How to buy a Turkish SIM card for tourists & get WiFi in Turkey?

If you’re traveling soon and looking for an affordable solution to stay online? The best way to get WiFi in Turkey is to buy a Turkish SIM card. Is there such a thing as a Turkish SIM card for tourists? Of course, in Turkey, like in many other countries, you can easily buy a prepaid SIM card to cover your needs during your travels. In this post, we’ll tell you how to get a Turkish SIM card, and what you need to know to get WiFi in Turkey.

How To Get Wifi In Turkey

How To Get WiFi In Turkey

Where to get a Turkish SIM card?

Flying into Istanbul

If you’re arriving in Istanbul, you can purchase your Turkish SIM card right at the airport. Both Istanbul Airport and Sabiha Gökçen Airport have Turkcell, Vodafone, and Türk Telekom shops in their ‘Arrivals Terminal’. To make it even easier to find the shops, you’ll find a link to the interactive maps of both airports below.

Click here for a virtual visit to Istanbul Airport or IGA Airport

To find the shops in Istanbul Airport where you can buy your Turkish SIM card:

Click on the
menu icon
Then, click on
Arrival Floor
Next, click on
Mobile Stores

Click here for a virtual visit to Sabiha Gökçen Airport

To find the shops in Sabiha Gökçen Airport where you can buy your Turkish SIM card:

Click on
Mağazalar / Shopping
Then, click on
Türk Telekom, Turkcell or Vodafone
You'll see the
Map marker popping up

What if you’re not arriving in Istanbul?

If you’re not arriving at one of Istanbul’s airports, or if you prefer to wait until you arrive at your resort to purchase a SIM card, the three providers mentioned above have official shops in all major cities, and by expansion, all over Turkey. However, if you find a shop at the airport, we strongly advise you to purchase your Turkish SIM card there, as there will almost certainly be a shop attendant present who can assist you in English.

This may not always be the case somewhere else in the country, even in tourist resorts. Still, this is not a reason to panic, you won’t be the first tourist buying a SIM card, and Turks are brilliant at getting things done despite the language barrier. So, don’t worry, you will have WiFi in Turkey!

How About Buying A Turkish Sim Card For Tourists?

How About Buying A Turkish SIM Card For Tourists?

Are you the kind of traveler that wants to come fully prepared? Then you’ll be glad to learn that you can find a full list of telecom provider shops online.

What do you need to buy a Turkish SIM card for tourists?

Basically, there’s no such thing as a dedicated SIM card for tourists. You’ll be buying a prepaid SIM package or a Turkish data SIM. Since April 2019, all Turkish SIM cards are registered into the government system. This means that to purchase a SIM card, you’ll need to provide your passport and tourist visa (if applicable).

How to buy a SIM card in Turkey?

Buying a SIM card in Turkey is easy. Just head over to one of the mobile providers’ shops and make sure to bring your passport, and – if you have one – your tourist visa. With these, you’ll be able to purchase a Turkish SIM card and register it. In Turkey, like in the rest of the world, telecom providers have an almost endless and ever-changing choice of packages and deals. If you prefer to check them out before you travel, you’ll find the links to the prepaid packages for each provider below.

All websites are in Turkish, but with the help of Google Translate, you’ll easily understand the essentials. (DK is short for ‘dakika’, the Turkish word for ‘minute’.) Please note that some packages may only be available online. This is meant as a guideline, and so that you will know what prices to expect. Don’t let this confuse you; the shop attendant will be happy to guide you to the best package for your needs.

Limitless Social Shares With Wifi In Turkey

Limitless Social Shares With WiFi In Turkey

Things you need to know about Turkish SIM cards

Are you visiting Turkey for a short time? Then you’re in the country within the scope of a tourist visa. Even when you’re exempt, the length of your stay cannot exceed 90 days within 180 days. In this case, as mentioned above, you can buy your Turkish SIM card, as described above. Please note that a SIM card for tourists will only be active for three months.

Are you staying longer? Then you will need to apply for a residence permit. A Turkish SIM card registered using a residence permit card remains active indefinitely, at least if you keep using it and topping it up. SIM cards that haven’t been used for six months become invalid. To find out more about how to proceed to register your imported phone or device (yes, you’ll need to do this if you have a residence permit), please refer to Doc Martin’s Surgery for Expats in Turkey.

