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Portugal: 3 Best Prepaid SIM Cards Buying Guide (2022)

Portugal – known for its seafood dishes, beaches & architecture.

It is also sometimes called Spain‘s brother, but the Portuguese do not always like to hear it.

They hate it much more if you ask them if they speak Brazillian 🤪 (no, seriously – do not ask that question).

While Greece, Italy & Spain get most of the travelers from up north who want to escape the cold in their own countries and enjoy some sun down south, Portugal is also a popular winter retreat.

But the country, especially the Azores and Madeira, is popular in general, mostly because of its favorable climate.

Besides enjoying the beaches, you can also see many famous landmarks, like Belém Tower and Castelo de S. Jorge.

The Luís I Bridge is rather iconic too, as is Livraria Lello's staircase.

And do not forget about LxFactory and the Time Out Market in Lisbon.

There is no reason to be bored in Portugal. And if you are, enjoy the beaches.

Dealing with an expensive international roaming bill will certainly not be enjoyable because you forgot to turn off international roaming.

That feature can be expensive, which is why I always recommend getting local SIM cards, like a Portuguese one, so that you can enjoy local rates.

SIM cards are not too expensive in Portugal, but they are not cheap either.

You can get a Portuguese SIM card for between 2.50 EUR (2.90 USD) to 30 EUR (34.30 USD) from MEO, 10 EUR (11.40 USD) to 40 EUR (45.70 USD) from NOS & 9.90 EUR to 30 EUR from Vodafone. SIM cards are also sold at Lisbon-Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS) and Porto-Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO).

Special note for those from Ukraine: be sure to ask about special benefits for Ukrainians. Many mobile operators around Europe have waived fees for you or introduced exclusive plans, including free calls back to Ukraine. Слава Україні! 🇺🇦

Okay, these price ranges are not low at all.

But the 40 EUR NOS SIM card, for example, is a data-only SIM card with unlimited data for 30 days.

And the same applies to the expensive MEO (by Altice) and Vodafone Portugal SIM cards.

So if you already know you will use a lot of data and stay in the country for a month, that starter SIM card will be the best – you would not have to buy a plan for it anyway.

So, what else do you need to know about Portuguese SIM cards? A lot if you want to be informed and save a lot of money.

In this guide, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Portugal. Let's get started, shall we?

Buying a SIM Card in Portugal Guide (logos of MEO, BOS & Vodafone)

Original publication: 4th of February 2022. Last updated: 18th of September 2022.


Table of Contents

In This Guide Show

Can You Buy a SIM Card in Portugal?

Anyone living in or visiting Portugal can buy a Portugese SIM card from MEO, NOS, Vodafone & many MVNO with no restrictions.

Your phone has to support the frequencies used in Portugal.

Furthermore, your phone needs to be unlocked (SIM-lock free) to use a Portuguese SIM card.

Where Can You Buy a SIM Card in Portugal?

You can get a Portugese SIM card in MEO, NOS & Vodafone stores. Kiosks also sell SIM cards (especially for the MVNOs). They are also available at several airports, including Lisbon-Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS) and Porto-Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO).

To learn more what Porto-Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO) has to offer, check out my Porto Airport SIM card buying guide.

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

You can expect to pay the following for Portugese SIM cards:

  • MEO (by Altice Portugal): 2.50 EUR (regular), 9.99 EUR (regular), 14.99 EUR (data-only) & 30 EUR (data-only)
  • NOS Portugal: 10 EUR (regular), 15 EUR (data-only) & 40 EUR (data-only)
  • Vodafone Portugal: 9.90 EUR (regular), 14.99 EUR (data-only) & 30 EUR (data-only)
  • MVNOs (like Lycamobile Portugal): being added later

The following mobile operators also have SIM cards targetting tourists:

  • MEO (by Altice Portugal): 15 EUR (in MEO stores)/19 USD (via Airalo) – Ready to Enjoy SIM card
  • Vodafone Portugal: 20 EUR – Vodafone Travelers SIM card

For up-to-date EUR:your currency (let's say GBP) 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
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Can You Use Your Phone in Portugal?

Portugal uses GSM technology for mobile communications. CDMA phones will not work in Portugal. If your phone has a SIM card slot, then it supports GSMA (99% of the phones do support GSM nowadays).

