Visiting Portugal soon? Make sure to know what to expect when it comes to purchasing a Portugal SIM card.
Fortunately, Europe is one of the best places where you can buy a SIM card easily. You should be able to find a cheap SIM card pretty much anywhere in Europe. In fact, most data packages are affordable, which makes the whole thing easier!
PSSST. Your travel medical insurance can now cover COVID-19!
If you grab SafetyWing Nomad Insurance, it’ll be covered just like other illnesses. I’ve been using it since 2019 and I can assure you it’s the perfect solution for nomads like you and me.
In this guide, we’ll explain where to buy a SIM card in Portugal in person and online. We’ll also discuss prepaid SIM cards and eSIMs if your mobile supports them. That said, if you’re traveling to other countries in Europe, you should be able to use the same SIM card because most SIM card providers also offer coverage in other European countries.
Before you read this guide, you may wonder if you actually need a SIM card in Portugal. If you don’t mind not having Internet, you’ll likely find free Wifi in restaurants, shopping malls, and hotels.
That said, if you need data to get around, call a Uber, or translate Portuguese – you may want to get a SIM card for your travels in Portugal.
Note that your mobile phone provider may already offer Portugal coverage if you’re European. If that’s the case, you won’t need a SIM card for your adventures in Portugal.
Best SIM Cards In Portugal
If you’re traveling in Portugal, we recommend using a SIM card from Meo, Vodaphone, NOS, or Airalo. (I’ll get back to Airalo later on, so keep reading to learn more!)
That said, if you’re planning on visiting other countries during your trip to Europe, you might want to make sure to pick an option that offers coverage in other European countries.
How To Buy A SIM Card In Portugal
You can either buy a Europe prepaid SIM card in person in some international airports, mobile provider stores, convenience stores, or online.
Usually, you can expect higher costs and low data offers at the airport, so we don’t recommend buying a SIM card at the airport. That said, you won’t necessarily find SIM card shops in every airport, so it’s essential to keep this in mind. And, when you see a shop, you might also have limited options.
For this reason, I’d recommend buying a SIM card directly in the mobile provider store. Note that you may need your passport to buy one.
Although, this means you won’t get data right at your arrival. So, if you’d rather be connected at all times, you could use an eSIM or purchase a European prepaid SIM card online.
Now, let’s take a look at the data plans offered by Meo, Vodaphone, and Nos.
Meo SIM Cards
Meo offers three different types of plans:
- Plans for visitors
- Pay as you go
As a visitor, the best options are probably the first two, depending on the length of your trip.
You can buy the first SIM card online for EUR 9.99, and you’ll get:
- 5 GB
- 5 GB bonus
- 1000 minutes/SMS
Vodaphone Portugal SIM Cards
Vodaphone Portugal has 2 different prepaid plans available:
- 15 days, with unlimited data for EUR 15
- 30 days, with unlimited data for EUR 30
As you can see, it’s more expensive than Meo, but you also get unlimited data, which can be helpful.
NOS SIM Cards
NOS offers lots of plans to travelers between 200 MG to 10 GB. All plans are under EUR 29. Once again, it’s slightly more expensive than Meo.
Overall, we think Meo is the best option if you plan to buy your SIM card in person. That said, any would do if you can’t find their store!
How To Buy A Portugal Prepaid SIM Card Online
If you wish to have your SIM card ready for your arrival, you could purchase it online or on websites like Amazon.
You’ll find different plans on Amazon. For example, the Orange Holiday Europe Prepaid SIM Card works in more than 30 countries and gives you 20BG of data for 14 days. Portugal is included.
But, there are many other options worth considering, so have a look and make sure the countries you’re planning on visiting are listed.
Another option is to purchase a prepaid European SIM card on SimsDirect. This works if you live in the United States or Australia. They currently offer 4 different packages.
- 12 GB, valid for 30 days for $26 – works in 71 countries
- 100 GB, valid for 30 days for $49 – works in 44 countries
- 80 GB, valid for 28 days for $69 – works in 45 countries
- 40 GB, valid for 28 days for $55 – works in 45 countries
Finally, the last option is to buy an eSIM card for Europe.
How To Buy An eSIM Card For Portugal
eSIM is a new concept allowing you to have a virtual SIM card inside your phone. If your mobile phone supports eSIM cards – it’s definitely one of the best options to get data in Portugal.
Curious? Learn more about eSIM for travelers.
I started using eSIM as soon as my mobile phone supported it. And I first tried it when visiting my family in Canada. To buy an eSIM, I use Airalo. This website offers many eSIM cards worldwide and special plans for Europe and Portugal. I’ve now been using Airalo in Europe for several months.
Here are the options available for Portugal only:
- Meo: 30 GB, valid for 15 days for $19
- Fofo Mobile: 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $4.50
- Fofo Mobile: 3 GB, valid for 30 days for $7
- Fofo Mobile: 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $10
- Fofo Mobile: 10 GB, valid for 30 days for $17
Here’s an overview of the options available in Europe:
- 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $5
- 3 GB, valid for 30 days for $13
- 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $20
- 10 GB, valid for 30 days for $37
- 50 GB, valid for 90 days for $100
- 100 GB, valid for 180 days for $185
The options mentioned above are part of Eurolink and include 39 countries, including Portugal.
Alternatively, if you’re traveling in other countries that are not mentioned on the list, you can try Discover Global, which offers coverage in 87 countries, including Portugal.
Here’s an overview of the options available on Discover Global:
- 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $9
- 3 GB, valid for 15 days for $24
- 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $35
- 10 GB, valid for 60 days for $59
- 20 GB, valid for 180 days for $89
Now, one important thing to note about Airalo is that you’ll need to keep an eye out for the provider in each country. Suppose you ever have trouble connecting to the Internet during your trip. In that case, it might be because you’re connecting automatically to networks and need to select a network manually instead.
When you purchase the eSIM, you’ll get access to the list of networks supported in each country.
Alternatively, you could look at your options on Holafly. You can read our Holafly review to learn more about this eSIM store. I’ve also tried this one, and it worked fine. Their Europe eSIM work in 32 countries (including Portugal), and they offer the following plans:
- Unlimited data for 5 days for $19
- Unlimited data for 10 days for $34
- Unlimited data for 15 days for $47
- Unlimited data for 20 days for $54
- Unlimited data for 30 days for $64
- Unlimited data for 60 days for $84
- Unlimited data for 90 days for $99
Final Thoughts On SIM Cards In Portugal
As you can see, it’s pretty easy to get a prepaid SIM card in Portugal, or even an eSIM for your travels in Portugal. You’ll even be able to stay connected wherever you go in Europe without changing your SIM card.
I believe the eSIM card is the most convenient way to get data in Portugal if you wish to have data upon your arrival. This way, you won’t need to go to a store to buy a SIM card. Obviously, you need to make sure your mobile phone supports eSIM first.
Traveling to Portugal soon? Read one of the following blog posts: