Traveling to Germany soon? Let this guide help you pick the right Germany sim card for your trip. In this article you will find the latest prices, best 4G/5G network and my personal recommendation buying a sim card in Germany. Avoid high roaming costs, getting a sim card is easy and convenient.

After seeing with my own eyes that it was a pain to buy a sim card at Frankfurt Airport and Berlin Airport, I figured it was time to help tourists finding better Germany sim card deals.

This article is updated in June 2021 with the latest prices and information for travelers.

Providing travelers with resourceful information about buying local European sim cards upon arrival became a thing to do in every European country. In total I wrote over 50 articles about prepaid sim cards for tourists in Europe. Through research I aim to give you all the information for you to stay connected

I also wrote guides for the best prepaid sim card in the UK, France, Netherlands, PolandSpain and many more.

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Germany sim cards are not the best for traveling in Europe! Click here for my complete overview to help you choose the best Europe sim card for your upcoming trip. Or have a look at my guide for buying a local sim card in Europe with a breakdown of the best prepaid sim card for tourists per country.

Why buying a sim card 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 WiFi. Germany is big on privacy and local people don't like to connect to open WiFi's. But also if you want to order a taxi on the streets, quickly look up the train schedule or find a nearby restaurant with good reviews it is recommend to have a data connection. There are so many reasons for you to get a local sim card.

Overseas data roaming bundles? Did you know that most of them limit the internet speed? And of course they are capped. With a local sim card you get the best network coverage and even 5G if it is available.

My recommendation

I recommend people traveling to Germany to get a Vodafone sim card on arrival. For €20 you get 10 GB data plus unlimited calling and texting in Germany and their network is very extensive.

Traveltomtom does NOT recommend you to get an international sim card for world travelers. I dove into it and reviewed them one by one, but sadly came to the conclusion that these global sim cards are extremely expensive compared to local sim cards. Only very few are worth considering. Have a look at my article with a comparison of the best international sim cards.

If you don't feel like swapping sim cards and changing your phone number have a look at my article about getting WiFi when traveling, with more information about a pocket WiFi.

t mobile germany prepaid sim card for tourists

Germany sim cards and free EU roaming

Although Germany prepaid sim cards are not the best value for money for traveling in Europe, they at least all offer FREE EU ROAMING. That means with the 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 roam, you can keep using the data on your German 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 sim card in Europe click on the link to read my complete guide. Or check out my list of the 8 best sim cards for Europe that you can order online before your trip.

Buy a sim card for Germany online

You can buy a tourist sim card for Europe online through the following link. You will find multiple offers, one of them giving you 12 GB data and unlimited calling and sms in Europe for $30. Check out the Simoptions website for all the latest offers or click on the banner below. An international sim card will be shipped to your home address before your trip.

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Mobile internet providers Germany

In a country with about 80 million people you may expect a bunch of mobile internet providers, but unfortunately there are only a three big 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 sim cards for tourists.

Best 4G/5G Network in Germany

As I grew up only minutes away from the German border I have spent a lot of time in Germany and experience their limited network too many time. During long train rides there are preiod of no signal and when there is a signal it is weak. Germany is a big country in Europe however, I think their mobile network doesn't live up to its status. 

Is there 5G in Germany?

Yes, Germany has 5G, but not all providers have a great 5G network. T-Mobile has by far the best 5G network in Germany. For more detailed 4G/5G coverage maps in Germany click on the link.

Vodafone Germany 4G/5G Network

vodafone germany 5g network

O2 Germany 4G/5G Network 

o2 germany 5g network

T-Mobile Germany 4G/5G Network

t mobile germany 5g network

What we can see from 5G coverage maps for Germany is that O2 hardly has 5G yet, apart from some major cities like Cologne, Berlin, Munich, etc. It also is an easy conclusion that T-Mobile has the best 5G network in Germany.

Prices prepaid sim cards Germany in 2021

Be aware that sim cards for Germany are expensive: small data bundles and high prices. Germany is simply one of the most expensive countries in Europe for being online. 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. All prices below have been update as per June 2021.

T-Mobile Germany prepaid data sim card

A T-Mobile prepaid sim card is free and you can choose data packages from 2 GB to unlimited data, see below.

t mobile germany sim card prices 2021

The unlimited data prepaid sim card from T-Mobile Germany is probably the most expensive prepaid sim card I have ever seen! :) The 2 GB package comes with 200 minutes calling/sms in Germany, the 5 GB data package has unlimited calling/sms in Germany.

For the latest prepaid sim cards offers from T-Mobile Germany have a look at their website.

O2 Germany prepaid data sim card

An O2 prepaid sim card is free and you can opt for 1 of the 3 prepaid sim cards data packages:

  • €9,99 = 3.5 GB data + unlimited calling/sms.
  • €14,99 = 5.5 GB data + unlimited calling/sms.
  • €19,99 = 7.5 GB data + unlimited calling/sms.

o2 germany sim card prices 2021

All O2 prepaid sim cards for tourists are valid for 4 weeks and can be topped up online after that. Prices for O2 Germany sim cards are much more competitive than T-Mobile Germany. More value for money, though 5G with O2 is very limited. You will find the latest prepaid sim card offers on the O2 website.

