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Pre-paid SIM cards for Italy?

I am an American and travelled Europe pretty extensively in the days before Brexit. During those travels, I would buy a pre-paid UK SIM card, which I could purchase ahead of time and swap into my phone before leaving the airport, instead of spending time at an airport kiosk. The UK didn't require a passport and there was free roaming, so the process was pretty convenient!

Post-Brexit, I understand the companies now do charge roaming fees. When I look on Amazon, it seems every SIM card I see has mixed reviews, even those that claim to have EU roaming, with some users saying the broker companies have gone out of business and the cards are entirely unusable.

What is the best way to get a pre-paid SIM card these days? (I will be going to Italy, if that helps).


Posted by
2701 posts

If you’ll only be visiting Italy, I’d recommend either the TIM for Tourist card or Vodafone Holiday. Each costs about €30. TIM gives you 200 minutes talk and 15gb data. Vodafone gives you 300 minutes but only 2 gigs of data. If you are flying into Rome, TIM has kiosks near the baggage claim area at FCO where you can purchase theirs. I’ve used TIM numerous times in the past because of the generous data plan. Never had a problem, their coverage all over Italy is great. I sign up for the plan on line, get a voucher, present it either at the airport or a TIM store and never have a problem.

Posted by
7497 posts

We bought our SIM card in a TIM store near where we were staying in Puglia,30€ for enough for a month two years ago. Worked very well.

Posted by
132 posts

Agree on TIM for Italy. Sign-up on ONLINE to get the tourist price, print the voucher and pickup the SIM card in Italy. DO NOT LOSE your US sim card to replace when back home. This operation requires an unlocked GSM phone which yours likely is. Beware that texting is probably a high extra charge.

Posted by
66 posts

We were in Southern Italy and Sicily between September-October 2019. We signed up for the Vodaphone in the Rome airport near baggage claim upon arrival. I had to show my passport. A TIM kiosk was near the airport exit. The service was great but I used it mostly for data particularly Google maps in walk mode. I don't remember the exact cost, but it was the tourist plan for 30 days and it was not unreasonable.

Posted by
413 posts

I'm going to Italy too and have the same question. But I am also traveling in Croatia and Slovenia. Any tips for multiple countries?