If you’re planning a visit to Belgium, having a reliable sim card is essential for seamless communication and easy navigation. Whether you need to find the best restaurants, get directions to your accommodation, book a taxi, or share precious moments with your family through photos, internet access plays a crucial role.
While roaming is an option, international fees can accumulate quickly, making it more cost-effective to opt for either an eSIM or a local sim card for access to local phone rates. Fortunately, obtaining either of these options in Belgium is a straightforward process, but it’s important to know which one suits your needs best.
This comprehensive guide aims to provide all the information you require to purchase a sim card in Belgium, including current pricing details and recommendations for the top sim card options available.
The best sim card in Belgium is the Airalo Belgium eSim. Belgium is one of the unique countries where it is both cheaper and more convenient to purchase an eSim than it is to purchase a physical sim card from a local mobile network operator.
For most people visiting Belgium I recommend the $12.5 USD (11.5 EUR) Airalo eSim which includes 5GB of data or the $9 USD (8 EUR) Airalo eSim which includes 3GB of data, both valid for 30 days.
The interesting part is that Airalo even uses the Proximus network which is the best network in Belgium. If your phone supports eSims then it really makes no sense to buy a local sim card. Just buy your Airalo eSim before you depart then activate it when you arrive in the airport with the free wifi – no need to visit a store or install a physical sim card.
If your phone isn’t esim compatible (most phones these days are, including all iPhones since 2018), then the best local sim card in Belgium is the 10 EUR Pay&Go+ prepaid card by Proxumus. When you buy this sim card you pay 10 EUR and get 10 EUR credit and 3GB of data making this the cheapest prepaid sim card option in Belgium. The only annoying part is that you’ll need to top up extra if you want more than 3GB data and 3GB isn’t a lot.
A Tourist Sim Card in Belgium costs 11.5 EUR (12.5 USD) in February 2024, however, the exact price will often depend on the store you visit and the plan you choose.
Alternatively, an eSim in Belgium will cost between $4.50 USD and $30 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 Belgium which includes 5GB of data which is valid for 30 days and costs $12.50 USD.
In Belgium, there are three main SIM card providers that dominate the market: Orange, Proximus, and Base.
Orange is one of the largest telecom companies in Belgium and offers a wide range of SIM card options to meet the needs of both individuals and businesses. They provide reliable network coverage and have various data plans and calling packages to choose from.
Proximus is another leading telecom company in Belgium known for its extensive coverage and high-speed internet services. They offer SIM card options with flexible data and calling plans, catering to the diverse needs of their customers.
Base is a popular choice for those looking for affordable SIM card options without compromising on quality. They offer competitive data and calling rates, making their services budget-friendly for many users.
Overall, these three providers, Orange, Proximus, and Base, cater to the majority of mobile users in Belgium and provide reliable connectivity options.
Orange is a renowned telecommunications company in Belgium. When it comes to tourist sim cards, Orange offers great options for visitors. Their sim cards provide unlimited local calls, texts, and data, ensuring a seamless experience for travelers. With excellent coverage across the country, tourists can stay connected and share their adventures without any hassle. Orange’s tourist sim cards are a reliable and convenient choice for staying connected during your trip to Belgium.
The price of a Orange tourist sim card in Belgium is 15 EUR.
The plan offered by Orange stores includes 5GB data + 50 minutes + 4,000 texts valid for 30 days.
Proximus is a renowned telecommunications company offering tourist sim cards to visitors in Belgium. Their sim cards provide reliable network coverage across the country, allowing tourists to stay connected. Proximus offers different plans with competitive prices, providing data, calls, and texts to suit various needs. With a simple and quick activation process, tourists can enjoy uninterrupted communication while exploring Belgium’s rich culture and attractions. Proximus’s tourist sim cards are a convenient choice for travelers seeking connectivity and convenience during their stay.
The price of a Proximus tourist sim card in Belgium is 10 EUR.
The plan offered by Proximus stores offers 3GB data valid for 30 days.
