The good news for those who are going to Israel is that this country offers prepaid SIM cards for tourists and it’s quite easy to buy Israeli SIM cards when you arrive there. Don’t have to worry about staying connected anymore, feel free and enjoy your Israel trip!

israel SIM Card

1. Should I Buy New Israel SIM Cards for My Israel Trip?

Israel sim cards

Getting a local SIM card is highly recommended for your Israel trip. Here’s why:

  • Convenience: Imagine navigating a new place without Google Maps or the ability to translate signs? A local SIM card keeps you connected and able to access the internet throughout your trip.
  • Cost-effective: Using your home country’s data plan in Israel can be very expensive. Local SIM cards offer much more affordable data packages.
  • Better Coverage: Local SIM cards often provide better coverage than your home country’s plan, especially in remote areas.

2. Israel SIM Card Types – Which One is the Best for Tourists?

There are two main options for tourists, Prepaid Israel SIM Cards and eSIM, both prepaid SIM cards and eSIMs have their pros and cons:

Feature Prepaid SIM Card eSIM
Availability Widely available upon arrival (airports, stores) Purchase online before trip
Convenience Less convenient (requires finding store, activation) More convenient (purchase online, activate on arrival)
Phone compatibility Requires spare SIM card slot Requires eSIM-enabled phone
Price Potentially cheaper (depending on deals) Might be slightly more expensive

Advice for Tourists:

  • Choose an eSIM: If your phone supports eSIM and you value convenience, go for an eSIM. Purchase it online from a provider like before your trip.
  • Choose a prepaid SIM: If your phone doesn’t support eSIM or you find a great deal on a prepaid SIM upon arrival, that works too. Just factor in the time it might take to find a store and activate it.

3. How Much Data is Enough for a Prepaid Tourist Israel SIM Card?

For many travelers, having enough mobile data is a top priority. But how much is really needed during a trip to Israel? Here are some guidelines on how to estimate your ideal data allowance:

  • Light usage: If you just need basic maps/navigation and occasional web browsing, 2-3GB for your entire trip is usually enough.
  • Moderate usage: For those who will use data for maps, social media, some video/music streaming, and other apps, 5-8GB tends to work well for a 7-10 day Israel visit.
  • Heavy usage: If you plan to stream a lot of video/music, use data heavily for work, or stay for 2-3 weeks, get a SIM with 10-15GB of data.
  • Extremely heavy usage: For extended long-term travel in Israel 1 month+, or very heavy data usage, look for SIMs with 20-50GB or unlimited data.

Keep in mind that you can always top-up and add more data later if needed. But starting with a SIM that has enough baseline data for your trip is recommended.

4. How Much Do Israel SIM Cards Cost?

Most travelers end up spending around 100 to 300 ILS ($30 to $90 USD) for a prepaid tourist Israel SIM with calling, texts, and several GB of data lasting 7-30 days.

Israel Prepaid SIM Data Validity Price (USD)
Cellcom 3GB - 500GB 7 - 30 days ~$25 - $49
HOT Mobile 20GB - 50GB 10 - 30 Days ~$14 - $33
Partner 10GB - 200GB 7 - 30 Days ~$13 - $44
Pelephone 125GB - 500GB 30 Days ~$16 - $27

5. Israel eSIM – Alternative to Physical SIM Cards

In recent years, some carriers have started offering eSIMs in Israel. An eSIM or embedded digital SIM is a software-based network connection for your phone. There is no physical nano/micro SIM card required.

The advantages of using an Israel eSIM include:

  • Don’t need to locate and insert a SIM card
  • Remote activation from your phone
  • Ability to change plans instantly
  • Use dual SIM functionality on iPhone

However, eSIM support is still limited to newer high-end phone models. Check this Israel eSIM Compatible Device List to confirm if you’re eSIM-ready. Prices are often higher than regular prepaid SIMs in Israel. But for convenience, an Israel eSIM can be a good alternative if your device is compatible.

Major Israeli telecommunications companies such as, Cellcom and Hot Mobile provide prepaid eSIMs for tourists.

Get eSIM
Beat roaming fees and bypass airport SIM shops

6. Where to Buy Israel SIM Cards?

You can purchase a prepaid Israel SIM card both before arrival and once in the country:

6.1. Buy eSIM online

To obtain eSIMs, one can easily purchase in advance through provider websites or third-party vendors such as Upon registration, immediate instructions for activation will be provided.

