Getting a SIM card at Istanbul Airport in Turkey can be a convenient way to keep in touch during vacations. A local SIM Card or eSIM helps you avoid expensive roaming charges and ensures constant Internet access for your Business to data services like maps, transportation, and translation apps. This guide will provide all the key details you need to know about purchasing a SIM at Istanbul Airport.

Where to buy SIM Card at Istanbul Airport (IST)

I. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Istanbul Airport

Where to buy SIM Card at Istanbul Airport - Airport map
Istanbul Airport map. Source:

Istanbul Airport has several options for purchasing SIM cards onsite after you land. The major mobile operators in Turkey like Turkcell, Vodafone, and Türk Telekom have stores located in the airport terminals. There are also vending machines and information desks that sell SIM cards.


The Turkcell, Vodafone and Türk Telekom stores can be found airside (after passport control) in the International Terminal Arrivals area. Turkcell and Vodafone are located across from gates B11-B13. Türk Telekom is near gates A11-A12. There are also some stores landside before passport control, but the best selection is airside.

Opening Hours

The mobile operator stores are open daily following the airport opening hours, which are 24/7. The vending machines also operate 24 hours.


Operator store prices for SIM cards tend to be slightly higher than buying in the city. Expect to pay around 60-80 TRY ($3-$5 USD) for a SIM card including some data. Vending machine prices are usually a bit cheaper.

Buying SIM Card at Istanbul Airport
Buying SIM Card at Istanbul Airport

II. Istanbul Airport SIM Card Options and Costs

The main Turkish mobile operators offer prepaid SIM cards with a variety of data packages at Istanbul Airport. Here are some of the top options:

Operator Data Minutes SMS Price (USD)
Turkcell 12 GB 750 1,000 $17.50
25 GB 750 1,000 $19.75
50 GB 750 1,000 $21.75
Vodafone 25 GB 750 1,000 $19.75
50 GB 750 1,000 $21.75
Turk Telekom 25 GB 750 750 $18.90
50 GB 750 750 $20.40

There are a variety of SIM card options available at Istanbul Airport, to suit all needs and budgets. It’s important to consider your individual requirements when choosing a SIM card.

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

Purchasing a SIM card at the Istanbul Airport is a very straightforward process. Here are a few tips on what to have ready:

  • Passport: Your passport is required to register your SIM card. Be ready to show it at the store or vending machine.
  • Cash: The stores may accept credit cards but often charge extra fees. The vending machines only take cash.
  • Unlocked phone: Your phone must be unlocked to use a foreign SIM. Contact your home provider in advance to request an unlock.
  • SIM size: Standard, micro, and nano SIMs are all available. Know which size your phone requires.

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


Using an eSIM is another option to consider instead of a physical SIM card at Istanbul Airport. An eSIM is built into your phone and can be digitally activated with a data plan. Here are some things to know:

  • eSIMs allow you to install multiple plans and switch between them easily.
  • You can purchase a prepaid eSIM before your trip and activate it once you land via the provider app. Some good Istanbul eSIM options are Ucell or Turkcell eSIM.
  • eSIMs can be more expensive than regular SIMs. But they are very convenient as you don’t have to locate and insert a card.

Stay connected in Turkey with an affordable and hassle-free eSIM data plan from Turkey eSIM. With Turkey eSIM, you can enjoy high-speed 4G/LTE internet access with up to 10GB of data valid for 7-30 days, meaning you don’t have to worry about running out of data during your travels. offers the best near-local price eSIM starting at just $5


Do I need to register or show my passport to get a SIM card at Istanbul Airport?

Yes, you need to register your SIM card with your passport details per Turkish law. This applies to SIMs purchased at the airport or elsewhere in Turkey.

Can I use my Istanbul Airport SIM card in other countries?

Your Turkish SIM will only work domestically. It will not provide service if you travel into another country. You’ll need to purchase a new local SIM at your next destination.

Are there SIM card scams I should watch for at Istanbul Airport?

Only purchase SIMs from authorized stores, machines, or info desks inside the airport. Avoid unauthorized resellers who may try to approach you in the arrivals area. Also be sure to check the SIM packaging is sealed and branded by one of the main operators.

How can I check the remaining data balance on my Istanbul Airport SIM?

Dial *123# on your Turkish SIM to see your remaining data balance and expiration date. You can then purchase more data if needed directly from the SIM menu.

Final Words

Getting a Turkey SIM card upon arrival at Istanbul Airport is a quick and convenient way to have connectivity right away during your trip. With multiple provider options, data packages, and purchasing points available at the airport, you’re sure to find a SIM that suits your needs. Turkey eSIM is another choice, will make using maps, translators, and travel apps much easier as you explore Istanbul and Turkey.