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Best Tourist Sim Cards in Germany in 2024

Choosing a sim card is hard. We've analysed the best tourist sim cards in Germany across pricing, coverage and data. Find out the best pick!

If you plan on traveling to Germany, having a sim card is essential to ensure easy navigation in unfamiliar cities. Being able to access the internet while on the go allows you to find the best restaurants, obtain directions to your accommodation, book taxis, and share photos with your family.

While roaming is an available option, the international fees can quickly accumulate. For this reason, we highly recommend either acquiring an eSIM or a local sim card to access local phone rates. The good news is that obtaining either option in Germany is incredibly convenient.

To assist you in making the best choice, this guide provides comprehensive information on purchasing a sim card in Germany, including current pricing and the most suitable sim card for your needs.

Table of Contents

Best Sim Card in Germany for Tourists

There are three main networks in Germany which all offer very wide coverage and good reliability: Vodafone, O2 and T-Mobile. In addition to these three networks, in Germany Aldi and Lidl stores also sell their own sim cards that use the previous three networks.

Generally, any local sim card is perfectly fine to use in Germany. They are all similarly priced (albeit relatively expensive). If it’s more convenient for you to pick up a sim card from Aldi or Lidl then this is a great option, whilst Vodafone probably offers slightly better value and certainly better customer service.

The best sim card in Germany, and the one I personally recommend, is the Airalo Germany eSim. Considering the eSim is about the same price (14 EUR for 5GB data) as the local physical sim cards, ihe convenience you gain with an eSim makes it unquestionably the best option for travellers visiting Germany.

Germany Sim Card Prices

A Tourist Sim Card in Germany costs between 10 EUR and 13 EUR in June 2024, however, the exact price will often depend on the store you visit and the plan you choose.

Alternatively, an eSim in Germany will cost between $5 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 Germany which includes 5GB of data which is valid for 30 days and costs $15 USD.

Germany Sim Card Providers

In Germany, three prominent SIM card providers have garnered widespread popularity among mobile phone users. First up is Aldi Talk, belonging to the renowned German supermarket chain Aldi. Offering competitive rates and flexible prepaid plans, Aldi Talk provides affordable options for customers. Another major player is Lidl Connect, associated with the popular discount supermarket Lidl. Boasting attractive tariffs and transparent pricing, Lidl Connect ensures great value for money. Vodafone, a global telecommunications conglomerate, is also well-established in the German market. With its broad network coverage and diverse range of services, Vodafone appeals to a wide customer base. These three providers have become trusted choices for mobile users in Germany, offering reliable connections and competitive rates.

Aldi Talk Tourist Sim

Aldi Talk is a popular mobile network provider in Germany that offers affordable tourist SIM cards. These SIM cards are specifically designed to cater to the needs of travelers by providing extensive coverage, high-speed internet, and cost-effective calling and texting plans. Aldi Talk’s tourist SIM cards are easy to activate, and customers can conveniently manage their plans through their mobile app. Whether for business or leisure, Aldi Talk ensures a seamless communication experience for tourists visiting Germany.

Aldi Talk Germany Tourist Sim Price

The price of a Aldi Talk tourist sim card in Germany is 12.99 EUR.

The plan offered by Aldi Talk stores includes 6GB data valid for 28 days.

Lidl Connect Tourist Sim

Lidl Connect offers tourist sim cards in Germany, catering to travelers’ communication needs. With affordable rates and reliable network coverage, Lidl Connect ensures seamless connectivity across the country. Their sim cards include generous data allowances, allowing tourists to stay connected, access maps, and share their experiences. Additionally, Lidl Connect provides a straightforward activation process, making it convenient for visitors to get connected upon arrival. Stay connected with Lidl Connect for a hassle-free travel experience in Germany.

Lidl Connect Germany Tourist Sim Price

The price of a Lidl Connect tourist sim card in Germany is 12.99 EUR.

The plan offered by Lidl Connect stores offers 6GB data valid for 30 days.

Vodafone Tourist Sim

Vodafone is a renowned telecommunications company that offers great tourist sim cards in Germany. Their sim cards provide seamless connectivity, allowing tourists to stay connected with friends and family. With affordable data plans and excellent network coverage, Vodafone ensures a smooth experience for tourists during their stay in Germany. The company’s reliable customer service further enhances the overall satisfaction of using Vodafone tourist sim cards.

