Traveling to France soon and wondering what is the best way to stay connected? Don't get fooled by slow overseas data roaming plans or let your trip be ruined by high roaming charges. This is a complete guide to find the best sim card for your trip to France in 2024.

Find out where to buy a sim card in France, a comparison of all the prepaid sim cards and mobile internet providers, up to date prices as per July 2024, the best e-sim cards for France, my recommendation, the best 4G/5G network in France, info about EU data roaming, international prepaid sim cards and more.

Being a full time nomadic travel blogger since 2012 I have been looking for the best ways to get connected for more than 10 years now. In the past I always used to buy a local prepaid sim card in every country  on arrival, nowadays I pretty much always use e-sim cards to stay connected.

Looking for the best way to stay connected is a vital part of my travel planning. Since I like to document all my travel tips and I am also trying to visit every country in the world you can already find more than 200 sim card guides on Traveltomtom from all over the world: USA, New York, MiamiThailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Africa, Egypt, UK, Germany, Spain, Poland, Rome, Amsterdam, London, Frankfurt, Dubai, Cameroon, Pakistan, Marrakech, Bali, Cameroon, Brazil, Colombia and many more.

Are you flying to Paris then check out my specific guide for buying a sim card at Paris Airport in 2024 or if you rather get an e-sim card then Traveltomtom's comparison of the best e-sim cards for France in 2024 is what you would want to read.

So whenever you are planning your next adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid sim card and e-sim card advice for your destination. Bookmark me and let me help you save money!

Some links in this article about the best ways to stay connected when traveling to France are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using an affiliate link I earn a small commission. This is at absolutely no extra cost to you!

My recommendation

Traveltomtom recommends a Free Mobile sim card for France. Free Mobile has the cheapest prepaid sim card plans for tourists, 5G ready sim cards and the best 4G/5G mobile data network in France in 2024.

However, a Free Mobile sim card can ONLY be bought in person on arrival in France in one of the Free Mobile stores. As per July 2024 Free Mobile only offers physical prepaid sim cards, NO e-sims.

In fact, none of the mobile internet operators in France sell e-sim cards for tourist in their stores. You can only order an e-sim card for France on the internet. For more info check out Traveltomtom's complete guide for finding the best e-sim card for your trip to France in 2024.

With an e-sim card you will be online as soon as the plane lands. Another reason why Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for France on the internet rather than buying a sim card on arrival in France.

Bouygues Telecom as well as Orange have physical prepaid sim cards that can be ordered online via SimOptions and for $39.90 USD you get 30 GB data and unlimited calls in France and the rest of Europe. 

If you are traveling onwards to Europe or other countries after visiting France then you might want to look into buying an international sim card with global coverage. In my comparison of the best international sim cards in 2024 you can find the best ones on the market or check out my list of the best prepaid and e-sim cards to travel to Europe in 2024.

Best e-sim cards for France

Without a doubt the easiest way to get data on your phone when traveling to France in 2024 is an e-sim card. You arrange everything online in just a couple minutes.

You order an e-sim card for France on the internet, you receive a QR code, scan it, follow the simple steps and within less than 2 minutes you have a France e-sim card installed on your phone.

Upon arrival in France 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 France.  Check out Traveltomtom's complete guide for using e-sim cards when traveling to France including an answer to all FAQ about e-sims. See below some of the recommended France e-sims.

Airalo

Airalo is a trusted e-sim card provider. Very reliable and Traveltomtom has used Airalo uncountable times on his trips around the world.

Check out the Airalo e-sim card deals for France in 2024:

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $4.5 USD
  • 2 GB data for 14 days = $7.5 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $10 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $14 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $23 USD
  • 20 GB data for 30 days = $36 USD

Click here to order a France e-sim card directly online via Airalo.

The above e-sim cards from Bonbon Mobile are data-only and only valid in France. They operate on the 4G/LTE/5G networks of Bouygues Telecom, SFR and Orange. Yes, the Airalo e-sim cards from Bonbon Mobile are 5G ready.

Simoptions

simoptions esim cards for france europe

SimOptions is another personally recommended e-sim card provider. SimOptions has amazing international e-sim cards that also allowing calling and texting and that are valid in up to 70 countries including France. Traveltomtom has used SimOptions in more than 50 countries around the world.

