Planning a trip to Europe and flying to Manchester Airport and wondering what is the best way to get connected? This is your guide for buying a prepaid sim card at Manchester Airport with where to buy a sim card, up to date prices as per May 2022, my recommendation an even information about international and e-sim cards for the UK.

Buying a local prepaid sim card is the first thing I do when I get to a new country. As I am trying to visit every country in the world I constantly get to new places and therefore on Traveltomtom you can already find more than 150 prepaid sim card guides from all over the world: USA, New York, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Kigali, Nairobi, Pakistan, Tel Aviv, Colombia, Turkey, South Africa and many more.

My recommendation

Traveltomtom recommends buying a Vodafone sim card at Manchester Airport. For £25 ($30 USD) you get 20 GB data to be used all over Europe.

Another great alternative is a travel sim card with global coverage. Arrived prepared to Manchester and order your sim card online before your trip. Check out my comparison of the best international sim card for travelers in 2022 and pick the one that suits your trip the most.

But if you want to make it even easier then go for an e-sim card for the UK.

E-sim cards for the UK

An e-sim card is the most convenient and easiest way to get connected when traveling abroad in 2022. No need to visit a store anymore, no need to swap physical sim cards, just an online process. You order an e-sim card online, receive a code, follow the instructions and you are able to connected to a foreign network when abroad and use the data allowance you purchased. Check out the following UK e-sim card deals:

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $5 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $10 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $15 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $22.5 USD

Click here to directly order one of the above e-sim card deals for the UK and find more info. With an e-sim card you keep your own phone number.

europe sim card orange 728x90

However, e-sim cards are data only sim cards so if you want to make phone calls when in Europe you are better off with a physical sim cards. You can for example already get 12 GB data plus unlimited calls in Europe for $29.90 USD. Click here to order this international sim card for the UK directly online or check out all the offers and get more info.

UK sim cards and traveling in Europe

You are lucky when Manchester is your first stop on your Europe trip. UK prepaid sim cards are one of the best prepaid sim cards for traveling in Europe. Click on the link to read about my complete research, but basically UK sim cards come with free EU roaming in all of Europe. Even after brexit!

For more info about free EU roaming and brexit check my article about tips and tricks for buying a prepaid sim card in Europe on arrival.

More Related Articles

Manchester Airport

There are 3 different terminals at Manchester Airport, but if you are flying in from outside Europe you will either land in Terminal 1 or 2. Terminal 3 is only used for flights within Europe. Both, Terminal 1 and 2 are easy to navigate and there are multiple options to buy a UK sim card at Manchester Airport.

Manchester Airport offers its passengers 4 hours of free wifi. Manchester Airport wifi is reliable, fast and free to access. Great service!

Where to buy a sim card at Manchester Airport

uk sim card manchester airport

Arriving at Manchester Airport means you can buy a sim card for tourists in 4 different places:

  • Sim card vending machine
  • Spar Shop
  • WH Smith Shop
  • Currency Exchange

At Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 at Manchester Airport you will find all 4 above options to buy a UK prepaid sim card and they can be found very easily.

uk sim card manchester airport 7

The Spar Shops at Manchester Airport are open 24 hours.

uk sim card manchester airport 9

WH Smith Stores close at 10pm every evening, but is arguably the best place to buy a UK sim card at Manchester Airport in 2022.

Sim card vending machine Manchester Airport

uk sim card manchester airport 2

You will find the sim card vending machines at the luggage belts in Terminal 1 and 2 so while waiting for your luggage you can already buy a sim card at Manchester Airport. Don’t expect any service here of course, although the sim cards are already activated you just gotta put them in your phone. What you see is what you get:

uk sim card manchester airport 5

Lyca Mobile UK sim card

  • £25 = unlimited calls and text + 6 GB data - valid for 30 days in all of Europe.
  • £35 = unlimited calls and text + 20 GB data - valid for 30 days in the UK.

uk sim card manchester airport 4

EE UK sim card

  • £20 = 150 minutes + 10.5 GB data - valid for 30 days in all of Europe.
  • £25 = 250 minutes + 13 GB data - valid for 30 days in all of Europe.

uk sim card manchester airport 3

Three UK sim card

  • £30 = unlimited calls and text + 12 GB data - valid for 30 days in all of Europe.
  • £45 = unlimited calls and text and data - valid for 30 days in all of Europe.

