Planning your trip to Spain and wondering what is the best way to stay connected and get data on your phone when traveling to Spain? You surely don’t want your Spain holiday to get ruined by outrageous roaming charges or slow overseas data plans. Traveltomtom recommends buying a local prepaid sim card in Spain or get an e-sim card for Spain.
This is a complete guide for finding the best sim card for Spain with where to buy a prepaid sim card, up to date prices as per November 2023, the best e-sim cards for Spain, the best 4G/5G network in Spain, info about EU roaming, my recommendation and the latest information about international sim cards for Spain.
Being a very experienced world traveler that is continuously traveling the world now for more than 10 years continuously I constantly looking for ways to get connected. My journey to visit every country in the world brought me in 2022 for example to more than 60 countries in 365 days and I rely on local prepaid sim cards or e-sim cards to stay connected all the time.
That is how writing sim card guides for destinations became a passion and in total I already wrote more than 200 guides all over the world: USA, Asia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Chile, South Africa, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Bali, New York, Istanbul, Paris, Rome, London, Qatar and many more.
So next time you are planning your adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid sim card and e-sim card advice for your destination. Bookmark me!
Are you flying in to Madrid Airport or Barcelona Airport? Then click on the links to get to know everything about buying a sim card on arrival at these Spain airports in 2023. It is the most convenient way to get online if you are looking to buy a prepaid sim card in Spain. However, sim card deals at airports are always slightly more expensive.
Why buying a sim card for Spain
Traveling becomes so much more convenient with an active data connection on your phone. It can be as easy as ordering a taxi on the streets, or finding a cool roof top bar or restaurant nearby. Getting directions from navigation apps is so normal, but with a working data connection suddenly becomes a challenge.
But what about emergencies or if you need to access your banking apps? The easiest way to stay connected is an e-sim card, but the best way to stay connected is buying a local prepaid sim card for Spain. Spain sim cards for tourists are not too expensive and it is worth investing a couple dollars to stay online.
Also don't rely on public WiFi, it is not everywhere available and begging for the WiFi password is annoying. Also keep in mind that using the internet on public WiFi is through an unsecured connection. The use of a VPN is recommended to protect your data!
If you don't like to swap your sim card for another one you can use an e-sim card. If your phone is not compatible for an e-sim card then you should look into getting a portable WiFi device. However, I am not a fan, so outdated! See my HONEST review of a pocket WiFi in my article about how to get WiFi abroad.
Buying a prepaid sim card in Spain is simple. Make sure you phone is unlocked, walk into any mobile internet store, ask for a prepaid sim card for Spain, put it in your phone, get it activated and within a couple minutes you are online.
Traveltomtom recommends a Vodafone prepaid sim card for Spain. They have the best 4G/5G network in Spain and have a prepaid sim card deal with 50 GB data for just €10 EUR and you can use the 5G network.
This is of course a great deal but these prepaid sim card can only be bought when in Spain. The cheapest way to stay connected is an e-sim card for Spain as they already start from $4.5 USD. E-sim cards are simply much more convenient as you arrange everything online. More info below or check out my list of the best e-sim cards for Spain in 2023.
Traveltomtom also recommends some global sim cards for travelers with worldwide coverage. These international sim cards cover all of Europe and other parts of the world. A great alternative for those traveling around the world often. They will be shipped to your home address before your trip.
Traveling to Spain and heading on a trip to Europe afterwards then buying a sim card that works in all of Europe is a great option for you. In the link I compared the best sim cards for Europe in 2023.
But if you want to make it very easy for yourself then look into getting an e-sim card for your trip to Spain!
Best e-sim cards for Spain
The easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Spain in 2023 is an e-sim card. No more visiting a store or swapping physical sim cards. In just a couple clicks you can order and instal an e-sim card for Spain. You order an e-sim card on the internet, you receive a QR code, scna it, follow the steps and you are instantly connected.
For your interest: in phone stores in Spain they do NOT provide e-sim cards, they only sell physical prepaid sim cards for tourists.
Check out all the Airalo e-sim card plans for Spain below:
- 1 GB for 7 days = $4.5 USD
- 2 GB for 15 days = $6.5 USD
- 3 GB for 30 days = $8.5 USD
- 5 GB for 30 days = $11.5 USD
- 10 GB for 30 days = $18 USD
- 20 GB for 30 days = $26 USD
Click here to order an e-sim card for Spain directly through this link.
These Spain e-sim cards from Guay Mobile are data-only sim cards and calling and texting is NOT supported. They operate on the 4G/LTE mobile network of Movistar. Data is only valid in Spain.
SimOptions sells international e-sim cards for Spain including calling and texting. Also these international e-sim cards include free EU data roaming which means these e-sim cards are valid all over Europe. In fact the Bouygues Telecom e-sim card is the best e-sim card for traveling in Europe.
