Movistar is one of the top mobile network operators in Spain, providing reliable connectivity and fast speeds across the country. As a traveler visiting Spain, getting a Movistar Spain SIM card or eSIM is a great way to stay connected on-the-go without paying expensive roaming charges.

movistar spain sim card

I. Quick Facts about Movistar

Founded in 2000, Telefónica Móviles España, S.A.U., known commercially as Movistar, is the leading mobile network operator in Spain. It is a subsidiary of Telefónica, the largest telecommunications company in Spain and one of the largest in the world.

Movistar provides a wide range of mobile and landline telecommunications services in Spain, including mobile voice and data, broadband internet, TV, and other value-added services.

With over 17 million mobile subscribers, Movistar has an extensive retail network of over 600 Movistar stores and 1500 dedicated centres across Spain. They also have thousands of partner agent stores like Amena, Kphone, The Phone House, Worten, and others where you can buy Movistar SIM cards.

Their customer care service is available 24/7 and supports multiple languages including English, Spanish, Catalan, and Basque. You can reach them via phone, email, chat, or social media.

II. Why Movistar When Traveling Spain – Coverage and Speed

If you’re traveling around Spain, Movistar is the clear best mobile network choice. According to the latest report by Opensignal, it easily beats out competitors on coverage, speeds and streaming quality.

Movistar Coverage in Spain

Movistar tied with Orange for the highest nationwide coverage

Movistar tied with Orange for the highest nationwide coverage, with users able to connect to a cellular network 99% of the time on average. This ensures reliable connectivity whether in major cities or remote areas.

While all carriers are expanding 5G, Movistar had the second highest proportion of time when users connect to 5G – 16% compared to industry leader Orange’s 17%. 5G delivers faster speeds for activities like streaming.

you can depend on Movistar’s reliable coverage almost everywhere

So you can depend on Movistar’s reliable coverage almost everywhere you travel to in mainland Spain as well as the Balearic and Canary Islands.

Movistar Speed

Speed tests show Movistar flies above the rest

Speed tests show Movistar flies above the rest. Download speeds average around 251Mbps on 5G – way faster than rivals. You won’t be twiddling your thumbs waiting for photos to upload from your vacation.

Netflix and YouTube will be super smooth with Movistar in charge. It tops the ratings for video streaming quality on both regular networks and 5G. You can binge watch Spanish shows without any glitches.

Gamers will love Movistar’s low lag too. It leads in multiplayer mobile gaming on both types of connections. Your online battles will be lag-free wherever you play.

With Movistar’s reliability, most of the time your calls, texts and social media will work without issues anywhere in Spain. You’ll stay connected to your vacation memories and pics easily with Movistar powering your trips.

III. What are the Best Connectivity Options of Movistar for Travelers to Spain?

Movistar offers travelers to Spain a variety of connectivity choices

Movistar offers travelers to Spain a variety of connectivity choices to suit different travel needs and budgets. 

Connectivity OptionDescriptionPriceProsCons
Prepaid SIM CardPrepaid SIM cards allow travelers to purchase data packages for use on their unlocked mobile devices. Packages start at €10 for 10GB data valid 30 days.Starting at €10Budget friendly, no contract, fast activation.Data package expires, may require new SIM for each device.
Travel WiFi RouterPocket WiFi routers can be rented to provide WiFi connectivity for up to 5 devices like phones, tablets and laptops. Plans include 15-30GB data valid for 7-15 days.Starting at €40 per weekConvenient portable WiFi, can share among multiple devices.Additional cost to rent, limited data plans.
International RoamingFor Movistar customers from other countries, roaming packages allow use of existing plan rates and allowances while in Spain.Additional daily/weekly fees applyFamiliar rates and service from home provider.Extra roaming costs can add up quickly.

Overall, evaluating your expected duration, data needs, and number of devices will help determine the ideal choice. Prepaid SIM cards are best for budget-conscious short-term visitors, while customized plans or home WiFi work well for digital nomads or longer recreational trips.

IV. Best Movistar Spain SIM Cards for Tourists & Cost

Movistar prepaid SIM cards suitable for tourists visiting Spain

Here are some of the best Movistar Spain SIM cards suitable for tourists visiting Spain:

PlanPrepago PlusPrepago PremiumPrepago Total
Calls and TextsUnlimited national calls and texts.200 mins international callsUnlimited national calls and texts.400 mins international callsUnlimited national calls and texts
NetworkMaximum 5G+
Validity28 Days
Data10+30GB*15+60GB*20+105GB*
Charge (€)€10€15€20
Charge (US$)~$10.9~$16.3~$21.7
RoamingCalls and 10GB data in EUCalls and 14GB data in EUCalls and 19GB data in EU
ProsMovistar is a well-established operator with a wide network coverageVarious plan options with different data and calling allowances to choose from. Pay as you go plans availableData roll over between plans if not used
ConsMore expensive than other providersNo mention of data speeds after allowance is used up

V. Does Movistar Support eSIM in Spain?

Movistar eSIM is Movistar’s virtual SIM that is now available. With an eSIM you don’t need a physical SIM card, as activation of the phone number is done digitally directly from the menu of a compatible smartphone.

To request activation of the Movistar eSIM and contract your services, you must do it directly at Movistar stores where they can help you configure it on your compatible phone simply.

