1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Sim Card For Spain

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Topics' started by Maya Grandmother, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. Maya Grandmother

    Maya Grandmother Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2014
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    140
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Where is the first best place on the Camino Frances when entering Spain to buy a SIM card?
     
  2. alanhobo

    alanhobo Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    shropshire
    Hi Maya, air port or railway station could be a possibility, but their are lots of phone shops in Spain, ask any of the kids, or in the place you are staying. you probably know this but make sure your phone is unlocked, hope this helps. gook luck.
    alanhobo
     
  3. Leslie

    Leslie Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    907
    Likes Received:
    294
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Prague
    Home Page:
  4. KatDavis

    KatDavis Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2014
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    London, UK
    Home Page:
    Hi Maya,

    If you're walking from SJPP then Pamplona would be the first place in Spain where you'll come across phone shops. I got mine from a Vodafone shop there but when I was last in Spain (Oct last year) there were other carriers with better deals - Movistar etc.

    Buen Camino!
    Kat
     
  5. TinaB

    TinaB Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2015
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Not being a very technical person I am interlude about the phone card discussion. Is it best to buy a sim card or if you have roaming on your phone will that do?
    Thanks, TinaB
     
  6. alanhobo

    alanhobo Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    shropshire
    Hi TinaB roaming can be very expensive abroad best turn off roaming, your phone will pick up local provider, you will get a text to tell you how much texts and calls will be, approx texts 5p and calls to uk 18p per min. pilgrims from US buy sim cards as it's much cheaper for them, check the cost at a phone shop and you can see which is best for you.
     
  7. TinaB

    TinaB Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2015
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Once again thank you Alanhobo. That's really useful to know. I don't intend to do much texting home. Mostly it will be to book albergues or hotel as I progress along the Camino. Best wishes, TinaB
     
  8. Don Graf

    Don Graf New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2015
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    I just purchased a sim card from: http://www.simcardspain.es/en/

    You need to assure that your phone works on the Spanish frequencies (not common in the USA). Alternatively, the website also sells inexpensive phones. The reason I chose them was to have a working phone with a Spanish phone number when I arrived. I'll use my USA/Verizon iPhone for emails and other communication via wifi, which is widely available in Spain.
     
  9. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    985
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Don, my wife and I will begin our camino in late September. We both have cell phones through Verizon (she has an iPhone, and I have a Blackberry). Before I retired, my business Blackberry cell phone could receive and make text messages, emails, and phone calls pretty much anywhere in the world (I made travels to China, Japan, Egypt, Europe). I retired in December and when I ordered my cell phone, they told me I can simply change my Verizon plan when I am in Europe as part of international plan. I'm pretty clueless with regards to technology and want to avoid big surprises and expense during our camino. If we want to use our iPhone and Blackberry during our trip, is it as simple as "turning on" the Verizon international plan? If not, do one or both of us need a new, inexpensive cell phone? I don't think we'll do much in terms of downloading and uploading photos. We'll just check emails, possibly text our kids, and maybe check the internet. I know there have been countless posts on this topic, but your message mentioned you are from the US and have a Verizon account. Thanks for any advice! Bob
     
  10. Don Graf

    Don Graf New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2015
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    Bob
    We have just returned from walking the Camino. The great news is that WIFI is everywhere, so you can check email, upload photos to Facebook, etc with ease. I used ZERO cellular data in 6 weeks, and posted regularly to FB and emailed family and friends daily.

    I have experience with the Verizon international plan. It gives you a lower rate than Verizon's standard roaming charges for a monthly charge ($30/mo?)--but is still pricey, in my opinion. This year I decided that I would use WIFI, and if I needed to make a call, go ahead and incur the standard charges--I judged that the savings in the $30/mo "international plan" to get the lower call and data rates was not going to be significant with the few calls I would make. As it turned out I was right.

    My wife bought a Spanish sim card for her phone. She made about 20 calls, and the charge for the sim card plus the extra minutes she purchased cost about $100. This was definitely NOT worth the expense, over the standard roaming charges from Verizon.

