Are you planning your trip to Albania and looking for the best e-sim card to stay connected and avoid high roaming charges? This is a complete guide with everything you need to know about using an e-sim card when traveling to Albania and a comparison of the best Albania e-sim cards in 2024.

Don’t waste money on high roaming charges, read my recommendations below and order an e-sim card for Albania on the internet and get connected in just a couple minutes. Below you will find an Albania e-sim comparison, up to date prices as per April 2024, all specifications and my recommendations.

This guide will also show you where and when to order an e-sim card for Albania, answer all your FAQ about using e-sim cards, a comparison with local prepaid sim cards for Albania and of course links to directly order your e-sim card for traveling to Albania.

Since 2012 I am already traveling the world full time and throughout the years I turned my passion for traveling into a lifestyle and became a full time nomadic travel blogger. That is why I constantly get to a different country and pretty much every week I need to look for a new sim card to stay connected.

In 2023 I visited for example 34 different countries so imagine how many different prepaid and e-sim cards I used throughout the year.

In the past I used to buy a local prepaid sim card on arrival in every country, but nowadays I mostly use e-sim cards to stay connected when traveling abroad. On my latest trip to Albania I tested the below recommended Albania e-sim cards for tourists.

Helping other travelers to save money while traveling the world is one of the reasons I started this travel blog. Providing essential travel tips is what made me start writing sim card guides from every country I visited and now on Traveltomtom you can already find more than 200 sim card guides from all over the world.

Traveltomtom also wrote e-sim card guides for: South Korea, Japan, Saudi ArabiaSwitzerland, Romania, Morocco, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, Vietnam, Asia, Europe, USA and many more.

Traveltomtom also wrote a specific guide for finding the best prepaid sim card for Albania with more info about the 4G/5G network coverage maps.

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 holiday destination. Bookmark Traveltomtom and let me help you save money!

Let me start with giving you my e-sim card recommendation for Albania in 2024. These are my favorite e-sim cards for traveling to Albania in 2024.

My recommendation 

Traveltomtom recommends the following two e-sim cards for traveling to Albania:

Airalo e-sim for Albania - $26.00 USD

  • 10 GB data 
  • valid for 30 days 
  • 4G/LTE
  • Operates on the Vodafone and One network
  • data-only e-sim
  • valid in Albania only
  • $2.6 USD per Gigabyte

SimOptions e-sim for Albania - $26.00 USD

  • 10 GB data 
  • valid for 30 days 
  • 4G/LTE
  • data-only e-sim
  • valid in Albania only
  • $2.6 USD per Gigabyte

There is literally no difference between the above e-sim cards from Airalo and SimOptions. They are the exact same!

Traveltomtom has had uncountable great experiences with Airalo as well as SimOptions.

Both e-sim cards are data-only and incoming and outgoing calls/sms are not supported. There is no 5G yet in Albania so both e-sims operate on the 4G/LTE network.

The only difference between SimOptions and Airalo is that Airalo specifies that it uses the Vodafone as well as the One mobile data network in Albania and SimOptions does not specify which network it uses.

There are only 2 mobile internet providers in Albania: One and Vodafone. So with an e-sim card from Airalo you are secured the have a phone signal wherever you go.

The other difference between Simoptions and Airalo is that SimOptions also has another e-sim card for Albania with 20 GB data for $49.90 USD.

Both e-sim providers offer e-sim card plans for Albania starting from just $4.5 USD.

Is Albania one of your stops on a trip around the world then you can also look into getting an e-sim card for world travelers. There are a bunch of e-sim cards that cover multiple countries and some are great for traveling to Europe, Asia and America.

Although Albania is in Europe it is not part of the European Union and therefore European sim cards do not work in Albania.

There are 2 very important things to check before ordering an e-sim card for Albania or in general before using an e-sim card.

Unlocked phones only

Make sure your phone is unlocked. E-sim cards for tourists only work in unlocked phones. If you are not sure if your phone is unlocked then contact your mobile internet provider in your home country.

In general phones from Europe, Asia and the Middle East tend to be unlocked. Phones from North America are often locked.

If your smartphone is locked that means it does not allow another prepaid sim card or e-sim card to operate in the device. You can easily unlock your phone, but depending on your mobile internet provider you will be charged a fee for unlocking your phone.

