Buying a SIM Card in Ankara for Travelers 2024: Guide from Locals

When visiting Ankara, the Turkish capital, visitors may be curious about how to use the internet or stay in touch with friends and family back home. Buying SIM cards in Ankara is one of the finest methods to do this. You may use these cards to make as many inexpensive internet, text, and phone transactions as you want. This essay enumerates every benefit of buy SIM card in Ankara.

Buy sim card in Ankara

I. Why Buy SIM card in Ankara?

Forget juggling unreliable free Wi-Fi or hefty roaming charges. Buy SIM card in Ankara is your gateway to seamless connectivity, leaving other options in the dust. Compared to:

  • Free Wi-Fi: Patchy access and limited locations leave you stranded in offline zones.
  • Roaming: Exorbitant costs can quickly drain your travel budget.
  • Pocket Wi-Fi: Bulky devices and limited battery life add an unnecessary burden.

Buy SIM card in Ankara gives you to:

  • Navigate offline: Explore hidden gems with Google Maps, even without cafes.
  • Share memories instantly: Upload breathtaking photos to Instagram wherever you roam.
  • Stay connected: Call and message loved ones back home, no matter the distance.
  • Access essential apps: Ride-hailing, translation tools, and more are at your fingertips.

II. Which mobile internet carrier is the best in Ankara?

Turkey has three major mobile network operators: Turk Telekom, Vodafone, and Turkcell. MVNOs like Bimcell share network infrastructure with bigger carriers. This table compares carriers on coverage, speed, reliability, popularity, tourist plan, and options to buy SIM card in Ankara.

NetworkCoverageSpeedReliabilityPopularityTourist Plan (Data/Validity/Call/Text)
TurkcellExcellentHighVery ReliableHigh20GB/30 days/Included Calls/SMS
VodafoneGoodModerateReliableModerate15GB/28 days/Included Calls/SMS
Türk TelekomModerateModerateReliableLower10GB/20 days/Included Calls/SMS
Bimcell (MVNO)ModerateModerateReliableLower5GB/14 days/Limited Calls/SMS

Conclusion: Turkcell is travelers’ preferred pick despite identical coverage and speed across major networks. It meets travel needs with 20GB data, 30-day validity, and bundled calls/texts. A glimpse of current promos may influence your selection. Check discounts before purchasing!

III. Best Ankara SIM Card Plans and Price

Your preferences and use will determine the best SIM card plan and pricing in Ankara. However, based on our analysis and knowledge, we suggest the Ankara SIM card plans and costs shown below for those looking to buy SIM card in Ankara.

  • Turkcell: Turkcell offers 7 days of unlimited data, calls, and texts for 30 TL ($3.6 USD) or 15 days for 50 TL ($6 USD). Paid upgrades add data, calls, and messages or extend your plan. Turkcell sells sim cards in airports, retailers, and online.
  • Vodafone: Vodafone charges 20 TL ($2.4 USD) or 40 TL ($4.8 USD) for 7 or 15 days of unlimited internet, calls, and messages. Paying upgrades adds data, calls, and texts or extends your plan. Airport, local, and internet retailers sell Vodafone SIM cards.
  • Turk Telekom: Turk Telekom charges 10 TL ($1.2 USD) or 20 TL ($2.4 USD) for 7 or 15 days of unlimited internet, calls, and texts. Paying upgrades adds data, calls, and texts or extends your plan. Airports, supermarkets, and internet retailers sell Turk Telekom sim cards.

Note: Prices and data allowances may fluctuate, so double-check official websites for the latest information.

IV. Where to Buy SIM Card in Ankara?

If you are traveling to Ankara, the capital city of Turkey, and looking for the best place to buy a SIM card in Ankara, you should buy a SIM card to stay connected and enjoy the local rates. But where can you buy a SIM card in Ankara? Here are two options:

1. Buy a SIM card at Ankara airport 

Ankara’s Esenboğa Airport (the only civilian airport) offers convenient options to grab a SIM card upon arrival.

Buy a SIM card at Ankara airport

Pros:

  • Instant connection: Start exploring immediately without venturing into the city.
  • Convenience: No need to navigate unfamiliar streets.

Cons:

  • Limited options: Fewer providers and potentially higher prices compared to the city.
  • No eSIM: Only physical SIM cards are available.

What to prepare:

  • Unlocked phone compatible with Turkish networks 
  • Passport for registration
  • Cash or credit card for payment

Where to buy:

  • Turkcell: Shops in Arrival Halls 1 & 2 (Terminal D & E) offering Turkcell SIM cards.
  • Vodafone: Vodafone Express in the Domestic Arrivals Hall (Terminal D) selling Vodafone SIMs.

