Skip to Content

Buying a SIM Card at Porto-Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO): Buying Guide

Porto – known for Port wine, for having a river splitting the metropolitan area & for being a UNESCO World Heritage site.

While Lisbon may be a more popular travel destination, many travelers who visited both cities say they enjoy Porto more.

But that is probably because of Porto's wine 🤪.

Anyway, you will most likely arrive in Porto by plane through Porto-Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport.

Fortunately, Porto Airport sells SIM cards. But for how much and what SIM cards are available?

You can get a Vodafone or a Lycamobile SIM card for up to 30 EUR (33.60 USD) at Porto-Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport. Vodafone has two SIM cards: Vodafone Travelers with 10 GB of data, 500 minutes/SMS & 30 international minutes/SMS for 20 EUR + Vodafone Go Total with unlimited data for 30 days for 30 EUR.

I will mention prices in Euro (EUR) from now on, as that is the official currency in Portugal. For up-to-date EUR:your currency (let's say USD – US Dollar) exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

  • Find out how much SIM cards cost in every country, including data-only SIM cards and tourist SIM cards, offered by each mobile operator + information about starter benefits (lookup tool)
SIM Card Prices Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

You may be wondering why I did not mention Lycamobile's prices in the paragraph above.

During my latest visit, I noticed a vending machine selling Lycamobile SIM cards.

For some reason, the machine was empty. In fact, it was turned off.

So I had no way to check the prices 🥲.

But at least you still have Vodafone selling SIM cards.

Anyway, before we get to that, you first need to know about the SIM card options in Portugal.

Buying a SIM Card at Porto-Francisco Sá Carneiro Portugal Airport Airport Guide (logos of Vodafone & Lycamobile)

Original publication: 28th of February 2022. Last updated: 20th of September 2022.

Table of Contents

Mobile Operators in Portugal

In Portugal, you have three mobile operators and seven Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs):

  • MEO
  • NOS Portugal
  • Vodafone Portugal
  • Lycamobile Portugal (Vodafone Portugal MVNO)
  • Moche (MEO youth sub-brand)
  • Nowo (MEO MVNO)
  • WOO (NOS Portugal MVNO)
  • WTF (NOS Portugal youth sub-brand)
  • UZO Portugal (MEO MVNO)
  • Yorn (Vodafone Portugal youth sub-brand)

That is quite a lot of SIM card options to choose from in Portugal.

When I say youth sub-brand, it is a brand directly owned by MEO (Moche), NOS (WTF) & Vodafone (Yorn), which is exclusive to those up to 25 years old.

So oldies – you are out of luck 🤪.

Alright, back to what Porto Airport has to offer to us.

Where to Buy a SIM Card at Porto-Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport?

At Porto Airport, there is only one store selling SIM cards – Vodafone.

Across the Vodafone store, the Xpress Market sells Lycamobile SIM cards from a vending machine.

The name may be misleading. It is not even a store – it is just a collection of vending machines selling food and electronics.

Unfortunately, during my latest visit, the Lycamobile vending machine was empty (just like the other electronics vending machines), so I cannot tell you what Lycamobile has to offer at Porto Airport.

But at least you know there is an option to get a Lycamobile SIM card at the airport if you feel like getting one.

Be aware that the Relay kiosk across the door you pass to enter the arrivals hall does not sell any type of SIM card.

So you either have to go to the Vodafone store or Xpress Market to get a Portuguese SIM card at Porto Airport.

What SIM Cards does Vodafone Sell at Porto-Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (+Prices)?

You only have two options from the Vodafone store at Porto Airport: Vodafone Travelers (20 EUR) & Vodafone Go Total (30 EUR).

Vodafone Travelers, which is Vodafone's tourist offering, includes 10 GB of data (with 5G NR access and EU use), 500 minutes/SMS (EU use) & 30 international minutes/SMS (to the EU/EEA, Angola, Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand & the United States) for 20 EUR.