E-sim compatible phones only

Second, and equally important: e-sim cards only work if your smartphone supports e-sim cards, also called e-sim compatible. All newer smartphones support e-sim cards. If you are not sure if your phone is e-sim compatible then simply go to Google and type in your mobile phone model in the search bar and ask if it is e-sim compatible. You will get the answer instantly. 

If your phone is NOT e-sim compatible then there is no other solution and you can NOT use an e-sim card for traveling to Albania.

However, you can still order a sim card for Albania on the internet before your trip. Find out everything you need to know about international sim cards for traveling abroad in 2024.

Comparison of the best e-sim cards for Albania

The best way to get a tourist e-sim card for Albania is ordering one on the internet.

But that said, you can also buy a local prepaid sim card on arrival and request an e-sim instead of a physical sim card. There are 2 mobile internet providers: One and Vodafone. However, as of April 2024 only Vodafone offers e-sim cards for tourists. But you can buy these e-sims only in a Vodafone store in Albania.

Luckily there are multiple e-sim providers that sell Albania e-sim cards for tourists on the internet. Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for traveling in Albania from one of the well-known e-sim card providers that have proven to be reliable operators. 

Traveltomtom has tested and reviewed multiple e-sim providers. Here are Traveltomtom's trusted favorites that have proven to be reliable:

  1. SimOptions
  2. Airalo

Nowadays, you can buy an e-sim card for pretty much every country around the world. Order directly from one of the above e-sim card providers and instantly receive your e-sim card in your email. But before you buy an e-sim card first read all my tips below.

SimOptions is the only e-sim provider that also offers international prepaid sim cards for Albania. These are pre-activated physical prepaid sim cards that will be delivered to your door step before your trip and it is plug and play when you arrive in Albania.

Airalo and Nomad only sell e-sim cards for Albania.

Airalo

Airalo is a very reliable e-sim card provider and Traveltomtom has used Airalo uncountable times in more than 50 countries around the world. I can totally recommend using Airalo for ordering an e-sim card for Albania.

Why using Airalo? Airalo is one of the most recommended e-sim providers and very reliable. Airalo has e-sim cards for pretty much every country in the world.

airalo esim card plans for albania 2024

Here are the Airalo e-sim card plans for Albania for 2024:

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $4.5 USD
  • 2 GB data for 15 days = $8 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $11 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $15.5 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $26 USD

Click here to order an e-sim card for Albania from Airalo.

The best value Albania e-sim card from Airalo gives you 10 GB data for $26 USD, which comes down to only $2.6 USD per Gigabyte.

The Airalo e-sim cards for Albania are from Hej Telecom operate on the 4G/LTE mobile data network of Vodafone and One.

The Airalo e-sim cards are data-only sim cards and are only valid in Albania. They come without a phone number, so any incoming or outgoing phone/sms service is NOT supported.

An Airalo e-sim card has to be installed within 1 month and after activation the credit validity starts when it connects the first time to a supported network. For more info check out the Airalo website.

SimOptions

SimOptions is a reputable e-sim card provider that is very much recommended by Traveltomtom. Ordering your tourist e-sim card for Albania through SimOptions is done fast and easy.

Traveltomtom has used SimOptions uncountable times for staying connected when traveling abroad. Very reliable, never an issue and often some of the cheapest e-sim card deals.

SimOptions is specialized in international e-sim cards valid in multiple countries including calling and texting. However, their e-sims for Albania are just like Airalo also data-only e-sims valid in Albania only.

simoptions esim cards for albania 2024

Here are the SimOptions e-sim cards for Albania in 2024:

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $4.5 USD
  • 3 GB data for 15 days = $10.90 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $15.5 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $26 USD
  • 20 GB data for 30 days = $49.90 USD

Click here to order an SimOptions e-sim cards for traveling in Albania.

These SimOptions e-sim cards for Albania are data-only. Incoming and outgoing calls/sms are not supported and these e-sim cards do not come with a phone number.

Unfortunately SimOptions does not specify on which mobile data network in Albania they operate. All of the SimOptions e-sims for Albania only support 4G/LTE.

The validity of these e-sim cards is 1 year and the credit validity starts only when you reach Albania and the e-sim connects the first time to a supported network. For more info check the SimOptions website.

Nomad

Lately Traveltomtom started recommending Nomad e-sim cards as they sometimes have cheap tourist e-sims for a lot of countries.

