Buying A Sim Card In Israel
You can get an Israeli SIM card in Cellcom/Golan Telecom, Partner, Pelephone & HOT Mobile stores or other retailers, including grocery stores, electronic stores & convenience stores (for the mobile network operators or MVNOs, like 012mobile and 019 Mobile). Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion Airport sells SIM cards too.
buying a sim card in israel
Israel uses GSM technology for mobile communications. CDMA phones will not work in Israel. However, there is a 99% chance your phone supports GSM (if your phone has a SIM card slot, then it supports GSM).
If you bought your phone in the Americas (ITU Region 2) and have a low/medium-end device (without Tri-Band or Quad-Band) support, then you can get a SIM card from Cellcom, Golan Telecom, or Pelephone and use its 3G network on 850 MHz.
Again, make sure your phone is unlocked. Otherwise, you will not be able to use any SIM card except the one from your home operator (meaning you have to roam internationally or buy another unlocked phone that does support the frequencies listed above).
If you want to buy the best SIM card in Israel, I recommend going with Pelephone or HOT Mobile. Pelephone has generous data allowances, 5G NR for prepaid customers, extensive nationwide coverage & the fastest speeds. HOT Mobile has the best 4G/LTE availability.
You can also go with SimCorner's International Travel SIM card (new: also available as an eSIM) 6 GB of data valid for 15 days to be used in Israel and 100+ countries, including neighboring Cyprus, Egypt & Jordan.
You can buy a GOLANtalk by Golan Telecom SIM card for 19 ILS in Golan Telecom stores and many other establishments, such as grocery stores, convenience stores & electronic shops. A 30 ILS activation fee applies too, meaning the total cost of a SIM card is 49 ILS.
You can buy a Bigtalk by Partner SIM Card for 60 ILS with 53 ILS credit or 90 ILS with 83 ILS credit in Partner stores and many other establishments, such as grocery stores, convenience stores & electronic shops. It is also possible to get SIM cards at Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion Airport.
You can buy a 019 Mobile SIM card for around 50 ILS in various stores, such as grocery stores, convenience stores, and electronic shops. It is also possible to get tourist SIM cards at Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion Airport (at heavily inflated prices).
Traveling to Israel soon and looking for the best way to get connected? Surprisingly, Israel is NOT a cheap country but luckily prepaid sim cards for Israel are cheap! So avoid high roaming charges and get yourself a prepaid sim card for Israel. In this guide you find everything you need to know about buying a sim card for Israel: up to date prices as per March 2023, where to buy a sim card, the best 4G/5G network in Israel, my recommendation, how to order a sim card for Israel online, info about e-sim cards for Israel and much more useful travel tips.
As part of my journey to every country in the world I get to a lot of countries and airports. Buying a local prepaid sim card is the first thing I do when getting to a new country. Therefore on Traveltomtom you can already find more than 150 prepaid sim card guides from all around the world: USA, New York, Miami, Canada, Europe, Jordan, Thailand, Vietnam, Guatemala, Bahrain, Colombia, South Africa and many more.
Are you flying to Ben Gurion Airport then the easiest and fastest way to get connected is to buy a local sim card at Tel Aviv Airport. Check out my guide for 2023 and see where to buy a sim card and up to date prices as they differ from what you get in Tel Aviv city center. Of course you pay a little more for a sim card deal at the airport.
When there is WiFi everywhere you don't really need a sim card is what a lot of people say. Yes in an ideal world, but don't rely on WiFi in Israel. Although most restaurants, bars and hotels have free WiFi, it is often too slow to even update an Instagram story or the signal in your hotel room is too weak.
Are you not a fan of swapping sim cards and changing phone numbers then have a look into pocket WiFi's. These little portable WiFi devices are a great alternative for having internet abroad. I am not the biggest fan and in the link above you can find my HONEST review about these travel gadgets.
Be aware that using a foreign sim card in your phone only works if your phone is unlocked. If you are not sure about this contact your provider in your home country. European phones are mostly unlocked, American phones tends to be locked often!
Traveltomtom recommends buying a sim card for Israel online in 2023. After comparing all the prepaid sim card deals for Israel and the e-sim cards this came out as the best buy. Ordering a sim card for Israel from your couch for almost the same price as on arrival, but easy, fast, simple and no hassle on arrival.
