Buying a SIM card at Delhi Airport (Indira Gandhi) 2024: Travelers Guide

Traveling to India and need a local SIM card to stay connected? This article provides a guide for buying a SIM card at Delhi Airport (Indira Gandhi) to highlight the process, options, and tips for travelers arriving at Delhi Airport. We cover where and how you can buy a SIM card at India Delhi airport, available cellular providers, data plans and prices, and more to ensure you can get online hassle-free upon landing in the capital city.

Guide to buy a sim card at Delhi Airport
Buying a SIM Card at Delhi airport is very convenient.

I. Can I buy a SIM Card At Delhi Airport?

Yes, you can buy a SIM card at Delhi Airport.

Purchasing a SIM card at Chennai International Airport is quick and convenient. It allows you to use your phone immediately after landing, ensuring local connectivity for navigation and communication.

However, SIM cards at the airport tend to be pricier than those bought in the city or online. The data plans available at the airport might also provide less value or fewer options compared to other sources.

Tip: Some travelers use VPNs to boost data security when traveling.

II. Where To Buy a SIM Card At Delhi Airport?

You can buy a SIM card at Delhi Airport at some kiosks at Delhi airport (except BSNL) which sell SIM card of Airtel, BSNL, Jio, VI and MTNL. We will guide you to buy a SIM card at Delhi airport by carrier name at the airport based on the information below:

New Delhi airport map
New Delhi airport map

1. Airtel store

Location: Centrally located in the arrivals area of T3.

SIM Card: Airtel 4G prepaid SIM

Language Support: English, Hindi

Opening Hours: 6 am – 10 pm daily

Evaluation: One of the largest networks, easy setup and good coverage nationwide. 

2. VI store

Location: Near the customs exit in T3 for convenient purchases.

SIM Card: Vodafone 4G prepaid SIM

Language Support: English, Hindi, regional languages

Opening Hours: 5am – 11pm daily

Evaluation: Vast coverage and deals on data packs. 

3. Jio store

Location: Located in T3 food court for grabs & meals after purchase.

SIM Card: Jio 4G prepaid SIM

Language Support: English, Hindi, regional languages

Opening Hours: 6 am – 11 pm daily

Evaluation: Fastest network for streaming and calls. 

4. MTNL Counter

Location: Near the T3 taxi stand for easy access.

SIM Card: MTNL 4G prepaid SIM

Language Support: English, Hindi

Opening Hours: 8 am – 8 pm daily

Evaluation: Inexpensive calling rates for MTNL users. 

► Our recommendation: If you do not know which provider to choose, we recommend Jio mobile operator.

III. Do SIM Card Shops At Delhi Airport Open After Midnight?

No, the airport does not have many nighttime arrivals, SIM shops here (Airtel, Jio, BSNL) will be closed before midnight. This means if you arrive late at night, you might not be able to buy a SIM card from those stores.

IV. Delhi SIM Cards Price

You can buy a SIM card at MAA Airport for just ₹269, which includes 2 GB of data per day for 28 days. Below is a popular data plan from Jio that you might consider:

Jio data plan
Jio data plan

The most popular tourist SIM card plans at Delhi Airport are offered by the three major mobile network operators: Airtel, Jio, BSNL.

Here’s a comparison table of popular tourist SIM card options available at Delhi Airport, including Airtel, Jio, Vi (Vodafone Idea), and BSNL:

Good to know: 1 USD = 83.18 INR (Jan 07, 2024)

NetworkPlan DurationDataCallsSMSPrice (INR/USD)
Airtel28 days1.5 GB/dayUnlimited100/day₹299 ($3.60)
56 days1.5 GB/dayUnlimited100/day₹479 ($5.77)
84 days2 GB/dayUnlimited100/day₹698 ($8.41)
365 days2 GB/dayUnlimited100/day₹2,999 ($36.15)
Jio28 days2 GB/dayUnlimited100/day₹299 ($3.60)
56 days2 GB/dayUnlimited100/day₹444 ($5.35)
84 days2 GB/dayUnlimited100/day₹598 ($7.22)
365 days1.5 GB/dayUnlimited100/day₹2,399 ($28.92)
BSNL28 days2 GB/dayUnlimited100/day₹187 ($2.25)
56 days1.5 GB/dayUnlimited100/day₹319 ($3.85)
84 days2 GB/dayUnlimited100/day₹485 ($5.87)
365 days2 GB/dayUnlimited100/day₹1,999 ($24.10)


  • Prices may vary due to vendors and promotions.
  • Table based on public info, not exhaustive.
  • Compare prices from various vendors before buying.

