Traveling to Germany soon? Let this guide help you pick the right sim card for Germany for your upcoming trip. Find out where to buy a sim card for Germany, the latest prices as per August 2023, the best e-sim cards for Germany, the best 4G/5G network, my recommendation, info about international sim cards and much more.
Avoid high roaming charges, getting a local prepaid sim card or an e-sim card for traveling to Germany is much cheaper!
After seeing with my own eyes that it was expensive to buy a sim card for Germany at Frankfurt Airport and Berlin Brandenburg Airport I figured it was time to help tourists finding better prepaid sim card deals for Germany.
Providing travelers with resourceful information about buying local prepaid sim cards became a passion and as I am also aiming to travel to every country in the world you can already find more than 200 articles about prepaid sim cards for tourists on Traveltomtom.
Through research I aim to give you the latest information for you to stay connected when traveling abroad. Find sim card guides for: USA, South Africa, Thailand, Hong Kong, Costa Rica, UK, France, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Qatar and many more.
Germany sim cards are just ok for traveling in Europe! Click here for my complete overview to help you choose the best Europe sim cards in 2023. Or have a look at my guide for buying a local sim card in Europe in 2023 with a breakdown of the best prepaid sim card for tourists per country and more information about free EU roaming.
Traveltomtom recommends a Vodafone sim card for Germany. For €20 EUR you get 15 GB data plus unlimited calling and texting in Germany and the Vodafone network is very extensive.
However, you can order e-sim cards for Germany on the internet for just $26 USD and get 20 GB data. That is muche better value. More info below or head directly to my guide for the best e-sim cards for Germany in 2023 with everything you need to know about using e-sim cards for traveling to Germany.
Traveltomtom also recommends international sim cards for world travelers. We dove deep into it and reviewed and compared them one by one. Not all are worth it, choose wisely! Have a look at my article with a comparison of the best international sim cards for traveling in 2023 and find some great sim card deals for traveling in Germany.
Don't feel like swapping sim cards? 100% understand! Get yourself an e-sim card! Wanna go old school? Getting a portable WiFi for when traveling is still possible too. But we are not a fan anymore, because now there are e-sim cards for Germany.
When buying a sim card in a foreign country make sure your phone is unlocked. If you are not sure about it contact your provider in your home country. International sim cards don't work in locked phones. This also counts for e-sim cards!
Best e-sim cards for Germany
No doubt, the easiest way to get a data connection on your phone when traveling to Germany in 2023 is an e-sim card. Order online, receive a QR code, scan the code, follow the steps and within a couple clicks you are connected.
Airalo offers the following e-sim card deals for Germany:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $5 USD
- 2 GB data for 15 days = $6.5 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $10 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $15 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $22.50 USD
- 20 GB data for 30 days = $26 USD
Click here to order a Germany e-sim cards directly through Airalo.
Keep in mind that the above Hallo! Mobil e-sim cards for Germany are data-only and only valid in Germany. They operate on the 4G/LTE network of O2 Germany. The 20 GB data e-sim card for $26 USD is the best buy e-sim card for Germany with only $1.3 USD per Gigabyte.
If you also want to make phone calls with your e-sim card then check out the e-sim card deals on SimOptions. They offer international e-sim cards for Germany with unlimited calling/texting included and free EU roaming and calls all over Europe.
Traveltomtom recommends the Bouygues Telecom e-sim cards for traveling to Germany:
- 15 GB data in all of Europe + unlimited calls/sms for 15 days = $21.90 USD
- 30 GB data in all of Europe + unlimited calls/sms for 30 days = $44.90 USD
Before you order an e-sim card for Germany make sure your phone is e-sim card compatible. How to find out? Simply ask Google.
For much more detailed information about using e-sim cards for traveling to Germany, FAQ about e-sim cards, more offers, plans and the best deals can be found in my detailed guide about the best e-sim cards for traveling to Germany in 2023.
Why buying a sim card for traveling in Germany
The answer is very simple don't rely on other people! Yes, your hotel has WiFi and most other public places will have, but you will be surprised how many bars and restaurants in Germany do NOT provide free WiFi. Germany is big on privacy and local people don't like to connect to open WiFi's.
But also if you want to order a taxi through an app, quickly look up the train schedule or find a nearby restaurant with good reviews it is necessary to have a working data connection on your phone. There are so many reasons for you to get a local prepaid sim card or an e-sim card when traveling to Germany.
Overseas data roaming bundles? Did you know that most of them limit the internet speed? And of course they are capped. With a local sim card you get the best network coverage and even 5G if it is available.
Germany sim cards and free EU roaming
Although Germany prepaid sim cards are not the best value for money for traveling in Europe, they at least all offer FREE EU ROAMING. That means with the sim card you buy in Germany you can use your data, voice and text allowance in every other European country, So if you travel onwards to roam, you can keep using the data on your German sim card at NO extra costs.
