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Best Tourist Sim Cards in Iceland in 2024

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

If you plan on visiting Iceland, having a sim card will be essential for a smooth travel experience. With internet access, navigating unfamiliar cities becomes a breeze. You can easily discover the finest dining establishments, get directions to your accommodation, reserve a taxi, and share photos with your loved ones on the go.

While roaming may be an option, international fees can quickly accumulate. That’s why we recommend either using an eSIM or purchasing a local sim card, as they offer access to local phone rates.

Fortunately, obtaining either an eSIM or local sim card in Iceland is incredibly simple. This guide aims to provide you with all the necessary information about purchasing a sim card in Iceland, including current pricing and the most suitable sim card for your needs.

Table of Contents

Best Sim Card in Iceland for Tourists

The best sim card in Iceland is the 20GB prepaid sim card by Nova. All three mobile network operators offer fairly similar prepaid packages in Iceland for a similar price so they will all work well for you, however, Nova is slightly cheaper than Vodafone and Siminn.

Nova has the best 5G network in Iceland while Siminn has the best 4G network and Vodafone’s network is overall pretty close.

If you’re looking for the most convenient option, I recommend purchasing an Airalo Iceland eSim over the local sim cards. This eSim runs on the extensive and reliable Nova network and costs 3,140 ISK (23 USD) for 10GB of data which is almost the same price as the local sim card offered by Nova. I consider the extra 500 ISK to be worth the convenience.

If you’re looking for the cheapest sim card in Iceland then you should also look at the Airalo eSims. for 1,365 ISK (10 USD) you get 3GB of data, or for 1,900 ISK you get 5GB of data. This should be enough for most travellers visiting Iceland. So although you get less data than the local sim cards, if you’re a budget traveller you can easily save money with an eSim instead.

Iceland Sim Card Prices

A Tourist Sim Card in Iceland costs 2,690 ISK in June 2024, however, the exact price will often depend on the store you visit and the plan you choose.

Alternatively, an eSim in Iceland will cost between $4.50 USD and $36 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 Iceland which includes 5GB of data which is valid for 30 days and costs $14 USD.

Iceland Sim Card Providers

In Iceland, the main SIM card providers are Vodafone, Nova, and Siminn. Vodafone is one of the largest mobile network providers in the country, offering a wide range of prepaid and postpaid options for locals and tourists. With excellent coverage and high-speed 4G LTE connections, Vodafone is a popular choice for reliable communication. Nova, on the other hand, focuses on providing affordable prepaid SIM cards with competitive prices and good coverage in populated areas. Siminn is another well-known player in the Icelandic market, offering both prepaid and postpaid options with reliable network coverage across the country. Whether you need a SIM card for calling, texting, or data, these providers have you covered in Iceland.

Vodafone Tourist Sim

Vodafone is a prominent telecommunications company in Iceland, offering convenient tourist SIM cards. These cards provide travelers with reliable network coverage throughout the stunning Icelandic landscapes. With Vodafone’s tourist sim cards, visitors can easily stay connected, make local calls, send SMS, and access high-speed internet. This ensures a smooth and hassle-free experience for tourists, allowing them to navigate through Iceland while staying connected to friends, family, and essential travel information.

Vodafone Iceland Tourist Sim Price

The price of a Vodafone tourist sim card in Iceland is 3,190 ISK.

The plan offered by Vodafone stores includes 10GB data valid for 1 month.

Nova Tourist Sim

Nova is a leading telecommunications company in Iceland that offers convenient and affordable tourist sim cards. With their reliable network coverage across the country, visitors can stay connected and share their unforgettable experiences in Iceland. Nova’s tourist sim cards provide unlimited local calls and texts, as well as generous data allowances, allowing travelers to navigate through Iceland’s stunning landscapes and stay connected with loved ones back home effortlessly. Explore Iceland with ease, thanks to Nova’s reliable tourist sim cards.

Nova Iceland Tourist Sim Price

The price of a Nova tourist sim card in Iceland is 2,690 ISK.

The plan offered by Nova stores offers 20GB data (15GB in EEA) valid for 1 month.

Siminn Tourist Sim

Siminn, a leading telecommunications company in Iceland, offers tourist sim cards for travelers visiting the country. These sim cards provide convenient and affordable connectivity, allowing tourists to stay connected with loved ones and access the internet during their trip. Siminn’s tourist sim cards come with generous data packages and excellent coverage across Iceland’s beautiful landscapes. With Siminn’s reliable service, tourists can easily navigate, explore, and share their Iceland adventures with ease.

Siminn Iceland Tourist Sim Price

The price of a Siminn tourist sim card in Iceland is 2,900 ISK.

The plan offered by Siminn stores includes 10GB data + 50 minutes valid for 31 days.

How to Get a Sim Card in Iceland

Identify mobile providers: Vodafone, Nova and Siminn are your best options in Iceland.

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 Iceland

At the Airport

Buying a prepaid sim card for Iceland 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 Iceland then you will be in luck. All major international airports in Iceland 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 Vodafone, Nova and Siminn. 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 Iceland 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 Iceland 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!

Iceland 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 Iceland. The Airalo Iceland 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 $14 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 Iceland without having to venture outside.

Airalo Iceland

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

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

1GB data valid for 7 days – Price: $4.50 USD
2GB data valid for 15 days – Price: $7.50 USD
3GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $10 USD
5GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $14 USD
10GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $23 USD
20GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $36 USD

For most travellers we recommend the 5GB data plan for $14 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 Iceland

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 Iceland eSims offer unlimited data.

Holafly’s Iceland eSim uses the Nova/Siminnnetwork to provide data and connect users to the internet. This network will provide reliable speeds and coverage while in Iceland

Here are the plans and prices for Holafly’s Iceland 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

What is an eSim?

An eSIM, known as an embedded SIM, is a digital SIM card that is integrated into a device like a smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch. Unlike physical SIM cards, it doesn’t need to be physically inserted or removed from the device.

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

eSIM technology offers convenience, flexibility, and user-friendliness, 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 more convenient 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 input the activation details. Once activated, the device can connect to the selected mobile network and access voice, data, and messaging services, just like with a traditional SIM card.

Why Use an eSim?

There are several reasons why using an eSIM can be beneficial. Firstly, it offers convenience by eliminating the need to physically insert or remove a SIM card when switching networks or plans. This is particularly useful for frequent travelers who may need to switch networks in different countries.

Secondly, eSIM allows for dual SIM functionality, meaning you can have two active mobile numbers on the same device. This is useful for separating personal and work numbers or managing multiple phone lines.

Additionally, eSIMs save space within the device as they are embedded rather than using a physical SIM card slot. This allows for smaller devices or the use of the extra space for other components.

Furthermore, eSIMs allow for remote provisioning of mobile plans. Activation and management can be done over the air without the need for a physical SIM card or visiting a store. This offers flexibility and convenience in managing mobile connectivity.

Lastly, eSIM technology is future-proof as more mobile networks and service providers offer support for eSIMs. By using an eSIM-compatible device, you 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 a compelling 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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