How To Purchase a SIM Card In France

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You want quick and dependable cellular knowledge whereas touring round France as a result of a lot of on a regular basis French life revolves across the telephone—together with needing your telephone to entry cellular practice tickets, restaurant menus, museum/occasion tickets, Google Maps, UBER/taxi, and rather more.

On this information, we’ll cowl all the things it is advisable learn about shopping for a SIM Card in France and the right way to purchase a French high-speed cellular knowledge plan that gained’t price you some huge cash.

How To Purchase A French SIM Card With A Excessive-Pace Information Plan

There are two principal choices with regards to shopping for a SIM Card for France:

  • Purchase a SIM Card Earlier than Your Journey: Shopping for a SIM card earlier than you journey is a bit more costly nevertheless it’s rather more handy (and you’ve got cellular knowledge as quickly as you arrive in France).
  • Purchase a SIM Card In France: Shopping for a French SIM Card in France will be cheaper (particularly for visits over two weeks) however it may be extra of a trouble as a result of it’s a must to monitor down a SIM retailer after arrival.

UPDATE: Most new telephones are eSIM appropriate—which is MUCH extra handy than bodily SIM playing cards as a result of it doesn’t require you to put in a brand new bodily SIM card. You merely purchase the pay as you go knowledge plan, scan a QR code that’s despatched to your electronic mail to put in the digital “card”, and also you’re able to go. Learn The Savvy Backpacker’s Information To The Finest eSIM Information Plans for Europe and our information to the Finest eSIM Information Plans for France.

How To Purchase A Pay as you go French SIM Card Earlier than You Journey

Most main French cellular carriers have SIM playing cards with pre-paid cellular knowledge plans geared towards vacationers.

These knowledge plans are sometimes offered by way of third-party resellers that may ship them to your own home tackle. Essentially the most well-known approved French SIM Card reseller is (I’ve used them up to now).

These SIM playing cards are barely costlier than shopping for them in France however you get the comfort of not having to trace down a SIM upon arrival—merely set up the SIM when you arrive in France and also you’re good to go.

You’ll in all probability spend an additional $15-$20 over the course of a two-week journey when you purchase forward vs ready to purchase in France. Personally, I feel the additional price is definitely worth the comfort.

The Finest Vacationer Pleasant Pre-Paid SIM Playing cards For France

Listed below are my high SIM playing cards when you’re wanting a pre-purchase your SIM earlier than arriving in France:

Orange Vacation Europe Pay as you go SIM Card

The Orange Vacation Europe Pay as you go SIM Card might be the perfect all-around possibility for SIM playing cards that may be bought overseas as a result of it affords plenty of knowledge for a very good worth—and it consists of plenty of worldwide calls and textual content.

Moreover, Orange is likely one of the largest cellular firms in Europe so that they have nice protection all through most of Europe (which isn’t at all times the case with smaller European carriers).

Plan Specs:

  • PRICE: $50
  • DATA: 20GB
  • CALLS: Unlimted in Europe and 1200 minutes worldwide
  • TEXT: Unlimted in Europe and 1000 worldwide

The Orange Vacation Europe plan is nice as a result of it provides you plenty of cellular knowledge for a good worth however the one attainable disadvantage is the 14-day validity interval—which doesn’t matter in case your journey is lower than two weeks. That stated, you should buy an additional 10GB of credit score after the 2 weeks are up for round $25.

In the event you want much less knowledge and need to save somewhat cash, try the $30 Orange Vacation plan that offers you 8GB of knowledge for 14 days.


Three UK is one other giant European cellular service and their PAYG AIO15 plan is an effective worth for individuals who don’t want the 20GB supplied by the Orange Vacation Europe plan. I like how the plan has a validity interval of 30 days so it’s good for longer journeys.

Plan Specs:

  • PRICE: $30
  • DATA: 10GB
  • CALLS: Unlimted in Europe
  • TEXT: Unlimted in Europe

Bouygues Telecom Trip Pay as you go Plan

The Bouygues Telecom Trip Pay as you go Plan is similar to the Orange Vacation Zen however the Bouygues plan have to be activated in France.

  • PRICE: $50
  • DATA: 20GB
  • CALLS: Unlimted in Europe
  • TEXT: Unlimted in Europe
  • Should be activated in France however can be utilized wherever within the EU.

Be aware: has different playing cards on the market however these are the perfect choices/offers.

How To Purchase SIM Card With Excessive-Pace Information in France

Buying a SIM card in France is a reasonably simple and simple course of since SIM playing cards are offered nearly in all places—together with newsstands, airports, merchandising machines, grocery shops, cell phone retailers, and extra.