  • Find out how much SIM cards cost in every country, including data-only SIM cards and tourist SIM cards, offered by each mobile operator + information about starter benefits (lookup tool)
SIM Card Prices Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

When I say EU use, referring to the European Union (+the EEA – European Economic Area), it means you can use your data, call & text allowances in the following countries:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Guadeloupe
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Martinique
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Réunion
  • Romania
  • Saint Barthélemy
  • Saint Martin
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

Vodafone Go Total is a standard data-only SIM card that is not exclusive to tourists, includes “unlimited data” (with 5G NR access) for 30 days for 30 EUR for local use only.

While Vodafone Go Total gives you unlimited data, your speeds will be throttled to 10 Mbps if you have used more than 200 GB within those 30 days.

It is a generous high-speed data allowance, but it is something to be aware of.

As you have noticed, all Vodafone SIM cards sold at Porto Airport also come with 5G NR access.

I was surprised by this, as most mobile operators exclude tourist SIM cards or data-only SIM cards from using their new 5G NR networks.

So, I can appreciate Vodafone for being different – for the better!

Can You Get an eSIM at Porto-Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport?

Vodafone at Porto Airport does not sell eSIMs – only physical SIM cards (for now).

This may change in the future, but that may take years – or it will never happen.

However, it does sell eSIMs at regular Vodafone stores.

  • Find out about the best local eSIMs, travel eSIMs & travel SIM cards for every country (lookup tool)

eSIMs popularity has, compared to before the pandemic, increased significantly since mid-2021.

At least, that is based on how my eSIM related posts do on PhoneTravelWiz, and questions I get per email or YouTube comments.

Besides testing out Portuguese local SIM cards during my latest trip in Portugal, I also tested eSIMs from Airalo and Nomad.

Not only did I get incredible download speeds with Airalo and Nomad eSIMs, but coverage was stellar with them too.

What is even more remarkable is that I got much faster speeds with Airalo, which uses the Vodafone network, than Vodafone itself.

But I suspect that Vodafone actively throttles the Vodafone Go Total data-only SIM card speed, the one I got at Porto Airport, to 50 Mbps, as I never got a higher download speed than that.

And that applies when I was connected to 5G NR too.

So keep that in mind if you are thinking of getting the Vodafone Go Total data-only SIM card and care about fast speeds.

Anyway, Airalo offers the following eSIMs for Portugal:

Portugal Fofo Mobil eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

If you plan on visiting other neighboring European nations, consider the Eurolink eSIM (six variants: 1 GB/7 days, 3 GB/30 days, 5 GB/30 days, 10 GB/30 days, 50 GB/90 days & 100 GB/180 days) to be used in Portugal and 35 other countries (including non-EU/EEA ones).

Eurolink Europe eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

Using the links above will get you the best deals directly – no discount code is needed.

Or you can get Portugal eSIMs from Nomad.

Portugal eSIMs Nomad
Portugal Value Pack eSIMs Nomad

Be sure to use code ADU123 for the best deals – also if you purchase through the Nomad apps!

Nomad Travel eSIM Reviews by Phone Travel Wiz

Should You Get a SIM Card at Porto-Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (+Best SIM Card)?

You should not get a SIM card at Porto Airport in many cases.

Do not get me wrong, the SIM cards offered at Porto Airport are actually of good value, unlike most airports worldwide selling overpriced SIM cards.

However, you can get better deals when visiting a regular Vodafone store or resellers, like Worten – an electronics store – than at Porto Airport.

For example, a regular Vodafone SIM card, called Vodafone You Cartão SIM, includes 9.90 EUR credit or 5 GB and unlimited social media data (for Facebook Messenger, Facetime, Google Hangouts, Messages, Skype, Viber & WhatsApp) & 500 minutes/SMS for 28 days – all for just 9.90 EUR.

The data-only SIM card, Vodafone Go Total, sold at Porto Airport for 30 EUR, is also available for 14.99 EUR with unlimited data for 15 days in Vodafone stores and from other retailers.