WH Smith Manchester Airport

All the WH Smith shops in Manchester Airport sell you the same prepaid sim cards like all over the UK.

Vodafones UK sim card

uk sim card manchester airport 10

  • £25 = 250 minutes + unlimited sms + 20 GB data + £5 credit - valid for 30 days in all of Europe, Turkey, Norway and Switzerland included.

EE UK sim card

uk sim card manchester airport 11

  • £20 = 150 minutes and 150 sms + 10.5 GB data - valid for 30 days in all of Europe, USA, Aus, NZ and South America.
  • £25 = 250 minutes and 500 sms + 13 GB data - valid for 30 days in all of Europe, USA, Aus, NZ and South America.

Lebara UK sim card

uk sim card manchester airport 12

  • £20 = 500 minutes international (41 destinations) and 500 UK minutes + 1 GB data - valid for 30 days.
  • £30 = 1000 minutes international (40 countries), unlimited UK minutes and 1000 UK sms + 5 GB data and £5 extra credit - valid for 30 days.

Spar Supermarket Manchester Airport

uk sim card manchester airport 6

As it suggest the supermarkets aren’t the best place for buying a sim card at Manchester Airport, but they are the only ones that are open 24 hours. So this is your last option. All UK sim cards at Spar Manchester Airport cost £2.99 and there are about 10 different UK prepaid sim cards to choose from.

You will need to top up yourself as the sim cards do mostly not come with credit, but 3 GB costs about £10. These sim cards are activated, but you will have to top up online, not convenient!

Currency Exchange Manchester Airport

uk sim card manchester airport 8

Also at the Currency Exchange boots they sell UK prepaid sim cards for tourists at Manchester Airport. They one have a Lebara UK sim card on offer:

  • £25 = Unlimited UK minutes and 1000 sms + 100 international minutes to 40 countries + 6 GB data (UK only) - valid for 30 days.

Best sim card Manchester Airport in 2022

For the best service you want to buy a sim card at Manchester Airport at one of the WH Smith shops. The staff is able to help you out a little at least compared to the other places that sell sim cards for tourists at Manchester Airport.

The best UK sim card at Manchester Airport is Vodafone as for £25 you get 20 GB data valid all across Europe as well as in Switzerland, Norway and Turkey and more than 4 hours calling time for 30 days. Great pay-as-you-go deal!

Buy a sim card for the UK online

europe sim card orange 728x90

The WH Smith shops are unfortunately only open until 10pm and it can be busy, so to avoid all that hassle you can order your sim card for Europe and the UK online. Within a couple clicks you order a pre-activated international sim card that will be shipped to your home address. Check out the following UK sim card deals:

1. Orange Holiday ZEN - $29.90

  • 8 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
  • 30 minutes worldwide
  • 200 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days

2. Three PAYG AIO15 - $29.90

  • 10 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
  • Valid 30 days

3. Three PAYG AIO20 - $39.90

  • 12 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
  • Valid 30 days

4. Orange Holiday Europe - $49.90

  • 20 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
  • 120 minutes worldwide
  • 1,000 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days

Click here to order directly one of the above international sim cards for the UK or find more info. Also another reminder that if you want to keep your phone number you should order an e-sim card for the UK, the simplest way to stay connected to the internet when traveling abroad.

How to get from Manchester Airport to the city

There is a Metrolink service that connects the Airport with the Cornbrook Station in South Manchester. The journey takes a little over 30 minutes and goes almost every 10 minutes. Cornbrook station is not Manchester City Center, but it’s walkable distance or you could even take another short 4 minutes tram.

There is also a train station between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. There is a walking bridge in and between the terminals and the train station. There are trains running to Piccadilly Station from Manchester Airport every 10 minutes and the journey only takes you about 20 minutes.

The train is my preferred way to get from Manchester Airport to Manchester city center.

I hope this article about buying a UK sim card at Manchester Airport was helpful. Let me know if you have any more questions, I am happy to help you out. Please leave me a comment below.

For a complete guide about the best UK sim card for tourists in 2022 or the best European sim cards for travelers in 2022 have a look at my articles in the links.

Enjoy your trip to Manchester!

Pin It