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Cell phone in Turkey and Greece

From what I can gather on another area of Rick Steves, you can buy an unlocked cell phone. Go to a foreign country, buy the SIM card for that country and you have phone service. Now I am a doubting Thomas and a Ludite. I have a land line at home. I do not have cell phone service at home. If the posts are correct, even I can buy an unlocked cell phone, buy a Greek SIM card and I will be able to make phone calls within Greece. (and maybe beyond) Really? wayne iNWI

Posted by
2862 posts

Yes, really. I have an unlocked quadband cell phone I bought from eBay. They're cheap. When I get to Athens I buy a Cosmote SIM card and pay for extra minutes. If I run out I buy more as needed from various locations like supermarkets or a Germanos store if there happens to be one nearby. Just be sure it's either a quadband phone or one specifically for the frequencies used in Greece and Turkey, 900 & 1800. You can also buy a phone when you first arrive in Greece at the airport's Germanos store. It will come pre-packaged with the SIM for about €50 but it's cheaper to buy one from eBay and buy the SIM in Greece. You can even get a quadband with room for 2 SIMs so you can use it in the USA.

Posted by
1196 posts

Agree. We did it, too. Bought a used unlocked quadband cellphone for about $30 on Amazon. We also bought a US SIM card and use it here. When we arrived in Turkey and the following year in Greece we bought a SIM for that country. We left the Istanbul airport immediately and didn't have time to buy the card so don't know about shops in the airport, but there are many shops in Istanbul where you can buy one. At the Athens airport there is a store called Germanos where you can buy a card. I think it takes one hour to activate the service. Again, most towns will also have shops where you can buy a SIM card. Most cards come with some minutes and you can add on as needed. It's easy!