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Use cell phone in Russia: How to do it?

If you need ideas to use your cell phone in Russia and don't know which service is the best for you: here we are to help you choose!

Julio Osuna

August 1, 2023

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Traveling around the world is a great experience; travelers generally want to get to know different countries, which we would all love to do. That’s why places like Russia are among the best options we have on our bucket list, making it an excellent place for vacationing for many people! But how can people use their cell phones while in Russia?

This is a fairly common question that pops up. But it’s something completely normal because of people not knowing how things work there, but that’s why we are here today! We will tell you everything you need to know regarding how to use a cell phone in Russia! 

eSIM for Russia

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Will my phone work in Russia?

The answer to this question is, in fact, pretty simple; it is a total yes! There will undoubtedly be restrictions on how much people may use their cell phones while traveling abroad, but that’s the lesser issue here. The key issue is how they will use it, particularly when we discuss traveling to a new continent, in this case Europe and Asia.

Your cellphone must first be compatible with the local networks at your destination. You can check whether networks are compatible with your device and which cellular networks operate in Russia to have this information in mind before traveling and choosing which service you will use.

In addition, you should look into roaming rates because, if you choose to use roaming rather than other services, beware that the price in this particular case is way higher than expected.

You are good to go aside from that. However, you must now know which services are the best suggestions for you to bring to Russia when traveling to use your cellphone there effectively and take full advantage of your vacation.

Do I need an international plan in Russia?

When visiting other countries, including Russia, you must know how things work there when it comes to cellular devices. Particularly if you’re unsure if you need to purchase an international cellphone plan or not, as many tourists do!

For us, we can tell that most people will need an international plan, not only in Russia but in other countries too. People can avoid using roaming services by having an international plan, which is required for their phones to function with cellular data in Russia.

So let’s talk more about the cheapest alternative data plans and choices we have at our disposal when we travel!

Woman taking a photo in Moscow. Source: Pexels.

What are the International plans options for use cellphone in Russia?

So far, we have briefly mentioned some things about using a cellphone in Russia. However, we haven’t discussed them as in depth as we should, so that’s what we will do right now!

It’s time for us to discuss eSIMs, SIM cards, and other alternatives that are becoming popular with modern travelers. Learning different things about these services lets us know which one will be better for us. So, let’s see what we can find here.

eSIM for Russia

The eSIM cards must be a topic to bring up whenever we mention new services for travelers. Due to all the features they offer and how simple it is to purchase them, there is no doubt that we can use them in different locations. It must therefore be listed among the alternatives that come to mind when traveling.

The fact that the eSIM only works on last-generation devices is the first and possibly most significant aspect. Forget all about inserting the eSIM into a physical port on the phone instead, scan the QR code to download the eSIM information, without needing to do anything else.

Unlimited data eSIM for Russia
Unlimited data eSIM for Russia.

However, there are additional benefits that we can point out. For instance, as we mentioned, a QR code is all it takes to activate it. And the buying procedure itself just takes a little under 5 minutes to complete.

To be more specific, we can get eSIMs from Holafly for Russia starting at $6, and they can go all the way up to $139. Something great to know is the fact that all of these eSIMs offered by Holafly come with unlimited data, so people won’t have to worry about spending more than they need.

Local SIM Card for Russia

It is now time to discuss the second option on our list. We are all aware of what SIM cards accomplish and how convenient they are for many tourists, which is fantastic.

But it’s necessary to keep in mind local mobile carriers will have different requirements in terms of how to get one. So, before someone buys a SIM card in Russia, it’s important to ask what are the requirements to get one!

Pocket WiFi for Russia

Regarding choices, we also have Pocket WiFi devices in mind. When eSIMs and SIM cards weren’t as well known as they are now, the Pocket WiFi was pretty well known among tourists.

These devices can be rented or purchased. We advise renting them since it is simpler to do so. But the primary drawback is how pricey the service is since a basic Pocket WiFi may cost up to $400. And this depends on which company we decide to use.

In addition, we provide various choices, including Travel WiFi, Travelers WiFi, and many others. Prices will vary depending on our chosen company, but we can estimate a range from $60 to $100.

Free WiFi in Russia

Free WiFi is one option we have when we’re on the road. Many free hotspots are available, but where we go will largely determine which ones we use and for how long we can use them. To be fair, though, Russia is quite well known in this aspect.

However, there are certain considerations to consider when using a free WiFi connection, including the possibility of device hacking and data theft, among other things. Although that may sound crazy, anyone could experience it while they use their cell phone in Russia, so keep that in mind.

People walking in Russia. Source: Pexels.

Will my local Internet work in Russia?

It might happen; it might not. Although it will depend on the mobile operator’s networks, we can use it when it comes to providing roaming services. But for some people, it can be rather expensive in this particular instance.

The roaming service is one of the most expensive alternatives available, costing up to $10 per day, which can drastically affect people’s lives!

Use cell phone in Russia with AT&T

The AT&T cellular service is available to people who are traveling from America. For those who are interested, they provide a data plan for $10 per day, which is the standard fee for these services, and it grants travelers a way to stay connected for as long as they need when traveling abroad.

Using your cell phone in Russia with Vodafone

Vodafone is a cellular service provider you can utilize if you are going from Europe. Given that roaming in this country is more expensive than in other regions, the price, in this case, is $8 per day of usage. You should keep it in mind as well!

What is the best option for using your cell phone in Russia?

Until now, we have covered a wide range of topics. However, it is now up to us to decide which service is best for us. The Holafly eSIM is clearly the finest option we looked at because both of their prices are reasonable, they are simple to obtain, and we can rely on how reliable the service is wherever we go.

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