While Movistar eSIM provides a digital SIM activation without a physical card, it has a significant drawback: Plans must be canceled proactively before leaving the country, whereas unused credit simply expires on prepaid SIMs with no action needed. It’s easy for tourists to forget canceling.

If you insist on using an eSIM option while traveling in Spain, it may be best to consider this more flexible short-term eSIM alternative that will be mentioned below.

VI. Where to Buy Movistar Spain SIM cards and eSIM?

Online

Please note that this option requires an existing Spanish phone number to receive an SMS confirmation, which may not be available to new visitors to Spain.

  1. Visit the Movistar website at https://www.activacion-prepago-movistar.es and choose the prepaid plan that suits your needs. They offer options such as Prepago Plus, Prepago Premium, or Prepago Total, each with different data and minute allowances.
  2. Once you have selected your desired plan, click on the “Lo quiero” button to initiate the purchase process.
  3. Provide your contact and personal details during the purchase process. Select the option for home delivery with cash on delivery payment. You will not be charged for shipping costs.
  4. Within 3-5 days, the SIM card will be delivered to the address you provided. The delivery will include a receipt that contains the activation code. Upon receiving the SIM card, proceed to register it at www.movistar.es/activacion-prepago by entering the ICC (Integrated Circuit Card) and the activation code.
  5. After registering the SIM card, choose your prepaid plan and make an initial top-up payment if required. Once this is done, you will be ready to start using your connection.

Physical Stores

Alternatively, you can also purchase Movistar prepaid SIM cards/eSIM from the following locations:

  • Movistar Stores: For a hassle-free experience, we recommend visiting your nearest Movistar store. You can find store locations and directions on the Movistar website: https://tiendas.movistar.es/
  • Retail Stores: Major electronics and telecom retailers such as FNAC, El Corte Inglés, and MediaMarkt sell various prepaid SIM cards, including Movistar.
  • Tobacco Shops/Newspaper Stands: Many tobacconists and newspaper stands in Spain serve as points of sale for prepaid mobile top-ups and SIM cards, including Movistar SIM cards.
  • Supermarkets: Larger supermarket chains such as Carrefour, Mercadona, and Alcampo also sell prepaid SIM cards. Check their mobile top-up sections for Movistar options.

VII. How to Activate Movistar Spain SIM Card /eSIM?

  • To activate your SIM card, visit www.movistar.es/activacion-prepago and enter the ICC (Integrated Circuit Card) and activation code from the note. Follow the instructions provided on the registration form.
  • As part of the registration process, you will need to verify your identity by taking a selfie with your ID document using the camera. Once your identity is verified, you can select the prepaid plan that best suits your needs.
  • Insert the SIM card into your phone, then turn on your phone and enter the SIM PIN to complete the activation process.
  • You will receive a text message containing your new prepaid phone number. If necessary, you can also make an initial credit payment at this stage.

Tip:  If any issues come up, Movistar provides support via WhatsApp, phone call (1004) or their online community forums.

VIII. Alternatives to Movistar Spain SIM Cards

Though Movistar has the best coverage and speeds in Spain, below are some alternatives you can consider:

  • Vodafone Spain – Vodafone has excellent connectivity in cities and tourist areas. Their prepaid plans come with free roaming in 40+ destinations.
  • Orange Spain – Part of Orange Group, they offer tourist SIM card with 15GB + calls pack for €30 valid 30 days. Good option for EU roaming.
  • Yoigo Spain – Yoigo has cheap data rates and intuitive app for convenient SIM card management. Their network quality is improving.
  • eSIM by GIGAGO: Gigago provides eSIM data plans for Spain starting from €5, offering affordable connectivity on Spain’s major network Orange

As an eSIM, it avoids the hassle of swapping physical SIM cards when traveling. Plans ranging from 1 day to 30 days can be purchased directly from Gigago’s website and activated immediately online before your trip.

Once in Spain, simply enable data roaming on your eSIM compatible device to start using mobile data. Gigago also provides 24/7 customer support via email, WhatsApp and phone to help with any setup or usage issues. 

An eSIM from Gigago is a very convenient option for travelers looking for a temporary data plan in Spain that can be arranged from anywhere before their visit.

IX. FAQs about Movistar Spain SIM Cards

Does my Movistar SIM card work all over Spain?

Yes, with 98% population coverage in Spain you can expect reliable connectivity wherever you travel including beaches, smaller towns and even remote touristic sites.

Does a Movistar Spain SIM cards work in other European countries?

Yes, Movistar prepaid SIMs and eSIM allow free roaming across the EU. You get domestic Spain rates for roaming calls, texts and data within EU countries.

Can I use Movistar Spain SIM Card for tethering and hotspot?

Yes, standard tethering is enabled on Movistar SIM cards allowing you to connect other devices through hotspot. But streaming video over hotspot may be restricted.

Is my SIM locked to Movistar?

Prepaid SIMs are not locked, so you can change carriers at any time by simply inserting a different SIM

X. Conclusion

To conclude, getting a Movistar Spain SIM card is the best option for hassle-free connectivity as a tourist. Their prepaid plans offer great value with generous domestic and EU roaming data.

So empower your Spain trip with reliable mobile data and calls connectivity from Movistar at affordable budget pricing. With the convenience of mobile connectivity, you have greater flexibility to tour even offbeat locations confidently without losing touch.