Planning your trip to Germany and wondering what is the best way to stay connected? Don't get fooled by slow overseas data roaming plans or let high roaming charges ruin your trip. This is a complete guide for finding the best sim card for your trip to Germany in 2024.

Find out where to buy a sim card for Germany, a comparison of the prepaid sim cards, the latest prices as per March 2024, the best e-sim cards for Germany, the best 4G/5G network, my recommendation, info about international sim cards and much more.

After seeing with my own eyes that it was expensive to buy a prepaid sim card for Germany at Frankfurt Airport as well as Berlin Brandenburg Airport I figured it was time to help tourists finding better prepaid sim card deals for Germany.

Providing travelers with resourceful information about sim cards became a passion and combine that with Traveltomtom's journey to travel to every country in the world and you know why there are already more than 200 sim cards guides for tourists on Traveltomtom.

Through research I aim to give you the latest information for you to stay connected when traveling abroad. Find sim card guides for: USA, South Africa, Thailand, Hong Kong, Costa RicaUK, France, Netherlands, PolandSpain, Italy, Qatar, Philippines, Malaysia, Brazil and many more.

Traveltomtom also wrote arrival guides for Berlin Brandenburg Airport and Frankfurt Airport with everything you need to know about buying a prepaid sim card on arrival at the airport.

If you are all about e-sims then Traveltomtom has the ultimate guide guide for you with a comparison of the best e-sim cards for traveling to Germany in 2024.

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

My recommendation

Traveltomtom recommends a Vodafone prepaid sim card for Germany. For €20 EUR ($22 USD) you get 20 GB data plus unlimited calling and texting in Germany and the Vodafone 4G/5G network is very extensive across the country.

However, what if I tell you that e-sim cards that you order on the internet are even cheaper?

For just $26 USD you get an e-sim with 20 GB data. Or you can already order an e-sim card for just $5 USD.

Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Germany via either Airalo, Nomad or SimOptions.

Find more detailed info in Traveltomtom's guide for finding the best e-sim card for your trip to Germany in 2024.

Traveltomtom also recommends international sim cards for world travelers that are visiting multiple countries. Have a look at my article with a comparison of the best international sim cards for traveling in 2024 if you are visiting more countries on your journey.

On a trip to Europe? Then let me help you out Traveltomtom's list of the best European prepaid and e-sim cards in 2024.

Always make sure your phone is unlocked otherwise and e-sim, an international sim or a prepaid sim card from Germany will not work in your phone. If you are not sure about it contact your provider in your home country.

Best e-sim cards for Germany

The easiest way to get a data connection on your phone when traveling to Germany in 2024 is an e-sim card. You arrange everything directly  online. No more swapping physical sim cards and visiting a phone store.

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

Upon arrival in Germany 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 Germany.

Traveltomtom wrote a complete guide for using e-sim cards when traveling to Germany, including a comparison of the best e-sim cards, all FAQ's answered and everything else you need to know about e-sim cards.

There are a couple trusted e-sim card providers, here are Traveltomtom's recommendations.

Airalo

Airalo is a reliable e-sim provider that sells e-sim cards from pretty much every country in the world. Airalo offers the following e-sim card deals for Germany in 2024:

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $5 USD
  • 2 GB data for 15 days = $6.5 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $10 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $15 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $22.50 USD
  • 20 GB data for 30 days = $26 USD

Click here to order a Germany e-sim cards directly through Airalo.

Keep in mind that the above Hallo! Mobil e-sim cards for Germany are data-only and only valid in Germany. They operate on the 4G/LTE network of O2 Germany. The 20 GB data e-sim card for $26 USD is the best buy e-sim card for Germany with only $1.3 USD per Gigabyte.

SimOptions

SimOptions is a reliable e-sim provider and Traveltomtom has used SimOptions in more than 50 countries around the world and never faced an issue.

If you also want to make phone calls with your e-sim card then check out the e-sim card deals on SimOptions. SimOptions sells international e-sim cards for Germany with unlimited calling/texting included and free EU data roaming and calls all over Europe.

Here are the SimOptions e-sim card plans for Germany for 2024:

  • 15 GB data + unlimited calls for 15 days = $21.90 USD
  • 10 GB data-only (5G ready) for 30 days = $24.90 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
  • 50 GB data (5G ready) + unlimited calls/text for 28 days = $59.90 USD

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

Before you order an e-sim card for Germany make sure your phone is e-sim card compatible. How to find out? Simply ask Google about your phone model.

For much more detailed information about using e-sim cards for traveling to Germany, FAQ about e-sim cards, more e-sim offers, plans and the best deals can be found in my detailed guide about the best e-sim cards for traveling to Germany in 2024.

