Traveling to Romania and need internet access on your phone? Getting a local Romania SIM card for your device is a great option to stay connected abroad without paying expensive roaming fees. In this guide, we provide detailed information about getting a Romanian SIM card as a tourist. Here’s what we cover:


1. Should I Buy a New SIM Card for My Romania Trip?

Getting a Romania SIM card allows you to:

  • Make affordable local calls and texts.
  • Access mobile data for maps, transportation, and entertainment.
  • Avoid paying costly roaming fees from your home provider.

If you need phone and internet access during your Romania trip, a local SIM is your best option for saving money. You can get prepaid SIMs with no contracts or commitments.

With a Romanian SIM card, you get a Romanian phone number and access to the fast 4G network. You can take the SIM home or throw it away when done – it’s disposable.

For short trips under a week, you may be able to rely solely on WiFi. But if you need mobile connectivity, a Romania SIM is the way to go.

2. Romania SIM Card Types – Which One is the Best for Tourists?

When getting a Romania SIM card, you’ll come across these main options:

Type of SIM Description
Prepaid SIM Pay as you go. Funds loaded prior to use. No contracts or monthly bills. Popular brands: Orange, Vodafone, Telekom
Postpaid SIM Requires a contract, usually 12-24 months. Monthly allowance for calls, texts, data. Billed each month. Common plans from Orange, Vodafone, Telekom, Digi Mobil
Contract SIM Similar to postpaid but with longer contract, usually 2 years. Comes with subsidized/unlocked phone. Require credit check.
eSIM Digital SIM profile that can be activated without physical nano-SIM. Useful for tablets/watches. Requires compatible devices. Offered by Orange, Vodafone

So in summary, prepaid is most flexible option while postpaid/contract SIMs offer discounts in exchange for a longer commitment. eSIM still limited by device compatibility.

3. How Much Data Is Enough for a Prepaid Tourist SIM Card for Romania?

For most travelers, 5 to 10 GB of data for a 1-2 week trip is sufficient. Here are some data usage estimates:

  • Light usage (maps, social media, web browsing): 2 GB per week
  • Moderate usage (streaming, videos): 5 GB per week
  • Heavy usage (HD streaming, videos): 10+ GB per week

Factors like your usage habits, trip length, and desire for mobile hotspot affect data needs. Budget travelers can get by on 2-3 GB for short trips. Avid users may prefer 10+ GB.

4. How Much Does a Romania SIM Card Cost?

Romania SIM cards are very inexpensive compared to many regions. Here are typical costs:

Operators Prepaid Plan Price (USD) Data Local Calls Messages Validity Total Cost (USD)
Orange Romania Fun 9 ~$9 25GB 5G speed Unlimited national + 200 int'l mins Unlimited 1 month ~$14
Telekom Romania Smart Plus 15 ~$15 Unlimited 5G speed Unlimited national mins + 600 int'l mins Unlimited 1 month ~$20
Smart Plus 25 ~$25 Unlimited 5G speed Unlimited national mins + 1000 int'l mins Unlimited 1 month ~$30
Unlimited 5 ~$5 Unlimited Unlimited + 50 int'l mins Unlimited 1 month ~$10
Unlimited 8 ~$8 Unlimited Unlimited + 250 int'l mins Unlimited 1 month ~$13
Unlimited 10 ~$10 Unlimited Unlimited + 350 int'l mins Unlimited 1 month ~$15
Unlimited 15 ~$15 Unlimited Unlimited + 450 int'l mins Unlimited 1 month ~$20
Unlimited 19 ~$19 Unlimited Unlimited + 650 int'l mins Unlimited 1 month ~$24
Vodafone Romania Vodafone Cash Back Card ~$6 100GB 2000 national mins + Span/Italy 2000 national SMS 28 days ~$6

Exact costs vary between the different Romanian carriers. But expect to spend around $15 USD total for a prepaid SIM with a few GB of data.

Some Romania SIM deals include bonus credits on top of what you prepay. This extends your usage at no extra cost.

5. Romania eSIM – Alternative to Physical SIM Cards

In addition to physical SIM cards from local providers, Romania eSIMs are an option too. eSIMs (embedded SIMs) store your cellular plan digitally on the device.

To get an eSIM in Romania, you will need to contact a mobile network operator that supports eSIMs. Most of the major mobile network operators in Romania support eSIMs, including Orange Romania, and Vodafone Romania.

eSIMs offer excellent convenience for Romanian travel. Consider them if your device is compatible. But physical SIMs still reign supreme for value.

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6. Where to Buy a Romania SIM Card?

Romania SIM cards can be purchased at the following types of locations:

6.1 Buy eSIM online

If going the eSIM route, you can buy directly from provider websites like Orange or Vodafone Romania. Third-party resellers like also offer Romanian eSIMs.

