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Thursday, June 8, 2023

How To Purchase a SIM Card In Greece

Having quick and dependable cellular knowledge in your cellphone whereas touring round Greece (particularly whereas island hopping) is a should lately as a result of a lot of Greek life requires cellular knowledge—you’ll want a cellphone to entry cellular prepare tickets, Google Maps, restaurant menus, museum/occasion tickets, UBER/taxi, and far more.

On this information, I’ll cowl the whole lot that you must learn about shopping for a SIM Card in Greece and how one can purchase the most effective high-speed cellular knowledge plan that gained’t price you some huge cash.

How To Purchase An SIM Card With A Excessive-Pace Information For Greece

You might have two principal choices for purchasing a SIM Card for Greece:

  • The Simple Means – Purchase a SIM Card Earlier than Your Journey: Shopping for a SIM card earlier than you journey is a bit more costly however it’s far more handy (and you’ve got cellular knowledge as quickly as you arrive in Italy).
  • The Cheaper Means – Purchase a SIM Card In Greece: Shopping for a SIM Card after arriving in Greece may be cheaper however it’s extra of a trouble as a result of you must monitor down a SIM retailer after arrival.
    • Usually, it’s simpler to pre-buy a pay as you go knowledge plan when you’re visiting for lower than two weeks. However shopping for a neighborhood SIM card can be less expensive for longer journeys.

UPDATE: Most new telephones are eSIM appropriate—which is MUCH extra handy than bodily SIM playing cards as a result of it doesn’t require you to put in a brand new bodily SIM card. You merely purchase the pay as you go knowledge plan, scan a QR code that’s despatched to your electronic mail to put in the digital “card”, and also you’re able to go. Learn The Savvy Backpacker’s Information To The Finest eSIM Information Plans for Europe and my information to the Finest eSIM Information Plans For Greece to study extra.

How To Purchase A Pay as you go Greek SIM Card Earlier than You Journey (i.e. The Simple Means)

The best technique to get cellular knowledge in your cellphone in Greece is to purchase a pay as you go European SIM card earlier than departing.

There are a number of knowledge plans geared toward guests—they’re a bit dearer than shopping for a SIM card in Greece however there’s zero trouble (no monitoring down a cell phone store, no registering your SIM card, no coping with individuals who don’t communicate English, and so on).

When you get the SIM card, you merely set up it when you’re in Greece and it routinely connects to a neighborhood cellular knowledge supplier.

There are a variety of various cellular knowledge plans accessible at SimOptions.com (I’ve used them previously) and so they’ll ship the SIM card to you earlier than your journey.

You’ll most likely spend an additional $15-$20 over the course of a two-week journey when you purchase forward vs ready to buy in Greece. Personally, I believe the extra price is definitely worth the comfort.

The Finest Vacationer Pleasant Pre-Paid SIM Playing cards For Greece

Listed here are my prime SIM playing cards when you’re wanting a pre-purchase your SIM earlier than arriving in Greece:

Orange Vacation Europe Pay as you go SIM Card

The Orange Vacation Europe Pay as you go SIM Card is the most effective all-around SIM card choice for Greece (and the remainder of Europe) as a result of it affords numerous knowledge for an excellent worth—and it contains worldwide calling and texts. The primary downside is the 14-day validity interval—which doesn’t matter in case your journey is lower than two weeks. That mentioned, you should purchase an additional 10GB of credit score for a further two weeks for round $25.

This plan additionally permits knowledge tethering so you need to use your cellphone as a cellular hotspot. Moreover, Orange is among the largest cellular corporations in Europe so that they have nice protection all through most of Europe (which isn’t all the time the case with smaller European carriers).

Plan Specs:

  • PRICE: $50
  • DATA: 20GB
  • CALLS: Unlimted in Europe and 1200 minutes worldwide
  • TEXT: Unlimted in Europe and 1000 worldwide
  • COVERAGE AREA: All of Europe (together with Switzerland)

If you wish to save a bit cash, take a look at the $30 Orange Vacation Zen SIM plan that provides you 8GB of knowledge for 14 days.

Take a look at the Orange Vacation Europe eSIM when you’d somewhat have the eSIM model of the Orange Vacation Europe knowledge plan.