Although Nomad has some good e-sim card plans for Albania, Traveltomtom had lately some issues with the performance as well as the installing of Nomad e-sim cards, so it is not Traveltomtom's first recommended e-sim for traveling to Albania in 2024. But they are not bad.

nomad esim cards for albania 2024

Here are the Nomad e-sim card plans for Albania for 2024:

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $10 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $29 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $20 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $52 USD

Click here to order an e-sim card for Albania from Nomad.

I am sure the first thing you noticed was that the prices for Nomad Albania e-sims do not make any sense, but well... it is what it is.

The Nomad website is also a little less user friendly for finding the best e-sim card for your trip to Albania. Depending on your device you can't see all e-sim card plans in one overview, you have to click a little here and there.

The best value Nomad e-sim card for Albania is the one with 5 GB data for $20 USD, which comes down to $4 USD per Gigabyte.

The Nomad e-sim cards are from Nomad Black and they are data-only. Incoming and outgoing calls and sms are NOT supported. The Nomad Black e-sim cards from Nomad operate on the 4G/LTE network of Vodafone in Albania. 

nomad albania esim card specifications

The Nomad Albania e-sim cards have to be installed on your phone within 60 days and after installation its validity starts when it connects for the first time to a supported network in Albania or automatically after 60 days. Basically when the plane lands you are online. For more info check the Nomad website.

Holafly

Holafly sells e-sim cards for Albania with unlimited data. Traveltomtom is not a fan of this and later I will explain why.

  • 5 days 'unlimited' data = $27 USD
  • 7 days 'unlimited' data = $34 USD
  • 10 days 'unlimited' data = $37 USD
  • 15 days 'unlimited' data = $47 USD
  • 20 days 'unlimited' data = $57 USD

The Holafly e-sim cards for Albania are data-only and incoming and outgoing calls/sms are NOT supported. These e-sims do also not come with a phone number. The Holafly e-sims operate on the 4G/LTE network of One and Vodafone.

Why 'unlimited'? Because there is a Fair Use Policy and Traveltomtom has had bad experiences with this in the past. Suddenly your data speed is slowed down for 24 hours because you apparently used too much data. More info later.

If I hate something then it is slow data speed. Therefore Traveltomtom's is not a fan of e-sim cards with 'unlimited' data.

Vodafone

vodafone tourist sim card tirana airport

There are only 2 mobile internet operators in Albania: One and Vodafone. As of April 2024 One only provides physical prepaid sim cards for tourists, but Vodafone also offers e-sims.

You can only buy these e-sim cards in a Vodafone store in Albania or on arrival at the airport.

Read more about it in my complete guide for buying a sim card at Tirana Airport.

  • 40 GB data + 1,000 minutes for 15 days = 2,300 Lek - $24 USD
  • 100 GB data + unlimited minutes for 21 days = 2,900 Lek - $31 USD

There is no EU data roaming included, but data is valid in all Western Balkan countries: Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo and North Macedonia.

For more info check out Traveltomtom's guide for buying a prepaid sim card for Albania in 2024

What is the cheapest e-sim card for Albania?

cheapest esim for albania

The cheapest e-sim card for Albania is either an Airalo or a SimOptions e-sim card for $4.5 USD. This e-sim gives you 1 GB data for 7 days, is only valid in Albania and does not support calling and texting.

Why ordering an e-sim card for traveling in Albania

E-sim cards are the easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Albania in 2024 and you can arrange everything online in just a couple clicks. No more visiting a sim card shop and swapping physical sim cards. Order online, scan the QR code, follow the steps and you are connected in less than 2 minutes. 

The most important reason to get an e-sim card is because we would like to stay connected on our trip to Albania without wasting money on high roaming costs. Our smartphones are pretty useless without a working data connection. Think about ordering a taxi through an app, finding nearby friends, restaurants and bars. Get directions from Google Maps or simply staying in touch with family back home, check your social media apps on long bus rides or your banking apps when paying contactless. 

One of the best things about arriving in Albania with an activated e-sim card is that you are online as soon as the plane lands. More about when to instal your e-sim card later.

There are so many reasons to stay connected when traveling to Albania, but the most important reason is that it makes your trip to Albania so much more convenient and fun!

