So you’re headed off to the sunny shores of Greece to sit by the crystal clear waters, wander ancient ruins and eat your weights worth of Feta! You’ve packed your budgy smugglers, got a fist full of Euros, charged your camera … but there’s one thing you’ve overlooked! Your phone data!

Trust us, we’ve been there. You’re hyped up to share your beachside selfies on Insta, call your Mum from the Acropolis or use Maps to find your way home of an evening! All the while you’re racking up a massive bill that’s going to sting you when you get back home and bring you back down to earth with a bang!

Greece is somewhere, as a team, we’ve visited heaps over the past few years. So we’ve got plenty of experience when it comes to buying a local sim card. Forget your connection dropping just as your TikTok is about to finish uploading or a massive bill because your Nan wanted to chat to Giorgos from the bar!

A Greek sim card is cheap and easy to organise, we should know, we’ve done it enough times! In this post we’ll tell you everything you need to know about choosing and buying a sim card for Greece.

We’ll take a look at some Greece sim card providers, prices, coverage and a couple of other things to consider as well as sharing our experiences buying and using sim cards in Greece.

Product
Description
GigSky Greece
GigSky Greece

GigSky Greece

  • Price > From $0.00
Jetpac Greece
Jetpac Greece

Jetpac Greece

  • Price > From $1
SimOptions Greece
SimOptions Greece

SimOptions Greece

  • Price > From $5.00
Sim Local Greece
Sim Local Greece

Sim Local Greece

  • Price > From $4.30
Where to Stay in Santorini

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Why Buy a Sim Card For Greece?

Like it or not, the reality of travel in 2024 is that we all rely on our phones a lot. We use them to find legit cabs, navigate strange cities and translate our desperate pleas for help … as well as showing off on insta!

When deciding between a local or international sim, there are a few things to note. Whilst your native sim card may well technically work in Greece, this doesn’t mean you should ever rely on it. Firstly, overseas sim card use is typically, seriously bloody expensive. There are daily roaming charges, inflated data prices, and in many cases you will even be charged if somebody calls you!

It gets worse, as non-local sims also have a tendency to stop working completely at crucial moments. One minute you’re happily using your phone’s overpriced data to find your way across Athens’ neighbourhoods and then suddenly – nothing – as you move into a different coverage zone and lose all connectivity. Trust us, this anecdote unfortunately comes from personal experience!

Note that any other EU or even European sim will probably work seamlessly in Greece.

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For these reasons and more, if you are visiting Greece, then you should get a sim card.

Of course, the notable exception here is EU residents. If you fall into this category then your EU sim should work exactly as it does at home. There will be no extra charges and your provider *should* have arrangements with local networks to ensure an uninterrupted service.

Note – ‘Should’ doesn’t always mean ‘Is’. My EU sim card sometimes failed when I was in other EU and Schengen countries. If you are an EU resident planning on spending a lot of time in Greece, then you may still wish to consider sorting a local sim.

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    Buying a Sim Card For Greece – Things To Consider

    Choosing a Sim Card for Greece is like choosing a pair of shoes or choosing a wife; some work for you better than others depending on what your personal needs are and of course, depending on your budget. 

    Let’s break down the major considerations;

    Price

    We all love a bargain, especially in a semi-expensive country like Greece. Getting a good deal is hard-wired into us broke backpackers so obviously price is always going to be a determining factor. The primary aim here is to identify who is offering the most data/minutes at the best price.

    You will generally find that some providers offer really good deals if you buy big, which leads us to the next point.

    Data

    Pay close attention to how much data you are actually being offered. A lot of sim card providers try to tempt you in by offering low prices, but knowing full well that you will burn through the allocated data in no time, forcing you into a pricey top up.

    A good idea is to check your personal average data use, and then factor in the fact that you will probably be using more than usual as you rely on maps and translation apps.

    Coverage

    This one is also often overlooked. Not all network coverages are equal. Some providers offer fantastic coverage across an entire nation whereas others specialise in particular areas. 

