Traveling to France soon? Don't get fooled by slow oversea data plans, buy a local sim card in France, the best way to stay connected and avoid high roaming costs. This is your guide to buying a sim card in France in 2021. Up to date prices, best network, where to get your local sim card, free EU roaming and everything else you need to know.

In total I wrote more than 80 articles about sim cards for tourists. From the best sim card in USA, to Thailand and all of the European countries: UK, Germany, Spain, Poland, Rome, Amsterdam, London, Frankfurt, etc.

This article is updated with the latest info and prices in June 2021.

Why buying a sim card for France

Yes, it is 2021 and every hotel, bar, restaurant and even taxis sometimes offer free WiFi, but the simple question is: do you want to rely on other people? What if the WiFi signal is very weak in your hotel room, or the restaurants WiFi is too slow to even upload an Instagram story. Prepaid sim cards with data are getting cheaper and cheaper and you can find pretty good sim card deals in France these days.

Ordering an Uber, getting directions from Google Maps, finding a nearby restaurant on TripAdvisor... I can come up with a ton of reasons why I recommend you to buy a local sim card for your trip to France.

My recommendation

Free Mobile is the France sim card I would recommend as they have the best sim card deals in France with the best value data bundles plus they have the best 4G/5G network in France. Side note, it is a little harder to find a Free Mobile store. But if you find one you can get a prepaid France sim card with 150 GB data for just €19.99.

I also strongly recommend NOT TO BUY a global sim card. I researched most of them and some I even call a SCAM! Local sim cards give you way better value for money then international sim cards. Check out my article with the best international sim cards in 2021. Only very few of them I recommend.

France sim cards and EU roaming

All local sim cards you buy in France have free EU roaming included. That means if you buy a sim card in Paris and then travel to Frankfurt, Germany you can still use your France sim card to call, text and use your data. Here is a guide for the best sim cards for Europe travel or check out my article for buying a local sim card in Europe with a breakdown of the best sim card for tourists per country.

Order a France sim card online

You can save yourself the hassle of buying a sim card upon arrival in France and buy an international sim card for traveling in France online. The sim card will be shipped to your home address and will be automatically activated from its first use.

For less than $30 you get unlimited calls and texting and 8 GB to use in France and everywhere else in Europe. Have a look at the Simoptions website for all the France prepaid sim card deals or click on the banner below.

europe sim card orange 728x90

Mobile operators in France

There are 4 major mobile phone providers in France and all of them are offering prepaid sim cards for tourists.

  1. Orange
  2. SFR
  3. Free Mobile
  4. Bouygues Telecom

Orange is the former France Telecom and the biggest one of these 4, but do they also have the best prepaid sim card in France for tourists?

I also found a place where they sold Lycamobile prepaid sim cards for France and will discuss them as well. 

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Where to buy a sim card in France in 2021

All of the 4 mobile phone providers have multiple shops around all tourist spots in France. The most convenient place to buy a sim card for France is at the Airport. I also wrote a guide for buying a sim card at Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris. Buying a sim card at an airport in Europe is slightly more expensive in most cases. It is quick and easy though.

Buy a sim card in Paris

In order to write this detailed article about the best sim card for France I roamed around Paris for you. Basically I visited all the 4 mobile operator stores and some phone shops to see who is offering the best tourist sim card in Paris. It was a little challenge as you know French people are not those who speak the best English in the world. At some shops people would only help me in French. That is France, get used to it.

Where to buy a sim card in Paris?

Simply go to Google Maps and type in one of the 4 mobile phone operators and see where is the nearest shop to you. But wait till I show you what is the best prepaid sim card in France, so you know in which direction to go.

Best 4G/5G Network coverage in France in 2021

First of all let's have a look at who has the best 5G in France. Come on it is 2021, we don't want to get stuck with a 3G signal anymore. See below the 5G coverage maps for Bouygues Telecom, SFR, Orange and Free Mobile. This data is collected by nperf.com.

Bouygues Telecom 4G/5G Network map

bouygues telecom 5g network france 2021

SFR 4G/5G Network map

sfr 5g network france 2021

Orange 4G/5G Network map

orange 5g network france 2021

Free Mobile 4G/5G Network map

free 5g network france 2021

The mobile network in France is very strong for such a big country as you can see from the above maps. However compared to other European countries the 5G network in France is still pretty weak.

Free Mobile has by far the best best 5G network in France!

Prices France sim cards in 2021

All the below prices for France prepaid sim cards are up to date as per June 2021.

Orange France sim card

Walking in to the Orange shop they straight away claimed to have the best package prepaid sim card package for France. Mostly when a too actively selling guy is claiming this, he is lying! So was this guy, because Orange does not offer the best France data sim package.

orange sim card for tourists in paris

There is only 1 package available for tourists:

  • €39.99
  • 10GB data in Europe
  • 2 hours calling (from Europe to anywhere)
  • 1000 text messages (from Europe to anywhere)

Be careful this package is only valid for 14 days.

