Planning your trip to Portugal? Don't waste money on high roaming charges or slow overseas data roaming plans. This is a complete guide for staying connected when traveling to Portugal and finding the best sim card for your trip to Portugal.
In this article you can find everything you need to know about prepaid sim cards in Portugal, which provider has the best and fastest 4G/5G network in Portugal, the best e-sim cards for Portugal, up to date prices as per January 2024, my recommendation, info about international sim cards and more.
Portugal is definitely one of the most laid-back and cheapest European tourist destinations and a year round place to visit. So a couple times a year you will find me traveling to Portugal.
Buying a prepaid sim card in Portugal is cheap but even e-sim cards for Portugal that you order on the internet are very affordable and easy to get.
Looking for the best way to get connected is one of the first things I do when planning a trip to a new country. I used to always buy a prepaid sim card on arrival, but nowadays I mostly use e-sim cards just because it is easier and more convenient.
Traveltomtom would like to visit every country in the world so I constantly get to new places. since I like to document all my travel tips you can already find more than 200 sim card guides on Traveltomtom from all around the world: USA, New York, Los Angeles, Brazil, Dubai, Turkey, Indonesia, Bali, Colombia, Bogota, Panama, Madrid, Spain, Germany, France, Europe, Asia, Marrakech, Australia and many more.
In case you are visiting Portugal and flying to Lisbon then you can also buy a tourist sim card for Portugal directly on arrival at the airport. Check out my complete guide for buying a sim card at Lisbon Airport or if you prefer e-sim cards then check out my comparison of the best e-sim cards for traveling to Portugal in 2024.
So next time you are preparing your next adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the best prepaid sim card and e-sim card advice for your upcoming trip. Bookmark Traveltomtom in your travel tips folder and let me help you save money.
Why buying a sim card for Portugal
Portugal still has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to connectivity and internet (speed). Yes your hotel will provide free WiFi and so do most restaurants and bars in tourist destinations in Portugal, but as soon as you go to local villages WiFi is not a certainty. But why would you want to rely on (slow) WiFi from other people?
Also another reminder that public WiFi is through an UNSECURED network. The use of a VPN in these situations is recommended.
Another very simple reason for staying connected when traveling to Portugal: what if you are out on the streets and you are looking for a nearby rooftop bar or nice restaurant with good reviews? What if you want to order a taxi through an app or in case of emergencies, checking your banking apps when paying the bill?
There are so many reasons to come up with to have a working data connection on your phone when traveling to Portugal. Trust me it make life easier and your trip more fun.
Road trips in Portugal are epic, but without navigation it will be challenging for sure. Not being connected to the internet is so inconvenient these days. For Portugal road trip tips check out my road trip from Porto to the Algarve.
Therefore to avoid high roaming charges Traveltomtom recommends tourists to get a local prepaid sim card on arrival or order an e-sim card for visiting Portugal on the internet.
Traveltomtom recommends a NOS sim card for Portugal. NOS has the best 4G/5G network in Portugal and the fastest data speed and for €12.50 EUR ($14 USD) you get 10 GB + free social media and 1,500 minutes/sms.
Another amazing option to stay connected when traveling to Portugal especially for those who like big data bundles is buying an e-sim card for Portugal online. For example there is a MEO e-sim card with 30 GB data for only $19 USD. You arrive prepared and as soon as the plane lands you are online.
E-sim cards are also perfect for those travelers that need just a little bit of data to use WhatsApp or check their emails. There are already e-sim cards for Portugal that start from $4.5 USD.
Visiting several different countries on your journey then check out international sim cards. These prepaid and e-sim cards are valid in up to 141 countries around the world. Here is Traveltomtom's list of the best sim cards for traveling the world in 2024.
Are you on a trip to Europe then an international sim card specifically designed for traveling in Europe would be the best way for you to stay connected. Check out Traveltomtom's list of the 12 best sim cards for traveling in Europe in 2024.
Best e-sim cards for Portugal
The easiest way to get connected when traveling to Portugal in 2024 is an e-sim card. No more swapping physical prepaid sim cards and visiting a phone store. You arrange everything on the internet.
You order an e-sim card for Portugal on the internet, you receive a QR code, scan it, follow the simple steps and within less than 2 minutes you have a Portugal e-sim card installed on your phone.
