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SIM card purchase

Camino(s) past & future
Future: Aug 2018 Frances
#1
I could use some help with this : ]

I've read many posts on this but none are clear... I'm flying into CDG to start the CF. I want to buy an Orange SIM card for android. So:

1. Buying it at CDG or SJPdP- any difference/ easier? (I don't speak French and don't know if that will be a factor later if I have issues and need to contact Orange)
2. I've read it's more expensive at Relay in CDG than an Orange kiosk...any clue of the possible difference? I don't have the option to go out of CDG to look for a kiosk.
3. If new read suggestions to get it in Pamplona but I would like it sooner than that.

Thanks SO much. Count down is 6 weeks!
 

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Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#2
I always order online before I go.
I get a French one (because I spend a few days in France) and a Spanish one.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Future: Aug 2018 Frances
#5
I always order online before I go.
I get a French one (because I spend a few days in France) and a Spanish one.
Which company do you buy from? I might just do it ahead of time, unless it's quite a bit more money.

I'm thinking the best rates are going to be 1.directly from Orange - last expensive
2. General kiosk in CDG
3. Bought at home- most expensive
 

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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#6
Which company do you buy from? I might just do it ahead of time, unless it's quite a bit more money.

I'm thinking the best rates are going to be 1.directly from Orange - last expensive
2. General kiosk in CDG
3. Bought at home- most expensive
Hi @YoCo

Depends what you'll need it for. I've used Orange SIMs in previous years and Vodafone SIM this year. But then again I'm from EU and there's no more roaming fees so it doesn't really makes a difference for us if you buy it in France or Spain. I assume you'll be walking Camino Frances and I would suggest buying Spanish SIM (check on-line for best offers) in Pamplona because it will be easier to top it up. But in Spain there's a little bit of an administrative hassle buying SIMs, you have to provide your passport so it could take more time to obtain a SIM card.

Anyway there's many threads on the topic on this forum. You might use Search function (top right).

Buen Camino!
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Sahagún to Santiago (2018).
#7
Cn I get other folks' *current* knowledge? In 2014 I had to go to a large Orange store in Pamplona to get a nano-sim (not common at the time) for my cell enabled iPad. Now most smart phones have nano-SIMs so I am hoping I can hop into an Orange at Madrid airport (and that Spouse can too!) to get hooked up before hitting the trail.
Our phones are unlocked Canadian iPhones. His is a 6+, and mine is an 8+.
Anyone with recent experience in Madrid on a target Nano-SIM?
I'm also wondering is I can pull the Nano-SIM from my last trip in 2014 out of my iPad and move it over to my iPhone and just reactivate in Spain.... The original Nano-SIM with Orange was for a Spanish license.
Ideas?
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#8
Cn I get other folks' *current* knowledge? In 2014 I had to go to a large Orange store in Pamplona to get a nano-sim (not common at the time) for my cell enabled iPad. Now most smart phones have nano-SIMs so I am hoping I can hop into an Orange at Madrid airport (and that Spouse can too!) to get hooked up before hitting the trail.
Our phones are unlocked Canadian iPhones. His is a 6+, and mine is an 8+.
Anyone with recent experience in Madrid on a target Nano-SIM?
I'm also wondering is I can pull the Nano-SIM from my last trip in 2014 out of my iPad and move it over to my iPhone and just reactivate in Spain.... The original Nano-SIM with Orange was for a Spanish license.
Ideas?
You have both Orange and Vodafone stores at Puerta del Sol in Madrid. Just a short cercanias ride from the airport to the center.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Sahagún to Santiago (2018).
#9
You have both Orange and Vodafone stores at Puerta del Sol in Madrid. Just a short cercanias ride from the airport to the center.
But are they full serve? If I need a nano size, can I get that there? I tried in smaller kiosks on my last trip and it was 3 days before I hit Pamplona and a shop large enough to get the nano-SIM.
(My publisher at home was *freaking out* because I'd promised I'd be in contact to receive massive files in the copy-editing stages. This time it's just a matter of being reachable for family with medical issues, but I still need easy access to a nano size. If I can't get it in Madrid, I will head straight up to León (instead of Sahgún) to wit for/meet Spouse.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#10
But are they full serve? If I need a nano size, can I get that there? I tried in smaller kiosks on my last trip and it was 3 days before I hit Pamplona and a shop large enough to get the nano-SIM.
(My publisher at home was *freaking out* because I'd promised I'd be in contact to receive massive files in the copy-editing stages. This time it's just a matter of being reachable for family with medical issues, but I still need easy access to a nano size. If I can't get it in Madrid, I will head straight up to León (instead of Sahgún) to wit for/meet Spouse.
I got nano SIM at Vodafone (Puerta del Sol) this May,
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sept/Oct 2015 Le Puy - to Conques, Tui - Santiago. May/June 2017 Conques to SJPP
#11
I always order online before I go.
I get a French one (because I spend a few days in France) and a Spanish one.
Hi Robo - do you mean ordering online from Australia? If so, this sounds much easier than waiting for arrival (we haven't left much time before start of our walk so 1 less thing to do sounds a good idea). Many thanks for info!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#12
Hi Robo - do you mean ordering online from Australia? If so, this sounds much easier than waiting for arrival (we haven't left much time before start of our walk so 1 less thing to do sounds a good idea). Many thanks for info!
Yes. But allow 2 weeks for delivery!
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
#14
Cn I get other folks' *current* knowledge? In 2014 I had to go to a large Orange store in Pamplona to get a nano-sim (not common at the time) for my cell enabled iPad. Now most smart phones have nano-SIMs so I am hoping I can hop into an Orange at Madrid airport (and that Spouse can too!) to get hooked up before hitting the trail.
Our phones are unlocked Canadian iPhones. His is a 6+, and mine is an 8+.
Anyone with recent experience in Madrid on a target Nano-SIM?
I'm also wondering is I can pull the Nano-SIM from my last trip in 2014 out of my iPad and move it over to my iPhone and just reactivate in Spain.... The original Nano-SIM with Orange was for a Spanish license.
Ideas?
Nano SIM card availability is not an issue any more, it was 5 years ago but not now, nano SIM cards are standard on most modern devices.
The nano SIM from 2014 is more than likely deactivated, they do that if there is no activity on the SIM cards after 6-9 months.
Crystal Media electronic stores are inside the Madrid Airport and sell SIM cards, I recommend the Vodafone Tourist SIM card.
https://www.crystalmedia.com/en/
https://www.vodafone.es/c/particulares/es/productos-y-servicios/movil/tourist-in-spain-vf/
 
