Read our ultimate Guide to buying a French SIM card for Tourists in France below to find the best SIM card deals as a traveler.
In this guide, you will find everything you need to know about buying a prepaid SIM card in France. We answer important questions, such as where and how to buy a SIM card for France, which are the best SIM card deals for tourists and how much they cost. Also find out about local providers and the best network in France, as well as other options for buying a SIM card, such as e-SIM cards.
Traveler's Tip: Along with getting a local SIM card, purchasing a Paris city pass can be a smart way to enhance your trip to France. Take a look at our article about the Best City Pass for Paris to compare prices and included activities and make the most of your vacation.
Do I really need a French SIM Card for Paris?
- If you are from Europe, you usually do not need a SIM card, because since 2017 roaming in the EU (and the European Economic Area) is free. Therefore, in most cases, it is not necessary to buy a French SIM card if you already have an EU/EEA SIM card. Note, however, that some mobile operators have special conditions, so you should check the terms of your home operator in advance.
- If you are not from Europe, you will most likely need a French SIM Card, especially if you are from America. Otherwise, you will have to face expensive international roaming rates. By buying a French SIM card, you can also ensure reliable and fast mobile data connections.
Book your SIM Card for France online before your Trip
1. The Holafly Prepaid e-SIM Card for Paris
For travelers who only need mobile data and no phone calls or SMS for their France trip, we have the perfect solution: Holafly's easy-to-use prepaid e-SIM card.
Holafly offers a digital e-SIM card with unlimited mobile data service at 4G / LTE speed.
This way, you don’t have to worry about roaming costs when traveling, and enjoy unlimited internet as if you were at home.
Let's see the prices and conditions of this card.
How does Holafly work?
- Choose the data plan you want and purchase the Holafly prepaid e-SIM card here. You will immediately receive a QR code containing the e-SIM Card by email.
- Scan the QR code one day before your departure.
- Turn off your local provider’s cellular data.
- Set your phone's options so that your mobile phone uses Holafly's internet.
- Activate your QR code after you arrive in France, turn on data roaming from your phone’s setting and use your Holafly SIM card during your stay.
Compatibly: Before purchasing the Holafly SIM card, make sure that your mobile phone is unlocked and compatible with the Holafly service. It is available for the following cell phones: From the iPhone XS, XR onward; Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy Fold, Fold 2, Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and onwards; Huawei P40, P0 Pro, Huawei Mate 40 Pro and later models; Google Pixel 3, 3a (some versions do not allow eSIM), Google Pixel 4, 4 XL, 4a, 5 and later models; Oppo Find X3 Pro, Oppo Reno 5A, Motorola Razr (2019) and Motorola Razr 5G (dual SIM).
The easy eSIM for France by Holafly (recommended):
Here are the prices and conditions for the eSIM by Holafly. The ones in red are the most popular ones picked by travelers.
- 5 Days Unlimited Data in France (approx. €19)
- 7 Days Unlimited Data in France (approx. €27)
- 10 Days Unlimited Data in France (approx. €34)
- 15 Days Unlimited Data in France (approx. €47)
- 20 Days Unlimited Data in France (approx. €57)
- 30 Days Unlimited Data in France (approx. €69)
- 60 Days Unlimited Data in France (approx. €87)
- 90 Days Unlimited Data in France (approx. €99)
Please visit these websites for more details and up-to-date prices on the various offers:
For more information and 5% discount, click on this link:
2. Rent a Pocket Wifi in Paris
You can easily rent a Pocket Wifi Device for the time you are in Paris and access internet through it anytime. It is a device that connects you to internet without limitation and through several device (phone and computer). The access to internet is fast and covered anywhere in France and Europe at 4G/LTE speed.
The process to rent a pocket Wi-Fi is very easy:
- Book your device on through this link
- Get your device delivered to you at your hotel or any address you want
- Use the device(s) according to the guideline during your trip
- Before leaving the country, return the device in the return bag as instructed.
And voilà! Now you have internet during your travel to France. For more information, click the button below.
Where to buy your French SIM Card in Paris?
1. In the City
Throughout the city of Paris, there are countless places where you can buy your French SIM card. Besides the official branches of the four local mobile operators in France, Orange France, SFR France, Bouygues Telecom and Free Mobile, there are many other stores where you can buy your French SIM card.
These include phone stores, electronics shops, and some supermarkets, tobacco stores, newspaper kiosks and vending machines. You can even buy SIM cards in some of the busier train and metro stations in Paris, such as the Gare du Nord.
However, we recommend that you buy your French SIM card not from a reseller, but from an official branch of the mobile operator you want to use. This way you can make sure you get the best deals and protect yourself from scams.
2. At the Airport
Another option is to buy your prepaid SIM card for France at the airport. This way you will have your SIM card directly when you arrive in France.
You will find many retail stores selling French SIM cards at both airports in Paris, Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) and Paris Orly Airport (ORY). Since the sellers here usually speak English, you should have no problems buying the right SIM card for your needs. A good place to buy your prepaid SIM card at Charles de Gaulle Airport is at the Tourist Information at Terminal 1.
Although it is a great advantage to have a French SIM card upon arrival, keep in mind that prices at the airport can be much higher than in the city center.
Things you need to buy a prepaid SIM card in France
- An unlocked phone
- Valid passport (or ID card for EU/EEA travelers)
- Email address (in some cases)
- Your address in France, such as your hotel/AirBnB address (in some cases)
- Fill out paperwork
French Mobile Operators
- There are four local operators in France: Orange France, SFR France, Bouygues Telecom and Free Mobile.
