Data Roaming in France for Travelers 2024: Rates & How to Avoid it

All you need to know about Data roaming in France for tourists and better alternatives so you can choose the best connectivity option for your France travel.

Data roaming in France

I. Phone Roaming in France – Quick Facts for Tourists

Before going into details, we need to understand some basic information about roaming in France as follows: 

  • Roaming services: refer to the ability to use your mobile phone on a foreign network like France, you can still make calls, send text messages, and use data services on your phone
  • International roaming: when you pay a trip to France, your phone connects to a foreign network, known as a roaming partner, which enables you to access France’s mobile services. This allows you to stay connected to France’s mobile network and use your phone as if you were in your home country.

II. Understand about Roaming in France – How It Works

All France operators offer data roaming packages for tourists
All France operators offer data roaming packages for tourists

Data roaming in France allows you to use your mobile device’s data connection while traveling outside your home network coverage area. When you activate France data roaming, your device connects to a partnering mobile operator in France. Your home network has roaming agreements with France mobile network, allowing you to access their infrastructure. However, data roaming can be expensive, so it’s important to check your provider’s rates and consider alternatives like local SIM cards or Wi-Fi hotspots.

III. Is the Roaming Rate in France Expensive?

Absolutely YES. Roaming prices in France depend on your home cellular operator and the type of roaming service you choose. There are different options available, such as prepaid packages for specific days or countries, as well as the pay-per-use option, although it can be more expensive.

In general, roaming costs for France can range from $5 to $10 per day with some operators. However, if you use the pay-per-use option, you could spend $2 to $3.5 per MB of consumption, not counting the calls and messages you use. 

France roaming services offered by several international operators
France roaming services offered by several international operators

Let’s take a look at the roaming services offered by several international operators:

O2: This UK company allows users to use their phone services in many European countries, including France, for around $4 per day. O2 also offers special plans that may allow you to use your phone services at no extra cost.

Telstra: This Australian company provides two options for roaming in France. You can purchase a day package for $10, which includes 500 MB of data, unlimited calls, and messages. Alternatively, the pay-per-use option is available for $3 per MB, but be cautious as this can result in high bills.

AT&T USA: AT&T offers an International Day Pass for $10 per day, allowing USA-based customers to use cellular data, calls, and messages in France. The pay-per-use option for data costs $2.05 per MB.

IV. How to Activate Roaming Service for France in Your Cell Phone?

Steps to turn on data roaming service on cell phone
Steps to turn on data roaming service on cell phone

To activate roaming services, you just need to take 4 steps:

Step 1: Choose your preferred service provider

You need to determine the service provider first. 

You can either keep your home mobile plan or go for a local cellular carrier

If you keep your home cellular plan and assume that your home network carrier is one of the following brands, here is what to expect:

Mobile network carrierRoaming fees
Three$5/ day
Vodafone$6 / day 
Rogers$15/ 10 MB 
Verizon$2.05/ MB 
AT&T$2.05 / MB 
T-Mobile$70 for 5 days 

If you choose a local mobile carrier, and activate its roaming service, the recommended local providers for roaming services are Orange, Bouygues, SFR and Free Mobile. 

France mobile network carrierRoaming fees
OrangeExpect prices starting around $20 for limited access in broader regions to over $118 for substantial allowances.
SFRFrom $11.80 
Free mobileStart around  $2.36 for 1GB 
Bouygues-24-hour unlimited voice & SMS pass: from $8.26 / 24h
-24h Data Pass1GB: from $14.16 / 24h

Step 2: Activate the roaming function for your service provider

Each mobile network carrier has a different way to activate roaming service. You had better refer to the official website of the chosen operator for more detail.

For example: for Vodafone: download My Vodafone (Vodafone’s app) > get the option named “International roaming” > choose your destination country > Done, you get it.  

Step 3: Buy a mobile package with roaming

Why is the roaming package important? 

Regular roaming rates are usually expensive. Buying roaming packages will warrant that you will not break the bank with roaming charges.

Step 4: Turn on your phone’s roaming

On Android: Settings > Tap on “Data roaming” > Turn “International Roaming” on

On iOS (iPhone): Settings > Cellular > Tap on “Data roaming”

Note: Do not forget to turn off the roaming feature when not in use to prevent any unnecessary expenses once you come back France.

