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 buying a prepaid sim card at Tbilisi Airport or getting an e-sim card for Georgia to stay connected. This is a complete guide with everything you need to know about buying a sim card on arrival at Tbilisi Airport with up to date prices as per June 2023, info about the best e-sim cards for Georgia, my recommendation, information about international sim cards and more.
If for some reason you were not able to buy a sim card for Georgia at Tbilisi Airport then get yourself a prepaid sim card in the city center of Tbilisi and check out my article about buying a sim card for Georgia in 2023.
Georgia is one of my favorite countries to crash in and between my trips around the world. It is a great digital nomad country with fantastic places to visit and things to do. finding the best way to stay connected is the first thing I do when I get 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 200 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, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and many more.
So next time when planning your trip abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid and e-sim card advice for your destination. Bookmark me!
When traveling to Georgia I am sure you will love the vibe and the people. The quality of life and the value for money is amazing in Georgia. Check out my complete travel guides for Tbilisi or Batumi with all my travel tips, things to do, places to visit, best restaurants and more.
Traveltomtom recommends buying a Magti sim card at Tbillisi Airport on arrival. Although Cellfie has some great prepaid sim card deals, Magti has the more extensive 4G/5G network in Georgia. They also hand out free sim cards at Tbilisi Airport with 3 GB data included, but this is a limited offer.
E-sim cards for traveling to Georgia are the fastest way to get connected as they can be purchased even before your trip to Georgia and you are online as soon as the plane lands. E-sim card plans already start from just $5.5 USD, which also makes e-sim cards the cheapest way to stay connected when traveling to Georgia.
If your phone is not e-sim compatible and the idea of buying a local prepaid sim card on arrival in Tbilisi sounds like too much hassle and effort then check out international sim cards for traveling in Georgia. These travel sim cards with data have coverage in multiple countries so if you are crossing borders more borders on your trip this is a great way to stay connected. Have a look at my comparison of the best world travel sim cards with global coverage in 2023.
Best e-sim cards for Georgia
The easiest way to get connected when traveling to Tbilisi in 2023 is an e-sim card. Arrange everything online within just a couple minutes. No more visiting a sim card store or swapping a physical sim cards. Order online, receive a QR code, scan it, follow the instructions and you are all set.
Check out the Airalo e-sim card plans for Georgia:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $5.5 USD
- 2 GB data for 15 days = $10 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $13.5 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $20 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $35 USD
Click here to directly order an Airalo e-sim card for Georgia.
SimOptions is another third party operator for Georgia e-sim cards and they offer the following e-sim card plans:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $7.90 USD
- 3 GB data for 15 days = $14.90 USD
- 5 GB data for 15 days = $19.90 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $39.90 USD
- 20 GB data for 30 days = $69.90 USD
Click here to order a SimOptions e-sim card directly online.
All the above data-only e-sim cards are only valid in Georgia. Both the Simoptions and the Kargi Mobile e-sim cards operate on the Cellfie (former Beeline) 4G/LTE mobile network in Georgia.
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. One time I arrived around 4.00 am local time and it was pretty busy. All the car rental shops, cafe’s and sim card shops were open.
The airport is fairly small for international standards and it is easy to buy a prepaid sim card for Georgia. Also important: there is fast and reliable free wifi at Tbilisi Airport!
Where to buy a 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 Cellfie (former Beeline), on your right there is Magti and next to the exit on the left there is Geocell/Silknet.
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Prices sim card at Tbilisi Airport in 2023
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?
Prices below are in Georgian Lari and as per June 2023: $1 USD = 2.58 GEL and 1 GEL = $0.39 USD.
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.
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 were very helpful finding me the perfect tourist sim card for Georgia. These are the 2 plans they offer:
- 3 GB data + unlimited calls/text + 30 minutes international calls for 15 days = 30 GEL - $10.6 USD
- 5 GB data + free texting for 15 days = 15 GEL - $5.8 USD
Cellfie (former Beeline)
A Georgia prepaid sim card for tourists from Cellfie costs:
2 GB data + Unlimited calls/sms in Georgia + 50 minutes international calls for 15 days = 20 GEL - $7.8 USD
If you need more data there are add-on data packages avaiable:
- 1GB data = 4 GEL - $1.5 USD
- 4GB data = 9 GEL - $3.5 USD
- 8GB data = 16 GEL - $6 USD
- 30GB data = 25 GEL - $9.5 USD
The above data packages are valid for 30 days, calls and sms are not included. These Beeline/Cellfie data packages are really good value if we compare them with the Magti and Geocell.
Best sim card at Tbilisi Airport in 2023
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 2023. However, if you are a fan of big data bundles you might want to consider Cellfie with a 30 GB data package for $9.5 USD.
Why choosing Magti as the best sim card for Georgia? This is based on my own experiences, advice from locals and expat friends and because I also compared the 4G/5G coverage maps of all the mobile internet providers in Georgia and came to the conclusion that Magti has the biggest 4G/5G network in Georgia. For more info see my article about best Georgia sim card for tourists in 2023.
Ordering a sim card for Georgia online
Although many people in Georgia consider themselves part of Europe, the reality is that Georgia is NOT part of the EU and that also means there is no free EU roaming available and sim cards from Europe don't work in Georgia unless paying for roaming charges.
If buying a sim card at Tbilisi Airport sounds like too much effort and hassle or you simply would like to arrive prepared and be online as the plane lands you can consider buying an international prepaid sim card for Georgia on the internet.
There is not much choice, but check out the following international sim card:
- 6 GB data for 10 days = $19.90 USD
This Sim 2 Fly prepaid sim card is valid in more than 130 countries and will be delivered to your home address before your trip to Georgia. It is a pre-activated sim card so you put it in your phone and it works. It is plug and play.
Click here to order this international prepaid sim card for Georgia online.
But here is also a last reminder that you can also order an e-sim card for Georgia if your phone is e-sim compatible. It is simple, fast and easy. Recommended Georgia e-sim card operators are Airalo and SimOptions.
Travel tips for Tbilisi
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 0.5 GEL = $0.2 USD. 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 June 2023 I have visited more than 155 countries, so still a long way to go.
Enjoy your trip to Georgia!
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