- Opt for a SIM card from a reputable provider that offers extensive coverage across Greece. This ensures that you can stay connected in most areas, including cities, towns, and rural regions.
- Consider whether you will primarily use data for browsing, streaming, or uploading photos, and choose a plan accordingly.
- Prepaid options provide flexibility as you can control your spending and top up as needed. Postpaid plans may offer additional benefits such as higher data allowances or inclusive roaming options.
- If you plan to travel within the European Union or to other countries, consider SIM cards that provide affordable or inclusive roaming options.
From the ancient temples of Athens to the sun-drenched alleys of Santorini, you'll find delights around every corner while visiting Greece. As with any vacation, you must attend to some important details before your trip. One essential task is ensuring you can use your mobile phone while exploring.
Prepaid SIM cards can help you stay in touch and use all the device's features without facing a huge bill when you return home. It's not difficult to buy a local prepaid SIM card when you know where to go and what to look for.
What Is a SIM Card?
A SIM card is a subscriber identity module or subscriber identification module. A small memory card that fits inside your mobile device, a SIM card contains information about who the phone belongs to and what network it's using.
It allows you to use any of the connectivity features on the phone; without it, you might be able to access WiFi or take photos, but you won't be able to make calls, send texts, or use the carrier's internet network.
You need to buy a Greece SIM card because the card currently in your device works with a U.S. mobile provider's network. Switching to a local SIM card ensures you can use your phone since it confirms that you've paid the fees to use the Greek mobile network.
Why You Need a SIM Card in Greece
Many travelers assume they can use their mobile devices overseas if they have an international calling plan from their wireless carrier. You can purchase a global calling plan, but it will be significantly more expensive than buying a local SIM card in Greece. You might also struggle to make calls or use data without local network coverage.
Buying a Greek SIM card ensures you can use your phone when needed. It also helps you travel safely and without hassles. Consider these five benefits of having phone service you can count on:
- WiFi isn't always reliable: WiFi is widely available in Greece, and you'll likely be able to access free WiFi in your hotel and other public areas. Public WiFi isn't always reliable or secure; you may be without a connection when you need it most.
- Use your phone to buy tickets, book transportation, etc.: A working mobile phone makes planning your activities and getting around Greece easier. Many tours and attractions allow guests to pre-purchase tickets online. You also need a working phone to use rideshare apps, make contactless payments, and more.
- Use your translation app: Many people in Greece speak English, but you're still likely to encounter the occasional language barrier. Make sure you can access your translation app with a working phone.
- Download maps and directions while exploring the country: It's easy to get lost while exploring ancient Athens or Santorini's streets. Even if you download Google Maps to use offline, a reliable internet connection ensures you never get too lost.
- Share photos and updates: With so many beautiful spots to photograph throughout the Greek islands and unique experiences, you'll definitely want to share them on social media. This requires a strong connection.
The Major Wireless Carriers in Greece
Three major wireless carriers serve Greece: Vodafone Greece, Cosmote, and Wind, which serve as the sim card providers.
All sell prepaid SIM cards for visitors, and if you are only visiting for a few days — and spending most of your time in major destinations like Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos — any of their pay-as-you-go options will work.
Cosmote typically has the most comprehensive and reliable network coverage if you plan to explore Greece beyond the cities, while it also offers the best-prepaid sim card deals. Remember that if you already have a SIM card from another European Union country, you don't need to purchase another card in Greece.
The EU banned roaming charges in 2017, so if your trip to Greece is part of an extensive trip around the European countries, you can continue using the card you bought before arrival with free roaming for mobile data and more.
How to Buy a SIM Card in Greece
To purchase a physical SIM card in Greece, visit a local vendor. You can find Greek SIM cards for sale throughout the country, including:
- Major airports like Athens International Airport.
- Cell phone stores and Greek SIM card providers like a Vodafone store.
- Street vendors in larger cities such as Athens city center.
- Designated retailers; for example, you can find Cosmote SIM cards at a chain of stores called Germanos.
You aren't going to find the best SIM card deals at Athens airport; often, street vendors have the best offers. They will help you select the best plan to meet your needs during your trip.
For instance, you can purchase plans that include data only or data and local and international calling for anywhere from a single day to several months.
When you visit a local SIM card seller, they will present you with the best options. You'll have to show your passport, and the seller will photocopy it.