The above shown e-sims is a small selection. See below listed all the international e-sim cards for traveling to France:

  • 15 GB data-only for 15 days = $21.90 USD
  • 10 GB data-only (5G ready) for 30 days = $22.90 USD
  • 20 GB data + unlimited calls for 15 days = $23.90 USD
  • 12 GB data + 30 minutes international + unlimited calls/text for 14 days = $29.90 USD
  • 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
  • 60 GB data + unlimited calls for 30 days = $51.90 USD
  • 100 GB data (5G ready) + 120 minutes international + unlimited calls/text for 28 days = $59.90 USD

Click here for more info or to order an international e-sim card for France via SimOptions.

Nomad

nomad esim card plans for france 2024

Another trusted and reviewed e-sim provider is Nomad and Traveltomtom has used Nomad now in more than 10 countries. Nomad sometimes has amazing competitive e-sim card plans with cheap prices.

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

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $4.5 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $8 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $14 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $19 USD
  • 15 GB data for 30 days = $27 USD
  • 20 GB data for 30 days = $33 USD

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

The Nomad e-sim cards for France are provided by 1GLOBAL. The e-sim card plans from 1GLOBAL only support 4G/LTE max data speed and the 1GLOBAL e-sim card plans do not support 5G. They operate on the 4G/LTE network of Free Mobile and Bouygues Telecom.

With an e-sim card you keep your own phone number but keep in mind that not all phones are e-sim compatible. Always check your phone model before ordering an e-sim card for France.

Check out my guide with everything you need to know about using e-sim cards for France in my comparison of the best France e-sim cards in 2024, including more e-sim providers like Jetpac, Holafly.

For those people that don't have an e-sim compatible phone I recommend buying a physical sim card for France online. For $39.90 USD you get 30 GB data including unlimited texting and calling all over Europe. Click here to order a physical prepaid sim card for France via SimOptions or find more info.

Mobile operators in France

There are 4 mobile internet providers in France and all of them are offering prepaid sim cards for tourists:

  • Orange
  • SFR
  • Free Mobile
  • Bouygues Telecom

Orange is the former France Telecom and the biggest mobile operator in France. On top of that there are a bunch of smaller so called MVNO's. They operate independently but use the mobile network of one of the above internet providers, an example is Lebara Mobile and Lycamobile.

Why buying a sim card for traveling to France

Nowadays every hotel, bar, restaurant and even taxis in France offer free WiFi, but the simple question is: do you want to rely on this? What if the WiFi signal in your hotel room is very weak, or the restaurants WiFi is too slow to even stream a video? Frustrating! Right? Also another reminder that public WiFi is an UNSECURED connection, the use of a VPN in these cases is recommended to protect your data & privacy.

Ordering an Uber, getting directions from Google Maps, finding a nearby restaurant... I can come up with a ton of reasons why I recommend you to stay connected when traveling to France.

High roaming charges can easily be avoided by getting a local prepaid sim card with data or an e-sim card. These are much cheaper ways to stay connected than slow overseas data plans. Prepaid sim cards for tourists or e-sim cards for France are very affordable.

Where to buy a sim card in France

Buying a sim card at Paris Airport

The easiest and fastest place to buy a France sim card is of course on arrival at the international airport. Paris has two international airports. Are you landing at Charles de Gaulle then check out my complete guide for buying a sim card for France at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.

If you land Paris Orly Airport don't worry there are also sim card shops there, but I don't have a specific guide for it yet.

At all other major airports in France you can buy prepaid sim cards at all Relay shops. At these book shops / convenience stores they sell sim cards for tourists. It can be a bit hectic as it is mostly busy and there are many people in line. So asking a couple questions gets you impatient faces. Another reason why I recommend buying a sim card for France on the internet and arrive prepared.

Great thing about buying a sim card for France at the any airport is that they will most probably speak English, in the city center that can sometimes be an issue!

Phone stores city center

Every city in France has uncountable phone stores located across the city center which sell prepaid sim cards for tourists. However, on my recent trip to France I learned that you can NOT buy a prepaid sim card in an Orange or in an SFR store. Orange and SFR prepaid sim cards are only sold in tobacco shops or kiosks.

Advantage is that these shops are open on Sundays when the official retail stores are closed, but don't expect any service. When I asked in several convenience stores for example if Orange or SFR prepaid sim cards support 5G, they obviously had no clue.

Therefore even more reasons why Traveltomtom recommends an Bouygues Telecom or a Free Mobile sim card for France or simply order one on the internet.

