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Turkey SIM Card for Tourists

Traveling to Turkey soon? Read our ultimate Guide to buying a SIM card for Tourists in Turkey below and get the best option at the lowest price!

If you are planning a trip to Istanbul or another city in Turkey, and want to stay connected, then you should consider buying a prepaid SIM card for Turkey.

On this page, we will tell you all you need to know about SIM cards for Tourists in Turkey. You will find helpful information about operators and which SIM card or eSIM card to buy online or on site, as well as their cost

Let’s start! 

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Do I really need a Turkey SIM Card for Istanbul

Do I really need a Turkey SIM Card for Istanbul?

If your visit to Istanbul is longer than 4–5 days, buying a local SIM card is definitely the best option for you to stay in touch with family and friends while having good phone coverage and access to data.  

But even if your stay is shorter, it might be a wise idea to opt for a prepaid SIM card instead of depending on free Wi-Fi or renting a pocket Wi-Fi router. 

Internet is charged a lot more in Turkey if you have a foreign SIM card, which does not include Turkey in their internet package.

So we recommend you to get a local SIM card either way. But how to get it easily, without waiting in line, and at the best price?

Book your SIM Card online before your trip to Turkey

What are your options of booking a SIM card or an internet device online to use it in Turkey during your trip?

For travelers who only need mobile internet and no phone calls or SMS for their Istanbul vacation, we have the perfect solution: the e-SIM card for Turkey. It is one of the most economical and practical way of getting internet in Istanbul as a foreigner.

See below our 2 top e-SIM recommendations for Istanbul, as well as another alternative, the Pocket Wi-Fi:

esim-turkey

Another recommendation is PocketEsim's easy-to-use prepaid e-SIM card.

PocketEsim offers a digital e-SIM card with unlimited mobile data service with maximum speed coverage (4GLTE). 

This way you don’t have to worry about roaming costs when traveling and enjoy unlimited internet as if you were at home.  

Let's see the prices and conditions of these cards:


How does PocketEsim work?

  1. Choose the desired number of days you want and purchase the PocketeSim prepaid e-SIM card hereYou will immediately receive a QR code containing the e-SIM Card by email.
  2. Scan the QR code one day before your departure.
  3. Turn off your local provider’s cellular data.
  4. Set your phone's options so that your mobile phone uses PocketEsim's internet.
  5. Activate your QR code after you arrive in Turkey and use your PocketEsim card during your stay.  

Compatibly: Before purchasing the PocketEsim card, make sure that your mobile phone is compatible with the PocketEsim service. It is available for the following cell phones: iPhone SE, XS et XS Max, XR, 11, 11 Pro et 11 Pro Max, 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, 12 Mini, 13,13 Pro, 13 Pro Max, 13 Mini / Google Pixel 3, 3a, 4, 4a, / Samsung S22, S20, Galaxy Z Flip, Note 20 Ultra, Fold LTE, / Motorola Razr 2019

The easy eSIM for Turkey by PocketeSim  (recommended) :

Here are the prices and conditions for the eSIM by PocketEsim. The ones in red are the most popular ones picked by travelers.

There are options to book a higher number of days. For further rates and information on the various offers and 50% discount, click on this link:

2. Rent a Pocket Wifi in Istanbul

You can easily rent a Pocket Wifi Devise for the time you are in Istanbul and access internet through it anytime. It is a device that connects you to internet without limitation and through several device (phone and computer). The access to internet is fast and covered anywhere in Turkey thanks to the support of Turkcell, which is the best phone company in Turkey.

The process to rent a pocket wifi is very easy:

  1. Book your device on through this link
  2. Get your device delivered to you at your hotel or directly at the airport anytime you want
  3. Use the device(s) according to the guideline during your trip
  4. The company will pick up the device when and where you want before you leave the country

And voilà! Now you have internet during your travel to Turkey. For more information, click the button below.

GSM Operators in Turkey

Where to buy Turkey SIM Card in Istanbul

1. At Istanbul Airport or Sabiha Gökcen Airport

You can pre-order online and then pick it up at the airport, or have it delivered to your home, Airbnb or any other address.

Or find stores selling prepaid SIM cards in the arrival terminal of Istanbul Airport and Sabiha Gökcen Airport. One advantage is that the staff speaks English, and since the store is tailored to tourists, it will be easy to find a deal suited to your needs. However, you will usually find more expensive offers in the stores at the airport. Additionally, there are always long queues. For this reason, buying your Turkey SIM card there is not advisable.

An easy and cheap option is to use the SIM card reservation service. Simply make an early reservation and get your Turkey SIM card delivered to your hotel by a local authorised dealer. Local communications specialists are always there to help you with any questions you may have. As prices change almost weekly, you can also get the latest prices from an local specialist via WhatsApp.

2. In the City

There are stores practically everywhere in Istanbul where you can buy a prepaid SIM card. In addition to the official branches of Turkcell, Vodafone and Turk Telekom, there are also electronic shops, phone stores, and kiosks that sell local SIM cards of these GSM operators. 

Please be aware that the branches of the Turkish GSM operators as well as the resellers may set their own prices for the SIM card. For this reason, prices vary from store to store, and can even be as high as 200 TL.  

istanbul tourist information airport shuttle

Cost for Turkey SIM Cards for Tourists

Turkcell Operator in Istanbul

1. Turkcell

Turkcell provides a special package for travelers, the “Tourist Welcome Pack”.

