Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS) is the main international airport serving Portugal’s capital city. As a popular European destination, Lisbon sees millions of travelers passing through this airport each year. Many visitors choose to get a local SIM card at Lisbon Airport during their trip to stay connected with affordable data, calls, and texts. This guide will provide detailed information on the different SIM card options at Lisbon Airport and tips for an easy SIM purchase.

SIM card at Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport

I. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport

There are several locations at Lisbon Airport to purchase a SIM card after arriving:

1. Vending machines

Travelers arriving at Lisbon Airport can easily purchase SIM cards and add data to their plans. Terminals 1 and 2 each contain vending machines in the baggage claim area that allow visitors to conveniently buy SIMs from Portugal’s leading carriers upon arrival. Major operators such as Vodafone, NOS, and MEO provide SIM options at these automated kiosks, enabling travelers to top up their mobile plans with a simple credit card transaction.

2. Shops in the airport

Some stores at the airport just sell things for cell phone companies. You can go to these stores to buy SIM cards for your phone and get them activated. Big cell phone providers like Vodafone, NOS, and MEO have stores in the shopping areas of both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

Vodafone store at Lisbon Airport
Vodafone store at Lisbon Airport

3. Supermarkets 

Small grocery stores located past security in the area where flights leave also sell SIM cards from different cell phone companies. Look for stores called Pingo Doce or Mini Preço.

When purchasing your SIM, be sure to ask about data amounts, validity periods, and included calls/texts for each plan option to choose the best one for your needs. Also, confirm if registration is required for SIM activation.

II. Lisbon Airport SIM Card Options and Costs

The main Portugal mobile networks with prepaid SIM cards available at Lisbon Airport are Vodafone and NOS. Here is an overview of plan options and costs from each provider:

SIM Card Provider Data Plan Price 
Vodafone 10GB data in Europe + 500 mins/SMS + 50 intl mins/SMS for 30 days €25 (~US$27)
Vodafone Unlimited data (no EU roaming) for 30 days (hotspot available) €35 (~US$38)
Currency Exchange (Lycamobile) 25GB data + 1000 mins/SMS for 30 days €10 (~US$11)

Both Vodafone and NOS have very competitive prepaid data rates compared to other European countries. Their unlimited data SIM plans available at Lisbon Airport offer great value if you need lots of data during your trip. Be sure to show your passport when purchasing a SIM card at Lisbon Airport.

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

Buying and setting up a SIM card at Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport is quick and convenient if you come prepared with a few key items:

  • Unlocked Phone – Your phone must be unlocked to use a foreign SIM card abroad. Contact your home provider in advance to request an unlock code. iPhones can normally be unlocked easily through provider account settings.
  • SIM Card Size Adapter – Portugal uses the standard SIM size. If you have a phone requiring a micro or nano SIM, be sure to bring an adapter. Adapters can easily be purchased online before your trip.
  • Passport – When purchasing a prepaid SIM card, you must show your passport as ID to register the SIM card. Airlines also require passport identification when boarding flights to Portugal.
  • Cash/Debit Card – Have Euros cash or a debit card available for payment when buying your SIM card. Most shops accept credit cards as well but may charge an extra fee. ATMs are also available at the airport.

Coming prepared with the above items allows for a quick, hassle-free SIM card purchase after your flight lands in Lisbon.

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

Europe eSIM
Europe eSIM

Using an eSIM on your phone is an alternative to getting a plastic SIM card during your travels. eSIMs are embedded digital SIMs programmed remotely, allowing dual SIM capability.

Here are the main advantages of using an eSIM for connectivity in Lisbon rather than a physical SIM card:

  • Don’t need to find & go to store to get SIM
  • Remote setup before arrival or online
  • Dual SIM functionality to keep a regular number
  • Easy swap between data plans
  • More secure & less likely to be lost

Be sure to set up your eSIM of choice before departure for immediate connectivity upon Lisbon’s arrival.

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Can I get a SIM card at Lisbon Airport with unlimited data?

Yes, both Vodafone and NOS offer prepaid SIM card plans with unlimited 4G LTE data at Lisbon Airport. Prices are around €25 and plans are valid for 30 days. This is great value compared to many other European countries.

How long does the SIM card registration process take at Lisbon Airport?

If you have your passport and other documents ready, the registration and activation process normally takes only 5-10 minutes at most. English-speaking staff can assist at Vodafone, NOS, and some other shops.

Can I use a Lisbon SIM across Europe?

Portugal prepaid SIMs include European roaming capabilities, allowing you to use your data, calls, and texts when traveling across the EU. Additional roaming charges may apply in some countries.

Are there other mobile providers selling SIM card at Lisbon Airport?

Aside from the major networks Vodafone and NOS, some smaller virtual network operators also offer SIM cards at Lisbon Airport such as Lycamobile. However, data rates/speeds may be slower on these networks.

VI. Final Words

Getting connected with a local SIM card at Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport upon arrival makes travel easier across Portugal. Choose from great value Vodafone and NOS prepaid plans, remember to bring a passport and SIM adapter, and unlock your device in advance. Alternatively, using the convenience of an eSIM provider will allow instant connectivity. With various solid options, staying mobile in Lisbon is simple and affordable.