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Where to buy the best prepaid SIM card in Hungary

Reduce your roaming bills by using a local SIM.

Updated

Fact checked

Hungary is one of Europe’s top tourist destinations and also one of the more reasonably priced nations. It has some great SIM card deals that could reduce your phone bills while traveling around the country. You can buy 1GB of data from Hungary’s leading telco provider for as little as HUF1,845 (US$6.80). So, whether you’re planning a short stay, a long trip or a tour around Europe, check out the best SIM card options available on finder.com.

Travel Sim Card

Travel Sim Card from SimCorner

SimCorner's prepaid SIM cards let you enjoy local call, text and data rates in dozens of countries around the world.

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Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Number of countries Data range Shipment time
Flexiroam X
150+
1GB-7GB
3-7 business days
Attach the Flexiroam X ultra-thin microchip sticker to your current SIM card to access data roaming in over 140 countries.
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80+
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1-12 business days
SimCorner's prepaid SIM cards offer local call, text and data rates in dozens of countries around the world. Choose from a range of data packages, including unlimited data in the USA.
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Prices last updated 10 Sep 2017

Telco providers in Hungary

There are three main operators in Hungary: Telekom, Telenor and Vodafone. All three operators have been tried and tested by both locals and travelers, so you won’t go wrong with any of them. Locals call SIM cards “SIM kártya”, and they can be purchased from the official outlets of the providers after you have shown your passport and registered. There is also a lot of paperwork to sign before the prepaid SIM card will be allocated to you. Credit can be added in official stores, corner stores, service stations, post offices or ABC supermarkets, where you will have to tell the cashiers your phone number so they can add credit onto your SIM card using an electronic card machine. Hungary is part of the EU so the new European Union data caps will apply on all prepaid SIM cards. The good news is that you will be able to use them in other European countries at no extra cost.

Hungary’s network coverage

Hungary’s operators offer great coverage for a relatively small country, providing good 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services. All three operators sell prepaid credit, which allows users to take advantage of cheap offers and deals. According to OpenSignal’s coverage map, Hungary has great country-wide network coverage. Below, we have broken down each telco provider to highlight exactly what they can offer during your visit to Hungary.

Telekom

Telekom is the largest provider in Hungary, with the fastest speeds and competitive prices. They offer customers 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services and network coverage is extremely strong throughout the whole country. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores by showing your passport as a valid form of identification. There will also be an application process where paperwork will have to be filled out and signed before the SIM card can be activated.

Prepaid SIM cards are called “Domino” and can be picked up for free. However, you must pay to add credit, or purchase a SIM package which comes with voice and data plans attached.

The “Domino Quick” starter packs can be picked up for just HUF900, including 500MB of data and local minutes or HUF1,990 which comes with 1GB of data and 80 local mins. Some gas stations can now sell you a SIM card package. However, you will still have to take it to the official store to register it with your passport before it will be activated, so it makes sense to purchase a SIM card from that official store in the first place.

Credit can be purchased at T-Points, ABC supermarkets or at corner stores, post offices and gas stations. Top-up vouchers can be purchased in the following denominations: HUF3,000, HUF5,000 and HUF10,000.

There are also data packs which will stay valid until the data is used up:

1GBHUF1,090
3GBHUF2,290
6GBHUF3,990
15GBHUF6,390

If you want to continue using your SIM card around central and eastern Europe, Telekom offers some great “Travel&Surf” plans. The following SIM card packages are probably the best options for travelers:

  • Travel&Surf S: 50MB, valid for 1 day – HUF650. To activate, text +EUS to 1430
  • Travel&Surf M: 200MB, valid for 3 days – HUF1,637. To activate, text +EUM to 1430
  • Travel&Surf L: 1GB, valid for 7 days – HUF1,480. To activate, text +EUL to 1430

Telekom’s APN: internet.telekom, and website: http://www.telekom.hu/lakossagi/english

Telenor

Telenor is the second largest provider in Hungary, with good network coverage and competitive rates. They offer customers 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services and speeds are relatively fast. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores by showing your passport as a valid form of identification. There will also be an application process where paperwork will have to be filled out and signed before the SIM card can be activated. Credit can be added in gas stations, corner stores or some supermarkets using a top-up machine

Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased for HUF1,590 and come with HUF400 credit and 150MB of data. Additional credit can be purchased in the following denominations: HUF1,500, HUF3,000, HUF5,000, HUF10,000 and HUF15,000.

The following data amounts can be added as standard top ups:

50MBHUF1,500
150MBHUF3,000
300MBHUF5,000
500MBHUF10,000
1GBHUF15,000

The following data packs can also be added:

100MBHUF465
500MBHUF900
1GBHUF1,390
3GBHUF2,290

To activate a pack, text the data amount to 1744.

The “Hipernet Praktikum” data-only SIM card offers good plans. The SIM card can be purchased for HUF3,990 and comes with a credit balance of HUF3,000. The following packs can also be added:

HUF2,7861GBValid for 45 days
HUF5,5745GBValid for 45 days

Telenor’s APN: online, and website: www.telenor.hu/en

Vodafone

Vodafone is the smallest telco provider in Hungary but offers good rates and coverage is extremely strong throughout the entire country. They offer customers 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services and speeds are relatively fast. Prepaid SIM cards can be picked up from official stores by showing your passport as a valid form of identification. SIMs are free but plans will have to be added to use them. There will also be an application process where paperwork will have to be filled out and signed before the SIM card can be activated. Credit can be added in service stations, corner stores or some supermarkets by using a top-up machine.