However, when looking for the nearest phone store then simply use Google Maps to locate the nearest store to you. Keep in mind that English is NOT well spoken in France, even in 2024, so expect language barriers.

Online

In the above I just gave you multiple reasons why I strongly recommend buying an e-sim card for traveling in France on the internet. It just makes it so much easier and prices are more or less the same. As soon as the plane lands you are online and no hassle to get a prepaid sim card while enjoying your holiday in France.

International prepaid sim cards for France can be ordered online and will be delivered to your home address before your trip and if you prefer to use a data-only e-sim card for France you arrange everything online within just a couple minutes or click here to order an international e-sim card for France including calls.

France sim cards and EU data roaming

All prepaid sim cards in France include free EU roaming. That means if you buy a sim card in Paris and then travel to Frankfurt in Germany you can use your France sim card for calling, texting and data without any extra charges.

However, always ask for the EU data roaming restrictions when buying a sim card in France.

Find more info and tips in my guide for buying a local prepaid sim card in Europe or go directly to my list of the best sim cards for traveling in Europe in 2024.

Best 4G/5G network in France in 2024

First of all let's have a look at the 4G/5G network coverage maps for France updated for 2024. We don't want to get stuck with a 3G signal anymore, we want 5G! Right?

So below Traveltomtom compared the mobile data network coverage maps of Free Mobile, SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Orange to see which operator has the best 4G/5G network in France in 2024.

Bouygues Telecom 4G/5G network coverage map

bouygues telecom 4g 5g network coverage map france 2024

SFR 4G/5G network coverage map

sfr 4g 5g network coverage map france 2024

Orange 4G/5G network coverage map

orange 4g 5g network coverage map france 2024

Free Mobile 4G/5G network coverage map

free mobile 4g 5g network coverage map france 2024

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 France in 2024.

What comes to mind first is that France has a very strong and extensive 4G/5G network all across the country, it is very impressive for such a big country. France has one of the best 5G networks in Europe as per 2024. Every tourist destination in France is pretty much covered with a 5G signal.

Free Mobile has by far the best 5G network in France in 2024. Orange is miles behind and SFR and Bouygues Telecom are very good runner ups when it comes to the best 5G network in France in 2024.

Based on the 5G network coverage Traveltomtom recommends a Free Mobile prepaid sim card for traveling in France. But wait till my final conclusion about the best prepaid sim card for France in 2024.

Prices France sim cards in 2024

All the below prices for France prepaid sim cards are up to date as per July 2024. Prices are in Euros: $1 USD = €0.93 EUR and €1 EUR = $1.07 USD.

Orange France sim card

orange france prepaid sim card plans 2024

Orange France lures costumers by claimed to have the best prepaid sim card package deals for France. Well, nice try Orange, but you are NOT! Let's forget quickly about the first two prepaid sim card deals and check out the other two:

  • 10 GB data in up to more than 80 countries around the world = €29.99 EUR - ($33 USD)
  • 30 GB data in Europe + unlimited calls/sms + 120 international minutes = €39.99 EUR - ($44 USD)

Then on top of that Orange has also specially designed tourist sim cards.

orange holiday tourist sim cards

  • 12 GB data + 30 minutes international + unlimited calls/text for 14 days = €19.99 EUR - $21.50 USD
  • 30 GB data + 120 minutes international + unlimited calls/text for 14 days = €39.99 EUR - $43.00 USD
  • 100 GB data (5G ready) + 120 minutes international + unlimited calls/text for 28 days = €49.99 EUR - $53.50 USD

You can order these Orange Holiday Tourist sim cards as physical prepaid sims or as an e-sim. SimOptions has all these Orange sim cards available. 

The Orange prepaid sim cards are NOT 5G ready apart from the 100 GB data plan. The others only offer 4G/LTE max data speed. Check the Orange France website for more info.

Strangely but still true as per July 2024 is that in Orange phone shops in France they do not provide e-sims cards and nor do they sell the Orange Holiday tourist sim cards.

Bouygues Telecom France sim card

bouygues telecom france prepaid sim card plans

Bouygues Telecom has designated prepaid sim cards for tourists. Strangely in Bouygues Telecom shops in France they do NOT provide e-sims, they only have physical prepaid sim cards for tourists. 