This package will be assigned to customers who buy a prepaid Turkcell SIM card with a foreign passport.

  • What is included: A SIM card with 20 GB data + 200 minutes of local calls + unlimited messaging via Whatsapp &BiP. As a bonus, you get special discounts at restaurants, hotels, car rental, and more. 
  • Validity: Turkcell’s “Tourist Welcome Pack” is valid for 30 days. After 3 months, the SIM card will be deactivated.
  • Visit the official Turkcell partner website for online ordering and delivery before you arrive.
  • These prices can go up to €47 at the stores at the airport.
Vodafone Operator in Istanbul

2. Vodafone Turkey 

The mobile provider Vodafone Turkey offers a special tourist package for prepaid SIM card. It is called "Welcome to Turkey Pack".

  • What is included: Vodafone's Prepaid Tourist SIM Card consists of 20 GB data + unlimited WhatsApp + 750 minutes of local calls + 1000 SMS 
  • Validity: The tariff is valid for 28 days. You can use your Prepaid Tourist SIM Card for a total of 90 days. After that, it will be deactivated.
  • For more information and the most up-to-date prices, please cross check with the official Vodafone website. 
  • These prices can go up to 890 TL at the airport.
Turk Telekom Operator in Istanbul

3. Turk Telekom

Türk Telekom's special SIM card package for tourists is called "Hos geldin" (Welcome). 

  • What is included: The Hosgeldin 25 GB package includes 25 GB + 750 minutes of local calls + 750 SMS 
  • Validity: The Turk Telekom prepaid SIM Card is valid for 28 days.
  • Check the official Turk Telekom website for detailed information. (only in Turkish) 
  • These prices can go up to 850 TL at the airport.

With all tariffs, it is possible to recharge it when it is used up.

  • Need an airport transfer from Istanbul or Sabiha Gökcen Airport? See all your airport transfer options and book your Istanbul airport transfer here

GSM Operators in Turkey 

  • There are three mobile operators in Turkey: Turkcell, Vodafone and Turk Telekom.
  • Turkcell is the largest mobile provider and the leading GSM operator in Turkey. In terms of good network coverage and internet speed in Turkey, it is the best provider, especially in smaller cities or remote areas
  • All three operators offer a variety of prepaid SIM Card packages to choose from, some of them even have special SIM cards for tourists.
  • Remember that prepaid SIM cards in Turkey are valid for a maximum of 120 days.
  • The country code for Turkey is +90

Bottom Line

Regardless of which SIM card and provider you ultimately choose, where you buy the SIM card plays a key role. There are dozens of providers selling Turkish SIM cards throughout the city, as well as at both Istanbul airports.

Generally, you will find better deals in the city, but since the branches of Turkish GSM operators as well as resellers can set their own prices for the SIM card, the cost of a Turkish prepaid SIM card varies from store to store, leaving you exposed to a confusing jungle of prices.

For this reason, we recommend either to book a very affordable online service through PocketEsim eSIM service or ask a question through the form present on this page above.


For more amazing pictures and tips about Istanbul, follow our official Instagram account @istanbul.tourist.information

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SIM cards in Turkey FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Which SIM card is the best for tourists in Turkey?

The best SIM card for your holiday in Turkey is “Tourist Welcome Pack” from Turkcell. Since Turkcell has the best mobile network coverage in Turkey and a package deal tailored precisely to the needs of tourists, we think it is the best SIM card to use as a tourist in Turkey.

We particularly like the fact that the SIM card is already part of the package. This makes it much easier for tourists, because the fees for prepaid SIM cards vary from store to store in Turkey, which is why tourists often pay much more than locals. Another bonus is unlimited Whatsapp and the special benefits offered.

Of course, there are many more options, and ultimately it depends on your individual needs. Our local communications specialists will be happy to help you choose the right SIM card for your purposes. Just contact them via Whatsapp to get all the information and current prices, or to reserve your SIM card in advance and pick it up when you arrive in Istanbul.

How much is a SIM card in Turkey?

Since the branches of the Turkish GSM operators as well as the resellers can set their own prices for the SIM card, the cost of a prepaid SIM card varies from shop to shop and depending on the GSM operator. You can expect it to cost around 100-200 TL. Remember that you will often need to pay an activation fee and purchase an additional one-month data package.

Feel free to contact our local communication specialists via our contact form to find out the current rates at the airport and in the city.

Where to buy a Turkish SIM card?

You can buy your prepaid SIM card for Turkey either in the city or at the arrival floor at Istanbul or Sabiha Gökcen airport. 

There are stores practically everywhere in Istanbul where you can buy a prepaid SIM card. In addition to the official branches of Turkcell, Vodafone and Turk Telekom, there are also electronic shops, phone stores, and kiosks that sell local SIM cards of these GSM operators. Please note that prices vary from store to store, as the branches of the Turkish GSM operators as well as resellers may set their own prices for the SIM card.

To help travelers with the confusing price jungle of Turkey SIM Cards, we offer travelers our SIM card reservation service. If you have any questions or want to know the current prices, you can ask our local communication specialists at our booth at Istanbul Airport or in advance via Whatsapp. Reserving your SIM card online allows you to pick it up as soon as you arrive, without having to wait in line.

Can I buy a SIM card at Istanbul Airport?

Yes, there are branches of all three Turkish GSM operators as well as mobile stores at the arrival floor of Istanbul Airport that sell local SIM cards. Note, however, that the prices for a prepaid SIM card in the stores at the airport are higher than in the city.

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