What To Think about When Shopping for A French SIM Card

Most French cellular carriers are beginning to promote pre-paid knowledge plans on a month-to-month contract foundation. This can be a nice worth when you’re spending weeks/months in Europe or for tremendous heavy knowledge customers—however for shorter visits, I feel it’s simpler to pre-purchase one thing just like the Orange Vacation Europe plan.

When shopping for a knowledge plan in France, you could be required to point out your passport, present a French tackle (use your resort/Airbnb’s tackle), and fill out some paperwork earlier than shopping for a French knowledge plan.

You may additionally must cancel your contract as a result of most contracts will auto-charge your account each month.

The place To Purchase A SIM Card with a Information Plan in France?

  • Service-Particular Storefronts: The most important cellular carriers could have their very own retailers in most main cities that promote their SIM playing cards. Most workers ought to communicate some English however they set up SIM playing cards all day so that they’ll be capable of set you up with out a lot communication wanted.
  • Third-Celebration Cellphone Retailers: There are numerous cell phone retailers that promote a variety of telephone plans from a number of firms. Staff would possibly be capable of supply some assist getting arrange however service in all probability gained’t be pretty much as good as carrier-specific retailers.
  • Newsstands, Tobacco Retailers, Merchandising Machines, and so on: You’ll find SIM playing cards in a number of smaller retailers at airports, practice stations, and randomly all through most cities however don’t count on any customer support.

How A lot Does It Price To Purchase A SIM Card with a Information Plan in France?

Cell knowledge plan costs in France range based mostly on plan choices and numerous promotional offers—so it’s onerous to precisely predict how a lot you’ll pay. However there may be plenty of competitors between the French cellular carriers so most firms supply related costs.

Listed below are the principle cellular carriers in France if you wish to find out about their particular choices:

Nonetheless, under are some instance costs to offer you a greater concept of how a lot you’ll probably pay:

  • SFR affords a €20 plan with 25 GB of cellular knowledge that’s good for 30 days or a €10 plan with 10 GB good for 8 days.
  • Orange has a deal the place €29.99 will get you 10 GB of cellular knowledge and €39.99 will get you 20 GB of cellular knowledge.
  • FREE Cell has a €20/month plan that gives 200 GB of knowledge a month.

Be aware: Many cellular plans cost a €10 activation price—which is type of costly when you’re solely touring for per week or two.

The Finest SIM Playing cards and Cell Information Plans in France

Let’s take a deeper dive into the assorted cellular knowledge plans obtainable in France.

Free Cell SIM Playing cards and Information Plans

Free Cell has among the least expensive cellular knowledge plans in France and their knowledge packages include a ton of high-speed knowledge.

Free Cell’s hottest choices are their month-to-month plans that vary from €10-€20/per thirty days (there may be additionally an extra €10 activation price) and also you’ll get extra knowledge than 99% of customers will ever use.

The principle draw back to Free Cell is you can solely join the service at a Free Cell retailer and so they have restricted areas—notably, they don’t have a store on the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. You even have to purchase the SIM from an automatic machine and the final I checked it was all in French.

Essential: When shopping for this plan, you have to select the “one-month” plan because the alternate possibility will routinely cost your card each month and you’ll solely cancel this service by sending in a bodily kind by way of the mail.

Be taught extra at

Orange France Cell SIM Playing cards and Information Plans

The Orange Vacation Europe plan is an effective possibility as a result of it provides you plenty of cellular knowledge for a good worth however the principle disadvantage is the 14-day validity interval—which doesn’t matter in case your journey is lower than two weeks. That stated, you should buy an additional 10GB of credit score after the 2 weeks are up for round $25.

In the event you want much less knowledge and need to get monetary savings, try the $30 Orange Vacation plan that offers you 8GB of knowledge for 14 days.

You should purchase this knowledge plan from any Orange retailer in France or you should buy it from and so they’ll ship it to your own home earlier than your journey (which implies instantaneous entry as quickly as you activate the service).

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Bouygues Telecom SIM Playing cards and Information Plans

Bouygues additionally has quite a few inexpensive cellular knowledge plans that vary from €13 to €20/month (there may be additionally an extra €10 activation price) and every plan has loads of knowledge.

For the sake of comfort, you may as well pre-purchase the Bouygues Telecom Trip Pay as you go Plan for €39.90 and it provides you 20GB of knowledge that’s good for 30 days. This specific Bouygues plan have to be activated in France—in order that’s a disadvantage if France isn’t your first vacation spot in Europe.

