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

Going to travel Turkey and preparing to for maintaining connectivity throughout the trip? Skip the unreliable Wi-Fi hotspots and ditch the excessive roaming charge because there are better connectivity options for travelers there. Among them, choosing a Turkey SIM Card is highly recommended for any traveler to Turkey who wants to stay connected while saving cost throughout their trip. In this article, you will find why choosing SIM card over other connectivity options in Turkey, best Turkey SIM card plan that suits your needs and alternative to get Internet while traveling in Turkey. Let’s see!

Turkey SIM card

I. Should You Get a SIM card in Turkey?

Yes. Forget fumbling with unreliable Wi-Fi hotspots or racking up excessive roaming charges. A Turkey SIM card offering a treasure trove of advantages over other connectivity options. Here’s why:

  • Stay Connected Everywhere: With a Turkey SIM card, enjoy constant connection, whether you’re in bustling markets or the quiet valleys of Cappadocia.
  • Save Money: Avoid expensive roaming fees. Turkey SIM cards offer data plans that are more budget-friendly than what you’re used to.
  • Unlock Local Insights: Gain access to local info and special experiences. Use apps to get discounts, understand signs, and even book taxis easily.
  • More Than Data: Opt for a data-only SIM or choose one that includes calls and texts. Communicate easily, make last-minute plans, and haggle in the bazaars.
  • Safety Net: For any emergency, stay prepared with your Turkey SIM card. Quick calls to your hotel, embassy, or emergency services keep your trip safe.

Though there are free WiFi and roaming, a Turkey SIM card for a hassle-free travels – which allows you to enjoy freedom, affordable rates, and reliable safety for your Turkey adventure.

Bonus tip: Remember to check your phone locking status before using a SIM card from Turkey. Go for a pay-as-you-go SIM card with data only for the best value and cost-effectiveness. 

There are three main Turkey SIM card providers
There are three main Turkey SIM card providers

II. Types of Turkey SIM Card for Tourists – Which One is the Best?

Turkey SIM card might need to be clarified, particularly for first-timers. Do not worry! This section will explain physical SIM cards and eSIMs, comparing their features and appropriateness for turkey excursions.

1. Prepaid Physical SIM Cards in Turkey

Buying a Turkey SIM card is easily accessible at airports, mobile shops, and convenience stores. They provide prepaid plans needing credit before using broadband, phone, or SMS. There are data-only packages and handy data, calls, and text bundles for internet-hungry tourists.

Getting a SIM card in Turkey is a breeze

2. Prepaid Tourist Turkey eSIM

Take advantage of the digital revolution with a virtual Turkey SIM card on your phone. Purchase your 100% online eSIM and activate it with a few clicks. No cards or shop visits are required. Remember that eSIMs only function with supported devices, so verify first!

Prepaid Turkey SIM cardPrepaid eSIM for Turkey
Pros– Widely available and accessible to purchase
– Physical card offers tangible security flexibility to switch carriers potentially cheaper data options
– Convenient and hassle-free
– Securely embedded in your device’s online purchase and activation
– Potentially more environmentally friendly
Cons– Risk of loss or damage requires manual SIM insertion and activation
– Less convenient to purchase and activate abroad due to lack of device compatibility
– Not compatible with all devices
– Limited flexibility to switch carriers may have a higher data cost requires an internet connection for activation

Our recommendation:

Choose Turkey SIM card if your phone is unlocked but does not support eSIM function.

But, if your phone supports eSIM and you mostly use applications for internet access and communication, consider the ease and security of eSIM. Use data-only packages to save money and minimize unnecessary phone and text minutes.

► We also have guides in case you want to find out whether or not your phone is unlocked and supports eSIM.

III. Best Turkey SIM Card Packages for Tourists and Price

The variety of Turkey SIM card options might be daunting for vacationers. No worries – this section will compare Turkcell, Vodafone, and AVEA finest plans and help you choose the right one for your turkey vacation.

Exchange Rate: Prices are in Turkey Lira (TRY) as of January 2024. One TRY = 0.034 USD is the current exchange rate

Below are best Turkey SIM card plans for tourists and prices accordingly:

1. Best Turkcell SIM Card Plans and Price:

  • Tourist Welcome 20 GB: 20 GB data, 200 minutes, calls in all directions, valid for 30 days, priced at 169TRY.
  • SIM Card Price: 15 GB data, 750 minutes, 250 SMS, valid for 28 days, priced at 200TRY.

Insight: Turkcell has the broadest network coverage in Turkey, making it trustworthy in outlying places. The Tourist Welcome packages include large data allowances for data-hungry tourists. They charge more than other operators.

