When visiting Hong Kong, having a sim card for internet access is essential for easy navigation and convenient travel. With internet connectivity, you can effortlessly search for the finest restaurants, find directions to your accommodation, book taxis, and share photos with your loved ones on the go.
While roaming is an option, it can quickly accumulate exorbitant fees when traveling internationally. Therefore, we strongly recommend either acquiring an eSIM or a local sim card to take advantage of local phone rates. Luckily, obtaining either option in Hong Kong is incredibly straightforward, but it’s helpful to determine which one suits your needs best.
This comprehensive guide aims to provide you with all the relevant information regarding purchasing a sim card in Hong Kong, including the most recent pricing details and the optimal sim card for your requirements.
CSL offer the best tourist sim card in Hong Kong with 12GB data for just $88 HKD. CSL have extremely wide coverage across the city. This tourist sim card is valid for 10 days which is plenty for most people visiting Hong Kong, but if you are staying longer they also offer a 30 day option for $118 HKD. You can purchase either card from the official CSL retail stores as well as 7-eleven, Circle K and Vango convenience stores across Hong Kong.
The Airalo Hong Kong eSim also uses the CSL network and costs around 94 HKD for 5GB data valid up to 30 days. Considering the price is very similar I would recommend purchasing the Airalo eSim over the CSL local sim card above. For most people, 5GB of data will be more than enough and the convenience of an eSim far outweighs the extra data in my opinion.
In fact, if you don’t require much data you can purchase an Airalo Hong Kong eSim for as little as 39 HKD which is insanely cheap.
You can purchase the Airalo eSim online when you arrive in the airport (or even before you leave home) enabling you to access the internet immediately without having to visit any stores.
A Tourist Sim Card in Hong Kong costs 88 HKD in February 2024, however, the exact price will often depend on the store you visit and the plan you choose.
Alternatively, an eSim in Hong Kong will cost between $5 USD and $19 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 Hong Kong which includes 5GB of data which is valid for 30 days and costs $12 USD.
major sim card providers in Hong Kong dominate the market. Starting with CSL, also known as Hong Kong Telecom, it is one of the oldest and most renowned telecommunication brands in the region. With its extensive network coverage and reliable services, CSL continues to attract a large customer base.
China Mobile Hong Kong is another prominent player, benefiting from its parent company’s vast resources and experience. It offers a range of plans and competitive prices, appealing to budget-conscious consumers. Known for its reliable network coverage, China Mobile Hong Kong has a strong presence in the market.
Lastly, Three, a subsidiary of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited, is another leading sim card provider in Hong Kong. Known for its affordable plans and customer-centric approach, Three appeals to a wide range of consumers. It also offers attractive deals and promotions, making it a popular choice among the younger demographic.
Overall, these sim card providers contribute to the highly competitive and dynamic telecommunications market in Hong Kong.
CSL, also known as Hong Kong Telecom, is a leading telecommunications company in Hong Kong. They provide efficient services and boast a wide coverage network across the city. Tourists visiting Hong Kong can avail their sim cards specially designed for travelers. CSL’s tourist sim cards offer convenient and affordable options, including international calling, data plans, and access to popular social media platforms. It ensures seamless connectivity, allowing tourists to stay connected and navigate their way through the vibrant city.
The price of a CSL (Hong Kong Telecom) tourist sim card in Hong Kong is $88 HKD.
The plan offered by CSL (Hong Kong Telecom) stores includes 12GB 5G data valid for 10 days.
China Mobile Hong Kong is a leading telecommunications company that offers convenient and affordable tourist sim cards in Hong Kong. Their sim cards provide unlimited data, local and international calls, as well as free incoming calls and messages. The company aims to provide seamless connectivity and reliable network coverage to tourists in Hong Kong. With their tourist sim cards, travelers can stay connected, navigate the city, and share their experiences effortlessly.
The price of a China Mobile Hong Kong tourist sim card in Hong Kong is $78 HKD.
The plan offered by China Mobile Hong Kong stores offers 1GB data per day valid for 7 days.
Three is a leading telecommunication company in Hong Kong, offering hassle-free and affordable tourist sim cards. For travelers visiting Hong Kong, Three’s sim cards provide unlimited data, making it convenient to stay connected 24/7. With wide network coverage and high-speed internet, users can easily navigate through the city, use social media, and stream videos. Three’s tourist sim cards ensure a seamless and enjoyable travel experience in vibrant Hong Kong.
The price of a Three tourist sim card in Hong Kong is $78 HKD.
The plan offered by Three stores includes 2GB data per day valid for 30 days.
Identify mobile providers: CSL (Hong Kong Telecom), China Mobile Hong Kong and Three are your best options in Hong Kong.
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 Hong Kong 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 Hong Kong then you will be in luck. All major international airports in Hong Kong 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 CSL (Hong Kong Telecom), China Mobile Hong Kong and Three. 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 Hong Kong 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 Hong Kong 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 Hong Kong. The Airalo Hong Kong 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 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 Hong Kong without having to venture outside.
Our preferred eSim provider in Hong Kong is Airalo. We used them, alongside a local sim card on another device, for our most recent trip to Hong Kong 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 Hong Kong eSim uses the CSL network to provide data and connect users to the internet. You can expect very good coverage and reliability with the CSL networknetwork as they are amongst the best mobile internet operators in Hong Kong.
Here are the plans and prices for Airalo’s Hong Kong eSim:
1GB data valid for 7 days – Price: $5 USD
3GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $8.50 USD
5GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $12 USD
10GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $19 USD
For most travellers we recommend the 5GB data plan for $12 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 Hong Kong eSims offer unlimited data.
Holafly’s Hong Kong eSim uses the Hutchison Telecommunications/Hong Kong Telecommunicationsnetwork to provide data and connect users to the internet. This network will provide reliable speeds and coverage while in Hong Kong
Here are the plans and prices for Holafly’s Hong Kong 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
An eSIM, also known as an embedded SIM, is a type of digital SIM card that is securely built-in to electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches. Unlike traditional SIM cards, which need to be physically inserted or removed from a device, an eSIM does not require any physical manipulation.
Instead, the eSIM is a permanent part of the device’s hardware and can be remotely activated and programmed by a mobile network provider. This allows users to easily switch between different mobile networks or plans without the hassle of physically changing SIM cards.
One of the major advantages of eSIM technology is its convenience, flexibility, and user-friendliness. This is especially beneficial for frequent travelers or individuals who frequently switch between networks or travel internationally. With eSIMs, users no longer need to purchase and insert physical SIM cards, which makes managing multiple mobile connections on a single device much more convenient.
To activate an eSIM, users can either scan a provided QR code from their mobile network provider or manually enter the activation details. Once activated, the device can connect to the chosen mobile network and access voice, data, and messaging services, just like with a traditional SIM card.
Using an eSIM can be beneficial for several reasons:
– Convenience: With an eSIM, you can switch between mobile networks or plans without physically inserting or removing a SIM card. This is especially convenient for frequent travelers or those who need to use different SIM cards in different countries.
– Dual SIM functionality: eSIM allows you to have two active mobile numbers on the same device, making it useful for separating personal and work numbers or managing multiple phone lines.
– Space-saving: Since eSIMs are embedded within the device, there is no need for a physical SIM card slot, freeing up space for smaller devices or additional components.
– Remote provisioning: eSIMs enable activation and management of mobile plans over the air, eliminating the need for a physical SIM card or store visit. This offers greater flexibility and convenience for managing mobile connectivity.
– Future-proofing: As eSIM technology becomes more popular, more mobile networks and service providers offer support for eSIMs. Using an eSIM-compatible device ensures access to 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 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.