Planning a trip to Georgia and flying to Tbilisi? Make sure you don't get stuck with high roaming charges or slow overseas data plans. Traveltomtom recommends you buying a prepaid sim card for Georgia. This is your complete guide with everything you need to know for buying a sim card on arrival at Tbilisi Airport with up to date prices as per July 2022, my recommendation and even information about international and e-sim cards for Georgia.
If for some reason you were able to buy a sim card at Tbilisi Airport then get one in the city center and check out my article about buying a sim card in Georgia in 2022.
Georgia is one of my favorite countries to crash in and between my trip around the world. It is a great digital nomad country with fantastic placess to visit and things to do. Buying a local prepaid sim card is the first thing I do when I land in a new country. As I am continuously traveling around the world since 2012 and also aiming to visit every country in the world you can already find more than 150 prepaid sim card guides on Traveltomtom from all around the world: Europe, Germany, Frankfurt, UK, London, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Istanbul, Turkey, USA, New York, Vietnam, South Africa, etc.
Traveltomtom recommends a Magti sim card for Georgia. Although Beeline has some great offers, Magti has the more extensive network. They now also hand out free sim cards at Tbilisi Airport with 3 GB data included.
If the idea of buying a local prepaid sim card on arrival sounds like too much hassle you can also check out international sim cards for travelers. These sim cards have coverage in multiple countries so if you are crossing borders a lot this might be a great solution for you! Have a look at my comparison of the best world travel sim cards with global coverage in 2022.
However, the easiest way to get connected when traveling abroad in 2022 is an e-sim card.
E-sim cards for Georgia
Arrange everything online within just a couple minutes. No more visiting a store or swapping a physical sim card. An e-sim card is the new thing and super easy. Order online, receive an email with a code and instructions, apply the settings and you are all set. Check out the following e-sim card deals for Georgia:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $9.5 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $19 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $28.5 USD
Click here to directly order one of the above Georgia e-sim card deals or get more info in the link.
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The biggest international airport in Georgia is located about 17 kilometers away from the city center of Tbilisi. There are arrivals and departures all night long and the airport is open 24 hours. I arrived around 4am local time and it was busy. All the car rental shops, cafe’s and mobile operator shops were open.
The airport is fairly small for international standards and it is easy to buy a Georgia sim card. Also important: there is fast and reliable free wifi at Tbilisi Airport!
Where to buy a Georgia sim card at Tbilisi Airport
As soon as you walk out of arrival you will find all the mobile phone shops right in front of you. There are three mobile internet operators in Georgia and all three have a shop at the airport. Right in front you will see Beeline, on your right there is Magti and next to the exit on the left there is Geocell.
Prices sim card at Tbilisi Airport in 2022
As a tourist traveling to Georgia I can understand that you want to get connected to the internet straight away. Buying a sim card at Tbilisi Airport is also the first thing I did. But what is the best sim card available?
To make it easy: 10 GEL is approximately $3.4 USD.
Geocell sim card Georgia
There is a Geocell kiosk selling Georgia sim cards for tourists. The following packages include unlimited calls/text in Georgia:
- 1GB data = 25 GEL = $7.5
- 5GB data = 35 GEL = $9
- 7GB data = 40 GEL = $12
- 20GB data = 65 GEL = $20
- 35GB data = 95 GEL = $29
All the above sim card packages are valid for 30 days, only within Georgia. Coming from a western country I am sure these prices are very affordable.
Magti sim card Georgia
On your right hand side when walking out of arrivals there is Magti Georgia. The two ladies at the booth seemed a little tired this early in the morning but gave me a sheet with all the available tourist sim card for Georgia.
Calling within Georgia and 30 minutes of international calls are included in every Magti sim card for tourists.
- 3GB data = 30 GEL = $9
- 7GB data = 40 GEL = $12
- 10GB data = 50 GEL = $15
- 33GB data = 90 GEL = $27
- Unlimited internet = 180 GEL = $54
All the above data packages are valid for 30 days, only within Georgia. Compared with the Geocell sim card, a Magti sim card for tourists is about the same, but you get 30 minutes of international calls included.
