Are you planning a trip to Bucharest and wondering if you can buy a sim card for traveling in Romania on arrival at Bucharest International Airport (OTP)? The short answer is yes. Don't waste money on high roaming charges or slow overseas data roaming plans!

This is a complete guide for buying a prepaid sim card at Bucharest Airport. Find out where to buy a prepaid sim card, up to date prices as per April 2024, my recommendation, info about EU data roaming, the best e-sim cards for Romania and everything else you need to know before buying a sim card at Bucharest Airport.

Traveling with a working data connection on your phone is so much more convenient and it makes your trip to Bucharest much more fun.

One of the first things I do when planning my next trip abroad is finding out what is the best way to stay connected. It is a vital part of my travel planning. To save money on high roaming costs you can buy a prepaid sim card at Bucharest Airport on arrival, but you can also order a sim card for Romania on the internet and arrive prepared.

Especially e-sim cards are recommend and super convenient. In fact e-sims are the easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Bucharest.

Heads up: you can NOT buy an e-sim card at Bucharest Airport, only physical prepaid sim cards for tourists are available. So if you have a phone that has no physical sim card slot anymore then check out Traveltomtom's guide for the best e-sim cards for traveling to Romania in 2024.

Traveltomtom is on a journey to travel to every country in the world and everywhere I go I write sim card guides for other travelers to find the best sim card for their trip. That is why on Traveltomtom you can already find more than 200 sim card guides from all over the world: Tirana, Albania, Prague, Czech Republic, Japan, South Korea, China, Philippines, Canada, Mexico, Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Portugal, South Africa and many more.

Traveltomtom also wrote an extensive guide for the best prepaid sim card for tourists in Romania, including 4G/5G coverage maps.

Is Bucharest one of your stops in Europe and are you visiting multiple countries then you probably want to check out Traveltomtom's guide for the best sim cards for visiting Europe in 2024.

Traveltomtom is the most complete sim card blog on the internet. Next time you are planning your trip abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid and e-sim card advice for your holiday destination. Bookmark me and leet me help you save money!

My recommendation

Traveltomtom recommends buying an Orange sim card at Bucharest Airport. A physical prepaid sim card from Orange is 60 Leu ($13 USD) and comes with 100 GB data.

Buying a sim card at Bucharest Airport is more expensive than for example in the city center of Bucharest in a phone store. More info in my guide for buying a prepaid sim card for Romania.

Want to be online as soon as the plane lands? Then look into ordering an e-sim card for Romania online.

Romania e-sim cards already start from just $4.5 USD. For more info check out Traveltomtom's Romania e-sim card guide for 2024.

If you are traveling onwards to other continents on this trip, for example to Turkey then there are also international prepaid sim cards in the form of physical sim cards and e-sim cards which are valid in up to 141 countries around the world.

Be aware that the local prepaid sim cards you buy in Bucharest, as well as e-sim cards and international sim cards only work in unlocked phones. If your phone is locked make sure to unlock your phone before your trip to Bucharest. Contact your mobile internet provider in your home country if you are not sure about this.

Best e-sim cards for romania

Local prepaid sim cards are not the only way to stay connected when traveling to the Bucharest. The easiest way to get data on your phone when visiting Bucharest is by ordering an e-sim card for Romania on the internet.

No need to visit a sim card store anymore on arrival at Bucharest Airport OTP. With an e-sim you are online as soon as the plane lands.

You instal an e-sim on your phone in a couple simple steps. Then once installed the e-sim instantly connects to an available network as soon as the plane touches the ground.

You can order an e-sim card for Bucharest directly on the internet, you process the payment, receive a QR code, scan it, follow the instructions and instal the e-sim card in a couple simple steps. You are all set in less than 2 minutes.

For more detailed info and an answer to all FAQ about using e-sims check out Traveltomtom's guide with everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for Romania in 2024.

Airalo

Airalo is a trusted e-sim card provider and Traveltomtom has used them in more than 50 countries around the world. Airalo has the following Romania e-sim card plans:

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $4.5 USD
  • 2 GB data for 15 days = $7 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $9.5 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $13 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $21 USD
  • 20 GB data for 30 days = $32 USD

Click here for more info or to order a Romania e-sim card via Airalo.

