Traveling to Paris and France is exciting, but other than planning your transportation, accommodations, and activities, there are other things to consider, like how to call, text, and browse the internet once you arrive.
Luckily, you can just get a prepaid SIM card for your trip, which will allow you to communicate with other numbers in France and in other countries in the EU and keep you connected to the internet. And there are many ways you can get a French prepaid SIM card.
This article has all the best prepaid SIM cards in France for tourists.
Table of Content:
- The Mobile Network in France
- Do I Really Need a French SIM Card for France?
- Where to Buy a Prepaid SIM Card for France
- French Prepaid SIM Cards (& Other Options) Overview
- Best Prepaid SIM Cards in France
The Mobile Network in France
France has a good quality mobile network that allows locals and visitors to connect with ease. The country uses the GSM network, a digital cellular communication standard that is universally accepted. Even if you are coming from a country that uses the CDMA network, your smartphone will probably still work in France.
The vast majority of France has 4G or 4G+ connectivity, and you can also find 5G networks in larger cities like Paris, Lyon, and Marseille. In rural areas, however, connectivity can vary significantly depending on your French mobile operator, although you should still be able to access 3G in these areas.
Do I Really Need a French SIM Card for France?
If you are from Europe, you don’t need a French SIM card for France. Since 2017, roaming in the European Union and the European Economic Area is free. However, some mobile operators might have special conditions, so you should check the terms of your home operator before your trip to Paris and France.
If you are not from Europe, you will most likely need a French SIM Card to avoid expensive international roaming rates. This is especially important for travelers from America. By buying a SIM card in France, you also ensure reliable and fast mobile data connections.
If you are in Paris and only need the internet to check your emails from time to time, you can use Paris’ free Wi-Fi network and the Wi-Fi in your hotel. Most of the hotels in Paris provide free Wi-Fi for their guests.
Where to Buy a Prepaid SIM Card for France
How to get a SIM card in France? Buying a SIM card in France is super easy. Here are all the options:
- Online, before your trip, via Amazon or the websites of some mobile operators
- At the Paris Airports. Update: this does not seem to be an option at the moment
- In the operators’ physical stores (if they have them)
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 some paperwork.
French Prepaid SIM Cards (& Other Options) Overview
10 to 20 GB
0 min to Unlimited
8 to 20 GB
30 to 120 min
3 to 20 GB
4 to 150 GB
0 min to Unlimited
10 to 250 GB
0 to 120 GB
Other Options for Staying Connected in France: eSIM Cards & Wi-Fi Hotspots
300 MB to 10 GB
3 GB to 50 GB
1 GB to 20 GB
Best Prepaid SIM Cards in France
1. Buy a French Prepaid Sim Card Online on Amazon Before your Trip
The first way to get a SIM card to use in France is to buy one on Amazon before you leave. This option tends to be more expensive than getting a SIM card in France, but it can give you peace of mind and save you time from finding a sim card when you land.
You can find some France prepaid SIM cards on Amazon, which are a few bucks more expensive, but it takes the stress out of finding a kiosk when you land.
You will not be able to top up a prepaid SIM card with this option, so make sure you consider how long you will be in France and Europe and get enough data, calls, and texts for your stay.
2. Orange Holiday
One option for the best SIM card in France is Orange Holiday. This France SIM card for tourist has two sim card options: all-inclusive and data-only plans. The all-inclusive plans come with 8 or 20 GB of data, 30 or 120 minutes of worldwide calls, and 200 to 1000 texts for 14 days. The data-only plans cover you for 30 days and range from 3 GB to 20 GB.
There are also top-ups that you can add to your SIM card. If you have a data-only SIM card, you can only add data. But with the all-inclusive plans, you will have the option to add texts, data, or calls. The recharges will vary based on the SIM card you have and how much time you have left on your plan.
Here’s where you can find Orange Holiday SIM cards:
2. Bouygues Telecom
Bouygues Telecom is one of the French prepaid SIM cards you can order ahead of time and must activate in France, but once you do, you can use it in other EU countries.
