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Anyone want to make a recommendation for a Cell Phone or Company to use in Germany?

Hello again. Traveling to Germany - Switzerland - Salzburg over the course of a couple of weeks in late May.

My wife and I are traveling with another couple on our upcoming trip and we were thinking that having a couple of inexpensive cell phones to use would be a wise choice. On a trip to Paris a couple of years ago we bought a cell phone that started with a 20 minute talk time - but unlimited texts - for about 40 Euro (if my memory is correct).

Are the locations in Frankfurt airport for purchasing a cell phone recommended? Or perhaps we should wait until we get to our first stop that afternoon in Bacharach? We'll also be in Kelsterbach to pick up the rental car (Avis) - perhaps a location in Kelsterbach?

I'm guessing that the locations in the airport speak English regularly - frankly my Deutsch is 30 years out of date and maybe not so good even back then. But perhaps the local stores would be less expensive and have a broader selection of companies/etc.

ADDED: So I looked at the o2 Germany website and assuming my translation is ok - it looks like they offer a no contract Samsung phone with 5 minutes of talk time for 20 EU with unlimited texts to other phones on the o2 system. So if both couples bought one of these phones (and maybe another 30 minutes of talk time) we would be 'in high cotton' as they say here in the south (we would have everything we need).

Posted by
2081 posts


I dont know about Germany, but here is what i learned from my travels and cell phones. We in the US gets shafted on rates and such. I bought my first cell in the UK. It wasnt as inexpensive as i could have since i got a slider. I didnt want to make any butt calls. But as you discovered, you can get some inexpensive phones over there. usually PAYG will be the best bet. however, all you will get are the basics. Calls and texts.

The plus side of the PAYG is that you can buy data time when you want. I can buy www for 1 or 3 days or a week time/mb blocks anytime i want. Here in the US im locked into a contract or monthly subscription. With my local PAYG, i can not buy web time unless i moveup.

Drawback is that you may have issues adding minutes to your phones. if you do buy from over there, verify (by doing it) you can add minutes to your phones before you leave that country. IE. For the UK i can not add time to my PAYG phone w/o a voucher. Well, i have to go there to buy one. I was there last fall and bought 2 vouchers to try and activate/use in the USA. once those are done, im out until i go back this year. The NL sim i have i can add minutes over the www and with a paypal account.

one last comment. before you go, check out what your provider has in terms of international plans/rates/fees and such. RIght now T-mobile has a 30/50 USD/month plan with unlimited international. It drops you to 2G for that, but who cares?

happy trails.

Posted by
296 posts

You can always utilize technology like Skype and use someone else's WIFI.

Posted by
471 posts

I understand you are asking about phones, but I picked up a SIM card for my iPad from an o2 storefront near our Frankfurt hotel and it worked flawlessly for the month we were in Germany with no loss of service anywhere. The store staff spoke English and took the time to load it into the iPad and get it set up. 15 euros to buy it and 25 euros for 30 days use. A year and a half later and I still have the contract; it's in German so can't fully read it, but there seems to be no data amount specified, rather a 30 day time limit. It stopped working in the taxi on the way to the Berlin airport a month later. Based on this experience I can recommend o2.

Posted by
1 posts

Hello! You may have encountered a problem with a small sim card.
For example in the iPhone nano sim card worth. If you want to shift it to the other phone, it will be very hard and uncomfortable. We offer you a nano-SIM adapters for the lowest prices in Europe! With free shipping worldwide!
Have a nice day !

Posted by
1 posts

Hi Bruce,

I was recently on a trip to Dusseldorf and of course wanted to have a sim card for my iPhone (5c). After brwosing a lot of forums I finally hit a Google commercial ;-) It was from a company which shipped a sim prior to departure to my home. Of course, more expensive, but perfect since I did not want to spend hours in any shops. So I did some research. There are some different companies offering this service, by far the cheapest (and my choice) was However, you might compare prices before you buy. But I'd recommend it - if you have an unlocked phone.


Posted by
26 posts

Check out We're going to Europe, too and I bought a phone from them for 29.00 that even gives you a US number for people to call you from home. They have specials when you buy 2 phones.
Have a great trip.