Andorra is the 16th smallest nation in the world with a population of 85 000. Some people do not even know this country exists. Those who do know about Andorra are aware that it is considered a tax heaven.
What can you do in Andorra? The country has many ski resorts. It is also popular for golfing museums, and majestic lakes. The nightlife in Arinsal is quite cool too.
What is not cool is dealing with an expensive roaming bill after enjoying your time in Andorra. Roaming can be expenisve, which is why many travelers prefer to buy local SIM cards, like an Andorran one.
However, SIM cards and mobile data are super expensive in Andorra. This is one of the nations I would somewhat recommend to roam in.
In this article, I will tell you everything about buying a SIM card in Andorra. Let's do this.
Telecom Provider in Andorra
Andorra has 1 telecom provider:
- Andorra Telecom
The operator has a 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE network.
What SIM card should you buy when visiting Andorra? If you want to buy a SIM card in Andorra, then Andorra Telecom would be your only choice.
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Like many places in Western Europe, Southern Europe, and Europe in general, you have to show your passport when buying an Andorran SIM card.
Do note that mobile data is expensive in Andorra for European standards. Additionally, even getting a SIM card will cost you €30 ($32.45).
A special reminder for those from the EU/EEA: Andorra is not part of the EU or EEA, which means that the Roam Like At Home rule does not apply in Andorra. Normally, I would recommend that those from the EU/EEA are better off getting a local SIM card. However, that may not necessarily have to be the case for Andorra.
A few EU/EEA operators include Andorra in their Roam Like at Home country list. 2 notable examples are Vodafone Netherlands and Orange France. The Netherlands is quite a distance away from Andorra, while France is around the corner.
Those from the EU/EEA, and anyone else for that matter, will be better off heading to France, get an Orange SIM card, get a reasonable data plan, and roam in Andorra instead of getting an Andorra Telecom SIM card – it could save you some money.
Additionally, the antennas from French and Spanish operators cover most of Andorra. If you do not enable data roaming when in Andorra and have a French or Spanish SIM card, you may not even have to worry about roaming costs or getting an Andorran SIM card. Do note that speeds can be slow.
The same can be said when having an EU/EEA SIM card. Instead of disabling data roaming, you have to change the data roaming setting from automatic selection to manual selection and select a French or Spanish operator to take advantage of the Roam Like at Home feature.
With that being said, let’s see what Andorra Telecom has to offer to us.
Andorra Telecom is the sole operator in Andorra and is state-owned.
You can buy an Andorra Telecom SIM card, called Clic, for €30 at the Andorra Telecom head office or from select vendors. The SIM card comes with €30 in credit, and they are sometimes sold for less than €30. Top-up cards are sold in €15, €30, and €60 denominations. Dial *101# to check your Clic balance.
Andorra Telecom has 2 monthly combo packs:
- €9: 1 GB and 20 minutes
- €19: 3 GB and 60 minutes
If you only need data, then the following data packs are available:
- €2: 200 MB for 3 days. Activation: text a blank message to 102
- €5: 0.5 GB for 7 days. Activation: text a blank message to 103
- €9: 1 GB for 1 month. Activation: text a blank message to 104
Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Andorra
Now you know everything about buying a SIM card in Andorra, but what are your other options? Although buying a local SIM card is almost always the cheapest option, the cheapest option would be using free WIFI connections in Andorra, but you can also roam with your provider in Andorra, use an international SIM card in Andorra, or use a mobile hotspot in Andorra. Let’s see what our options are.
Using Free WIFI hotspots in Andorra
Using something free is always better than paying for something. However, sometimes, free stuff may be of bad quality. Sure, you do not have to pay anything for using a free hotspot (unless you are required to purchase a beverage or meal at an establishment), but it may be a challenge to find a free hotspot. Moreover, the connection may be so slow that it is practically useless.
In the case of Andorra, there will be many hotspots around.
Do note that public hotspots are unsecure. Hackers love to steal sensitive information on unprotected connections because it is apparently easy to do so. That is why I use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when using a public hotspot, and I would encourage you to do so too.
What a VPN does is creating an encrypted tunnel between your device and the hotspot so that your data will stay private. I use NordVPN, and you can get up to 70% off when you get a NordVPN subscription. Get your NordVPN subscription now!
Roaming with Your Provider in Andorra
Roaming is a term used in wireless telecommunication that indicates a mobile device is outside the range of its home network and has connected to a different, available cell network. Let’s say your provider is Orange Mali, then you would be roaming with Orange Mali in Andorra.
Roaming may be the most convenient way of using your phone abroad. You do not have to buy a new SIM card, which, in turn, means you do not have to swap SIM cards. As a result, your friends and family from home can easily reach you on your cell. With many providers, the only thing you need to do is to turn on the data roaming setting on your phone, and you are good to go.
No idea how roaming works? I made this comprehensive guide about what roaming is and how it works. It is worth the read – promised!
Although roaming with your provider may be the most convenient way of staying connected in Andorra, it can also be the most expensive option. There have been many horror stories where people have racked up roaming bills up in the thousands and even more than ten thousand.
Luckily, many providers have affordable roaming plans, allow you to roam for free in some destinations like Andorra, or allow you to use your plan’s allowance in Andorra. For example, with Virgin Mobile Canada, you can use your plan’s allowance for 12 Canadian dollars per day. This may be affordable in some destinations for a small number of days, but it will be expensive for prolonged periods.
If you are unsure about the roaming options of your provider, I have written many articles about roaming with various operators around the world. I analyze them in-depth and give you my advice on whether you should roam with your provider or not. If yes, I also state for how long you should roam to take the most advantage of the offer.