There are no top-up options for the prepaid SIM cards, but you get 20 GB of data in France and 5 GB in other European countries. There are also unlimited national calls and texts and 25 minutes of international Europe calls. And the SIM card allows you to hotspot in France with your phone to get internet access to other devices.
Here’s where you can find Bouygues Telecom SIM cards:
- On Amazon, before your trip
- On Get Your Guide, before your trip
- Pre-order online via Bouyges’ website
- On Bouygues Telecom stores
3. Pass SFR La Carte
Another option for France prepaid SIM cards is the Pass SFR La Carte. They have three different plans to choose from depending on if you need internet, calling, or texting. The mobile internet pass for eight days comes with 2 GB of data.
Or, you can get the World Pass which has 30 days of unlimited worldwide calls and 2 GB of internet. The final pass is the 5G-enabled pass, with 30 days of unlimited calls and texts within mainland France plus 150 GB of mobile data.
If you run out of credits on your French prepaid SIM card, you will be alerted that you need to top up. You have nine options to top up your card, and your phone will alert you of the options depending on your pass and how much time you have left on it.
Here’s where you can find Pass SFR La Carte SIM cards for France:
- Text the code for the sim plan you want to 987 (free)
- Call 952 (free)
- Find a retailer (tobacco shops, Relay, Espaces SFR, taxi phones, supermarkets)
LycaMobile also offers interesting proposals for prepaid SIM cards for France, and all of them have some data if you need internet access in France. All of them have unlimited texting and calling for the duration of the SIM plan.
The other SIM cards for France have unlimited national calls and texts within France. Some have unlimited national calls and have data ranging from 10 GB to 250 GB of data.
Unless you get the lowest tier plan, you will not have to top up on texting or calling. You just have to buy a new package every month. But there are data top-ups you can add on if you need more before your 30 days are up.
Here’s where you can find Lyca Mobile SIM cards for France:
- On Amazon, before your trip
- Order a SIM online (then add sim plans online or in the Lyca app)
- In stores throughout France, using the store finder
5. La Poste
La Poste is another option for getting a prepaid SIM card in France. They have a SIM card for 9,99€ which comes with unlimited texting and national calls, and you can top up with 100 Mo to 4 GB of internet data.
They also have three one-month options for SIM cards, all of which come with unlimited texting and calling but vary in data limits, being the highest option for unlimited calls in Europe and DOM/TOM and 120 GB of data.
If you need more data or calls, you can top up your plans depending on how much more time and data you need.
Here’s where you can find La Poste SIM cards in France:
- Post offices in France
- Calling 2525 (top-ups only)
Best eSIM Cards for France
If you mostly need navigation and to communicate with friends and family via apps like WhatsApp and FaceTime, consider an eSIM data plan. There are different options
TripRoaming eSIM card comes with a variety of plans and durations and easy-to-follow instructions. You can enjoy this high-speed coverage in France and the other 41 most visited regions in Europe. You can top-up your plan anywhere at any time.
Ubigi eSIM card is the most popular and works well in France. Download the app, which will then guide you through install and setup of the account. Then you can choose the plan you want. There are plans of 3 GB to 50 GB per month.
Airalo is another option for an eSIM card in France, which works great and seems to be simpler to install than some of the other ones, like Ubigi. It has different plans, from 1 week to 30 days and from 1GB to 20 GB.
TIP: Before booking, please ensure your mobile device is eSIM compatible and SIM-lock-free.
Rent a Wi-Fi Hotspot in France for Families or Groups
If you are traveling to France and have multiple people who need to connect to Wi-Fi, and you want the convenience of always having Wi-Fi with you, renting a Wi-Fi spot in France is your best option.
One of the best Wi-Fi hotspots is the Unlimited 4G Internet Pocket Wi-Fi from GetYourGuide. It is super fast, and up to ten people can connect to it at once. And having a hot spot is the best option for Wi-Fi in France if you and your group are going on French road trips, especially if you are using your phone for directions. The hotspot gets shipped to your hotel or apartment in Paris, France, or other EU countries, so it is a convenient option.
However, the hot spot has a maximum of 14 days, and you need to ensure it gets returned using the information provided (free shipping in both ways).