Why buying a sim card for traveling in Germany

The answer is very simple don't rely on other people! Yes, your hotel has WiFi and most other public places will have, but you will be surprised how many bars and restaurants in Germany do NOT provide free WiFi even in 2024. Germany is big on privacy and local people don't like to connect to public WiFi networks.

But if you want to order a taxi through an app, quickly look up the train schedule or find a nearby restaurant with good reviews it is necessary to have a working data connection on your phone. There are so many reasons for you to get a local prepaid sim card or an e-sim card when traveling to Germany. Think about emergency situations or checking your banking apps.

Overseas data roaming plans? Did you know that most of them limit the internet speed and you will end up with 3G data speed? With a local prepaid sim card or an e-sim card you get the best network coverage and even 5G if it is available.

Don't feel like swapping sim cards? Get yourself an e-sim card! Wanna go old school? Getting a portable WiFi for when traveling is still possible too. But we are not a fan anymore, because now there are e-sim cards for Germany.

Germany prepaid sim cards and free EU data roaming

Although Germany prepaid sim cards are not the best value for money for traveling in Europe, they at least all offer free EU data roaming. That means with the prepaid sim card you buy in Germany you can use your data, voice and text allowance in every other European country. So if you travel onwards to Rome for example you can keep using the your German prepaid sim card at NO extra costs.

Once you cross borders in Europe you will get an automated text message explaining that there won't be any extra costs. For more info and tips about buying a local prepaid sim card on arrival  in Europe click on the link to read Traveltomtom's complete guide.

Or make it yourself easy and arrived prepared in Europe and order a European sim card from my list of the best sim cards for traveling in Europe in 2024.

Where to buy a sim card in Germany?

Buying a tourist sim card at airports in Europe is mostly a tourist trap. In places like Venice, Vienna, Budapest, Zagreb they sell the same packages as they do in phone stores in the city center but then for 3 times as much.

Although it is the most convenient place to by a prepaid sim card on arrival it is not Traveltomtom's first recommendation.

Frankfurt Airport

Yes, there are phone stores in the arrival hall selling prepaid sim cards for tourists. Check out Traveltomtom's complete guide for buying a sim card at Frankfurt Airport in 2024. Expect tourist sim cards for tourists prices.

Berlin Airport

At Belin Brandenburg Airport there are very few options for tourists looking to buy a prepaid sim card for Germany. Check out my guide to show you where you can buy a sim card at Berlin Brandenburg Airport.

Phone stores

If you want to buy a local prepaid sim card in Germany Traveltomtom recommends going to a mobile phone stores of one of the mobile internet providers: Vodafone, O2 or T-Mobile. Here you will get the best service and the staff will help you activate your prepaid sim card.

Buying a sim card at MediaMarkt

Another popular place to buy a prepaid sim card in Germany is at MediaMarkt, a huge electronic shop. They sell a wide range of Germany prepaid sim cards. To check this out for you I went to the MediaMarkt, but service here was definitely not what it was like in a phone store.

They offered more or less the same data packages, but there is no one who can really help you out and give you the service you need when buying a prepaid sim card for Germany. It was searching for a needle in a haystack. Also when buying a sim card at Media Markt you will need to set up everything yourself.

Buying a Germany sim card with data at a gas station

Even a gas station they sell prepaid sim cards for tourists. So if you are entering Germany overland this could be an option for you. But when buying a prepaid sim card at a gas station in Germany you will need to register the sim card yourself. And when I tell you that you have to download an app and then set up a video call and this all takes more than 30 - 40 minutes then you know why Traveltomtom simply recommends people to order an e-sim card for Germany on the internet.

But this is what I lately found at the some gas stations in Germany.

vodafone prepaid sim card gas station germany

Look at this Vodafone Germany prepaid sim card with 2.5 GB in Europe + 200 minutes OR sms = €10 EUR ($11 USD).

tmobile prepaid sim card gas station germany

Or this T-Mobile prepaid sim card with 1.5 GB in Europe = €10 EUR ($11 USD).

Online

The easiest place to buy a sim card for Germany is of course on the internet. No more visiting a sim card shop. If you order a prepaid sim card or an e-sim card for Germany on the internet you are online as soon as the plane lands. That means on arrival in Germany you are not wasting time finding a place to buy a sim card.

If your phone is e-sim compatible then Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Germany via either Airalo, Nomad or SimOptions.

Find more detailed info in Traveltomtom's guide for finding the best e-sim card for your trip to Germany in 2024.

If your phone is not e-sim compatible then you can order a physical prepaid sim card for Germany via SimOptions. That will be send to your home address before your trip to Germany.

Mobile internet providers Germany

In a country with about 80 million people you would expect a bunch of mobile internet providers but there are only a 3 main mobile internet providers: T-Mobile, Vodafone and O2.