Last edited:

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
#15
I could use some help with this : ]

I've read many posts on this but none are clear... I'm flying into CDG to start the CF. I want to buy an Orange SIM card for android. So:

1. Buying it at CDG or SJPdP- any difference/ easier? (I don't speak French and don't know if that will be a factor later if I have issues and need to contact Orange)
2. I've read it's more expensive at Relay in CDG than an Orange kiosk...any clue of the possible difference? I don't have the option to go out of CDG to look for a kiosk.
3. If new read suggestions to get it in Pamplona but I would like it sooner than that.

Thanks SO much. Count down is 6 weeks!
French prepaid SIM cards are more expensive than Spain, plus the activation process is daunting, better off waiting till you get to Spain.
The disadvantage of having a French SIM card is trying to add phone credit which can only be done online, and that can be an issue if you don't have a French debit/credit card to pay it, also if you are outside of France, you're pretty much out of luck if you have issues. With a prepaid Spanish SIM card, you can stop by most tobak stores and other small stores to top off with credit, they just need your phone number and which carrier it is. If you have any issues with a Spanish SIM, at least you can get help in Spain.
http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.com/wiki/France
http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.com/wiki/Spain
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sept/Oct 2015 Le Puy - to Conques, Tui - Santiago. May/June 2017 Conques to SJPP
#16
Yes. But allow 2 weeks for delivery!
Robo so sorry but I've fallen in an internet black hole, struggling with the Spanish Orange site (not sure I'm in the right website even??). Did you purchase directly from ORANGE Spain or thru another provider? Also need a SIM card for 90 days. Not sure if you can keep topping up a 30 day SIM?
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#17
French prepaid SIM cards are more expensive than Spain, plus the activation process is daunting, better off waiting till you get to Spain.
The disadvantage of having a French SIM card is trying to add phone credit which can only be done online, and that can be an issue if you don't have a French debit/credit card to pay it, also if you are outside of France, you're pretty much out of luck if you have issues. With a prepaid Spanish SIM card, you can stop by most tobak stores and other small stores to top off with credit, they just need your phone number and which carrier it is. If you have any issues with a Spanish SIM, at least you can get help in Spain.
http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.com/wiki/France
http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.com/wiki/Spain
True!
But please check top-up every time. It just happened to my companion this year in Zamora that 30€ went "somewhere" in tobacco store because guys typed in something that shouldn't be typed in. No need to explain, just be cautious!
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
#18
True!
But please check top-up every time. It just happened to my companion this year in Zamora that 30€ went "somewhere" in tobacco store because guys typed in something that shouldn't be typed in. No need to explain, just be cautious!
I don't leave the store until I get the SMS/text that I got the credit I paid for!
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
#19
Robo so sorry but I've fallen in an internet black hole, struggling with the Spanish Orange site (not sure I'm in the right website even??). Did you purchase directly from ORANGE Spain or thru another provider? Also need a SIM card for 90 days. Not sure if you can keep topping up a 30 day SIM?
There are companies that sell Spanish prepaid SIM cards that will mail them to you, but they have a markup, so you're not getting a deal at all, and if you have any issues, you're out of luck, better of waiting till you get to Spain and buying one there, and make sure it works before you leave the store.