If you are looking for e-sim cards for Spain that also support calls AND include EU data roaming then have a look at the following international e-sim cards that are valid in all of Europe:
- 15 GB data + unlimited calls in Europe 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 calls + unlimited calls in Europe for 14 days = $29.90 USD
- 30 GB data + unlimited calls in Europe for 30 days = $44.90 USD
- 30 GB data + 120 minutes international calls + unlimited calls in Europe for 14 days = $49.90 USD
- 50 GB data (5G ready) + 120 minutes international calls + unlimited calls in Europe for 28 days = $59.90 USD
Click here to directly order an international e-sim card for Spain.
Before ordering an e-sim card for Spain make sure your phone is e-sim compatible and unlocked! For more tips about using Spain e-sim cards check my complete guide with everything you need to know before buying an e-sim card for Spain in 2023.
If an e-sim card is not for you, your phone is not e-sim compatible and you don't want to waste your precious Spain holiday time finding a store and standing in line for buying a prepaid sim card then I got the best solution for you: order a sim card for traveling in Spain online!
Easy, quick and already activated from its first use. Have a look at all the international prepaid sim cards for Spain in the link. You can already find 12 GB and unlimited calling/texting for less than $30. Or click on the link or the banner above for more info.
Spain sim cards and free EU roaming
Spain prepaid sim cards in general include free data roaming in the EU. Sometimes it is capped, so always ask when buying a prepaid sim card in Spain. Free EU roaming means the sim card you buy in Madrid or Barcelona can also be used in Paris, Rome or even Stockholm. Free EU roaming on Spain sim cards is great for those that arrive in Spain and travel to more countries in Europe on the same trip.
Read more on free EU data roaming in my article with everything you need to know about buying a local prepaid sim card on arrival in Europe.
There are actually a couple sim cards for Europe that are great value and you can buy them directly online. Click on the link for a list of the best sim cards for Europe travel.
Mobile internet providers in Spain
Spain has 4 big mobile internet providers that all sell prepaid sim cards for tourists. Orange and Vodafone are the two well known European brands and then there is also Movistar and Yoigo. To find out what is the best prepaid sim card in Spain for tourists I compared all the prices and looked at their 4G coverage to come to a conclusion.
Where to buy a Spain sim card
At any international airport you will find either mobile internet provider stores or book shops selling prepaid sim cards for Spain. It is one of the first things I do when I arrive, but be aware that buying a sim card at the airport is always more expensive than in the city center.
At Barcelona Airport you can find a couple different Spain sim card deals. An Orange sim card for €15 is the best buy and will give you 9 GB data all over Europe and €5 calling credit. For more info on sim cards at Barcelona Airport check out the link above.
When flying to Madrid Airport you can buy more or less the same Spain sim card deals as at Barcelona Airport. an Orange sim card for traveling in Spain and Europe for €20 with 10 GB data + €10 calling credit. Check the link above for more info about buying a sim card Madrid Airport.
Official phone stores city center
Once you are settled in your hotel simply search for your preferred Spain sim card provider in Google Maps. Mobile phone shops are mostly always clustered in the city center. In Barcelona, Alicante, Malaga and Madrid it is very easy to find a phone store near your hotel, even in Ibiza and Mallorca there are multiple places that sell Spain sim cards for tourists as well as on the airport of Ibiza and Mallorca.
You can also buy Spain sim cards at the bigger gas stations and convenience stores. But there won't be any service and you will have to activate the sim card yourself. Not recommended for tourists unless you know what you are doing.
Getting connected when traveling to Spain was never as easy as in 2023. There are multiple e-sim card websites that offer e-sim cards for Spain. Traveltomtom recommends Airalo and Simoptions for Spain e-sim cards. Simoptions also sells international sim cards for Spain, physical chips that will be send to your home address before your trip.
Local prepaid sim cards can NOT be ordered online, these sim cards are only available in the stores in Spain.
Prices Spain prepaid sim cards in 2023
Prices for prepaid sim cards in Spain are pretty good. All the Spain mobile internet providers are constantly publishing offers. All the below prices are up to date as per November 2023. Prices are in Euros: $1 USD = €0.92 EUR and €1 EUR = $1.09 USD.
Movistar Spain prepaid sim card
The Movistar prepaid sim card deals have become A LOT BETTER in 2023. The above offers are pretty good Spain prepaid sim card deals. Movistar does NOT provide e-sim cards for tourists, only physical sim cards are available for tourists. For more info check the Movistar website.
Vodafone Spain prepaid sim card
Also Vodafone updated their prepaid sim prices for 2023 and we all benefit! And great news: Vodafone allows prepaid sim card costumers to use 5G, this compared to the other mobile internet operators in Spain who only offer 4G/LTE max data speed on prepaid sim cards.
For €10 EUR you get 50 GB data. All the prepaid sim card packages offer EU roaming, but it is limited to 19 GB outside of Spain. Unfortunately in Vodafone stores in Spain they only sell physical prepaid sim cards, e-sim cards are NOT available for tourists. For more info and check the Vodafone Spain website.
Prepaid Orange Spain sim card
These are the latest Orange Spain prepaid sim card plans available for tourists. They have 3 different data packages available. Free EU roaming is included in the above data packages of Orange Spain and packages are valid for 4 weeks.