These Noroc e-sim cards from Airalo operate on the 4G/LTE network of Vodafone and on the 5G network of Orange. Yes, the Noroc e-sim cards for Romania are 5G ready, but data is only valid in Romania.

SimOptions

simoptions esim card plans for romania 2024 

SimOptions is another trusted e-sim card provider which is specialized in International e-sim cards and especially for traveling to Europe Traveltomtom recommends buying an e-sim from SimOptions.

Here are the SimOptions e-sim cards for Romania:

  • 1 GB data-only for Romania (5G ready) for 7 days = $4.50 USD
  • 3 GB data-only for Romania (5G ready) for 15 days = $9.50 USD
  • 3 GB data-only in 32 countries for 15 days = $14.90 USD
  • 10 GB data-only (5G ready) in Europe for 30 days = $22.90 USD 
  • 15 GB data in Europe + unlimited calls for 15 days = $23.90 USD
  • 12 GB data in Europe + 30 minutes international + unlimited calls/text for 14 days = $29.90 USD
  • 30 GB data in Europe + unlimited calls for 30 days = $44.90 USD
  • 30 GB data in Europe + 30 minutes international + unlimited calls/text for 14 days = $49.90 USD

5G ready esim cards for romania 2024

Then there are 2 more 5G ready e-sim cards for Romania from SimOptions:

  • 30 GB data-only for Romania (5G ready) for 30 days = $49.90 USD
  • 50 GB data in Europe (5G ready) + unlimited calls/text for 28 days = $59.90 USD 

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

Especially this last e-sim card from Orange is a favorite for many travelers coming to Europe and therefore in 2024 it is also ranked as one of the best e-sim cards for Europe.

There are many more e-sim cards available for Romania from for example: Holafly, Nomad, etc.

Check out Traveltomtom's comparison of the best e-sim cards for Romania in 2024.

Before ordering an e-sim card for Romania make sure your phone is first of all unlocked. E-sim cards only work in unlocked phones. Second, make sure your phone is e-sim compatible. Pretty much all newer smartphones are e-sim card compatible.

Arrival at Bucharest International Airport OTP

arrival hall bucharest airport

Bucharest International Airport is not that big and arriving is pretty straight forward. From the plane you are guided to passport control and then you follow the signs for luggage claim. There is only one way and after a little walk through a long corridor you end up at the luggage belts.

The baggage claim hall is not that big and there are only 4 small luggage belts, a money exchange and a duty free shop. After you collect your luggage you walk through the last custom check through the sliding doors and you will end up in the arrival hall.

The arrival hall is relatively small. You will find a bunch of ATM's a coffee shop, an information desk, some vending machines and a convenience store.

Where to buy a sim card at Bucharest Airport

where to buy sim card bucharest airport

There is only one place at Bucharest Airport where you can buy a sim card and that is at the Relay convenience store. The Relay shop is open 24 hours and you can pay by card and cash.

There are no big signs of sim cards, but you can see them displayed behind the counter.

vodafone sim cards relay store

The Relay store is on your right hand side when you walk into the arrival hall from the luggage belts. Don't worry Bucharest Airport is pretty small and although the Relay shop is also very small you still can't miss it.

Don't expect any service when buying a sim card, the staff is busy selling drinks, magazines, etc.

Here is my YouTube video about my arrival at Bucharest Airport and showing you exactly where you can buy a prepaid sim card for your trip to Romania.

For cheaper Romania sim card deals for tourists you need to buy a sim card in a phone store in Bucharest city center or simply buy your sim card for traveling in Romania on the internet.

For more info check out Traveltomtom's guide about the best prepaid sim cards for Romania

Prices prepaid sim cards Bucharest Airport

All the information below is up to date as of April 2024 and prices are in LEU: $1 USD = 4.58 Leu and 10 Leu = $2.18 USD.

At the Relay store they sell two Romania prepaid sim cards and it is very simple:

Vodafone

vodafone prepaid sim card bucharest airport

  • 150 GB data + 2,000 minutes for 28 days = 60 Leu - $13 USD

Orange

orange prepaid sim card bucharest airport

  • 100 GB data + 1,000 minutes for 28 days = 60 Leu - $13 USD

There are no e-sim cards available, only physical prepaid sim cards and data and minutes are only valid in Romania, there is no EU data roaming included in the Orange and Vodafone sim cards you buy at Bucharest Airport.