    You do need to call Verizon and assure that your phones will work in Spain. They can configure that for you over the phone. I had this problem with the iPhone 4s, and you may encounter it with your Blackberry, depending up its age.

    Buen Camino!
     
  11. Maya Grandmother

    Maya Grandmother Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2014
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    140
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    We did end up buying the simcard in Pamplona. Many thanks for the info Kat. We only used the phone twice to make a reservation so just cost us the 15 euros we paid in the vodaphone shop. We were mostly walking in April and never had to make hardly any bookings, but we also wanted to be protected if we needed to call the emergency 112. I also had my iPad to write my blog daily. Wifi was available most of the time but did not always work at the Albergues so I just wrote my blog every second day.
     
  12. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    985
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Don, I was speaking with a Verizon customer service rep. He said that a friend's wife just completed the camino and she used an app called "WhatsApp". She downloaded this onto her cell phone and was able to use the wifi to text friends, etc. Is this what you used to connect via wifi to send texts? Does anyone else have experience or comments with WhatsApp? I've already down loaded to my blackberry, but would like to better understand how it works. Thanks, Bob
     
  13. Don Graf

    Don Graf New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2015
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    I don't send many text/SMS messages. I use Yahoo email and Google email, FaceBook, and KaKao Talk. Thus, I have not had a use for WhatsApp for text messages and have never used it. Again, I found that once I signed into the WIFI router in restaurants, bars, coffee shops and alberques, these applications, and all others on my phone worked as they do in the USA. Buen Camino.
     
  14. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    985
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Thanks, Don. For wifi access, is this pretty easy. For example at the Indpls airport, I can check wifi spots, then this allows signin without a password. Some hotels have wifi, but you need to get the password and sometimes pay for the access. I'm just wondering how easy access is on the trail. Thanks, Bob
     
  15. Don Graf

    Don Graf New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2015
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
     
  16. Don Graf

    Don Graf New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2015
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    WIFI access is VERY easy along the Camino, and works the same as in the USA. Some sites are "open" and some require passwords, readily available from the waitress, hotel desk, etc. "All" are free. (I didn't find one that required payment in my 8 weeks). The wifi sites are everywhere. You will have no reason to not be in touch!
     
  17. Ginamarie

    Ginamarie Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2016
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    138
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Hi Don, I just checked that website and they no longer have phones. If I purchased sim card from them I could put it in my iPad though I think, do you know? I am techno-challenged so I do not.
    Thank you, Gina
     
  18. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2016
    Messages:
    484
    Likes Received:
    1,175
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Ginamarie, that's a really old thread, so I'm not sure you'll get a response from him. At T4 at Barajas, there's a shop called Crystal Media that supposedly sells Orange SIM cards. When I tried to get a SIM at Barajas in 2015, it was a struggle. I think I arrived at Terminal 2 and nobody, including the information desk, knew where they were sold, but eventually a pharmacy pointed me to a place that had an Orange service desk and an Orange sign out front (cellular service provider). There wasn't anyone staffing the Orange cellular desk there, although there was a guy at the other main cashier's desk (it was a convenience store) who let me stand at the un-staffed Orange desk for ten minutes. When I finally went to the main desk, the cashier sold me one there, and was willing to put it in for me, but when I tried to ask him a question, he said "I only sell them. I don't know". The SIM wiped out my offline translator, so I couldn't understand the alerts coming in in Spanish as a result of the new SIM, and I had no idea how much service I had or whether it was about to run out. The instruction leaflet was in Spanish. I tried to get help later in Pamplona, but the staff was evidently on lunch break and about 5 of us sat there for over an hour waiting. Eventually I called my home provider and got an international plan, which took an hour of explaining and transferring. I put my old SIM back in myself and then things were fine, and that's what I do now when I travel overseas. I had the same trouble in Thailand with a SIM whose instructions and alerts were in Thai only. It's never fun to be alone without reliable phone service.

