Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is the busiest airport in Germany and one of the busiest airports in Europe. As an international travel hub, FRA sees millions of passengers each year who need connectivity during their layovers or upon arrival in Germany. Getting a local German SIM card is the best way for travelers to stay connected and access maps, translation apps, ride shares, and more during their visit. This article will cover everything you need to know about buying a SIM card at Frankfurt Airport.


I. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Frankfurt Airport

There are several locations at Frankfurt Airport to purchase SIM cards. The most convenient options are in the arrival halls and terminals.

1. Shops in Terminal 1 – Arrival Hall B:

This is the most convenient option if you need a SIM card as soon as you arrive. There are 4 shops located in Arrival Hall B: Vodafone/Ortel/Telefonica-O2. This shop offers SIM cards from all major German providers. Prices range from €10 to €30, with various data and call/text allowances.

  • Opening hours: Daily 6 AM – 10 PM
  • Location: Terminal 1, Arrival Hall B
  • Language Support: English, German
Telecom shops at Frankfurt Airport
Telecom shops at Frankfurt Airport

2. Supermarket & Convenience Stores (Terminal 1, Halle C):

Tegut Supermarket offers a more affordable option, but it’s located off the beaten path and requires taking the stairs or escalator down to the ground floor.

  • Opening hours: Daily 6 AM – 10 PM
  • Location: Terminal 1A, 1B
  • Language Support: English, German

Recommendation: If you only need a small amount of data and calls, a cheaper option like Lebara from the supermarket might be sufficient. If you need more data or want to make calls to other countries, then a SIM card from Vodafone/Ortel/Telefonica-O2 might be a better choice.

II. Frankfurt Airport SIM Card Options and Costs

When purchasing a German SIM card at the Frankfurt airport, you’ll find 4 main categories of prepaid plans:

Network Operator SIM Options Price Details
Ortel Lycamobile ~$40 15GB data + unlimited calls for 28 days across Europe
Telekom Prepaid starter pack $15 SIM + €10 credit/30 days
Telekom 1GB data pack $15 1GB/30 days
Telekom 5GB data pack $20 5GB/30 days
Vodafone Prepaid SIM $9.99  
Vodafone 2GB data pack $12.99 2GB/15 days
Vodafone 5GB data pack $19.99 5GB/30 days
O2 Prepaid SIM $9.99  
O2 2GB data pack $12.99 2GB/15 days
O2 10GB data pack $24.99 10GB/30 days

These provide excellent value for the money over a 1-month visit to Germany. Be sure to double-check the fine print for any throttling or usage limits though.

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

When purchasing a SIM card at Frankfurt Airport, make sure to have the following:

  • Unlocked Phone – Your phone must be unlocked to accept a foreign SIM card. Contact your home carrier in advance to request they unlock your device.
  • Passport – Some SIM card providers may ask to see your passport for ID when buying a SIM. Have your passport handy to avoid any hassle.
  • Cash – While some SIM card vendors accept credit cards, cash is widely preferred. Euros are needed for purchasing SIMs in Germany. Be sure to have enough cash on hand. ATMs are also available throughout the airport.
  • Mini-SIM or Nano SIM – Bring your existing SIM to determine if you need a mini, micro, or nano SIM for your device. The standard SIM size is mini. iPhone users typically require a nano SIM.

IV. eSIM as an Alternative to SIM Card at Frankfurt Airport

Using an eSIM is an alternative to purchasing a plastic SIM card at Frankfurt Airport. An eSIM is a digital SIM integrated into your phone. Here are some pros and cons to consider:

  • Convenient activation without needing a SIM card. eSIM profiles download directly to supported devices.
  • Many major German carriers like Telekom and Vodafone offer eSIM plans, as do providers like Europe eSIM.
  • Kiosks and websites let you easily purchase and activate eSIM plans at the airport.
  • No fussing with SIM card sizes or insertion tools since eSIM downloads wirelessly.
  • Airports provide free WiFi ideal for downloading eSIM profiles on arrival.
  • Works on recent iPhone, Pixel, and Galaxy models with built-in eSIM capability. Check the Europe eSIM Compatible Devices List before traveling.

Be sure to do some research beforehand to find an eSIM provider that works with your specific device model and travel needs. Setup in advance if possible.

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Europe eSIM
Europe eSIM


A. Can I buy a SIM card at Frankfurt airport upon arrival?

Yes, there are many stores located in the arrival halls of Terminals 1 and 2 to purchase a SIM card. Both independent shops and carrier stores like Telekom have options available.

B. Which Frankfurt Airport terminal has SIM cards?

You can find SIM card vendors in Terminal 1, Terminal 2, and the Fernbahnhof long-distance train station. Major shops that sell SIMs are highlighted in the airport guides.

C. Do I need to register my SIM card in Germany?

Previously, Germany required registration of prepaid SIM cards purchased in the country. However, as of mid-2017, this regulation was abolished. You can now buy and use a German SIM without any registration.

D. Can I use my SIM card in other European countries?

Most German SIM cards include free roaming within the EU. However, be sure to check the specific terms, some may cap usage abroad or charge roaming fees after a limit.

E. How can I recharge my SIM card?

Top up SIM cards using vouchers purchased at airport shops or online using a credit card. Be sure to recharge before the validity expires to avoid losing your phone number.

VI. Final words

Getting a SIM card at Frankfurt Airport is convenient – major carriers have stores in terminals. Prepaid voice/data SIMs, flexible data, and unlimited options are available affordably. Unlock your phone and bring the right SIM size. eSIM is also an alternative for supported devices. Purchase a SIM upon arrival to stay seamlessly connected during your Germany visit.