Turkcell is the number 1 network operator in Turkey
Turkcell is the number 1 network operator in Turkey

2. Best Vodafone SIM Card Plans and Price:

  • Tourist Exclusive Pack: 20 GB data, 750 minutes, 1000 SMS, valid for 28 days, priced at 40TRY.
  • Genç Süper Kolay Paket 10: 10 GB data, 750 minutes, 250 SMS, valid for 28 days, priced at 180TRY
  • Gel Dene Paketi: 8 GB data, 350 minutes, 100 SMS, valid for 14 days, priced at 90TRY.

Insight: Vodafone is affordable and has good network coverage, making it a popular choice for tourists. The 20 GB Tourist exclusive package is cheap, but the 50 GB option provides more significant data.

Vodafone is the network operator with the best price
Vodafone is the network operator with the best price

3. Best Avea SIM Card Plans and Price:

  • eSIM Turkey Internet Data 50 GB: 50 GB data, valid for 30 days, priced at 58,61TRY/GB.
  • Tourist Welcome 20 GB: 20 GB data, valid for 30 days, priced at 64,80 TRY/GB.

Insight: Avea provides excellent network coverage and low prices in big cities. They provide the lowest 1 GB eSIM Internet Data bundle among the three providers. They may not offer as steady data speeds as Turkcell or Vodafone in rural areas.

Note: Package information and prices may change from time to time. Please check the official websites of the SIM providers for the latest information and offers.

IV. Where to Buy a Tourist SIM Card for Turkey?

If you want to purchase a SIM card for Turkey, you may wonder where to find the most excellent offer. You may buy a Turkey SIM card online before going to the airport or in the city or as an e-SIM card. Each method has pros and cons. Let’s examine each and find one that fits you best.

1. Buy SIM card online before traveling

Buy a Turkey SIM card online before going saves time visiting a retailer or enrolling your passport in Turkey. To do it, you had better compare plans and pricing online to get the best.

However, online SIM card purchases before travel have downsides costly shipping takes days/weeks.

You can choose to buy a SIM card before traveling
You can choose to buy a SIM card before traveling

2. Buy SIM card at the airport in Turkey

With this way, you may use your Turkey SIM card immediately upon arrival at one of international Turkey airports namely Istanbul airport (IST), Antalya airport (AYT), and Sabiha Gokcen International airport (SAW). Both major Turkish mobile internet providers like AVEA, Turkcell, and Vodafone offer SIM cards at airports.

Pros: Get internet instantly upon arrival. Staff can speak English and answer questions.

Cons: Airport stores charge more for convenience than cities, long queues and limited options.

3. Buy SIM card in the city in Turkey

City center shops offer better deals and more options than airport stores. You can also look for discounts when buying SIM as this way.

To buy Turkish SIM cards, avoid finding it at metro stations, they are rare there. Instead, buy from reliable shops like official stores of Turkish networks operators like Turkcell, Vodafone, AVEA, electronic stores across Turkey.

You can go directly to the network store to buy a SIM card
You can go directly to the network store to buy a SIM card

4. Buy e-SIM card online

Get your Turkey eSIM online to skip the physical SIM card hassle. eSIM is a digital SIM that you can download, making no passport details required for purchase.

However, remember that not all phones are compatible with eSIM, so you need to check your device beforehand. Visit our list of updated eSIM-compatible devices for a quick checking.

For a smooth experience, we suggest buying an eSIM online from an eSIM resellers like Gigago.com. It offers the best balance between convenience, price, readiness, and diversity.

V. How Much Data is Enough for a Prepaid Tourist SIM Card for Turkey?

You only need 1GB of data to use basic tasks
You only need 1GB of data to use basic tasks

With 1GB of data in Turkey, you can:

  • Use maps and navigation to find their way around for several hours.
  • Check and send emails, WhatsApp messages, and browse social media moderately.
  • Look up information about places to visit, like museum opening times or restaurant reviews.
  • Make a few video calls back home or post some photos of their trip online.
  • Translate phrases or ask for directions using translation apps.

So the right amount of data for a prepaid tourist SIM card in Turkey depends on the length of your stay and what you are going to use the Internet for. Here is quick advice:

Trip DurationLight UsageModerate UsageHeavy Usage
1-3 days1-2GB2-3GB5GB
Week-long2-3GB4-5GB7-10GB
Longer than a week3-4GB5-7GB10GB+

Based on the table above, you now can decide how much data you need for your Turkey trip, right?

VI. Turkey eSIM – Alternative to Physical SIM Cards to Get Internet

In Turkey, use an eSIM instead of a SIM card for a simple and economical internet connection. It acts like a SIM card but has numerous benefits over others, including:

  • Online ordering and fast activation eliminate the need to visit a shop or register your passport.
  • Different networks and plans are available based on area and desire.
  • You may transfer networks anytime without changing your SIM card or phone number.
  • Paying simply for data lets you avoid roaming fees.