Base is one of the leading telecom providers in Belgium, offering reliable and affordable tourist sim cards. With Base’s tourist sim cards, visitors to Belgium can enjoy seamless communication with their loved ones, browse the internet without any hassle, and stay connected throughout their trip. Base’s sim cards provide excellent network coverage across Belgium, ensuring smooth navigation and access to various tourist attractions. Experience convenience and connectivity with Base’s tourist sim cards for an unforgettable visit to Belgium.
The price of a Base tourist sim card in Belgium is 15 EUR.
The plan offered by Base stores includes 4GB data + 60 minutes + 1000 SMS valid for 30 days.
Identify mobile providers: Orange, Proximus and Base are your best options in Belgium.
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 Belgium 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 Belgium then you will be in luck. All major international airports in Belgium 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 Orange, Proximus and Base. 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 Belgium 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 Belgium 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 Belgium. The Airalo Belgium 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 $12.50 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 Belgium without having to venture outside.
Our preferred eSim provider in Belgium is Airalo. We used them, alongside a local sim card on another device, for our most recent trip to Belgium 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 Belgium eSim uses the BASE and Proximus networks to provide data and connect users to the internet. You can expect very good coverage and reliability with the BASE and Proximus networksnetwork as they are amongst the best mobile internet operators in Belgium.
Here are the plans and prices for Airalo’s Belgium eSim:
1GB data valid for 7 days – Price: $4.50 USD
2GB data valid for 15 days – Price: $7 USD
3GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $9 USD
5GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $12.50 USD
10GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $20 USD
20GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $30 USD
For most travellers we recommend the 5GB data plan for $12.50 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 Belgium eSims offer unlimited data.
Holafly’s Belgium eSim uses the Proximus PLCnetwork to provide data and connect users to the internet. This network will provide reliable speeds and coverage while in Belgium
Here are the plans and prices for Holafly’s Belgium eSim:
Unlimited data valid for 5 days – Price: $19 USD
Unlimited data valid for 7 days – Price: $27 USD
Unlimited data valid for 10 days – Price: $34 USD
Unlimited data valid for 15 days – Price: $47 USD
Unlimited data valid for 20 days – Price: $54 USD
Unlimited data valid for 30 days – Price: $64 USD
Unlimited data valid for 60 days – Price: $84 USD
Unlimited data valid for 90 days – Price: $99 USD
Embedded SIM (eSIM) is a digital SIM card that is permanently built into devices like smartphones, tablets, or smartwatches. Unlike physical SIM cards, it doesn’t require insertion or removal.
Instead of a physical card, the eSIM is an integral part of the device’s hardware and can be remotely programmed and activated by a mobile network operator. This enables users to switch between different mobile networks or plans without the hassle of physically swapping SIM cards.
eSIM technology offers convenience, flexibility, and ease of use, especially for frequent travelers or those who frequently switch between mobile networks or travel internationally. It eliminates the need to buy and insert physical SIM cards, making it easier to manage multiple mobile connections on one device.
To activate an eSIM, users can either scan a QR code provided by their mobile network operator or manually input the activation details. Once activated, the device can connect to the chosen mobile network and use voice, data, and messaging services just like with a physical SIM card.
There are several reasons why utilizing an eSIM can be advantageous:
– Convenience: No need to physically insert or remove SIM cards when switching networks or plans, especially useful for frequent travelers.
– Dual SIM functionality: Allows for two active mobile numbers on one device, useful for separating personal and work numbers or managing multiple phone lines.
– Space-saving: Embedded eSIMs eliminate the need for physical SIM card slots, freeing up space within devices for smaller sizes or additional components.
– Remote provisioning: Activation and management of mobile plans can be done remotely, eliminating the need for physical SIM cards or store visits.
– Future-proofing: As eSIM technology becomes more popular, more networks and providers support it, enabling users to take advantage of new services and offerings.
Overall, eSIM offers flexibility, convenience, and future-proofing for mobile connectivity, making it a compelling choice.
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.