Germany Telekom SIM Cards and eSIM: a Comprehensive Guide for Tourists

Stay connected throughout your German travel with Telekom, a leading mobile provider in this country. Let’s walk through this guide about how to get and activate Telekom SIM cards & eSIM Germany. Ensuring you can stay connected during your trip and making your trip unforgettable with easy sharing, navigation, and communication.

Telekom SIM Cards and eSIM: a Comprehensive Guide for Tourists

I. Quick facts about Telekom

Deutsche Telekom is a major German telecom provider offering a wide range of services. They’re particularly known for their reliable and extensive mobile network, keeping you connected wherever you travel in Germany and even Europe. So it is considered as a traditional SIM card in Germany.

  • Full company name: Deutsche Telekom AG
  • Founded year: Telekom was founded in 1995.
  • Types of services provided: Mobile network, fixed-line network, internet service provider (ISP) and television.
  • Number of subscribers: With around 43 million mobile customers in Germany, it’s safe to say they’re a pretty popular choice.
  • Coverage: Primarily Germany and through subsidiaries all over Europe.
  • Estimated number of network of stores, agents: Over 2,000 Telekom Shops and partner points of sale in Germany (as of 2023).
  • Customer support: Telekom customer support team is on call 24/7, ready to assist you in German.
Deutsche Telekom is a huge player in the European telecom world.
Deutsche Telekom is a huge player in the European telecom world.

II. Deutsche Telekom Coverage and Speed in the Germany

Deutsche Telekom has pretty good coverage and speed in Germany. Here is some information: 

1. Telekom coverage in Germany

Deutsche Telekom coverage map (source: nperf)
Deutsche Telekom coverage map (source: nperf)

Telekom offers coverage across various technologies including 2G, 3G, 4G, and the latest 5G in Germany. While Telekom covers 95% of the German population with their 5G network, O2 wins in overall coverage experience. If extensive 5G coverage and reliable connection are your top priorities, Telekom might be the best choice.

Advice for tourists: In major cities like Berlin or Munich, O2 and Vodafone might be tempting due to their lower costs. However, for reliable connectivity throughout Germany, especially in rural areas, you may choose Telekom.

2. Telekom speed

Telekom stays the best for speed in Germany (Source: Opensignal)
Telekom stays the best for speed in Germany (Source: Opensignal)

Deutsche Telekom leads the competition in Germany, with cellular download speeds averaging around 58.9 Mbps, which is greater than the national average of approximately 50 Mbps. If you primarily use 4G and plan to stay in major cities, Vodafone might be a good alternative. Telekom has better speed overall but in 4G networks, Vodafone stays the best. 

III. Telekom connectivity options for travelers to Germany

Travelers in Germany have a variety of ways to stay connected to the internet using Deutsche Telekom’s network. Here are some options:

  • Purchase Telekom SIM cards and eSIM
  • Renting pocket wifi which connects with Telekom network
  • Roaming to Telekom

Here’s a comparison table of these three popular options:

Connectivity optionsSIM Card and eSIMPocket wifiRoaming
Pros– Widely available throughout Germany
– Affordable data plans
– Can be used with your existing phone
– Connects multiple devices
– Often offers unlimited data plans
– Convenient and keep your own phone number
– No need to purchase additional SIM or device
Cons– Requires phone unlocking and compatible with Germany network
– Limited data allowance can be easily used up
– May not offer local phone number
– Requires carrying an extra device
– Can be bulky and inconvenient
– Need to charge and can be out of battery
– Rental fees can add up
– Often expensive data charges
– Limited data allowance might be common

Recommendation: Buying Telekom SIM cards or eSIM is the optimal choice for tourists in Germany because of its convenience, savings and suitability for many different usage needs. Consider your data needs and length of stay to choose the most suitable SIM plan.

IV. Best Telekom SIM cards for tourists & cost

Deutsche Telekom offers various prepaid Telekom SIM cards and eSIM options for tourists visiting Germany. Here’s a breakdown to help you choose the best fit based on cost and data needs:

Telekom PlanDataCalls and Texts (on-net)Price
Mobile Prepaid S500 MB Unlimited€4.95 ($5.30)
Mobile Prepaid M3GB Unlimited€9.95 ($10.65)
Mobile Prepaid L5GBUnlimited€14.95 ($16.01)
Mobile Prepaid XL7GBUnlimited€24.95 ($26.72)
Mobile Prepaid MaxUnlimitedUnlimited€99.95 ($107.02)

Note: These plans are all valid for 1 month and come with EU roaming included.

V. Does Telekom Germany support eSIM?

Yes, Telekom fully supports eSIM in Germany. Telekom offers eSIM options for both prepaid and postpaid plans, allowing flexibility for different needs, including travel reasons. eSIM has several advantages over traditional physical SIM cards, here is why:

FeatureeSIMPhysical SIM
ConvenienceEasier to activate and switch plansRequires physical handling and swapping
SecurityMore secure as it’s embeddedCan be lost or stolen
DurabilityLess prone to damage (water, dust)Can be damaged or break
Multiple linesCan store and switch between plansLimited to one plan per SIM
Device compatibilityWorks with newer eSIM-compatible devicesUniversally compatible with most phones
Space-savingAllows for slimmer phone designsTakes up physical space in the phone

There are two main ways to obtain an eSIM for travel: directly from the network operator (Telekom) or through a reputable online supplier like Gigago. Currently, Gigago offers eSIM for Germany but doesn’t partner with Deutsche Telekom due to higher costs compared to other networks like O2 or Vodafone. Gigago focuses on offering cost-effective eSIM solutions for travelers.