V. How to Avoid Roaming Charges When Traveling to France

Some tips to avoid data roaming
Some tips to avoid data roaming when travelling to France

We will suggest 3 tips to avoid roaming charges when you traveling to France: 

  • Take out a pre-paid roaming deal – Several phone companies offer EU roaming packages for travelers, so it is recommended to research the options and sign up for a pre-paid deal before the trip.
  • Buy a pre-paid SIM card – If you are spending a longer vacation or travel regularly to France, purchasing a pre-paid SIM card from a French phone company can be a more cost-effective option.

Note: With this option, you have to check whether your device is unlocked (with physical SIM Card) or your device’s compatibility (with eSIM)

Read more:  Gigago eSIM compatible list

  • Turn roaming off and use free Wi-Fi – By turning off data roaming on your phone and utilizing free Wi-Fi available at various locations such as shopping malls, restaurants, tourist offices, airports, and train stations, you can access the internet without incurring additional charges.

VI. France eSIM – Alternative to Data Roaming in France to Get Internet

In addition to roaming, guests visiting France can also stay connected and access the internet by using a travel eSIM for France. By opting for a prepaid and data-only eSIM plan, customers can save money while enjoying connectivity throughout their stay in France. 

eSIMs offer a convenient and cost-effective solution for travelers who want to stay in touch with friends and family and have reliable internet access during their time in France.

SFR eSIM - a reliable choice for tourists in France
SFR eSIM – a reliable choice for tourists in France

eSIM is a type of technology SIM that can be owned immediately by scanning a qr code. This is a new generation SIM card with outstanding features that overcomes the disadvantages of other forms of communication: 

  • Convenience: No physical SIM card needed, making it easier to switch devices or networks.
  • Dual SIM functionality: Have multiple phone numbers or data plans on one device.
  • Easy activation: Activate remotely using a QR code or activation code.
  • Flexibility: Easily switch between mobile network operators without a physical SIM card.
  • Space-saving: Frees up space in devices for other components.
  • Enhanced durability: No risk of losing or damaging physical SIM cards.

Today, there are many eSIM providers including Gigago. This mobile carrier is an extremely reliable eSIM solution provider. This provider can offer the networks of all four major French carriers at extremely competitive prices. Some popular packages are often used by tourists to France such as: 3 days – 3GB- $8.30, 30 days – 10GB- $26.50,…

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There are also some added benefits to help customers have the best experience: 

  • Instant delivery: eSIM profile details delivered via email. No waiting for shipping, no removal, no risk of loss.
  • 24/7 support: Answer questions and provide 24/7 technical support via chat or email.
  • Easy to use: 100% online. Receive eSIM via email. Scan a QR code to install. Activate eSIM when you land and get connected instantly

VII. How to Turn Off Data Roaming When Traveling in France? 

We will separate into two types of devices that you can turn off data roaming easier: 

1. Turn off international roaming on Android When Traveling in France

  • Open the “Settings” app on your Android device
  • Looking for the “Network & Internet” or “Connections” section
  • Go to “Mobile Networks” or “Cellular Networks” and tap on it
  • Look for the option labeled “Data Roaming” and tap on it.
  • Toggle the switch next to “Data Roaming” to the off position

2. Turn off international roaming on iPhones

How to turn off data roaming service?
How to turn off data roaming service when returning from France?
  • Open the “Settings” app on your iPhone
  • Scroll down and tap on “Cellular” or “Mobile Data” (depending on your iOS version)
  • Tap on “Data Roaming.”
  • Toggle the switch next to “Data Roaming” to the off position
  • A pop-up message may appear. Tap “Disable” or “Turn Off” to confirm.


If I want to choose Bouygues operator for my France trip, Can I call the registration hotline from any country in Europe?

Yes : +336 68 634 634 (voice server in French)

Why is France roaming so expensive?

If you let your device “roam” in France, data roaming charges can get expensive very quickly because you’re paying for the privilege of getting an internet connection internationally, on something that isn’t your “home” network.

IX. Conclusion

In conclusion, when it comes to data roaming in France, there are several ways to avoid excessive charges. Taking out a pre-paid roaming deal from phone companies, buying a pre-paid SIM card from French providers, and utilizing free Wi-Fi hotspots can help travelers stay connected without incurring high costs. These options provide flexibility and cost-effectiveness for those visiting France and seeking to manage their data usage while staying connected. Hope all information above can help you choose which is the best option for your connection in France!