You can keep adding credit to keep it going, just top off before the end of the month, most phone providers renew the package every 28-30 days provided there is credit on the account. I know the Vodafone Tourist SIM does every 28 days.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#20
Robo so sorry but I've fallen in an internet black hole, struggling with the Spanish Orange site (not sure I'm in the right website even??). Did you purchase directly from ORANGE Spain or thru another provider? Also need a SIM card for 90 days. Not sure if you can keep topping up a 30 day SIM?
I bought via a reseller online. I don't think the carriers will sell direct to overseas.

I would rather not recommend a specific online reseller. Better to do your own reserach.
My last one let me down with slow postage an poor communication.

SIM cards can be complex. Last time I used Vodafone and topped it up frequently but I could barely get a signal........ 2 years before Vodafone was fine.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Sahagún to Santiago (2018).
#21
Nano SIM card availability is not an issue any more, it was 5 years ago but not now, nano SIM cards are standard on most modern devices.
The nano SIM from 2014 is more than likely deactivated, they do that if there is no activity on the SIM cards after 6-9 months.
Crystal Media electronic stores are inside the Madrid Airport and sell SIM cards, I recommend the Vodafone Tourist SIM card.
https://www.crystalmedia.com/en/
https://www.vodafone.es/c/particulares/es/productos-y-servicios/movil/tourist-in-spain-vf/
THANK YOU!!!!
 

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18)
#22
I used LeFrench mobile, and it was great. Order ahead of time, they ship worldwide. Plug it in when you get to France, and it just works. The SIM comes at a cutout for all sizes. After your first use, they text you the phone number, you won't know what it will be until then . 90 days validity on the data plan, not the usual 30 days. English speaking support. You HAVE to register with them after activation with a form they send you, and a photo of your passport, this is French law. Top up on line with a non-French credit card. Once activated, works in Spain as well. I had one patch on the Frances where I had no signal for a few hours, and another on the trail to Finisterre. Maybe cheaper options out there, but this was easy.

Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#23
I... read suggestions to get it in Pamplona but I would like it sooner than that.
I understand that preference. However, your home phone plan would still work, although expensive, so that is available for emergencies. You will have wifi opportunities each evening from SJPP to Pamplona. So, it isn't a disaster if you don't get your Spanish SIM card until Pamplona.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#25
Robo so sorry but I've fallen in an internet black hole, struggling with the Spanish Orange site (not sure I'm in the right website even??). Did you purchase directly from ORANGE Spain or thru another provider? Also need a SIM card for 90 days. Not sure if you can keep topping up a 30 day SIM?
yes
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sept/Oct 2015 Le Puy - to Conques, Tui - Santiago. May/June 2017 Conques to SJPP
#26
There are companies that sell Spanish prepaid SIM cards that will mail them to you, but they have a markup, so you're not getting a deal at all, and if you have any issues, you're out of luck, better of waiting till you get to Spain and buying one there, and make sure it works before you leave the store.

You can keep adding credit to keep it going, just top off before the end of the month, most phone providers renew the package every 28-30 days provided there is credit on the account. I know the Vodafone Tourist SIM does every 28 days.
Such clear and helpful advice from both Bajaracer and Robbo. Much appreciated. I think this means we'll wait till we're in Spain and reach San Sebastián ( we fly into Barcelona but only have the afternoon then train next morning to Irun).
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
#27
Such clear and helpful advice from both Bajaracer and Robbo. Much appreciated. I think this means we'll wait till we're in Spain and reach San Sebastián ( we fly into Barcelona but only have the afternoon then train next morning to Irun).
Get a prepaid SIM when you're in Barcelona, just find a open phone store and make sure it works before you leave the phone store. Phone House sells almost all brands of prepaid SIM cards and have many locations throughout Barcelona. https://www.phonehouse.es/tiendas/barcelona.html
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 -SJPP- Santiago .Oct/Nov
2017 -Porto to Santiago.Oct
2017- Santiago- Finesterre. Nov
#28
I was wondering if anyone knows where can I get a prepaid Spanish SIM card in Madrid ? I'll be there in September 2018 . Thankyou kindly
 
