One would think buying a SIM card or purchasing a phone plan in Spain would be
simple enough but, like most things in life, it can be very confusing and
overwhelming, especially if you don’t speak the language and have no idea where
to start. If you’re lost in the Spanish world of phones and all you want is to have
wifi that works and minutes to be able to call friends and family, then read on
Where to begin?
If you’re simply passing through and aren’t planning on staying in Spain for more
than a few days or weeks, then there’s no need at all to purchase a Spanish phone
plan. So what are your options? Outside of stealing McDonalds wifi every few
hours, the cheapest and simplest option would be to purchase a 1 or 2 GB SIM card
that can easily be put in your phone that would give you the predetermined
amount of data and minutes in Spain for 30 days.
A 1GB SIM card typically costs €5 and a 2GB is usually in the ballpark of €10. If
you’re new to Madrid or Barcelona, or any Spanish city for that matter, and need
your phone to use as a mobile map, then the 2GB SIM card should work just fine.
What brands should you purchase?
Vodafone, Lyca Mobile, Orange, Lebara, Movistar and Yoigo. Vodafone, Orange,
Movistar and Yoigo are the four biggest brands, but Lyca Mobile and Lebara will
get the job done just fine, and will most likely be even cheaper.
Where can you buy these mysterious SIM cards?
Any of the above mentioned SIM cards can be purchased at their respective stores
scattered around Spanish cities (a simple Google maps search while you’re stealing
McDonalds wifi would be sure to tell you where). They can also be found at your
typical corner store as well as below ground at metro entrances.
Make sure to have your passport on hand as the only way to purchase one of these
SIM cards, or any type of phone plan in Spain, is with proper identification. After
paying for the SIM card, make sure to ask the employee to put it in your phone for
you, and program it if necessary. Often times they have to activate the SIM card by
calling it from a special phone.
Try to safeguard your normal SIM card till you’re back in your home country by keeping it tucked away in your suitcase for the remainder of your trip. And how can you go back to the service from your typical carrier? It’s as simple as throwing out the Spanish SIM card and replacing it with the old one.
If you found this post to be helpful, take a look at our other posts as we discuss a variety of topics related to Spain. If you are interested in teaching and living in Spain for a year, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org letting us know so we can contact you to set up a free 20 minute consultation!