Upon arrival in Lisbon it automatically connects you to an available network and you enjoy data on your phone pretty much when the plane lands.
Make sure your phone is e-sim compatible before ordering an e-sim card for Portugal. For more detailed info check out check out Traveltomtom's complete guide with an answer to all FAQ's and everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for Portugal in 2024.
Airalo is a reputed e-sim provider that sells e-sim card plans for pretty much every country in the world. Traveltomtom has used Airalo uncountable times and never faced an issue.
Check out the Airalo e-sim card plans for Portugal in 2024:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $4.5 USD
- 2 GB data for 15 days = $7 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $9.5 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $10 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $17 USD
- 20 GB data for 30 days = $32 USD
Click here to directly order an e-sim cards for Portugal via Airalo.
The Airalo data-only e-sim card are from Fofo Mobile and they operate on the NOS 4G/LTE network in Portugal. Incoming and outgoing calling and texting is not supported.
On top of that Airalo also sells an amazing e-sim card deal from MEO Portugal.
- 30 GB data for 15 days = $19 USD
This MEO e-sim card is 5G ready but is only valid in Portugal, there is no free EU roaming included. This e-sim card is regarded rated as one of the best e-sim cards for traveling to Portugal in 2024 and it gives you 30 GB data for just $19 USD.
Click here for more info or to order the MEO e-sim card for Portugal directly via SimOptions.
Traveltomtom has used SimOptions now for almost 5 years in uncountable countries around the world and is therefore a very recommended e-sim provider.
SimOptions offers a wide range of e-sim card but the most interesting e-sim cards for Portugal are the international e-sim cards.
If you want an e-sim card for Portugal that can also make phone calls and send sms then look into the following international e-sim cards from SimOptions. These international e-sim cards are valid all over Europe, including Portugal:
- 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 for 30 days = $34.90 USD (data-only, only valid in Portugal)
- 30 GB data + unlimited calls 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 for more info or to order an international e-sim card for Portugal via SimOptions.
A third recommended e-sim provider is Nomad and they often have amazing e-sim card deals and at times cheaper than Airalo or SimOptions depending on the country.
These are the Nomad e-sim card deals for Portugal in 2024:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $6 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $8USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $10 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $17 USD
- 15 GB data for 30 days = $27 USD
- 20 GB data for 30 days = $33 USD
Click here for more info or to order an e-sim card for Portugal via Nomad.
Before ordering an e-sim card for Portugal make sure your mobile phone is e-sim compatible. How to find out? Simply ask Google and instantly get your answer. Find out everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for Portugal on the internet in Traveltomtom's complete guide for buying an e-sim card for Portugal in 2024.
Not all phones are e-sim card compatible so if that is the case then there is also still the possibility of ordering a physical international prepaid sim card for traveling in Portugal.
These pre-activated international sim cards will be deliverd to your home address before your trip. Get a world travel sim card with 30 GB data and unlimited calls in 39 countries for $49.90 USD.
Click here to order an international prepaid sim card for Portugal via SimOptions or find more info.
Portugal sim cards and EU data roaming
Is Portugal your first destination on your trip to Europe then make sure you buy a Portugal sim card with free EU data roaming included. In most cases free EU data roaming is included in the Portugal prepaid sim card plans, but always double check in store when buying a prepaid sim card in Portugal.
Free EU data roaming means that you can use your Portugal sim card also in France, Germany or Greece during your trip to Europe. Your data bundle as well as calling and texting credit is valid in every country in Europe at no extra costs. For more info and tips and tricks about free EU data roaming check out my guide for buying a prepaid sim card in Europe on arrival.
You can also buy a sim card for traveling in Europe online before your trip. These Europe sim cards are specially designed for travelers visting multiple countries in Europe. You can only buy these Europe travel sim cards online, they are not available in stores in Europe.
Mobile internet operators in Portugal
Portugal has three main mobile internet providers: MEO Portugal, NOS Portugal and Vodafone Portugal. All of the operators sell prepaid sim cards for tourists and there are multiple stores all around the big cities and tourist destinations in Portugal.
In stores as of 2024 you can buy a physical prepaid sim card as well as e-sim cards for tourists.
