For my Instagram and YouTube channel I was lucky enough to travel to Italy once more. Who does not want to go road tripping in Italy right? The food, the people, the coastline, the landscapes and the cheap Italy data sim cards! LOL. Anyway while roaming around I also researched the best sim card for Italy for travelers and this is what I found out.
Whenever I get to a new country the first thing I do is buying a sim card to avoid extremely high roaming costs which unfortunately still exists nowadays. Buying a prepaid sim card in Italy is very easy and also affordable, unlike for example Germany, Denmark, Netherlands. I went to all the mobile internet operators in Italy and researched their shops in Venice, Milan, Genoa and Rome before coming to a conclusion about the best sim card in Italy for tourists. Find below the prices, the best network and everything else you need to know.
Arriving at the airports of Milan, Venice or Rome? Then click on the link for info about buying an Italy sim card at those airports. Looking for the best sim card to travel in Europe then click on this link as I wrote a complete guide for it with everything you need to know how to stay connected in Europe.
Buy a Europe sim card online
You can now also order a sim card for traveling in Europe online and get it shipped to your home address. Click on the banner below to see if your country qualifies for free shipping and get an Orange sim card with 20 GB data valid in 30 European countries.
Free $30 Airbnb credit
In just a couple clicks and 1 minute of your time you can earn $30 for your next trip to Italy. Yes it is that simple! Register a new Airbnb account through this link and instantly get $30 credit. Already got an Airbnb account? Simply register with a new email address!
Mobile internet operators Italy
In most European countries there are 3 main mobile internet operators, but in Italy there are 5:
- 3 - Tre
TIM and WIND are Italian brands and Vodafone and 3 are of course international well known brands. Iliad is a new mobile internet operator in Italy.
Best mobile internet Italy
To find out about the best prepaid Italy sim card not only the prices and data packages are important therefore I also had a look at the mobile network. How is the 4G coverage and which mobile internet provider in Italy has the best network?
Mobile network coverage Tim Italy
Mobile network coverage Vodafone Italy
Mobile network coverage 3 (Tre) and Wind Italy (they share their network)
Mobile network coverage iliad Italy
What you can see from the above data (source nperf.com) is that Tim Italy has the largest network, although Vodafone has a more advanced 4G network. Basically for tourists both network have all the tourist destinations in Italy covered. When traveling in Italy and you want to go off the beaten path then Im sure you don’t really mind having no signal for a couple hours anyway.
The Iliad Italy network is still a little small compared to the others but most of the tourist destinations in Italy are covered. When going into the mountains in the North, Iliad is definitely not the best Italy sim card for tourists as their network up there is very weak.
In case you are planning a trip to Sardinia then Vodafone is the best sim card in Italy simply because they have by far the best network in Sardinia.
Where to buy a sim card for Italy
As soon as you arrive in Italy you will see signs for sim cards everywhere. It starts straight at the airport where they will without a doubt sell prepaid Italy sim cards for tourists. I also did research in the 3 biggest airports in Italy. Click here for buying a sim card at Rome Airport, Venice Airport or Milan Airport.
But I can already tell you that buying a sim card at the airport is not the best idea. Italy sim card deals at airports are not as good as in the city. In any tourist destination in Italy there are multiple mobile phone shops. Go to Google Maps and simply type in the by your preferred Italy mobile internet operator and walk to the nearest shops to buy an Italy tourist sim card.
What to bring when buying an Italy sim card for tourists
Always make sure you carry a passport on you when buying a sim card for Italy. You can register up to at least 3 Italy sim cards on 1 passport.
Prices prepaid sim card Italy
Now lets look at the most important thing for Italy sim cards: the prices.
Tim Italy prepaid sim card
Tim offers three different prepaid sim cards for Italy.
- €25 data only sim card: 20 GB - EU data limited to 5 GB.
- €27 data only sim card: 40 GB - EU data limited to 5 GB.
- €32 data & calling: 30 GB - unlimited calls in Italy - EU data limited to 5 GB.
