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Prepaid SIM card for France: Where to Buy in 2024?

We explain where you can buy a SIM card for France and compare the best products so that you can find the right deal for you.

Leoneska R.

January 1, 2024

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If you want to travel to the beautiful beaches of Marseille or take a walk around the Eiffel Tower, then you surely plan to visit France. Once you are there, you can’t miss a prepaid SIM card for France with which you can have mobile internet. With this solution, you can save money and pay less than with international roaming or renting pocket wifi


We also invite you to check if you have a phone compatible with an embedded SIM card or eSIM because they are a more efficient solution. Being the evolution of the traditional SIM card, they allow you to stay connected abroad in a faster and more secure way. You can also learn more about what an eSIM is with us.

prepaid SIM card France
If you visit France, get an eSIM prepaid plan with unlimited data. Source: Holafly

Where can I buy a SIM card for France?

Vive la France! When you have already decided to visit this country, you have to consider what options there are to buy a prepaid SIM card. Fortunately for tourists nowadays, the alternatives have grown, and it has become really easy to communicate. We know how important the internet is in our lives, and simple things like ordering a cab or looking for an address are easier to solve with mobile internet. Don’t run out of your prepaid SIM card, and solve your communication needs in France

prepaid SIM card France
Tourist in France using cell phone

As a tourist, you usually have two options to get a prepaid SIM card for France. However, in the last few years, a new solution has emerged, and if you have a compatible phone, we invite you to choose this one. As a visitor, you can purchase one through:

  • You can buy a prepaid SIM card for France before your trip through online stores that have international delivery.
  • You can wait to arrive in the country and buy a local SIM card with a French phone operator.
  • If you have a compatible mobile phone, you can buy an eSIM before or during your trip, enjoying immediate delivery.

(You may also be interested in the best SIM for Jersey)

Buy before you travel

This is one of the safest, fastest, and easiest options you can take as a tourist: buying a prepaid SIM card before your trip. Thanks to the number of online stores on the internet, it is easy to find plans and SIM cards ideal for your trip. The advantage of making the purchase from home and waiting for the SIM card to be sent to you has led many tourists to take this route. The online stores have websites in several languages, so choosing a plan that suits you will be easier. 

These online stores have plans aimed at tourists because they focus on this type of customer. To choose a good option, you have to consider some points. The first one is to confirm if the store has deliveries in your country and if you can use one of their payment methods. You should also confirm which local operator you will connect with because this will determine the coverage and speed of your service.

Although they are international SIM cards, they work thanks to agreements with these carriers. An option that assures you good service and immediate delivery is to use Holafly, the best eSIM for France, which we will talk about in another section.

Pros of buying a data plan for abroad before traveling

Purchasing a virtual SIM card or prepaid SIM card before your trip allows you to enjoy benefits such as:

  • Internet for the whole adventure

By purchasing a prepaid SIM card before arrival, you will not spend a single moment without internet, so you will always have this tool at hand. Also, some online stores offer options with unlimited data.

  • It is an easier task

You will not have to search for stores and options once you arrive in France. This can take time if you don’t know the country and its language. With a prepaid SIM card from an online store, you will do everything from home and with specialized customer service.

  • Options with coverage in Europe

It is possible to find SIM cards with coverage in France and other European countries, ideal for travel to more than one destination. For example, Holafly’s eSIM in Europe allows you to travel connected to the Internet in Europe using a single eSIM.

  • Unlimited data without contracts

In many cases, unlimited data plans from local operators are exclusive to postpaid customers and residents. In some online stores, you can find prepaid SIM cards with unlimited data for France.

(You may also be interested in the best SIM card for Portugal)

 Louvre Museum. Source: Pexels.com

Buy your tourist SIM card in France

We know that this way is not the main recommendation of travelers in the world, but it is still an alternative available for some. There are local phone companies that offer tourist SIM cards for visitors. Keep in mind that you must make the purchase once you arrive. Locating a store, ordering your local SIM card, and registering it are time-consuming and tedious processes. Keep this in mind if you are going to wait until you arrive in France to sort out your communication and make time for your plans.

Orange France

You may know this company operates in several European countries and offers prepaid plans for France. With Orange, you find tourist SIM cards that you can buy with or without an associated plan. If you don’t choose a plan, you will be using the credit you have on the SIM card to surf, with a constant rate per MB. You can also opt for one of the 10 GB or 30 GB plans. The plans are for use within 14 days, although if you use up the GB before this period, you will be notified by SMS. You can extend the plan and pre-order the SIM card on the web, but you must activate it within 30 days.

SFR 

This is one of the main French phone companies with which you can buy a prepaid SIM card as a tourist and then activate one of their plans. You can opt for just the SIM without a plan, but you will be using up your credit which can be expensive. The best option is usually to activate one of the 80GB or 130GB data packages. These plans can be renewed after thirty days or if you use up the entire data package. You can bring your own phone to the physical store, and SFR customer service will help you with the installation and registration process.