  • 15 GB data-only in EU for 15 days = €19.90 EUR - $21.5 USD
  • 20 GB data + unlimited calls in EU for 15 days = €21.90 EUR - $23.5 USD
  • 30 GB data + unlimited calls in EU + €25 EUR credit for international calls for 30 days = €39.90 EUR - $43 USD
  • 60 GB data + unlimited calls in EU + €25 EUR credit for international calls for 30 days = €41.90 EUR - $45 USD

Via SimOptions you can order the above Bouygues Telecom as a physical prepaid sim card as well as an e-sim card.

It is not specifically specified, but according to the updated illustration above the Bouygues Telecom prepaid sim cards are 5G ready.

You can use these France sim card all over Europe and therefore it is an amazing option for tourists traveling to Europe For more info check out the Bouygues Telecom website.

SFR France sim card

sfr france prepaid sim card plans

Strangely, in some SFR phone stores they do not sell SFR prepaid sim cards for tourists, but you can get them at kiosks and they have the following prepaid plans available:

  • 1 GB data + 120 minutes + 300 sms for 30 days = €9.99 EUR - $11 USD
  • 10 GB data + unlimited calls/sms for 30 days = €14.99 EUR - $16.5 USD
  • 80 GB data + unlimited calls/sms for 30 days = €19.99 EUR - $22 USD
  • 140 GB data (5G ready) + unlimited calls/sms for 30 days = €24.99 EUR - $28 USD

As SFR prepaid sim cards do NOT allow free EU data roaming. Therefore these sim cards are ok for traveling in France, but useless for traveling in Europe!

Apart from the 140 GB plan the SFR prepaid sim cards for tourists are NOT 5G ready. For more info check the SFR website. SFR does not provide e-sims in their stores, they only have physical prepaid sim cards for tourists.

Free Mobile France prepaid plans

free mobile france prepaid sim card plans

Free Mobile France has one of the cheapest sim card deals in Europe! They offer a 5G plan with 300 GB data in France and 35 GB free EU data roaming + unlimited calls/texts in France for €19.99 EUR ($22 USD).

There is another prepaid sim card plan for €10.99 EUR ($12 USD) that gives you 140 GB data in France and 18 GB free EU data roaming + unlimited calls/texts in France.

For more information check the Free Mobile website. Free Mobile does not provide e-sims in their phone stores, they only have physical prepaid sim cards for tourists.

free mobile france prepaid sim card plan duration

*After several complaints from Traveltomtom readers I decided to dive deeper into buying a Free Mobile prepaid sim card. Some people would complain about Free Mobile charging them a recurrent payment after their holiday in France.

See the picture above! This ONLY happens when you are NOT careful when buying a FREE Mobile sim card in France. At the Free Mobile stores there are machines for buying a prepaid sim card for tourists. Easy however, they are NOT in English, only in French!

There is a question in the process (on the machine) that asks you whether you want to order a prepaid sim card that is unlimited valid or just valid for 1 month. Of course you have to opt for the 1 month payment otherwise you sign up for a 1 year contract.

I understand it is kind of confusing, but if there is a language barrier please ask for help from one of the Free Mobile employees that speak English.

It may seem that Free Mobile lures tourists into signing a yearly contract, but it is just a matter of being careful when ordering your prepaid sim card from the machine inside the Free Mobile phone stores.

Getting out of that 1 year contract seems to be very difficult / not possible. You have been warned!

Lycamobile France prepaid sim card

lycamobile prepaid sim card france 2024

There is also Lycamobile, which operates on the network of Bouygues Telecom and offers France prepaid sim cards for tourists as well. Lycamobile sim cards are sold randomly in phone shops and convenience stores. Mostly they have a sign hanging outside to show they are Lycamobile resellers. To activate a Lycamobile sim card you have to pay €10.

Lycamobile France has 3 different packages:

  • Pass national S: €10 EUR ($11 USD) - unlimited calling and texting in France + 3 GB
  • Pass national M: €15 EUR ($16.5 USD) - unlimited calling and texting in France + 10 GB
  • Pass national L: €20 EUR ($22 USD) - unlimited calling and texting in France + 12 GB

Connection is 4G/LTE and data packages are valid for 30 days all across Europe.

Best France prepaid sim for tourists in 2024

After comparing the best prepaid sim cards in France we can come to the conclusion that FREE Mobile has the best prepaid sim card deals for tourists in France as they give you the most value for money and their rate per Gigabyte is lower than Orange and Bouygues Telecom. Free Mobile also has the best 4G/5G network coverage in France, so it is an easy conclusion that Free Mobile is the best prepaid sim card for France in 2024.