Last but not least a Georgia sim card for tourists from Beeline. When approaching the Beeline shop I saw the following Georgia sim card for tourists:
20 GEL ($6) = 2 GB data + Unlimited calls/sms in Georgia + 50 minutes international calls - valid 15 days.
I was like nah that does not sound appealing as I need more data. The Magti sim card offer was better, but then I saw there were more data packages available.
- 1GB data = 4 GEL = $1.5
- 4GB data = 9 GEL = $3.5
- 8GB data = 16 GEL = $6
- 30GB data = 25 GEL = $9.5
The above data packages are valid for 30 days, calls and sms are not included. But wow! These Beeline data packages are really good value comparing them with the Magti and Geocell.
Best Georgia sim card at Tbilisi Airport in 2022
Comparing all the Georgia sim cards for tourists available at Tbilisi Airport I can come to the conclusion that Magti is the best prepaid sim card at Tbilisi Airport in 2022. However, if you are a fan of big data bundles you might want to consider Beeline with a 30 GB data package for $7.5 USD.
This is also because I also checked the 4G/5G coverage maps for all the mobile internet providers and came to the conclusion that Magti has the biggest 4G network in Georgia. For more info see my article about best Georgia sim card for tourists in 2022.
Buying a sim card for Georgia online
However, many people in Georgia consider themselves part of Europe, in fact it is not really. That also means there is no free EU roaming and European sim cards don't work in Georgia. There is still an international prepaid sim card available online that works in Georgia, check out the following offer:
- SIM 2 FLY = 6 GB data for 10 days for $19.9 USD
Click here to directly order the above sim card for Georgia online. This pre-activated sim card will be sent to your home address before your trip. But also a last reminder that you can also order an e-sim card for Georgia directly online and save all the hassle of swapping sim cards.
Travel tips for Georgia
Georgia is striving to be one of the most tourist friendly countries in the world and has opened its borders to a many international visitors. There is a big chance your country is also listed for staying up to 365 days in the country. Yes the stamp in your passport is valid for 1 year! Tbilisi tourism is picking up fast and the city has a lot to offer. Not only is traveling around the city easy and cheap, there are many things to do and places to see in Tbilisi.
To catch up with work I lived a little more than 3 weeks in Tbilisi. Have a look at my all my Tbilisi travel tips here.
Take for example the ferris wheel on top of the hill with magnificent views or the cosy Davit Aghmashenebeli Avenue with its many bars and restaurants. Eat out for just a couple dollars and drink a good coffee for 1 euro! There are many reasons to visit Tbilisi in Georgia. And when traveling to Georgia also don't miss the second biggest city on the west coast, check out my Batumi travel tips here!
How to get from Tbilisi airport to the city
There are 3 ways to get to Tbilisi City Center: bus, train, taxi.
The bus runs 24/7 and cost only 0,50 GEL = $0,20. It takes around 30-40 minutes to reach the center. Busses are modern. Look for bus route nr. 37.
The train does NOT run that often and stops running at night. It is very comfortable though. The train also cost 0,50 GEL = $0,20 only and takes 20 minutes. This is my preferred way of transportation from Tbilisi Airport to the city center.
As usual there are of course many taxi drivers waiting for you when you arrive. Within 20 minutes depending on traffic they will drop you in front of your hotel. These guys ask between 25-60 GEL. As a modern traveler I would like to suggest to download the Yandex app, this is the Uber for Georgia. I arranged a taxi through Yandex and paid 20 GEL, where the taxi drivers at the airport were asking 40-50 GEL.
I hope the above tips for buying a prepaid Tbilisi sim card were helpful for your upcoming Tbilisi holiday. In case you have any questions don't hesitate to leave me a comment below. I am happy to help you out!
Curious what it looks like trying to visit every country in the world? Go check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and follow along. As of July 2022 I have visited more than 135 countries, so still a long way to go.
Enjoy your trip to Georgia!
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