Purchase online and activate your eSIM via QR code on arrival. Quick and convenient but pricier than physical SIMs.

6.2 Buy a physical SIM card

For regular physical SIM cards, you have ample options:

  • At Bucharest Airport – Relay convenience store offers SIM card at Bucharest Airport.
  • Cell phone provider stores – Throughout Romania in major malls and cities.
  • Small SIM shops – Found in main town squares, malls, and transport hubs.
  • Gas stations – Many MOL stations sell SIM cards.
  • Newsstands – Look for signs selling SIM cards.
  • Online – Buy from websites of mobile providers such as Orange, Telekom, and Vodafone.
Relay store at Bucharest Airport
Relay store at Bucharest Airport

When arriving at Bucharest airport, the easiest is to buy a SIM on arrival. But don't worry if you forget - SIMs are readily available in most Romanian towns. Bring your passport as ID.

7. How to Use Romania SIM

Using your Romanian SIM card is straightforward:

  1. Insert the SIM and turn on your phone.
  2. Select the Romanian carrier network when prompted.
  3. A text will arrive confirming activation.
  4. Load prepaid credit using vouchers from shops and kiosks.
  5. Enable a data package through provider app or text code.
  6. Start using! Calls, texts and mobile data will deduct from your balance.
  7. When running low, just top up more credits.

With prepaid SIMs, you’re in control. Only pay for exactly what you need and top up as required. If you got an eSIM, the process involves scanning your activation QR code instead.

8. Best Mobile Operators for Romania SIM Cards

Your choice of the best mobile operators for Romania SIM cards will depend on your own needs and budget requirements. However, the following three operators in Romania are generally considered to be the best:

  • Orange Romania: For those planning to visit remote places in Romania, using the Orange network will help because it is the network that covers most parts of the country. In as much, Orange also has several budget prepaid and postpaid plans.
  • Vodafone Romania: Vodafone is a common provider of mobile services in Romania. Vodafone has affordable prices and various types offered such as prepaid, and postpaid plans among others. Nonetheless, Vodafone also has a fairly decent network coverage although it cannot be compared with the above-named.
  • Telekom Romania: However, Telekom Romania makes for a sensible option in case your pocket is running on empty. Telekom has several competitive prepaid plans with competitive prices. Nevertheless, Telekom’s network coverage is less extensive than Orange and Vodafone’s networks.

Here is a comparison of the three operators:

Operator Network coverage Rates Plan options
Orange Romania Widest Competitive Prepaid and postpaid
Vodafone Romania Good Competitive Prepaid and postpaid
Telekom Romania Fair Budget-friendly Prepaid

When choosing a mobile operator in Romania, be sure to compare the different plans and rates to find one that fits your needs and budget. You should also check the network coverage of each operator to make sure that you will have service in the areas where you plan to travel.

9. Tips for Saving Data for Romania SIM Card

To maximize your data usage when traveling:

  • Whenever you can access free WiFi at a café or hotel, connect.
  • If it is possible, turn off automatic updates and roaming services.
  • Limit mobile data drain through offline maps like Google Maps offline mode and Sygic.
  • You can go for a lower quality streaming option such as a 480p video rather than a 1080p HD video.
  • Enabling the data saver mode on your device’s settings.
  • Restrict video calls to minimize bandwidth-heavy tasks.
  • Ensure you keep track of usage and replenish promptly whenever needed.
  • Using just a few sensible habits, you may spread a few GBs over your whole journey.
  • Plenty of connectivity with a WiFi combination.
  • Though it offers peace of mind, a bigger package may be overkill for shorter travels.

Begin with the lean, adding the data as it is needed.

10. FAQs

Do I need to show passport to buy Romania SIM card?

Yes, you need to show ID such as passport when purchasing a new SIM in Romania.

Can I top up Romania SIM online?

Yes, you can easily recharge credit and data online through provider apps and websites. Avoid running completely out of credits.

Is there unlimited data SIM in Romania?

True unlimited data SIMs are rare in Romania. Most are prepaid with allotments from 2GB to 10+GB. Manage usage wisely.

How long is Romania SIM card valid for?

Expiry depends on carrier but typically 30-180 days for Romania SIMs. Resident SIMs can be valid 1-2 years.

Can I use Romania SIM in Europe?

Yes, Romania SIMs can be used throughout Europe for roaming due to EU regulations. But check roaming packages.

11. Conclusion

Eventually, a local SIM card is the most affordable and simplest way of communication for tourists in Romania. Prepaid SIMs perform best for shorter trips and postpaid contracts offer higher values on longer stays. eSIM digital plan gives an instantaneous connection in the nation or region. Such a right plan can be used by visitors through online resources and communication so that they can improve their travels.