Best eSIM Istanbul: Compare, buy online, and travel connected

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As one of the most visited cities in Europe, you cannot miss Istanbul if you are traveling to Turkey. With plenty of tourist places, full of history, such as the ancient Ottoman Empire and more. To enjoy your trip to the fullest, you will need a great internet connection. If it is the first time you are traveling to this city, and you don’t know how to connect to the internet, here we will tell you all you need to know about the new eSIM card for Istanbul. It will let you connect to the internet for a reasonable price.

You will read all the important aspects, the conditions you must meet to get it, its data plans, prices, and so much more. Let’s begin with this article!

eSIM card for Istanbul: what are the requisites to install it?

The first thing you need to know about the eSIM card is that, since it is such a new product, not all smartphones are compatible with it. The eSIM technology is a microchip inserted into your smartphone. There will be some devices that will be able to support this technology, while others won’t. You can read the conditions below, so you make sure that it is a great option for you:

  • Your smartphone should be eSIM-compatible.
  • We also recommend you check the compatibility of the eSIM of the provider you choose and your smartphone. Most providers are compatible with iPhone XS onwards.
  • You will need an email account to receive the eSIM card, which will be delivered as a QR code.
  • Once you acquire the eSIM card, you will need an internet connection to activate it.
  • Remember that the eSIM can only be activated when you arrive at your destination.

If your smartphone is not eSIM compatible, you can always get a traditional SIM card for Istanbul. Holafly offers this type of card with mobile data to use in Istanbul. 

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eSIM card providers for Istanbul

You have read about the requisites you must fit to get an eSIM card. Now we are going to tell about the international providers that offer this product. They only offer eSIM cards for travelers, so their eSIM cards won’t be valid for longer than 3 months.

If you are planning to stay at your destination for a longer time, we recommend you get an eSIM card from a local cellular operator.  

The international providers are the following:

  • Holafly
  • GigSky
  • Truphone
  • WifiMap

Prices and data plans of the eSIM card for Istanbul

Another important aspect if you want to stick to your budget is to keep in mind are the prices and data plans that each company offers. Since not all international eSIM providers offer the same thing, you will have to compare them and pick the one that best suits your needs. We have made a list to help you with this decision.

Before buying an eSIM card, we recommend you also check the coverage it offers at your destination. We will tell you about this later.

Holafly eSIM card for Istanbul with unlimited data

  • 5 days at $19 USD
  • 15 days at $47 USD
  • 20 days at $57 USD
  • 30 days at $69 USD
  • 60 days at $87 USD

GigSky eSIM card for Istanbul: prices and data plans

  • 1 GB for 15 days at 8.99 USD
  • 5 GB for 30 days at 39.99 USD

Truphone eSIM card for Istanbul: prices and data plans

  • 1 GB for 30 days at 4.00 USD
  • 3 GB for 30 days at 9.00 USD
  • 5 GB for 30 days at 13.00 USD

WifiMap eSIM card for Istanbul: prices and data plans

  • 500 MB for 30 days at 4.72 USD
  • 1 GB for 30 days at 8.27 USD
  • 3 GB for 30 days at 22.47 USD

eSIM card for Istanbul: a comparison between the mobileoperators

ProviderDataDaysPrice (USD)Support in English?Where can I buy it?
Holafly Unlimited data30$69YesWeb
GigSky5GB30$39.99YesWeb, App Store, Play Store
Truphone1GB30$4YesWeb, App Store, Play Store
Truphone3GB30$9YesWeb, App Store, Play Store
Truphone5GB30$13YesWeb, App Store, Play Store
WifiMap500MB30$4.72YesWeb, App Store, Play Store
WifiMap1GB30$8.27YesWeb, App Store, Play Store
WifiMap3GB30$22.47YesWeb, App Store, Play Store

Characteristics of the eSIM card for Istanbul

Now that you have read about data plans and prices, we are going to show you the characteristics of this product. You can read the list below to learn more about it:

  • Most eSIM card for travelers offers only cellular data, so if you want to make calls you will have to do it using smartphone apps like WhatsApp or Messenger.
  • Do not to erase your eSIM card, since it can be installed only once. If you encounter any issues, contact your provider instead.
  • Your Smartphone will become a Dual-SIM phone, so you will be able to use both, the eSIM and the SIM card at the same time.
  • You can have more than one eSIM profile on your cellphone, but you can only use one at a time.
  • Some eSIM cards, like the one Holafly offers, have additional advantages, such as the possibility of sharing your cellular data or having unlimited data during your trip.
  • Since it is a virtual SIM card, there is no shipping fee, and you don’t have to wait for it to arrive. Delivery is practically instantaneous.
  • You will need a second screen to show the QR code of the eSIM and scan it with your cellphone, or you can print it and scan it.

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Coverage of the eSIM card in Istanbul

As we told you before, the coverage of the eSIM card is a crucial aspect. If it is not reliable coverage, you won’t be able to enjoy your data plan, you’ll end up with connectivity issues. Those issues may vary from having a low internet connection to ending up without a connection in some remote places.

To avoid having these problems, you can check the coverage your provider offers in your destination. The best cellular operators in Turkey are Turk Telecom, Turkcell, and Vodafone. The Holafly eSIM card works with Turk Telecom’s network, one of the best in the country.  

4G Turk Telecom coverage map

Turk Telecom 4G coverage map in Istanbul. Source: GSMA

4G Turkcell coverage map

Turkcell’s 4G network coverage in Istanbul. Source: GSMA

4G Vodafone coverage map

Vodafone’s 4G coverage map in Istanbul. Source: GSMA

Can I get my eSIM card from local mobile operators?

If you are planning to stay in this destination for a long time, such as a year or more, you will need an eSIM card from a local operator. To get one of them, you will have to comply with some conditions, since it can be a little more complicated to get.  

All you have to do is to visit the physical store of one of the cellular operators we will show you below, and ask for a prepaid or postpaid data plan that includes an eSIM card. You will have to show some identifications or information, and that’s it!

The cellular operators that offer this product are the following:

  • MEO
  • NOS
  • Vodafone

Frequent questions about the eSIM card for Istanbul

Do I need a passport to make the purchase?

No, it is not necessary to show your passport to acquire an eSIM card. But some sellers may ask for your address. So, you may need a temporary address in this destination, such as a hotel.

Can I share mobile data with the eSIM card for Istanbul?

It will depend on your provider, some will let you do it, while others won’t.

How do I activate the eSIM card?

It will depend on your smartphone, but usually, all you have to do is to scan the QR code you receive in your email. Once you do it, you have to pick the eSIM card as the mobile data provider, turn on the data roaming, and that’s it!

What do I have to know to pick the best eSIM card?

There are two important aspects you should know: the amount of cellular data you usually use day to day, and the number of days or weeks you are going to stay at your destination. This way you will be able to pick the eSIM card that best suits your needs.

What other alternatives do I have to connect to the internet in Istanbul?

Other alternatives will let you connect to the internet during your trip, but some of them can be expensive or annoying, such as international roaming or having to carry a Pocket WiFi everywhere with you. 

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