A little downside of an Orange Spain prepaid sim card is that they are NOT 5G ready, max speed is 4G. Orange does NOT provide e-sim cards for tourists, only physical prepaid sim cards are available in Orange stores. Check the Orange website for more info.
Yoigo prepaid sim card
Yoigo is a newer and much smaller mobile internet provider in Spain. Their network is very small, but more about that later. For big cities a Yoigo prepaid sim card works fine, but it is not recommend for traveling in Spain.
Their data packages for prepaid sim cards are smaller than all the other mobile internet providers. As they also have a weaker network I would not recommend a Yoigo prepaid sim card for tourists traveling to Spain. Yoigo does NOT provide e-sim cards for prepaid users. For more info check the Yoigo website.
Best 4G/5G Network in Spain in 2023
It is not all about prices when determining the best prepaid sim card for tourists in Spain. Another important ranking factor is the 4G/5G network in Spain. We are already in 2023, we don't want to get stuck with slow 3G.
Is there 5G in Spain?
Yes, there is 5G in Spain, but it is mostly limited to the bigger cities. The 5G network in Spain is not yet as advanced as in other European countries and even bigger bummer is that most of the Spain mobile internet providers still do not offer 5G data speed for prepaid sim cards. The only who allows 5G for prepaid sim cards in Spain is Vodafone. For more detailed 4G/5G coverage maps of Spain, check the link.
Yoigo Spain 4G/5G network map
Vodafone Spain 4G/5G network map
Orange Spain 4G/5G network map
Movistar Spain 4G/5G network map
When comparing the above Spain 4G/5G network coverage maps we can why Yoigo is not the preferred Spain prepaid sim card for tourists.
Vodafone claims on their website to have won prices for the best 5G network in Spain in 2023, but from what I can see after my comparison is that Orange and especially Movistar has a way more extensive mobile data network. Movistar has the best 4G/5G network in Spain in 2023.
That said, all other mobile providers have great 4G and even 5G network coverage in all tourist destinations in Spain. Keep in mind though that only Vodafone offers 5G for prepaid sim cards.
Best prepaid sim card for Spain in 2023
E-sim cards for Spain are an amazingly easy way to get connected on your trip to Spain, but you get way more data for less money on local physical prepaid sim cards. The downside is that you can only buy a local prepaid sim card for tourists in Spain on arrival and not on the internet.
When comparing the prepaid sim cards for Spain the first thing that I noticed is that data plans are very cheap in Spain and the data plans are very big. Sadly though Orange and Movistar do not allow prepaid costumers to use their 5G network. If you want to buy a prepaid sim card with 5G then you have to buy a Vodafone Spain sim card. These prepaid sim cards for tourists are 5G ready and for €10 EUR you get 50 GB data.
Great thing about Spain sim cards is that they allow free EU roaming, although they are mostly capped at around 15 - 20 GB data. Always ask about EU roaming limitation when buying a prepaid sim card in Spain.
Although Movistar and Orange have a more advanced mobile data network, after our comparison Traveltomtom comes to the conclusion that Vodafone is the best prepaid sim card in Spain in 2023.
The Vodafone Spain network offers 5G in every tourist destination in Spain, a prepaid sim card with a lot of data is cheap, free EU roaming is included and you can use the 5G network, which means faster mobile data speed than Movistar and Orange.
Order a prepaid sim card for Spain online
If you want to arrive in Spain prepared then there is the possibility of ordering a sim card for Spain online. Get it shipped to your home address before your trip to Spain. Easy, quick and convenient... just put it in your phone on your arrival and it gets activated automatically.
Check out the following international travel sim cards for Italy:
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
4. Bouygues Telecom - $44.90
- 30 GB data
- Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
- Valid 30 days
- Valid in 47 countries
- 30 GB data
- Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
- 120 minutes worldwide
- 1,000 sms worldwide
- Valid 14 days
- Valid in 34 countries
Personally I recommend a Bouygues Telecom or Orange international sim card for traveling in Europe.
Also a last reminder that if you phone is e-sim compatible with an e-sim card for Spain you arrange everything online within just a couple minutes. The easiest way to get connected when traveling to Spain in 2023.
You can already get 5 GB data for $12 USD. Click here to order an international e-sim card for Spain or a data-only e-sim card for Spain. Want to know more about using Spain e-sim cards then check out my guide with everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for Spain in 2023.
I also put together a complete guide for buying a prepaid sim card in European with more info about EU roaming and local prepaid sim cards vs. international and e-sim cards. Which one is the best for your trip!? If you want to buy a sim card for Europe online then click here to check out my Europe travel sim card comparison.
I hope the above tips for finding the best sim card for your trip to Spain were helpful. If you have any questions please leave me a message below. Also if you have any Spain travel related questions don't hesitate to reach out to me.
Interested in getting some wanderlust feelings? Check out my road to travel to every country in the world or keep track of my journey on Instagram @traveltomtom. As of November 2023 I have visited more than 155 countries.
Enjoy your trip to Spain!
Some links in this article about the best way to stay connected when traveling to Spain 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.