Planning your trip to Spain and flying to Madrid and wondering if you can buy a prepaid sim card at Madrid Airport on arrival? In this guide I will tell you everything you need to know before buying a sim card on arrival at Madrid Adolfo Suarez Madrid Barajas Airport.
Find out where to buy a sim card at the airport, info about all the different arrival terminals, up to date prices as per January 2024, my recommendation, info about the best e-sim cards for Spain, info about international sim cards and more.
If you want to save on high roaming charges Traveltomtom recommends you to get a prepaid sim card or an e-sim for Spain. Don't get fooled by slow overseas data roaming plans, they are expensive and reduce the data speed.
If I don't have an e-sim card yet, the first thing I do when I get to a new country is buying a local prepaid sim card. Because of my journey to visit every country in the world I have been around the world quite a bit.
Another passion of Traveltomtom next to traveling is to document all my travel tips and that why on Traveltomtom you can already find more than 200 sim card guides from all over the world: Paris, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Rome, Milan, Amsterdam, Berlin, Barcelona, etc. But also places like Guatemala, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Panama, USA, Canada, Kenya, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and many more.
So when planning your next adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid and e-sim card advice for your holiday destination. Bookmark me!
Why buying a sim card at Madrid Airport
It is very simple. You want an Uber to drive you from the airport to your hotel in Madrid? Then you need an internet connection on your phone. Or what about looking for a nice restaurant nearby when walking through the city or getting direction from Google Maps. Having a data connection on your phone makes traveling to Madrid so much easier and therefore more fun.
Don't rely on the public WiFi of your hotel, bar or restaurant. There is no guarantee it works or is fast enough and above all, a public WiFi connection is through an UNSECURED network. In these cases it is recommend to use a VPN to protect your data.
Buying a sim card at Madrid Airport on arrival is easy, but even easier is ordering an e-sim card for Spain on the internet.
Traveltomtom recommends buying an Mas Movil prepaid sim card for Spain or an Orange sim card if arriving at Terminal 4. If you arrive at Terminal 1 Traveltomtom does not recommend to buy an extremely overpriced sim card from the Betel phone store.
In that case wait till you reach Madrid city center or order a sim card for traveling to Spain on the internet.
The value for money buying a sim card at Madrid city center is much better and it is one of the cheapest way to get connected in Spain. Check out my complete guide for buying a prepaid sim card in Spain in 2024.
E-sim cards make everything so easy and you can already order an e-sim card for Spain from $4.5 USD and get 1 GB data. Perfect for those travelers that are on a short trip to Spain and just want to stay in touch with family through WhatsApp, check their email and get directions. Traveltomtom recommends ordering a Spain e-sim card from either Airalo, Simoptions or Nomad.
Traveltomtom wrote a complete guide with everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for Spain on the internet in 2024.
Traveltomtom also recommends global sim cards. These sim cards with coverage in multiple countries are very convenient and some of these international sim card deals are great for traveling to Spain and Europe. Have a look at my article about the best international sim cards for traveling in 2024 and find the one that suits your trip to Europe.
However, if you want to make it easy for yourself and fix everything within just a couple minutes then get yourself an e-sim card for Spain.
Best e-sim cards for Spain
The easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Spain in 2024 is an e-sim card. No more visiting a store or swapping physical sim cards. In just a couple clicks you can order and instal an e-sim card for Spain.
For your interest: in phone stores in Spain they do NOT provide e-sim cards, they only sell physical prepaid sim cards for tourists.
You order an e-sim card for Spain on the internet, you receive a QR code, scan it, follow the simple steps and within less than 2 minutes you have a Spain e-sim card installed on your phone.
Upon arrival in Spain it automatically connects you to an available network and you enjoy data on your phone pretty much when the plane lands.
Make sure your phone is e-sim compatible before ordering an e-sim card for Spain.
For much more details and answers to all the FAQ's about e-sim cards check out Traveltomtom's guide with everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for Spain in 2024.
Airalo is a trusted e-sim provider that Traveltomtom has used uncountable times around the world. Check out all the Airalo e-sim card plans for Spain in 2024:
- 1 GB for 7 days = $4.5 USD
- 2 GB for 15 days = $6.5 USD
- 3 GB for 30 days = $8.5 USD
- 5 GB for 30 days = $11.5 USD
- 10 GB for 30 days = $18 USD
- 20 GB for 30 days = $26 USD
Click here for more info or to order an e-sim card for Spain directly via Airalo.
These Spain e-sim cards from Guay Mobile are data-only sim cards and calling and texting is NOT supported. They operate on the 4G/LTE mobile network of Movistar. Data is only valid in Spain.
SimOptions sells international e-sim cards for Spain. These international e-sim cards include free EU data roaming which means these e-sim cards are valid all over Europe. In fact the Bouygues Telecom e-sim card is the best e-sim card for traveling in Europe.