Turkish Sim Card? Or Pocket Wifi?

Turkish SIM Card? Or Pocket WiFi?

Other ways to get WiFi in Turkey

Of course, there are other ways to get WiFi in Turkey. You could switch on roaming on your existing contract, but this is usually an expensive option, so check the tariffs before you travel! Alternatively, you could rent or buy a pocket WiFi device. Renting a pocket WiFi device in Turkey offers you the advantage of worry-free access to WiFi in Turkey. No need to look for telecom shops or buying SIM cards, your pocket WiFi device is delivered straight to the airport or to your hotel.

Use the widely available free WiFi hotspots

If you do not feel the need to be permanently online, then buying a Turkish SIM card or renting a pocket WiFi could be a waste of money. You’ll notice that free WiFi is available almost everywhere you go in Turkey. A lot of hotels and rentals offer it as a complementary service, as do cafés or restaurants. If you notice that you need a password to access the network, don’t be too shy to ask for it. It’s what everyone does! this is how you ask for it in Turkish: “WiFi şifresini alabilir miyim?” Click here to go to Google Translate, where you can listen to the pronunciation.

Come to think of it; we maybe should have added this phrase to our overview with the 100 most useful Turkish words to kickstart your holiday.

Final thoughts on getting a Turkish SIM card for tourists

There are many good reasons for wanting to have internet access or WiFi in Turkey. For starters, most smartphones are useful for finding your way back to your hotel, should you get lost. Also, internet access allows you to have access to this website, for example. Perfect for some last-minute travel inspiration, to check our resources page, to download our FREE Turkish allergy cards, or to browse our interactive map of Turkey. And then, of course, you’ll want to keep in touch with friends and family back home by posting your gorgeous travel shots on your social media accounts.

What is the best Turkish SIM card? Or which option to get WiFi in Turkey is the best one for you? That depends on your needs. If you intend to check-in online from time to time, sticking to the free WiFi hotspots could be enough. Still, this will leave you with facing roaming charges if you need to use your phone unexpectedly.

That is why getting a Turkish SIM card is the cheapest way to stay connected during your travels in Turkey. In 2020, a budget of 30 TL per month will already buy you a decent package. And you can spend even less if you’re only interested in a Turkish data SIM. Are you an intensive internet user? Or are you reluctant to buy a Turkish SIM card, then renting a pocket WiFi is convenient, and still very affordable.

Whatever you choose, we wish you happy and worry-free travels and plenty of unforgettable moments to collect.

Comment on Facebook
130 Shares

You may also like these posts:

You may also like these posts:

Check the weather

Never wonder about the weather in Turkey again. The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country with significant differences between the regions.

This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

Prepare your trip

How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

What about public transport?
Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

General Turkey travel information, essential to help prepare your trip, on one page!

Work with us

Get direct access to your target audience with a proven interest in Turkey. People call us their Turkey Bible!

Contact us for a feature on our map, a destination guide, a photo shoot, or any form of professional Turkey-related content.

Ask a traveler

Are you unsure about a destination, activity or hotel? Why don’t you ask other travelers about their experience?

We have a closed Facebook group where you can ask all Turkey-related questions. You’ll get solid advice and travel inspiration.

Check the weather

Never wonder about the weather in Turkey again. The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country with significant differences between the regions.

This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

Prepare your trip

How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

What about public transport?
Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

General Turkey travel information, essential to help prepare your trip, on one page!

Work with us

Get direct access to your target audience with a proven interest in Turkey. People call us their Turkey Bible!

Contact us for a feature on our map, a destination guide, a photo shoot, or any form of professional Turkey-related content.

Ask a traveler

Are you unsure about a destination, activity or hotel? Why don’t you ask other travelers about their experience?

We have a closed Facebook group where you can ask all Turkey-related questions. You’ll get solid advice and travel inspiration.

JOIN THE TRIBE, FOLLOW US

How to buy a Turkish SIM card for tourists & get WiFi in Turkey?