Bouygues Telecom

Finally, we have Bouygues Telecom, which has a SIM card focused on tourists visiting France called My European SIM. This option has 30GB of browsing plus unlimited calls and messages to numbers in France and other European destinations. In addition to the SIM card, Bouygues includes some destination guides in several languages that are ideal for tourists who are not sure what to visit in France. Finally, the prepaid SIM card has a thirty-day usage period. In case you use up your data before and top up, this period will be reset.

How much does a prepaid SIM card for internet in France cost?

So far, you have met some of the major phone companies in France and their prepaid SIM card for tourists. It is now time to touch on another relevant point: the price of the available packages. A prepaid SIM card for France can cost between 5$ for the SIM card alone and 45$ for the SIM card with more complete packages. As you can see, the local solutions are not cheap, and none offer unlimited data.

Stay with us for an affordable alternative with good prices and unlimited data packages in France. These are the Holafly eSIMs for France that we will present below.

Holafly eSIM for France: a great alternative.

eSIM for France
eSIM with unlimited data. Source: Holalfy.

Among all the options you can take, the only one that offers excellent service in France, along with unlimited data and easy activation, is Holafly. With their virtual SIM card for France, you can connect to good local networks and have a plan with unlimited data for several days of use. You will also find eSIM for Europe in this online store, which will give you coverage in this country and other destinations.

Additionally, along with unlimited data, you’ll get 120 minutes of talk time, the same as the best eSIM for Portugal! This is a fantastic advantage if you want to call a local number. The total number of minutes is divided into 60 minutes to receive calls and 60 minutes to make outbound calls

Virtual SIM cards are the digital evolution of the traditional SIM card, so they can be delivered instantly wherever you are. After selecting your plan on the website and paying for the eSIM card, you will receive it in your email in the form of a QR code. Holafly will also include a quick installation guide if you are not familiar with this technology. Without a doubt, Holafly’s French eSIM is the best option for those with compatible phones.

Advantages and disadvantages of Virtual SIM cards

Advantages:

  • Internet for you and your travels

Holafly’s virtual SIM card for France can be purchased and activated at any time. This means that from home or while in France, you can access the website, make the purchase and activate the eSIM in just minutes.

  • Customer Service Multilingual

This online store has 24/7 customer support through different means of communication and access to several languages. They will be willing to help you with any inconvenience or help in the installation of the eSIM.

  • Virtual SIM card for Europe

In case your trip is planned to visit other borders, you can buy an eSIM card with Holafly coverage in several countries. Just visit the online store and see all the destinations available in the Holafly catalog as one of the eSIM plans for your trip to Italy.

  • You can renew your service.

With Holafly’s virtual SIM cards, you can top up your plan in case you need more days of service. The store will notify you via email when you have used 90% of your plan, along with a link to repurchase any of the packages for that destination.

Disadvantages 

  • You should check the compatibility of your phone.

Unfortunately, embedded SIM cards are not compatible with all phones on the market. Companies are moving quickly to this technology, and you can confirm which devices are compatible today in this publication.

How much does an eSIM for France cost?

Let’s take a look at the deals offered by Holafly for an eSIM in France.

Length of planAmount of dataPrice (USD)
5 DaysUnlimited data with calls$19
7 DaysUnlimited data with calls$27
10 DaysUnlimited data with calls$34
15 DaysUnlimited data with calls$47
20 DaysUnlimited data with calls$54
30 DaysUnlimited data with calls$64
60 Days Unlimited data with calls$87
90 DaysUnlimited data with calls$99
Table N°1 eSIMs for France from Holafly

Frequently asked questions

How else can I connect to the internet in France?

You can activate data roaming and use data provided by your current provider. But be aware that this will be very expensive. If you plan on using this option, you can expect a hefty phone bill when you get back home. Alternatively, you could buy Pocket Wi-Fi (a portable device that generates a WiFi connection for your phone). This option is also expensive, and you’ll have to carry the device everywhere. A SIM card for France is the cheapest and most convenient way of connecting to the internet.

How much does roaming cost in France?

You could expect to be charged $7-$15 per MB. So if you watched a movie on Netflix, that could mean paying hundreds. That’s why we recommend buying a SIM card instead.

How do I know if my phone is compatible with the eSIM?

There are several ways to confirm. One is with your provider, where you purchased your phone. In other cases, you can call, and with some commands, you can confirm it. Finally, you can search the internet for your phone model and see if they can use an eSIM card.

What do I do if my SIM card doesn’t work in France?

If you buy your virtual SIM card from Holafly and it doesn’t work, you can contact their customer support team 24/7. All SIM cards come with clear and comprehensive set-up instructions.