How to Use Cell Phone in Netherlands: The Essential Guide for Tourists

Are you planning a trip to the Netherlands and still don’t know how to use your phone and connect to the internet there? This article provides comprehensive guides to use cell phone in Netherlands smoothly, including details on phone compatibility, local networks, checking if your network is compatible, and additional advice for travelers.

Use cell phone in the Netherlands

I. Highlights of Phone Compatibility, Frequencies, and Networks in the Netherlands 

1. Phone Compatibility in Netherlands

  • Most modern phones are compatible with the GSM network used in the Netherlands
  • Check your phone’s specs to determine if it supports the specified frequency bands in order to verify if it is compatible.

2. Frequency Bands in Netherlands

  • 2G: GSM 900, GSM 1800
  • 3G: UMTS 900, UMTS 2100
  • 4G: LTE 800, LTE900, LTE 1800, LTE 2600
  • 5G: 700 (28)

3. Network Coverage in Netherlands

  • Mobile coverage to use cell phone in Netherlands is often greater in major cities, although rural Dutch areas are surprisingly well-connected when compared to other nations. 
  • The Netherlands, along with most of Europe and many other countries around the world, use the GSM network. If you’re traveling from a country that uses CDMA (like Japan, some parts of the US and Canada), your phone might not work in the Netherlands. 
  • Major network operators in the Netherlands include KPN, Vodafone, and T-Mobile. All operators generally offer good customer service. Nonetheless, KPN and Vodafone usually provide better customer service to T-Mobile.

Tip: Check coverage maps to ensure the operator has 4G/5G where you need it. Rural areas often have less coverage. 

II. Will My Cell Phone Work in the Netherlands? 

Most cell phones will work in the Netherlands.
Most cell phones running mobile operating systems such as iOS or Android will work in the Netherlands.

The good news is most cell phones running mobile operating systems such as iOS or Android will work in the Netherlands.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • If you want to get the Internet for your phone while traveling in the Netherlands, you can buy a prepaid SIM upon arrival. These begin at €30 for the most basic versions. Alternatively, you can get a world phone in your own country before leaving to use cell phone in Netherlands. 
  • Check that your phone is not locked to your current network operator before traveling abroad. All phones sold on a postpaid plan are unlocked, however prepaid phones may be tethered to a certain network provider. If you are on a contract, your phone is likely to be locked. 
  • If you want to remain for an extended period of time, you might consider purchasing a used cellphone to stay connected. 
  • Many cell phones will still connect upon arrival, though you should confirm the exact prices in advance with your operator.

The following are the particular bands and frequencies that Nertherlands carriers operate on:

KPNn28a (700)B3 (1800)
B7 (2600)
B20 (800)
B38 (TDD 2600)
B3 (1800)
B8 (900)
Odidon28a (700)B1 (2100)
B3 (1800)
B7 (2600)
B8 (900)
B20 (800)
B38 (TDD 2600)
B1 (2100)
B8 (900)
B3 (1800)
B8 (900)
Vodafonen1 (2100)
n3 (1800)
n28a (700)
n28b (700)
B3 (1800)
B7 (2600)
B20 (800)
B1 (2100)
B8 (900)
B3 (1800)
B8 (900)
T-Mobilen28a (700)B1 (2100)
B3 (1800)
B7 (2600)
B8 (900)
B20 (800)
B38 (TDD 2600)
B1 (2100)
B8 (900)

To avoid surprises on your phone bill, it’s best to check compatibility and costs before leaving; discover how to check if your mobile phone works overseas when traveling.

III. Do I Need An International Plan In The Netherlands?

It depends. Whether you require an international plan in the Netherlands is determined by two factors: data use and length of stay. Here’s a breakdown based on several circumstances. 

Short stay (less than a month) with little phone usage:

  • EU visitors: If you are traveling from another EU nation and your phone plan includes “Roam Like at Home,” you do not require an additional plan. You may use cell phone in Netherlands as you would at home, with no extra expenses.
  • Non-EU travelers: might choose a prepaid SIM card. It provides flexibility and eliminates roaming expenses. Choose a plan that provides enough data and, if necessary, add call/text options.

Longer stay or more phone usage:

  • Consider a contract SIM card if you plan to remain for a lengthy period of time or often use your phone. They provide greater value for money than prepaid cards, with bigger data bundles and call/text capabilities. However, they need a commitment and may include termination costs.
  • Look into foreign roaming services offered by your home carrier. Compare expenses to Dutch SIM card plans to see which is more cost effective for your individual need.

Additional considerations to use cell phone in Netherlands:

  • Pocket Wifi: Can be used with many devices, but needs renting the gadget and maintaining battery life.
  • Free Wifi: Many restaurants, cafés, and public locations have free Wi-Fi, which can assist to reduce mobile data consumption when you use cell phone in Netherlands.