Where to buy a sim card for Portugal
Lisbon International Airport
At the most busy airport in the country you can buy a prepaid sim card for Portugal. Must add that there is only a Vodafone store at Lisbon Airport so the choice is limited. You also can get a Lycamobile sim card, which in fact is the best sim card at Lisbon Airport. Check out Traveltomtom's up to date guide for buying a sim card at Lisbon Airport in 2024.
Every big city or tourist destination in Portugal has plenty options for buying a prepaid sim card for tourists. Just find the nearest MEO, Vodafone or NOS store on Google Maps.
Also some of the bigger convenience stores and supermarkets tend to sell some Portugal prepaid sim cards. Be aware that service in these small stores is VERY LIMITED and it is not easy to figure out what you are exactly buying as package details are written in Portuguese. I recommend tourists to head to one of the official mobile operators stores.
As mentioned before the easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Portugal is to order a sim card on the internet. You arrive prepared and are instantly online. No need to go to a phone store or sim card shop on arrival in Portugal.
For more info about using e-sim cards when traveling to Portugal check out Traveltomtom's complete guide with everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for Portugal in 2024.
If your phone is not e-sim compatible then you can order a physical prepaid sim card for Portugal via SimOptions.
All the sim cards for Portugal you see online, can not be bought in Portugal on arrival and the other way around neither. Prepaid Portugal sim cards from MEO, NOS and Vodafone can only be bought on arrival in Portugal in a phone store.
If you are buying a prepaid sim card in Portugal then always bring your passport. In the store they will take a copy of your passport and your prepaid sim card with your new Portuguese phone number will be registered on your name and passport number. Without your passport you can’t buy a prepaid sim card in Portugal, these are EU laws.
However, there is a way around this registration and that is buying an international sim card for Portugal or buying an e-sim card for Portugal. This is a great way to stay connected in Portugal and not having to register with your passport.
Best 4G/5G network in Portugal in 2024
Prices for Portugal data sim cards are important to determine what is the best sim card for tourist, but just as important is the 4G/5G network coverage of your sim card. Therefore in the next images I will compare the 4G/5G network coverage of MEO, NOS and Vodafone to see which mobile internet provider has the best mobile data network in Portugal in 2024.
For more detailed 4G/5G network maps of Portugal check the link, where you can also find the 4G/5G internet coverage for Funchal and Azores.
Is there 5G in Portugal?
Yes, there is 5G in Portugal and as of 2024 the 5G mobile data network in Portugal is pretty good. Pretty much all the popular tourist destinations in Portugal are covered with a 5G signal.
MEO Portugal 4G /5G network coverage map
Vodafone Portugal 4G /5G network coverage map
NOS Portugal 4G /5G network coverage map
Although the above mobile data network coverage maps are updated for 2024 they are not 100% accurate. However, they are a great reference to compare the 4G/5G networks of the mobile internet providers in Portugal in 2024.
From the above comparison of the Portugal mobile network coverage maps of MEO, NOS and Vodafone Traveltomtom comes to the conclusion that all mobile internet providers have an extensive mobile data network around the country.
However, it is clear that NOS has the best 4G/5G network in Portugal in 2024.
Prices Portugal prepaid sim card in 2024
Below you will find a comparison of the prepaid sim card plans per mobile internet provider as per January 2024. Prices are in Euros: $1 USD = €0.91 EUR and €1 EUR = $1.10 USD.
MEO Portugal prepaid sim card plans
A MEO prepaid sim card is free if you sign up for one of their prepaid sim card plans. The packages are rather confusing though and I tried figuring out what is exactly the deal, because the above picture shows per month/per week. Anyway the forget about the /per week sign, the packages are valid for 1 month:
- 1 GB data + 500 minutes/sms = €3.8 EUR - $4.2 USD
- 3 GB data + 500 minutes/sms = €4.6 EUR - $5 USD
- 5 GB data + 500 minutes/sms = €5.4 EUR - $6 USD
All MEO prepaid sim cards are 5G ready and valid in all of Europe. In MEO stores in Portugal you can now choose to have a physical prepaid sim card or opt for an e-sim card. For more info check the MEO Portugal website.
Vodafone Portugal prepaid sim card plans
The Vodafone Portugal prepaid sim card plans for 2024 include free EU data roaming, are 5G ready and are valid for 30 days:
- 10 GB data in Europe + 500 minutes/sms + 50 international minutes = €25 EUR - $27 USD
- Unlimited data ONLY for Portugal = €35 EUR - $38 USD
Check the Vodafone Portugal website for more info. In Vodafone stores in Portugal you can now choose to have a physical prepaid sim card or opt for an e-sim card.