6.2. Buy physical Israel SIM Card

 Here are some places where you can buy physical Israel SIM cards:

  • Cellular Provider Stores: Visit the official stores or authorized retailers of cellular providers such as Cellcom, Pelephone, Partner, Golan Telecom, or HOT Mobile. 
  • Airports: Many airports in Israel, including Ben Gurion International Airport, have kiosks or stores where you can purchase SIM cards upon arrival. 
  • Shopping Malls: Look for mobile phone shops or kiosks in popular shopping malls across Israel. 
  • Supermarkets and Convenience Stores: Some supermarkets, such as Shufersal and Rami Levy, and convenience stores like 7-Eleven or AM:PM, may have a section dedicated to mobile phone accessories and SIM cards. 

Remember to bring your passport or identification, as it may be required for SIM card registration. Additionally, don’t forget to compare prices and plans from different providers to find the best option that suits your needs.

buy israel sim card

7. How to Use Israel SIM Cards

Using your new Israeli SIM card is easy. Just follow these simple steps:

1. Unlock your phone – Most modern phones are unlocked automatically. If not, contact your home carrier to unlock it before traveling.

2. Insert the SIM card: Open the SIM card slot using a SIM card removal tool or a small paper clip. Insert the SIM card into the slot, ensuring it is properly aligned with the contacts.

3. Power on your device: Turn on your device and wait for it to fully boot up.

4. Activate the SIM card: Follow the provider’s instructions to activate the SIM card, such as dialing a number or using a website. Enter the activation code or follow the on-screen prompts.

5. Set up APN settings: Configure APN settings if needed. APN settings allow the cellular connection. Check network settings or contact the provider for help.

6. Test connectivity: Check if your device is connected to the cellular network. Ensure that you have a signal and can make calls or access the internet.

7. Top up or recharge: If the SIM card has limited use or needs credit, you can top it up through the provider’s app, or website or by buying top-up cards from retailers.

Once set up, your Israel SIM card will provide you with an Israeli phone number and network access locally. Remember to turn off data roaming to avoid unwanted roaming charges. 

8. Best Mobile Operators for Israel SIM Cards

Several leading local mobile network operators in Israel offer prepaid SIMs suitable for tourists:

Operator Coverage Price Speed
Cellcom Most extensive Pricier Good
Hot Mobile Strong 4G, limited 5G Competitive Good
Partner Good balance Mid-range Goof
Pelephone Best 5G, good 4G More expensive Fastest

Ultimately, the best mobile operator for you depends on your individual needs. If you prioritize speed and coverage, Pelephone might be the best choice. If you’re on a budget and data usage is moderate, Hot Mobile could be a good option. Partner offers a good balance for most users.

9. Tips for Saving Data for Israel SIM Card

To help minimize data usage during your Israel trip, here are some useful tips:

  • Disable auto app updates – Stop apps from large updates in the background.
  • Download offline maps/content – Use wifi to pre-load Google Maps and playlists.
  • Turn off email auto-refresh – Fetch new email manually instead.
  • Limit streaming – Stream high-bandwidth video and music selectively.
  • Disable roaming – Roaming data charges can rack up fast.
  • Use wifi – Connect to free hotel, restaurant or cafe wifi when available.
  • Monitor usage – Check your remaining data periodically to avoid surprises.
  • Recharge if needed – Top up your Israel SIM with more data mid-trip if running low.

Following these tips will help maximize your prepaid data allowance during your Israel visit!

10. FAQs

Are Israel SIM cards easy to set up?

Yes, Israeli SIM cards are designed to be convenient for tourists to use. As long as you have an unlocked phone, just insert the new SIM, turn on your phone, and it will automatically configure network settings within minutes.

Can I use an Israel SIM across multiple devices?

No, an Israeli SIM can only be actively used in one device at a time. You would need to get separate SIMs for each additional phone or tablet you want to connect.

Are there Israel SIM card scams I should avoid?

Only purchase SIMs from authorized sellers like established mobile operators or local phone shops. Avoid street vendors selling SIMs at discounts, as they may be used or defunct cards.

How can I check my Israel SIM card balance?

You can dial *123# on your Israel SIM phone or install your provider’s app to check your available minutes, texts, and data balance at any time. Most will send you low balance SMS alerts.

11. Conclusion

Getting a prepaid Israeli SIM card for your trip is simple, affordable, and provides reliable connectivity across this historic country. Avoid excessive roaming fees and stay conveniently connected with a local SIM. Choose a top provider, find the right prepaid plan for your needs, and use the tips above to maximize your data allowance. With your new Israeli SIM, you’ll have an easy, stress-free mobile experience during your visit!