Published: June 08 2023
Visiting Hungary and looking forward to immersing yourself in its rich culture, mouthwatering cuisine, and stunning architecture? Stay connected with ease by obtaining a local SIM card. With this guide, you will learn about the process and important details regarding getting a local SIM card in Hungary.
List of Hungarian Network Providers
Before diving into the process, it's essential to know that there are three main network providers in Hungary:
Each provider offers different prepaid plans catering to various needs. It's best to research and compare their offers before making your choice.
Where to Buy a SIM Card in Hungary
Airports and Train Stations
Upon arrival in Hungary, you can find SIM cards at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport and other locations like train stations. Retailers such as RELAY and Tech2Go usually have SIM card stocks at the airport terminals. However, prices might be slightly inflated compared to in-city stores.
Mobile Network Provider Shops
Visiting a mobile network provider shop is the most straightforward way to get a local SIM card. In Hungarian cities, you can commonly find the shops of Telekom, Telenor, and Vodafone in shopping malls and high-traffic areas.
Supermarkets, Convenience Stores, and Electronics Shops
Documents Required for Purchasing SIM Cards
Hungarian law mandates that all SIM card purchases must be registered with a valid identity document. For tourists, this usually means providing your passport for registration. Some stores may accept other forms of identification, like a national ID card or a driver's license, but it's best to have your passport handy.
Activating Your Hungarian SIM Card
Once you have purchased a SIM card, activating it is usually simple. For some providers, the activation process starts automatically upon inserting the SIM card into your phone and making the first call. Others require sending an SMS or calling a particular number. Instructions for activation are typically provided in the SIM card package or explained by the seller.
Topping Up and Managing Your Prepaid Plan
Most providers offer a range of top-up options, allowing you to recharge your credit online through their websites or using mobile applications. You can also buy top-up vouchers at the network provider shops, supermarkets, and other retail outlets. These vouchers usually include a code that you need to enter via the phone application or send via SMS to add credit to your account.
Managing your prepaid plan can be done through the providers' mobile applications or websites, where you can monitor your usage and modify your tariff.
Considerations for Phones from Other Countries
When using a foreign phone in Hungary, ensure that it is compatible with Hungarian networks and not locked by your home service provider. The most commonly used network frequencies in Hungary are GSM 900/1800 (2G), UMTS 900/2100 (3G), and LTE bands 3, 7, and 20 (4G). Check your phone's capabilities and unlock it if necessary before purchasing a Hungarian SIM card.
Obtaining a local SIM card in Hungary is a straightforward process that guarantees seamless connectivity during your visit. Research the local providers, have your identity document handy, and ensure compatibility with your phone. With these steps in mind, staying connected in Hungary should be a breeze.