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SIM to use in France, Italy, Slovakia, and Austria

I will soon be taking a trip starting in France, going through Italy, and ending in Slovakia/Austria.

I lived in Italy for a time and had SIM cards to use in various countries, and as I recall I could use my TIM card all over Europe. However, all of that is rather ancient history now, as far as technology goes, and my memory is rusty.

Does anyone have any recent experience getting a pre-paid SIM through Orange in France, and being able to use it around Europe? As I recall I could buy it with a month's credit. I wonder if they have a "foreign" thing you can purchase so that it will work in Italy and elsewhere also? If anyone could provide some guidance on this I would appreciate it.

Yes, I have an unlocked phone, and it has taken European SIM cards in the past.

Posted by
32051 posts


Yes, you can purchase an Orange (or other) SIM card in France and use it throughout Europe. However, when you travel outside the country of purchase, you'll pay slightly higher costs as you'll then be "roaming". The roaming costs are regulated by the E.U. so they're not too much higher.

When you choose a network and calling plan, ask the sales person about the costs of roaming, and also about topping-up the card outside France.

Your post doesn't indicate where you're living now or which cell carrier you're using? It may not be too expensive to just use an international roaming plan with your home network.

Posted by
417 posts

We used our T-mobile account as well. Calls were .10 a minute and texting was free. I was convinced there would be big fees that we didn't know about, but no. 35 days in Europe and we only paid an extra $56 dollars because my husband had to make business calls.

We also made free calls when we made over the Internet calls with our iPhones. By the way, the Vatican has great wifi. We had a blast calling my mom from St. Peter's Square for free and it was so clear.

Posted by
290 posts

Thanks to all. What I'm mostly looking for is data; I may need to make one or two calls but that is definitely secondary.

I live in the States at present but I have Verizon and what I can find about their international plan does not look attractive. It appears you only get 100MB and it would basically double my monthly fee, which compared to European cell phone costs, is already extremely high.

When I get to Paris I'll stop at the Orange store and see about getting a SIM that I can also use in Italy and beyond. Thanks!

Posted by
5646 posts

Yes, but T-Mobile's unlimited data is 2G data only. (I've used it in Europe a few times; it can feel quite slow.)