Vodafone Germany Tourist Sim Price

The price of a Vodafone tourist sim card in Germany is 10 EUR.

The plan offered by Vodafone stores includes 12GB data + unlimited calls and texts valid for 28 days.

How to Get a Sim Card in Germany

Identify mobile providers: Aldi Talk, Lidl Connect and Vodafone are your best options in Germany.

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.

Where to Get a Sim Card in Germany

At the Airport

Buying a prepaid sim card for Germany 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 Germany then you will be in luck. All major international airports in Germany 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.

In Stores

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 Aldi Talk, Lidl Connect and Vodafone. 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 Germany 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.

Online

If you like to be prepared and would prefer to arrive in Germany 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!

Germany eSim

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 Germany. The Airalo Germany 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 $15 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 Germany without having to venture outside.

Airalo Germany

Our preferred eSim provider in Germany is Airalo. We used them, alongside a local sim card on another device, for our most recent trip to Germany 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 Germany eSim uses the O2 – de network to provide data and connect users to the internet. You can expect very good coverage and reliability with the O2 – de networknetwork as they are amongst the best mobile internet operators in Germany.

Here are the plans and prices for Airalo’s Germany eSim:

1GB data valid for 7 days – Price: $5 USD
2GB data valid for 15 days – Price: $6.50 USD
3GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $10 USD
5GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $15 USD
10GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $22.5 USD
20GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $26 USD

For most travellers we recommend the 5GB data plan for $15 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.

Holafly Germany

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 Germany eSims offer unlimited data.

Holafly’s Germany eSim uses the Vodafone GmbHnetwork to provide data and connect users to the internet. This network will provide reliable speeds and coverage while in Germany

Here are the plans and prices for Holafly’s Germany 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 90 days – Price: $99 USD

What is an eSim?

An eSIM, also known as an embedded SIM, is a digital SIM card that is built directly into a device, like a smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch. Unlike regular SIM cards, it doesn’t require physical insertion or removal.

Instead of a physical card, the eSIM is integrated into the device’s hardware and can be remotely activated and programmed by a mobile network operator. This allows users to switch between different mobile networks or plans without the hassle of physically changing SIM cards.

eSIM technology offers convenience, flexibility, and ease of use, especially for frequent travelers or individuals who switch between mobile networks or travel internationally. It eliminates the need to buy and insert physical SIM cards, making it more manageable to handle 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 enter the activation information. Once activated, the device can connect to the selected mobile network and enjoy voice, data, and messaging services, just like with a traditional SIM card.

Why Use an eSim?

Using an eSIM can be beneficial for several reasons. Firstly, it offers convenience as there is no need to physically insert or remove a SIM card when switching networks or plans. This is especially useful for frequent travelers who need to change networks or use local SIM cards in different countries.

Secondly, eSIM enables dual SIM functionality, allowing two active mobile numbers on one device. This is helpful for separating personal and work numbers or managing multiple phone lines.

Additionally, eSIMs save space as they are embedded within the device, eliminating the need for a physical SIM card slot. This allows manufacturers to make devices smaller or utilize the extra space for other components.

Furthermore, eSIMs allow for remote provisioning, meaning activation and management of mobile plans can be done over the air. This eliminates the requirement for a physical SIM card or visiting a store, offering greater flexibility and convenience in managing mobile connectivity.

Lastly, utilizing eSIM technology ensures future-proofing as more mobile networks and service providers offer support for eSIMs. By using an eSIM-compatible device, users can take advantage of new services and offerings as they become available.

In summary, eSIM technology provides flexibility, convenience, and future-proofing for mobile connectivity, making it an appealing choice for many users.

eSim Supported Phones

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.

How to Use an eSim

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.

Mitchell

Mitchell

Hi, I’m Mitchell. I’m a full-time traveller, explorer and travel blogger. I've travelled all around the world, using and testing countless travel sim cards along the way. I'm the founder of and writer for Travel Sim Expert where I write guides to help travellers stay connected all around the world.

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. 

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