At the same time we don’t want to waste money on high roaming charges. Many mobile internet operators still charge $3 USD per MB for data roaming, that means just opening the Instagram app will already cost you 20 MB * $3 USD = $60 USD! Not kidding… it still is very common in 2024.

E-sim cards are the easiest way to avoid high data roaming charges!

Overseas data roaming plans

So what about overseas data roaming plans? Well, not recommended! Why? Did you read the small letters at what data speed you can use data roaming? Pretty much all mobile internet operators limit the data speed for overseas data roaming plans, which means you end up with 3G data speed. Do you have the patience to handle 3G? It is frustrating when all around you in pretty much all of the amazing tourist destinations in Albania there is at least 4G/LTE available and even a 5G signal.

And price-wise it should be a no brainer since you have seen how affordable the e-sim cards for Albania are. Why would you pay $5 to $10 USD per day on an overseas data roaming plan that limits your data speed.

Uncountable times travel friends have asked me: “Tom, can I use your hotspot? My data roaming plan is so slow, it is barely working!” Trust me, invest a couple dollars in an e-sim card or an international prepaid sim card for traveling to Albania if you want a physical prepaid sim card.

Stay connected all the time instead of begging for WiFi or a hotspot from friends. 

Where to buy an e-sim card for Albania? 

Online

You can buy an e-sim card for Albania through an e-sim card provider on the internet. There are multiple e-sim card providers for Albania. Traveltomtom compared around 7 different e-sim card providers and concluded that SimOptions and Airalo are the best and most reliable e-sim card providers in 2024.

When buying an e-sim card for Albania through one of the e-sim providers you only need your email address and the e-sim card is instantly ready to use after installation. There is no ID registration needed.

On arrival in Albania

There are 2 main mobile internet providers in Albania: Vodafone and One. Vodafone offers e-sims for Albania, but One does not. When buying a prepaid sim card in a Vodafone store in Albania you can opt for a physical prepaid sim card as well as an e-sim.

Traveltomtom researched the best Albania prepaid sim cards for tourists in 2024 and also compared the 4G/5G mobile data networks of the mobile internet operators in Albania, more about it later.

When to order/activate an e-sim card for Albania?

You can order an e-sim card for Albania pretty much any time you want. Most e-sim cards have to be installed on a phone within 1 or 2 months after purchasing, sometimes even within 1 year, so you have time.

More important therefore is when do you instal/activate the e-sim card. The validity of some e-sims start straight after the installation, other e-sim cards only start their validity when they connect the first time to a supported network.

Traveltomtom advices to instal your e-sim card on the day of departure to Albania or a day before. You will need a stable internet connection to instal your e-sim card. The airport in Tirana does have WiFi, but it was barely working when I was visiting Albania, so it is not recommended to install your e-sim card on arrival in Tirana.

Very important is to make sure you have a stable internet connection or you might run into issues with your e-sim. Therefore just to make sure Traveltomtom advices you to install/activate your e-sim card in your home country.

My personal advice is to instal your tourist e-sim card for Albania before you get into the plane, because then as soon as the plane lands in Albania you will be connected to the internet and you can enjoy data on your phone instantly.

How do I know all this info about e-sims? Traveltomtom uses on average more than 30 e-sim cards per year because of my nomadic lifestyle of constantly traveling the world, 365 days a year, since 2012.

How to activate an e-sim card

Installing and activating an e-sim card is made as simple as possible. Everyone can activate an e-sim card and the instructions on how to are very detailed and will be send to you instantly by email after you ordered your e-sim.

But wait, forget about the instructions, it gets even easier. Just scan the QR code!

When you order an e-sim card plan for Albania you instantly receive a summary of your order including a QR-code after the payment is processed.

You will see a summary of your e-sim card order including a QR code on your screen and at the same time you will also receive an email with the same QR code. The email contains instructions on how to instal and activate your Albania e-sim card. Regardless where you order your e-sim card, all e-sim providers send you detailed instructions.

But installing an activating an e-sim card is as easy as scanning the QR code with the same phone where you want to activate the e-sim card on. The QR code contains all the information about your Albania e-sim card. 

Once you scan the QR code you will be guided through a couple simple steps and within less than 1 minute your e-sim card is successfully installed.

Very important is that you are connected to the internet when installing your e-sim card otherwise you will get an error and issues can occur.