All of them sell prepaid sim cards for tourists. There are a bunch a smaller brands that sell sim cards in gas stations and supermarkets, like: Aldi, Freenet Mobile, etc. All these smaller providers use the mobile network of one of the 3 big companies. They also don't have stores and service is very limited and often in German only. Therefore I don't recommend these Germany sim cards for tourists.

Best 4G/5G network in Germany in 2024

Traveltomtom grew up only minutes away from the German border and I have spent a lot of time in Germany. From experience I can tell you that the mobile data network in Germany is not as good as you may expect. On long train rides there are lots of places where there is no signal or a very weak signal. Germany is among the biggest countries in Europe however, their mobile network doesn't live up to the country's status.

Is there 5G in Germany?

Yes, as of 2024 there is actually a pretty decent 5G data network in Germany. Some operators have a better 5G network than others. T-Mobile has by far the best 4G/LTE network in Germany in 2024 and also the best 5G network in Germany.

Check the comparison of the 4G/5G coverage maps in Germany for Vodafone, T-Mobile and O2.

Vodafone 4G/5G network coverage map

vodafone 4g 5g network coverage map germany 2024 

O2 4G/5G network coverage map

o2 4g 5g network coverage map germany 2024

T-Mobile 4G/5G network coverage map

tmobile 4g 5g network coverage map germany 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 Germany in 2024.

From the above 4G/5G coverage maps for Germany we can clearly see that O2 has the smallest 5G network in Germany in 2024. It also is an easy conclusion that T-Mobile has the best 5G network in Germany.

That said all mobile internet operators provide at least an excellent 4G/LTE signal in the best places to see in Germany.

Prices prepaid sim cards Germany in 2024

Be aware that sim cards for Germany are relatively expensive: small data bundles and high prices. Germany is simply one of the most expensive countries in Europe if you use a lot of data. So for traveling around Europe buying a Germany sim card is NOT the best idea.

Let's have a look at what is available in the stores around Germany and compare the prepaid sim card plans of Vodafone, O2 and T-Mobile.

All prices and info below has been update as per March 2024 and prices are in Euros: $1 USD = €0.92 EUR and €1 EUR = $1.09 USD.

T-Mobile Germany prepaid sim card

tmobile germany prepaid sim card plans for 2024

A T-Mobile prepaid sim card is free when you choose any of the prepaid sim card plans from 4 GB data or bigger. All T-Mobile prepaid sim card plans are 5G ready and valid for 4 weeks.

  • 1 GB data + 50 minutes = €4.95 EUR - ($5.5 USD) *in fact it costs €9.95 EUR and you get €9.95 EUR credit.
  • 4 GB data + unlimited calls and sms = €9.95 EUR - ($11 USD)
  • 8 GB data + unlimited calls and sms = €14.95 EUR - ($16.5 USD)
  • 14 GB data + unlimited calls and sms = €19.95 EUR - ($22 USD)
  • Unlimited data + unlimited calls and sms = €99.95 EUR - ($110 USD)

The unlimited data prepaid sim card from T-Mobile Germany is probably the most expensive unlimited data sim card in Germany. The plans from 4 GB data onwards have unlimited calling and texting in Germany. All plans include free EU data roaming.

T-Mobile does NOT provide e-sim cards for tourists, only physical prepaid sim cards are available. For more info check out the T-Mobile Germany website.

O2 Germany prepaid sim card

o2 germany prepaid sim card plans for 2024

All O2 prepaid sim card plans are 5G ready, valid for 4 weeks and include free EU data roaming.

  • 6 GB data + unlimited calling/sms = €9.99 EUR - ($11 USD)
  • 18 GB data + unlimited calling/sms = €14.99 EUR - ($16.5 USD)
  • 24 GB data + unlimited calling/sms = €19.99 EUR - ($22 USD)
  • 999 GB data + unlimited calling/sms = €74.99 EUR - ($82.5 USD)

All O2 prepaid sim cards for tourists are valid for 4 weeks and can be topped up online after that. O2 gives you much more value for money/ data for the same price as T-Mobile prepaid sim cards.

However, the O2 mobile data network of T-Mobile is much more advanced. E-sim cards are not provided for prepaid users, O2 only provides physical prepaid sim cards. For more info check the O2 website.

Vodafone Germany prepaid sim card

vodafone germany prepaid sim card plans for 2024

The Vodafone Germany prepaid sim card packages are called CallYa and they offer the following 5G ready data packages valid for 4 weeks, including EU data roaming:

  • 1 GB data + 100 minutes or sms = €4.99 EUR - ($5.5 USD)
  • 6 GB data + 200 minutes or sms = €9.99 EUR - ($11 USD)
  • 10 GB data + 500 minutes or sms = €14.99 EUR - ($16.5 USD)
  • 20 GB data + unlimited calling/sms = €20 EUR - ($22 USD)

Well done Vodafone Germany, you are finally providing a decent prepaid sim card plans for tourists visiting Germany. However, still as of March 2024 Vodafone does NOT offer e-sim cards for tourists, only physical prepaid sim cards are provided. For more info check the Vodafone Germany website.

