If you’re planning a trip to the Netherlands, having a sim card will be essential. Staying connected to the internet while you travel allows for easy navigation through unfamiliar cities and provides access to helpful resources. Whether it’s finding the top-notch restaurants, locating your accommodation, booking a taxi, or sharing precious moments with your loved ones through photos, having internet access on the go is indispensable.
While roaming is always an option, the charges can quickly accumulate when traveling internationally. Hence, we strongly recommend either obtaining an eSIM or a local sim card to take advantage of local phone rates.
Fortunately, acquiring either option in the Netherlands is a straightforward process. However, it’s important to know which one suits your needs best. This guide aims to provide you with all the information you need to know about purchasing a sim card in the Netherlands, including current pricing and the most suitable sim card for your requirements.
The Netherlands is one of the unique countries where purchasing an Airalo eSim works out considerably cheaper than buying a local sim card. As eSims are unquestionably the most convenient way of staying connected when visiting a new country, the best sim card in the Netherlands is the Airalo Netherlands eSim.
For 11 EUR with Airalo you get access to 5GB of data in the Netherlands. It even uses the reliable Vodafone and KPN networks which means you will have fast and stable internet wherever you choose to go. You can even buy the Airalo eSim online here before you go then simply activate it on the airport wifi once you arrive.
If your phone isn’t compatible with eSims (by the way, most phones do support eSims, including all iPhones since 2018) then you will have no choice but to purchase a local sim card in the Netherlands. In this case, Vodafone offers the best local sim card for travellers.
For 15 EUR you will get 4GB of data in the Netherlands. Simply visit a Vodafone store and they’ll get you all set up. This is also a good option if you plan to visit any nearby EU countries on your trip as well as the data will work outside of the Netherlands as well.
A Tourist Sim Card in Netherlands costs between 11 and 15 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 Netherlands 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 Netherlands which includes 5GB of data which is valid for 30 days and costs $12 USD.
In the Netherlands, there are three main sim card providers that dominate the market – Vodafone, T-Mobile, and KPN. Vodafone is renowned for its extensive network coverage, offering reliable connectivity across the country. Their sim cards are often preferred by those who frequently travel or have a need for fast and stable internet access. T-Mobile, on the other hand, is known for its affordable packages and competitive pricing. They cater to a wide range of customers, offering flexible plans to suit individual preferences. KPN, the oldest and largest provider in the Netherlands, is known for its excellent customer service and reliable network performance. They offer a range of sim card options, catering to both personal and business needs. Regardless of the provider, the Netherlands offers a range of sim card options to choose from.
Vodafone, a prominent telecom provider, offers convenient tourist SIM cards in the Netherlands. These SIM cards cater specifically to the needs of travelers, providing hassle-free connectivity and optimal data coverage. With Vodafone’s tourist SIM, tourists can enjoy uninterrupted communication, high-speed internet, and access to various services. Whether exploring Dutch attractions or staying connected with loved ones, Vodafone’s tourist SIM cards promise a reliable and efficient telecommunications experience.
The price of a Vodafone tourist sim card in Netherlands is 15 EUR.
The plan offered by Vodafone stores includes 4GB 5G data (including EU roaming) valid for 1 month.
T-Mobile offers tourist SIM cards in the Netherlands, catering to the needs of travelers. These SIM cards provide fast and reliable internet connection, making it easier for tourists to navigate and stay connected while exploring the country. With competitive pricing and extensive coverage, T-Mobile ensures seamless communication for visitors. Their tourist SIM cards are a convenient option for those looking for uninterrupted connectivity during their stay in the Netherlands.
The price of a T-Mobile tourist sim card in Netherlands is 22.50 EUR.
The plan offered by T-Mobile stores offers 4GB data + 20 minutes calls valid for 1 month.
KPN, a leading telecommunications company in the Netherlands, offers tourist sim cards for travelers visiting the country. These sim cards provide reliable and fast mobile data, calls, and texts services. With extensive coverage across the Netherlands, tourists can easily stay connected and navigate their way around. KPN’s tourist sim cards are available in various packages, making it convenient and affordable for visitors to access essential communication services during their stay.
The price of a KPN tourist sim card in Netherlands is 22 EUR.
The plan offered by KPN stores includes 5GB data valid for 31 days.
Identify mobile providers: Vodafone, T-Mobile and KPN are your best options in Netherlands.
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 Netherlands 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 Netherlands then you will be in luck. All major international airports in Netherlands 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 Vodafone, T-Mobile and KPN. 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 Netherlands 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 Netherlands 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 Netherlands. The Airalo Netherlands 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 Netherlands without having to venture outside.
Our preferred eSim provider in Netherlands is Airalo. We used them, alongside a local sim card on another device, for our most recent trip to Netherlands 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 Netherlands eSim uses the Vodafone and KPN networks to provide data and connect users to the internet. You can expect very good coverage and reliability with the Vodafone and KPN networksnetwork as they are amongst the best mobile internet operators in Netherlands.
Here are the plans and prices for Airalo’s Netherlands 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 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 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 Netherlands eSims offer unlimited data.
Holafly’s Netherlands eSim uses the T-Mobile B.Vnetwork to provide data and connect users to the internet. This network will provide reliable speeds and coverage while in Netherlands
Here are the plans and prices for Holafly’s Netherlands 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, or embedded SIM, is a digital SIM card that is already included within a device like a smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch. Unlike traditional SIM cards, the eSIM does not require physical insertion or removal.
Instead, the eSIM is an integral part of the device’s hardware and can be remotely activated and programmed by a mobile network operator. This enables users to switch between different mobile networks or plans without having to physically swap SIM cards.
The eSIM technology offers convenience, flexibility, and simplicity, especially for frequent travelers or individuals who frequently change mobile networks or travel internationally. It eradicates the need to buy and insert physical SIM cards, resulting in easier management of 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 details. Once activated, the device can establish a connection to the selected mobile network and access voice calls, data, and messaging services just like a traditional SIM card.
There are several advantageous factors associated with using an eSIM:
– Convenience: Inserting or removing a physical SIM card is not necessary when switching between mobile networks or plans. This is particularly beneficial for frequent travelers who frequently switch networks or use local SIM cards in different countries.
– Dual SIM functionality: An eSIM enables dual SIM functionality on a device, allowing for two active mobile numbers to be used simultaneously. This is convenient for distinguishing between personal and work numbers or managing multiple phone lines.
– Space-saving: The embedded nature of eSIMs eliminates the need for a physical SIM card slot, creating more space within the device. This enables manufacturers to make devices smaller or use the additional space for other components.
– Remote provisioning: eSIMs facilitate remote activation and management of mobile plans, removing the necessity for a physical SIM card or visiting a store. This grants greater flexibility and convenience in managing mobile connectivity.
– Future-proofing: As eSIM technology gains popularity, more mobile networks and service providers offer support for eSIMs. By utilizing an eSIM-compatible device, one ensures access to new services and offerings as they become available.
All in all, eSIM technology offers flexibility, convenience, and future-proofing for mobile connectivity, making it an attractive option 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.