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How to buy a prepaid Turkey SIM card for tourists?

Get your SIM card to visit Turkey with the TurkSIM digital SIM card with secure data that starts at 1,80€/GB

July 2, 2024

Need to buy an eSIM?

TurkSIM has prepaid eSIM Turkey packages

Obtaining a Turkey SIM card while visiting Turkey is a smart way to save money. International calls and data usage are often not included in many mobile plans, and using your phone abroad can result in significant extra charges from your provider. By purchasing a Turkey SIM card, you can avoid these additional costs and allocate your savings to other aspects of your trip.

Having a local phone number is highly convenient, especially if you have friends or contacts in Turkey. A Turkey SIM card allows you to easily make reservations, call for information, and stay in touch with others.

Moreover, a local SIM card ensures better network coverage, offering you more freedom and independence as you won't need to rely on Wi-Fi hotspots for connectivity. This also enhances your security, as many public Wi-Fi networks are not secure and can pose risks to your personal information.

Travelers can benefit greatly from purchasing a prepaid Turkey SIM card.

Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Cost Savings: Avoid high international roaming charges by using a local prepaid SIM card, which offers more affordable rates for calls, texts, and data.
  2. Reliable Connectivity: Enjoy uninterrupted service and high-speed internet access throughout your trip, ensuring you stay connected with friends, family, and essential services.
  3. Ease of Use: Prepaid SIM cards are easy to purchase and activate, often available at airports and local shops, allowing you to start using your phone immediately upon arrival.
  4. Local Rates: Benefit from local rates for calls and data, making it cheaper to contact local businesses, book reservations, or access maps and travel apps.
  5. No Long-Term Commitment: Prepaid SIM cards do not require a contract, so you can use them for the duration of your trip without any long-term obligations.
  6. Convenience: Managing your expenses is easier with prepaid options, as you can control how much you spend on calls, texts, and data by topping up as needed.

Overall, a prepaid SIM card is a convenient and cost-effective solution for staying connected while traveling in Turkey.

Buy Before You Travel

Purchasing your travel essentials before your trip offers numerous advantages, ensuring a smoother experience for travelers. Many virtual stores now provide data plans and SIM cards, with some even offering dedicated apps for convenient purchasing.

When selecting the best option, consider several factors:

  • Pricing and rates
  • Data allowances
  • Validity period
  • Cellular network compatibility
  • Coverage quality

One notable option is the digital SIM card for Turkey from TurkSIM, which we'll explore in more detail later.

Advantages of Purchasing Your Data Plan Before Traveling

1. Internet Access Upon Arrival

By buying a SIM card for Turkey before your trip, you can go online immediately after landing. This allows you to:

  • Book a cab from the airport
  • Inform friends and family of your safe arrival

Simply insert your SIM card into your phone and you're ready to go. No need to wait in lines at airport stores, deal with lengthy installations, or sign contracts. Start exploring Turkey right away!l

2. Simple Installation Process

Forget about complicated contracts or technical instructions. The setup process is straightforward:

  • Insert your SIM card following the easy instructions
  • Turn on data roaming once you land in Turkey
  • Enjoy instant connectivity

3. Enhanced Security

Purchasing online offers an additional security benefit:

  • Receive your product before your trip
  • Test it in advance
  • Resolve any issues by contacting customer support before you travel

This approach ensures you're fully prepared and connected for your Turkish adventure.

The #1 Turkey Digital SIM Card Solution for Tourists

For visitors to Turkey, TurkSIM's digital eSIM Turkey has emerged as a game-changing option. Unlike traditional SIM cards, TurkSIM offers a hassle-free experience, allowing travelers to stay connected without the complexities of purchasing physical SIM cards or dealing with roaming charges.

One of TurkSIM's standout features is its flexibility. Travelers can tailor their plan duration to match their exact trip length, from short city breaks to extended stays. This customization eliminates wasted days and ensures you only pay for the connectivity you need.

Key advantages of choosing TurkSIM for your Turkish adventure include:

Plans at competitive prices from 1GB to 50GB

TurkSIM offers a wide range of data plans to suit different needs, from 1GB to 50GB, at competitive prices. This allows travelers to choose a plan that matches their expected data usage without overpaying. For example, you can get 3GB valid for 30 days for just €4.65, or opt for larger plans like 20GB if you need more data. This feature is also available with the eSIM for Northern Cyprus.

Data sharing capability

Our eSIM allows you to share your data connection with other devices through hotspot/tethering functionality. This means you can connect your laptop, tablet, or other devices to the internet using your smartphone's eSIM data plan.

Extensive network coverage across Turkey

TurkSIM provides reliable connectivity throughout Turkey, ensuring you stay connected whether you're exploring bustling cities like Istanbul or venturing into more remote areas. The eSIM connects to local networks, offering fast and secure internet access across the country

Flexible plan durations

Plans are available with validity periods ranging from 7 to 30 days, allowing you to choose an option that aligns with your travel itinerary. This flexibility means you don't have to pay for more days than you need

Quick and easy activation process

The activation process for our eSIMs is straightforward and typically takes less than 2 minutes. You simply scan the QR code sent to you via email to install the eSIM profile on your device. This convenience means you can set up your connectivity before you even arrive in Turkey.

