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What's The Best eSIM For Turkey? We've Ranked the Top Providers in 2024

Jan Watermann, writer at Monito.com

Jan Watermann

Guide

Jun 27, 2024
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Known for its excellent Mediterranean beaches, ancient history, and delicious sweet treats, Turkey isn't popular with tourists without reason. If you're planning to visit the country soon, it should come as no surprise that you won't be able to call, SMS, or access the web on the go with your smartphone as you usually would at home, and if you do manage to get connected via roaming, it can result in hefty additional charges.

However, none of this means you should leave your smartphone at home. If your device is a newish model (i.e., from 2019 or later), there's a good chance it'll support an eSIM. These nifty digital SIM cards can be downloaded and installed before you travel, promising blazing-fast internet in Turkey at a very low cost compared to roaming and great convenience compared to physical SIMs. In this guide, we explore everything you have to know about eSIMs in Turkey and what the best deals might be for you.

Compare all 241 eSIM data plans for Turkey in just a few clicks:

As we'll explore in more depth in this guide, when choosing an eSIM, you have two options. The first option is for you to go through a digital eSIM provider, and the second option is to purchase an eSIM directly from your network provider or carrier. We strongly recommend the first option. After all, with reputable online providers, you can always be sure you'll get good support, excellent rates, and quality instructions that normally exceed those of the big carriers.

According to our review and comparison of the best options on the market, the best four eSIM providers for Turkey are Holafly, Airalo, GigSky, and Yesim. Here are a few key facts:

📱No. of Providers Compared

13

📶 No. of Plans Compared

241

✅ No. of Monito Promos

10

💲 Cheapest Price

$0.54 /GB

💵 Highest Price

$5.39 /GB

✨ Cheapest 1GB+ Plan

Jetpac | 4 days | $1

✨ Cheapest 10GB+ Plan

Global YO | 10GB | 30 days | $7.11

✨ Cheapest Unlimited Plan

iRoamly | 7 days | $16.2

Best Overall: Airalo

Airalo is an excellent eSIM provider for Turkey. Its online platform offers global access to eSIMs through collaboration with big local telecom providers. In Turkey, for example, Airalo works directly with Turk Telekom to provide you with high-speed coverage directly from their networks, wherever you are in the country.

Once-off prices for eSIMs for Turkey range from $4.50 to $26 and include between 1 GB and 20 GB of data. Ordinary travellers should be able to get by with these amounts without any problems. Setting up and activating your eSIM happens entirely on your smartphone, and it's very quick. In our test, we just took two minutes (watch our how-to video on YouTube to see how it's done). Moreover, you can easily top this up via the Airalo app if you start running low on data during your trip. This lets you save time and hassle compared to buying a physical SIM, where you'd usually need to stand in line at the counter to buy or top up your card or package.

We recommend Airalo in general, especially if you travel often. The service provides an excellent connectivity companion while you're abroad. To learn more about this excellent eSIM provider, look at our in-depth Airalo review.

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New customer? Use this code to save 15% on your first eSIM!

Best For Unlimited Data: Holafly

Holafly is another trusted eSIM service which only provides packages with unlimited data to dozens of countries worldwide. Although these packages cost quite a bit more than the smaller Airalo packages, in return, they offer the certainty that you'll never use up all your data.

For trips to Turkey, Holafly's data packages cost between $6 and $139 once off and are valid from one to 90 days. Like Airalo, Holafly also works with domestic carriers, so you'll get coverage like a local no matter where you travel in the country (although in remote regions, coverage can become spotty).

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Although Holafly offers unlimited data in most countries, including Turkey, if you're a globetrotter, it's worth keeping in mind that Holafly offers limited data plans to some other destinations. Be sure to check their website or app before traveling to a new country to confirm whether Holafly's unlimited packages apply.

Although Holafly's packages are generally great if you'd like uncapped access to the web, it's worth remembering that most travellers don't usually need such a large sum of data and that normally, 5 GB to 10 GB, at most, should be enough for everyday travel needs in Turkey like navigating, browsing, and using social media. Moreover, your speeds might be temporarily throttled if you use a very extensive amount of data (e.g., for non-stop HD streaming or downloading large files). During our test in the UK, this happened to us at around 4.5 GB of usage. Sadly, Holafly's fair use policies don't clearly outline when networks throttle speeds since it comes down to the individual network or carrier and the country you're browsing in.

If you're curious, we tested Holafly extensively to see if its data plans really live up to their 'unlimited' promise. The short answer? Yes, but there are a few things you should know. Take a look at our Holafly review to find out what they are.

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New customer? Use this code to save 5% on your first eSIM!

Best For a Free 100 MB Test: GigSky

GigSky is a popular US-based eSIM provider that offers a unique opportunity: it lets you download and install a free eSIM with 100 MB of allowance so you can test how eSIMs work without being obligated to pay more once you've used up your data.

