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Best Tourist Sim Cards in Italy in 2024

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

If you’re planning a trip to Italy, having a sim card is essential to stay connected while traveling. Access to the internet makes navigating new cities a breeze, allowing you to find the best restaurants, get directions to your accommodation, book a taxi, and share photos with your loved ones on the go.

While roaming is always an option, the charges can quickly add up when traveling internationally. That’s why we recommend either getting an eSIM or a local sim card to access local phone rates. Luckily, obtaining either option in Italy is incredibly straightforward.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to know about purchasing a sim card in Italy, including the latest pricing and the best sim card that suits your needs.

Table of Contents

Best Sim Card in Italy for Tourists

There’s a good chance you’re going to spend a bit of time waiting in lines when you visit Italy and with the recent development of eSims there really is no need to spend time waiting just to get a sim card.

The best sim card in italy is the Airalo eSim. With Airalo you can purchase your eSim online before you arrive in Italy and activate it at the airport. You won’t waste time finding a store, waiting in line or communicating with the staff. The prices are fairly similar to purchasing a local sim card and you can get as much or as little data as you require.

The cheapest sim card in Italy is offered by Iliad. For just 8 EUR you can get a massive 100GB of data. There are a few catches, however. Firstly, there aren’t a lot of Iliad stores around Italy which makes it quite challenging to obtain a card in the first place. Secondly, there is a hard 8GB cap on EU roaming which makes the card somewhat impractical if you plan to explore other countries. Lastly, some travellers have reported recurring credit card charges with Iliad so it is a good idea to pay with cash.

If Italy is the first part of a larger EU trip then you’re going to want to ensure you get a good local sim card with plenty of data when you arrive. I recommend the Vodafone tourist sim card as it includes 15GB data that can be used around the EU – this should be plenty.

Italy Sim Card Prices

A Tourist Sim Card in Italy costs between 8 EUR and 25 EUR in February 2024, however, the exact price will often depend on the store you visit and the plan you choose.

Alternatively, an eSim in Italy will cost between $4.50 USD and $34 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 Italy which includes 5GB of data which is valid for 30 days and costs $14.5 USD.

Italy Sim Card Providers

In Italy, the main sim card providers are Vodafone, Windtre, and Iliad. Vodafone is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the country, offering reliable network coverage and a wide range of plans to suit different needs. With a focus on seamless connectivity and customer satisfaction, Vodafone provides services such as voice calls, data, and mobile applications.

Windtre is another prominent provider known for its affordable plans and high-speed internet connection. It offers comprehensive voice and data services for both prepaid and postpaid customers. Windtre also offers additional services like mobile TV and streaming platforms.

Iliad, the newest player in the Italian market, has gained popularity with its low-cost plans and unlimited data offering. Known for its transparent and straightforward pricing options, Iliad appeals to budget-conscious consumers who prefer no-frills services.

These three providers offer competitive options in terms of network coverage, data plans, and pricing to cater to the diverse needs of customers in Italy.

Vodafone Tourist Sim

Vodafone is a renowned telecom company that offers affordable and reliable tourist SIM cards in Italy. These SIM cards come with a variety of plans to suit every traveler’s needs, including data, voice calls, and text messages. With extensive network coverage throughout Italy, tourists can stay connected and share their experiences seamlessly. Vodafone’s user-friendly website makes it easy to purchase and activate SIM cards, ensuring a hassle-free experience for travelers exploring Italy.

Vodafone Italy Tourist Sim Price

The price of a Vodafone tourist sim card in Italy is 25 EUR.

The plan offered by Vodafone stores includes 30GB data (15GB in EU) + 600 minutes + unlimited social media valid for 30 days.

Windtre Tourist Sim

Windtre is a well-known telecommunications company in Italy providing convenient and affordable tourist sim cards. These sim cards offer reliable coverage nationwide, ensuring seamless communication for tourists exploring Italy’s mesmerizing attractions. With various plans to choose from, visitors can stay connected, make calls, send texts, and access data without worrying about excessive roaming charges. Windtre’s tourist sim cards are a traveler’s perfect companion, enhancing their overall experience in Italy.

Windtre Italy Tourist Sim Price

The price of a Windtre tourist sim card in Italy is 14.99 EUR (+ a 10 EUR registration fee aka tourist tax).

The plan offered by Windtre stores offers 20GB data + 100 minutes valid for 30 days.

Iliad Tourist Sim

The Iliad, an ancient Greek epic poem, has captivated readers for centuries with its tale of the Trojan War. Today, tourists visiting Italy can stay connected with Iliad’s affordable and convenient sim cards. With extensive coverage across the country, Iliad ensures seamless communication for travelers. Enjoy unlimited calls, texts, and high-speed internet to share your Italian adventures with friends and family. Don’t miss a beat while exploring Italy’s exquisite destinations; stay connected with Iliad sim cards.

Iliad Italy Tourist Sim Price

The price of a Iliad tourist sim card in Italy is 8 EUR.

The plan offered by Iliad stores includes 100GB data (8GB in EU) valid for 30 days.

How to Get a Sim Card in Italy

Identify mobile providers: Vodafone, Windtre and Iliad are your best options in Italy.

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 Italy

At the Airport

Buying a prepaid sim card for Italy 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 Italy then you will be in luck. All major international airports in Italy 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, Windtre and Iliad. 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 Italy 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 Italy 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!

Italy 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 Italy. The Airalo Italy 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 $14.5 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 Italy without having to venture outside.

Airalo Italy

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

Here are the plans and prices for Airalo’s Italy 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: $10 USD
5GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $14.5 USD
10GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $24 USD
20GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $33 USD

For most travellers we recommend the 5GB data plan for $14.5 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 Italy

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 Italy eSims offer unlimited data.

Holafly’s Italy eSim uses the ILIAD Italia/Wind Tre/Vodafone Italia/Telecom Italia/Wind Trenetwork to provide data and connect users to the internet. This network will provide reliable speeds and coverage while in Italy

Here are the plans and prices for Holafly’s Italy 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 built into devices like smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches. Unlike traditional SIM cards, it does not need to be physically inserted or removed.

Instead, 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 having to physically swap SIM cards.

eSIM technology offers convenience, flexibility, and ease of use, especially for frequent travelers or individuals who regularly 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 scan a QR code provided by their mobile network operator or manually enter the activation details. 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.

One reason is the convenience it offers. Instead of physically inserting or removing a SIM card, you can easily switch between mobile networks or plans. This is especially helpful for frequent travelers who need to switch networks or use local SIM cards in different countries.

Another benefit is the dual SIM functionality. With an eSIM, 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. Since they are embedded within the device, there is no need for a physical SIM card slot. This frees up space within the device, allowing for smaller devices or the use of extra space for other components.

eSIMs also offer remote provisioning. Activation and management of mobile plans can be done remotely over the air, eliminating the need for a physical SIM card or visiting a store. This provides flexibility and convenience in managing your mobile connectivity.

Lastly, eSIM technology is future-proof. As it becomes more popular, more mobile networks and service providers are offering support for eSIMs. By using an eSIM-compatible device, you can take advantage of new services and offerings as they become available.

Overall, 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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