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SIM card

Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk the Camino Frances mid May 2018
#1
I’ll be arriving in Madrid 16.5. to walk from Pamplona from 21.5. I’d like to buy a SIM card ASAP on arrival in Spain. Would like to have some data and be able to text n call. Can somebody recommend where to get a reasonable priced SIM? Is it better to buy at the airport or a provider in Madrid city? Been told that Vodafone has a €20/mnth deal with 2G data. Don’t really need that much and rather pay less. Any recommendations?
 

Jun Meng

The Only Way I know
Camino(s) past & future
VLDP Spring, 2016
#2
I’ll be arriving in Madrid 16.5. to walk from Pamplona from 21.5. I’d like to buy a SIM card ASAP on arrival in Spain. Would like to have some data and be able to text n call. Can somebody recommend where to get a reasonable priced SIM? Is it better to buy at the airport or a provider in Madrid city? Been told that Vodafone has a €20/mnth deal with 2G data. Don’t really need that much and rather pay less. Any recommendations?
Vodafone is the best. You Get some calls and 4.5GB for 28 days. Only 10 Euro.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk the Camino Frances mid May 2018
#5
Oh. Thanks. Good to know. Read that Orange was another option. Looks like it’ll be Vodafone then.
 
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
#6
I would take the train to papilloma and then go to the orange store to buy a SIM card. I have had nothing but a wonderful experience and there's usually someone that speaks English. You can reach are just the orange card in many places. have note this I've walked the Camino 5 x + 5 x with orange cards
 
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
#7
I would take the train to Pamplona and then go to the orange store to buy a SIM card. I have had nothing but a wonderful experience and there's usually someone that speaks English. You can reach are just the orange card in many places. have note this I've walked the Camino 5 x + 5 x with orange cards. Note: I originally Miss spelled Pamplona.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camin0 Frances (2004, 2008), Camino Portugues (2010), Camino del Norte (2012) Via de la Plata planing April92014), CaminoiPortugues (2015.)
#8
As I recommended to somebody else a couple of weeks back, buy a Lebara or Lycamovil, ( very good international rate) with phone and internet enough for Whats app, send photos, (not downloading)
Since you are going to be in Madrid go to a Locutorio, (the place where you can use computer terminals, telephone cabins,print) sometimes the Estancos (tabaco kiosk) sell them, even in the supermarket . these are cheap and very good rates. the SIM is multiple Standard. Micro Nano.
I recommend these rather than Vodaphone or horrible Orange, you only need some form of ID.
 

Prentiss Riddle

Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada
Camino(s) past & future
Poco a poco: we're nibbling away at the Francés. (2015, 2016 & 2017)
#9
Pity on us AT&T iPhone customers! Even following AT&T’s instructions to unlock my old paid-off iPhone with their official blessing, it wouldn’t work with a European SIM. I’m about to pay a gazillion dollars for an AT&T international plan. When my current contract is up, never again...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camin0 Frances (2004, 2008), Camino Portugues (2010), Camino del Norte (2012) Via de la Plata planing April92014), CaminoiPortugues (2015.)
#11
Pity on us AT&T iPhone customers! Even following AT&T’s instructions to unlock my old paid-off iPhone with their official blessing, it wouldn’t work with a European SIM. I’m about to pay a gazillion dollars for an AT&T international plan. When my current contract is up, never again...
I think you are better off buying a cheap old unlocked phone and get a Lebara or Lycamovil SIM card, for emergency phone calls and messages and use your IPHONE when you find a place with WIFI, i will you save money
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk the Camino Frances mid May 2018
#12
Thanks everyone. Will buy in Madrid as staying there 3 days before going to Pamplona. Know that Orange works in France. Might be useful was going there post Camino. Will see.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francis, Portuguese, El Norte
#13
Thanks everyone. Will buy in Madrid as staying there 3 days before going to Pamplona. Know that Orange works in France. Might be useful was going there post Camino. Will see.
I purchased a Vodafone SIM card in Spain last year and was very happy with it. It worked all through Europe and I even used it on the Greek islands.
 

Dominick

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata 2018, Finisterre 2018,
#16
Hola Perregrinos,

Thanks for your comments. I will be walking the VDLP in September and have not yet decided on phone & internet services.
So, if one purchases a Vodafone, does the phone come with a Sim Card and internet service and is one able to download apps (what's app, etc.) on a Vodafone?

Gracias,
Dominick
 

Latecomer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VDLP (Sept 2015)

CF SJPDP-SdC+
(Sept/Oct 2018)
#17
Hi Dominick,

I saw in a separate thread that your carrier is Verizon. If you currently have a LTE compatible smartphone from Verizon (which was bought more than about a month ago) it is carrier unlocked. If your current phone has the correct radio bands and is GSM compatible you can use your existing phone in Spain (you can look this up based on the model number in Settings > About).

The nice thing about using your existing phone is that you can set it up before you leave. I did this a couple of years ago on the VdlP and had offline maps with Maps.me along with the route of the camino (which came in handy a number of times).

