Flying to Moscow Airport Sheremetyevo soon? Avoid on high roaming costs and buy a Russia sim card on arrival. Prepaid sim cards in Russia come with a lot of data and are cheap. No need to use those slow and expensive data roaming packages from home. In this guide you can read everything about buying a sim card for Russia at Moscow Airport based on my own experiences. Where to buy a sim card, up to date prices as per May 2022, my recommendation and even info about international and e-sim cards for Russia.

Buying a local prepaid sim card is the first thing I do when I get to a new country and since I am aiming to travel to every country in the world you can already find almost 200 prepaid sim card guides on Traveltomtom from all around the world: EuropeDubai, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Nairobi, Johannesburg, London, ParisNew York, Toronto, Dominican Republic, Bogota, Panama City, Mexico City and many more.

Buying a prepaid sim card for Russia is actually really affordable! Great value for money. When I discovered this it definitely made me smile. Who does not love cheap data?

My recommendation

Traveltomtom recommends a Megfon prepaid sim card for Russia when arriving at Moscow Airport. They have an amazing deal that gives you 30 GB data + free social media for just $7 USD.

English is NOT spoken at Moscow International Airport and buying a prepaid sim card can be a hassle. If you feel like that is too much effort I recommend you looking into buying an international sim card for traveling in 2022. Some of them are great deals and cover Russia. Want an even easier solution? Then order an e-sim card for Russia.

E-sim cards for Russia

Order online, receive a code, follow the instructions, apply the settings and you are all set and connected. An e-sim card is the easiest way to stay connected when traveling abroad in 2022. See the following Russia e-sim card deals:

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $8 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $16 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $24 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $36 USD

Click here to directly order any of the above e-sim cards for Russia online or get more info.

You can also order a physical sim card for traveling in Russia online and get it shipped to your home address before your trip. Click on the link to get a data sim card for Russia with 10 GB data for $49,95 and get more info and see all the sim card deals.

Need some travel inspiration for Russia? Check out my trip to Altai Mountains! Absolutely amazing.

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Arriving at Moscow Airport SVO

First off this airport is spread out with 6 terminals and traveling in and between the terminals takes time. There are trains that connect the terminals so if you are in transit don’t worry the transportation system is pretty well organized. But hey we are in Russia, be prepared to struggle with languages barriers.

You may think at an international airport with this status there would be a ton of people speaking English, but forget about it. Welcome to Russia!

The ladies at the information desk all spoke good English and were very helpful. A tip for when you visit Moscow, download a translate app this will make traveling in Russia much easier.

To use most translate apps that use the dictation function you need a working internet connection. Sheremetyevo Airport has very easy access to good and free WiFi but as soon as you leave the airport you would wish you had a prepaid sim card for Russia with data. So no need to explain you anymore why you should buy a Russia sim card on arrival.

Aeroexpress SVO Airport

In and between Terminal D and E there is the Aeroexpress train station, the most convenient way to get from Sheremetyevo Airport to Moscow city. Just before you enter the train station there are many mobile phone shops where they sell prepaid Russian sim card for tourists.

Mobile internet operators in Russia

The main mobile internet operators in Russia are: Tele2, Beeline, MegaFon, MTS and Yota. Apart from Yota and MTS you can buy a Russia sim card from any of the operators at Moscow Airport.

Yota is a fairly small operator with a weak 4G network in Russia and is not recommended for tourists. But especially for an MTS prepaid sim card it is a pity they don't sell them at Moscow Airport. MTS has the strongest 4G network in Russia and is the only provider that offers 5G in Russia.

Where to buy a sim card at Moscow Airportterminal b svo airport

As I said the airport is pretty big and it more or less comes down to which terminal you arrive. Most travelers from Europe will arrive at Terminal B or D so let’s have a look at buying a Russian sim card there first.

If you are about to visit Moscow then I recommend you to go to the city by Aeroexpress, a convenient train that connects Sheremetyevo Airport to Moscow city. It is located between Terminal B and D. Just before you enter the train station there are many shops lined up where you can buy Russia sim cards for tourists as well.

At Terminal F there are also shops in the arrival hall where you can buy a prepaid Russia sim card.

Buying a sim card at SVO Terminal B

Arriving at Terminal B at SVO airport makes things easy for you as there is no choice. The only available sim card for Russia is Beeline. It is impossible to miss the Beeline shop as it is straight in front of you when you walk out of arrivals.

Prepaid sim card Beeline

beeline russia sim card

The picture is hard to read when you don’t speak Russian. Neither do I so I had the guy selling the Beeline sim Russia sim card explain me in his best English what everything means.

600 Rubles = $9

  • 15 GB - 4G internet
  • 500 minutes calling in and to Russia
  • 300 SMS
  • Valid for 30 days

Total costs for this package is only around $9, that is only $0,60 per GB data. I told you Russian sim cards are cheap! When arriving at Terminal B buying a Beeline sim card for Russia is worth it.

Buying a sim card at SVO Terminal D

At Moscow SVO Airport Terminal D there are two options for you. In the arrivals hall on level 1 there is TELE2 and at the departures hall level 3 you can buy a Megafon sim card.

Megafon Russia prepaid sim card

megafon russia

Let me tell you if it is worth going up two levels to the Megafon kiosk to buy your Russia sim here.

I went there twice as a week later I wanted to double check the information what I wrote down and both ladies spoke very little English. Service level for English speaking tourists is zero at Moscow Airport so be prepared. I used a translate app to get the following info.