On both sim card packages it says €5 credit, but that reflects the exact data plan + minutes above.

Also remarkable is that you do NOT need a passport or any form of registration. These are pre-activated physical prepaid sim cards, you put them in your phone and they should instantly work.

If the sim card doesn't work then don't blame the girl from the Relay store, she is just a reseller. If you expect any service or help setting things up on your phone then don't buy a sim card at Bucharest Airport.

Best sim card for tourists at Bucharest Airport

So which one to choose: Vodafone or Orange?

As you can see both sim cards cost 60 Leu ($13 USD) so there is no price difference. But based on the package you would assume that Vodafone is the best sim card to buy as it gives you more data.

However...

For some reason the friendly girl from the Relay store was giving everyone who asked for a sim card a Vodafone sim card. So when I asked if she also had other sim cards she said, yes we also have Orange, but it is the same price but less Gigabytes data.

In fact, that is true of course, but that is not the only indicator to figure out what is the best sim card.

For my articles about the best prepaid sim cards for Romania and the best e-sim cards for Romania I also researched the mobile data network coverage maps and came to the easy conclusion that Orange has by far a much wider and more extensive 4G/5G network in Romania compared to Vodafone.

Therefore Traveltomtom rates Orange as the best sim card at Bucharest Airport.

Order a prepaid sim card for Romania online

international prepaid sim cards for romania 2024

Remember that e-sim cards can only be used in e-sim compatible phones. If your phone is not e-sim compatible and you want to order a sim card for Bucharest on the internet then you have to look into buying an international prepaid sim card.

These pre-activated physical prepaid sim cards will be delivered to your home address before your trip. You put them in your phone during your flight and you are online as soon as the plane touches the ground in Bucharest. This international sim card connects automatically to an available network.

Arrive prepared in Bucharest with an international prepaid sim card for Romania from SimOptions:

1. O2 Go Card - $24.90 USD

  • 10 GB data
  • €2 EUR calling credit
  • Valid 30 days

2. Three Data Pack - $24.90 USD

  • 10 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
  • Valid 30 days

3. Orange Holiday ZEN - $29.90 USD

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

4. Bouygues Telecom - $44.90 USD

  • 30 GB data
  • Unlimited calls in Europe
  • Valid 30 days

5. Orange Holiday Europe - $49.90

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

Click here for more info or to order an international physical prepaid sim card for Romania via SimOptions.

Traveltomtom has used the Bouygues Telecom, Three as well as the Orange physical prepaid sim cards in the past and I was always satisfied. However, it is no secret that nowadays I rather use e-sim card for traveling to Europe instead of physical prepaid sim cards.

My experiences buying a sim card at Bucharest Airport

So did I buy an Orange prepaid sim card at Bucharest Airport? No! Why not?

It is not because I think prepaid sim cards at Bucharest are too expensive or that I couldn't find the Relay convenience store or didn't like the staff there. No!

The simple reason is that I have an iPhone that does not have a physical prepaid sim card slot anymore, so I can only use e-sim cards for traveling abroad. On top of that I only visited Bucharest for a couple days and therefore didn't need so much data.

Every time I am traveling in Europe I get an e-sim from either Airalo or SimOptions depending on how long my Europe trip is. Mostly I go for an Orange 5G ready e-sim with 50 GB data from SimOptions or for shorter trips a 5 GB data Eurolink e-sim from Airalo.

How much data do you need?

I consider myself a very heavy data user, but even on a crazy day I won’t use more than 5 GB per day. On average I use about 2-3 GB per day, mostly on social media apps like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, etc.

Always make sure you don’t have Google Drive or iCloud enabled on data, but only on WiFi. As well as automatic updates. Turn it off on data, so you are not uploading all your Romania holiday photos and videos directly to the cloud and using all your data. 

I am sure some of the above tips on how to stay connected when traveling to Bucharest were helpful. If you have any questions then please leave me a comment below and I will try to help you out.

Curious what the life of a full time nomadic traveler looks like? Go check out my 610K Instagram account or 1.2 Million TikTok account both called @traveltomtom. Follow along with daily updates from around the world about the good, the bad and the ugly about traveling.

Traveltomtom is on the road to 197, meaning I would like to travel to every country in the world. As of April 2024 I have visited more than 155 countries, still about 40 to go, but no rush.

Enjoy your trip to Bucharest!

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