Once you cross borders in Europe, you will get an automated text message explaining that there won't be any extra costs. For more info and tips about buying a local sim card in Europe click on the link to read my complete guide. Or check out my list of the 12 best sim cards for traveling in Europe in 2023 that you can order online before your trip.
Where to buy a prepaid sim card in Germany?
Buying a sim card at the airport on arrival in Europe is mostly 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.
Germany sim card Frankfurt Airport
I have also done my research for buying a sim card at Frankfurt Airport and figured out that tourist hardly have any options. There was only an O2 sim card available and obviously they were really expensive! Check the link for a complete guide.
Sim card for Germany at Berlin Airport
Same story as for Frankfurt Airport! Very limited options at Berlin Tegel Airport and equally expensive. Click here to read my complete article for buying a sim card at Berlin Brandenburg Airport .
Buying a sim card at MediaMarkt
Another popular place to buy a Germany data sim card is at MediaMarkt, a huge electronic shop. They pretend to sell all the available Germany prepaid sim cards. To check this out for you I went to the MediaMarkt, but service here was definitely not what it was like in a phone store.
They offered more or less the same data packages, but there is no one who can really help 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!
Buying a Germany sim card with data at a gas station
I told you that prepaid sim cards for Germany are expensive, but lately for updating the article with the 2023 prices and information I found two great options at several gas stations around the country. I travel to Germany a couple times a year and happily update this article with all information I can get.
Look at this Vodafone Germany prepaid sim card:
- 2,5 GB in Europe + 200 minutes OR sms = €10
Or what about this T-Mobile Germany deal:
- 1,5 GB in Europe + 9 cent per min/sms = €10
The problem is that a prepaid sim card in Germany needs to be registered. How they deal with this at a gas stations? You will have to do the registration online. Like literally set up a video call through the providers website and show your passport, etc. I am not joking! Therefore I would not recommend buying a prepaid sim card for Germany at any random store.
Mobile internet providers Germany
In a country with about 80 million people you would expect a bunch of mobile internet providers, but unfortunately there are only a three big mobile internet providers: T Mobile, Vodafone and O2.
All of them sell prepaid sim cards for tourists. There are a bunch a smaller brands that sell sim cards in gas stations and supermarkets, like: Aldi, Freenet Mobile, etc. All these smaller providers use the mobile network of one of the 3 big companies. They also don't have stores and service is very limited and often in German only. Therefore I don't recommend these Germany sim cards for tourists.
Best 4G/5G Network in Germany in 2023
As I grew up only minutes away from the German border and I have spent a lot of time in Germany. The German mobile internet network is not the best compared to other countries in Europe. During long train rides there are period of no signal or a very weak signal. Germany is among the biggest countries in Europe however, their mobile network doesn't live up to the country's status.
Is there 5G in Germany?
Yes, Germany has 5G, but not all mobile internet providers have a great 5G network. T-Mobile has by far the best mobile data network in Germany in 2023 and also the best 5G network in Germany. Check the below detailed 4G/5G coverage maps for Germany. However, they don't let prepaid users use the 5G network.
Vodafone Germany 4G/5G Network Coverage Map
O2 Germany 4G/5G Network Coverage Map
T-Mobile Germany 4G/5G Network Coverage Map
From the above 4G/5G coverage maps for Germany we can clearly see that O2 has the smallest 5G network in Germany in 2023. It also is an easy conclusion that T-Mobile has the best 5G network in Germany. That said all mobile internet operators provide an excellent 4G/5G signal in the best places to see in Germany.
Prices prepaid sim cards Germany in 2023
Be aware that sim cards for Germany are relatively expensive: small data bundles and high prices. Germany is simply one of the most expensive countries in Europe if you use a lot of data. So for traveling around Europe buying a Germany sim card is NOT the best idea.
Let's have a look at what is available in the stores around Germany. All prices and info below has been update as per August 2023. Prices are in Euro: $1 USD = €0.91 EUR and €1 EUR = $1.10 USD.
T-Mobile Germany prepaid sim card
A T-Mobile prepaid sim card is free when you choose any data packages from 2 GB to unlimited data.
The unlimited data prepaid sim card from T-Mobile Germany is probably the most expensive unlimited data sim card in Germany. The 2 GB package comes with 200 minutes calling/sms in Germany, the 5 GB data package has unlimited calling/sms in Germany. None of the T-Mobile prepaid sim card plans are 5G ready, only 4G/LTE max data speed. Also T-Mobile does NOT provide e-sim cards for tourists, only physical prepaid sim cards are available.
For more info check out the T-Mobile Germany website.
O2 Germany prepaid sim card
An O2 prepaid sim card is free and you can opt for 1 of the 3 prepaid sim cards data packages:
- 3.5 GB data + unlimited calling/sms = €9.99
- 6.5 GB data + unlimited calling/sms = €14.99
- 12.5 GB data + unlimited calling/sms = €19.99
- 999 GB data + unlimited calling/sms = €69.99
All O2 prepaid sim cards for tourists are valid for 4 weeks and can be topped up online after that. Prices for O2 Germany sim cards are much more competitive than T-Mobile Germany. More value for money, though O2 only offers 4G instead of 5G. Plus the 5G network of O2 is very limited. E-sim cards are not provided for prepaid users, only physical prepaid sim cards. For more info check the O2 website.