Vodafone Germany prepaid sim card

The Vodafone Germany prepaid sim card packages are called CallYa and they offer the following data packages.

  • €20 = 10 GB data + unlimited calling/sms.
  • €9,99 = 3 GB data + 200 minutes or sms.
  • €4,99 = 1 GB data + 50 minutes or sms.

vodafone germany sim card prices 2021

I am surprised how good the Vodafone Germany sim card deal in 2021 actually is compared to 2020 and many years before when Vodafone Germany was expensive. Well done Vodafone Germany, you are finally providing a good prepaid Germany sim card. For the latest offers have a look at the Vodafone Germany website.

Where to buy a prepaid sim card in Germany?

Buying a sim card at the airport on arrival is mostly a rip off. In places like Venice, Vienna, Budapest, Zagreb they sell the same packages as in the city for 3 times as much. Therefore wait till you get to the city and find a mobile internet shop close to you by simply looking on Google Maps. But the best way to buy a sim card for Europe is to order one online.

Germany sim card Frankfurt Airport

I have also done my research for buying a sim card at Frankfurt Airport and figured out that tourist hardly have any options. There was only an O2 sim card available and obviously they were really expensive!

Sim card for Germany at Berlin Airport

Same story as for Frankfurt Airport! Very limited options at Berlin Tegel Airport and equally expensive. Click here to read my complete article for buying a sim card at Berlin Airport.

Buying a sim card at Media Markt

Another popular place to buy a Germany data sim card is at Media Markt, a huge electronic shop. They pretend to sell all the available Germany prepaid sim cards. To check this out for you I went to the Media Markt, 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 pointing out the best prepaid sim card for Germany. It was searching for a needle in a haystack.

Germans mostly speak pretty good English or at least someone at the shop will!

Buying a Germany sim card with data at a gas station

I told you that prepaid sim cards for Germany are expensive, but lately for updating the article with the 2021 prices and information I found two great options at several gas stations around the country. I travel to Germany a couple times a year and happily update this article with all information I can get.

Look at this Vodafone Germany prepaid sim card:

  • €10 = 2,5 GB in Europe + 200 minutes OR sms

prepaid sim card germany vodafone 2020

Or what about this T-Mobile Germany deal:

  • €10 = 1,5 GB in Europe + 9 cent per min/sms.

prepaid sim card germany t mobile 2020

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 July 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 sim card for Germany. Most stores will use the address of your hotel. No need to bring this, they will Google it in the shop.

Mobile internet speed Germany in 2021

In a country without speed limits on the highways you expect a super fast mobile internet connection, but don’t be fooled. Germany only ranks number 23th in the world with a speed of 28 Mbps. A prepaid sim card in Netherlands will give you a speed of 54 Mbps. That is two times faster! See the complete list with mobile data speed per country here on Wikipedia.

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Best prepaid sim card in Germany

It is easy to determine that Vodafone is the best prepaid sim card in Germany in 2021!

They have a very advanced network, and their prepaid sim card deal is by far the best. For €20 you get 10 GB data + unlimited calling and texting.

Traveling onwards in Europe then click on the link to read my complete guide for buying a sim card for traveling in Europe.

Buy a sim card for Germany online

Buy your sim card for traveling in Europe online and save the hassle of finding a phone store on arrival in Germany. Simoptions sells a lot of different international sim cards for traveling in Germany and Europe, below I listed the best ones.

1. Orange Holiday ZEN - $29.90

  • 8 GB data
  • Unlimited calls in Europe
  • 30 minutes worldwide
  • Unlimited sms in Europe
  • 200 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days

2. Three PAYG AIO15 - $29.90

  • 10 GB data
  • Unlimited calls within Europe
  • Unlimited sms within Europe
  • Valid 30 days

3. Three PAYG AIO20 - $39.90

  • 12 GB data
  • Unlimited calls within Europe
  • Unlimited sms within Europe
  • Valid 30 days

4. Orange Holiday Europe - $49.90

  • 20 GB data
  • Unlimited calls in Europe
  • 120 minutes worldwide
  • Unlimited sms in Europe
  • 1,000 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days

Personally I would recommend you the last two available option: Three or Orange. Click here to order them directly through the Simoptions website or see all the above prepaid sim cards for Europe and more. Sim cards will be shipped to your home address and are already activated. Click on the banner below for more info.

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Click on the link or the banner above to see all the 8 Germany sim card deals that are much more affordable than what you can find on arrival. Get it shipped to your home address before your trip to Germany! Easy easy...

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I hope this article about the best prepaid Germany sim card for tourists was helpful and it helped you planning your trip to Germany. May you have additional 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 these articles for buying a sim card for Germany at Berlin Airport or Frankfurt Airport.

Enjoy your trip to Germany!

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