There are two Megafon sim cards for tourists available:

  • 20 GB + 750 minutes + unlimited texting - valid for 1 month = 750 Rubles - $11 USD
  • 30 GB + 1,500 minutes + unlimited texting - valid for 1 month = 1,000 Rubles - $15 USD

Both packages are really great value for money!

TELE2 Russia prepaid sim card

tele2 sim russia

Depending on which exit you take from the luggage belts you will either walk up to the TELE2 shop or it is on your left in the arrivals hall. At the small shop two young employees were very helpful and explained the available TELE2 sim cards fro tourists in Russia.

TELE2 Russia offers the following sim cards for tourists:

600 Rubles (400 + 200 activation costs) = $9

  • 15 GB - 4G internet
  • Unlimited calls to TELE2  numbers in Russia
  • 500 minutes calling in and to Russia
  • 50 sms
  • Free Facebook, VKontakte, Viber, Whatsapp
  • 1 month valid

900 Rubles (700 + 200 activation costs) = $13

  • 30 GB - 4G internet
  • Unlimited calls to TELE2  numbers in Russia
  • 800 minutes calling in and to Russia
  • 50 sms
  • Free Facebook, VKontakte, Viber, Whatsapp
  • 1 month valid

Looking at these Russian prepaid sim card packages I am impressed by the value for money of TELE2. Since I never really call and text anyway, a TELE2 sim card for Russia was a perfect match.

Beeline Russia prepaid sim card

beeline russia shop

There is a Beeline shop that sells the following package:

500 Rubles = $7

  • Unlimited internet - 4G network
  • 500 minutes calling in and to Russia
  • 300 sms
  • No hotspot available
  • 14 days valid
  • 30 Rubles per day extra, top up credit can be bought everywhere

sim card russia moscow airport

There is also a shop called EBPOCETb where they sell Megafon sim cards and Beeline sim cards. The guy in the shop recommended me to buy a Megafon sim card instead of Beeline. Scroll down to see 4G network coverage maps for Russia.

Buying a sim card at SVO Terminal F

In the end I headed to Terminal E and F to find the perfect Russia sim card for tourists. At Terminal E there is NO shop that sells prepaid sim cards for Russia, but in Terminal F there was a Megafon kiosk again.

Megafon sim card Russia at SVO Terminal F

sim card russia airport moscow

Of course here they sold the same sim cards for tourists as they did at the Terminal D, but to my surprise they also sold a specific tourist package.

Megafon tourist sim card Russia

russia sim for tourists

  • 30 GB data + 1500 minutes + unlimited social media - valid for 15 days = 500 Ruble - $7

WOW! Looking at the above I am sure you are stunned too! Free social media and on top of that 30 GB data just for $7. I asked if there would be any activation costs, but nope you pay just the 500 Rubles.

For tourists traveling to Russia for less than 2 weeks this for sure is the best Russia prepaid sim card you can find at Sheremetyevo Airport. The Megafon shop is open from 09.00 to 21.00 daily and is next to the meeting point at Terminal F.

Best 4G/5G mobile network in Russia in 2022

Let’s quickly have a look at the mobile providers in Russia selling sim cards at Moscow Airport to determine who has the best 4G/5G network in Russia. For more detailed maps of the 4G/5G network coverage in Russia have a look at the link and you can zoom in to the region in Russia you will be traveling.

Is there 5G in Russia?

No, there is still no proper 5G network in Russia as of May 2022. Can you believe it? Only in the city center of Moscow there is a very small 5G network available when you are having an MTS sim card. But well, they don't sell MTS sim cards at Moscow Airport.

Beeline 4G/5G network coverage map

beeline 4g 5g network coverage russia

TELE2 4G/5G network coverage map

tele2 4g 5g network coverage russia

Megafon 4G/5G network coverage map

megafon 4g 5g network coverage russia

Looking at the mobile internet coverage maps for Russia you can see that of May 2022 the 4G networks are pretty similar for each provider, but Megafon is slightly more extensive and therefore has the best 4G network in Russia in 2021. 

I expect Russia to start rolling out 5G soon, but unfortunately it is hard to go through the Russian news on the internet as I do NOT speak a word Russian! ;)

Buy a sim card for Russia online

With such cheap prices on arrival I would not recommend buying an international sim card for Russia. However, there is an option for $49,95 that gets you 10 GB data. The advantage is that you don't have to register this sim card in Russia. Click here to order this international sim card for Russia. Also another reminder that you can order an e-sim card for Russia online.

My experience buying a Russia Sim Card at Moscow Airport

I decided to buy a TELE2 sim card for traveling in Russia and spent $9 on the smallest prepaid sim package. I went on a trip to the Altai Mountains in Siberia and to my surprise I could not only use the network of TELE2, but also the Megafon network. No clue why but it worked smooth.

Another reason why I would recommend you to buy a Megafon or TELE2 prepaid sim card for Russia at Moscow Airport.

A working network connection in Russia is as you can imagine a challenge in the worlds biggest country. But overall if I had a signal the 4G speed was good, especially in cities. On the road in Siberia I mostly just had a 3G signal, which worked fine.

More about my road trip in Altai, Siberia, check out my blog about this undiscovered region in Russia!

I hope this blog about prepaid sim cards in Russia on arrival at Moscow Airport was helpful for you if you have a question please leave me a comment. 

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