Providing you with resourceful information about buying European sim cards when traveling to Europe became a thing to do in every European country. Basically because I have to buy one myself as over the years I became a professional travel blogger documenting my trips through this website and my social media channels. After seeing with my own eyes that it was a pain in the ass to buy a sim card at Frankfurt Airport and Berlin Airport, I figured it was time to help tourists find better Germany sim card deals.
This article is updated in August 2019 when I traveled to Berlin. In total I wrote over 50 articles about prepaid sim cards for tourists in Europe. By researching I want to give travelers the information so they can buy the sim card with the best value for money. On top of Germany I also wrote guides for the best prepaid sim card in the UK, France, Netherlands, Poland and Spain.
Germany sim cards are one of the worst for traveling in Europe! Click here for my complete overview to help you choose the best Europe sim card for your upcoming trip.
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Buy your Europe sim card online
I can tell you already it is much cheaper than all the German prepaid sim card offers you will see in the rest of this article! You can buy a tourist sim card for Europe online through the following link. Orange offers 20GB data in over 30 countries and 2 hours worldwide calling time for $50. Through this link you can order it directly online and get free shipping to your home address! Now 20GB instead of 10GB, claim it by clicking on the banner below or the link above.
Portable Wifi device for traveling in Europe
A TEP Wireless portable wifi device lets you connect with up to 5 devices at the same time. It gives you unlimited internet access in over 100 countries for a couple dollar per day.
Mobile internet providers Germany
In a country with about 80 million people you may expect a bunch of mobile internet providers, but unfortunately there are only a couple big operators. In Germany you just find the standard European mobile internet operators: T Mobile, Vodafone and O2. The opposite to for example buying a prepaid sim card in France, where they only have French companies.
4G coverage German mobile internet providers in 2019
To find the best German sim card for tourists we take a look first at the 4G network of all the 3 sim card Germany providers first.
4G network coverage Vodafone
4G network coverage O2
4G network coverage T Mobile
What we can see from the 4G coverage maps for German sim cards is that O2 still has a lot of catching up to do when we compare their network with Vodafone and T Mobile Germany.
If you are looking for prepaid sim cards for tourists in Belgium then you are better off buying a sim card at Brussels Airport. Not in Germany! The prices for sim cards at the airports are much more expensive.
Prices prepaid sim cards Germany in 2019
Be aware that sim cards for Germany are expensive. Small data bundles for high prices. Being online in Germany is simply one of the most expensive countries in Europe. So for traveling around Europe buying a Germany sim card is not the best idea. Let's have a look at what is available.
T-Mobile Germany prepaid data sim card
They sell three different T-Mobile prepaid sim cards for Germany:
- €20: 100 minutes and 1.5 GB data.
- €25: 200 minutes and 2 GB data.
- €50 unlimited minutes & texting and 3 GB data.
All T-Mobile prepaid sim cards for tourists are valid for 4 weeks and can be topped up online.
The T Mobile Germany prepaid sim card packages are clear and straight forward, however data packages are super small. I can use up to 1,5 GB per day if I am on fire! :)
O2 Germany prepaid data sim card
Also O2 Germany has 3 prepaid sim cards for Germany available:
- €10: unlimited calling & texting and 1.5 GB data.
- €15: unlimited calling & texting and 3 GB data.
- €25: unlimited calling & texting and 5 GB data.
All O2 prepaid sim cards for tourists are valid for 4 weeks and can be topped up online.
Prices for O2 Germany sim cards are already much more competitive than T-Mobile Germany and they have at least a prepaid sim card package with 5 GB data. I don't think that is much either, but we are getting there. :)
On the bottom of the picture you see the top up you can add to your packages. For 4 GB extra you pay another €20. Or €5 per day for 25 GB per day, but hey who wants that!?
When I showed you the 4G network coverage of O2 Germany we could clearly see that their network is smaller. However if you go to the main tourist destinations in Germany you will 100% be covered with a 4G signal at all times. If you go off the beaten path on your Germany trip you might want to consider a different Germany prepaid sim card.
Vodafone Germany prepaid sim card
Vodafone Germany has 4 different prepaid sim cards for Germany available.
