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Germany : SIMs for travelers to Germany

Buying a SIM card in Germany is often difficult for tourists due to insistence on local address by some vendors, and due to language barriers.

Documents required for buying SIM

For pre-paid SIM cards, the retailer has to see and put on record official ID, i.e. the passport or national ID card. Unfortunately, many stores require you to have a local address. Foreign addresses are often not accepted. If you do not have a German address, try to use your name with c/o name and address of someone else, e.g. the hotel you’ll stay. This may not be accepted always.

Availability

German SIM cards are available at airports like at Frankfurt Airport e.g O2 Shop is located at T1, Area B, Level 1. The most convenient way to purchase a SIM card for a visitor is to go to one of the big supermarket, drugstore, service station or electronic market chains. Buy top-up vouchers called Ladebons in many stores with a PIN to enter. Go to one of the three drugstore chains (Rossmann, Müller, dm) or to cash and carry markets like “real” to top up most brands. You can use MNOs vouchers for MVNOs e.g.Vodafone vouchers for Otelo, Fyve, Edeka and LIDL Connect.

Activation and registration
By law, all SIM cards need to be registered first to be activated. Registration is not often done in shops but online or by phone. Phone activation can be tricky too, because of the language. Online registration is usually in German only, but possible with the help of an online translator. Look for the words registrieren or freischalten on their website and keep phone and SIM numbers ready.

Registration can take some minutes up to a few hours, until your SIM card finally connects with the network. You may need to switch off and on your device to connect.

Mobile Carriers
There are now only three network operators in Germany and number of MVNOs listed in the table. Many MVNOs offer low per minute rates to call internationally, but then charge a large connection fee at the start of each call.
  1. Deutsche Telekom (formerly known as T-Mobile)
  2. Vodafone
  3. O2
MNOs
MVNOs
Deutsche Telekom
congstar
Lebara mobile
ja!mobil
Penny Mobil
Vodafone
Otelo
Fyve
EDEKA mobil
Lycamobile
LIDL Connect
O2
ALDI Talk
Blauworld
NettKOM
Ortel mobile
WhatsApp SIM
AyYildiz
FONIC
NetzClub

 

Best packages for travelers from India:
Network
Blau
Vodafone
O2
Name of product
Blue 9 cents
CallYa Talk & SMS
O 2 Blue Basic Kombi
Price
€ 9.99
9.99 €
4.9 €
Incoming
Free
Free
Free
SMS local
9 cents / SMS
9 cents / SMS
200 MB
International SMS
13 cents / SMS
29 cents / SMS
29 cents/SMS
Call local
9 cents / minute
9 cents / minute
·         Unlimited free calls to the O 2 network
·         50 minutes to all networks
International calls
99cents/ minute
15 cents per call
·         Call up to 5 numbers India for just 15 cents/minute
·         one-time fee of € 5
Data
0.23 / MB
1.49 Euro / day
200MB
Validity
1 month
1 month
1 month
Currency
Euro
Euro
Euro
Other notable features/information
Please top up 9.99 € to the SIM card to get above packs
       Please top up 9.99 €to the SIM card to get above packs.
       Please top up 4.9 €to the SIM card to get above packs.
Link to product
SIM from India
Of course, if you would rather buy the SIM before travel so that you do not have to go hunting, or are traveling to multiple countries on the region, or would like to know your number before you travel, we have a SIM for you!