For the latest Orange prepaid sim card deals have a look at their website.

Bouygues Telecom France sim card

At Bouygues Telecom they actually have a designated prepaid sim card for tourists. They were very helpful at their store and explained me that the Bouygues Telecom tourist sim card is even better than their original prepaid plans.

  • €39,90 = 20 GB data plus unlimited calls and texts.

bouygues telecom france sim card prices 2021

You can use this France sim card all over Europe and therefore a really good option for tourists traveling to Europe. For more info check out the Bouygues Telecom website.

SFR France sim card

A SFR prepaid sim card cost €9,99 and comes with €5 credit and 50 MB internet. That of course is nothing and you will need to top up with one of the following packages.

  • Mobile Internet Pass - €10 = 10 GB data - valid for 8 days.
  • Unlmiited Pass €20 = 25 GB data + unlimited calls/texts in France - valid for 30 days.
  • World Pass - €30 = 4 GB data + 200 minutes international calls - valid for 30 days.

sfr france sim card prices 2021

The restriction of data only being available in France makes a SFR sim card a no-go for travelers on a trip through Europe. For the latest prepaid sim card deals from SFR check the SFR website.

Free Mobile France sim card

Are you ready for one of the best prepaid sim card deals in Europe? Free Mobile France offers an amazing 5G plan with 150 GB data (25 GB data in Europe and lots of other countries like USA), unlimited calls/texts and that only for €19,99. See below. For the latest sim card deals of Free Mobile check their website.

free mobile france sim card prices 2021

Lycamobile France sim card

And then there is also Lycamobile, which operates on the network of Bouygues Telecom and offers France prepaid sim cards as well. Lycamobile sim cards are sold randomly in phone shops. Mostly they have a sign hanging outside to show they are resellers. To activate a Lycamobile sim card you have to pay €10.

Lycamobile France has 3 different packages:

  • Pass national S: €10 - unlimited calling and texting in France + 3GB
  • Pass national M: €15 - unlimited calling and texting in France + 10GB (BEST BUY)
  • Pass national L: €20 - unlimited calling and texting in France + 12GB

lycamobile prepaid sim card france

Connection is 4G and data packages are valid for 30 days all across Europe.

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Best France data sim for tourists in 2021

Now that we have seen the prices, the data packages and the network coverage of all the France mobile internet providers we can come to a simple conclusion:

Free Mobile France is the best prepaid sim card in France in 2021!

They have the best 5G network in France, they offer a data bundle of 150 GB and it only costs €19,99 for 1 month.

With Free Mobile offering such good deals it is useless to make a France sim card comparison. Free Mobile simply offers MUCH MORE value for money than the other mobile internet providers in France.

Little side note: it is a little harder to find a Free Mobile store, compared to the other providers. But just use Google Maps and find the nearest Free Mobile store. Another sad thing is that you can NOT buy a Free Mobile sim card at Paris Airport unfortunately.

Get your France sim card online

Remember that you can order your international prepaid sim cards for traveling in France and Europe online if buying a sim card in France is just too much hassle. All the offers for prepaid France sim cards and more can be found on the on the Simoptions website. They are specialized in sim cards for travelers.

1. Orange Holiday ZEN - $29.90

  • 8 GB data
  • Unlimited calls in Europe
  • 30 minutes worldwide
  • Unlimited sms in Europe
  • 200 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days

2. Three PAYG AIO15 - $29.90

  • 10 GB data
  • Unlimited calls within Europe
  • Unlimited sms within Europe
  • Valid 30 days

3. Three PAYG AIO20 - $39.90

  • 12 GB data
  • Unlimited calls within Europe
  • Unlimited sms within Europe
  • Valid 30 days

4. Orange Holiday Europe - $49.90

  • 20 GB data
  • Unlimited calls in Europe
  • 120 minutes worldwide
  • Unlimited sms in Europe
  • 1,000 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days

5. Bouygues Telecom Vacation Prepaid Plan - $49.90

  • 20 GB data
  • Unlimited calls within Europe
  • Unlimited sms within Europe
  • Valid 30 days

Personally I would recommend option number 3 or 5: Three or Bouygues Telecom. These and more offers can be found in the links above or click on the banner below for more info about prepaid sim cards for Europe. Sim cards will be shipped to your home address and are activated from the first moment of use.

europe sim card orange 728x90

Let me know if you have any questions about traveling to France or France sim cards. If I can help, Im happy to do so, leave me a comment below and I will do my best to get you an answer.

Also if this France travel blog was helpful for you would you like to help me a little too? Please could you share the link of this article somewhere on the internet? That would be so kind! Every tweet on Twitter, pin on Pinterest or post in a Facebook Group or on your own page helps me a lot. A small thing for you to do, which can make a big difference for me.

Enjoy your trip to France!

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