Planning a trip to Greece? Avoid high roaming charges and don't rely on slow overseas data plans, buying a local prepaid sim card or an e-sim card for Greece is cheap and you can get them easily on arrival or online. This is a complete guide for finding the best ways to stay connected when traveling to Greece.
Find out everything you need to know about buying a sim card for Greece in 2023: where to buy a sim card, the best e-sim cards for Greece, the best 4G/5G network in Greece, up to date prices as per October 2023, my recommendation and experiences, info about buying a sim card at Athens Airport and more about international sim cards for Greece.
The first thing I do when I get to a new country is either buying a local prepaid sim card or getting an e-sim card. As I am on a journey to visit every country in the world I get to many different places and airports. Providing travelers with resourceful travel tips is a passion and that is how on Traveltomtom you can already find more than 200 sim card guides from all over the world: USA, Europe, Asia, Canada, Dubai, Israel, South Africa, Brazil, Colombia, Kenya, Thailand, Vietnam, Bali, Sydney, Turkey, Europe, Paris, Amsterdam, Italy, Spain, etc.
When planning your next adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid sim card and e-sim card advice for your destination. Bookmark me in your travel tips folder!
Why buying a sim card in Greece
Staying connected while traveling makes life so much easier. Ordering an Uber, getting directions from Google Maps, checking out nearby restaurants with good reviews, finding a cool rooftop bar and so on. There are so many reasons I can come up for you to have a working data connection on your phone while traveling to Greece.
Don't rely on WiFi. Yes, most hotels offer free WiFi and so do many bars and restaurants in Greece, but that is no guarantee it is working. The WiFi signal in your hotel room could be too weak or the WiFi is too slow to upload anything. Also keep in mind that public WiFi connections are UNSECURED networks. Therefore it is also recommended to use a VPN for security reasons.
Buying a local prepaid sim card in Greece or an e-sim card for Greece on the internet is easy, fast and cheap!
If you prefer to NOT swap sim cards and your phone is not e-sim card compatible then you should look into a portable WiFi device. Personally I am not a fan, but read my honest review about these pocket WiFi's in my article about how to get WiFi abroad and make up your own opinion.
Traveltomtom recommends a Cosmote or Vodafone sim card for Greece. Cosmote has the best 4G/5G network in Greece and especially for island hopping in Greece a Cosmote sim card is recommended.
A Vodafone sim card is the second best. They have a great prepaid sim cards for tourists, but you have to buy them from the street vendors in Greece to get the best deal. More info below.
The cheapest way to stay connected when traveling to Greece in 2023 is an e-sim card. E-sim card plans for Greece already start from $5 USD and that gives you 1 GB data. Enough to stay in touch through WhatsApp, get directions from Google Maps and check your email.
Moe info below or check out my list of the best e-sim cards for traveling to Greece in 2023.
Traveltomtom also recommends buying a sim card for Greece online. Check out my list of the best prepaid sim card for traveling in Europe in 2023 or my comparison of the best international sim cards for traveling in 2023. Some of these international sim cards plans are great deals for staying connected in Greece.
Buying a local prepaid sim card in Greece is cheaper than these global sim cards. But what is the easiest and most convenient way to stay connected when traveling to Greece? No doubt, that is an e-sim card!
Best e-sim cards for Greece
An e-sim card is the easiest way to get data on your phone when traveling to Greece in 2023. No doubt! You can arrange everything on the internet within just a couple clicks. No more visiting a sim card store or swapping a physical swapping sim card. Order an e-sim card online, receive a QR code, scan it, follow the instructions and you are all set.
Traveltomtom wrote a complete guide for using e-sim cards when traveling to Greece, including a comparison of the best e-sim cards, all FAQ's answered and everything else you need to know about e-sim cards.
There are a couple trusted e-sim card providers, here are some recommendations.
Airalo offers the following e-sim cards for traveling to Greece:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $5 USD
- 2 GB data for 15 days = $9 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $12 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $15 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $25 USD
- 20 GB data for 30 days = $49 USD
The above data-only e-sim cards for Greece are from Meraki Mobile operate on the Cosmote and Nova 4G/LTE network. No, the Meraki Mobile e-sim cards for Greece are NOT 5G ready and data is only valid in Greece.
SimOptions also sells international e-sim cards for Greece. A little more expensive but big plus about these e-sim cards is that they are valid in more than 70 countries and including calling and texting and some are even 5G ready.
