How to Get and Activate Vodafone SIM Card & eSIM: Guide for Tourists

Vodafone is one of the major network carriers in Germany. This mobile operator offers connectivity options, allowing users to stay online during their travels through reliable mobile data and calling. Many tourists visiting Germany always have difficulty about how to get and activate a Vodafone SIM card & eSIM. In this article, you will find detailed instructions on how to use SIM cards by this network carrier.

Vodafone SIM card & eSIM

I. Quick Facts about Vodafone 

Vodafone is a mobile telecommunications operator in Germany headquartered in Düsseldorf. LTE, 5G, landlines, cable TV, IPTV, mobile phones, and internet are all offered. Vodafone is Germany’s third-largest mobile phone service provider with over 31 million users in 2021.   

  • Founded: 1990; 34 years ago (as Mannesmann Mobilfunk GmbH). 
  • Company name: Vodafone Group Plc, but most people just call them Vodafone.
  • Products: Prepaid and postpaid Vodafone SIM card & eSIM, DSL, IPTV, cable internet, cable television
  • Network: Vodafone Germany’s network serves both prepaid and postpaid customers on GSM and LTE 
  • Awarded: the second digital GSM-900 (also known as D-Netz (de; D-Network in Germany) network in Germany to Mannesmann, as the first private company in Germany to break the monopoly of the telecommunications services operated by Deutsche Bundespost (now Deutsche Telekom)
Fact about Vodafone
Fact about Vodafone

II. Why Vodafone When Traveling Germany – Coverage and Speed

Vodafone is one of the largest and most advanced mobile network operators in Germany, with widespread 4G and 5G coverage everywhere, including rural areas. Vodafone offers high data speeds, allowing travelers to stream videos, download files and browse the web quickly and smoothly. Here are the details:

1. Vodafone Coverage in Germany

Vodafone SIM card & eSIM coverage map in Germany (source: nperf)
Vodafone SIM card & eSIM coverage map in Germany (source: nperf)

Vodafone offers good overall coverage in Germany, making it a strong contender for travelers. While not the absolute fastest, Vodafone comes in a close second in 5G coverage, ensuring a smooth internet experience for most travelers. 

2. Vodafone Speed

Vodafone speeds in Germany (source: opensignal)
Vodafone speeds in Germany (source: opensignal)

While Vodafone might not hold the top spot for download speeds, the brand follows closely behind as a very strong second place. This makes them a great option for travelers to access the internet in Germany. When it comes to upload speeds in Germany, Vodafone stands the 3rd among major operators with the fastest upload speed in Germany.

Our Recommendation: For travelers who want a reliable and good internet connection in Germany, Vodafone is definitely a provider to consider.

III. What are the Best Connectivity Options of Vodafone for Travelers to Germany?

Travelers visiting Germany currently have multiple options for using Vodafone services: buying Vodafone SIM card & eSIM, using pocket WiFi, or roaming. Every choice has its own benefits and drawbacks based on the preferences of the individual customer. Please refer to the following table for a more understandable comparison.

OptionProsCons
Vodafone SIM card & eSIM– Affordable, especially for short trips 
– Widely available at airports and stores  
– Good data options for browsing and navigation
– Requires unlocked phone (check with your carrier) 
– May need to change phone settings
– Limited data allowance in some plans
Pocket Wifi – Connects multiple devices (phones, laptops)
– Convenient, no need to change SIM cards 
– May offer unlimited data plans
– Rental fees can add up for longer trips 
– Battery life to consider (needs charging) 
– Can be bulky to carry
Roaming – Convenient
– use your existing phone number 
– No need to buy a new SIM card or device
– Very expensive for data usage, especially outside the EU 
– Limited data allowance in most roaming plans

Our Recommendation: From the table above, it can be said that buying Vodafone SIM card & eSIM is the most convenient and economical method for tourists to Germany. However, it only works with unlocked devices. So, check your phone in advance before departure to prepare your best for staying connected during your trip.

IV. Best Vodafone SIM Cards for Tourists & Cost 

Vodafone has prepaid plans that are a good option for visitors to Germany. Here’s some Vodafone SIM card & eSIM packages you can refer to:

Vodafone PlanDataCalls and Texts (to all networks in the EU)Price
CallYa Start1GBFlat rate to the Vodafone network; 100 minutes or SMS€4.99 ($5.34)
CallYa Allnet Flat S6GBflat rate within Germany; 200 free minutes or SMS€9.99 ($10.59)
CallYa Allnet Flat M10GBflat rate within Germany; 500 free minutes or SMS€14.99 ($16.03)
Call Ya Digital20GBflat rate within Germany€24.95 ($26.69)
Call Ya BlackUnlimitedflat rate within Germany; 500 free minutes or SMS€79.99 ($85.56)

Note: All these Vodafone plans are good for a full month and include free roaming within the European Union. So you can stay connected even if your German adventure takes you on a side trip across the border.

V. Does Vodafone Support eSIM in Germany?

Vodafone eSIM in Germany
Vodafone eSIM in Germany

Yes. In Germany, Vodafone offers eSIM support. For travelers who require an internet connection, this is a reasonably priced option. When compared with data roaming or pocket Wi-fi, eSIM offers a wide range of service packages at more affordable costs.

After payment, you will receive the eSIM via email and activate it with a QR code, connecting right away upon landing, through an easy 100% online process.

eSIM for Germany offers talk and texting capabilities through applications like Facetime, Telegram, and WhatsApp, helping users save on connection expenses. It is completely free of data roaming fees.

