Best Greece SIM Cards for Tourists: Updated Prices & Where to Buy 2024

Greece SIM cards are essential for tourists visiting Greece to stay connected throughout the trip. Having a Greece SIM card allows them to stay in touch with people back home and have Internet access while exploring beautiful Greek islands, historic sites, and welcoming cities.

In this article, we will go over the best Greece SIM card options for data, calling, and messaging and their rates accordingly. We will also help you find out the best alternative to access the Internet while in Greece and how and where to get it.

I. Should You Get a SIM Card in Greece?

Yes, you should get a SIM card in Greece, for reasons.

Greece SIM cards, especially prepaid ones, are an excellent way for tourists to stay connected while exploring Greece. They allow you to have secure Internet access on your smartphone, making your vacation much easier. With a SIM card, you can conveniently get directions, look up information, book a cab on the streets, and keep in touch with family and friends.

Get a SIM Card in Greece

To further understand why you should get a Greece SIM card, check out this table:

CriteriaSIM CardFree Wifi International Roaming
Availability– A wide selection of carriers
– Widespread coverage
Available at coffee shops, hotels, restaurantsCoverage depends on your home carrier
Convenience– Easy purchase
– Internet access from your device anywhere
– Inaccessible in very remote regions
– Need to locate hotspots
Use your existing phone number
PriceReasonableFreeVery high charges
DeviceAny unlocked phoneYour own phoneYour own phone
PrivacyPrivate and secure connectionUnsecured connectionProvider tracks your data usage

As we can see, a Greece SIM card is worth it for the availability, privacy, and convenience. The rate is also budget-friendly for the plan you choose. A Greek SIM makes it simple to use apps and keep in touch with loved ones while traveling.

Important Note:

  • Only unlocked mobile phones accept cellular networks in Greece so make sure to unlock your smartphone before buying a SIM card for Greece.
  • In case it is locked, contact your home carrier to have it unlocked.

II. Types of Greece SIM Cards for Tourists – Which One is the Best?

Greece SIM cards exist in two main forms:

  • Greece physical SIM: a small plastic card that goes inside your phone. You can remove or change it.
  • Greece eSIM: a digital SIM built into your smartphone, not a physical card.

Each sort is also categorized by function:

  • Data-only SIM: Use the Internet and apps but cannot make calls or send texts.
  • Data + voice + text SIM: Best for tourists who need Internet, plus make calls, send messages, use maps, etc.

Here we explain in details the two options: Greece physical SIM and Greece eSIM:

1. Prepaid physical SIM in Greece

A prepaid physical Greece SIM exists in a tangible form. To activate it, insert it into your phone’s SIM slot. Visitors to Greece may opt for a data-only SIM or data + text + voice SIM, depending on their specific needs.

2. Prepaid tourist Greece eSIM

eSIM is a virtual chip that is built into your smartphone. Tourists may change providers or plans easily with a Greece eSIM without needing to insert different physical cards. It can be purchased and activated online and also come in two sorts (one just for data and one for calling, texting, and data).

Here we look at some pros and cons of these two types of Greece SIM cards for travelers:

SIM TypePrepaid physical UK SIMPrepaid UK eSIM
Pros– Offered by all network carriers in Greece
– Budget-friendly
– Online purchase and easy activation
– No store visit
– No risk of SIM loss or damage
– Cost-effective
Cons– Risk of loss or damage
– Unlocked phone required
– Need to buy/ wait for delivery
– eSIM-embedded device required
– Unlocked mobile device required 

► Our Recommendation:

If you have an eSIM-supported phone and need Internet for entertainment or to stay in touch with your loved ones via online communication apps, a prepaid eSIM with data-only pack would be the best choice. It helps you enjoy the most secure and affordable Internet while saving money for your trip in Greece.

III. Best Greece SIM Card Packages for Travelers and Rates

Three major mobile network operators in Greece: Cosmote, Nova, and Vodafone
Three major mobile network operators in Greece: Cosmote, Nova, and Vodafone

Good to know: €1 = $1.08 and $1 = €0.93 (as of March 2024)

There are three (03) major mobile network operators in Greece including Cosmote, Nova, and Vodafone. (Wind rebranded to Nova Greece as of January 2023).