One thing that should be avoided at all costs is to Pay As You Go roaming where you pay per minute, SMS, or MB. This is how many people get expensive roaming bills because the roaming prices for data are usually extremely high.
If you want to roam, make sure to get a roaming plan. Unless your provider offers extremely low Pay As You Go roaming rates, which is only a handful of providers, then you can consider doing so. Furthermore, if your provider lets you roam for free in Andorra, then you should go for it. Just note that your speeds will be lower as a roamer than if you were to buy a Ugandan SIM card.
Using an International SIM Card in Andorra
International SIM cards are SIM cards that work internationally. Most SIM cards do work abroad, but then you have to roam with your provider. International SIM cards, however, let’s you use one SIM card in many destinations around the world for, often, the same price. This way, your friends and families can still reach out to you while traveling.
International SIM cards are, however, much more expensive than buying a local SIM card in many cases, but they are often cheaper than to roam with your provider. There are many international SIM card providers out there, but a few providers I can recommend are OneSimCard, SimOptions, Surfroam, BNESIM, and SimCorner.
International SIM cards are useful for those who frequently travel for leisure or for business. That way, everyone can reach you on one number instead of a handful of local numbers scattered around the world.
Moreover, many destinations in the world require you to register yourself before you can buy a local SIM card. In some countries, the process is quick, while others require much more of your time. Furthermore, the registration process may be cumbersome in countries.
Finally, the language barrier may be off-putting to some. It can be a challenge dealing with a salesperson who does not understand you. They may try and sell you the most expensive option out there. Luckily, you know the prices of SIM cards and packs in Andorra, so you cannot be taken advantage of.
My recommendation, however, is to get a local SIM card if you are only visiting one destination. If you are visiting multiple destinations in one trip, an international SIM card could be handy. If you want to learn more about international SIM cards, check out my international SIM card comparison article, where I analyze 10 international SIM card providers so that you do not have to.
Using a Mobile Hotspot in Andorra
A mobile hotspot is a portable, battery-powered wireless router that allows you to connect your phone, laptop, or tablet without needing multiple SIM cards for those devices to be connected to the internet. They are compact and lightweight so that you take them along with you whenever you need internet access on the go.
Many companies have created mobile hotspots (just have a quick search on Amazon, for example, you will find many). Skyroam, Vision Global Wireless, and Travelwifi are reputable pocket WIFI providers I know. You can get a discount if you rent a router through Skyroam by using coupon code PHONETRAVELWIZ. Cellular access with Skyroam starts at $8 a day while using a Vision Global device starts at $2 a day. Travelwifi offers Teppy, the name of the pocket WIFI, starting from $7 per day. All these services cover more than 130 destinations around the world.
I often recommend mobile hotspots to those who are traveling in groups or with families. They can save groups a lot of money if they are visiting destinations where buying multiple SIM cards would become an expensive endeavor.
I recently wrote an article analyzing the 7 Best Mobile Hotspots for Travelers like yourself, which should be an interesting read if pocket WIFI is something you are considering. I do reviews of individual devices every now and then, so check out my mobile hotspot category to stay up to date.
The Best Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Andorra
Getting a SIM card from Andorra Telecom would be your only option when considering an Andorran SIM card. Be sure to explore the roaming options your provider offers you, as they may offer free or cheap roaming bundles.
You could also consider getting an international SIM card or using a portable hotspot. International SIM cards like OneSimCard, SimOptions, Surfroam, BNESIM, and SimCorner are attractive for those visiting multiple destinations at once or within a year. Portable hotspots like Skyroam, Vision Global Wireless, and Travelwifi will be useful when traveling with multiple people so that not each individual has to get a SIM card but can use the hotspot.
Going to other countries in Western Europe (or Southwestern Europe)? Check out my Western Europe SIM card buying guide, covering other West European nations, such as Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, (Portugal), (Spain), and the United Kingdom
What about other places in Europe? My Europe SIM card buying guide covers all European destinations, such as Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, and Turkey.
Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my sim card buying guides for other destinations around the world.
What is next?
Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! Save money on plane tickets, bus rides, cruises, and accommodation. Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!
Book Your Flight for Andorra
It is time to book your flight. Find cheap flights with AirWander so that you can add free or cheap stopovers in destinations you have not considered yet before going to Andorra. If you are not ready to take off yet, set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog, and they will notify you once ticket prices to Andorra drop.
Although low-cost carriers are a big thing in Europe, they are not the best way to experience Europe. Everyone knows that the European railway system is awesome. InterRail/EURail makes it much easier to explore Europe by train by having one ticket for participating countries instead of having to buy multiple tickets per country. InterRail is for European citizens and EURail is for non-European citizens.
Book Your Accommodation for Andorra
I am a huge fan of Airbnb because it allows me to live with a local or get a local place for myself. Staying in someone’s house or apartment feels much different than being in a ho(s)tel, especially in Andorra. At least, that is how I see it. Moreover, Airbnb can often be much cheaper than staying in an Andorran hotel.
Get Your Travel Insurance for Andorra
You will regret not having travel insurance once you actually need it and “forgot” to get it. Nowadays, travel insurance is cheap and comprehensive unlike back in the days. World Nomads is by far the best travel insurance for adventurous travelers like yourself. You can even get insured WHILE already traveling in Andorra, which is not something many insurance companies allow you to do.
Get a Travel Debit Card
Travel Cheques are outdated. Paying with your credit card or debit card can be expensive because of all the exchange commissions banks charge you. TransferWise allows you to convert your main currency to Euros for a small fee (up to 8 times less than with your bank!) Getting a Transferwise Borderless account is FREE, so you will get an instant return on your investment.
Enjoy your trip!