- 15 GB data + unlimited calls for 15 days = $21.90 USD
- 10 GB data (5G ready) + $2 calling credit for 30 days = $24.90 USD
- 12 GB data + 30 minutes international + unlimited calls/text for 14 days = $29.90 USD
- 30 GB data + unlimited calls/text for 30 days = $44.90 USD
- 30 GB data + 120 minutes international + unlimited calls/text for 14 days = $49.90 USD
- 50 GB data (5G ready) + unlimited calls/text for 28 days = $59.90 USD
Click here to directly order an international e-sim cards for Greece via SimOptions or find more info.
You can order the above international e-sim cards through SimOptions and they all offer free EU data roaming and allow you to make phone calls and text. All these international e-sim cards come with a phone number, so incoming calls are also supported.
There is also Nomad and they sells some really cheap e-sim card plans for Greece.
Want more info about using Greece e-sim cards then check out my complete guide with everything you need to know before buying an e-sim card for traveling to Greece in 2023.
Make sure your mobile phone is e-sim compatible otherwise an e-sim card won't work on your device.
Not all phones are e-sim card compatible, but for those people there are physical international sim card for Greece as well. I recommend the Orange Holiday sim card with 30 GB data and unlimited calls and text in Europe for $44.90 USD. You get these sim cards shipped to your home address before your trip to Greece. Click here to order an international prepaid sim card for traveling in Greece and find even more options.
Greece prepaid sim cards and EU roaming
Is Greece your first stop on your trip to Europe? If so, then make sure the prepaid sim card you buy in Greece includes free EU roaming. Most prepaid sim card plans do, but some limit the usage of data outside Greece. Therefore always ask the sim card provider about the EU roaming restrictions when buying a sim card in Greece.
Free EU roaming means that the data, voice and text allowance on your Greece sim card can be used in every other country in the EU at no extra costs! Which means when you travel onwards to Paris, Amsterdam or even Poland or Estonia you can keep using your Greece prepaid sim card.
For more info on EU roaming check out my complete guide for buying a local prepaid sim card on arrival in Europe in 2023. Or if you want to arrive prepared you can also buy a sim card for Europe online. Click on the link to see my comparison of the best prepaid sim cards and e-sim cards for traveling in Europe in 2023.
Greece mobile internet operators
There are 3 main mobile operators in Greece: Nova, Cosmote and Vodafone. All providers have stores around Athens city center and in the main tourist destinations and islands in Greece as well.
Nova is the new Wind. As per January 2023 Wind rebranded to Nova.
However, the official mobile phone stores is not where you find the best prepaid sim card deals for tourists. The best prepaid Greece sim cards you buy from street vendors.
In most countries it is pretty regulated and prices are fixed no matter which store you go. In Greece I discovered that prices in stores are fixed too, but depending on where you buy your sim card you get offered different data packages.
When buying a sim card in Greece you need to bring your passport. The mobile internet provider needs to take a copy or a photo of your photo ID to register your prepaid sim card. You will receive a sim card with a Greek number starting with +30 which is registered on your name and passport number.
If you don't feel comfortable with this procedure you should look into buying an international prepaid sim card for Greece or an e-sim card for Greece as these ways of staying connected when traveling to Greece do not require the registration with your passport, just your email.
Where to buy a sim card in Greece
Buying a sim card at Athens Airport
I normally don't encourage buying a sim card at the airport as sim card deals are always overpriced. At Athens airport there are very limited options for buying a prepaid sim card for traveling in Greece. There is a Sim Local store in the baggage claim area which sells prepaid sim cards for tourists. Check out my complete guide for buying a sim card at Athens Airport in 2023.
The Sim Local stores at Athens Airport are open from 06.00 AM till 10.00 PM. You can pay by credit card or in Euros. There are ATMs.
Buying a Greece sim card from a street vendor
Street vendors often have great sim card deals for Greece but you can only find them in Athens. Personally I have never seen them in places like Mykonos, Crete, Rhodes, Lesbos, Santorini or other tourist destinations in Greece.
It sounds a bit weird to buy a sim card on the streets from someone who takes a photo of your ID or passport? Don't worry you can trust them! They are official employees of either Vodafone, Nova or Cosmote and wearing their branded clothes. They organize everything on the spot and they won't let you walk away before your data sim card for Greece is activated and working.
Where to find them? At the bigger metro stations in Athens city center you will find youngsters selling sim cards.
Another big advantage of the youngsters selling the prepaid sim cards for Greece on the streets is that they speak really good English as they are obviously targeting tourists. The employees in the shops speak sometimes very little English.
