As I lately flew a lot with Qatar Airways (check out my video of their new First Class), Frankfurt Airport became my new arrival port in Europe. Being a full time world traveler I gave up my phone contract and now rely on buying a prepaid sim card in Germany.
Although I am Dutch and my parents live in Holland I can still buy a German sim card at Frankfurt Airport when I come to Europe. Since 2017 roaming costs within Europe are history and it does not matter where you buy a prepaid sim card in Europe. You can use your data in all EU countries including Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
Order your EU sim card online (much cheaper)
There are also European sim cards for tourist that you can buy online. Check out the Orange sim card with 20GB data valid in 30 EU countries in this link. Free shipping to your home address is included. NOW 20GB instead of 10GB.
Let me help you buy the right sim card if you are about to travel to Frankfurt. Click on the link for a complete city guide with things to do, where to stay, best places to visit, instagram spots and some unique travel tips. I lately visited Frankfurt again to see some friends and double checked all the prices for sim cards at the airport. Information in the article is up to date as of March 2019.
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Where to buy a German sim card at Frankfurt Airport?
When arriving at Frankfurt Airport there are three arrival halls A, B and C. I checked all of them and there are only two places to buy a German prepaid sim card at Frankfurt Airport. When you come out in arrival Hall B, you can not miss the Vodafone and O2 signs. So this is where you buy your German sim card.
Hall A and Hall C have no shops at all, so you will have to walk back. A level down from Hall C there actually is another O2 shop but they don’t sell a German sim card for tourists.
Now you know where to go, but there are two different shops next to each other. For those travelers arriving late or early there is only one option left.
The O2 shop has limited opening times and may you arrive before 8.00 in the morning and after 19.00 at night (weekends are even worse), you have to buy your German sim card at the next door shop: Travelex, which is open 24 hours.
Don’t get fooled by all the signs saying buy your German sim cards here and Vodafone or Ortel Mobile. There are only two mobile operators available: Lebara (Travelex) and O2.
Vodafone only sells top-up and does not sell prepaid German sim cards with data. Ortel Mobile and O2 are apparently the same.
Prices German sim card at Frankfurt Airport
When you buy a sim card at Frankfurt Airport be ready to spend some money, because the cheapest option available is €35.
Sim card O2
O2 has three different prepaid packages for your German sim card:
- 3GB = €40
- 5GB = €50
- 10GB = €60
This is just a prepaid sim card with data, this does not include calling. If you want your calls within Europe to be included you have to pay an extra €10 for unlimited calls.
For people asking themselves and what about texting: no one sends a text in Europe! I have probably not send a single text for the last 5 years!
All prepaid packages are valid for 30 days.
Lebara Sim Card at Travelex
At Travelex there is only one German prepaid sim card with data available: Lebara Mobile. The old man behind the glass showed me the only package he was selling.
For €35 you get 3GB data, including €5 calling credit, valid for 30 days.
Lebara Mobile uses the network the Telekom network in Germany
Best German sim card at Frankfurt Airport
If you are looking for the best sim card in Germany for tourists then Frankfurt Airport is not the best place to buy it, because there is not much choice and the packages are rather expensive.
Best Frankfurt Airport sim card is the one from Lebara Mobile though. They simply are cheaper than O2 and network coverage is nearly the same. If you are not good with activating your new sim card then you might want to pay a little extra and get it done at the O2 shop, as they offer the full service. Lebara Mobile sim cards are sold at the Currency Exchange and you will have to activate the sim card at Frankfurt Airport yourself.
I also wrote an article about buying a sim card at Amsterdam Airport and came to the same conclusion as here at Frankfurt Airport:
Do not buy a German sim card at Frankfurt Airport!
Buy your Europe sim card online (cheaper)
A much better option if you want to save time and money is buying a European sim card for tourists online. An Orange sim card with 20GB data will be shipped directly to your home address for free. You can enjoy the data in 30 countries across Europe plus you can call 2 hours worldwide for free. Check it out in the link above.
Don't forget to check out my Frankfurt City Guide with loads of tips for rooftop bars, where to eat and drink.
Where to buy a prepaid sim card in Germany
Or wait till you get to the city and compare the prepaid sim cards of Vodafone, T-Mobile and a couple other German sim card providers. Data packages are much cheaper in the city than at Frankfurt Airport, but be aware that prices for sim cards in Germany are among the most expensive in Europe. The above online deal is much cheaper, trust me. It is a shame that there is no competition at Frankfurt Airport and therefore the mobile operators can ask these high prices.
Curious about the prices then check out my article about the best Germany prepaid sim card here!
TEP Wireless portable WiFi device
Buying a sim card can be a hassle and easily be avoided by buying a portable WiFi device. A Teppy can solve the connectivity problem as TEP Wireless gives you unlimited data per day plus you can connect 5 devices at the same time! Check it out here.