Flying to Turkey soon? Sure you are arriving on the Asian side at SAW Airport? If yes, then this is the complete guide you were looking for when buying a sim card on arrival at Istanbul SAW Airport. With up to date prices, where to buy, best network and more tips.
For many years my article about the best Turkey sim card is providing useful information for people traveling to Turkey, so in addition I wrote this blog about SAW Airport to make it even easier for you buying a Turkey sim card on arrival.
I did the same research for IST Airport. May you land at IST Ariport in Istanbul then click here for your guide for buying a Turkey sim card at Istanbul airport!
Airport sim cards are often much more expensive then what you will find in the city center. Sometimes they are even a rip-off. So to help tourists traveling to Turkey I liked doing the research at SAW airport and tell you if it is worth it getting your Turkey sim at SAW Airport or wait till you get to Istanbul city center.
Istanbul is full of amazing places to visit! If you like going off the beaten path a little I can recommend you a walking tour in Fener Balat with its many colorful houses in a vibrant neighborhood or visiting Uskudar, a charming neighborhood with many cool things to do. Click here for some other unique things to do in Istanbul or if you are interested I can recommend you this complete 3-day IStanbul itinerary.
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Istanbul SAW Airport
Istanbul has two international airports, one on the Europe side (IST) and one on the Asia side (SAW). So check carefully where you will fly to. Both airports are about an hour away from the city center. Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW) is the smaller airport and is very easy to navigate when you arrive. Istanbul SAW airport has only one arrival hall.
Where to buy a sim card at Istanbul SAW Airport in 2021
There are two exits from the luggage belt, but whatever exit you take, as soon as you walk into the arrival hall you can’t miss the Turkey mobile internet operator shops. Vodafone, Turkcell and Turk Telecom are located just a few meters from each other, see the picture below.
Turkey sim cards and traveling in Europe
Although a part of Istanbul and Turkey is located in Europe, Turkey sim cards do NOT allow roaming in other countries in Europe. If you are traveling onwards to Europe you might want to get an international sim card for traveling in Turkey AND Europe. Check out the Simoptions website for the best prepaid Turkey sim card deals.
Prices Turkey sim cards Istanbul SAW Airport in 2021
Turkcell Istanbul SAW Airport
When checking out the Turkcell shop I was offered a wide array of prepaid Turkey sim cards. Turkcell claims to have the best Turkey mobile internet network, which is actually true. They offer sim cards with calling minutes and as well as data only packages.
There are 7 data packages available, see the sheet below.
These are the best Turkcell Turkey prepaid sim card for tourists at SAW airport:
- 190 TL ($25): 500 minutes - 1000 sms and 10 GB data.
- 210 TL ($28): 14 GB data.
Turkell has a lot of options to choose from. All bundles are for use in Turkey only!
Turk Telekom Istanbul SAW Airport
There are only 3 Turk Telekom prepaid sim cards for sale at Istanbul SAW airport. These are the available options:
- 160 TL ($22): 750 minutes - 750 sms and 10 GB data.
- 210 TL ($28): 750 minutes - 750 sms and 20 GB data.
- 240 TL ($33): 950 minutes - 950 sms and 30 GB data.
I asked what the surprise gift was and the friendly guy showed me a mini usb cable. All bundles are for use in Turkey only!
Vodafone Istanbul SAW Airport
It is well known that I use Vodafone sim cards a lot for traveling around the world, but what about Vodafone Turkey. They offer at least free social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp, Spotify, etc.
They sell 4 different Vodafone Turkey prepaid sim cards at Istanbul SAW Airport:
- 210 TL ($28): 750 minutes and 12 GB data.
- 230 TL ($31): 750 minutes and 15 GB data.
- 270 TL ($37): 750 minutes and 25 GB data.
- 310 TL ($42): 750 minutes and 32 GB data.
Texting is not included in a Vodafone Turkey sim card. All bundles are for use in Turkey only!
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Best prepaid Turkey sim card SAW Airport
Most of the Turkey prepaid sim cards at Istanbul SAW airport are similar in packages. The Vodafone Turkey sim cards are more expensive than Turkcell and Turk Telecom, but they offer free social media.
Turkcell offers a lot of different Turkey sim cards and also has the best network in Turkey, though they are the most expensive! All in all I thiink that...
Turk Telecom is the best Turkey prepaid sim card at Istanbul SAW airport in 2021!
They are the cheapest 160 TL ($22) and you get calling time, sms and 10 GB data!
Considering that every bar, restaurant and hotel has free WiFi as well that probably is more than enough data for your Turkey trip .
In case you can to wait until you arrive in Istanbul center then check out my recently updated article about the best sim card in Turkey for tourist in 2021. An educated guess tells you that the sim cards offered in Istanbul city center are much better.
Portable Wifi for Turkey
A TEP Wireless portable Wifi device lets you enjoy unlimited data for a couple dollars per day. It is the perfect solution when traveling with kids or with a partner. You can connect 5 devices at the same time to a TEP wireless portable Wifi for Turkey. Click on the banner below to find out more.
How to get from SAW Airport to Istanbul city
Just like buying a sim card at SAW Airport is this also pretty straight forward. When you exit SAW Airport you cross the road and go straight. On your right hand side you will see Havabus busses that have a couple set destinations around Istanbul center.
The bus to for example Taksim Square cost 18 TL, a little more than $3 USD per person one-way. The drive take around 1 to 1,5 hours.
I hope all the above tips for buying a Turkey sim card at Istanbul SAW airport were helpful. May you have any additional questions please leave me a comment below. Also for Istanbul travel tips I am more than happy to help you out.
Enjoy your trip to Istanbul!