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Greece sim cards

We want to change out our sim cards when we arrive in Greece. We'd like to purchase them prior to getting there because of the hassle, and the fact we were charged a $100 by AT & T in Iceland for a 1 minute phone call. We're getting conflicting reviews about the sims, so I'm hoping someone might have a great answer.

Posted by
2961 posts

I've used a Cosmote SIM card many times with no issues whatsoever. You can buy them at any Germanos Store in Greece. They will help you activate it. Another reliable brand is Vodafone.

Posted by
993 posts

I too am interested in a SIM card when I get to Greece. I haven't don't that before so still need some guidance.

I will use the phone mostly for texting back home and only some phone calls in Greece.

I believe you get a new phone number, yes?

You can send texts to another country (US) free of charge, yes?

Do you lose all your contacts from your original SIM card?

If you text back home you'll need the international code for the country and the phone number?

Sorry, I'm a newbie for international use of a phone.

Posted by
128 posts

There's lots of new things to learn while traveling. Yes you do lose your contacts. You can use whatsapp for messaging those at home except you'll need wifi. Yes, you'll get a new phone number.

Posted by
128 posts

We'd like to get the SIM card prior to departure if possible.

Posted by
313 posts

I thought about SIM cards but Verizon has a $10/day only when you use it,plan. They also have a $100 for a month plan with lots more data available. I will probably do that because I will need an active GPS for a few days. You could also get a 12 year old to show you how to use WhatsApp and do your texting and calls over the Internet for FREE.

Posted by
1129 posts

With an Android phone you should not lose your contacts by putting in a different SIM card. I suspect the same is true for an iPhone but I do not know for sure. My contacts are tied to the Gmail account I use on the phone, not my phone number.

Years and years ago, contacts were actually stored on a SIM card. Now, they are stored in the memory of the phone itself.

Being charged $100 for one phone call is a horror story that harkens back to the outrageous phone charges that some suffered with when they used their phone while traveling outside the U.S. a decade or so ago.

I suggest you check out some of the recent posts about international communication the way it should be. For example, do a search for Google Fi, or even T-Mobile. The other phone companies do not match the reasonable rates Google Fi charges because not enough people understand their options and not enough regularly travel to make it a competitive issue.

Posted by
128 posts

I have been corrected. In an iphone the contacts are stored in your phone not the SIM card. Whatsapp is a marvelous and easy app. Just need the wifi.

Posted by
2088 posts

I bought a Greek SIM card in the Athens airport and had the young man install it for me. Then on the way home, I put my U.S. SIM card back in.

For this trip to Spain, I opted for an eSim, which was actually marvelously easy. But if you have never done either of these before, it requires a bit of learning. You get to decide whether you want to spend the time to learn how to do this or just pay higher rates or change phone plans. I am tied into my phone plan so that wasn’t an option for me. And I actually like to learn technology, so doing my research on the eSim was my choice. It’s great because I don’t have to stay up with tiny pieces of technology (my U.S. sim) while I travel!

Posted by
115 posts

We are in Athens now. When we left the U.S. I turned on international roaming With Sprint/T-mobile. I opted to pay an extra $25/week for their 4G network so this has been working for us in wifi areas.

I have been using WhatsApp to call and text back home and with people here if they have a WhatsApp account. Not sure how to call if we just wanted to call a local number though.

Posted by
1129 posts

There are apps that will let you call a local number over a data connection for reasonably low rates. Skype is one. Personally, I use Google Voice. Both of those options require you to load some credit on your account beforehand to cover the cost.

Posted by
313 posts

So, Verizon offers programs with unlimited minutes talk and text and your current domestic data rate for $10/day on days you use your phone or $95 a month for 5GB of data, 1000 sent texts and 250 minutes on the phone. Just wondering about one of these vs a Greek SIM card. i could keep all my info and contacts, use a Kindle for wifi/WhatsApp/email and just use the phone for emergencies or GPS the few days we will be on our own after the tour. Any opinions?

Posted by
108 posts

I am interested in this info, I haven't used my iphone overseas---use RIck's maps, etc. and the wifi at hotel at night. But thinking it might be best to get local SIM card and use google maps on the go. So I understand a shop will help you put it in and activate it (and understand you get a European phone number). But these are my questions (sorry, I've never done this so a bit slow)!

  1. So I have a European phone number. How do I text a person at home (not using wifi, using data while out walking around)---use the contact phone number or do I need to dial it with the country code (+1 or something like that)?

  2. How exactly do I add more minutes/time? I know you have to buy a prepaid card, but do you text and it activates or will someone help you with that when you buy the card?

  3. If I use the phone while attached to wifi, and assuming I have my contacts on iPhone, would I just do it the same way as in the U.S.? Just not sure I"m understanding how to use a U.S. phone number with my new European phone number --- I may not be asking the questions correctly, hoping you can help me!

Thanks!!