Buying a sim card on a Greek island
In case your trip to Greece starts on an island and you want to buy a sim card for Greece on arrival then I strongly advice you to go to a Vodafone or Cosmote store as they have the best 4G/5G coverage on the Greek islands. Nova has expensive prepaid plans and the Nova 4G/5G coverage can be really disappointing on the Greek Islands.
Flying to Santorini? There is a shop that sells sim cards after customs. In the city center of Thera the heart of Santorini island there is a Vodafone, Cosmote and Nova store. The same counts for the airport in Crete. After customs you can buy a sim card at Crete Airport, but there are as well multiple phone stores around Crete island.
By ordering a sim card for Greece online you save all the hassle of buying a prepaid sim card on arrival in Greece. There are 2 options for buying a Greece sim card online: prepaid international sim cards for Greece or e-sim cards for Greece. If your phone is compatible with an e-sim card then I recommend ordering an e-sim cards for traveling in Greece.
Prices prepaid Greece sim cards 2023
All the info and prepaid sim card plans below are update in October 2023 with the latest prices. Prices are in Euros. $1 USD = €0.95 EUR and €1 EUR = $1.06 USD.
In Greece they still only offer physical prepaid sim cards for tourists, it is not possible to buy an e-sim card at Athens Airport nor in stores in Greece.
Vodafone Greece prepaid sim card
When buying a Vodafone prepaid sim card in Greece you can expect the following 3 prepaid sim card deals in one of their stores:
- 12 GB data in all of Europe for 15 days = €9.90
- 10 GB data in all of Europe + 100 minutes in Europe + 50 minutes international calls for 15 days = €9.90
- 15 GB data in all of Europe + 200 minutes in Europe + 120 minutes international calls for 30 days = €17.90
For more info check the Vodafone Greece website. But wait...
You can also buy a Vodafone Greece prepaid sim card from a street vendor:
- Unlimited data + 200 minutes + 50 international minutes = €12
As you can see the street vendors sell completely different Vodafone Greece prepaid sim card plans. Vodafone Greece does not provide e-sim cards, they only sell physical prepaid sim cards for tourists.
Nova Greece prepaid sim card
Nova has its own prepaid sim card brand called Free2Go.
- 1 GB data + 100 minutes and sms = €12.00
- 2 GB data + unlimited minutes and 500 sms = €15.00
For more info check out the Free2Go website, but compared to Vodafone these Nova/Free2Go prepaid sim card plans are totally useless.
Remember Nova used to be Wind, they rebranded in January 2023.
However, there still are the friendly youngster at the metro stations or randomly on the streets selling Nova Mobile prepaid sim cards for tourists.
- Unlimited data (only 5 GB for Europe) + 1000 minutes - valid for 30 days = €12
Conclusion: Whenever you want to buy a Nova sim card in Greece go to the street vendors as they offer much better prepaid sim card deals than in the Nova stores.
Nova stores and street vendors do NOT provide e-sim cards, they only sell physical prepaid sim cards for tourists.
Cosmote prepaid sim card
Cosmote is the biggest mobile internet provider in Greece with the best 5G network in Greece. Cosmote stores are much more than mobile services, they much rather sell flatscreens, laptops, drones, etc. than prepaid sim cards for tourists, so don't expect the best service.
A Cosmote prepaid sim card costs €13.5 and you get 2.5 GB data + unlimited minutes + 400 sms. Not really a prepaid sim card deal that makes us happy right?
You can top up with any of the above prepaid sim card data packages:
- 4 GB for 1 month = €8.5
- 6 GB for 7 days = €4
Find more info on the Cosmote website.
Then there are the street vendors for Cosmote Greece:
- 10 GB data + 100 minutes for 1 month = €10
- 5 GB data for 1 month = €6
The Cosmote street vendors were super friendly, spoke good English and offer better Cosmote prepaid sim card plans than in the Cosmote stores.
Cosmote does NOT provide e-sim cards for tourists, they only sell physical prepaid sim cards.
Frog Mobile is part of the Cosmote company and operates on the Cosmote network. A Frog Mobile sim card is free, but requires the addiotion of a data package with a top-up. They have some cheap Greece sim card deals compared to the other mobile internet providers. See the above prices and plans.
- 6 GB data for 25 days = €5.35
- 10 GB data + 200 minutes for 30 days = €8.90
- 15 GB data + 500 minutes for 30 days = €13.50
Frog sim cards limit the free EU data roaming to about 80% of your package. For example in the 15 GB package, only 13.5 GB is valid within the EU, outside of Greece. For more info about Frog Mobile check their website.