Advice: Ultimately, the choice is yours. Wifi hotspots may be sufficient for short travels. However, If you want to stay in the Netherlands for more than a few days, a prepaid SIM card is probably a good investment.

IV. What Are Options To Use Cell Phone in Netherlands for Tourists? 

There are four popular options to use cell phone in Netherlands, which are:

1. eSIM Plan for Netherlands

eSIM Plan for Netherlands
eSIM Plan to use cell phone in Netherlands

Where to buy: Buy online, through eSIM resellers/providers for the best convenience.

Cost: €8 for 1GB of data.


  • No need to exchange actual SIM cards
  • Easy to set up eSIM service
  • Can have numerous plans on the same device


  • There are fewer data package possibilities right now
  • Older phones do not support eSIM
  • Price may be a little higher

2. International SIM Card for Netherlands

Where to buy: buy online ahead of time or wait until you arrive at the airport, convenience stores or mobile phone shop in the Netherlands.

Cost: Spend roughly $20-40 depending on your data requirements.


  • Stay connected without relying on Wi-Fi
  • Access unlimited mobile data on fast 4G/5G networks
  • Make calls and send texts at affordable rates


  • Require activation procedures upon purchasing
  • Prepaid SIM can be costly, particularly for data usage
  • May have limits on capabilities like as voicemail and international calls

3. Pocket Wifi

Where to rent: It may be delivered to your hotel or any other designated location. You may pick up at the airport if you make your arrangements ahead of time.

Cost: Low, depending on the rental time and data package.


  • Connect several devices simultaneously
  • Be flexible for shorter stays to use cell phone in Netherlands
  • Provides comprehensive coverage throughout the Netherlands


  • Frequent charging is essential
  • Rely on their own battery, which limits their usage compared to a SIM card

4. Free Wifi

Where to use: to be available in hotels, retail malls, cafés, transit hubs, and even public transportation.

Cost: Free

Pros: Are provided in public places in several large cities.

Cons: Inadequate security when you use cell phone in Netherlands

Ultimately, eSIM is generally considered the most convenient and advantageous option for tourists to use their cell phones in the Netherlands. You can consider buying Netherlands eSIM directly from the mobile operators or online retailers.

V. Will My Local Network Work in the Netherlands? 

When you use cell phone in Netherlands, your local network will directly work there except some countries like Japan, part of the US and Canada. 

However, there is one major factor to consider: roaming charges.

As long as you’re an EU resident, there are no additional charges for using your local network in the Netherlands. However, you should double-check with your carrier to avoid surprise charges, as some exceptions may apply.

Special tips: Consider using a Dutch eSIM is the easiest way to avoid roaming charges when you use cell phone in Netherlands.

VI. Gigago eSIM – An Alternative To Get Internet in the Netherlands With Your Cell Phone

Gigago eSIM – An Alternative To Get Internet in the Netherlands
Gigago eSIM – An Alternative To Get Internet in the Netherlands

eSIMs are becoming a preferred method for travelers seeking reliable mobile connectivity abroad. eSIMs offer a convenient, cost-effective, and secure way to stay connected while traveling in the Netherlands.

Gigago is a great choice for staying connected by eSIM in the Netherlands! Gigago offers a variety of plans at local rates, making it a convenient and affordable option.

Stay connected easily and avoid roaming charges wherever your travels take you within the Netherlands with Gigago Netherlands eSIM.  

  • Skip the wait, get online fast: Purchase your eSIM online and activate it in minutes.
  • Wide Network Coverage: Stay connected nationwide.
  • Simple setup: No need to swap SIMs, just scan and connect.
  • Various data plans: There are a variety of eSIM data plans to fit your individual needs and budget.

Smart travelers choose eSIMs: Stay connected and save with local rate and prepaid plans.

VII. FAQs about How to Use Cell Phone in Netherlands

What are my options to avoid roaming charges in the Netherlands?

For the cell phone internet connection in the Netherlands, consider a prepaid SIM card (available upon arrival), an eSIM (purchased online beforehand), or renting a pocket Wi-Fi to avoid roaming charges.

Are there any restrictions to use cell phone in Netherlands?

In the Netherlands, there are currently no nationwide restrictions on using cell phones. Also, you don’t need to register your phone in the Netherlands.

Should I secure my internet access in the Netherlands before I travel or once I get there?

For a smooth arrival in the Netherlands, consider grabbing your eSIM, international SIM card, or pocket Wi-Fi before you even take off. This way, you can set it up at home and quickly activate it upon landing to use cell phone in Netherlands.

What should I do with my Netherlands travel eSIM before leaving the country?

You can check your eSIM provider’s website to look for information on how long your eSIM remains active or if there are any specific steps you need to take before leaving the Netherlands.

VIII. Conclusion 

It’s essential to know how to use cell phone in Netherlands. The best option for cell phone use in the Netherlands is a local eSIM or prepaid SIM card to limit roaming charges. Always remember to choose a plan that suits your trip needs and budget.