VI. Where can you buy Telekom SIM cards and eSIM?

Telekom SIM cards and eSIM can provide you with internet connection throughout your travels. Here’s where you can buy Germany Telekom SIM cards and eSIM:

1. Where to buy Telekom SIM for Germany

It’s crucial to show your passport for purchasing Telekom SIM cards in Germany. The retailer will need to verify your identity for registration purposes. Moreover, most modern phones are unlocked by default, but better ensure your phone is unlocked to work with the Telekom network.  

Here’s a comprehensive guide on where to purchase a Telekom SIM card, ensuring you stay online in Germany with ease.

1.1. Airport Convenience Upon Arrival

Many major German airports such as Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Frankfurt Airport and Munich Airport have designated booths selling prepaid SIM cards from various carriers, including Telekom. This is a convenient option for quick connectivity upon landing. However, airport prices might be slightly higher compared to other locations.

1.2. Telekom store

You can buy Telekom SIM cards at official stores throughout Germany.
You can buy Telekom SIM cards at official stores throughout Germany.

Telekom shops are located throughout Germany. They offer the widest selection of Telekom SIM cards plans, catering to various data needs and budget preferences. The store staff can assist you with choosing the perfect plan and guide you through the activation process. Here are some Telekom stores in Germany: 

  • Telekom Shop in Berlin: Kurfürstendamm 146, 10709 Berlin, Germany
  • Telekom Shop in Frankfurt: Schweizer Str. 40, 60594 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • Telekom Shop in Munich: Marienplatz 22, 80331 München, Germany

1.3. Other authorized retail stores

Some retailers like convenience stores, gas stations, and some electronics stores might also sell Telekom SIM cards. The selection here might be limited compared to Telekom stores, but it can be a handy option if you’re wandering major city centers. 

Remember: Check compatibility and research Telekom SIM cards plans and price beforehand.

2. Where to buy Germany Telekom eSIM

There are 2 options to purchase a Deutsche Telekom eSIM for your German travels:

  • Telekom Website: Telekom allows purchasing eSIM plans directly through their website. This is a convenient option because you can buy it online from anywhere.
  • Online retailers: Many reputable online resellers offer Telekom travel eSIM. Look for companies with a good track record and positive customer reviews. The activation process for eSIM purchased from resellers can be easier than purchasing on Telekom website. 

Note: Make sure your phone is compatible with eSIM technology before purchasing a plan. Newer smartphones typically support eSIM, but double-check to avoid any surprises. 


  • Unlike SIM cards, eSIMs are digital and don't require physical pick-up. Once you purchase the plan, you'll receive instructions on how to activate it directly on your phone.
  • Make sure your phone is compatible with eSIM technology before purchasing a plan. Newer smartphones typically support eSIM, but double-check to avoid any surprises. 

VII. How to activate Germany Telekom SIM cards or eSIM

Knowing the activation steps for travel Telekom SIM cards and eSIM is helpful. They are easy to set up. For travelers unfamiliar with the procedure, the following instructions provide a comprehensive guide.

1. How to use Telekom SIM cards in Germany

Here are the steps to activate Telekom SIM cards in Germany: 

  1. Insert the SIM card into the phone: Make sure you turn off the phone before inserting the SIM card.
  2. Turn on your phone: Your phone will start up automatically and the SIM card will be activated automatically.
  3. Check your SIM package: Be sure that you are using the right package you choose.
  4. Switch on mobile internet in your phone: Mobile data might not be turned on automatically. To browse the internet, check your phone’s settings and turn on mobile data.

2. How to activate Telekom Germany eSIM

The process for using a Telekom eSIM in Germany is relatively simple. These steps may vary depending on where you purchased your eSIM and your phone model. Here are the usual steps: 

  1. Install the eSIM: Download the eSIM profile to your phone. Some sellers may provide you with a QR code to install it.
  2. Activate the eSIM: Complete the eSIM activation process which will appear in your phone.
  3. Set up the eSIM: Get your eSIM ready to connect by turning it on or choosing it as the main SIM.
  4. Start using the eSIM: Enjoy the benefits of your activated eSIM like browsing the internet, making calls and sending messages.

Please check your detailed instructions below:

  • Activate eSIM on IPhone 
  • Activate eSIM on Samsung 
  • Activate eSIM on Google Pixel

VIII. Alternatives to Germany Telekom

Consider Gigago eSIM as an alternative to Telekom SIM cards
Consider Gigago eSIM as an alternative to Telekom SIM cards

eSIM is the best option for travelers in Germany when it comes to internet connection. If you need the absolute best and most reliable coverage, especially in rural areas, then a Telekom eSIM is ideal. However, it comes at a higher cost. For budget-minded travelers staying mostly in tourism cities, Gigago offers a better alternative. Gigago Germany eSIM options for O2 and Vodafone providers come at a more affordable price from $3.50$125.98

You should know: While Deutsche Telekom boasts the most extensive coverage, O2 and Vodafone shouldn't be overlooked. O2 or Vodafone could be the perfect travel companions for exploring Germany's major cities.

IX. FAQs about Telekom in Germany

Are Telekom SIM cards a good choice for travelers in Germany?

Telekom offers good network coverage in Germany, making it a viable option. However, O2 or Vodafone might be a better choice when it comes to price and 4G coverage.

Will Telekom SIM cards or eSIM provide internet access in Germany?

Both SIM cards and eSIMs provide internet access in Germany for tourists.

How do I get a Telekom eSIM?

Telekom eSIMs are typically purchased online from authorized retailers or directly from the Telekom website (online registration required). 

X. Final words

When it comes to mobile phone service in Germany, Telekom is one of the big players. Germany Telekom SIM cards and eSIM have strong network coverage and fast internet speeds across Germany, making them a reliable choice for travelers. When traveling in Germany, you can choose a physical SIM or an eSIM for convenience if your phone supports it.