End of October 2017 I traveled to Greece on invitation of Tourism Greece to explore Lesbos Island. It was my first time traveling to this magical 'island-hopping-heaven' country. Greece was listed as country number 81 (now almost 100 at the end of 2018) on my long list of visited countries. I was happy to finally make it here and discovered Athens, a couple other places around and of course the Northern Aegean Islands. Read more about that in my Lesbos Island Guide.
As I am traveling continuously around the world now for 5 years I don’t have a fixed mobile contract but I buy a prepaid sim card everywhere I go. The first thing I do when I come to a new country is to check out all the options, compare the prices and come with a conclusion. I did the enquiry for you to help you choose the best Greece sim card for you. If you ask me what is the best way to get internet abroad I would say buying a local sim card.
Prices Greece mobile operators in 2018
In most countries it is pretty regulated and prices are fixed no matter which store you go. This is the case when buying a sim card in Turkey for example. But there are exceptions as well. While looking for the best sim card in Bali, Indonesia I found out that every little phone store had different prices for the exact same packages. Here in Greece I discovered that yes prices are fixed, but depending where you buy your Greece sim card you are offered different packages!
Got it? So don’t buy a sim card at the airport. Depending on the mobile operator you either want to buy your Greece sim card in an official shop or on the streets…
There are 3 main Greece mobile operators: Wind, Cosmote and Vodafone. All of them have shops all around Athens center and on the main tourist islands as well. But sometimes it is not the shops where you find the best option for a data sim card for Greece. Also check out the street vendors…
In a Vodafone shop:
- Sim card with 9.5 GB data cost 10 EUR is valid for 1 month and gets you another 100 minutes calling time.
With a Vodafone Greece street vendor:
- Sim card with 2.5 GB data cost 10 EUR is valid for 1 month and gets you 1,500 minutes calling times.
- Sim card with 9.0 GB data cost 16 EUR is valid for 1 month but comes with 0 calling minutes.
Conclusion for Vodafone: the offer in the shop is the best. A little side note, the people in the Vodafone shops do not always speak sufficient English unfortunately.
I tried to look around if I could find Wind Greece street vendors, but I could not so the only information I could gather is the offers I got at two different WIND shops around Athens for a prepaid sim card for Greece. Data packages where very straightforward:
- Sim card with 1GB data cost 5 EUR.
- Sim card with 15GB data cost 15 EUR.
Both packages are valid for 1 month and do not contain calling minutes. Wind also has two different mobile operator that are part of Wind: Free To Go and Q, both packages are not even worth mentioning with 500MB for 10 EUR and 1GB for 10EUR and 1,000 calling minutes.
Conclusion: The service in Wind Greece shops was good, friendly young people that spoke good English, but I would not recommend Wind as your Greece sim card. Packages are too expensive compared to their competitors!
To me it felt like Cosmote is the biggest company when it comes to Greece mobile operators. Cosmote shops are huge, but service is the worst.
Cosmote Greece sim card in the shop:
- Sim card with 1GB cost 10 EUR is valid for 1 month, no calling minutes.
- Sim card with 3GB cost 10 EUR but is only valid for 7 days, no calling minutes.
This is what I was told at two different Cosmote shops, but in their folder I found this. Not that I can read any Greek, but Im not stupid either. When I asked the people in the shop, the were literally annoyed and refused to speak English suddenly.
Please avoid any Cosmote shops! The employees were very rude, their English was very bad and they are not interested in people looking for a prepaid sim card for Greece. They rather sell drones or iPhones to people. :(
This is how I felt walking into a Cosmotel Shop. :)
Then there are the street vendors for Cosmote Greece:
- Sim card with 10GB data cost 10 EUR is valid for 1 month and includes 100calling minutes.
- Sim card with 5GB data cost 6 EUR is valid for 1 month but does not include calling minutes.
Conclusion Cosmote Greece: Avoid any shop! But the Cosmote street vendors who were really friendly and spoke good English have a really good option. Cosmote street vendors exist but were a bit harder to find than the Vodafone girls.
Mobile Internet in Greece from Frog
This prepaid sim card can be found in some random mobile providers shops and is part of the Cosmote company. I did not find any Frog employees selling a sim card to use in Greece at the streets, neither did I find a proper shop. But their prices were very competitive. Frog operates on the Cosmote network.
- Sim card with 5GB data cost 5.10 EUR including 60 minutes calling time to some very random countries.
- Sim card with 10GB data cost 8.30 EUR including 60 minutes calling time to some very random countries.
Conclusion Frog: so far they are the cheapest Greece sim card for tourists, but unfortunately it is a little harder to find a shop that sells Frog Mobile.
Coverage of mobile internet in Greece in 2018
We now know who offers the cheapest Greece data sim card, but what about the network coverage of these mobile providers. For these data I always refer to opensignal.com as they can give you detailed maps about 4G coverage in Greece. Going to any specific Greek island than on this website you can zoom in and see which Greek mobile provider provides a 4G network.
Vodafone Greece 4G coverage
Wind Greece 4G coverage
Cosmote Greece 4G coverage
Where to buy your Greece sim card in 2018?
If you have read my prepaid sim card review for Thailand you know that I would never encourage you to buy a sim card at the airport as prices always double in these places. In almost every country the first thing you see at Airport Arrivals is car rental companies and mobile operators, but not in this country. You can only buy a Greece data sim card at the post office and they only sell Wind, as you have read not a good option when looking for a data sim card for Greece.
Buying a Greece sim card on the streets
So I told you that the street vendors haveone of the best Greece sim card options but may be it feels weird to buy a sim card on the streets with someone who takes a photo of your ID or passport? You can trust them! They are official employees of either Vodafone or Cosmote and wearing their branded clothes. They organize everything on the spot and they wont let you walk away before your data sim card for Greece is activated and working.
Where to find them? At the bigger metro stations in the city center you will find youngsters selling sim cards. Trust me they are easy to find and all of them sell the same packages for the same price.
Buying a prepaid sim card for Greece on the streets vs. shop
You might not trust the street vendors, but another big advantage of the youngsters selling the prepaid packages on the streets is that they speak really good English as they are targeting tourists. The employees in the shops speak mostly very little English and especially at Cosmote they are very rude. Cosmote is a big brand that is selling a lot things from drones to tv’s and I walked into two shops and was treated very badly and the staff was arrogant. No I am not a big fan of Cosmote Greece at all!
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Best sim card for Greece for tourists in 2018
The conclusion based on all the collected data is pretty simple. You know now where to buy, you have seen the coverage maps and I showed you all the prices. As Frog mobile is using the Cosmote network and has the best value packages they are the best prepaid sim card for tourists in Greece.
Buying a sim card on a Greek island
But Frog Mobile shops are harder to find and especially on the Greek islands. In for example Lesbos Island I did not find a shop selling Frog Mobile. So in case you land on an island and want to buy a sim card there I strongly advice you to go to a Vodafone shop as they have the best packages available in their shops. Wind is too expensive in general and the 4G coverage is not that strong, Cosmote packages in their shops are shit and the people are the worst.
Buying a sim card takes a little bit of time and if you only have a couple days you might want to order your sim card in advance. Check out the European SIM card for travelers from SIMEASY. Here you can order a sim card that will be delivered to your home address and you get online as soon as you arrive.