    This is very pertinent with Greece in particular as a lot of providers excel in covering the mainland, but don’t quite do the islands so well and vice versa. However, as a general guide, you can expect at least some form of 4G on all of the islands and either 4G or 5G on the mainland.

    It is worth having a rough idea of where in Greece you will stay and where you will be going before making a purchase. It’s also usually worth paying a bit more to get better coverage. I mean, cheap data is pretty pointless if you can’t even get connected.

    Map of Where to Stay Greece
    1. Athens, 2.Santorini, 3.Ios, 4.Mykonos, 5.Thessaloniki, 6.Rhodes

    Bureaucracy

    These days, you can usually get a sim card pretty quickly, easily, and without too much hassle. Therefore you should try to avoid companies who insist on too much paperwork, who want too much information, or who take too long to get you set up.

    There are a few exceptions to this, such as police states like Pakistan and Russia but these are the minority. Oh, and getting a sim card in India is always going to be a nightmare because India is India.

    Expiration

    One thing to consider is whether the sim you are buying has an indefinite lifespan or an expiration date. Some will stop working (after say 30 or 60 days) and cannot be topped up. Others will last forever (plastic never dies…) as long as you keep topping them up.

    This isn’t really a massive issue if you are visiting on a one-off, two-week vacation but may become an issue if your plans are open-ended, or if you plan on coming back in the future.

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    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.

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    Where To Buy a Sim Card For Greece

    There are loads of places to buy sim cards from in Greece. You can buy from the airport, from a phone shop, or even on the street. You can even buy one from this thing they have called the Internet.

    Where to Stay in Athens

    In The Airport

    One classic option is to buy a sim card at the airport the minute you land. This means that you get it sorted immediately and can get online right away to book yourself an Uber if you wish. The staff at airport Sim card kiosks almost always speak English, are very helpful, and will make sure that everything is working before you leave.

    There are however some downsides. 

    Firstly, you will almost definitely pay a seriously inflated price and can always get a much better deal by shopping around. There is also often a queue at these kiosks and you can be kept waiting a while to get sorted. Finally, if you happen to land at your destination in the middle of the night or early in the morning, the desk may well be closed.

    In terms of Greek Airports, the one in Athens has a Vodafone store offering the following options;

    • €22,50 = 12 GB data in Greece valid for 15 days.
    • €22,50 = 7 GB data in Greece + 120 minutes international + 120 minutes for Greece valid for 15 days.

    At the time of writing, we are not sure whether this is the case with the smaller airports on the islands.

    At a Store

    There are cell phone stores dotted across the cities of the entire world. If you are able to get into a city centre or a shopping mall then you can have your pick or phone stores and compare sim card deals.

    Note that the older generations in Greece don’t always speak English, but the younger ones tend to have a pretty good grasp of it. Therefore the chances are that at least somebody in any given phone store will be able to assist you.

    Let’s take a look at the in-store packages offered by Vodafone. The prices and deals are way much better than in the airport.

    • €8,50 = 7 GB data for 15 days.
    • €8,50 = 3 GB data for 15 days + international calling + texting.
    • €17 = 7 GB data for 30 days + international calling + texting.

    On The Street

    One of the fairly unique things about Greece is that you can pick up sim cards on the street from licensed sim card salespeople. They are easy to spot as they will be wearing the colourful, branded uniforms of whichever organisation they work for. They are commonly found at the entrance to public transport hubs and shopping malls.

    greece SIM card

    Some of you may be uneasy sharing personal info and ID details with people on the street but there really isn’t too much to worry about.  The street vendors are typically quite young meaning they tend to speak English pretty well. We spotted the street vendors in Athens & in neighbourhoods of Thessaloniki but again, we’re not so sure about their presence on the islands.

    Online

    Of course, you could just buy your sim card for Greece online. Most major international networks will post it out to your home address. Do make sure you order it long enough before your trip begins though in order to avoid it turning up in your mailbox after you have already entered Greece!

