Providing you with resourceful information about buying sim cards when traveling became a thing to do in every country I travel to. Basically because I have to buy one myself and being online and sharing my journey is part of traveling for me. Over the last years I became a professional traveler documenting my trips through this website and my social media channels. As I grew up on the border of Germany and Holland I never really did the research in these countries, but after seeing with my own eyes that it was a pain in the ass to buy a sim card at Frankfurt Airport, I figured it was time to help tourists traveling to Germany.

As said lately I landed in Frankfurt after my trip with Qatar Airways to Namibia and found out that prices at the airport for buying a German sim card were crazy. Data packages started at €30 and value for money was not good. Therefore I did some research and went into Frankfurt and Aachen to compare the available prepaid sim cards for Germany. This is the result...

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 couple big operators. In Germany you just find the standard European mobile internet operators: T Mobile, Vodafone and O2. The opposite to for example buying a prepaid sim card in France, where they only have French companies.

4G coverage German mobile internet providers in 2018

To find the best German sim card for tourists we take a look first at the 4G network of all the 3 sim card Germany providers first.

4G network coverage Vodafone

4g network coverage map vodafone germany

4G network coverage O2

4g network coverage map o2 germany

4G network coverage T Mobile

4g network coverage map t mobile germany

What we can see from the 4G coverage maps for German sim cards is that O2 still has a lot of catching up to do when we compare their network with Vodafone and T Mobile Germany.

In a lot of countries where I compared prepaid sim cards in like Indonesia for example the mobile internet provider with the smallest 4G network had the best prepaid sim card deals. Let’s see…

IF you are looking for prepaid sim cards for tourists in Belgium then you are better off buying a sim card at Brussels Airport.

Prices prepaid sim cards Germany in 2018

T Mobile Germany prepaid data sim card

There are 3 packages for sale:

t mobile germany data sim

Data package for €10

  • Free calling and texting to German T-Mobile numbers
  • 1GB data in all of Europe
  • Valid for 30 days

Data package for €15

  • Free calling and texting to German T-Mobile numbers
  • 1,5GB data in all of Europe
  • 100 minutes to every number in Europe
  • Valid for 30 days

Data package for €25

  • Free calling and texting to all numbers in Europe
  • 1,5GB data in all of Europe

The T Mobile Germany prepaid sim card packages are clear and straight forward. Data packages are small though. I can use up to 1,5GB per day if I am on fire! :)

O2 Germany prepaid data sim card

Buying a O2 Germany prepaid sim card is simple.

o2 germany prepaid sim card

There is only one data package available:

Data package for €10

  • Free calling and texting to O2 Germany numbers
  • 300 minutes to all numbers in Germany
  • 1,25GB data in all of Europe
  • Valid for 28 days

When we talked about the 4G coverage of O2 Germany we could clearly see that their network is smaller. This does not come back in the O2 Germany prepaid sim card data package. Slightly better than what T Mobile offers but also small data packages!

Vodafone Germany prepaid sim card

Buying a Vodafone Germany prepaid sim card is also pretty straight forward.

There are 2 data sim cards for tourists worth considering:

sim card germany vodafone

Data package for €10

  • Free calling and texting to Vodafone Germany numbers
  • 1,5GB data in all of Europe
  • 200 minutes/sms to all numbers in Germany

vodafone germany data sim

Data package for €22,50

  • Free calling and texting to all numbers in Germany
  • 3GB data in all of Europe
  • €2,50 extra credit

As you can see Vodafone offers a Germany prepaid sim card with a bigger data package! Winner!

Where to buy a prepaid sim card in Germany?

In my articles of best sim card in Greece and prepaid sim card for Turkey I tell people to never buy a sim card at the airport, but always wait until you arrive in the city. The same counts for buying a sim card in Germany!

Germany sim card Frankfurt Airport

I told you that when arriving back from my trip to Namibia I looked at buying a German sim card at Frankfurt Airport and figured out that tourist hardly have options. From the big mobile operators there was only an O2 sim card available and obviously they were expensive! It was even worse to buy a sim card at Amsterdam Airport, this I even called a scam!

where to buy a german sim card

Buy a German prepaid sim card in the city

When arriving at your hotel just go to Google Maps and type in the preferred mobile operator and add ‘shop’ to it. In all the tourist spots in Germany multiple shops will pop up near to you.

When I arrived back in Germany after I landed at Paris Airport I got dropped in Aachen. In the city center the Vodafone, O2 and T-Mobile shop were all within 100 meters from each other.

Buying a Germany prepaid sim card at Media Markt

Another popular place to buy a German data sim card is at Media Markt, a huge electronic shop. They pretend to sell all the available German prepaid sim cards. To check this out for you I went to the Media Markt in Aachen, but service here was definitely not what it was like in a phone shop. They offered more or less the same data packages, but there is no one who can really helps you pointing out the best prepaid sim card for Germany. It was searching for a needle in a haystack.

germany sim card media markt

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

What to bring when buying a prepaid sim card in Germany

In Germany you will have to bring an official photo ID when buying a prepaid sim card. 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 German sim card. Mostly the shops will use the address of your hotel. No need to bring this, they will Google it in the shop.

Mobile internet speed Germany

In a country without speed limits on the highways you expect a super fast mobile internet connection, but don’t be fooled. The Germans may think they have everything damn well organized, but not the internet speed for mobile. They only rank number 48th in the world with a speed of 27.15Mbps. Lower than countries like Macedonia and Moldova. A prepaid sim card in Netherlands will give you a speed of 52.19Mbps. That is two times faster!

Best German prepaid sim card for tourists

To me it is an easy choice to determine what is the best prepaid sim card in Germany for tourists. Vodafone is the only one who offers a data package bigger than 1,5GB. Especially when using a lot of Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, etc your phone will eat a lot of data. The Vodafone 4G network is great and free calling and texting to German numbers in included as well.

best german sim card for tourists

Even if you don’t need so much data, Vodafone Germany offers the best value for money: 1,5GB for €10!

The best sim card for tourists in Germany is Vodafone!

Traveling with kids: TEP Wireless portable WiFi device

If you are traveling with family and want to keep your kids quiet then TEP Wireless might be a great option. They offer UNLIMITED data for up to 5 devices at the same time through a portable WiFi device. For only a couple bucks you can connect your laptop, phone and iPad all at the same time in more than 100 countries around the world.

Tep Wireless

I hope this article about the best Germany sim card was helpful. I wish you a great trip to Germany and Europe.

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about traveltomtom

This is me

My name is Tom and my biggest passion is obviously traveling. In 2008 I decided to go on a trip around the world and in 1 year I traveled through 24 countries from North America to South America, New Zealand, Australia and finally South East Asia.

I got back to the Netherlands and saved as much money as I could and in December 2012 I quitted my job again and ever since I am traveling the world. I have now been to almost 100 countries and this website and my social media accounts help me to travel the world. Traveling makes me a better person with ever day I am on the road. Don’t waste time live now, go out and explore the world! May you want to help a little please use my affiliate links. Thank you very much!

With this blog I love to give back and help you make the most out of your trip. I hope these tips will help. May you have specific questions please get in touch with me.

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