Armenia is known for its capital city, Yerevan, where you can find the Republic Square, the Yerevan Cascade, and Zvartnots Cathedral. Besides the capital, you can also visit churches in Vagharshapat, temples in Garni, and a lake in Lake Sevan. As you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Armenia.
As Armenia is not part of the EU or EEA, EU citizens cannot roam for free in Armenia, which is why they should buy an Armenian SIM card too.
In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Armenia. Let's do this.
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Telecom Providers in Armenia
Armenia has 3 telecom providers: VivaCell MTS, Beeline Armenia, and UCOM. All providers have 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE networks. Coverage with all Armenian providers is good throughout the country unless you go extremely far out.
What SIM card should you buy when visiting Armenia? If you want to buy a SIM card in Armenia, I would recommend going with VivaCell MTS because they have the most extensive network. If you are on a budget, both Beeline Armenia and UCOM will be good candidates while having good coverage.
Like some countries in Europe, you do have to show your passport when buying an Armenian SIM card. However, the process is quick and straightforward.
Lastly, this is important for those with a European Union SIM card: Armenia is not part of the EU or EEA, which means that the Roam like Home rule does not apply in Armenia. Therefore, it is recommended that European citizens with EU SIM cards buy an Armenian SIM card instead of roaming with their providers. Some providers, however, offer free roaming in Armenia but this is not the case for all. Be sure to check your provider’s site to learn whether you can roam for free or not.
With that out of the way, let’s see what Armenia has to offer to us.
VivaCell MTS is run by MTS Armenia and has the most subscribers in the country. They also have the best coverage and speed throughout Armenia, which is why I recommend them to most travelers. However, they are also the most expensive provider, but still cheap compared to (Western and Northern) European standards. 2G and 3G can be found almost everywhere, whereas 4G/LTE covers more than 50% of the population and is being expanded to this day.
VivaCell MTS SIM cards can be bought for 1000 AMD ($2.10) in their stores. 100 AMD is the price for the SIM card, while 900 AMD is “given back” in credit. The SIM card is given for free when you immediately purchase a package. The following monthly combo packs are available:
- 1500 AMD: 1 GB, 1500 on-net minutes, and 150 SMS
- 2500 AMD: 2 GB, 2500 on-net minutes, 50 domestic minutes, and 250 SMS
- 3500 AMD: 3 GB, 3500 on-net minutes, 100 domestic minutes, and 250 SMS
- 5500 AMD: 5 GB, 5500 on-net minutes, 200 domestic minutes, and 250 SMS
- 7500 AMD: 10 GB, 7500 on-net minutes, 350 domestic minutes, and 350 SMS
If you are only interested in data, then the following VivaCell MTS data packs can be added:
- 100 AMD: 200 MB for 1 day
- 150 AMD: 500 MB for 1 day
Beeline Armenia, just Beeline, is run by Veon Armenia and is the second-largest operator in the country. They have good coverage, but it is not as extensive as the ones of VivaCell MTS. However, they are cheaper than VivaCell MTS, which is why they can be a good contender for those who are on a budget.
Beeline SIM cards are sold for 500 AMD, which comes with 400 AMD in credit, in Beeline stores. The following daily (24 hours) data packs can be added:
- 90 AMD: 200 MB
- 150 AMD: 500 MB
You can also purchase one of the monthly Beeline data packs:
- 200 AMD: 50 MB
- 600 AMD: 250 MB
- 800 AMD: 500 MB
- 1000 AMD: 1 GB
- 2000 AMD: 2 GB
- 2500 AMD: 3 GB
- 3500 AMD: 6 GB
- 6000 AMD: 10 GB
UCOM is the smallest operator in Armenia but still has good coverage throughout the country. 4G/LTE covers more than 65% of the population. UCOM SIM cards can be bought in UCOM stores, which come in three variants: U!Simple, U!Prepaid, and U!Daily. U!Prepaid is recommended is you are interested in one of the combo packs listed below. If you only need data, then it does not matter which card you choose. Although U!Daily has its own data packs (listed later).
The following monthly combo packs are available to U!Prepaid:
- 1000 AMD: 100 MB and 100 SMS
- 1500 AMD: 1 GB, 100 minutes, and 150 SMS
- 2000 AMD: 1.5 GB, 150 minutes, and 200 SMS
- 3000 AMD: 3 GB, 200 minutes, and 300 SMS
These UCOM data packs can be added to both U!Simple and U!Prepaid:
- 100 AMD: 300 MB for 1 day
- 750 AMD: 500 MB for 30 days
- 1000 AMD: 1 GB for 30 days
- 1500 AMD: 2 GB for 30 days
- 5000 AMD: 10 GB for 30 days
Finally, you have data packs for U!Daily, which cannot be added to U!Simple or U!Prepaid:
- 250 AMD: 500 MB until midnight
- 1000 AMD: 1 GB for 7 days
- 1500 AMD: 2 GB for 15 days
- 3000 AMD: 5 GB for 30 days
Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Armenia
Below are some other options to consider.
Roaming is the most convenient way to stay connected. You do not have to buy a new SIM card, and people at home can easily reach you on your current phone number.
However, roaming has many downsides as well. It can be insanely expensive.
International/Travel SIM Cards
International SIM cards or travel SIM cards are SIM cards made for travelers. The rates charged are often lower than international roaming, but they are almost always higher than what local operators will charge you.
Mobile hotspots, or pocket WIFI, are small devices that connect to the local operators of the country you are visiting. Mobile hotspots are ideal for families or those traveling in a large group, as they allow you to connect multiple devices to one hotspot without the need of each traveler having to buy a SIM card.
Free WIFI Networks
Nothing beats free, right? Paying nothing to stay connected may be the best option. Until you remember that free hotspots are not available everywhere (especially when on the move) and that free connections are often extremely slow.
Just make sure to protect your internet traffic with a VPN when connected to open WIFI connections. It is worth it.
The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Armenia
Getting a SIM card from MegaCom would do you well when considering an Armenian SIM card.
Local Prepaid SIM Cards in Other European Countries
Visiting other countries in Europe? Check out my Europe SIM card buying guide, covering other European nations, such as:
Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my sim card buying guides for other destinations around the world.
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