V. What to Prepare for Getting a SIM Card at Delhi Airport – Registration Process

Here are the key things to prepare when buying a SIM card at Delhi airport:

  • Passport: Staff will need to check your passport to verify your identification.
  • Unlocked phone: Ensure your phone is not tied to a specific carrier in your home country.
  • Passport photo – Bring a printed or digital passport photo 
  • Cash in Indian rupees:
    • SIM kiosks may not accept foreign cards, so have cash ready.
    • ATMs are available if you need to withdraw rupees.
  • Completed registration form: Staff can help fill it out, but doing it yourself saves time.
  • Hotel /address proof: Like booking confirmations for verification of your stay.

This process can be complicated, and many tourists are uncomfortable sharing personal information. An easier option is to buy an international SIM card online before your trip or use an eSIM, which doesn’t require a passport.

VI. eSIM At Delhi Airport – an Alternative to Prepaid SIM Card Delhi

For travelers arriving in Delhi, eSIM provides a more convenient alternative to purchasing a physical SIM card at the airport.

Strengths of India eSIM by Gigago
Strengths of India eSIM by Gigago

When traveling to Delhi, I suggest opting for eSIM data packages provided by Gigago. As a prominent eSIM service provider, Gigago offers cost-effective India eSIM plans through Jio, the country’s largest mobile network. 

India eSIM by Gigago
India eSIM by Gigago

For India, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 3 GB for 30 days with $14.50 . What is great about Gigago’s India eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $14.50$29.90 . Thus, it does not matter how Internet users you are and how long your trip is in India, there is always an option for you with Gigago.

Setting up is straightforward – simply scan the QR code sent via email. With 24/7 support, Gigago India eSIM ensures a seamless choice for travelers to stay connected to Delhi’s top cellular network without the need for a physical SIM card.

VII. Can I Buy Tourist SIM Cards Outside of Delhi Airport?

Yes, you can buy tourist SIM cards outside of Delhi Airport. In fact, purchasing a SIM card in the city can often be more cost-effective and may provide you with more plan options. Here are some common places where you can buy SIM cards in Delhi:

  1. Mobile Network Operator Stores: Visit the official stores of major providers like Airtel, Jio, and BSNL. These stores can be found in various locations across the city and offer a range of plans.
  2. Electronics Shops: Many electronics and mobile phone shops sell SIM cards. They can also help with activation and selecting the best plan for your needs.
  3. Kiosks and Convenience Stores: Some convenience stores and kiosks around the city also sell SIM cards. They might not have as many options as the official stores but can be a quick and easy option.
  4. Shopping Malls: Large shopping malls often have stores or kiosks where you can purchase SIM cards.
  5. Online Purchase: Some providers offer the option to order a SIM card online and have it delivered to your hotel or residence in India.

Remember to bring your passport and a passport-sized photo, as these are usually required for SIM card registration in India.


Is it possible to pay by card when buying a SIM card at Delhi airport?

Yes, you can pay for your SIM card using major credit or debit cards like Visa and Mastercard at all authorized airport kiosks and stores. Having cash as a backup is still recommended.

How long does activation of an India SIM card take?

SIM activation usually takes 20-40 minutes after registering your details. Retailers will guide you further on the verification status. Make sure to factor activation time into your arrival plans.

Do I need ID proof when buying a SIM card at Delhi airport?

Yes, you’ll need to present your valid passport for identity verification during SIM purchase and activation as per regulations for tourists. A photocopy may also be taken in some cases.