Like Airalo, GigSky offers fixed data plans (normally just 1 GB, 3 GB, or 5 GB) in around 200 destinations worldwide, including Turkey. And like Holafly, it also offers unlimited plans. In addition, GigSky offers regional and global plans, with all of its data allowances competitively priced and its rates neck-in-neck with those of the other providers on this list.

Most interestingly (unlike Airalo and Holafly), Gigsky offers special data plans for flights and cruises. Although they're pricier than the normal plans, they could be useful for you if you'd like to connect in the air or at sea.

Regardless of what kind of data plan you're looking for, GigSky probably has you covered—and at great rates to boot. Sign up now for a no-obligation free 500 MB and top up your data later if you need more.

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Another Reliable Alternative: Yesim

A smaller and newer company than Airalo and Holafly, Yesim is a Swiss-based eSIM provider offering highly-rated eSIMs for countries around the globe. Their website and app are simple, straightforward, and easy to use, and over 300,000 customers have chosen their eSIMs so far.

Like its larger competitors, Yesim gives you a SIM card connecting to local carriers while you're abroad. It can be installed quickly and effortlessly right from the app or via a QR code sent to your email after purchase. Interestingly, alongside its eSIM service, Yesim also offers a virtual number service that allows you to get an online-only US (+1), Canadian (+1), or Israeli (+972) mobile phone number to use for apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, Instagram, OpenAI, Binance, Tinder, or TikTok. These virtual numbers can be used for a flat fee of $2.75 per month.

Going back to eSIMs, Yesim's packages typically cost between $7 and $28 for 3 GB to 20 GB, but only the 10 GB and 20 GB data plans last longer than 30 days (some plans up to 60 days are possible to purchase). In our opinion, this makes Yesim's offers slightly less attractive than Airalo's for travel in general.

However, it's worth remembering that Yesim's prices are often fractionally lower per gigabyte, so if you're looking for the best deal, make sure you visit Yesim's website and compare their prices to Airalo's,

How Do They Compare?

In the chart below, we've compared Airalo, Holafly, and Yesim based on a few factors you might find important on your trip to Turkey or anywhere else in the world. As you'll see, the three are very competitive, with differences normally being slight. If you'd like to compare Holafly and Airalo directly, take a look at our side-by-side review of the two too.

🌎 Countries

200+

±177

200+

±160

⚡ Data

1 - 20 GB

Unlimited

500 MB - 10 GB

3 - 30 GB

💵 Price (USD)

$1 - $6 /GB

$19 - $100 /plan

$0 - $7.99 /GB

$1.10 - $7 /GB

📅 Duration

7 - 365 days

5 - 90 days

7 - 30 days

7 - 30 days

📞 Talk & Text

📶 Speeds

3G / 4G / 5G / LTE

4G / 5G / LTE

3G / 4G / 5G / LTE

3G / 4G / 5G / LTE

✈️ Flight Package

🚢 Cruise Package

🔗 Tethering (Hotspot)

🔎 Works With VPN

✨ Coupon

  • MONITO15 for 15% off
  • MONITO10 for 10% off

MONITO for 5% off

MONITO10 for 10% off

Visit websiteVisit websiteVisit websiteVisit website

Correct as of 8 March, 2024

Do I Need a SIM Card in Turkey?

Hans-Jürgen Weinhardt A view of the Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey.

No, you don't need a SIM card as a tourist in Turkey, but having one will enable you to make phone calls and SMSes and not to rely solely on public or hotel WiFi to access the web.

A good place to start would be to review your contract from your mobile network provider before you travel to Turkey. Most contracts are limited to use just within your home country (or within the European Union if you live in an EU country). For all other countries, so-called 'roaming charges' typically apply. However, there is one exception: specific contracts sometimes allow you to use your data worldwide. If you have a global internet contract, you can also use it in Turkey without unexpected roaming charges.

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Otherwise, although precise roaming charges differ according to your network provider, the fees for using mobile internet in Turkey are typically around $2 or $3 per 6 MB (six megabytes) of data used, though they could be higher still. For example, if you wanted to download an average-sized app from the Google Play Store onto your Android smartphone, you'd use around 24 MB and pay $8 to $10 in roaming charges. It should, therefore, be clear that roaming with your regular SIM card in Turkey is generally not worthwhile and can lead to enormous costs. As we'll see in a moment, it's significantly cheaper to purchase a local Turkish SIM card once you arrive or, better yet, an eSIM before you travel.

What Are eSIMs, Anyway?

Mar Cerdeira Hot air ballooning in Turkey.

Simply put, eSIMs are regular SIM cards that don't require inserting an actual microchip into your device while providing the same benefits. Newer smartphones (but also smartwatches, tablets, and other devices) can be equipped with eSIMs, and since you don't need an actual SIM card to install an eSIM, you can also get one before your trip to Turkey. To do this, all you have to do is visit an online eSIM service, purchase the eSIM you want, and follow the instructions to download and install it onto your device.

