If you travel to Turkey and don’t want to run out of internet, the smartest thing to do is to buy a local SIM card for Turkey, either from your country (recommended option) or when you get there.
In this article we tell you what SIM card options there are for your trip to Turkey each with its advantages and disadvantages, which option is best for you and some extra tips.
IS THERE INTERNET CENSORSHIP IN TURKEY?
Unlike China, where the blockade is systematic and ordered by the government (it is a state policy), in Turkey there has been censorship due to the succession of events that could harm the government, whether it be marches, confrontations or, especially, criticism on websites or social networks on sensitive issues such as religion or the country’s customs.
These blocks have been temporary, outside of that, you will not perceive any type of blocking of your main applications, and if you perceive any type of blocking, you can choose to download a VPN (app that will allow you to skip any type of online censorship).
WHAT SIM CARD OPTIONS DO I HAVE FOR TURKEY?
1. BUY YOUR TURKISH SIM CARD FROM YOUR COUNTRY
This is probably the most comfortable option, because if you buy the SIM from your country you take it with you before you leave on your trip and you insert it as soon as you land, so you have internet from the first moment.
FROM YOUR COUNTRY: HOLAFLY
PHYSICAL SIM CARD
It has data SIM cards that offer you Internet for 30 days in excellent 4G and unlimited speed at a very affordable price.
- 30 days with 4GB + 2GB of unlimited data for 35.15 euros (with Travelistos discount)
Thanks to the Turk Telekom network, this company will allow you to surf with quality, security and privacy. You will also be able to share data with other devices, such as another mobile phone, a tablet, your laptop, or Macbook, among others.
With this Holafly SIM card for Turkey, you will be able to keep your WhatsApp number and not have to add to your contacts again, as well as retrieve your previous conversations, which can be a hassle when you put in another SIM card.
- Advantage: shipping is totally free, so you don’t have to worry about paying more, just for your card, which already comes with data. Forget also about paying several fees for a benefit that should cost you as one.
- It’s quite cheap, 35.15 euros for 30 days of internet, which means that every day it costs you 1.17 euros.
- Disadvantage: you only have the option of the card for 30 days of coverage.
Buy SIM Card for Turkey
VIRTUAL SIM CARD (ESIM):
eSIMs are virtual cards that are placed in the hardware (a specific chip) of your mobile or any other device, so you do not have to place any card in any slot. Its name comes from the term “embedded SIM”, eSim, which means integrated SIM card.
Si tienes algunos de estos dispositivos, tal vez te interese comprar una eSIM:
- iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and the iPhone Xr
- Google Pixel 2
- Samsung Galaxy S20
- Huawei P40.
This virtual card provides you with the same services as a normal physical data SIM card but with the difference that you don’t have to wait for it to arrive at your home. You will have it immediately in your email (in QR code). To activate the card you only have to scan the QR code and you will have it activated, that easy.
Holafly has 2 packs of eSim cards for Turkey:
30 days 3GB for 32.30 euros (with Travelistos discount)
30 days 5GB for 46.55 euros (with discount)
- Share data with others. Share data like a WIFI Pocket PC without having to carry another device. Use your mobile phone to generate a WIFI network and connect more devices.
- Keep your Whatsapp number. Write and call all your contacts with Whatsapp as if you were in your country. Stay in touch with your family and friends.
- Keep your line. Because it’s a digital eSIM, you can leave your eSIM line on for data and keep your regular line in parallel in case you need it.
- Immediate sending. No matter if you don’t have time or you have already arrived at your destination, with this eSIM for Turkey you can set up a data plan right away. Never again worry about whether your SIM will arrive on time.
- 24 hour help. This eSIM is very easy to use, but if you have any questions Holafly helps you by email and 24 hour chat support.
- At the moment the use of an eSIM is limited as it is only possible for the following mobile phone models: iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, iPhone Xr, Google Pixel 2 and Samsung Galaxy S20.
Buy eSIM Card for Turkey
2. BUY THE SIM CARD WHEN YOU ARRIVE IN TURKEY
Based in Istanbul, this company has a large network, with over 34 million subscribers. It has packages that offer you internet for 30 days and others where you have to buy a separate Turkish card and load it with data plan from 1 GB to more.
- Advantage: it has a package for tourists called Tourist Welcome Pack.
- Disadvantage: in some packages you have to pay double, one for the card, and another for the data.
Turkey Sim Card
It has four packages, and you can buy them at your airport at any time of the day. The purchase is totally online and they offer you from more than 2 GB data for a period of 28 days (almost a month). You can cancel and receive a refund if you don’t like the product.
- Advantage: you don’t get charged for the ticket.
- Disadvantage: you will only be able to receive it at the airport, and not at your home or accommodation in Turkey.
WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR ME?
Without a doubt, Holafly’s SIM cards, first, because it offers you unlimited data, and if that doesn’t convince you, then when you compare them with other options, you realize that for a single payment you are getting the same (quality Internet connection) at a good price. In addition, advantages that perhaps you had not even considered as criteria to choose the best option.
Holafly will not charge you for shipping, allow you to share data with other mobiles, provide 24/7 support, and allow you to keep your WhatsApp number to call your family and friends.
TIPS FOR YOUR TRIP TO TURKEY
- Disable roaming, don’t forget, some companies activate it automatically when you arrive in Turkey, or any other foreign country. Avoid paying too much for too little.
- When looking for an accommodation, make sure it has Wi-Fi, you can connect some device without sensitive information to the free Wi-Fi and make the most of it to download movies, playlists or e-books for the road.
- In case you stay a month or more. If you buy a SIM card in person, keep your passport handy and register it with your mobile, so that it does not get blocked when the card’s Internet coverage ends.
- Vodafone does not offer free roaming, if you will be charged a fee for data usage, or internet surfing, in Turkey. What happens is that you will be charged the same, and not a higher rate, which you are charged here when you access the Internet.
Find out more travel tips to Turkey on travel insurance, what to do in Turkey, currency exchange and more.