In 2017, Germany had more than 83 million visitors for all over the world making it one of the most visited countries in the world. Though, for the longest time, has been seen as a “serious” country, Germany has actually a lot of to offer for both first time travelers and experienced ones. From the city of Berlin, one of most famous cities all throughout Europe, whose history is remembered by many and stands as a symbol of both struggle and peace. There’s also Munich which looks something out of a story book. The country also boasts unique architectures that traces back to its monarchy, from ancient castles, and sites like Pergamonmuseum, Schloss Linderhof, Museumsinsel, and Aachener Dom. Are in the mood for a hike and discover Germany’s natural wonders? There’s the Black Forest which is famous for hikers. Beautiful and marvelous sceneries, good food and good beer, Germany is definitely an exciting country.
If you’re looking forward on travelling to Germany, and learn something out of the textbooks we’ll help you get one thing off your mind. We will guide you on buying a SIM card for your travel in this beautiful country.
The First Thing You Need To Do
The first thing you may want to do is to check if your phone is unlocked. This is a necessary step if you are a planning to switch your SIM card with a foreign one especially if your phone tied to a specific service provider. By unlocking your phone this is allows it to be utilized with a foreign SIM card in it. You can do this by contacting your service provider or simply seeking help from small independent tech shops.
Choosing A SIM Card
It’s important to mention that in 15th of June 2017; roaming services for countries which are a part of the European Union are cancelled meaning there are no additional charges for utilizing data without additional costs. We would like to emphasize this as this is only applicable to countries belonging to the European Union and not Europe itself and it is not applicable to countries like Turkey and Switzerland. There are limitations to this so the best thing to do is to contact your service provider to ensure that you won’t incur any charges unknowingly.
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Buying a SIM card in Germany is surprisingly simpler compared to other European countries. Identification is required upon the point of purchase. After that you’ll need to activate it online although, if you buy it in official stores or authorized resellers expect the activation will be done for you. There are three main service providers in Germany:
Deutsche Telekom is the biggest service provider in the country. They offer two different SIM cards “MagentaMobil Start” for calls and data use, for cellular phone use and “Data Start” for data use only, used in tablets and pocket WiFis. Both costs €9.95 which come with a €10 credit. MagentaMobil Start comes with several options. The first option called “S” which costs for €4.95 and comes with 100MB worth of data which is valid for 28 days. “M” is worth €9.95 which comes with 1GB worth of data which is good for 28 days and “L” is worth €14.95 which comes with 1.5GB worth of data which is good for 28 days.
“Data Start” offers “Flat S” which comes with 500MB worth of data, good for 24 hours and costs €2.95. “Flat M” which costs €9.95 comes with 750MB worth of data and is good for seven days. “Flat L” which costs €14.95 comes with 1GB worth of data and is good for 30 days. Top ups are also available called “Xtra Cash” which costs from €15 onwards and is valid for two years from the time of purchase.
Vodafone comes second to Deutsche Telekom. They offer a SIM card called “CallYa” which comes for free but you’ll need to buy credit with it for the SIM card to be activated. You can buy a €10 credit for €9.95 and a €15 credit for €14.95. “CallYa Special S” comes with 750MB worth of data, 200 minute worth of call and text messages to all networks which costs €7.99. “CallYa Smartphone Special” comes with 1GB worth of data, 200 minute worth of call and text messages to all networks which costs €9.99. “CallYa Allnet-Flat” comes with 2GB worth of data and unlimited calls and text messages to all networks which costs €22.50.
Data packages are also available. For €2.99 you’ll have 150MB worth of data, for €5.99 you’ll have 500MB worth of data, for €9.99 you’ll have 1GB worth of data, for €19.99 you’ll have 2GB worth of data and for €29.99 you’ll have 4GB worth of data.
Vodafone also sells data-only SIM cards called web sessions, used in tablets and pocket WiFis. For €4.99 you’ll have 200MB worth of data, for €14.99 you’ll have 1GB worth of data, for €24.99 you’ll have 3GB worth of data and for €34.99 you’ll have 5GB worth of data.
O2 competes with Deutsche Telekom for the biggest service provider in Germany after merging with E-Plus. They offer SIM card called “Freikarte” which are free but you’ll need to buy a package for the SIM card to be activated. You can avail “O2 Prepaid 9ct” which data is at default rate. “O2 Prepaid Smart” costs €9.99 which comes with 1GB worth of data and 200 minute worth of call and unlimited text messages to O2. Another package you can avail os“O2 Prepaid All-in”, it costs €19.99 which comes with 1.5GB worth of data and unlimited text messages and calls.
Data packages are also available. For €2.99 you’ll have 150MB worth of data, for €5.99 you’ll have 500MB worth of data, for €9.99 you’ll have 1GB worth of data, for €19.99 you’ll have 2GB worth of data and for €29.99 you’ll have 4GB worth of data. Same with what Vodafone offers.
In terms of coverage, all the service providers have good to average coverage throughout the country. It is strong in major cities but one may experience congestion problems due to the number of users.
Where do I buy one?
You can buy SIM cards and top ups in supermarkets, news agents, gas stations and even corner stores. Though we recommend you to buy it from the official stores and authorized resellers as assistance in setting up the SIM card is readily available, especially if you have limited knowledge of the native language.
Buying a SIM card in Germany is easier and cheaper compared to other European country. . Make sure to choose a plan that will suit not only your travel in Germany but the neighboring European countries as in these countries one plan is applicable to another, doing so will surely save you some money.