For Turkey, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 1 GB for 3 days with $6.00 . What is great about Gigago’s Turkey eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $6.00$136.90 . Thus, it does not matter how Internet users you are and how long your trip is in Turkey, there is always an option for you with Gigago.

You may easily use the internet, calls, and messages in Turkey with Gigago. Order an eSIM and connect in minutes. Turkey’s finest internet alternative to SIM cards is Gigago.

You can buy an eSIM but your phone must support this technology
You can buy an eSIM but your phone must support this technology

VII. Which Turkey Mobile Networks Are The Best for Tourists?

Choose a Turkish mobile network that suits your internet, phone, and messaging demands and budget. Turkey has three leading mobile operators: Turkcell, Vodafone, and AVEA. All provide excellent coverage, fast internet, flexible plans, and low prices. When purchasing a SIM or e-SIM card, examine the differences.

Here is a summary table comparing the three operators based on the source :

CriteriaTurkcellVodafoneAVEA
CoverageBestGreatGood
SpeedSuper fastFastFast
PriceExpensiveAffordableCheap
eSIM availableYesNoNo

Now, let’s look at the specific description of each network and see what they offer for tourists:

1. Turkcell 

Turkey’s largest mobile network, Turkcell, with 35 million members. It provides 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G mobile services with the country’s best network coverage and performance. Turkcell’s dependability earned it the GSMA Global Mobile Award and the Ookla Speedtest Award. Turkcell is the most expensive network, yet travelers like its data and performance.

Turkcell is the largest network operator with the most users in Turkey
Turkcell is the largest network operator with the most users in Turkey

2. Vodafone 

The second-largest Turkey mobile operator. About 25 million people use Vodafone. It offers high-speed 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile services nationwide. Vodafone offers affordable plans and packages. Vodafone is ideal for vacationers without 5G or eSIM who seek flexible, affordable service. 

Vodafone is the largest network operator after Turkcell
Vodafone is the largest network operator after Turkcell

3. AVEA

Over 20 million people use AVEA, the third-largest Turkish mobile network. 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile services are fast and countrywide. AVEA has the lowest prices and most accessible service of the three. AVEA is cheap for low-data users yet offers the country’s worst network quality and speed. 

Our Recommendation: Choose the operator that best fits your demands and budget. We recommend Gigago’s e-SIM card bundles since they’re the most affordable and user-friendly. Order an e-SIM card to quickly use the internet, calls and messages in Turkey.

IX. How to Use Turkey Prepaid SIM Cards and eSIM

Getting online in Turkey is a breeze with traditional SIM cards and digital eSIMs. Choose your weapon and follow these simple steps for internet bliss:

1. Using Prepaid Turkey Tourist SIM Cards:

  • Purchase: Grab your card at airports, mobile shops, or convenience stores. Look for “Tourist SIM Cards” signs.
  • Insert and Activate: Gently pop the SIM card into your phone’s tray. Find the network provider’s activation instructions or follow the prompts on your screen.
  • Top Up: Add credit at shops or online using the provider’s app or website. Choose a data-only plan, voice and data, or SMS options, depending on your needs.
  • Enjoy: your turkey internet. Remember to check data usage and top-up before it runs out!

2. Setting Up and Activating Turkey eSIM:

  • Purchase: Choose an eSIM package online from a reputable provider.
  • Download Profile: Download your eSIM profile by scanning a QR code sent in your confirmation email or manually import activation code
  • Activate: Follow the on-screen instructions and you’re good to go!
  • Enjoy: Explore Turkey with seamless internet! Remember, your eSIM plan has a pre-set validity period, so keep track of the expiration date.
You can buy Turkey SIM Card online at Gigago
You can buy Turkey SIM Card online at Gigago

X. FAQs

Can I top up a prepaid Turkey SIM card? 

Many convenience stores, kiosks, and mobile phone businesses provide prepaid Turkey SIM card refills. Online top-ups are available on several providers’ websites and applications.

Do all phones support Turkey eSIMs? 

Not all phones support eSIM technology. Check your phone’s specifications or contact the manufacturer to confirm.

What happens to my eSIM when I leave Turkey? 

Your eSIM will automatically deactivate once your data plan expires or you leave the country. You can always purchase a new eSIM for your next trip.

XI. Conclusion

Forget expensive roaming in Turkey and unreliable public Wi-Fi or complicated portable WiFi rental for Turkey. This comprehensive guide has made it clear: a Turkey SIM Card is essential for any traveler, unlocking convenience, affordability, and a richer Turkey experience.

Whether you choose the flexibility of a physical SIM or the instant, hassle-free eSIM revolution, you’ll navigate bustling bazaars and serene valleys with seamless connectivity. Gigago’s eSIMs, with their variety of data plans, competitive prices, and lightning-fast activation, are the ideal choice for most travelers.