Planning a trip to Portugal is exciting, especially if it’s your first time visiting. This budget-friendly destination in Europe has plenty to offer tourists with amazing food, a wealth of history and culture, and affordable accommodation.

Why not make your money go even further by getting a SIM card for Portugal? It might not be the first thing that springs to mind, but expensive roaming charges from your home provider can make a huge impact on your travel budget.

Having decent coverage can make or break a holiday. Packing things like travel adapters, changing cash into Euros, and getting the right travel insurance are no-brainers, but don’t forget about getting your data sorted.

We’ve saved you the work of looking through all of the options, and put together this epic SIM card for Portugal guide.

remote work at a beach near lisbon, portugal
Never trust crappy coffee Wi-Fi. Always have a plan B ready!
Photo: @monteiro.online

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Product
Description
GigSky Portugal
GigSky Portugal

GigSky Portugal

  • > From $0.00
Jetpac Portugal
Jetpac Portugal

Jetpac Portugal

  • > From $0.00!
Sim Options
Sim Options

Sim Options

  • > From $4.50
Sim Local
Sim Local

Sim Local

  • > From $3.00
HolaFly eSim
HolaFly eSim

HolaFly eSim

  • > From $19.00

Why Buy a SIM Card For Portugal?

The internet is vital for traveling nowadays. From Google Maps to booking a ride through an app, you need roaming data – not just WiFi that restricts you to one place. And let’s not talk about those traveling and working remotely!

While some home SIM cards may work abroad, they may be capped or abruptly cut off due to network issues. They can also be an expensive option, overseas data packages are notoriously overpriced and are a sure way of getting ripped off.

Buying a SIM card for Portugal means that you can enjoy your holiday without worry. Not only will you save money on data, but you will also save an untold amount of time and money searching for Wi-Fi hotspots and buying coffee just so you can connect.

It’s also better for security, you should always use a VPN when connecting to an unsecured public Wi-Fi network. But if you have your own data, it won’t be an issue, you know that your data is secure.

Buying a SIM Card For Portugal – Things To Consider

Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to getting the right SIM deal.

You may want just a small amount of data and spend less, or for heavy social media users, you may want a bigger package so that you know you can’t run out of data. We will start by looking at these variables to best guide you to getting the best SIM card deal when visiting Portugal.

atlantic ocean ericeira viewpoint
Signal detected!
Photo: @joemiddlehurst

Price

Whilst price isn’t the only consideration, it’s a huge factor when it comes to finding the best eSIM card deal for travel.

But take care not to just go for the cheapest option straight away, as if you run out of data top-ups may be expensive. 

It’s best to always check the details. For example, a LycaMobile SIM card for Portugal costs just 10 Euros, but it only includes 4 GB of data. Though the plan lasts for 30 days, it’s unlikely such a low amount of data would last that long.

It’s also important to consider where else you are traveling. The above-mentioned SIM card only works in Portugal, while the Portugal Vodafone SIM card works throughout Europe.

Coverage

It’s best to have an idea about the network providers of the country you are visiting.

There’s nothing worse than buying a SIM card then finding out that there is no network when you are visiting the mountains or more remote areas.

Portugal has three main mobile internet providers.

  • MEO Portugal
  • NOS Portugal
  • Vodafone Portugal.

While all have good 4G coverage, only a NOS SIM card has a complete 5G network in Portugal. 

But it’s also good to remember that the 5G network coverage in Portugal is pretty poor when compared to other countries in Europe.

Data

When it comes to data, providers can lure you into buying more than you actually need.

Check your normal daily usage with your current provider, and factor in the amount that you will need for maps and streaming services when you are not at home.

And always check the price of data top-ups. Sure the initial price may be good, but imagine having to pay the same amount for slightly more data. Some don’t allow top-ups at all, so make a point of knowing what you want first.

man smiles while remote working at a beach near lisbon, portugal
Tethering & unlimited data… Killer combo!
Photo: @monteiro.online

Bureaucracy

It can be quite hard to get a SIM card in Europe, where you will need to fill in forms and spend time registering it.

Luckily Portugal is a pretty laid-back destination, you might need your passport, but most tourist SIM providers will handle the set-up for you.

Expiration

It’s essential to check how long the contract lasts when buying a SIM card in Portugal. Some may be for just seven days, while others might last a month.

This is especially important if you are traveling to other European destinations afterwards as many SIM cards will work throughout Europe.