However, you can only buy a Free Mobile sim card in their stores in France and only as a physical prepaid sim card. There are no Free Mobile kiosks at the airports in France and Free Mobile does not have e-sims for tourists.

When comparing the other mobile internet operators in France, it turns out that Orange and Bouygues Telecom pretty much offer the same amazing prepaid sim card deals for tourists. These tourists sim cards are valid all over Europe and therefore Traveltomtom also listed Orange and Bouygues Telecom as one of the best prepaid sim cards for visiting Europe in 2024.

Orange now gives you 100 GB data and Bouygues Telecom gives you 60 GB data in all of Europe so for people who love sim cards with a lot of data should choose between Orange and Bouygues Telecom. 

What about a sim card for France with unlimited data? Forget about it! They are useless. Holafly offers e-sims for France with unlimited data but with an FUP per day. Which means that if you may be use one day 3 GB they will slow down your internet speed and your e-sim becomes useless until they reset the data speed.

Let me tell you everything you need to know about ordering an e-sim card for traveling to France in 2024. Click on the link and read my complete guide, including a comparison of the best France e-sim cards in 2024, comparing Jetpac, Nomad, Airalo, SimOptions, Holafly and other e-sim providers.

Bouygues Telecom also has great 4G/5G network coverage Traveltomtomas and Traveltomtom rates Bouygues Telecom as a great alternative for Free Mobile.

Orange and Bouygues Telecom also sells its tourist sim cards on the internet, so it might be the best option after all. You can order the Orange and Bouygues Telecom sim cards via SimOptions. Click here for a physical prepaid sim card or here for an e-sim card.

Unfortunately the sim card shops in France do NOT sell e-sim cards. All of the mobile internet operators in France only offer physical prepaid sim cards for tourists in their stores.

Tourists can NOT buy e-sim card plans in France. However, on the internet you can order amazing e-sim cards for France.

How I know?

Here is a YouTube video about my experiences buying a prepaid sim card in France. The info is double checked for Summer in July 2024 right in time for the Olympic Games in Paris.

Buy a prepaid sim card for France online

international prepaid sim cards for france

If your phone is not e-sim compatible and you have very limited time and don't want to waste any time finding a Bouygues Telecom or Free Mobile store near your hotel then simply order a physical prepaid sim card on the internet.

Arrive prepared in France 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 France, basically when the plane lands you are instantly online.

Check the following international prepaid sim card deals for France via SimOptions:

1. O2 Go Card - $24.90

  • 10 GB data in all of Europe and UK
  • $2 calling credit in Europe and UK
  • Valid for 30 days

2. Three Data Pack - $24.90

  • 10 GB data in all of Europe and UK
  • Unlimited calls/sms within Europe and UK
  • Valid 30 days

3. Orange Holiday ZEN - $29.90

  • 12 GB data in all of Europe and UK
  • Unlimited calls/sms in Europe and UK
  • 30 minutes worldwide
  • 200 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days

4. Bouygues Telecom My Europe Sim - $44.90

  • 30 GB data in Europe and UK
  • Unlimited calls in Europe and UK
  • Valid 30 days

5. Orange Holiday Europe - $49.90

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

Click here to order an international prepaid sim card for France via SimOptions.

As you can see this last prepaid sim card deal for France from Bouygues Telecom is one of the best tourist sim cards and Traveltomtom personally recommends this physical prepaid sim card for traveling to France if your phone is not e-sim compatible.

But also a last reminder that if your phone is e-sim compatible you can order an e-sim card for traveling to France on the internet and arrange everything within just a couple clicks.

For France data-only e-sim cards check out Airalo and for international e-sim cards for France including calls and text check out SimOptions. For a complete comparison of Jetpac, Nomad, Holafly, SimOptions, Airalo and other e-sim providers read Traveltomtom's complete guide with all FAQ's about using e-sim cards and a comparison of the best e-sim cards for traveling to France in 2024.

Let me know if you have any questions about traveling to France or France sim cards. I am happy to help you out so please leave me a comment below and I will do my best to get you an answer.

If you are curious what it looks like to travel to every country in the world then have a look at my Instagram account @traveltomtom and get fuelled with wanderlust. As of July 2024 I visited more than 155 countries.

If this France sim card blog was helpful would you like to help me a little in return? Please share the link of this article somewhere on the internet. Every tweet on X, pin on Pinterest or post in a Facebook Group is worth a lot to me. A small thing for you can make a big difference for me. Thanks a million.

Enjoy your trip to France!