I will be travelling to Germany for 9 days and I need a SIM card there as soon as I arrive at Frankfurt Airport. I can take a SIM from India with international roaming activated but that option seems very costly.

Is there a way to get a prepaid SIM in Frankfurt (preferably near the airport) with which I can make local calls as well calls to India?

  • 1
    possible duplicate of What are the options for a prepaid SIM card in Berlin?
    – nibot
    Sep 2, 2012 at 10:57
  • Yes, it's very easy to get a SIM card in Germany. Plenty of network operators have stores where you can go, and almost all supermarkets also have re-branded discount SIM cards. To activate the SIM card, you'll need to go online and register a German address, but there is no verification.
    – nibot
    Sep 2, 2012 at 10:59
  • Comprehensive info on German SIM cards: prepaid-wiki.de
    – nibot
    Sep 2, 2012 at 19:31
  • Be careful buying Lycamobile cards at the O2 store at the airport. We were sold a used expired SIM card. 35 euros into the salesman's pocket. Be sure you buy a new SIM card, with pin and PUK number. Don't be ripped off.
    – user29044
    May 1, 2015 at 5:36

5 Answers 5


You would have to get a prepaid card; but you wont be able to make calls to India from a prepaid number - a 20 Euro charge will probably give you around 5mins talktime to foreign countries before it is depleted...

Get one of those phone cards where you call a special number and you have much better rates ("calling cards", see comments); the area around the Main Train station in Frankfurt should have shops who sell those cards. You are probably better off using skype to call home. Don't buy anything at the Airport; too expensive.

  • so a foreigner can get a prepaid sim card outside the airport?? In India we have very strict documents required to get a sim. Also could you explain how I can use the phone cards or give a link.. thanks
    – nischayn22
    Sep 1, 2012 at 11:08
  • 2
    India is very unusual in requiring so much documentation to get a sim card, most places make it much much easier!
    – Gagravarr
    Sep 1, 2012 at 14:10
  • 2
    "those phone cards where you call a special number and you have much better rates" are usually termed "calling cards" in my experience. Sep 1, 2012 at 15:04
  • It turns out that there are providers who offer SIM cards with very cheap international calling without using an additional calling card--see my answer.
    – nibot
    Sep 3, 2012 at 10:13
  • Taiwan (Tainan) is also extremely difficult. The airport is the only place where they will accept your passport as valid document to get a SIM card. However, my experience was limited to Tainan, and I have no experience with Taipei.
    – Nelson
    Jul 12, 2023 at 1:30

Try lebara.de, who offers SIM cards specifically targeted towards people who want to frequently call internationally. You can find one at almost any kiosk. They advertise rates to India of only 1 cent per minute (plus a 15 cent per call connection fee). I don't know what the catch is.

Another option might be LycaMobile. They advertise free or very cheap rates when calling other LycaMobile customers, even internationally.

Ortel is another provider advertising international calling from a mobile phone for 1-3 cents per minute.

I only know of these guys because I saw their ad in a kiosk window earlier today, just to illustrate how easy it is to get a SIM card in Germany:

enter image description here

  • 1
    DO NOT BUY LYCAMOBILE, stick to LeBara. LycaMobile is unhelpful, misleading and does not work when you change smartphones (yes, smartphone was unblocked). LycaMobile is the VERY WORST carrier in Europe. STAY AWAY FROM LYCAMOBILE.
    – tony gil
    Jun 5, 2013 at 8:57

The German Telecommunication law requires carriers/resellers to register the name, address and birth date of every end user. Some will only accept German addresses or additionally require a passport number.

And yes, calls to India will be very expensive unless you get an additional callthrough card. I've also read that some carriers block such callthrough numbers - T-Mobile and Vodafone (and resellers in those networks) supposedly don't.

  • 2
    Yes, the SIM card provider is required to register this data, but not required to check whether the data is valid. So there are many SIM card providers that don't bother if you register as "John Doe", with street "Platz der Republik 1" and zip "11011" in "Berlin".
    – unor
    Sep 1, 2012 at 23:01

The law to register your SIM card with an ID or passport is stricter now, which means that you need to identify yourself at the post office (POST IDENT) or online. Online is pretty easy and you can do it within 10 minutes. When you order one of these prepaid cards from O2 or Vodafone, they will already ask you to provide your correct address (as in your ID or passport), because it will be checked afterwards.

  • Why delete the links? wanted to share a good overview! Sep 14, 2018 at 16:40

Yes, you can buy a SIM card in Germany for a short duration, even if you are a tourist. There are many different providers to choose from, so you can find one that offers the right plan for your needs. Most SIM cards come with a small activation fee, but you can usually find plans that include a certain amount of data and calls for a reasonable price. You can buy a SIM card at most electronics stores, supermarkets, and even some train stations. My personal recommendation is lycamobile in germany. because i got free sim and data at affordable costs.

When choosing a SIM card, it is important to consider the following factors:

The amount of data you need The number of calls you need to make The length of your stay in Germany Your budget

Once you have chosen a SIM card, you will need to register it with the provider. This usually involves providing your name, address, and passport number. Once your SIM card is registered, you can start using it immediately.

Here are some tips for buying a SIM card in Germany:

Do your research and compare different providers before you buy.

  • Buy your SIM card from a reputable retailer.
  • Register your SIM card as soon as possible.
  • Keep your SIM card safe and secure.

With a little planning, you can easily buy a SIM card in Germany and stay connected during your trip.

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