Tip: if you order an e-sim card with the same phone where you want to instal the e-sim card on then ask a friend or someone nearby to take a photo of the QR code and then you scan the QR code from his/her phone and start the installation.

Things to know before ordering an e-sim card for Albania 

Here are some general tips and answers to FAQ for using e-sim cards when traveling abroad. These tips do not only apply for Albania e-sim cards, but are things you have to know before buying an e-sim card in general.

Make sure your phone is unlocked

To make sure you didn’t miss this, let me say this again: e-sim cards only work in UNLOCKED phones. If your phone is unlocked then you can use any e-sim card without any problems.

If your phone is locked then ask your mobile internet provider from your home country to unlock your phone before your trip to Albania. It is likely that your mobile internet provider will charge you a fee for unlocking your smartphone.

If you are unable to unlock your phone you can look into getting a portable WiFi for staying connected when traveling to Albania or better… bring a second unlocked phone on your trip to Albania and use it as a portable WiFi device.

Which smartphones support e-sim cards?

Another very important thing you have to check before buying an e-sim card is if your smartphone supports e-sim cards. If you have any of the latest smartphones then there is no need to worry, all new smartphones of the well known brands support e-sim cards.

The fastest way to find out if your phone is e-sim compatible is by asking Google the question: is my (your phone model) e-sim compatible? Simple as that!

Can I trust these e-sim card providers?

All the e-sim card providers for Albania recommended above are reputable e-sim card providers reviewed and tested by Traveltomtom. All of them are licensed third party companies and resellers that partner or work directly with the mobile internet providers in Albania.

Traveltomtom has successfully used prepaid and e-sim cards from SimOptions and Airalo or more than 5 years. Nomad is fairly new to Traveltomtom, but Nomad has so far proven to be a reliable e-sim card provider as well.

That said, Traveltomtom has faced some issues with installing Nomad e-sim card which was a bit disappointing and therefore it is recommended to follow all steps exactly as described and make sure you are connected to a stable internet connection.

All e-sim card providers have their own Helpdesk which you can contact may you encounter any problems with your purchased e-sim or in case you want to claim a refund.

Traveltomtom does NOT sell Albania e-sim cards, I only RECOMMEND you to use e-sim cards for your next trip to Albania instead of buying a local prepaid sim card.

Can I keep my phone number from home with an Albania e-sim card?

Yes, you can and this is for many people a reason to order an e-sim card to stay connected when traveling to Albania. An e-sim card can be used next to your physical or e-sim card from your home country at the same time. You do not need a dual-sim phone for using an e-sim card.

So you can have multiple e-sim cards installed on your phone? Yes, no problem at all!

For example: you can turn off the mobile data from your sim card from home but still use it for texting and calling. Your new Albania e-sim card you can be used at the same time just for data to ensure you are not wasting money on high roaming costs.

This is also the trick to keep receiving sms for example for OTP (one time password) sms to login to applications.

Switching between physical and e-sim cards is a matter of turning them on/off in the settings. Just always make sure your sim card from home is switched off for data roaming.

Can I make phone calls with an Albania e-sim card?

No, unfortunately all the tourist e-sim cards for Albania available on the internet do NOT include calling and texting. The e-sim cards from SimOptions, Nomad, Holafly and Airalo are data-only e-sim cards and any outgoing calls/sms are not supported. 

If you buy a local prepaid sim card for tourists on arrival in Albania you can get a sim card with calling and texting included.

But pretty much all hotels, restaurants, guides and tour companies in Albania have WhatsApp services, so you can easily give them a call through WhatsApp. There is no direct need for local calling minutes.

Does an Albania e-sim card come with a phone number?

No, none of the Albania e-sim cards you can buy on the internet come with a phone number, which also means you can not receive any phone calls or sms. 

In the above Albania e-sim card comparison you can find all the specifications per e-sim card.

If you buy a local Vodafone sim card in a store in Albania you can get an e-sim card which comes with a phone number from Albania that starts with +355.

Can I use 5G on an Albania e-sim card?

Don't worry about finding a 5G signal when traveling to Albania. As of April 2024 there is no 5G available yet in Albania. This means all the e-sim cards for Albania only support 4G/LTE.

All the best places to visit in Albania offer a good 4G/LTE signal and the data speed is pretty good even on 4G/LTE. Later more about the best mobile data network in Albania.