Do check with the provider though. If you are buying a one-month SIM card for Portugal you want to make sure it will work for anywhere else you might be visiting.

You might even want to get an open-ended one if you are planning to return in a short space of time.

The Future of the SIM Card is HERE!
mockup of a person holding a smartphone in white background with Holafly logo

A new country, a new contract, a new piece of plastic – booooring. Instead, buy an eSIM!

An eSIM works just like an app: you buy it, you download it, and BOOM! You’re connected the minute you land. It’s that easy.

Is your phone eSIM ready? Read about how e-Sims work or click below to see one of the top eSIM providers on the market and ditch the plastic.

Grab an eSIM!

Where To Buy a SIM Card For Portugal

SIM cards in Portugal are readily available like in much of Europe.

If you’re landing in Lisbon, you can pick them up from the airport, at major providers in city centers, or you can save time and get one online before you leave.

eSIM

By far the easiest option for buying a SIM card in Portugal is to get a good travel eSIM. You can register for one online well ahead of your trip.

It saves you time that you could spend doing other things on holiday, negotiating Portuguese in local phone shops, or having to mess around with your own SIM card in an airport. 

Getting an eSIM for Portugal is just like a regular SIM but without a physical product. You download an app, connect to data, and keep track of what you’re using through your phone. 

Some older phones aren’t compatible though so make sure your device is eSIM-compatible and as with any of these options, it’s essential that your phone is unlocked to any network.

In The Airport

You can buy a SIM card for Portugal from two providers in Lisbon Airport; Vodafone and LycaMobile. 

A Vodafone prepaid SIM card with 10 GB of data will cost €20, with 500 minutes or SMS, and 30 international minutes, and as it’s a European SIM card it will work in Portugal and Europe. The staff will set it all up for you and it lasts for 30 days.

You can get a LycaMobile SIM card from the Exchange kiosk with 4 GB data, 500 international minutes, and 100 sms text messages for €10. This SIM card only works in Portugal, you will have to do the setup yourself, and the package lasts for 30 days.

Unlike many airports that charge a much higher rate, the costs are the same when buying a tourist SIM card for Portugal in the airport, or in the city. But there is less choice and the packages are quite basic.

It’s also worth noting that many of these don’t allow you tethering, so you cannot share data between friends or even your own devices.

So, should you go for an eSIM, an international or local SIM?

A close-up of a cell phone lying on a gray concrete floor.
Ready to roam!
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

At a Store

Phone stores are usually the cheapest place to buy a SIM card wherever you are visiting. In the case of Portugal, the prices at least with Vodafone are similar to the airport, but you do get a lot more choice.

The major stores to look for in Portugal are MEO Portugal, NOS Portugal, and Vodafone Portugal.

For the best 5G network, NOS Portugal offers a SIM card with 5 GB of data and free social media, as well as 1,500 minutes/sms for just €10.

Buying a SIM card in Portugal will eat into your holiday time, especially if visiting the city for only a day or two so take this into consideration. It’s also worth noting that you won’t be able to use apps like maps or translation to help you locate the store and actually buy the SIM card.

Online

In our opinion, the best and easiest way of buying a SIM card for Portugal is to order one online before you leave.

This way you can spend time looking through the deals and get a SIM card that suits your needs without missing any of the fine print.

You can buy SIM cards online from sites like Amazon, download an eSIM, or get international SIM cards that cover multi-country trips – especially useful for visiting Europe.

To save you the time spent looking through all of the different options, we have collected the best deals and put together our list of recommended SIM cards in Portugal.

Best Portugal SIM Card Providers

These SIM cards for Portugal are the best of the bunch, we have gone through the huge list of options to find the best deals and save you time. Some are great deals for international SIM cards, others are just for a single destination, so find the best SIM card for travel that suits you best.

GigSky

Gigsky simcard

Established in 2010 and based in Palo Alto, California, GigSky is a mobile technology firm that specialises in providing e-SIM and SIM card data services to travellers across the globe. Distinguishing itself from the majority of eSIM providers, GigSky operates as an independent Network Operator, collaborating with over 400 carriers worldwide

While GigSky does not provide local phone numbers, customers can still place and receive calls via apps like WhatsApp, Signal, and Skype, utilising the data included in their eSim plans.

After testing numerous sim companies, GigSky emerges as our preferred choice, thanks to its superior network coverage, reasonable pricing, and user-friendly app. The addition of local number offerings would make their service even more attractive.

