If you’re visiting Istanbul and want to stay connected with your loved ones, getting a tourist prepaid SIM card is a great option. Here are the detailed instructions on how not to lost in Istanbul Airport and Istanbul without the Internet!
Can I Get Free Wi-Fi in Istanbul?
While you don’t have a SIM card, you can still use Wi-Fi to stay connected. Many cafes, restaurants, and hotels offer free Wi-Fi to their customers. You can also find Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the city, including in parks and public squares. There is free Wi-Fi available at Istanbul airport. To connect, search for the Wi-Fi network “IST-Wi-Fi” on your device and follow the instructions to connect. The Wi-Fi is available throughout the airport, including in the departure and arrival areas. Some popular locations for free Wi-Fi include Starbucks, McDonald’s, and KFC. You can also find free Wi-Fi in some public parks, such as Gezi Park and Yildiz Park.
Have a Hustle Free Internet in Istanbul Unlimited 4G Internet Pocket WiFi
How Much is the Tourist Sim Card in Istanbul?
By September 2023, the price of the tourist sim card in Istanbul will be about 800 TL. You can’t buy a local sim card, you would need a Tourist Welcome pack, and this costs more. But we’ve got you covered. Here are the prices and popular operators you can choose from!
Note, that prices for sim cars in Istanbul are very variable. What is in one place would cost the standard amount of money you would find on the official website, and would cost twice or more in the other stores, especially in the airports!
Turkcell – Welcome Tourists with the Exclusive “Tourist Welcome Package”
Turkcell is delighted to offer a special package tailored for travelers – the “Tourist Welcome Package.” This package is exclusively available to foreign passport holders who purchase a Turkcell prepaid SIM card.
Included in this package:
- 20 GB of data
- 200 minutes for local calls
- Unlimited messaging with WhatsApp & BiP via your SIM card
- Bonus discounts at restaurants, hotels, car rentals, and more.
Validity: The “Tourist Welcome Package” from Turkcell is valid for 30 days and will be deactivated after 3 months from the date of purchase.
For more information and the latest prices, please visit the official Turkcell website. Prices at airport stores can go up to 2000 TL. The standard price is around 800 TL.
Vodafone Turkey – “Welcome to Turkey Package”
Vodafone Turkey, a leading mobile provider, offers an exclusive tourist package for prepaid SIM cards known as the “Welcome to Turkey Package.”
Included in this package:
- Vodafone’s Prepaid Tourist SIM Card with 20 GB of data
- Unlimited WhatsApp usage
- 750 minutes for local calls
- 1000 SMS.
Validity: This plan is valid for 28 days, and you can use your prepaid tourist SIM card for a total of 90 days. After that, it will be deactivated.
For detailed information and the most up-to-date prices, please check the official Vodafone website. Prices at the airport can reach up to 1890 TL. The standard price is around 1 000 TL.
Türk Telekom – “Welcome” Package
Türk Telekom welcomes tourists with its special SIM card package called “Hoş geldin” (Welcome).
Package Details: The “Hoş geldin” 25GB package includes 25 GB of data, 750 minutes for local calls, and 750 SMS.
Validity: Türk Telekom SIM Cards are valid for 28 days.
For more details, please visit the official Türk Telekom website. Prices at the airport can go up to 850 TL.
Important Note: If you decide to purchase a prepaid SIM card in Turkey, you’ll need to show your valid passport as the SIM card will be registered in your name. The standard price of the Turk Telecom sim card would be around 700-900 TL.
Step-by-step Guide on How to Buy a Turkish Simcard
Step 1: Choose your network provider
There are three major network providers in Turkey – Turkcell, Vodafone, and Turk Telekom. You can choose any of them based on your preference and budget. We recommend Turk Telecom.
Step 2: Locate a store
You can find the stores of these network providers at the airport, shopping malls, or in the city center: there are a lot of them, and all of them are official even if it doesn’t seem so because of their appearance.
At Istanbul airport and Sabiha Gökcen airport, you will see mobile internet provider shops of Turkey such as Turkcell, Turk Telekom, and Vodafone. However, it’s worth noting that the prices at these stores can be higher than at stores in the city center. You can use Google Maps or ask locals for directions.
Step 3: Bring your passport
You need to bring your passport with you to the store. This is required by Turkish law to register your SIM card.
Step 4: Choose a prepaid plan and check prices
To buy a tourist prepaid SIM card in Turkish, you can say “Turist SIM kartı” (pronounced “toorist sim kart”) which translates to “tourist SIM card.” They will understand you.
The network provider will offer you different prepaid plans with various data limits and validity periods. Prices will vary depending on the provider and the plan you choose (about . Make sure to ask the store personnel about the prices and choose the one that suits your needs and budget.
Step 5: Purchase the SIM card
After choosing your prepaid plan, the network provider will give you a SIM card. You will also need to pay for the plan at this time.
Step 6: Register your SIM card
The store personnel will help you register your SIM card by entering your passport information into their system.
Step 7: Activate your SIM card
Once your SIM card is registered, the store personnel will activate it for you. You can then start using your phone with your new prepaid plan.
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Roaming with Vodafone
If you use Vodafone as your network provider, you may be able to use your prepaid plan in other countries as well, including Turkey. Vodafone offers free roaming for certain plans in some countries, but it’s best to check with the store personnel to confirm if your plan includes this feature.
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