Are there e-sim cards for Albania with unlimited data?

Yes, the Holafly e-sim cards for Albania include unlimited data.

Holafly is an e-sim card provider that sells e-sim cards with unlimited data, but it is not really unlimited as there is a so called Fair Use Policy (FUP). Holafly does not specify what is the FUP for its Albania e-sim cards.

If you order an e-sim card with unlimited data then always make sure the unlimited data is on max data speed. Mostly the data speed is capped after you used X amount of Gigabytes. this is what is called the Fair Use Policy.

Traveltomtom does not directly recommend Albania e-sim cards with unlimited data plans, because of the restrictions and data speed reduction.

I personally once experienced a reduce in data speed after using more than 2 GB per day. When I contacted support they explained me that I had to wait for 24 hours until my data speed was restored to normal.

Those 24 hours were a nightmare as my data speed was barely enough to use WhatsApp. Social media apps were not loading! 

Again, Traveltomtom does NOT recommend e-sim cards for Albania with unlimited data. But if you think you will never use more than 2 GB per day, then this might be your favorite e-sim card.

However, then you should ask yourself: what is the point of an e-sim with unlimited data if you can only use 2 GB per day.

The Airalo e-sim for Albania with 10 GB data is for most travelers more than enough for their trip to Albania and there is no need for unlimited data anyway as the WiFi in hotels, bars and restaurants are pretty on point.

There are a lot of different specifications per e-sim card. Another reason why I advice you to take a close look at my comparison of the best e-sim cards for traveling to Albania in 2024 before choosing your favorite.

Are e-sim cards the best way to stay connected when traveling to Albania?

E-sim cards are the easiest and fastest way to get data on your phone when traveling to Albania, but what is the best way?

There are 3 ways to stay connected when traveling to Albania:

  • Local prepaid sim cards
  • International prepaid sim cards
  • E-sim cards

Let’s compare e-sim cards, local prepaid sim cards and international prepaid sim cards, for you to find out what is your preferred way of staying connected.  

Local prepaid sim cards

In general if you use a lot of data local prepaid sim cards are a cheaper way to stay connected, depending on the length of your trip.

The local prepaid sim cards from Vodafone and One, which you can buy in phone stores in Albania have better rates per Gigabyte than the sim cards you can order online.

When buying a local prepaid sim card in Albania you can choose to get a physical prepaid sim card or an e-sim card for tourists. But only Vodafone provides e-sim cards for tourists. One only has physical prepaid sim cards available.

Downside is that you can only get these local prepaid sim cards on arrival in Albania in a phone store or at a sim card shop at the airport. Traveltomtom also wrote specific guides for buying a sim card at Tirana Airport.

International prepaid sim cards

If your smartphone is not e-sim compatible you can order an international prepaid sim card for traveling to Albania. These are physical prepaid sim cards you order on the internet and will be delivered to your home address.

Some of these are great for visiting Albania and are valid in up to 124 countries around the world and you can easily order them online.

If after visiting Albania you are traveling onwards in America, Africa, Asia or in Europe then check Traveltomtom’s list of the best sim cards for traveling internationally in 2024.

As I mentioned before SimOptions is the only sim card provider that also sells physical prepaid sim cards for traveling internationally.

international prepaid sim card for albania 

A pre-activated physical sim card will be delivered to your door step before your trip to Albania. You put this physical sim card in your phone and as soon as the plane touches the ground in Albania and the sim card connects to a supported network you are online. Plug and play!

If you look at the international prepaid sim card above you see that the physical sim card version of the Orange Holiday World is also a good option for traveling to Albania.

A physical prepaid sim card with 10 GB data only costs $49.90 USD, which is $4.99 USD per Gigabyte.

Click here to order a physical prepaid sim card for Albania via SimOptions.

E-sim cards

As explained throughout the article there are two different e-sim cards for traveling in Albania:

  • E-sim cards that you buy on the internet through a third party
  • E-sim cards that you buy in Albania in a mobile internet provider store

As of 2024 some of the mobile internet providers in Albania also sell e-sim cards for tourists. In all official phone stores of Vodafone when buying a local prepaid sim for tourists you can choose to get a physical prepaid sim card or an e-sim card.