Best mobile internet network in Greece in 2023
Now that you have seen all the prepaid sim card plans for Greece for 2023, lets also look at the 4G/5G network coverage maps for Greece and find out which mobile internet provider has the best coverage and thus which sim card is recommended when island hopping in Greece or traveling in mainland Greece.
Is there 5G in Greece?
Yes, there is 5G in Greece, but it is not as advanced as in many other European countries. When island hopping in Greece don't expect 5G, with a 4G+ signal you can already be very happy. The 5G network in 2023 of Nova and Vodafone are pretty disappointing actually.
Vodafone Greece 4G/5G network map
Nova/Wind Greece 4G/5G network map
Cosmote Greece 4G/5G network map
It leaves no doubt that Cosmote has the best 4G/5G network in Greece followed by Vodafone and then Nova. Cosmote has by far the most extensive 5G network in Greece in 2023. Nova/Wind has the weakest 4G/5G mobile network in Greece. Based on the network Traveltomtom recommends a Cosmote sim card for traveling in Greece.
Best prepaid sim card in Greece in 2023
As I mentioned earlier buying a prepaid sim card in Greece is easy, but everyone sells different packages. The phone stores have set prices, but the street vendors have much better prepaid sim cards for tourists.
The best prepaid sim card plans in Greece can be found from the students selling sim cards near the metro stations at for example Omonia Square. Here they sell Vodafone, Cosmote or Nova prepaid sim cards for €12 with unlimited data. In fact this is the best best prepaid sim card deal for Greece.
However, it will cost you some effort finding one and when and where they are available... I don't know exactly, but on weekdays they are there from morning till afternoon. On Saturdays and Sundays I have never found one.
You can take a leap of faith and it will save you a couple dollars if you find a street vendor, but when traveling to Greece Traveltomtom recommends buying a sim card online. You will be online as soon as the plane lands.
Of course e-sim cards are the easiest way to stay connected and the fastest. You can find amazing e-sim card deals for traveling to Greece on the internet: 15 GB data for 15 days including unlimited calls/sms and this e-sim card is valid in all of Europe.
Find more amazing e-sim cards for Greece in my article about the best e-sim cards for traveling to Greece in 2023. If your phone is not e-sim compatible then check below how to order a physical prepaid sim cards for Greece on the internet.
Order a sim card for Greece online
If your want to arrive to Greece prepared and be online when the plane touches the ground and your phone is not e-sim compatible then order a sim card for Greece online. Make it easy for yourself with an international prepaid sim card that will be send to your home address before your trip to Greece. These pre-activated world travel sim cards work like plug and play.
Check out the following international prepaid sim card deals for Greece:
1. O2 Go Card - $24.90
- 10 GB data
- $2 calling credit (no top-up)
- valid for 30 days
- valid in 34 countries
2. Three Data Pack - $24.90
- 10 GB data
- Unlimited calls/sms
- Valid 30 days
- Valid in 56 countries
3. Orange Holiday ZEN - $29.90
- 12 GB data
- Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
- 30 minutes worldwide
- 200 sms worldwide
- Valid 14 days
- Valid in 34 countries
- 30 GB data
- Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
- 120 minutes worldwide
- 1,000 sms worldwide
- Valid 14 days
- Valid in 34 countries
5. Three PAYG MBB - $59.90
- 12 GB data
- Valid for 1 year
- Valid in 55 countries
- Incoming/outgoing calls not supported
6. Three PAYG MBB - $79.90
- 24 GB data
- Valid for 2 years
- Valid in 55 countries
- Incoming/outgoing calls not supported
Another reminder that the easiest way to get internet on your phone when traveling to Greece in 2023 is an e-sim card. You arrange everything within a couple clicks and just 2 minutes. Order a Greece data-only e-sim card via Airalo or an international e-sim card for all of Europe with unlimited calls via SimOptions.
Or when you need more info about when to order, how to activate and all other answers on FAQ about e-sim cards then check out my complete guide with everything you need to know about e-sim cards for Greece.
Very important: make sure your phone is unlocked before buying a prepaid sim card in Greece, ordering an e-sim card or an international sim card. If your phone is locked non of these ways to stay connected in Greece will work on a locked phone!
Looking for some sincere travel inspiration? Go check out my Instagram profile @traveltomtom and see what it looks like traveling to every country in the world. As of October 2023 I have been to more than 155 countries!
For specific questions about traveling to Greece and staying connected please leave me a comment and I will try to help you out.
Enjoy your trip to Greece!
Some links in this article about the best ways to stay connected when traveling to Greece are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using an affiliate link I will earn a small commission. Don’t worry this is at absolutely no extra cost to you.