Orange Vacation Zen Pay as you go SIM Card

For lighter knowledge customers, I like to recommend the $30 Orange Vacation Zen SIM Card—it provides you 8GB of knowledge for 14 days however in any other case, it’s primarily the identical plan because the Orange Vacation Europe SIM.

Orange Vacation Zen SIM Card Specs:

  • PRICE: $30
  • DATA: 8GB
  • CALLS: Unlimted in Europe and 600 minutes worldwide
  • TEXT: Unlimted in Europe and 500 worldwide
  • COVERAGE AREA: All of Europe (together with Switzerland)

Take a look at the Orange Vacation Zen eSIM when you’d somewhat have the eSIM model of the Orange Vacation Zen plan.


Three UK is one other massive European cellular service and their PAYG AIO15 plan is an effective worth for individuals who don’t want the 20GB provided by the Orange Vacation Europe plan. I like how the plan has a validity interval of 30 days so it’s good for longer journeys.

Plan Specs:

  • PRICE: $25
  • DATA: 10GB
  • CALLS: Unlimted in Europe
  • TEXT: Unlimted in Europe
  • COVERAGE AREA: All of Europe (together with Switzerland)

Word: SimOptions.com has different playing cards on the market however these are my most popular offers.

The place To Purchase a Native SIM Card in Greece

Shopping for a neighborhood pay as you go SIM Card in Greece is a reasonably simple course of however understanding the place to purchase a SIM card may be complicated since they’re offered at a number of locations—together with particular person road distributors, airport kiosks, and retail storefronts.

When you don’t wish to cope with the effort, it’s best to easily purchase an Orange Vacation Europe SIM Card or an Orange Vacation eSIM or Holafly Greece eSIM earlier than you arrive in Greece—plus the service works in any European nation.

Shopping for SIM Playing cards From Main Cell Carriers in Greece

The three main cellular carriers in Greece are Wind, Cosmote, and Vodafone.

Every firm has bodily storefronts in main cities that promote pay as you go SIM playing cards. Their workers will probably communicate some English however it’s not assured. That mentioned, they cope with telephones all day so that you shouldn’t have an excessive amount of hassle.

Every service has varied totally different SIM card plans at a number of worth factors. Plan choices change typically so it’s arduous to really know what’s accessible till you go to in particular person.

  • Wind and Wind’s price range subsidiary service referred to as Free2Go: In keeping with their web site the most cost effective plans begin round $13/GB so it’s a bit pricy.
  • Cosmote: Cosmote is Italy’s largest cellular community. They’ve varied limitless knowledge plans that final from 24 hours to a full week.
  • Vodafone: Vodafone is extra reasonably priced with 15GB plans that price round $20.

NOTE: Many of those SIM playing cards solely include restricted knowledge so that you’re required to “prime up” with a purpose to get the complete quantity of knowledge.

Shopping for SIM Playing cards At The Athens Airport

There are a number of SIM Card sellers on the baggage declare space of the Athens airport however I like to recommend skipping them as they’re very overpriced.

Third-Social gathering Telephone Retailers

There are various cell phone retailers all through Greece that promote a spread of cellphone plans from a number of cellular carriers. Staff may have the ability to provide some assist getting arrange however service most likely gained’t be nearly as good as carrier-specific retailers.

Newsstands, Tobacco Retailers, Merchandising Machines, And so on:

SIM playing cards are offered in a number of smaller retailers at airports, prepare stations, and randomly all through most cities. Don’t anticipate any customer support at these areas and choices can be restricted.

Greece Pay as you go SIM Card Fundamentals

Right here is a few useful background information on cellular knowledge plans so you might have a greater concept of how cellular knowledge service works in Greece.

You’ll Want Your Passport To Purchase A SIM Card in Greece

You’re required to supply your passport whenever you purchase a SIM card in Greece. The store will make a replica of your passport.

You’ll Get European Union-Large Protection

A legislation was just lately handed within the EU which banned cellular carriers from charging roaming charges throughout the EU—which implies a SIM card you got in Greece can be utilized in Frace with out paying any further charges. That is nice for vacationers as a result of you need to use one plan all over the place.