However, if you want to buy a prepaid sim card in Israel on arrival Traveltomtom recommends a Pelephone prepaid sim card. They have the best 5G network and for $18 you get 70 GB data. A similar great option is when you order a sim card for Israel online and that is what I would do!
Another recommended way to stay connected when traveling to Israel is an international travel sim card with global coverage. In my article about the best international sim cards for traveling in 2023 you will find my comparison and recommendations for a trip to Israel.
Definitely worth looking into is ordering a sim card for Israel online. It only takes a couple minutes and the sim card will be delivered to your home address within the next days. Click here to order a sim card for Israel travel and shipping is for FREE!
Like in almost every couontry these days you can only buy a prepaid sim card when you have a valid ID. In the case of tourists traveling in Israel that will be a passport. It is mandatory for buying a sim card in Israel, so bring your passport to the store. In the phone store a copy of your passport will be taken and your new Israel sim card will be registered on your name and your passport number.
Mobile phone shops are scattered around the city and buying an Israel sim card in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem is pretty easy. Not only will you find loads of official stores, you can also find many mobile phone shops that sell Israel sim cards for tourists. Hitting a shopping mall is always a good idea when looking for a sim card.
As I said before it is easy to buy a sim card at Tel Aviv Airport on arrival. Click on the link to read my complete guide for 2023. You will find a book store that sells Partner Israel sim cards as well as a 019 Mobile shop. Be aware then when you decide to buy a sim card in Israel that prices for prepaid sim cards at Tel Aviv International Airport are significantly higher than sim cards deals outside the airport. You can also order a sim card for Israel online and pick it up for free at Tel Aviv Airport.
Luckily most providers only have 1 or 2 Israel sim card for tourists available, which made my research much easier. All the bundles mentioned below are only for use in Israel, not abroad and up dated in March 2023.
Seems like a great prepaid sim card package, but unfortunately I could not find this on my trip to Israel in any of the stores. The above though is the latest package I found on the Cellcom website. Mind you that the website does NOT translate to English and it hardly impossible to figure the extra costs like activation costs and sim card fee.
From the above network coverage maps we can clearly see that Golan Telecom has the smallest mobile data network in 2023. For tourists traveling to off the beaten path places in Israel this is not the best Israel prepaid sim card. Pelephone and Partner have the strongest mobile network and the best 4G/5G coverage in Israel in 2023. That said all the Israel tourist destinations are covered with a 4G signal.
After you have seen the amazing Israel prepaid sim card deals I am sure the e-sim card deals for Israel are going to be a little disappointing. E-sim cards are a great alternative for NOT swapping physical sim cards though. Here are the best Israel e-sim card deals I could find:
There are also international e-sim cards that are valid in more than 70 countries, including Israel. They start from $17.90 USD for 6 GB data for 10 days. Click here to order this international e-sim card for Israel.
As of March 2023 the available e-sim cards for Israel are pretty good deals and if you are looking for the easiest way to stay connected then this is a great option. However, they are much more expensive/give you less value for money than prepaid sim cards you buy in Israel or the Israel sim card deals you can order online.
What you can see from the comparison of all the Israel prepaid sim cards is that they are CHEAP! You can basically get UNLIMITED DATA for just a couple dollar. There is fierce competition and there is NOT that much difference between the mobile internet providers in Israel when it comes to the prices for data packages and plans. The major difference is the 4G/5G network strength.
That said if you don't want the hassle to find a phone shop when traveling to Israel, you can also arrange everything before your trip buy simply ordering a sim card for Israel online. Have a look below what it costs to order an Israel sim card on the internet and get it shipped to your home address.
I hope all the above tips for getting a sim card for Israel were helpful. Last time I made a last minute trip to Israel I bought a HOT Mobile sim card on arrival. Simply because they were just the first store that I stumbled upon and they offered a mountain of Gigabytes for $20 and I had no time to find a Pelephone store. I had no problems at all traveling through Israel. Always enjoyed a fast internet connection.
Click on the links for more info about sim cards for international travel in 2023 or the best sim card for Asia in 2023. In my article I will explain when it is better to buy a local sim card instead of an international sim card. So it is not recommend, but while reading you will find out why. 041b061a72