1. Best Greece Vodafone SIM Card Plans and Price

  • 12 GB data in Europe (15 days): €9.9 – $10.7
  • 10 GB data in Europe + 100 minutes to national networks + 50 international minutes + 600 minutes + 600 SMS to Vodafone International (15 days): €9.9 – $10.7
  • 15 GB data in Europe + 200 minutes to national networks + 120 international minutes + 1500 minutes + 1500 SMS to Vodafone International (15 days): €17.9 – $19.3

2. Best Greece Nova SIM Card Plans and Price

  • 1.5GB of data + 1000 minutes + 300 SMS: €13 – $14
  • 2GB of data + Unlimited minutes + 500 SMS: €15 – $16.2
  • 5GB of data + Unlimited minutes + 1000 SMS: €20 – $21.6

3. Best Greece Cosmote SIM Card Plans and Price

  • Giga Month: 4GB of data (30 days): €8.5 – $9.2
  • Giga Week: 6GB of data (7 days): €4 – $4.3
  • Giga Weekend: 6GB of data (weekend): €2 – $2.1
  • Giga Day: 6GB of data (24 hours): €1.5 – $1.6

Frog Mobile (part of Cosmote) offers:

  • 6 GB used in 25 days: €5.35 – $5.8
  • 10 GB + 200 minutes used in 30 days: €8.90 – $9.6

Note: Package details above may change over time, so it is best to check the carriers’ official websites for the most updated information.

► Our Recommendation:

  • Consider Cosmote as they have the best network coverage across Greece. Their plans are also diverse including daily, weekly, and monthly plans.
  • Choose Vodafone if you want affordable plans with great data amounts, call minutes, and texts.
  • If you want to buy Greece SIM cards at better rates, look for street vendors in Greece who generally sell SIM cards with better plans than stores. 

IV. Where to Get a Tourist SIM Card for Greece?

Tourists can get a Greece SIM card with widespread 4G coverage throughout the nation in 03 major places (or major ways), which are:

  • Buy online before flight
  • Buy at Greece airports
  • Buy in Greece cities

1. Purchase prepaid Greece SIM card online before flight

Tourists may get a prepaid Greece eSIM online before their flight from prestigious resellers like Gigago. It will be set up online using QR code, saving you time when you arrive in Greece.

Pros: No store visit/ wait for shipping, instant Internet upon arrival

Cons: eSIM-embedded device required

2. Purchase physical Greece SIM cards at Greece Airports

Visitors to Greece can get a SIM card at carrier stores and kiosks at major Greece Airports like Athens International Airports.

Pros: get online right when arriving in Greece

Cons: Limited plans, more expensive than stores outside the airport

Get physical Greece SIM cards at Greece Airports
Get physical Greece SIM cards at Greece Airports

3. Purchase physical Greece SIM card in the cities

Travelers visiting may purchase physical Greece SIM cards from carriers stores across cities. You can find stores of Cosmote, Vodafone, and Nova (formerly Wind) in cities like Athens, Zografou, Neapoli, Koropi, etc. 

Pros: Widely accessible, a wide selection of SIM options, budget-friendly rates

Cons: Need to locate and commute to the stores

Buy Greece SIM cards from carrier stores in the cities
Buy Greece SIM cards from carrier stores in the cities

Pro Tip:

Make sure to bring your passport for ID verification, EUR cash/ credit/ debit cards when purchasing from stores or kiosks in the cities or at Greece airports.

► Our Recommendation:

  • If you are a price-conscious tourist with time freedom, get Greece SIM card in cities for the best deals.
  • If you have an eSIM-compatible mobile device, get an eSIM online before your Greece trip. It offers online instant activation without needing a physical SIM and does not require you to commute to the SIM store.

V. How Much Data Is Enough for a Greece Tourist SIM Card?

For average tourists, a 10-20 GB data plan is sufficient for a 5-day trip to Greece, ranging from light to moderate usage. This amount covers messaging, social media, basic web browsing and occasional video calls. If you plan on using your Greece SIM card for sharing Internet or streaming heavy videos, you may need more data.

To select the most suitable data plan for your Greece trip, it is essential to understand what you can do with 1GB of data:

  • Browse social media (2-3 hours)
  • Use maps (around 5 hours)
  • Send/ receive 100-200 WhatsApp photos/ messages
  • Stream low-quality videos (3-4 hours)

Here is how much data you may need for a week in Greece:

  • Light users (web browsing, maps, messages, emails): 2-3GB
  • Medium users (social media, maps, transport apps, occasional streaming): 5-8GB
  • Heavy users (navigation, HD videos, downloads, online games): 10GB+

Pro Tip: 

  • Get a data plan with more GB than you think you will need to avoid running out while you are still traveling in Greece.
  • Use free Wifi when in hotspots like coffee shops, hotels, restaurants, and so on to save your cellular data.

VI. Greece eSIM – Best Alternative to Physical SIM Cards to Stay Online in Greece

Using an eSIM for Greece is an excellent option for staying connected while in the country. Some key benefits of choosing a Greece eSIM include:

  • You can set up your cellular plan from home before your trip, so you will have service as soon as you land in Greece. 
  • No need to find a store to buy a physical SIM once you arrive, no physical SIM needed. Just download your eSIM plan right to your phone
  • eSIM plans provide generous data amounts at affordable prices, letting you easily look up information, use maps and translation tools anywhere in Greece.
  • It is super convenient to have all the data you need at your fingertips while exploring the beautiful country, from Athens and Santorini to Rhodes, Crete and beyond.