Tip: For detailed instructions and visual guidance, check out this airport SIM card guide: Best SIM Card at Turkey Airports

Buy a SIM card at Ankara airport

2. Buy a SIM card in Ankara center

While the airport offers convenience, venturing into Ankara’s vibrant center unlocks a world of possibilities:

Pros:

  • More comprehensive Range: Choose from Turkcell, Türk Telekom, Vodafone, and even MVNOs for diverse plans and pricing.
  • Competitive Deals: Compare options and potentially score better prices than at the airport.
  • eSIM Freedom: Pre-order eSIMs online for instant activation upon arrival (no physical card hassle).

Cons:

  • Navigation Needed: Finding stores and comparing plans requires effort.
  • Language Barrier: Communication with store staff might be challenging for non-Turkish speakers.

Where to Buy:

  • Official Stores: Turkcell (multiple locations), Türk Telekom (multiple locations), Vodafone (multiple locations). Enjoy expert guidance and wide plan selections.
  • Convenience Stores: Look for Turkcell or Vodafone SIMs at Migros, BIM, Şok, and similar stores. Grab a SIM on the go, but options might be limited.
  • Online: Order eSIMs from Turkcell, Türk Telekom, Vodafone, or Gigago (convenient tourist packages). Skip store visits and activate instantly.

► Our Recommendation: A SIM card may be purchased at the airport or online from eSIM providers before travel. E-SIM-compatible phones are required. Thus, you may eliminate city SIM card hunting and get excellent pricing and coverage.

V. Turkey eSIM card for Ankara – Alternative to SIM Card for travelers

Turkey eSIM card for Ankara - Alternative to SIM Card for travelers

Got an eSIM-compatible phone? Then ditch bulky SIM cards and unlock the magic of eSIM for your Ankara adventure:

  • Instant Activation: No need to visit stores. Activate online in seconds upon arrival.
  • Switch with Ease: Seamlessly manage multiple eSIMs, ideal for frequent travelers.
  • Eco-Friendly Choice: Reduce plastic waste and contribute to a greener future.

Where to Buy eSIMs:

  • Network Carriers: Turkcell, Türk Telekom, and Vodafone offer eSIMs on their websites (passport verification required).
  • eSIM Carriers/Retailers: Consider Gigago, offering tourist-friendly packages like. For Denmark, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 1 GB for 3 days with $3.50 . What is great about Gigago’s Denmark eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $3.50$125.98 . Thus, it does not matter how Internet users you are and how long your trip is in Denmark, there is always an option for you with Gigago.

Note: Check official websites for the latest eSIM availability and options. With eSIM, connect instantly, explore sustainably, and conquer Ankara like a pro!

VI. What to Prepare to buy SIM card in Ankara

Conquering your SIM card needs in Ankara, especially if you plan to buy SIM card in Ankara, requires minimal preparation, ensuring a smooth journey:

Required Documentation:

  • Passport: This is essential for registering your SIM card, regardless of purchase location (airport, city store, online). Ensure it’s valid and readily available.

Additional Tips:

  • Unlocked Phone: Double-check if your phone is unlocked and compatible with Turkish networks.
  • Cash/Credit Card: Most stores accept both, but online purchases might require specific card types.
  • Basic Turkish Phrases: Knowing key phrases can facilitate communication, especially at smaller stores.

VII. Extra Tips when buying SIM card in Ankara

  • Compare plans carefully: Consider your data usage, call needs, budget, and desired validity period. Take your time with the first option you see!
  • Ask for help: Store staff are usually happy to assist, even with a language barrier. Point to plans or write down your questions.
  • Beware roaming charges: Ensure your phone’s roaming is off to avoid hefty fees. Stick to your Turkish SIM data or Wi-Fi for internet access.
  • Top-up options: Familiarize yourself with top-up methods before you need them. Most stores, online portals, and ATMs offer top-up options.
  • Keep registration slip: This is vital for refills, troubleshooting, and potential deactivation. Store it safely.
  • Download offline maps: Save maps for offline use if you lose connection or encounter limited Wi-Fi access.
  • Consider data usage: Monitor your usage to avoid exceeding your plan limits and incurring extra charges.
  • Public Wi-Fi with caution: Use public Wi-Fi only for basic browsing and avoid sensitive activities like online banking. Consider a VPN for added security.

VIII. FAQs about SIM card in Ankara

Can I buy a SIM card at Ankara Airport?

Both Turkcell and Vodafone have shops at Esenboğa Airport for instant connectivity. They offer limited choices compared to the city center but can be convenient for immediate needs.

Are eSIMs available in Ankara?

Yes! Turkcell, Türk Telekom, Vodafone, and Gigago offer eSIMs. Pre-order online for instant activation upon arrival or purchase them from their websites or apps.

What documents do I need to buy a SIM card?

Just your passport! Registration is mandatory, so keep it handy.

IX. Conclusion

Your guide to buy SIM card in Ankara ends here, leaving you equipped for seamless exploration. Remember, the best option depends on your needs and priorities.

For immediate airport arrival connection, consider Turkcell or Vodafone at Esenboğa Airport. For broader choice and potentially better deals, venture into the city and explore official stores, convenience stores, or eSIM options.