  • Listed here are the nations/areas the place there isn’t a knowledge roaming: Andorra, Azores, Aland islands, Austria, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Canary Islands, Cyprus, Corfu, Crete, the Cyclades, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faeroe Islands, Finland, France mainland, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Eire, Iceland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg. Madeira, Malta. Isle of Man, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Rhodes, Romania, Spain, United Kingdom, San Marino, Sardinia, Sicily, Slovakia, Switzerland, Sweden, Vatican

Your Telephone Should Be Unlocked

Some cellular carriers (primarily within the US, Australia, and New Zealand) “lock” their telephones so that they’ll solely work on that service’s community—this usually applies in case you have a plan that features a free cellphone with a multi-year contract. You’ll must contact your service and have them “unlock” your cellphone so it can settle for a third-party SIM card.

Within the US, carriers are required to unlock telephones if the shopper requests it however it’s hardly ever unlocked by default. That mentioned, a number of carriers nonetheless make clients soar by hoops to unlock their telephones so don’t put this off till the final minute or you possibly can be out of luck.

A New SIM Card Offers You A New Telephone Quantity

Putting in a brand new SIM card provides you a brand new cellphone quantity so your outdated quantity gained’t work till you reinstall your unique SIM card (until your cellphone has two SIM slots). So, if folks want to achieve you, you’ll want to inform folks your new European quantity.

Moreover, a lot of web sites and apps use two-factor authentication that’s related to your cellphone quantity so that can now not be an choice with the brand new SIM put in. And when you use Uber/Lyft, you’ll must replace your new cellphone quantity within the app whenever you set up your new SIM.

A advantage of getting an eSIM as an alternative of a bodily SIM is that you just maintain your unique cellphone quantity.

How A lot Cell Information Do You Want?

So long as you’re not streaming music/movies or importing a ton of pictures, you most likely gained’t use greater than 3GB-6GB of cellular knowledge every week.

When you’re spending numerous time on social media (notably Instagram and TikTok) then you definitely may use a bit extra however when you’re simply doing regular net shopping and utilizing Google Maps then you definitely may solely use 1-2GB every week.

Extra Ideas On Utilizing Your Cell Telephone In Greece

I’ve written extensively about utilizing smartphones and knowledge plans in Europe in addition to suggestions for shopping for SIM Playing cards For Visiting Europe however under are some extra useful recommendations on utilizing your cellphone in Greece.

Get A Moveable Battery Charger

Touring along with your cellphone will rapidly drain your batteries so I extremely advocate a conveyable battery. I take advantage of Anker PowerCore 10000 as a result of it’s tiny and reasonably priced however there are a number of choices.

Take Steps To Decrease Your Cell Information Utilization

Information may be costly and it’s extraordinarily straightforward to unknowingly burn by numerous knowledge as a result of many apps use knowledge within the background. Fb, electronic mail, Instagram, Snapchat… these all continually use knowledge all through the day with out you understanding it. That’s it’s necessary to know how one can restrict your knowledge utilization.

Use Airplane Mode And Block Information to Particular Apps

I’ll put my cellphone in Airplane Mode as a result of that disables all knowledge (however GPS nonetheless works in Airplane Mode). You can even go into the settings and disable knowledge entry to every particular person app. I’ll go in and switch each off apart from issues like Google Maps or others that I’ll use extra continuously — this fashion after I flip off Airplane Mode solely these apps that can use knowledge. Then I’ll flip Airplane Mode again on after I’m accomplished.

Obtain Offline Maps

Google Maps enables you to obtain complete metropolis maps to allow them to be used offline. As an added bonus, GPS doesn’t use knowledge so offline Google Maps works pretty effectively (however not all performance works). Right here is an effective YouTube video that explains the whole lot.

Make Calls Over WiFi

WhatsApp is a superb app at no cost calling and textual content messages — I’ve discovered that many Europeans solely use WhatsApp to speak (together with many Airbnb hosts).


Listed here are a number of extra country-specific SIM Card guides I’ve written:

Extra Europe Journey Ideas From The Savvy Backpacker

James Feess
Newest posts by James Feess (see all)

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Thanks For Studying! — James

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