Are you planning your trip to Marseille and wondering if you can buy a sim card on arrival at the airport? This is a complete guide for buying a sim card for France at Marseille Airport including up to date prices as per August 2023, my recommendation, the best e-sim cards for France and everything else you need to know before buying a sim card for traveling to Marseille.
Traveling with a working data connection on your phone is so much more convenient. Therefore looking for the best way to stay connected when traveling abroad is one of the first things I do. To save money on high roaming costs you can order a sim card for France on the internet and arrive prepared or buy a France sim card at Marseille Airport on arrival.
From my experiences I can already tell you that it is worth looking into buying an e-sim card for traveling to France.
Traveltomtom is on a journey to travel to every country in the world and everywhere I go I write sim card guides for other travelers to find the best way to stay connected. That is why on Traveltomtom you can already find more than 200 sim card guides from all over the world: United Kingdom, London, Ireland, Dublin, Belgium, Brussels, Europe, Algeria, Marrakech, Egypt, Cairo, Miami, New York, Newark, USA, Canada, Istanbul, Dubai, Asia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and many more.
Of course did Traveltomtom also write an extensive guide for buying a sim card for France in 2023, including 4G/5G coverage maps, all about e-sim cards for France and more info about the best France prepaid sim cards for tourists.
Looking specifically for e-sim cards then check out my comparison of the best e-sim cards for traveling to France in 2023.
There is also a complete guide for buying a sim card at Paris Airport Charles de Gaulle at Traveltomtom. Forward it to your friends traveling to Paris.
So next time you are planning your trip abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid and e-sim card advice for your holiday destination. Bookmark me!
Traveltomtom recommends buying an SFR prepaid sim card for tourists at Marseille Airport. An SFR prepaid sim card gives you the best value for money and for €17.99 EUR you get 15 GB data.
Is SFR also the best sim card for France? Not really! Check out my guide for the best France prepaid sim card for tourists in 2023.
But what if I tell you that e-sim cards for France already start from just $4.5 USD and 30 GB data + unlimited calls and text in all of Europe will cost you $44.90 USD. Not a bad deal right? You will see, same price as a sim card at Marseille Airport but then more value.
If you are traveling to multiple countries in one trip then check out my comparison of the the best international prepaid sim cads. These sim cards are valid in multiple countries around the world.
Especially if you are traveling to several countries in Europe I am sure you interested to see my list of the best sim cards for traveling to Europe in 2023. Because for example the recommended SFR sim card above is only valid in France, not in the rest of Europe.
Best e-sim cards for France
The easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Marseille in 2023 is ordering an e-sim card online. No more visiting a sim card store or buying a prepaid sim card at Marseille Airport. As soon as the plane lands you are online with an e-sim.
You can not buy an e-sim card at Marseille Airport, only physical prepaid sim cards are available.
You order an e-sim card for France on the internet, you receive a QR code, you scan it, instal the e-sim card in just a couple simple steps and you are done in less than 2 minutes.
Check out the following France e-sim card plans from Airalo:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $4.5 USD
- 2 GB data for 15 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 directly order a France e-sim card from Airalo.
SimOptions provides international e-sim cards for traveling to France:
- 15 GB data-only valid for 15 days = $18.90 USD
- 15 GB data + unlimited calls/sms valid for 15 days = $21.90 USD
- 10 GB data + $2 calling credit valid for 30 days = $24.90 USD (5G ready)
- 8 GB data + unlimited calls/sms valid for 14 days = $29.90 USD
- 30 GB data + unlimited calls/sms valid for 30 days = $44.90 USD
- 20 GB data + unlimited calls/sms valid for 14 days = $49.90 USD
All these e-sim cards are valid in all of Europe. Click here to directly order a France e-sim card from SimOptions.
Nomad is a third France e-sim card provider and their best value offer is an e-sim card with 10 GB data for $16 USD, that is only $1.6 USD per Gigabyte.
Click here to directly order a France e-sim card from Nomad.
For a complete guide and everything you need to know about using e-sim cards for traveling in France check out my list of the best e-sim cards for France in 2023 including a comparison of all France e-sim card plans, all FAQ about e-sim cards and more.
Before ordering a France e-sim card make sure your phone is first of all unlocked, e-sim cards only work in unlocked phones. Second, make sure your phone is e-sim card compatible. Pretty much all newer smartphones are e-sim card compatible.
Arrival at Marseille International Airport
Although Marseille is one of the best places to visit in France and a popular tourist destination the Marseille Airport is very easy going and pretty well organized. There are two terminals, Terminal 1 and 2. Terminal 2 is for flights from within the EU, Terminal 1 Is for international flights from outside of Europe.
There is free WiFi at Marseille Airport and it works pretty good. So even If you don’t buy a sim card at Marseille Airport you can get connected on arrival.
After you get off the plane you will be guided to passport control and after you get stamped into France you end up in the baggage claim hall. There are no facilities apart from toilets in the baggage claim hall. The tourist information, car rentals, ATM’s, money exchange, convenient stores and bars and restaurants at Marseille Airport are all located in the Arrival Hall.
Where to buy a sim card at Marseille Airport
It is very easy to find the place where to buy a sim card for tourists at Marseille Airport as there is only one.
When you walk out of the Baggage Claim hall into the Arrival Hall then on your left hand side there is a Relay book store / convenience store. This is the only store that sells sim cards for tourists.
On your right hand side there is actually a tourist information desk where they have signs about sim cards, they however don’t sell them anymore and will point to the Relay store.
There is no store of any of the France mobile internet operators at Marseille Airport. When doing my research for buying a sim card at Paris Airport I came to the same conclusion.
The Relay convenience store is open from 07.00 am till 8.00 pm. May you arrive at Marseille Airport outside these hours you will have to either buy a sim card for France on the internet or go to a sim card store in Marseille city center the next day.