Be taught extra at

Lycamobile SIM Playing cards and Information Plans

Lycamobile is a funds European service that’s primarily offered in small retailers, newsstands, grocery shops, tobacco retailers, and so on. so don’t count on any assist from customer support when you’ve got points. Their plans vary from €15-€30/month (plus a €10 activation).

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French SIM Card and Pay as you go Information Plan Fundamentals

Right here is a few useful background information on cellular knowledge plans so you might have a greater concept of how cellular knowledge service works in France.

European Union Broad Protection

A legislation was lately handed within the EU which banned cellular carriers from charging roaming charges throughout the EU—which implies you need to use a SIM card you obtain in France and use it in Italy with out paying any additional charges. That is nice for vacationers as a result of you need to use one plan in all places.

  • Listed below are the international locations/areas the place there isn’t a knowledge roaming: Andorra, Azores, Aland islands, Austria, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Canary Islands, Cyprus, Corfu, Crete, the Cyclades, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faeroe Islands, Finland, France mainland, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Eire, Iceland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg. Madeira, Malta. Isle of Man, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Rhodes, Romania, Spain, United Kingdom, San Marino, Sardinia, Sicily, Slovakia, Switzerland, Sweden, Vatican

Your Cellphone Should Be Unlocked

Some cellular carriers (primarily within the US, Australia, and New Zealand) “lock” their telephones so that they’ll solely work on that service’s community—this sometimes applies when you’ve got a plan that features a free telephone with a multi-year contract. You’ll must contact your service and have them “unlock” your telephone so it can settle for a third-party SIM card.

Within the US, carriers are required to unlock telephones if the shopper requests it nevertheless it’s hardly ever unlocked by default. That stated, a couple of carriers nonetheless make clients bounce by way of hoops to unlock their telephones so don’t put this off till the final minute or you may be out of luck.

A New SIM Card Offers You A New Cellphone Quantity

Putting in a brand new SIM card provides you a brand new telephone quantity so your outdated quantity gained’t work till you reinstall your unique SIM card. So, if individuals want to achieve you, you’ll want to inform individuals your new French quantity.

Moreover, plenty of web sites and apps use two-factor authentication that’s linked to your telephone quantity so that may now not be an possibility with the brand new SIM put in. And when you use Uber/Lyft, you’ll must replace your new telephone quantity within the app if you set up your new SIM.

How A lot Cell Information Do You Want?

So long as you’re not streaming music/movies or importing a ton of photographs, you in all probability gained’t use greater than 3GB-6GB of cellular knowledge per week.

In the event you’re spending plenty of time on social media (notably Instagram and TikTok) you then would possibly use a bit extra however when you’re simply doing regular internet looking and utilizing Google Maps you then would possibly solely use 1-2GB per week.

You’ll Want Your Passport and Native Handle

Many knowledge plans require you to supply your passport info and an area tackle (which will be your resort or rental house tackle).

Extra Suggestions On Utilizing Your Cell Cellphone In France

I’ve written extensively about utilizing smartphones and knowledge plans in Europe in addition to ideas for shopping for SIM Playing cards For Visiting Europe however under are some extra useful recommendations on utilizing your telephone in France.

Get A Transportable Battery Charger

Touring together with your telephone will shortly drain your batteries so I extremely advocate a conveyable battery. I exploit Anker PowerCore 10000 as a result of it’s tiny and inexpensive however there are a number of choices.

Take Steps To Decrease Your Cell Information Utilization

Information will be costly and it’s extraordinarily simple to unknowingly burn by way of plenty of knowledge as a result of many apps use knowledge within the background. Fb, electronic mail, Instagram, Snapchat… these all continuously use knowledge all through the day with out you understanding it. That’s it’s necessary to know the right way to restrict your knowledge utilization.

Use Airplane Mode And Block Information to Particular Apps

I’ll put my telephone in Airplane Mode as a result of that disables all knowledge (however GPS nonetheless works in Airplane Mode). You can even go into the settings and disable knowledge entry to every particular person app. I’ll go in and switch each off apart from issues like Google Maps or others that I’ll use extra continuously — this manner once I flip off Airplane Mode solely these apps that may use knowledge. Then I’ll flip Airplane Mode again on once I’m completed.

Obtain Offline Maps

Google Maps helps you to obtain whole metropolis maps to allow them to be used offline. As an added bonus, GPS doesn’t use knowledge so offline Google Maps works pretty properly (however not all performance works). Right here is an effective YouTube video that explains all the things.

Make Calls Over WiFi

WhatsApp is a superb app free of charge calling and textual content messages — I’ve discovered that many Europeans solely use WhatsApp to speak (together with many Airbnb hosts).

Get Extra France Journey Suggestions

James Feess
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