As one of the most reputable resellers of eSIM services for Greece, Gigago offers eSIM plans from Nova (formerly Wind) and Vodafone – the two major cellular network carriers in Greece. 

Gigago offers a wide range of eSIM plan for Greece
Gigago eSIM plans for Greece

Gigago eSIM plans for Greece start at only $3.50 for 1GB used in 3 days. The other plans cost around $3.50$125.98 , very reasonable! Thus, no matter how long your stay in Greece is and how much GB of data you need, there is always a suitable Greece eSIM option for you with Gigago.

VII. Which Greece Mobile Networks Are the Best for Visitors?

To help you select the best cellular network in Greece, we will have a closer look at the top three operators: Cosmote, Vodafone, and Nova (formerly Wind).

CriteriaCosmoteVodafoneNova
CoverageBestGreatGreat
SpeedSuper fastFastFast
PriceAffordableAffordableAffordable
eSIM availableYesYesYes

1. Cosmote

Cosmote has the largest network coverage in Greece
Cosmote coverage map in Greece (Source: nPerf)

Rank: #1

Cosmote has the largest network coverage reaching almost everywhere in Greece inclsuing small towns and villages. It is known for having very reliable and fast 4G service across its coverage area.

2. Vodafone

Vodafone has extensive coverage in Greece
Vodafone coverage map (Source: nPerf)

Rank: #2

Vodafone Greece is the second-largest network in terms of users. It provides extensive coverage in major cities and along highways throughout the country.

3. Nova (formerly Wind)

Nova has good coverage map in Greece (Source: nPerf)
Nova coverage map (Source: nPerf)

Rank: #3

Nova has good coverage in major cities in Greece. It continues expanding its network coverage in recent years. While it may not reach as remote rural areas, Nova offers 4G in most larger towns and popular tourist spots.

► Our Recommendation:

  • Cosmote is likely the best mobile carrier to go with due to its extensive coverage and fast 4G data.
  • Vodafone is also a good choice if you plan to stick mainly to urban centers and tourist areas. Their coverage in populated places is robust.
  • Nova is a decent option for tourists who only need coverage in major tourist destinations. 

VIII. How to Use UK Prepaid SIM Cards and eSIM

After choosing the best carrier and data plan options for your Greece trip, you should know how to get the Internet with Greece SIM cards and eSIMs.

1. Using prepaid Greece SIM cards for tourists

First, get a prepaid SIM card for Greece. Then follow these easy steps:

  • Power off your phone and open the SIM tray. Slide the SIM card in.
  • Power it back on and follow on-screen prompts.
  • Enter the APN provided by the carrier to set up the Internet connection (if applicable).
  • Call the provider’s special number (USSD numbers) to check your plan details and balance.
  • Now you are all set to use your new Greece SIM card and its services.

2. Setting up and activating Greece eSIM

Here are the simple steps to get your Greece eSIM set up:

  • Confirm that your phone is unlocked and compatible with eSIM
  • Purchase your Greece eSIM plan online. A QR code/ activation key will be delivered to your email.
  • Scan the QR code using your phone’s eSIM settings or enter the key you received.
  • Restart your device and you are all done!

IX. FAQs about Greece SIM Cards

Do I need to provide ID to buy Greece SIM cards?

Yes, you will need to show your passport when purchasing Greece SIM cards from most major carriers as identity verification is required by law. Shops sell them without issue to international visitors.

Can I use my Greece SIM card for data roaming in other countries?

Greece SIM cards generally cannot be used for data roaming outside of Greece. The mobile plans are set up for local usage only within Greek borders.

Which carriers have the best coverage for Greece SIM cards?

Cosmote and Vodafone tend to have the most reliable nationwide coverage for Greece SIM cards. Nova focuses more on major cities but has smaller rural networks.

Where is the best place to buy Greece SIM cards in Athens/ Thessaloniki?

Major carriers like Cosmote, Vodafone and Wind have stores at the airports and central locations in cities. Greece SIM cards can also be purchased online or from convenience stores and telecom shops throughout the country.

X. Conclusion

In summary, Greece SIM cards are very affordable and provide reliable Internet around the country. Tourists can pick one up at airports and stores in cities throughout Greece starting at just a few Euros. Cosmote, Vodafone, and Nova are the main carriers and generally work well in urban centers and tourist attractions. An eSIM for Greece is also a convenient and cost-effective alternative for staying in touch during your trip in Greece.