If you are looking for e-sim cards for Spain that also support calls AND include EU data roaming then have a look at the following international e-sim cards that are valid in all of Europe:
- 15 GB data + unlimited calls in Europe for 15 days = $21.90 USD
- 10 GB data (5G ready) + $2 calling credit for 30 days = $24.90 USD
- 12 GB data + 30 minutes international calls + unlimited calls in Europe for 14 days = $29.90 USD
- 30 GB data + unlimited calls in Europe for 30 days = $44.90 USD
- 30 GB data + 120 minutes international calls + unlimited calls in Europe for 14 days = $49.90 USD
- 50 GB data (5G ready) + 120 minutes international calls + unlimited calls in Europe for 28 days = $59.90 USD
Click here for more info or to directly order an international e-sim card for Spain via SimOptions.
A third e-sim provider that often has amazing e-sim card deals is Nomad. Check out the following Spain e-sim card plans from Nomad for 2024:
- 1 GB data for 30 days = $6 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $8 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $11.5 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $17 USD
- 15 GB data for 30 days = $27 USD
- 20 GB data for 30 days = $33 USD
Click here to order an e-sim card for Spain from Nomad.
Find everything you need to know about using e-sim cards for traveling to Spain in my complete guide with the best e-sim cards for Spain in 2024. Including all FAQ about e-sim cards, many more Spain e-sim card plans, etc.
If your phone is not e-sim compatible you can also still order a physical sim card for Spain online. Get for example 12 GB data all over Europe and unlimited calls/texts in Europe for $29.90 USD. Click here to find and order this amazing Spain sim card deal. This international sim card will be send to your home address prior to your trip.
Spain sim cards and free EU roaming
Spain prepaid sim cards are a pretty good deal for traveling in Europe, most prepaid sim cards offer free or unlimited roaming in the EU, but always ask your mobile internet provider when buying a sim card in Spain. Sometime they have sneaky rules with data caps outside of Spain. In general I recommend buying a sim card in Spain for traveling in Europe.
Free EU roaming means that when you buy a sim card in Spain you data, voice and text allowance is also valid in other countries in Europe at NO extra costs, so you don't need to buy a new sim card in every European country you go to. Check out my complete guide with all the info for tourists about buying a local sim card in Europe or check my article with the best sim cards for Europe travel.
Adolfo Suarez Madrid Barajas Airport
The Madrid Airport (MAD) consists of 4 different Terminals and unfortunately terminals are very far apart. Terminal 2 and 3 are outdated but mostly for European arrivals.
Most intercontinental flights arrive at either Terminal 1 or Terminal 4. However, these terminals are 5 kilometers apart. There are shuttles busses that constantly run between the terminals but for just buying a sim card I would not recommend it. That said, a sim card for Spain at Terminal 1 is more than DOUBLE the price than a sim card at Terminal 4.
Where to buy a Spain sim card at Madrid Airport
This completely depends at which terminal you land. In Terminal 1 there is a big phone shop called: Betel Phone it is in and between the two arrival gates. Unfortunately it is the only place to buy a sim card at Madrid Airport Terminal 1 and prices are HIGH!
But at Madrid Airport Terminal 4 there are 3 different places to buy a sim card for Spain: WH Smith shop, The Market convenient store and at Consigna Left Luggage. The WH Smith shop is on your right hand side when you walk into the Arrivals Hall and on your left you will find The Market store and Consigna - Left Luggage.
Prices prepaid Spain sim card Madrid Airport 2024
Prices and info for prepaid sim cards are updated as per January 2024. Prices are in Euros: $1 USD = €0.91 EUR and €1 EUR = 1.09 USD.
Betel Phone Terminal 1
At Betel Phone Madrid Airport Terminal they only sell Orange prepaid sim cards. Be aware they are expensive! See the prices in the photo above. The Betel Phone opening hours are: 08.00 to 18:30. They close very early and when arriving at Terminal after 6:30 PM there is no place to buy a sim card anymore. Pretty disappointing!
The cheapest prepaid sim card at Madrid Airport Terminal 1 costs €45 and gives you data for 1 month. All sim card deals offer free EU roaming so you can use your sim card in all of Europe. For more info about free EU roaming check out my guide for buying a prepaid sim card in Europe.
When landing at Terminal 1 it is much cheaper to order your Spain sim card online or get an e-sim card for Spain. See below for more info.
WH Smith shop Terminal 4
This convenient store is known for selling prepaid sim cards across major European airports. At the moment they only sell Mas Movil sim cards.
The Mas Movil prepaid sim cards are the best sim card deal I have found all across Madrid Airport.
- 40 GB data = €20
- 80 GB data = €25
- 120 GB data = €30
Packages are valid for 1 month all across Europe. The WH Smith shop is open from 07.00 till 22.00.