These options are far cheaper than the offers at Porto Airport, especially if you do not plan on staying in Portugal for that long.

But I understand that the convenience of being connected immediately may be essential.

And 20 EUR for 10 GB, 500 minutes/SMS & 30 international minutes/SMS to 43 countries is not bad at all.

So if I had to recommend a Vodafone SIM card at Porto Airport, I would recommend Vodafone Travelers.

Mostly because I suspect Vodafone throttles the Vodafone Go Total data-only SIM card speeds – even on 5G NR.

Even then, you should consider the other mobile operators, MEO, NOS, its sub-brands, and MVNOs using their networks, because Vodafone is the worst of the Big Three.

MEO and NOS have the best coverage throughout the country (including in the Azores and Madeira). NOS has the fastest speeds.

Vodafone Portugal Review

I tested out Vodafone extensively when I was in Porto.

While the written review is on its way (may take a while to write because I am visiting Portugal, Spain, Andorra, Italy, Vatican City, Malta, Greece, Belgium, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Germany & Australia – in that order with beaely any breaks) in March and April, I can already tell you that Vodafone is quite good.

I had the second-best 5G NR reception with Vodafone, behind MEO and in front of NOS.

Speed-wise, Vodafone was behind… with an average download speed of 40 Mbps and a median download speed of 42 Mbps.

But that is because I suspect Vodafone throttles its data-only SIM card speeds.

Portuguese SIM Card Reviews

Besides Vodafone, I also tried out MEO, NOS Portugal & Lycamobile when I was in Porto.

Just like the Vodafone review, it may take a while before the reviews are written.

But I can already tell you that you should go with MEO if you want the fastest (5G NR) speeds.

Lycamobile throttled my speeds to 12 Mbps on the first day I got the SIM card.

The day after, however, I managed to get a download speed of 172.91 Mbps in my accommodation – the highest download I got with any Portuguese SIM card or eSIM.

So… that was odd 🤔.

Portugal SIM Card Buying Guide

As mentioned earlier, there are ten SIM cards to choose from in Portugal.

I analyze and discuss them in-depth in my Portugal SIM card buying guide.

Next Steps to Enhance Your Travel Experiences

Looking for the next steps to enhance your phone travel experiences? Here is what to do:

Support Phone Travel Wiz

It takes a lot of time to analyze, translate & review the SIM card options worldwide (especially to test them out).

Your support helps me keep producing impartial content by eliminating the need to recommend international SIM cards as the best local SIM card (but some of them CAN be useful).

Every Ko-Fi donation, one-time or monthly, helps me to spend more time creating local SIM card buying guides.

Support Me on Ko-Fi Orange

Check Out My Resource Page

Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience

Check out my travel resources page for the best companies to use when you travel!

Save money with international SIM cards, on plane tickets, bus rides, cruises & accommodation.

Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!

Start Your Own Online Business – Make Money While Traveling

Do you want to learn how I started an online business that allows me to generate income while traveling?

In my starting an online business guide, I tell you which tools, services & products I have for this site and my YouTube channel.

If I can start a business about something I am passionate about (phone travel), then you can do it too!

Learn About Your Phone Travel Options

You can buy local prepaid SIM cardsinternational SIM cardsmobile hotspots, or roam internationally.

Each of these options has its pros and cons. Learn more about them, and find the best option for you.

Phone Travel Tips, Tricks & Hacks

I have written many articles with tips and hacks to save money on mobile costs while abroad. You surely want to check them out!

Sign Up for the Phone Travel Wiz Newsletter

Get updates related to the newest guides, videos & recommended products and services.

Moreover, I send you many tips and tricks on saving money while traveling every now and then.

Let's Be Social

Did you know that I have a YouTube channel covering everything you need to know about traveling with your phone?

A lot of useful videos are uploaded multiple times a week, and you do not want to miss out on them!

Learn More About Who Adu Actually Is

Who is the guy behind Phone Travel Wiz? Well, find out on the Ernest Adu about page!