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SIM cards for Best of Adriatic tour

Hey Rick Steves people. We're doing the Best of Adriatic tour starting september 12 in Ljubljana. Anyone done the research on the best SIM cards for the combination of Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia? thanks. John

Posted by
1030 posts

Both Slovenia and Croatia are in the EU so you should be able to find a plan that allows no cost roaming in both countries. Bosnia is not an EU member but you’re only there for 24 hours give or take.

https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/countries_en

I find this site to be helpful in providing the big picture overview of providers and plans within a country. Sometimes the details such as pricing can be a bit out of date.

https://prepaid-data-sim-card.fandom.com/wiki/Slovenia

If you only need data forum member Andrew H has a nice write up of how to get a Dutch Vodafone SIM card and activate it here in the states. Alternatively if you are spending time in another EU country prior to the tour you can pick up a SIM and plan there.

Indeed some people find they can do a whole trip on WiFi only. To me cellular data has become so inexpensive that I don’t mind spending a little bit for the convenience. On my many RS tours I have found that about 15% of the time the hotel WiFi was unusable for one reason or another. Enjoy the tour it’s great fun.

BTW if you’re not familiar with cellphone settings it maybe easier to go into a dedicated cellphone or electronics shop and have them set it up for you.

Posted by
4686 posts

Yeah, my Dutch Vodafone SIM will work in Slovenia and Croatia (I have used it in Slovenia not in Croatia). Bosnia is not covered, but you can buy another SIM card there cheap if you really want/need one. Everything is cheap in Bosnia. I think the SIM I bought there a few years ago was only about $3 USD and lasted about a week.

The price to buy a Dutch Vodafone SIM on eBay has gone up - not $8 USD anymore.

Someone else here is experimenting with a UK Vodafone SIM - similar policies to the Dutch version, but harder to recharge online. She'll report back in September but that will be after your trip.

You could just pick up a SIM once you get to Ljubljana and use it in Croatia (perhaps not Bosnia). Sounds like A1 Slovenija would be your best bet for EU roaming as a tourist. Maybe just go to a A1 Slovenija mobile store once you get to Ljubljana and let them set you up with a SIM card. More info here:

https://prepaid-data-sim-card.fandom.com/wiki/Slovenia

Posted by
1915 posts

This summer, we bought a Greek SIM card which was "good for all the EU". We never figured out how to call anyone, and never used it. We did use hotel WI-FI for emails and such, and never were restricted in that way. So, unless you have a strong need to have a phone, why get a SIM?

Posted by
1424 posts

Andrew H is correct that the Vodafone UK SIM - in many ways similar to the Dutch Vodafone SIM - also covers Slovenia and Croatia, but not Bosnia.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks to all of you for the good information. We're stopping in Amsterdam for a couple days before heading to Slovenia. We'd like the flexibility of using data away from hotel wifi. Based on your input, options I see are get something delivered to USA in advance and activate it in Amsterdam or go to a mobile store in Amsterdam. Hvala all. See you out there sometime.

Posted by
4686 posts

If your first stop is Amsterdam, then you can just get a Dutch Vodafone SIM as soon as you get there. Go to a Vodafone store and have them set up a SIM in your phone, add credit to it, and activate a bundle of data. No need to buy anything before you leave for your trip. When I bought my Dutch Vodafone SIM on eBay, I was making no such stop-over, and at the time, this was the best overall SIM I could find for the countries I was visiting.

The only reason to buy a Dutch Vodafone SIM ahead of time would be that you want a working phone as soon as you land in Amsterdam without having to deal with any of this on your vacation time.