If you are about due for a new phone anyway, take the international / GSM compatibility into account and preferably get at least 32GB of storage (you might be able to get by with 16GB but that is less common now). If you get your phone from Verizon pay attention to how this story (on their new locking of LTE devices) plays out.

I recently bought an unlocked iPhone 8 Plus, partially justifying its purchase with my upcoming Camino - it will be my camera, communication device, GPS..

¡Buen Camino! Latecomer
 

long trails

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2016
Portugues April 2017
#18
I have used Orange in Spain every time I have visited and never had a problem with them. In the stores there is always at least one person who can speak English. They will require your passport but the process only takes about 10 minutes which is super fast for Spain!

In terms of coverage I had no issues on the Camino Frances and part of the VDLP.

I think price wise they are all pretty much the same. You usually pay for what you get!
 

kayagee66

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Le Puy - Roncesvalles (2016)
Figeac - Cahors (2017)
Stevenson Trail (2018
#19
Thanks. Good to know. My son who lives part of the year in spain also recommended Vodafone
From last summer a sim card from any european country should work in all european countries.
 

Dominick

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata 2018, Finisterre 2018,
#20
Hi Dominick,

I saw in a separate thread that your carrier is Verizon. If you currently have a LTE compatible smartphone from Verizon (which was bought more than about a month ago) it is carrier unlocked. If your current phone has the correct radio bands and is GSM compatible you can use your existing phone in Spain (you can look this up based on the model number in Settings > About).

The nice thing about using your existing phone is that you can set it up before you leave. I did this a couple of years ago on the VdlP and had offline maps with Maps.me along with the route of the camino (which came in handy a number of times).

If you are about due for a new phone anyway, take the international / GSM compatibility into account and preferably get at least 32GB of storage (you might be able to get by with 16GB but that is less common now). If you get your phone from Verizon pay attention to how this story (on their new locking of LTE devices) plays out.

I recently bought an unlocked iPhone 8 Plus, partially justifying its purchase with my upcoming Camino - it will be my camera, communication device, GPS..

¡Buen Camino! Latecomer
Hola Latecomer,

Si, I have an LTE that is carrier locked. I will talk with Verizon and see what they can offer me.
I have a 2018 VDLP Guide book by Gerald Kelly. It seems to be ok, but the maps are black & white. I was also thinking about using some map apps for the VDLP. Did you use a guide book? What time of the year did you walk the VDLP? I would love to hear about your experience and any suggestions.

Gracias,
Dominick
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances from SJPP 2015, 2016, 2018
Way of St. Francis, Italy April 2017
Portuguese/Finister (2018)
#21
Pity on us AT&T iPhone customers! Even following AT&T’s instructions to unlock my old paid-off iPhone with their official blessing, it wouldn’t work with a European SIM. I’m about to pay a gazillion dollars for an AT&T international plan. When my current contract is up, never again...
I have used multiple unlocked AT&T phones on 3 Caminos and multiple international trips, as have my traveling companions. We had no problem with the phone. A couple of times we had problems setting up the sim card, but eventually figured it out.
 

Latecomer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VDLP (Sept 2015)

CF SJPDP-SdC+
(Sept/Oct 2018)
#22
Si, I have an LTE that is carrier locked. I will talk with Verizon and see what they can offer me
http://www.verizon.com/about/consumer-safety/device-unlocking-policy
Excerpt: "
Postpay Device Unlocking Policy
  • We do not lock most phones or tablets that are activated with our postpay service, either during or after the term of your service contract or Device Payment Plan installment sales agreement.
  • We do not lock our 4G LTE devices, and no code is needed to program them for use with another carrier."
Be careful about making assumptions about whether your Verizon phone is locked (most LTE phones are not because of an agreement they made with the FCC a few years ago but was just recently undone under the administration's regulation last month). But if you have a 2 or 3 year old phone it might be worth considering other options anyway). Honestly, I am not a big Verizon fan, but you can get a phone which will work on Verizon's CDMA network and most of the world. Like for instance, my old (unlocked) Nexus phone or my new (unlocked) iPhone 8.

If you are planning to do a lot of international travel, it MIGHT be worth looking at T-Mobil (GSM) or Google Fi, but honestly, unless you really travel a lot to different countries (and retain the same phone number), it is a lot cheaper to just have an unlocked GSM phone and buy a local SIM card.

I walked with a good friend and his brothers in September / October 2015, lost some brothers and maybe a friend (just joking). For more information.

