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Best way to handle phone service in Greece

While traveling in Greece, what is best app or SIM cards to purchase if optimal phone coverage. Thanks you for your help!

Kelly

Posted by
2973 posts

Buy a Cosmote SIM card and other services from a Germanos Store. They're everywhere in Greece.

Posted by
20 posts

If you have an iPhone 11 or newer, you can do an e-sim card for data and keep your current sim card at the same time. A company like Airolo is one place to buy from. They support Android too, but I don't know what models/OS info.

I have an iPhone 11 and I'm currently in Greece. I have T-Mobile running which allows for international data and texting (calls cost me $0.25 / minute.) It has made it easier than communicating a new phone number to my close contacts back in the US. The caveat is the T-Mobile plan is 2G speeds which means slow response at times. I also have an e-sim running on my phone to support data, mostly Google maps and I often get faster speed than T-Mobile's plan.

Cosmote or Wind are the two predominate suppliers.

Posted by
120 posts

📱Maybe I should be creating a new post so I apologize if it’s off track…
I too have an iPhone. Do I really need to buy a SIM card? I was just planning on using what’s app for Tele and hoping my T-Mobile is good enough. Am I wrong? Yikes. Please someone confirm that it is a must that a purchase a SIM card if traveling to greece 😳😬

Posted by
5125 posts

Nova, T-Mobile US phone service offers free international roaming which includes Greece. You DO NOT need to buy a Greek SIM card in that case. Know that mobile data is free and unlimited but slow - "throttled" to the equivalent of 2G speeds. They sell "data passes" so you can get faster speeds some days if you need it. But on WiFi, the speed is normal. So if you can live with slow data speeds when not on WiFi, you might be fine without doing anything else.

Know that phone calls are 25 cents/minute though.

More info here:

https://www.t-mobile.com/coverage/roaming?country=Greece

Posted by
314 posts

I have an Android phone and Verizon (I know). I just paid them $95 for a month and used my phone like I would in the USA, No changing SIM cards, losing contacts, having apps that wouldn't work, etc. Each phone type and carrier is different. I guess I am not happy having people taking my phone part in a foreign country-or here, for that matter. :)

Posted by
5125 posts

Jeff, I'm glad Verizon worked for you. But FYI, changing your SIM card in a smart phone doesn't change your contacts or your apps.

You certainly don't have to let anyone else touch your phone to change the SIM card. In many newer phones, the SIM card comes out by popping out a little tray - you need a little "paperclip" type of tool to pop out the tray (anyone selling you the SIM card is likely to have the paperclip too), but once you get the tray out, swapping the SIM card is easy.

Posted by
996 posts

It is my understanding that if you get a SIM card in Greece you can only make calls/text in Greece but not out of the country.

Is that right?

Posted by
5125 posts

Tommy, why would that be? Presumably Greeks like to call people in other countries sometimes...

Could be some prepaid Greek SIM cards don't include minutes you can use to call outside of Europe. If you want to call the US while you are in Greece, sign up for Google Voice before you leave the US; then you can make free calls home to the US from Greece, either with a SIM card or on WiFi. Same with texting. You can call landlines too - the other person doesn't need Google Voice to receive your calls. You get a separate US phone number for calls and texts, and it still works even with a non-US SIM card in place.

If you live in say Canada, you can't use Google Voice (last I checked) but you could use Skype to call home to Canada for a few cents a minute to regular phones. Americans can use Skype in the same way. You can use Skype or Google Voice to call other countries for a few cents per minute; only calls to US numbers are free.

Posted by
34 posts

Using T-Mobile here for Android phone. Have for a few years. We use our phones for texting, GPS while driving, and of course internet use using Data and Wifi. All seems to be working good. We haven't bought SIM cards for quite a few years. I suppose it depends on your service provider and country. We travel to Italy, Germany, Greece, Mexico, etc.

Andrew is correct. We have subscribed to T-Mobile for the very reason of international travel. Happy with the choice.

Posted by
5125 posts

T-Mobile work fine for international travel - so do Verizon and AT&T. But the reason I use a European SIM card in Europe is not to save a few bucks on roaming - I do it to save hundreds of dollars a year on my domestic cell service. I pay $10 to $15/month for cell phone service at home, far less than with the "big three." I don't have an international roaming option with the prepaid phone services I use like Tello (or previously, Mint Mobile), but I'm happy to spend 20 Euros for SIM data for the occasional European trip to save hundreds of dollars a year on my cell phone bill.

Posted by
120 posts

I don’t know about you all…but BRAVO 🏆📱to Andrew for his cell phone tips/suggestions. Impressed 👏🙇‍♀️

Posted by
996 posts

Andrew H:

The only use I will have for a SIM card in Greece is to use it in case of any emergency or break down during driving or possibly contact my accommodations.

I bring my tablet for the internet and emailing back home to let family and friends I'm OK.

Posted by
6 posts

I have been getting everyone's WhatsApp number to contact our hotels, Airbnb's, etc. Europeans are plugged in to this. You just need to have Wifi, which is pretty easy at the hotels, Airbnb's, cafe's, coffee shops. Your calls are free. We were 3 weeks in Portugal recently and never had a problem. Good luck!

Kathy