Only travelers aged 18 and older can buy SIM cards in Greece, but if you are traveling with younger people, you may purchase more than one SIM card at a time using your identification.
Once you make the purchase, the vendor will show you how to install your Greece prepaid SIM card on your device. Some phones have dual SIM capabilities; otherwise, you'll need to replace the existing card with a Greek SIM.
The Best SIM Card Deals in Greece
When you buy SIM cards in Greece, the vendor will charge a flat fee of at least 5 euros for the card, plus a minimum top-up of 10 euros. With the minimum 12% tax on SIM card top-up vouchers, you'll have a credit of about just under nine Euros to start. We strongly recommend purchasing Greece SIM card deals with your credits since it will not take long to use them up otherwise.
Wireless providers in Greece offer various packages to meet traveler needs. The minimum package for a SIM card for Greece costs about 8 euros and includes 500 MB of data and 250 calling minutes for use over 30 days. You can purchase top-up vouchers to increase the available time.
Most travelers use more data than calling time, so consider adding a data bundle to your SIM card package. Unlimited data packages start at 1.5 euros for one day, or you can choose a 5MB package for 8.5 euros. You can mix and match packages for your needs if you purchase enough credit to cover the costs.
Some carriers offer special tourist packages designed for the average traveler. Typically only available at the airport, these packages combine data, local, and international calling for one price, plus an activation fee.
Vodafone offers a plan with 15GB of data, 200 local calling minutes, and 150 international calling minutes for 35 euros, plus activation. You will most likely find better SIM card deals from local vendors, but if you want to use your phone immediately when you arrive and don't want to compare plans, this is a viable option.
You can purchase SIM cards with tourist packages for the best coverage in all major Greek airports, including:
If you purchase a SIM card from a local vendor instead of a phone store, inquire about specials. Many providers offer summer specials that provide unlimited data for less than 10 euros. A limited-time offer may offer the most value compared to mixing and matching plans.
The Three Top SIM Cards in Greece
Most travelers choose one of the following SIM cards in Greece:
1. Cosmote SIM Card Greece: Cosmote offers the most comprehensive coverage map and the fastest data speeds. A Cosmopote prepaid SIM card is argued to be the most reliable in the remote areas of Greece outside the major cities.
2. Vodafone SIM Card Greece: The most affordable option for travelers to stay connected, Vodafone, Greece, does not have as much coverage in Greece. Make sure it will work in your destination before purchasing. However, Vodafone is the largest cellular carrier in Europe, so if you plan to visit other countries in the EU, this is a good choice.
3. Wind SIM Card Greece: The least popular and most expensive option for Greek travelers, it's still worth considering if you want to compare plans or have limited choices in your destination.
Make Sure to Unlock Your Phone
Before you buy a SIM card in Greece, unlock your phone. This means that your device is not tied to a specific carrier. If you have a locked phone, the SIM card you buy will not work, forcing you to pay exorbitant rates to use your carrier's international network if you did not arrange for international service.
Check with your wireless carrier before leaving for Greece for help unlocking the device. You may be able to unlock it by completing a formal request.
Accessing the internet and staying in touch while you explore one of the most beautiful parts of Europe is easy when you buy a SIM card in Greece for your mobile phone.
Whether you're exploring on your own or visiting the ancient archaeological sites of Crete on a guided tour, you can rest assured that you have the network coverage and data you need to share your snapshots and keep in touch with family and friends, all while enjoying your Greece itineraries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which are the major mobile network providers in Greece?
The major mobile network providers in Greece include Cosmote, Vodafone, and Wind (now known as WIND Hellas). These providers offer a range of SIM card options with different plans and coverage.
Can I use my foreign SIM card in Greece?
If your foreign SIM card has international roaming enabled, you can use it in Greece. However, it's important to check with your home network provider regarding roaming rates and potential additional charges. Using a local SIM card in Greece may be a more cost-effective option for longer stays.
Where can I purchase a SIM card in Greece?
SIM cards can be purchased at various locations such as mobile network provider stores, official reseller shops, supermarkets, and kiosks throughout Greece. You can also find them at the international airports in Greece.
Can I keep my existing phone number when getting a Greek SIM card?
It is possible to keep your existing phone number when getting a Greek SIM card. This process is called "porting" and involves following specific procedures set by the mobile network provider. Contact your desired provider for more information on how to transfer your number.