Like regular SIM cards, prepaid eSIMs come bundled with a certain fixed amount of data, SMSes, or telephone minutes, which you can use at your leisure while travelling. You get to choose the package you want, and you can generally also extend your eSIM's validity easily right from an app.

Pros of Using an eSIM

In general, eSIMs have numerous advantages and are often a better alternative to using a regular SIM card for most tourists. In our opinion, the most significant advantages include:

  • internet immediately upon arrival in Turkey,
  • no negotiating with SIM card sellers at the airport,
  • transparent and fair pricing,
  • online extension is often possible,
  • credit card payment is possible,
  • local telecom provider networks are used.

In our opinion, there are only a few reasons against using an eSIM when travelling to Turkey (which we'll discuss below), and in most instances, we're sure that it's a far better deal than using your normal SIM card from your home country on Turkish networks.

Cons of Using an eSIM

As we've already seen, eSIMs have very few drawbacks and are an excellent option for accessing mobile internet on your Turkish vacation.

However, one disadvantage is the slightly higher upfront cost than physical SIM cards. That said, eSIMs are still comparatively cheap, especially for use in Turkey from abroad. In our opinion, the significantly higher level of comfort and the possibility of having access to the internet immediately upon arrival are worth the extra pennies. Another disadvantage is related to installation, where the process may be unfamiliar to you if you've never installed an eSIM before. However, if you follow the instructions carefully, you'll be fine.

Finally, there's the issue of compatibility: not all devices support eSIMs. If your device was released before late 2019, we recommend double-checking on the internet or contacting a representative from an eSIM service to confirm whether your device is compatible before you purchase an eSIM. In general, the following devices will support eSIMs though:

  • iPhone 11 or later
  • iPhone XS, iPhone XR, or iPhone SE
  • iPad 7th generation or later,
  • Galaxy S20 or later
  • Google Pixel 3 or later
  • and many other devices (see our full list of compatible devices)

Can I Call From Turkey With an eSIM?

Engin Akyurt Red and yellow pomegranates in a basket.

Yes, you can call abroad from Turkey with an eSIM, but once again, using your regular network provider and SIM card could result in surprisingly high calling charges at the end of the month (we've personally encountered as high as $4 per minute!). Fortunately, you can call abroad without the high costs, and there are three ways of doing this. We go through each below:

1. Voice-Over-IP (VoIP) With Data

In most cases, eSIM packages are loaded with mobile data, not with minutes or airtime. However, using your data, you can use web-based apps like WhatsApp, Google Meet, Skype, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, FaceTime and others to stay in touch with family and friends abroad while in Turkey.

2. eSIMs With Airtime

Some eSIM services offer talk and text packages alongside normal data packages. These allow you to make direct phone calls or SMSes via local networks in Turkey to your home country for only a slightly higher fee than regular data packages. Not all eSIM services offer this service though, but some, like Wraptel, do.

3. International Calling Apps

If you plan to make calls from Turkey (or anywhere else abroad) fairly regularly, then your most reliable and affordable option will be to use a third-party app. In our opinion, Rebtel is by far the best service out there, offering low rates and providing you with local Turkish phone numbers with which you can make calls abroad as though they were completely domestic.

Although it's popular, we typically don't recommend using Google Fi for this purpose unless you plan to go back and forth from the United States regularly (since Google Fi is only available to Americans and will not work if you spend over 90 days abroad per year). In general, Rebtel's rates are more affordable than Google Fi's too. To learn more about our first-hand experience with Google Fi, look at our in-depth review.

Recap: All About eSIMs in Turkey

Aslıhan Altın Roman ruins in Antalya, Turkey.

Are you planning a trip in Turkey, and do you have a modern smartphone? Then, you should certainly at least consider getting an eSIM. In our opinion, they offer almost nothing but advantages and are generally far superior to using your regular SIM card.

To find the right provider for eSIMs in Turkey, you should compare the available options. As we've seen, we recommend looking primarily at the network provider and the price. Depending on how long you want to stay in Turkey, Airalo, Holafly or possibly Yesim are the best choices. To recap, here are what each can offer you:

  1. Airalo: Best eSIM for Turkey overall.
  2. Holafly: Best eSIM for unlimited data.
  3. Yesim: Good alternative to Airalo,
  4. GigSky: Best free eSIM to test,
  5. Rebtel: Best calling service for international calls.

Compare more than 241 eSIMs packages for your next trip to Turkey:

  • Where are you going?
  • How long is your trip?
  • How much data do you need?
119 results
Sort by
  1. Total data

    5 GB

    $4.32

    $4.80

    Data only
    30 days
    Turkey
    10% off with code MONITO
  2. Total data

    5 GB

    $5.22

    $5.80

    Data only
    30 days
    34 countries
    10% off with code MONITO
  3. Total data

    5 GB

    $7.65

    $9.00

    Data only
    30 days
    Turkey
    15% off with code MONITO15

FAQ About The Best eSIM For Turkey