E-sim cards vs. local prepaid sim cards

Getting an e-sim card on the internet is the easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Albania, no doubt! You arrange everything online within just a couple clicks. Right here, right now and you are all set for your trip to Albania.

You arrive prepared and there is no need to visit a sim card shop on arrival in Albania. As soon as the plane lands, you are online!

But what is cheaper? An e-sim card or a local prepaid sim card for tourists?

When we compare the prices for Albania e-sim cards with the prices for local prepaid sim cards in Albania Traveltomtom comes to the conclusion that local prepaid sim cards cost the same but give you more Gigabyte.

If you buy a prepaid sim card on arrival in Albania from Vodafone you get a sim card for around $25 USD with a total of 40 GB data and 1,000 minutes.

Local prepaid sim cards can only be bought in Albania on arrival in a phone store or at the airport.

The best value e-sim for Albania you order on the internet is an Airalo e-sim card for Albania with 10 GB data for $26 USD. You can also order this sim card via SimOptions for the same price. 

However, if you just need 1 GB data for your trip to Albania, then ordering an e-sim card on the internet is cheaper as you can order an Airalo e-sim card for $5 USD only.

As you can see on local prepaid sim cards you get more Gigabytes for the same price as on Albania e-sims.

But buying a local prepaid sim card in Albania takes time and can be a hassle. After a long flight you just want to get to your hotel and it is often a big task to find a sim card shop where you can buy a local prepaid sim card. With an e-sim card that you order on the internet you are connected as soon as the plane lands.

An e-sim card for Albania can be bought in just 2 minutes on the internet at any time of day without any form of identification and as soon as the plane touches the ground you enjoy a data connection on your phone.

Simply because of this convenience Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim cards for Albania.

There are many reasons why a lot of travelers simply get an e-sim card for visiting Albania: faster, easier, less stress and even cheaper depending on how much data you need.

Data speed

 

Another difference between a local prepaid sim card and an e-sim card is that e-sim cards are in general through a third party, a so called MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator). These MVNO’s operate on the network of one of the main mobile internet operators and basically buy bandwidth.

This may sound a little bit too technical, but what it means is that e-sim cards through an MVNO are the last ones in line when the line is busy. Especially during peak times, the performance of an e-sim cards could be less compared to a local prepaid sim card from a mobile internet operator you bought in Albania.

Bottomline: the data speed of e-sim cards can be less compared to a local prepaid Albania sim card.

In reality you won't really notice the difference much because yes it may occur that your data speed is a little slower for a couple minutes, but it is still fast enough to roam the internet without any problems.

Best 4G/5G network in Albania

vodafone 4g 5g network coverage map albania 2024

Traveltomtom researched the 4G/5G network of all the mobile internet providers in Albania and compared the mobile internet coverage maps of Vodafone and One.

Although the above mobile data network coverage map is updated for 2024 it is not 100% accurate. However, is it a great reference to compare the 4G/5G networks of the mobile internet providers in Albania in 2024.

Traveltomtom came to the conclusion that Vodafone has the best 4G/5G mobile data network in Albania in 2024. For more information check out Traveltomtom's article about the best prepaid sim card for Albania in 2024, including a comparison of the network coverage maps of One and Vodafone.

The Nomad e-sim cards for Albania operate on the 4G/LTE network of Vodafone. The Holafly and Airalo e-sim cards for Albania operate on the 4G/LTE of both Vodafone and One and ensures therefore the best connection. Unfortunately SimOptions does not specify on which network they operate in Albania.

I am sure some of the above tips for finding the best e-sim card for your trip to Albania were helpful. I hope that after reading through my e-sim comparison and all my tips and tricks it was easier to make a decision and order your preferred e-sim card for Albania.

If you have any questions about e-sim cards then please leave me a comment below and I am more than happy to help you out.

Curious what the life of a full time nomadic traveler looks like? Go check out my 610K Instagram account or 1.2 Million TikTok account both called @traveltomtom. Follow along with daily updates from around the world about the good, the bad and the ugly about traveling.

Traveltomtom is on the road to 197, meaning I would like to travel to every country in the world. As of April 2024 I have visited more than 155 countries, still about 40 to go, but no rush.

Enjoy your trip to Albania!

Some links in this article about the best e-sim cards for Albania are affiliate links. If you buy any product after clicking on an affiliate link I will earn a small commission. Don’t worry this is at absolutely no extra cost to you!