Traditional European frequencies are used in Portugal, which are mostly used in ITU Regions 1 and 3 (Africa, Asia (including the Middle East), Europe & Oceania).

The Americas (North-, Central– & South America + the Caribbean – ITU Region 2) use American frequencies, which differ from the European ones.

ITU Regions Map
By Maximilian Dörrbecker (Chumwa) – Own work, using this file by Denelson83, CC BY-SA 2.5

If you bought your phone in Africa, Asia, Europe, or Oceania (ITU regions 1 and 3), you should not experience any issues with using your phone in Portugal.

If you purchased your phone in the Americas (ITU Region 2) and have a low/medium-end device (without Tri-Band or Quad-Band) support, then there is a possibility you cannot use your phone when in Portugal or can only use slower networks (3G or 2G).

If you have a medium/high-end device with Tri-Band or Quad-Band support, you can use your phone in Portugal (to some extent) – also on 4G/LTE and 5G NR.

Mobile Operators, Networks & Frequencies in Portugal

Portugal has three mobile operator and various Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs – being added later) offering prepaid services:

  • MEO (by Altice Portugal)
  • NOS Portugal
  • Vodafone Portugal

The following frequencies are used in Portugal:

  • 2G: 900 MHz & 1800 MHz
  • 3G: 900 MHz & 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 800 MHz (Band 20), 900 MHz (Band 8), 1800 MHz (Band 3), 2100 MHz (Band 1) & 2600 MHz (Band 7)
  • 5G NR: 700 MHz (n28) & 3500 MHz-3600 MHz (n78)

You can learn more about frequencies in the video below.

To check whether your phone will work in Portugal, check out this page by Will My Phone Work (may be outdated or inaccurate at times).

Again, make sure your phone is unlocked. Otherwise, you will not be able to use any SIM card except the one from your home operator (meaning you have to roam internationally or buy another unlocked phone that does support the frequencies listed above).

If you want to learn how international roaming works, this guide explains it in-depth. If you wonder why it is often so expensive to roam, this article explains the hidden reason they do not want you to know.

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VoLTE & VoWiFi in Portugal

Both VoLTE (Voice over LTE (4G) – also known as HD Voice) and VoWiFi (Voice over WiFi – also known as WiFi calling) are available in Portugal. All Portuguese mobile operators offer VoLTE, but not VoWiFi.

This means that your phone does not have to downgrade to 2G or 3G when making a call in Portugal (unlike mobile operators that do not support VoLTE).

The following mobile operators offer VoLTE and VoWiFi in Portugal:

  • NOS Portugal
  • Vodafone Portugal

The following mobile operators offer VoLTE only in Portugal:

  • MEO (by Altice Portugal)

VoWiFi is, as the name implies, calling on a WiFi connection as opposed to on a cellular network.

5G NR in Portugal

Commercial 5G NR has been available in Portugal since December 2021. It is available on the MEO (by Altice Portugal), NOS & Vodafone networks. All mobile operators allows prepaid customers to use 5G NR (for free until the end of March 2022. Then for a fee). The MVNOs do not have 5G NR access yet.

Best SIM Card in Portugal

If you want to buy the best SIM card in Portugal, I recommend going with MEO or NOS. MEO and NOS have the best coverage throughout the country (including in the Azores and Madeira). NOS has the fastest speeds.

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Best eSIM in Portugal

MEO (by Altice Portugal), NOS & Vodafone Portugal offer eSIMs to prepaid customers.

MEO struck a special deal with Airalo, where you can get the Ready to Enjoy tourist offering as an eSIM through their platform before arriving in Portugal.

It costs 19 USD and gives you 30 GB of data for 15 daysmost popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers

Oh, and it is one of the few eSIMs on the Airalo platform offering 5G NR.

Portugal MEO Ready to Enjoy Portugal eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

The Ready to Enjoy eSIM is very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers – even with those who do not have a 5G NR capable phone due to the generous data allowance.

However, you can get travel eSIMs from Airalo, Holafly & Nomad.

Airalo has the Fofo Mobile eSIMs:

Portugal Fofo Mobil eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

You have these four options:

For Airalo eSIMs, the links above and below will automatically get you the Phone Travel Wiz exclusive offers available – a code is not necessary.