Responsive customer support available in multiple languages

We offer customer support in multiple languages, ensuring that you can get assistance if needed during your trip. This support is valuable for troubleshooting any issues or answering questions about your eSIM service

No cap on the number of eSIMs you can purchase

There's no cap on the number of eSIMs you can buy from TurkSIM. This allows you to purchase multiple eSIMs for extended stays or frequent visits to Turkey, or even to share with travel companions if needed

Pros and Cons:

  1. Seamless Connectivity: Stay online throughout Turkey without hunting for Wi-Fi hotspots or dealing with unreliable connections.
  2. User-Friendly Setup: Receive a QR code via email and follow simple instructions to get connected rapidly. No paperwork or store visits required.
  3. Convenient Top-Ups: Extend your plan duration easily through the TurkSIM website if your travel plans change.
  4. Web App: Manage your eSIM, track usage, and access support directly from your smartphone with the intuitive TurkSIM Web app.

Disadvantages: While TurkSIM offers numerous advantages, it's important to note that eSIM technology is not yet universal. Before purchasing, verify your device's compatibility with eSIMs to ensure a smooth experience during your travels.

TurkSIMs Prepaid eSIM Turkey Packages
TurkSIMs Prepaid eSIM Turkey Packages

Buy your tourist SIM card in Turkey

Another option for travelers is to get a local SIM card upon arrival in Turkey. With several mobile network operators available in the country, tourists can choose from a variety of SIM card options. However, it's important to note that these physical SIM cards often offer fewer features compared to digital SIM cards.

While local SIM cards may not provide extensive benefits due to limited plan options, they do come with a Turkish phone number, which is useful for making calls and sending text messages. It's essential to keep in mind that purchasing a local SIM card requires registration with your passport, so be sure to have it handy when making your purchase. Additionally, ensure your device is unlocked before using a Turkish SIM card to avoid any connectivity issues.

Let's explore the current offerings from Turkey's main mobile operators:


As Turkey's leading mobile operator, Turkcell provides robust coverage and high-speed data services. For tourists, they offer a single prepaid plan:

  • Tourist Welcome Pack: 20GB data + 200 minutes local calls
  • Price: Approximately €25
  • Validity: 30 days

To purchase this SIM card, visit a Turkcell store with your passport. Note that Turkcell doesn't offer unlimited data plans or allow top-ups for tourist SIMs.

Source: Turkcell

Vodafone Turkey

Vodafone, the second-largest operator in Turkey, has a unique application process for tourist SIM cards. Travelers must complete an online form with personal details and their intended destination within Turkey.

Unfortunately, Vodafone doesn't publicly disclose their tourist plan prices. After submitting the application, approved customers receive information about available data packages and can choose between an eSIM or physical SIM card.

While the process is more complex, Vodafone offers good coverage and data speeds in most Turkish cities.

Source: Vodafone Turkey

Türk Telekom

Türk Telekom provides a range of data packages for tourists, varying from 10GB to 75GB. Their tourist SIM cards are easily obtainable with just a passport at their stores.

Prices will vary from 3€ to 8€ only for the data packages, this price doesn’t include the SIM card cost and activation fee, which are charged separately in stores.

Note that these prices are for data only. The SIM card cost and activation fee are charged separately in-store. Türk Telekom offers 4.5G speeds, widespread coverage, and various customer support options.

Tourists can only purchase one data package at a time. Once the data is depleted, additional usage incurs extra charges.

When choosing a Turkish SIM card, consider factors such as coverage in your planned destinations, data needs, and budget. While local SIM cards provide a Turkish phone number, travelers primarily needing data might find eSIMs more convenient and potentially more cost-effective.

Source: TurkTelekom

Frequently asked questions about SIM card Turkey

What's the typical cost for using mobile data while visiting Turkey?

Data roaming charges can vary significantly depending on your home network, but generally range from 7€ to 15€ per day. Streaming a full-length film could potentially result in a bill of several hundred dollars. For this reason, we suggest obtaining a local Turkish SIM card for more cost-effective connectivity.

Which mobile option is most suitable for tourists in Turkey?

For travelers to Turkey, we highly recommend the eSIM solution offered by TurkSIM. This digital option provides an affordable way to stay connected throughout your journey, featuring unlimited data without breaking the bank.

Is acquiring a Turkish SIM card a worthwhile endeavor?

While it's possible for tourists to obtain a physical Turkish SIM card, the process can be time-consuming and potentially complex, with approval times varying considerably. Alternative providers may offer a simpler process but often impose additional fees for SIM card acquisition.

Can visitors purchase SIM cards at Istanbul's airport?

Indeed, SIM cards are available for purchase at Istanbul Airport. Travelers can acquire one from either Turkcell or Turk Telekom, provided they present their passport during the transaction.

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