Prepaid SIM cards can have one of the following plans added: S, M, L, Tuti, Max or Net+. The “MAX” plans are the best choice for prepaid SIM cards. The following options are available:

  • MAX S: HUF2,000, no data included, 30 local minutes or SMS. Activation: TV MAX S
  • MAX M: HUF3,000, 100MB, 50 local minutes or SMS. Activation: TV MAX M
  • MAX L: HUF4,000, 1GB, 100 local minutes or SMS. Activation: TV MAX L

The following Net+ data plans are also a good option which can be added to the above:

  • HUF3,000: 500MB data, valid for 30 days
  • HUF5,000: 1GB data, valid for 30 days

The following data packs can also be added to all prepaid SIM cards.

30MBValid for 1 dayN/ANAPI
100MBValid for 7 daysHUF325HETI100E
100MBValid for 30 daysHUF696HAVI100E
500MBValid for 30 daysHUF1,393HAVI500E
1GBValid for 30 daysHUF1858HAVI1000E

Text the relevant code from the right hand column to 1270 to activate.

There is also a data-only SIM card available called “Netjegy” which can be purchased for HUF2,990. The following packs can be added:

HUF641500MBValid for 24 hours
HUF2,3131GBValid for 7 days
HUF3,7073GBValid for 30 days

Vodafone’s APN: vitamax.internet.vodafone.net, website: www.vodafone.hu/en (Select the English language at the top of the website if necessary.)

Tried and tested by finder.com

Our very own Nathan Kay, from the Publishing and Editorial team at finder.com, spends a lot of time in Budapest, Hungary, and has some top tips to share with those heading out in the very near future.

Nathan says that to avoid massive roaming bills you should consider purchasing a local SIM card in Hungary.

“Using a local SIM card there is much easier and cheaper than using your home provider. Hungary’s call, SMS and data charges are among the lowest in the world and credit seems to last forever!,” Nathan explains.

“I use the Vodafone prepaid SIM card, and while doing research for this project, I quickly realized that the pointers and tips we provide are a great help for those who use local SIM cards when traveling abroad. For example, I didn’t know beforehand that I could just send a text to the provider to update my data credit. I always thought I had to go into the store to top up,” Nathan says.

Some top tips from finder.com staff:

  • The official language in Hungary is Hungarian, but English is its main foreign language, so most people speak it.
  • Locals call a SIM card a “SIM kártya” or “SIM”.
  • Ask the sellers to set up the SIM for you, because they will know how to do it. If not, follow the instructions we have highlighted above or go to the official operator website to get advice.
  • Get to the shops early to receive better assistance and to avoid the crowds.

TripAdvisor tips for the best SIM cards and where to buy them

While it’s well known for hotels, flights and holiday bookings, TripAdvisor also has many user comments that can help guide you through what SIM cards have been tried and tested in Hungary.

Here are some top tips from TripAdvisor users:

Vodafone is your best option, everyone speaks English and they have an EU Roaming Package for HUF1,000 per day which you can use in any EU country. It gives you 100MB of Internet and unlimited incoming calls.

Hungary requires registration of all SIM cards, even prepaid. Bring your passport to their store at Deak Ter (near Vaci Utca) or Arena Plaza. It takes about 20-30 minutes with a lot of signing. These two locations have a handful of English speakers.”

“The KoKi shopping mall rather near the airport has all three providers’ shops I believe. The airport also has SIM cards and so do all the shopping malls.”

Pros and cons of Hungary’s top telco providers.

All networks require you to have a SIM-unlocked, GSM-compatible international phone. To double check you have this phone, contact your provider before you leave.

Pros:

  • Good value for money
  • Hungary has good coverage
  • Prepaid credit when required
  • No in-store contract needed
  • Could be compatible with your current phone
  • Cheap handsets are sold in-store
  • EU roaming options on all networks

Cons:

  • No devices offered with the SIM card packages
  • Can only be used on SIM-unlocked GSM phones
  • ID and registration is required to use the SIM cards

Switch to a cell phone plan with international calling

Name Product Data Minutes Texts Can I bring my own phone? Cell phone plans starting at:
Sprint
Starting at 2 GB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$25
Get unlimited data, calls and text or a customized plan on a 5G network. Eligible plans come with Hulu, Amazon Prime or Tidal subscriptions.
SIMPLE Mobile
Starting at 2 GB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$30
30-day phone plans that allow you to cancel your service at anytime. Choose from five different talk, text and data options with the choice to add international calling for $10/month.
FreedomPop
Starting at 500 MB
Starting at 200 minutes
Starting at 500 texts
Yes
$0
Bring your own phone for a free plan with 500MB of data, 200 minutes and 500 texts per month using Sprint's CDMA Network. Prepaid plans with more data, talk and text start at $9.99/month.
NET10 Wireless
Starting at 1 GB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$20
30-day plans with unlimited talk and text and the option to choose how much data is right for you. Add-on rollover data is available starting at $5/500MB.
Straight Talk Wireless
Starting at 3 GB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$35
Choose from several different plan options with no contracts, no fees and coverage on the same networks as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.
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One Response

  1. Default Gravatar
    allesoffnerMay 12, 2019

    I came here because of a planned trip and wanted to check the reliability of the site. How to do this? Let’s check your own country!
    OK, there’s a bit outdated data from 2017. Good for Nathan who made a nice experience with Vodafone, I have been a Vodafone client in that time and have been very angry with them. Often I wasn’t able to phone in my home and in my office in Budapest and couldn’t get the company to fix this during the 2 years of my Vodafone client-time. And no, it wasn’t a phone problem the same phone worked in roaming like a charm and I hadn’t got any problem more after leaving Vodadone.
    Basically Vodafone has a quick net but be prepared for places where you have nothing.

    My tips:
    Use Telenor or Telekom. Telenor might be a bit cheaper.

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