    Surfing the web to find the best Greece sim card options can be time-consuming and overwhelming, so thankfully we’ve done the hard work for you and made some choice selections which you can find below. It’ll make preparing and packing for Greece that little bit easier.

    Personally, we’ve managed to get the best deals either online or at a store. When it comes to convenience, we always try to buy online because it takes away the language barrier and you can always be sure you know what you’re getting. Not only that, but we always prefer to have access to the internet before we land so we can organise our ride from the airport if we’re arriving late.

    Best Greek Sim Card Providers

    There are loads of different sim cards for Greece options and providers ranging from big international network carriers to niche providers who only operate in Greece. 

    Here are some of the best deals for sim cards in Greece.

    GigSky

    Founded in 2010, GigSky is a Palo Alto, California-based mobile technology company that provides e-SIM and SIM card data services to international travellers. Unlike many (maybe even most) other eSIM companies, GigSky are actually a Network Operator themselves in their own right, and partner with over 400 other carriers worldwide. This means they have access to a lot more transistors than most other competitors ensuring stronger service and letter outage.

    Gigsky simcard

    While they don’t offer local phone numbers, you can still make and receive calls via WhatsApp, Signal, Skype or whatever using the general data allowances that come as part of their eSim packages.

    GigSky also offers a cutting-edge ‘Cellular at Sea’ package that may just be the world’s first anywhere-at-sea eSIM. The package will work anywhere in the maritime world and pretty much anywhere on the ship too.

    We have tried a LOT of different sim companies and GigSky is our top pick on account of their excellent coverage, fair prices and easy-to-use app. Of course, if they did offer local numbers that would be even better.

    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 eSim

    As our world gets smaller, staying connected while travelling becomes not just a luxury but an absolute necessity. Enter Jetpac, a cutting-edge travel eSIM provider promising seamless connectivity at low costs, across the globe.

    Based out of Singapore Jetpac offers 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.

    Good news, Jetpac eSIMs are compatible with a range of devices, including many models from Apple, Samsung, and Google. If you’re wondering what the heck is an eSIM, don’t panic, it’s simple and straightforward 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

    Homepage of SimOptions website
    SimOptions

    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 the best eSIM providers, SimOptions also offer their own eSIM products too.

    Basically, SimOptions is kind of like a market comparison website for helping you find the best sim for your travels. 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
    Sim Local

    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.

    Vodafone

    The sheer number of different Vodafone packages available is eye-watering and we found navigating the options on their site a bit tiring! Therefore we happily boiled it down to this cheap and cheerful starter pack to make things easier for you.

    • Sim costs $7.95 and credit costs $1 per day.
    • 500MB 4G data for unlimited minutes and unlimited texts, which can be used all over Europe as well as the UK. 
    • No expiration date.

    TravSim Three UK

    Despite being a UK-based provider, Three offers a Greece and more SIM card. The data allowance under the basic package isn’t exactly huge though.

    • $15.99 for 3GB mobile data for use in Greece and roaming in Europe.
    • 12GB for $43.99.
    • Valid for 60 days from activation.

    What is The Best Sim Card in Greece for Tourists?

    Buying a Sim Card In Greece
    PackagePrice (basic sim)Top Ups Allowed?Expiration
    OneSim e-Sim World$13YNA
    OneSim Universal$29.99YNA
    Vodafone$7.99YNA
    TravSim$15.95N60 days

    Final Thoughts on Getting a Sim Card For Greece

    Greece is one of world tourism’s great cultural gems and you will have an absolute blast. And thanks to our Greece sim card guide, you will be well equipped to enjoy your trip without having to stress about data and call time. What’s more, you can relax in the knowledge that we’ve test driven all these options for you, so you don’t have to pick at random!

    Want another kind of sim card? Check out the revolutionary new Nomad e-sim, an app-based sim card covering over 100 countries that can be organised before you leave home! There’s also a Spanish based provider called HolaFly you also might want to check out.

    Whatever option you went for, do let us know in the comments how it worked out. We always love to hear from you guys.


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