Best sim card for Germany in 2024

After comparing the prepaid sim cards in Germany it is easy to determine that Vodafone is the best prepaid sim card in Germany in 2024.

Vodafone Germany has a very advanced 4G/5G network and their prepaid sim card deals are by far the best. For €20 EUR ($22 USD) you get 20 GB data + unlimited calling and texting in all of Europe. In fact, O2 is slightly cheaper as they give you 24 GB data for the same price. However, the O2 mobile data network coverage is the weakest in Germany.

However, for finding the best sim card for traveling in Germany in 2024 we should also include e-sim cards and international sim cards.

Now that I have showed you the best prepaid sim cards for Germany and I compare that to 20 GB data for $26 USD with a Germany e-sim card you understand why Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Germany via either Airalo, Nomad or SimOptions.

Find more detailed info in Traveltomtom's guide for finding the best e-sim card for your trip to Germany in 2024.

If you are a heavy data-user and you would like to order a sim card for Germany on the internet then Traveltomtom recommends this 5G ready Orange eSIM valid in all of Europe.

orange 5g esim card for germany 2024

You can order this Orange 5G ready eSIM via SimOptions.

International prepaid sim cards or e-sim cards are very convenient because you arrive prepared and do not need to find a phone store on arrival in Germany.

If you are traveling all around Europe then click on the link to read my complete guide for buying a sim card for traveling in Europe in 2024.

Order a prepaid sim card for Germany online

international prepaid sim card for germany

If your phone is not e-sim compatible but you would like to order a sim card for traveling to Germany online before your trip then check out the following.

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

SimOptions is the only sim card provider that sells physical prepaid sim cards for Germany:

1. O2 Go Card - $24.90

  • 10 GB data
  • $2 calling credit (no top-up)
  • valid for 30 days
  • valid in 34 countries
  • 4G/LTE

2. Three Data Pack - $24.90

  • 10 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms
  • Valid 30 days
  • Valid in 56 countries
  • 4G/LTE

3. Orange Holiday ZEN - $29.90

  • 12 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
  • 30 minutes worldwide
  • 200 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days
  • Valid in 34 countries
  • 4G/LTE

4. Bouygues Telecom - $44.90

  • 30 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
  • Valid 30 days
  • Valid in 47 countries
  • 4G/LTE

5. Orange Holiday Europe - $49.90

  • 30 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
  • 120 minutes worldwide
  • 1,000 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days
  • Valid in 34 countries
  • 4G/LTE 

Click here to directly order an international sim card for Germany online.

Personally Traveltomtom recommends the Bouygues Telecom or the Orange sim card with 30 GB data. I have used these sim cards a lot in the past and never had an issue.

But as mentioned many times before nowadays when traveling to Europe or Germany I always use an e-sim card. It is just so easy and done fast and as soon as the plane lands you are online.

Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Germany via either Airalo, Nomad or SimOptions.

For more detailed info check out Traveltomtom's complete guide with everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for traveling to Germany in 2024.

Prepaid sim card registration in Germany

In Germany you will have to bring an official photo ID when buying a prepaid sim card, but that is not the only thing you need...

Since 2017 every prepaid sim card must be registered on a German address as well. Every shop will handle this differently but tourists can still easily buy a local prepaid sim card in store in Germany. Most stores will use the address of your hotel. No need to bring this, they will Google it in the shop.

Don't worry about the above rule too much, phone stores will help you to register your prepaid sim card. If this sounds too much hassle then order an e-sim card for Germany on the internet.

If you try to be smart and order an e-sim card for Germany directly from the website of one of the mobile internet providers (T-Mobile, Vodafone or O2) then be prepared for a long and time consuming registration and verification process. It took me in total about 30 minutes to get my e-sim card activated. You need to download an app, make a video call appointment, then hold your passport next to your face and move your camera around it. Absolutely madness and ridiculous!

When ordering an e-sim card for Germany then do it through one of the e-sim card providers recommended by Traveltomtom (SimOptionsAiraloNomad) and then you only need an email address, no identification, etc. needed!

I am sure some of the info in this article about the best Germany prepaid sim cards for tourists was helpful for your upcoming trip to Germany. If you have any questions please leave me a comment below. I am more than happy to help you out with sim card and travel related questions.

Starting your Germany trip in either Frankfurt or Berlin? Check Traveltomtom's guides for buying a prepaid sim card for Germany at Berlin Airport or Frankfurt Airport.

Like to be fuelled by wanderlust? Go check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and join me on my journey to visit every country in the world. As per March 2024 I visited more than 155 countries.

Enjoy your trip to Germany!

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