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Prepaid Turkey SIM card for tourists: How to buy one?

Get your SIM card to visit Turkey with the Holafly digital SIM card with unlimited data that varies from $19 to $99.

Mark Robins

December 5, 2023

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If you’re traveling to Turkey, you’re probably thinking about how you can get an internet connection during your trip. Paying for data roaming is extremely expensive, and simple things like watching videos could set you back $100. Fortunately, data roaming is a thing of the past, as you can now buy a Turkey SIM card.

Digital SIM card for Turkey

>>Buy a Digital Turkish eSIM alternative with unlimited data plans<< Get 5% OFF. Code: MYESIMNOW5

Where can I buy a SIM card for Turkey?

When visitors arrive in another country, there are several options to get internet. They can take you to stores in person and ask for a prepaid SIM card, whether it’s digital or plastic. There are two main ways to buy a SIM card for Turkey:

  • 1. Buy your SIM card before you travel from an online store.
  • 2. You can also get your SIM card in person once you arrive in Turkey.
  • 3. There’s one more option to buy before you travel or during. This is Turkey’s digital SIM card through the online store Holafly.

But which is the best option for you? We recommend buying before you travel, and let’s take a look at why:

Buy before you travel

If you buy before you travel, you will get many advantages throughout your trip; things run more smoothly for travelers. Some virtual stores offer data plans and SIM cards; some even have an app where you can buy.

Before choosing the best option, you have to keep in mind several aspects, like pricing and rates, including data, and valid time. It’s also essential to check what cellular network you will connect to and how good the coverage is. One particular provider is the digital SIM card for Turkey from Holafly, which we’ll dive a little deeper later on.

Advantages of purchasing your data plan before traveling

  • Internet the moment you land

If you buy a SIM card for Turkey before you travel, you can go online as soon as you land in this country. So, you’ll be able to book a cab from the airport and let friends know you’ve arrived safely. All you have to do is insert your SIM card into your phone. Forget about lines at airport stores, long installations, and contracts. Don’t waste and start discovering Turkey right away!

  • An easy installation process

There are no complicated contracts to sign or long technical instructions to wade through. Just insert your SIM card by following the easy set-up instructions, turn on data roaming once you land in Turkey, and you will be connected instantly.

  • A more secure option

One other perk of buying online is that you’ll receive your product before you have to use it, so in case anything goes wrong, you can call and solve any issues.

Turkey Adventures. Source: Pexels.com

Digital SIM card for Turkey with unlimited data

Digital SIM cards or eSIMs are new SIM cards that provide internet at a competitive price. But are they better than a traditional SIM card? The main advantage is that you can get an eSIM for tourists that travel to Turkey anywhere in the world, and it’s delivered to you via email immediately. Let’s take a look at their advantages and disadvantages in the next section:

Advantages and disadvantages of Digital SIM cards

Advantages:

  • Quick purchase and activation processes

Purchasing and activating a European eSIM card or Asia eSIM plan is easy. You buy from a store like Holafly and wait a few seconds for a QR code to arrive in your email. With this, you can activate your Digital SIM and get connected.

  • Get a Digital SIM anywhere in the world

Are you already in Turkey and struggling to access the internet? No matter where you are, you can always buy a Digital SIM, and it will come directly to your cellphone. There is no delivery cost, and you don’t have to wait more than a few minutes. This is excellent for when we visit other destinations; imagine traveling to the UAE and having a tourist eSIM within reach of a click

  • Affordable rates

Compared to paying data roaming charges, Digital SIMs are incredibly cheap. Travelers only need to pay for the data plan they will use and forget about extra payments.

  • Unlimited data

With the Holafly Virtual SIM card for Turkey, you will get unlimited mobile data. So, you will never run out of internet.

  • You keep your WhatsApp number

With a Holafly Digital SIM card, you can keep your current WhatsApp number alongside all your contacts and conversations. So, sending photos of your adventures to loved ones back home is easy.

Disadvantages:

  • Only works on eSIM-compatible mobiles.

The main disadvantage of Digital SIM cards is their limited compatibility. As a new development in consumer tech, many older cellphones do not support this tech, so before you buy, check your cellphone is compatible

Holafly digital SIM for Turkey: a great alternative

turkey holafly esim customization
International travel digital SIM for Turkey. Source: Holafly.

For travelers, the Holafly digital Turkish eSIM has become a popular alternative due to everything it offers. Compared to other SIM cards in the market, while using Holafly, people can forget about the complicated purchase process and travel without mobile data.

Besides this, Holafly gives users access to other important features, such as a customization feature that allows people to choose exactly how many days they are staying before purchasing an eSIM. Also, this eliminates the process of visiting physical stores to get a SIM card, saving travelers some time.

While the Holafly digital SIM card for Turkey is already a great alternative for travelers, what other features can we mention regarding their offer?

  • Cost-effective eSIMs for travelers with unlimited data.
  • Hotspot and enjoy 500 MB per day to share with others.
  • Great coverage in Turkey.
  • Data customization feature from 1 day to 90 days. This feature is also available with the eSIM for Israel.
  • The activation process takes less than 5 minutes to complete.
  • 24/7 customer support & super-flexible refund policy.
  • No limit on how many eSIMs travelers can get.