GigSky offers a range of packages including a tasty ‘try before you buy’ deal that gives you 100MB of data for 7 days.

  • 1GB – $3.99 – 7 Days
  • 3 GB – $10.99 – 15 Days
  • 5 GB – $16.99 – 30 Days
  • 10 GB – $31.99 – 30 Days

JetPac

Jetpac esim

Jetpac is a Singapore based eSIM company who offer packages, designed primarily for travellers and Digital Nomads. They offer various data plans that can be used across many countries, and the service includes features like free airport lounge access if your flight is delayed.

Jetpac eSIMs are compatible with a range of devices, including many models from Apple, Samsung, and Google. To activate a Jetpac eSIM, users need to sign up on the Jetpac website or app, choose a plan that fits their travel needs, and then scan a QR code to install the eSIM on their device.

We love Jetpac for its ease of setup and reliable connectivity. JetPac makes it a handy tool for international travel, ensuring continuous access to mobile data across multiple destinations. While they don’t offer local numbers, we love that most of their packs last for 30 days by default so you can just concentrate on how much data you need.

Sim Options

sim options

SimOptions is a reputable global marketplace that specialises in offering high-quality prepaid eSIMs for travellers in over 200 destinations worldwide. The platform has been dedicated to providing the best possible eSIM and international sim options at the most competitive rates for travellers since 2018. They rigorously test and select eSIMs to ensure that you receive the best connectivity and service wherever you travel.

As well as effectively acting as a broker from a number of other eSIM providers, SimOptions also offer their own eSIM products too.

Basically, SimOptions is kind of like a market comparison website for eSIMs. You simply type in your destination and they bring up the different eSIM options from a wide number of prospective providers and suppliers

Sim Local

sim local homepage

Irish based Sim Local specialise in providing eSIM services, primarily targeted at global travellers to help them stay connected without incurring expensive roaming charges. Based in Dublin and London, Sim Local sells local SIM cards and eSIM profiles through their retail outlets, vending machines, and online platforms.

Sim Local offers a variety of eSIM plans that can be activated instantly and are designed to provide a convenient and secure way to stay connected in numerous countries. Their services are beneficial for those who travel frequently, as they provide the option to switch between multiple eSIM profiles on a single device, depending on the user’s location and needs.

They also offer pretty comprehensive customer support and a range of payment options, including Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, all processed securely via Stripe.

HolaFly eSIM

Holafly eSIM data plan for Europe
Holafly eSIM Europe Plan

You can think of Holafly as a huge online store for eSIMs that keeps you connected in 160+ destinations worldwide. They will email you a QR code to activate your eSIM straight away.

HolaFly doen’t really provide network or data themselves but acts as kind of a broker helping travelers find the best and cheapest possible eSIM for their trip. They use the Vodafone Portugal network so you know you are getting good coverage. 

You can also keep your WhatsApp number on your mobile and set up the eSIM in minutes. Note that this eSIM does not allow data sharing and cannot be topped up.

Orange Holiday SIM Card

This globally recognized mobile network provider is great for those that want a traditional SIM card (standard/micro/nano) delivered to their home country. 

There’s no setup required and it covers over 30 countries in Europe. You also get 30 minutes of international calls and 200 texts from Europe to the rest of the world. 

This Sim card also supports data tethering and WiFi hotspot. Top-ups are allowed and can be done easily through the Orange website. There is a 20 GB Sim card available too.

What Is The Best SIM Card in Portugal For Tourists?

Sim Card in Portugal
PackagePrice (basic sim)Top Ups Allowed?Expiration
GigSky$13YNA
Jetpac$29.99YNA
HolaFly eSim$19.00N5 to 90 days
Sim Options$6.00Y1 to 30 days
Sim Local$42.80Y14 days

Final Thoughts on Getting a SIM Card For Portugal

Portugal is such a great cheap European destination to travel to, whether you are exploring Porto and its surrounding mountains, or getting a dose of culture in the capital Lisbon.

Make sure that you are fully prepared to make the most of your trip with this helpful guide to getting a SIM card in Portugal.

With your own SIM card, you can stream music on a private beach in the Algarve, post live hot-dog-legs updates on social media, and read all of our other guides to traveling in Portugal!

Let us know how you get on in the comments, we love hearing your travel stories and if we’ve helped you to save money on your trip.

Looking for more info on traveling to Portugal?
yellow trams in Lisbon Portugal
Time to enjoy the country!
Photo: Ana Pereira

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