Camino(s) past & future
Future: Aug 2018 Frances
#29
I understand that preference. However, your home phone plan would still work, although expensive, so that is available for emergencies. You will have wifi opportunities each evening from SJPP to Pamplona. So, it isn't a disaster if you don't get your Spanish SIM card until Pamplona.
True. I thought about this later, just what you said. So, Pamplona is not so bad after all :). Thanks for the reassurance!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#30
I was wondering if anyone knows where can I get a prepaid Spanish SIM card in Madrid ? I'll be there in September 2018 . Thankyou kindly
Plenty of stores to do that. Try Google for shops and offers with Vodafone, Orange, Yoigo, Movistar etc. Those are just major providers. I know of Orange and Vodafone stores in Puerta del Sol (if you take cercanias from airport) on the side of the square as if you would go "up" to Gran Via. Again, you Google Map that too, it's easy ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to walk starting this September and finishing in October, 2017
#31
I could use some help with this : ]

I've read many posts on this but none are clear... I'm flying into CDG to start the CF. I want to buy an Orange SIM card for android. So:

1. Buying it at CDG or SJPdP- any difference/ easier? (I don't speak French and don't know if that will be a factor later if I have issues and need to contact Orange)
2. I've read it's more expensive at Relay in CDG than an Orange kiosk...any clue of the possible difference? I don't have the option to go out of CDG to look for a kiosk.
3. If new read suggestions to get it in Pamplona but I would like it sooner than that.

Thanks SO much. Count down is 6 weeks!
I am from the States. I bought an Orange SIM card at Barajas airport when I arrived and put it in there. It was great! I had excellent coverage the whole time. I addition, I went to Germany for about two weeks after I was on the Camino Frances, and it worked very well there. Someone mentioned this already, but since there are no more roaming charged in the EU, there's no difference to buying it in France or Spain.

Anyway, I had a good experience with Orange. Also, there many Orange stores - in cities and larger towns, so it's easy to go into the store to add some time or you can do it on line.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 -SJPP- Santiago .Oct/Nov
2017 -Porto to Santiago.Oct
2017- Santiago- Finesterre. Nov
#32
Thanks mate QUOTE="KinkyOne, post: 639094, member: 25761"]Plenty of stores to do that. Try Google for shops and offers with Vodafone, Orange, Yoigo, Movistar etc. Those are just major providers. I know of Orange and Vodafone stores in Puerta del Sol (if you take cercanias from airport) on the side of the square as if you would go "up" to Gran Via. Again, you Google Map that too, it's easy ;)[/QUOTE]
 
Camino(s) past & future
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
#33
I always order online before I go.
I get a French one (because I spend a few days in France) and a Spanish one.
It is no longer necessary to have 2 sim cards as any deal you get on the french card will still be valid when you"roam" in any other EU country.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#34
It is no longer necessary to have 2 sim cards as any deal you get on the french card will still be valid when you"roam" in any other EU country.
Maybe it's just my wierd logic, that they are easier to top up if they are from the country you are traveling in ?
I go through a lot of bandwidth so need to top up frequently.
 
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#35
Maybe it's just my wierd logic, that they are easier to top up if they are from the country you are traveling in ?
I go through a lot of bandwidth so need to top up frequently.
Makes sense. I tried to top up Spanish SIM in Spain and just couldn't get through their procedure to pay on-line with my credit card. All in all the Spaniards really complicated everything about SIM cards etc. I think it is about terrorist attack in Madrid in 2004.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#36
Makes sense. I tried to top up Spanish SIM in Spain and just couldn't get through their procedure to pay on-line with my credit card. All in all the Spaniards really complicated everything about SIM cards etc. I think it is about terrorist attack in Madrid in 2004.
Whereas it's easy to do in person at a convenience store in Spain...
 
Camino(s) past & future
frances (2018)
#38
Just got back from walking the Camino Frances and was able to manage quite well with T-mobile (US customer) which offers unlimited data for T-mobile customers in Spain and the other European countries I visited. They supposedly "throttle" the speed, but I rarely had issues and was able to use Facetime for free calls to family and friends. For the occasional call to a landline or non iPhone user, I used "Skype to phone", so there was never a need to purchase or hassle with changing my SIM.
 

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