Pros and Cons

Stay connected! – You will be able to stay connected to the internet in Turkey while traveling with a Holafly eSIM. Also, purchasing one takes only a few minutes and may be done from home or while visiting the nation.

  1. Easy to get! – Tourists from all around the world may purchase virtual SIM cards for Turkey more easily because websites and customer support are available in numerous languages. You may also discover a variety of plans and bundles to pick from according to your consumption and length of stay.
  2. Effortless installation – You will receive an email with a QR code and simple installation instructions after purchasing your eSIM for Turkey. Scanning this QR code and waiting a few minutes is all that is required. You will not be required to complete any registration forms or contracts.
  3. Top-up – If you don’t want to repeat the whole buying process, you can top up your eSIM. For Turkey, as Holafly offers unlimited data packages, rather than buying more mobile data for your trip, you get to use this feature to buy more days. 
  4. Holafly App – Available for Android and iOS, the Holafly app simplifies everything to its users. People using this app can either buy an eSIM in a matter of seconds or manage their eSIMs while traveling. Both options are included, as well as other main features that will make the app user-friendly.

Disadvantages

  • Compatibility – Because eSIM is a novel technology, it is not found in all mobile phones on the market. Before purchasing one, make sure that your phone can use them; you can see a list of compatible phones here.

Buy your tourist SIM card in Turkey

Another option for travelers is to get a SIM card once they arrive in Turkey. As there are different carriers available for use in the country, there will be different SIM card options to choose from while there. But it’s important to consider these offer fewer features than digital SIM cards.

Travelers need to consider that buying a local SIM card won’t give many benefits due to the plans they can get. But it’s worth noting users can get a phone number if they need to make phone calls or send text messages.  Also, it’s important to have an unlocked phone to use a SIM card from the available carriers.

As for now, let’s get to know what the different Turkish carriers offer to travelers with their SIM cards.

Turkcell

Turkcell is the leading cellular operator in Turkey. The company offers different services, such as mobile data, good coverage, and access to good mobile networks while in the country. However, the company currently offers only one data plan for travelers.

Currently, Turkcell allows travelers to buy a SIM card with their passport. Their package is the “Tourist Welcome Pack,” which gives users access to 20GB of mobile data plus 200 minutes to make phone calls. 

Turkcell Welcome Package for tourists. Source: Turkcell.

To get this SIM card, travelers need to visit a Turkcell store with their passport to get the Welcome Pack. They don’t offer unlimited data plans nor allow top-ups on these plans.

Vodafone Turkey

Coming in second place, Vodafone Turkey is another option available for travelers to use. In this case, the process to get a SIM card as a tourist is different as people need to complete a form with their personal information and the city they are visiting within Turkey.

Currently, the company doesn’t provide information about how much the available data plans cost. This information is sent to people who applied for their SIM card once the application form has been approved by the company. Once this is done, people can take a look at the data package prices and choose whether to get an eSIM or SIM card.

Vodafone application form for a Tourist SIM Card. Source: Vodafone Turkey.

Overall, Vodafone makes it harder for travelers to get a SIM card from them. While keeping this in mind, it’s fair to say the company also offers good coverage and proper data speeds in most Turkish cities.

Turk Telekom

The last option available for travelers to use comes with Turk Telekom. Similar to the previous companies, they offer a SIM card for tourists with different data packages included. These data plans vary from 10GB to 75GB packages.

People getting a SIM card from Turk Telekom only need to take their passport with them and buy directly from the store. People can only get one data package at a time while using a Turk Telecom tourist SIM card. If the data package is completely used, the company shall charge users with extra fees.

How to buy a tourist SIM card from Turk Telekom. Source: Turk Telekom.

Prices will vary from $2 to $6 only for the data packages, this price doesn’t include the SIM card cost and activation fee, which are charged separately in stores. 

Other than this, the company offers 4.5G data speeds, good coverage around the country, and different customer support contact methods.

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

SIM cards in Turkey have different prices. For example, Vodafone doesn’t allow people to know their rates if people don’t apply to their SIM card for tourists, while companies like Turkcell and Turk can cost from $2 to $10, but this is only for the data package, as there are other fees such as paying for the SIM card, activation fee, and others.

On the other hand, a digital SIM card for Turkey costs from $19 to $99. These will give users unlimited mobile data, making the purchase process easier. Also, depending on which one people chooses, these will last from 5 to 90 days.

Frequently asked questions about SIM card Turkey

How much does data roaming cost in Turkey?

The cost of data roaming depends on the provider, but you can expect to pay between $7 – $15. So, if you watched a movie on Netflix, it could cost you hundreds. That’s why we recommend a Turkey SIM card.

Which SIM card is best for Turkey?

When traveling to Turkey, the best SIM card to get is the digital SIM card from Holafly. Affordable for travelers and including unlimited data, users will stay connected throughout their trip without needing to spend a lot of money.

Is it worth getting a Turkish SIM card?

While people can get a Turkish SIM card as a tourist, the application process might be complicated as it might take longer than expected to receive an answer. While other companies don’t have an application process, they do have extra fees when it comes to getting a SIM card from them.

Can I buy a SIM card at Istanbul Airport?

Yes. People can get a SIM card at the Istanbul Airport as long as they have their passport with them and buy from either Turkcell or Turk Telekom.