VI. How and Where to Buy a Vodafone SIM card and eSIM?

Travelers to Germany have several ways to buy a Vodafone SIM card / eSIM for their trip. Each way has it pros and cons. Below we explain one by one to help you decide which to choose when traveling in Germany.

1. Where to Buy Vodafone SIM Card for Germany?

When buying a Vodafone SIM card in Germany, be prepared to show your passport. This is because the operator needs to verify your identity for registration. Most modern phones come unlocked by default, allowing them to work with different networks. But to be clear, double-check that your phone is unlocked specifically for the Vodafone network in Germany. 

To get the Vodafone SIM card, here is where to buy: 

1.1. Upon Arrival

Major international German airports like Berlin Brandenburg, Frankfurt, and Munich have booths selling Vodafone prepaid SIM cards. It’s an easy way to get the internet right after you land.

Consider the cost: While convenient, airport prices for SIM cards can be a bit higher compared to what you might find in other places, like phone stores or retailers in the city center.

1.2. Vodafone store

Vodafone has many official stores throughout Germany.
Vodafone has many official stores throughout Germany.

You can buy a prepaid SIM card directly in Germany from a Vodafone store. They’ll have staff to help you choose the right plan and complete the registration process. Here are some suggested locations: 

  • Frankfurt Store: Leipziger Str. 34, 60487 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • Berlin Store: Mall of Berlin, Leipziger Pl. 12-13, 10117 Berlin, Germany
  • Munich Store: Marienplatz 25, 80331 München, Germany

1.3. Other authorized retail stores

Various retailers sell travel SIM cards in Germany, including options for Vodafone. This is a convenient option, especially if you arrive at a touristy place. Resellers are often found at kiosks, gas stations, and even grocery stores. However,  be aware that travel SIM cards sold by resellers might be a bit more expensive than those purchased directly from Vodafone official stores.

Remember: Check out Vodafone's prepaid SIM card plans and prices online beforehand. This will help you to compare and choose the best option for your data needs and budget.

2. Where to Buy Vodafone eSIM for Germany?

Gigago offers eSIM from Vodafone for your trip in Germany
Gigago offers eSIM from Vodafone for your trip in Germany

To purchase a Vodafone eSIM for your Germany trip, tourists have 2 options: Buy from Vodafone website or eSIM resellers.

  • Buy at Vodafone official website: This is the most reliable option for tourists in Germany. Vodafone offers prepaid eSIM plans, which can be purchased online at Vodafone website.
  • eSIM retailers: You can explore online retailers who sell eSIMs for travel. These might be international companies like Gigago. Gigago Germany eSIM offers eSIM options with Vodafone networks, and the prices are known to be budget-friendly from $3.50$125.98 .

VII. How to Activate Vodafone SIM/eSIM in Germany?

It’s easy to use an eSIM and Vodafone SIM card in Germany. If you’re using it for the first time, please read the instructions below.

1. How to Use Vodafone SIM Card in Germany?

You just need to follow to these basic steps to be ready:

  1. Put the SIM card in: Find the slot on your smartphone for the SIM card.
  2. Turn on your devices: Turn on the device and let it identify the SIM card.
  3. Activate the SIM card: The SIM card for Vodafone is usually pre-activated.
  4. Set up your APN settings in case eSIM isn’t working.
  5. Check the quality of your offerings.

2. How to Activate Vodafone eSIM?

It’s very simple to get and activate a Vodafone SIM for Germany, but first of all you need to make sure your phone is unlocked and compatible with eSIM technology. Also, be sure that you can access to the Internet while activating.
After that, you can start eSIM installation and activation process.

  • Scan the QR code or enter activation code manually
  • Configure the eSIM following the on-screen guidelines
  • Start using the eSIM when landing in Germany

Note that: you had better install and activate just one day before departure to remain the longest validity of the eSIM plan.

The installation and activation process for eSIM can be slightly different by model and brand. Please check your detailed instructions below:

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

VIII. How to Top-up Vodafone SIM card & eSIM

This is how to top up your Vodafone SIM card & eSIM if applicable:

1. My Vodafone App

This is the easiest and most recommended method.

  • Download the My Vodafone app for your phone (App Store: for iPhones or Google Play: for Android phones).
  • Log in to your Vodafone account.
  • Look for a section called “Top Up” or “Recharge.”
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to choose a top-up amount and complete the payment.

2. Online Top-up

  • Visit the Vodafone website for Germany.
  • Look for a section on “Top Up” or “Recharge.”
  • You’ll likely need your mobile number and possibly your account details to log in.
  • Choose a top-up amount and complete the payment online.

3. Retail Stores

  • Find a Vodafone store near you (store locator available on their website).
  • Visit the store and tell the staff you want to top up your phone.
  • Provide your mobile number and choose a top-up amount.
  • The staff will process the top-up and you should receive confirmation shortly.

IX. FAQs about Vodafone SIM card & eSIM in Germany

Can I get a Vodafone SIM card or eSIM as a tourist?

Yes. Vodafone offers prepaid plans that are perfect for visitors to Germany. They come in both traditional SIM card format and eSIM.

Where can I buy a Vodafone SIM card?

You can purchase a Vodafone SIM card at Vodafone stores and kiosks at the airport, throughout Germany or online from resellers.

Does Vodafone in Germany come with EU roaming?

Vodafone SIM card u0026amp; eSIM plans for tourists in Germany do come with EU roaming included.

X. Conclusion

The above article shares details on how to get and activate Vodafone SIM card & eSIM Germany. I hope this information was helpful to you. For your next trip, please check Gigago to see if they have a new SIM card for Germany at a lower cost.