convenience, flexibility, and user-friendliness of eSIM technology are especially advantageous for travelers or individuals who frequently switch between different mobile networks or travel internationally. It eliminates the need to buy and insert physical SIM cards, making it much easier to manage multiple mobile connections on a single device.
To activate an eSIM, users can either scan a QR code provided by their mobile network operator or manually enter the activation details. Once activated, the device can connect to the desired mobile network and enjoy voice calls, data usage, and messaging services just like with a typical SIM card.
Using an eSIM can be beneficial for various reasons, including:
– Convenience: No need to physically insert or remove a SIM card when switching networks or plans, making it ideal for frequent travelers.
– Dual SIM functionality: Allows for having two active mobile numbers on one device, helpful for separating personal and work numbers or managing multiple phone lines.
– Space-saving: Since eSIMs are embedded, it eliminates the need for a physical SIM card slot, freeing up space for smaller devices or additional components.
– Remote provisioning: Activation and management of mobile plans can be done remotely without a physical SIM card or visiting a store, providing flexibility and convenience.
– Future-proofing: With more networks and providers offering eSIM support, using an eSIM-compatible device ensures access to new services and offerings in the future.
In conclusion, eSIM technology offers flexibility, convenience, and future-proofing for mobile connectivity.
eSIM technology is becoming increasingly popular and is supported by a growing number of smartphones and other devices. Here are some examples of eSIM-compatible phones:
Apple iPhone series (iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 13, etc.): Apple was one of the early adopters of eSIM technology and offers support for eSIM on various iPhone models.
Google Pixel series (Pixel 3, Pixel 4, Pixel 5, etc.): Google’s Pixel smartphones also support eSIM functionality, allowing users to activate and use eSIMs.
Samsung Galaxy series (Galaxy S22, Galaxy Note 20, etc.): Many of Samsung’s flagship devices now come with eSIM support, enabling users to utilize eSIM technology.
OnePlus devices (OnePlus 7, OnePlus 8, etc.): OnePlus has included eSIM support in some of its smartphone models, offering users the flexibility of using eSIMs.
Motorola Razr (2020): The latest iteration of the iconic Motorola Razr features eSIM compatibility, enabling users to use eSIMs for cellular connectivity.
These are just a few examples, and the list of eSIM-compatible phones continues to expand as more manufacturers embrace this technology. There’s a very strong chance your phone supports eSims so if you’re unsure we recommend looking it up on our list of eSim supported phones.
Using an eSim is new for many travellers, however, the good news is it’s surprisingly easy to get set up – even for the technologically challenged!
Here’s a general guide on how to use an eSIM:
Check eSIM Compatibility: Ensure that your device supports eSIM functionality. Many newer smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, and other devices are eSIM compatible including all iPhones produced since 2018.
Obtain an eSIM: There are multiple ways to acquire an eSIM. You can purchase an eSIM online from a provider like Airalo (which we recommend) or directly from a mobile network operator. Some devices also allow you to scan a QR code provided by your carrier to download the eSIM profile.
Activate the eSIM: Your eSim provider will send you instructions to activate the sim. This will usually involve scanning a QR code, entering an activation code, or downloading the eSIM profile directly onto your device.
Set up the eSIM: Once activated, your device will guide you through the eSIM setup process. This typically involves selecting the eSIM as your preferred mobile plan, configuring settings like data roaming, and entering any necessary authentication details.
Enjoy the Connection: Once the eSIM is set up, you can use it as you would with a physical SIM card. Make calls, send messages, browse the internet, and use data services as needed. You can also switch between eSIM profiles if you have multiple eSIMs installed on your device.
Hi, I’m Mitchell. I’m a full-time traveller, explorer and travel blogger. Travel Sim Expert is a blog dedicated to helping you find the best sim card for you, no matter where you are or what your budget is.