Vodafone Germany prepaid sim card
The Vodafone Germany prepaid sim card packages are called CallYa and they offer the following data packages valid for 4 weeks.
- 15 GB data + unlimited calling/sms (5G included) = €20
- 7.5 GB data + unlimited calling/sms. (€2.99 extra for 5G) = €15
- 3 GB data + 200 minutes or sms. (€2.99 extra for 5G) = €9.99
- 1 GB data + 50 minutes or sms = €4.99
I am surprised how good the Vodafone Germany sim card deal in 2023 actually is compared to the years before when Vodafone Germany was ridiculous expensive.
Well done Vodafone Germany, you are finally providing a good prepaid sim card for tourists visiting Germany. However, still as of August 2023 Vodafone does NOT offer e-sim cards for tourists, only physical prepaid sim cards are provided. For more info check the Vodafone Germany website.
Best sim card for Germany in 2023
After comparing the prepaid sim cards in Germany it is easy to determine that Vodafone is the best prepaid sim card in Germany in 2023.
Vodafone Germany has a very advanced 4G/5G network and their prepaid sim card deals are by far the best. For €20 EUR you get 15 GB data + unlimited calling and texting in all of Europe.
However, for finding the best sim card for traveling in Germany in 2023 we should also include e-sim cards and international sim cards. International prepaid sim cards are very convenient because you arrive prepared and do not need to find a phone store on arrival in Germany. International prepaid sim cards are more expensive than local prepaid sim cards.
But when we compare e-sim cards for Germany with local prepaid sim cards we can see that you get even better value on e-sim cards for Germany that you order online. For the best e-sim cards for traveling to Germany in 2023 check out my complete guide in the link.
If you are traveling all around Europe then click on the link to read my complete guide for buying a sim card for traveling in Europe in 2023.
Order a sim card for Germany online
The most convenient way to get a prepaid sim card for traveling in Germany is to order one online before your trip and get it shipped to your home address. Once you arrive you put it in your phone and it works automatically. Plug and play! Find below some great international prepaid sim card deals for Germany:
- 10 GB data in all of Europe and UK
- Unlimited calls/sms within Europe and UK
- Valid 30 days
- 12 GB data in all of Europe and UK
- Unlimited calls/sms within Europe and UK
- Valid 30 days
- 10 GB data in all of Europe and UK
- $2 calling credit - top up possible
- Valid 30 days
- 20 GB data in Europe and in the UK
- Unlimited calls/sms in Europe and the UK
- 120 minutes worldwide
- 1,000 sms worldwide
- Valid 14 days
Click here to directly order an international sim card for Germany online.
These international sim cards will be shipped to your home address and are automatically activated from its first use.
Also another reminder that you can order an e-sim card for Germany, it just takes 2 minutes. Click here to order a data-only e-sim card for Germany or click here for international e-sim card for Germany including calls and texting.
Prepaid sim card registration in Germany
In Germany you will have to bring an official photo ID when buying a prepaid sim card, but that is not the only thing you need...
Since 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 local prepaid sim card in store in Germany. Most stores will use the address of your hotel. No need to bring this, they will Google it in the shop.
Don't worry about the above rule too much, phone stores will help you to register your prepaid sim card. If this sounds too much hassle then order an e-sim card for Germany on the internet.
If you try to be smart and order an e-sim card for Germany directly from the website of one of the mobile internet providers (T-Mobile, Vodafone or O2) then be prepared for a long and time consuming registration and verification process. It took me in total about 30 minutes to get my e-sim card activated. You need to download an app, make a video call appointment, then hold your passport next to your face and move your camera around it. Absolutely madness and ridiculous!
When ordering an e-sim card for Germany then do it through one of the e-sim card providers recommended by Traveltomtom (SimOptions, Airalo, Nomad) and then you only need an email address, no identification, etc. needed!
Mobile internet speed Germany in 2023
In a country without speed limits on the highways you expect a super fast mobile internet connection, but don’t be fooled. Germany only ranks number 15th in the world with a speed of 19.5 Mbps. A prepaid sim card in Netherlands will give you an average speed of 28.7 Mbps. That is more than 50% faster! See the complete list with mobile data speed per country here on Wikipedia.
I hope this article about the best prepaid Germany sim card for tourists was helpful and it helped you planning your trip to Germany. If you have additional questions please leave me a comment below. I am more than happy to help you out with sim card and travel related questions.
Like to be fuelled by wanderlust? Go check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and join me on my journey to visit every country in the world. As per August 2023 I visited more than 155 countries. Let's see what my travel adventures will brings me in the rest of 2023.
Enjoy your trip to Germany!
Some links in this article about the best ways to stay connected when traveling to Germany are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using an affiliate link in this article I earn a small commission. This is at absolutely no extra cost to you!