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Buying a Sim card to use across Europe, in Vienna

I will be landing in Vienna and staying for a few days before heading to Prague, then Luxembourg then the UK.
Research tells me that some mobile companies in Austria do not sell sim cards that work outside of the country. I need something for 30 days. Any recommendations? I have already been warned away from buying a sim card in the Vienna airport, which, my research tells me, will cost more.

Posted by
1366 posts

If you're interested in buying a SIM and setting it up (yourself) while you're in the US, here is my writeup on the Vodafone UK SIM card that I have used in Germany, Czech Republic (including Prague) and Poland. This wouldn't be a good option if you want to purchase something in a store and have them set it up for you.

With this Vodafone UK SIM, you can buy a Big Value Bundle of minutes, text and data that lasts for 30 days.

Posted by
1277 posts

You have been warned correctly. Right in the arrival hall of Vienna International Airport there is an ill-reputed shop selling SIM cards which are completely overpriced in every respect (card price, activation fee, data volume, etc.). This is a real trap for gullible tourists who are not aware that Austria has comparably low rates for mobile communication.

Best is to buy a SIM card in a shop in the city. But you have to be careful to select the right features (international calls, EU roaming, data volume, etc.). E.g. Austria's biggest mobile operator (A1) does not provide prepaid cards working outside Austria properly. According to an EU regulation you must provide a photo-id when buying a prepaid SIM card.

This is a comparison website:

The website is in German only, but easy to understand. You must select your requirements (per month) on the left, uncheck "Vertrag" (contract), switch on "Ausland" if you want to call from Austria to other countries, and switch on roaming (for data and calls) to have your phone working in the EU.

Posted by
7 posts

This is the website I used when I was buying one, gives you a great overview of all the options and lots of detail!

Are you looking for one to make calls or just for data? I needed both so I went for the Hofer Hot Fix one - has been mostly good although some issues with sending/receiving texts and making calls between EU countries, never had an issue within one country or with the data though! It was also very easy to find and load, you just need a Hofer supermarket.

Posted by
286 posts

Coming from the US, if you have T-Mo then you have 3G data access and unlimited texting included in nearly all of Europe. Calls are $0.25/minute.

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks all. I'm not in the US, so that info won't apply to me but I am sure it will be helpful to others.
I'd been tending towards Hofer, so glad to know that is an option. I want a bit of both as far as data and making calls.
I appreciate everyone who took the time to respond.