¡Buen Camino! Latecomer
 
Camino(s) past & future
Yes, I will initiate in August (2015), starting from Roncesvalles.
#23
I’ll be arriving in Madrid 16.5. to walk from Pamplona from 21.5. I’d like to buy a SIM card ASAP on arrival in Spain. Would like to have some data and be able to text n call. Can somebody recommend where to get a reasonable priced SIM? Is it better to buy at the airport or a provider in Madrid city? Been told that Vodafone has a €20/mnth deal with 2G data. Don’t really need that much and rather pay less. Any recommendations?
Hello Gabi. I bought a card in Pamplona, which cost € 15.00, with 2 GB (Vodafone), but rechargeable. It was enough for me to complete the journey from Pamplona to Santiago de Compostela.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-SdeC(2010) Newark,UK-Portsmouth(2014-2015);ferry-Santander-El Pito(2016); El Pito-SdeC(2017).
#25
I’ll be arriving in Madrid 16.5. to walk from Pamplona from 21.5. I’d like to buy a SIM card ASAP on arrival in Spain. Would like to have some data and be able to text n call. Can somebody recommend where to get a reasonable priced SIM? Is it better to buy at the airport or a provider in Madrid city? Been told that Vodafone has a €20/mnth deal with 2G data. Don’t really need that much and rather pay less. Any recommendations?
If you are going into Madrid, it is cheaper than the airport. There is a Vodaphone store at the Puerto del Sol right in the centre. Good package for 30 euros.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-SdeC(2010) Newark,UK-Portsmouth(2014-2015);ferry-Santander-El Pito(2016); El Pito-SdeC(2017).
#26
If you are going into Madrid, it is cheaper than the airport. There is a Vodaphone store at the Puerto del Sol right in the centre. Good package for 30 euros.
If you are going into Madrid, it is cheaper than the airport. There is a Vodaphone store at the Puerto del Sol right in the centre. Good package for 30 euros.
 

Pxlwiz

Returning Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)Camino del Norte/Primativo
(2018)Camino Inglés
#27
Pity on us AT&T iPhone customers! Even following AT&T’s instructions to unlock my old paid-off iPhone with their official blessing, it wouldn’t work with a European SIM. I’m about to pay a gazillion dollars for an AT&T international plan. When my current contract is up, never again...
I
 

Pxlwiz

Returning Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)Camino del Norte/Primativo
(2018)Camino Inglés
#28
I walked the Norte/ Primativo last summer with an att iPhone and a movistar SIM. If you own the phone outright they are obliged to unlock it for you. Keep on customer service till you get someone helpfully. If you Google the FCC policy beforehand it may give you ammo for getting through the att maze. If you'd still paying off your phone you might want to do the math on an earlier buy out as the alternative could be grim. Best of luck y Buen Camino@
 

Tony Bobcat

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017
#29
I have used Orange in Spain every time I have visited and never had a problem with them. In the stores there is always at least one person who can speak English. They will require your passport but the process only takes about 10 minutes which is super fast for Spain!

In terms of coverage I had no issues on the Camino Frances and part of the VDLP.

I think price wise they are all pretty much the same. You usually pay for what you get!
Hi Long Trail, did you have to get a new SIM card or use your previous years card.
I bought an orange SIM card last year and was wondering weather I can just top it for or buy a different brand.
 

long trails

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2016
Portugues April 2017
#30
Hi Long Trail, did you have to get a new SIM card or use your previous years card.
I bought an orange SIM card last year and was wondering weather I can just top it for or buy a different brand.

I still use the same Orange sim card that I bought years ago. I think it remains active for one year after the last top up.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF15, CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF17, CP17, CdN, CM, CF18, LePuy19
#32
I was an Orange customer for years in France but every time I came back from the US I had to get a new phone number, the credits I had did not carry over.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
#33
I'm arriving the same day in Pamplona and I go every year to Vodafone and buy a sim card from them.
I've been using them for years and love their service and their prices. We will be staying at Hotel Eslava and you're welcome to tag along on the 17th to get a sim if you wish. PM me to keep in touch.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#34
I'm arriving the same day in Pamplona and I go every year to Vodafone and buy a sim card from them.
I've been using them for years and love their service and their prices. We will be staying at Hotel Eslava and you're welcome to tag along on the 17th to get a sim if you wish. PM me to keep in touch.
Hi @Anniesantiago .

I was just looking at the Vodafone stores in Pamplona and opening hours.

We'll arrive in Pamplona on a Sunday, just passing through from St Jean, so we plan to head out early Monday. I see Vodafone is closed Sundays and doesn't open till 10 am Monday.

Pamplona is the first place that it's possible to pick one up on the CF Isn't it?

And we are coming in via Paris not Madrid.

Might need to work on a Plan B.......

Plan A was actually ordering them online, but that is a bit hit and miss. I use thus website.
simcardspain.es

All went well in 2015, cards never arrived in 2016, and this year looks like they might not either....
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
#35
Hi @Anniesantiago .

I was just looking at the Vodafone stores in Pamplona and opening hours.

We'll arrive in Pamplona on a Sunday, just passing through from St Jean, so we plan to head out early Monday. I see Vodafone is closed Sundays and doesn't open till 10 am Monday.

Pamplona is the first place that it's possible to pick one up on the CF Isn't it?

And we are coming in via Paris not Madrid.

Might need to work on a Plan B.......

Plan A was actually ordering them online, but that is a bit hit and miss. I use thus website.
simcardspain.es

All went well in 2015, cards never arrived in 2016, and this year looks like they might not either....
Pamplona is the first place I know of to pick up the SIM card.
Not sure if there is a Vodafone in Puente la Reina, but maybe you could just bus or taxi back to pick it up in Pamplona?
 

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