    Others have had much better luck. If it is at all possible, getting an international plan through your home service might be the way to go, or maybe someone else has some good advice. That's probably not much help, but I wish you an easier time of it!
     
    hindsfeet, UnkleHammy and Ginamarie like this.
  19. Ginamarie

    Ginamarie Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2016
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    138
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Oh my gosh what an ordeal you went through! Last time I did the Camino I brought no electronics, electing to go free from distractions like social media. But when I fell in Burguete and had to get to a hospital in Pamplona and all that followed was a disaster w/ no phone. My phone cannot be unlocked so I cannot bring it. Debating whether to get another phone or iPad to bring as I go back to where I left off on the Camino (Burgos) in August. Thank you so much for the info-I really appreciate that! I did not realize how old thread was. I just did a search for sim cards.
     
    UnkleHammy and Crepes4Suzette like this.
  20. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2016
    Messages:
    484
    Likes Received:
    1,175
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Oh I'm so sorry, Ginamarie! I remembered you were going, and was confused because I thought you'd done a Camino already, so that explains it. That must have been, as you say, a disaster with no phone. But you did get to Burgos, so I hope there were good times and hope you were OK quickly related to the fall. I hope you can find a good solution related to your phone!
     
    Ginamarie likes this.
  21. Ginamarie

    Ginamarie Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2016
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    138
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    I walked 2 1/2 weeks like this! 21432708_10211229803873575_8757057380542795691_n.jpg
     
    hindsfeet and Crepes4Suzette like this.
  22. Galloglaigh

    Galloglaigh Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2017
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    101
    Trophy Points:
    33
    If you buy a Sim within the EU there should be no roaming charges. In theory you buy one in the first EU country you come to and you can use it within the EU without additional charges.

    #

    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2...-roaming-charges-banned-europe-15-june-brexit

    Not the most authoritative source but it did work last year for my group of different sims from EU countries.
     
    Ginamarie and Crepes4Suzette like this.
  23. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2015
    Messages:
    459
    Likes Received:
    1,147
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Dublin
    Just be careful to note that "no roaming charge" applies to voice calls/messages and text but doesn't necessarily cover you for data roaming. Here is a link to the EU's explanatory page:-

    https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/consumers/internet-telecoms/mobile-roaming-costs/index_en.htm

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
    Ginamarie and Crepes4Suzette like this.
  24. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    Messages:
    801
    Likes Received:
    1,126
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Fresno, California
    I don't know where you are ftom. I am from Californian and I bought a very simple phone. If you fully pay for it, instead of making payments on it, which is the normal way of getting a cell, then you can get it unlocked. Locked means that you must your carrier only until the phone us fully owned by you.

    I went into my local Tmobil store and found that they had special offer of a very low capability phone for free if I paid for two months of service then. Since I knew that I would need it for two or three months I got it.

    The Tmobil cell rates in the US were competive with my normal AT&T rates so that was OK. AT&T charged $10 per day for any use including incoming SPAM calls in Europe . Tmobil was a usage rate with free unlimited wifi.

    Since I only planned to use the talking part of the cell phone in an emergency, similar what happened to you, that worked out OK. I don't known if my great find still works.

    I recommend that you go to every cell phone store you can find tell them what you plan. Then compare prices and decide. For all practicable purposes all current cell phones will work anywhere in Europe as long as your carrier supports use there. As far as I can tell they all work with the differences being the costs.

    Be sure to talk about unlocking the phone so as go give you a choice as to carrier.
     
    Ginamarie and Crepes4Suzette like this.
  25. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2016
    Messages:
    484
    Likes Received:
    1,175
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Oh no! You were a trooper to get to Burgos!
     
    Ginamarie likes this.
  26. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    Messages:
    801
    Likes Received:
    1,126
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Fresno, California
    Bummer, glad you will return.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
    Ginamarie likes this.
  27. Ginamarie

    Ginamarie Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2016
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    138
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ

    That is a good idea UnkleHammy to try and pick one up here in the States if the price is right. The iPhone I bought fully paid in cash but chose Virgin Mobile who locked it and refuses to unlock. It's old now though, time to upgrade. Thank you.
     
    UnkleHammy likes this.
Loading...

Share This Page