- €40: 200 minutes OR sms (Germany only) and 4 GB data.
- €40: 200 minutes OR sms (Germany only) and 8 GB data.
- €55: 200 minutes OR sms (Germany only) and 10 GB data.
- €70: 200 minutes OR sms (Germany only) and 14 GB data.
The first package is valid for 8 week, all the other Vodafone Germany prepaid sim cards are valid for 4 weeks. You can also buy an add on for 10 GB PER DAY extra, but you pay €5 per day.
Vodafone Germany may have bigger data bundles than T-Mobile and O2 but is also much more expensive! Damn...
I hope you already saw that when traveling to Europe buying a Germany sim card is not the best idea. There are much better deals available. Click here to read my complete guide for buying a sim card for traveling in Europe.
Where to buy a prepaid sim card in Germany?
Most of the times buying a sim card at the airport on arrival is a rip off. In places like Venice, Vienna, Budapest, Zagreb they sell the same packages as in the city for 3 times as much. Therefore wait till you get to the city and find a mobile internet shop close to you by simply looking on Google Maps. But the best way to buy a sim card for Europe is to order one online.
Germany sim card Frankfurt Airport
I told you that when arriving back from my trip to Namibia I looked at buying a German sim card at Frankfurt Airport and figured out that tourist hardly have options. From the big mobile operators there was only an O2 sim card available and obviously they were really expensive!
Buying a Germany prepaid sim card at Media Markt
Another popular place to buy a German data sim card is at Media Markt, a huge electronic shop. They pretend to sell all the available German prepaid sim cards. To check this out for you I went to the Media Markt, but service here was definitely not what it was like in a phone shop. They offered more or less the same data packages, but there is no one who can really helps you pointing out the best prepaid sim card for Germany. It was searching for a needle in a haystack.
Germans mostly speak pretty good English or at least someone at the shop will!
What to bring when buying a prepaid sim card in Germany
In Germany you will have to bring an official photo ID when buying a prepaid sim card. Since July 2017 every prepaid sim card must be registered on a German address as well. Every shop will handle this differently but tourists can still easily buy a German sim card. Mostly the shops will use the address of your hotel. No need to bring this, they will Google it in the shop.
Mobile internet speed Germany
In a country without speed limits on the highways you expect a super fast mobile internet connection, but don’t be fooled. The Germans may think they have everything damn well organized, but not the internet speed for mobile. They only rank number 48th in the world with a speed of 27.15Mbps. Lower than countries like Macedonia and Moldova. A prepaid sim card in Netherlands will give you a speed of 52.19Mbps. That is two times faster!
Best German prepaid sim card for tourists
To me it is an easy choice to determine what is the best prepaid sim card in Germany for tourists. Vodafone is really expensive, T-Mobile data packages are extremely small, so the best value for money can be found by buying an O2 prepaid sim card for Germany.
For €25 you can enjoy unlimited texting and calling in the EU plus you get 5 GB data valid in all of the EU.
The best sim card for tourists in Germany is O2!
Order your sim card online (much cheaper)
Buy your sim card for traveling in Europe online now! There is an Orange sim card which is valid in 30 European countries for $50 and it gives you NOW 20GB data and 120 minutes worldwide calling time. Click on the link to find more info and get it shipped for free to your home address. 20GB instead of 10GB now, click on the banner below.
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Traveling with kids: TEP Wireless portable WiFi device
If you are traveling with family and want to keep your kids quiet then TEP Wireless might be a great option. They offer UNLIMITED data for up to 5 devices at the same time through a portable WiFi device. For only a couple bucks you can connect your laptop, phone and iPad all at the same time in more than 100 countries around the world.
I hope this article about the best prepaid Germany sim card for tourists was helpful and it helped you planning your trip to Germany. May you have additional questions please send me a message on my Instagram account @traveltomtom. I am more than happy to help you out. Be aware that this could create some serious wanderlust with pictures from 7 years around the world to more than 100 countries.
In the following link you find my best travel adventures from around the world. Or when interested in how to earn money from a travel blog or how I became a professional travel blogger then click on the links to read my story.
Enjoy your trip to Germany!