Using a hotspot is possible and all prepaid data packages are valid for 30 days. There is NO texting included in a Tim Italy prepaid sim card. The second month you can recharge online through the TIM website with your credit card for only €12 per month.
Tim Italy is a pretty good sim card when traveling in Italy as they have the best network coverage, but the 5 GB limited data for EU sucks!
Wind Italy only offers one prepaid sim card for tourists.
Price €25 - valid 30 days
- 500 minutes calling time
- Unlimited calls to WIND mobile numbers
- 250 minutes in Europe
- 20 GB data
- 4 GB data limit in Europe
- NO texting included
You can use a hotspot on a WIND Italy prepaid sim card and right now in summer 2019 Wind offers its prepaid sim card costumers 30 GB extra data (Italy only) which you can use until the end of September 2019.
Every additional month costs only €10 and you can recharge through the Wind Italy website. Same as Tim Italy is the usage of data limited in Europe, sucks big time but Wind is a great data sim card for traveling in Italy only.
3 Tre Italy
Buying a 3 Italy sim card cost €10 and the minimum recharge is €20, so basically a prepaid sim card for tourists costs €30 and for that price you get the following:
- 300 minutes
- 200 sms
- 30 GB data
- 5 GB data limit in Europe
Pretty straight forward package, which is valid for 30 days. Hotspot is available on a 3 Italy prepaid sim card. In contrary to Tim and Wind does 3 Italy have texting included in their prepaid sim card. Every additional month costs €12 and you can recharge through the 3 Italy website by credit card.
Also just like Tim and Wind 3 Italy has a data limit in Europe!
Vodafone Italy offers one prepaid sim card for tourists.
Price: €30 - valid for 30 days
- 500 minutes in Italy and Europe
- Unlimited calls to Vodafone Italy
- 15 GB data in all of Europe
Vodafone Italy does NOT have any EU data limits so you can use 15 GB in all of Europe! Texting is not included, you can use a hotspot on your Vodafone Italy prepaid sim card and Whatsapp, Messenger and Viber is free. Every additional month costs €10 only and you can easily recharge through the Vodafone Italy website by credit card.
This is a completely new company and they do not have that many stores around Italia like the other mobile internet operators. Buying an Iliad prepaid sim card cost €10 (registration fee) and they offer the following data package:
Price €8 - valid 30 days
- Unlimited minutes in Italy and Europe (also USA, Australia, India, Canada)
- Unlimited sms in Italy and Europe
- 50 GB data in Italy
- 4GB data limit in Europe
All in all of course a great deal, especially when traveling to the standard tourist destinations in Italy. The Iliad network is not the best but covers most major destinations in the country. Sucks that they also limit the data usage in Europe.
Best sim card to use in Italy
When looking at the best sim card in Italy for tourists it kind of depends if you only travel to Italy. In case you are traveling to more countries in Europe then Wind, Tim, 3 and Iliad all have data limits outside Italy.
As Vodafone Italy has no EU data limits that automatically makes Vodafone the best sim card in Italy for tourists.
If you only travel in Italy then then Iliad has the best offer as they have the biggest data packages for the lowest price. Side note is that their network is not the strongest and therefore it might be a risk!
When traveling in Italy only Wind Italy is the best prepaid sim card for Italy as they have a good network and for only €25 you get 20 GB data (+30 GB extra as part of a promotion) plus they also have 500 minutes included.
Buy a sim card for Europe online
Don’t want to waste time finding a shop or stand in line on your Italy trip then order your sim card for traveling in Europe online: 20 GB, valid in 30 countries and 200 international minutes. Click on the link for more info or click on the banner below.
Portable Wifi device
Another option and great if you travel with kids is a portable Wifi device from TEP Wireless. It is possible to connect 5 devices at the same time to the portable Wifi and for a couple dollars per day you have an unlimited data connection. You safe the hassle of buying a sim card as you order the TEP Wireless online before your trip, click on the banner for more info.
I hope the above tips for buying a prepaid sim card in Italy were useful for your upcoming trip. May you have any questions please send me a message on my Instagram @traveltomtom. Also some great inspiration for cool places to go in Italy can be found there.