- Orange France is the former France Telecom. It is now the largest mobile operator in France with the best coverage.
- The second-largest mobile operator in France is SFR, the third-largest Bouygues Telecom, and Free Mobile is the newest one with the best 5G network.
- All of these providers have an extensive 4G network and offer special prepaid SIM cards for tourists in France. See below details and prices:
Cost for SIM Cards in France for Tourists
You can get a basic prepaid SIM card for France starting at 2.99€ from Orange France and from 10€ from the mobile operators SFR France, Bouygues Telecom and Free Mobile.
Let's take a look at the designated prepaid SIM cards and packages for tourists in France:
1. Orange France
Orange France has three different prepaid SIM cards for tourists in France:
- Orange Holiday Europe 30 GB: This prepaid SIM card with an all-inclusive plan includes 30 GB mobile internet + unlimited calls & texts in Europe + 120 minute calls & 1000 texts from Europe to worldwide. The SIM card is 14 days valid and costs €39.99. For more details and up-to-date prices, visit the official website.
- Orange Holiday Europe 12 GB: This SIM card is another all-inclusive plan package. It includes 12 GB mobile internet + unlimited calls & texts in Europe + 30 minute calls & 200 texts from Europe to worldwide. The SIM card is 14 days valid and costs €19.99. You can find more information and current prices on the official website.
- Orange Holiday World: This data only SIM card includes up to 10 GB data worldwide with a validity of 14 days. The price is €44.99. Please visit the official website for further details and up-to-date prices.
2. Bouygues Telecom
Bouygues Telecom has launched a prepaid SIM card designed specifically for the needs of tourists in France:
- My European SIM: This SIM card not only comes with 30 GB data to use in France & Europe, unlimited calls and texts in France & Europe, but also €25 credit for calls to international numbers. Furthermore, there are many extras included, such as a Paris metro map or a guide booklet in 10 languages. The prepaid SIM card is valid for 30 days and costs €39.90.
For more information and the current prices, check the Bouygues Telecom website.
3. SFR France
SFR France offers special packages for tourists. To purchase them, you first need to buy a SFR prepaid SIM card. It is called Carte Prépayée SFR, costs €9.99 and includes 5€ credit + 50 MB of Internet. See below the special additional packages:
- Mobile Internet Pass: The package comes with 2 GB data; it is valid for 8 days and costs €10.
- World Pass: This package includes 2 GB data + calls to all over the world; it is valid for 30 days and costs €20.
- 5G-Enabled Pass: This package includes 200 GB data + unlimited calls/SMS in France. It is valid for 30 days and costs €40.
For more information and up-to-date prices, please visit the official SFR website (only available in French)
4. Free Mobile
Free Mobile offers various SIM card deals for tourists. There is an activation fee of 10€. However, you should choose the "one-month plan", otherwise you will have to sign up for a monthly subscription, which, however, can be cancelled at any time free of charge via email. See the most popular offers below:
- Série Free: This deal includes 110 GB data + unlimited calls & texts. It costs €12.99 + additional €10 for the Free Mobile SIM card. It is 1 month valid. Unfortunately, this deal is not always available.
- Forfait Free 5G: This deal includes 210 GB data (25 GB free EU roaming included) at 5G/4G+ speed + unlimited calls & texts. It costs €19.99 + additional €10 for the Free Mobile SIM card. It is 1 month valid.
See the official website for more information and current prices (available in French only).
Our recommendation is the
Travelers can start using their phone immediately after they land in Paris and don’t need to waste their valuable time searching for a SIM card retail store. On top of that, you don’t need to be concerned about the SIM card registration process in France or any scams of retailers. This also a great option if you are planning to visit other countries during your trip. And instead of phone calls, you only need to use WhatsApp or similar apps.
FAQ about French SIM Card for Tourists
We recommend the Holafly prepaid e-SIM card. The digital SIM card offers excellent value for money, as well as numerous other advantages. Instead of wasting valuable time searching, registering and buying a SIM card on the spot in Paris, you can easily buy the Holafly e-SIM card online at home, keep your own phone number and use the e-SIM in other European countries during the validity period.
If you are considering buying a French SIM card because you only need mobile data, the answer is simple: the prepaid e-SIM card from Holafly. Holafly offers a digital e-SIM card with unlimited mobile data service at 4G / LTE speed. Choose the data plan that best suits your needs and be amazed at how easy it is to use mobile internet in France.
You can buy your French SIM card either directly at Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) or Paris Orly Airport (ORY) or in the city. You will have no problems finding retail stores at the airport. Since they are used to foreign customers, they usually speak English. In the city, this can sometimes be a problem.
Although it may be tempting to buy your SIM card directly upon arrival in Paris, keep in mind that prices are often much higher at the airport than in downtown Paris. There are a variety of stores in the city where you can buy your France SIM card, including the official stores of mobile operators, phone stores, electronics stores, some supermarkets, tobacco stores, kiosks, train stations and vending machines.
Regardless of what you ultimately choose, we recommend that you buy your French SIM card from a real network operator and not from a reseller to avoid getting scammed.
There are a variety of SIM card offers in France. While you can get a basic prepaid SIM card for France for as little as €2.99 from Orange France, they are available from mobile operators SFR France, Bouygues Telecom and Free Mobile for €10. Note, however, that some mobile operators charge an activation fee for €10.
For a French SIM card with mobile data as well as credit for calls and SMS, there are several offers tailored specifically to tourists in France. Orange France, for example, offers three options that vary between €19.99 and €39.99. Details on the different offers and the exact prices can be found in our section: Cost for SIM Cards in France for Tourists.