At the Relay bookstore they accept all major credit cards as well as Euros. USD or other foreign currencies are not accepted.
See below my vlog about buying a sim card in France, recorded in Marseille, with some remarkable conclusions.
Prices prepaid sim cards Marseille Airport
All the information below is updated in August 2023 and prices are in Euros: $1 USD = €0.91 EUR and €1 EUR = $1.10 USD.
As all tourist sim cards are sold at the same place it makes this comparison of the best prepaid sim cards at Marseille Airport pretty easy. The Relay store sells prepaid sim cards from Orange, Bouygues Telecom, SFR and Lebara.
For buying a sim card at the Relay store at Marseille Airport you don’t need any form of identification. A passport is not needed and there is no need to register the sim card on your name.
The Relay store only sells physical prepaid sim cards for tourists. You can not buy an e-sim card for France at Marseille Airport, nor in Marseille city center as you might have seen in my vlog above. You can only order an e-sim card for France on the internet.
Lebara is an MVNO, a mobile virtual network operator in France and operates on the network of Orange.
- 10 GB data (3 GB EU data roaming included) + unlimited calls/sms = €20 EUR
- 15 GB data in France only + €5 EUR calling credit = €17.99 EUR
No EU data roaming included.
In my article about the best sim cards for traveling to Europe in 2023 a Bouygues Telecom e-sim card comes out as the best buy. However, in stores in France and neither at Marseille Airport you can buy this e-sim card, only on the internet.
At Marseille Airport at the Relay store they sell the following Bouygues Telecom prepaid sim card for France:
- 20 GB data + unlimited calls/sms = €39.90 EUR
This Bouygues Telecom sim card is valid in all of Europe, which means free EU data roaming is included.
The Orange Holiday Europe sim card is a classic one, sold in many countries around Europe as well as on the internet and used to be Traveltomtom’s top recommended sim card for Europe.
- 20 GB data + unlimited calls/sms + 120 international minutes + 1,000 international sms = €39.99 EUR
Best sim card for tourists at Marseille Airport
It kind of depends what you want but it is clear that when it comes to data an SFR sim card gives you the best value for money and is therefore the best buy sim card at Marseille Airport.
All of the prepaid sim cards you buy at Marseille Airport are NOT 5G ready, only 4G/LTE is supported. Unfortunately that counts for almost all prepaid tourist sim cards you buy in France. There is one exception and that is Free Mobile. For more info about the best 4G/5G network coverage and the best tourist sim card for France in 2023 click on the link.
The SFR sim card is also the cheapest sim card at Marseille Airport, but if you want to make it easier and cheaper for yourself then just order an e-sim card for France. They already start from $4.5 USD and for $16 USD you get 10 GB data.
For more info and a complete guide about using France e-sim cards check my comparison of the best e-sim cards for traveling to France in 2023.
If France is one of the many stops on a trip to Europe then make sure your sim card includes free EU data roaming. Check out Traveltomtom’s list of the best prepaid and e-sim cards for Europe.
Order a sim card for Marseille online
Remember that e-sim cards can only be used in e-sim compatible phones. If your phone is not e-sim compatible and you want to order a sim card for France on the internet then you have to look into ordering an international prepaid sim card for France.
These pre-activated physical sim cards will be delivered to your home address. You put them in your phone during your flight and you are online as soon as the plane touches the ground in Marseille.
Arrive prepared in Marseille with one of the following international prepaid sim cards for France:
- 8 GB data in all of Europe and UK
- Unlimited calls/sms in Europe and UK
- 30 minutes worldwide
- 200 sms worldwide
- Valid 14 days
- 10 GB data in all of Europe and UK
- $2 calling credit in Europe and UK
- 5G ready
- Valid for 30 days
- 12 GB data in all of Europe and UK
- Unlimited calls/sms within Europe and UK
- Valid 30 days
- 20 GB data in Europe and UK
- Unlimited calls/sms in Europe and UK
- 120 minutes worldwide
- 1,000 sms worldwide
- Valid 14 days
- 30 GB data in Europe and UK
- Unlimited calls/sms within Europe
- Valid 30 days
3 UK also offers prepaid international sim cards that are valid for 1 year and 2 years. See the photo above.
My experiences buying a sim card at Marseille Airport
On arrival in Marseille I was instantly online because I actually already got myself an e-sim card for traveling in Europe on the internet. I came from Switzerland so I was already connected.
However, for you I went to check out what it is like buying a sim card at Marseille Airport in Terminal 1 where all the non-European flights arrive.
The sim cards are stocked behind the cashier at the Relay shop so you will have to queue up between the people quickly buying a magazine or a snack or a water. When it is your turn and you start asking questions, the staff gets a bit impatient.
When you ask difficult questions, like how many Gigabytes are included in free EU data roaming the smile from the staff’s face disappears and the moaning of the people behind you get stronger. Everyone is in a hurry in a convenience store, so buying a sim card at a Relay store is not my personal favorite.
Good thing is that you don’t need a passport for buying a sim card at Marseille Airport. You simply open the package, put the sim card in your phone and it works. Plug and play, no registration needed.
Some of the sim cards they sell at Marseille Airport can actually be ordered cheaper on the internet, so another reason why Traveltomtom recommends you to buy a sim card for traveling to Marseille online. But it is up to you.
I am sure some of the above tips on how to stay connected when traveling to Marseille where helpful. If you have any additional questions then please leave me a comment below or reach out to me on social media.
Curious what the road to 197 / visiting every country in the world looks like then head to my Instagram @traveltomtom and follow along. As of August 2023 I have visited more than 155 countries, so still more than 40 to go.
Enjoy your trip to Marseille!
Some links in this article about the best ways to stay connected when traveling to Marseille 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!