Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, also known as Roissy Airport, is one of the busiest airports in Europe. As an international travel hub, CDG airport sees millions of passengers each year. Many travelers arriving at CDG find that having connectivity through a local SIM card is essential during their trip. This guide will provide information on where to easily purchase SIM card at Paris airport.

SIM CARD at PARIS AIRPORT

I. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

There are several convenient options for purchasing SIM cards after passing through security at Paris CDG airport terminals. Most major French carriers have stores located in duty-free shopping areas.

Relay Stores: Convenience stores like Relay sell some no-contract SIMs from Orange, SFR, and Bouygues starting at 10-15 USD with limited data.

Relay store at Terminal 2
Relay store at Terminal 2

Do keep in mind that the vending machines accept chip and PIN cards only for payment. They do not take cash payments. Also, there is no staff support for activation or troubleshooting issues. Instructions are provided in English, however.

II. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport SIM Card Options and Costs

There are prepaid SIM plans suited for both short Paris stopovers as well as longer Paris / France holidays. Here is an overview of carriers, plan costs, and data amounts available for purchase at Paris CDG airport.

SIM Card Provider Where to Buy Data / Calls / Validity Price
Orange Relay stores only 20GB data for 14 days in Europe + unlimited calls in Europe + 120 minutes international calls + 1000 SMS €39.99 / ~$44 USD
Bouygues Telecom Relay stores and Tourist Information centers 30GB data for 30 days in Europe + unlimited calls in Europe + €25 credit for international calls €39.90 / ~$44 USD

So in summary, the main SIM options at Charles de Gaulle Airport are Orange and Bouygues Telecom costing €39.99/€39.90 respectively (~$44 each), with Bouygues Telecom SIM recommended. eSIM is an option but only available at Tourist Information centers.

Additional Notes:

  • Bouygues Telecom SIM is recommended as it offers more data (30GB vs 20GB) and longer validity (30 days vs 14 days) compared to Orange SIM.
  • eSIM options are only available at Tourist Information centers, not Relay stores. Bouygues Telecom SIM can be purchased as an eSIM.

III. What You Need to Prepare for Getting a SIM Card at Paris Airport

When purchasing your Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport SIM card, be sure to come prepared with the below items to ensure a smooth process:

  • Passport – You’ll need to show your passport as identification when purchasing a SIM card. Many kiosks or retailers will require a photocopy as well.
  • Cash – While some SIM vendors take cards, it’s best to have euros in cash on hand, as not all accept credit/debit. Plan for around 10-20 euros for a basic prepaid SIM.
  • Unlocked Phone – Make sure your phone is unlocked and not tied to a specific carrier back home. This allows you to insert any international SIM.
  • Know what network you want – Decide in advance if you prefer Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom, or another carrier. Kiosks specialize in different networks.
  • Usage Needs – Consider data needs, and calling/text allowances so you pick the right prepaid refill package. Most offer options for 1-2 weeks of light to heavy usage.
  • Passport/DL information – Be ready to provide your full name, date of birth, and sometimes home address for activation paperwork.
  • Activation instructions – Make sure to read the instructions for inserting the SIM and activating the service on your phone’s settings menu.

Having the proper paperwork, cash, and preparation will help you easily purchase a prepaid SIM upon arrival at CDG for affordable connectivity around Paris and France. Most kiosks are located near baggage claim in Terminals 2E and 2F.

SIM Card at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
SIM Card at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

IV. eSIM as an Alternative to SIM Card at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

Europe eSIM
Europe eSIM

In addition to physical SIM cards, eSIM (embedded SIM technology) has emerged as a convenient alternative for international travelers. Instead of a plastic SIM card, eSIM plans to transmit your cellular profile directly to a compatible device digitally.

  • Availability: Purchased online from various providers before your trip or upon arrival at CDG through specific kiosks or QR codes.
  • Purchase process: Quick and convenient, often just requiring scanning a QR code or entering a few details online.
  • Compatibility: Limited to eSIM-compatible phones. Check your phone’s specifications beforehand.
  • Pros: Faster and easier to obtain, avoids language barriers, convenient to manage multiple eSIMs on one device.
  • Cons: Fewer providers and plan options compared to physical SIM cards, potentially higher cost.

Ultimately, the best option for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you value convenience and speed, an eSIM is a great choice. However, if you’re on a tight budget or need a wider variety of plans, a traditional SIM card might be the better option.

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V. FAQs

Where in the airport terminals can I buy SIM card at Paris Airport?

SIM cards can be purchased at Relay store at terminal 2. You’ll also may find SIM card vending machines in the duty-free shopping zones.

How much do SIM cards cost at Paris CDG airport?

Basic prepaid SIM plans start between 15-25 EUR ($16-$27 USD approx) for allowance periods of 5 days to 4 weeks. Plans go up to 50 EUR for unlimited domestic calling and 100GB during month+ long holidays.

What documents do I need to show to buy a SIM card in Paris?

French law requires retailers to take a copy of the buyer’s passport as identification when selling prepaid SIMs. Be sure to have your passport ready to show staff to avoid any hassles purchasing a SIM.

Can I use cash to purchase SIM cards are Paris CDG?

Most likely no. The shops and automated vending machines typically only accept credit or debit chip and PIN cards as payment. Cash is often not accepted so do not rely on using cash only.

Is VAT refundable on SIM card purchases?

Unfortunately no, VAT paid on Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport SIM cards or French SIMs in general are not eligible for tax refund or deductions. Only goods intended for export may qualify for French VAT refunds.

VI. Final Words

Getting set up with affordable connectivity is straightforward at CDG past security. shops and providers provide eSIM/SIM options for short Paris stopovers or longer France trips. With unlocked devices and cards, quick setup is doable even with limited sightseeing time. Bonne continuation!