NOS Portugal prepaid sim card plans
A NOS Portugal sim card costs €2.50 EUR or if you buy a prepaid sim card plan as shown above it is free. The prepaid sim card plans are 5G ready and include free EU roaming.
- 5 GB data + 1,500 minutes/sms + free social media = €10 EUR - $11 USD
- 10 GB data + 1,500 minutes/sms + free social media = €12.5 EUR - $14 USD
For more check the NOS Portugal website. In NOS stores in Portugal you can now choose to have a physical prepaid sim card or opt for an e-sim card.
Best sim card for Portugal in 2024
When comparing the local prepaid sim cards you can buy in phone stores in Portugal and the e-sim cards for Portugal you order on the internet Traveltomtom comes to the following conclusion.
The cheapest way to stay connected when traveling to Portugal is an e-sim card from Airalo for just $4.5 USD with 1 GB data.
E-sim cards are obviously also the easiest way to stay connected as you don't need to visit a phone store on arrival in Portugal anymore as you arrange everything online and as soon as the plane lands you are connected to the internet and enjoy a data connection on your phone.
For much more detailed info check Traveltomtom's comparison of the best e-sim cards for traveling to Portugal in 2024.
However, local prepaid sim cards are in general slightly cheaper than e-sim cards, but you can only buy them in a store in Portugal on arrival.
The fastest data speed is guaranteed by NOS and they also have the best 4G/5G network in Portugal as of 2024. Since NOS also has the best prepaid sim card deal it is an easy conclusion that NOS is the best prepaid sim card for Portugal in 2024.
For €12.5 EUR ($14 USD) you get 1,500 minutes/sms + free social media and 10 GB data for 30 days.
If you are traveling onwards in Europe and you can use your NOS prepaid sim card all over Europe as NOS includes free EU data roaming. But if you are visiting multiple countries in Europe there are better e-sim card deals. Check out my list of the best sim cards for traveling in Europe in 2024.
Order a prepaid sim card for Portugal online
Is your phone not e-sim compatible and buying a sim card in Portugal sound like too much hassle and you would rather arrive prepared then you can order a physical prepaid sim card for traveling in Portugal on the internet.
Arrive prepared in Portugal with an international prepaid sim card. You order them online and a physical prepaid sim card will be delivered to your home address. You put this sim card in your phone and it automatically connects to an available network upon arrival in Portugal, basically when the plane lands you are instantly online.
SimOptions is the only sim card provider that sells physical prepaid sim cards for Portugal:
1. O2 Go Card - $24.90 USD
- 10 GB data
- €2 EUR calling credit
- Valid 30 days
2. Three Data Pack - $24.90 USD
- 10 GB data
- Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
- Valid 30 days
3. Orange Holiday ZEN - $29.90 USD
- 12 GB data
- Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
- 30 minutes worldwide
- 200 sms worldwide
- Valid 14 days
4. Bouygues Telecom - $44.90 USD
- 30 GB data
- Unlimited callsin Europe
- Valid 30 days
- 30 GB data
- Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
- 120 minutes worldwide
- 1,000 sms worldwide
- Valid 14 days
A last reminder that if your phone is e-sim compatible you can arrange everything online within just a couple clicks. There are some amazing Portugal e-sim card deals and for $19 USD you can already get 30 GB data. Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Portugal via Airalo, Nomad or SimOptions.
Or for more detailed info check Traveltomtom's e-sim card guide for Portugal with an answer to all FAQ's and everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for Portugal in 2024.
I hope the above tips for finding the best sim card for your trip to Portugal were helpful. In case you have any additional questions don't hesitate to leave me a comment below and I am more than happy to help you out. Also for Portugal travel tips.
Looking for some travel inspiration then check out my journey to visit every country in the world or my Instagram profile @traveltomtom. As of January 2024 I have visited more than 155 countries, so still a long road to go.
Enjoy your trip to Portugal!
Some links in this article about the best Portugal sim cards are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using the outgoing links I will earn a small commission. Don’t worry this is at no extra cost to you, but I have the duty to inform you.