The Market Terminal 4
The Market shop is located when you walk to your left when entering the arrival hall. The shop is open from 8.00 till 20.00 and they sell an Orange prepaid sim card for traveling in Spain and in Europe.
For €25 you get a sim card with 100 GB data with 15 GB free EU roaming, see the above photo for more details.
Consigna - Left Luggage Terminal 4
The Consigna - Left Luggage store is a little hidden all the way at the end of the terminal on your left hand side past the Market convenience store. It has great opening hours: 05.00 till 23.00.
Here they also sell Orange sim cards, but different ones than at The Market store.
The cheapest Spain sim card deal they offer costs €20 and you will get 20 GB data valid in all of Europe, see the picture above.
Best sim card for tourists at Madrid Airport in 2024
If you arrive at Terminal 4 you are lucky, because they sell the best Spain sim card deal at Madrid Airport in 2024: Mas Movil. At the WH Smith store you get a tourist sim card for €20 EUR ($22 USD) with 40 GB data valid in all of Europe + calling minutes.
The Orange sim card with 100 GB data for €25 EUR is a great alternative. Unfortunately all sim cards at Madrid Airport are 4G/LTE only, 5G is not supported and you can only get physical prepaid sim cards, there are no e-sims available.
Here is a vlog about my experiences buying a sim card at Madrid Airport on arrival at Terminal 4.
I also went to Terminal 1 for you and recorded a vlog to show you everything. Please if you can like the video for my effort.
At Madrid Airport they sell prepaid sim cards for Spain for tourist prices! Compared to prepaid sim cards at phone stores in Madrid city center , the airport sim cards are a rip off.
The official mobile internet operator stores of Vodafone, Orange, Yoigo and Movistar have amazing sim card deals and for €10 EUR you can already get a prepaid sim card for tourists with 50 GB data.
Click on the link to read my article about the best Spain sim cards for tourists in 2024 and also find out which mobile internet provider has the best 4G/5G network coverage in Spain.
Even when we compare the prices for prepaid sim cards at Madrid Airport with the prices for Spain e-sim cards that you can order online it is a simple conclusion that buying an e-sim card on the internet is easier and even cheaper. There are already e-sim cards with 20 GB data for just $26 USD. Traveltomtom recommends ordering a Spain e-sim card from either Airalo, Simoptions or Nomad.
Find out everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for Spain in my complete guide.
Order a prepaid sim card for Spain online
If buying a sim card at Madrid Airport sounds like too much effort and your phone is not e-sim compatible then don't waste time at Madrid Airport and simply order a physical prepaid sim card online before your trip to Spain.
Get an international sim card that covers Spain delivered to your home address. Easy, quick and convenient... just put it in your phone on your arrival and it gets activated automatically.
SimOptions is the only sim card provider that sells physical prepaid sim cards for Spain:
1. O2 Go Card - $24.90
- 10 GB data
- $2 calling credit (no top-up)
- valid for 30 days
- valid in 34 countries
2. Three Data Pack - $24.90
- 10 GB data
- Unlimited calls/sms
- Valid 30 days
- Valid in 56 countries
3. Orange Holiday ZEN - $29.90
- 12 GB data
- Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
- 30 minutes worldwide
- 200 sms worldwide
- Valid 14 days
- Valid in 34 countries
4. Bouygues Telecom - $44.90
- 30 GB data
- Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
- Valid 30 days
- Valid in 47 countries
- 30 GB data
- Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
- 120 minutes worldwide
- 1,000 sms worldwide
- Valid 14 days
- Valid in 34 countries
Click here for more info or to order an international physical prepaid sim card for Spain via SimOptions.
Also a last reminder that you can also order an e-sim card for Spain, simple and fast. Click here to order an international e-sim card for Spain through SimOptions or a data-only e-sim card for Spain through Airalo or get more info in the links.
Want to know more about using e-sim cards for traveling to Spain then click on the link and find a comparison of the best Spain e-sim cards in 2024 and much more detailed info.
How to get from Madrid Airport to the city center
Outside of every terminal there are busses leaving constantly for the city center, but my preferred way of traveling from Madrid Airport to the city center is by Uber. In Spain an Uber is affordable. A bus ticket costs €5 and can be bought on the bus. The journey takes around 40 minutes depending at which stop you get off.
I hope the above tips for buying a prepaid sim card at Madrid Airport were helpful for your upcoming Spain trip. If you have any more questions please leave me a message below and I am happy to help. Also regarding Madrid travel tips.
Curious what it looks like trying to visit every country in the world? Go check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and follow along. As of January 2024 I have visited more than 155 countries, so still a long way to go.
Enjoy your trip to Madrid!
Some links in this article about the best Madrid sim cards are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using an affiliate link I will earn a small commission. Don’t worry this is at absolutely no extra cost to you!