For an in-depth analysis of the Airalo Fofo Mobile eSIMs (covering pros and cons as well), check out my Portugal eSIMs Compared guide.

Or you can get Portugal eSIMs from Nomad.

Portugal eSIMs Nomad
Portugal Value Pack eSIMs Nomad

Use code ADU123 for the best deals available when getting Nomad eSIMs (on the site or their apps), such as getting 3 USD off!

For an in-depth analysis of the Nomad Portugal eSIMs (covering pros and cons as well), check out my Portugal eSIMs Compared guide.

Finally, you can get Portugal eSIMs from Holafly if you prefer unlimited data plans and do not mind paying a bit more for this advantage:

Phone Travel Wiz x Holafly Banner

Use code PHONETRAVELWIZ for exclusive deals when getting Holafly eSIMs, AND get an additional 5% off!

For an in-depth analysis of the Holafly Portugal eSIMs (covering pros and cons as well), check out my Portugal eSIMs Compared guide.

With these eSIMs, you can skip Portugal's SIM card registration scheme entirely and use it immediately upon arriving in Portugal!

  • Find out about the best local eSIMs, travel eSIMs & travel SIM cards for every country (lookup tool)
Best Local & Travel eSIMs Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

TIP: check out my Best Portugal eSIMs Compared guide for an in-depth comparison of several eSIMs for Portugal.

If you plan on visiting other neighboring European nations, consider the Eurolink eSIM (six variants: 1 GB/7 days, 3 GB/30 daysvery popular with PTW readers, 5 GB/30 daysmost popular with PTW readers, 10 GB/30 days, 50 GB/90 days & 100 GB/180 days) in Albania and these other countries:

Eurolink Europe eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

1 on 3G only

With the Eurolink eSIM, you can save a lot of money by skipping the initial SIM card costs per country you visit – averaging 10.78 USD/country in Europe!

https://www.phonetravelwiz.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Airalo-Eurolink-eSIM-Review.png

Holafly and Nomad also have eSIMs covering all of the European Union (and more).

But honestly, the Eurolink eSIM is superior (but you can consider the Holafly Europe eSIM if you want unlimited data in 30+ countries – just do not forget about code PHONETRAVELWIZ if you go with Holafly).

TIP: Check out my eSIM lookup tool for an overview of local mobile operators offering eSIMs to prepaid customers and travel eSIMs I use and love (for eSIMs in Portugal and eSIMs worldwide) and my Best Portugal eSIMs Compared guide for an in-depth comparison of several eSIMs for Portugal.

Best International/Travel SIM Card for Portugal

If you want to buy the best international/travel SIM card for Portugal, I recommend going with SimCorner's Europe SIM cards that covers Europe (mainly the European Union) and parts Asia, Central America & South America – all in one SIM card.

Portugal Travel SIM Card SimCorner
© SimCorner
SimCorner UK and Europe Travel SIM Card (100 GB for 30 days)
© SimCorner

You have these four options:

  1. Europe Travel SIM card with 7 GB for 30 days (includes calls)
  2. Europe & UK Travel SIM card with 12 GB for 30 days (includes calls, SMS & data use in Asia, Central America & South America)
  3. UK and Europe Travel SIM card with 100 GB for 30 days (includes calls and SMS)
  4. Europe Data SIM card with 12 GB for 60 days (includes data use in Asia, Central America & South America)
https://www.phonetravelwiz.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/SimCorner-Europe-SIM-Card-Review.png

The SimCorner Europe SIM cards can be used in Portugal and the following other countries:

Use discount code PHONETRAVELWIZ for extra savings!

SIM Card Registration in Portugal

SIM card registration, with the use of your personal information (such as your passport), is not required when buying a SIM card in Portugal.

  • Find out which countries have SIM card registration regulations and what is required from you (lookup tool)
SIM Card Registration Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

EU Roaming in Portugal

European Union (EU) & European Economic Area (EEA)

Portugal is part of the European Union (EU).

Since June 2017, those with EU/EEA (European Economic Area) SIM cards can roam for free in other EU/EEA nations, including Portugal.

This means that, in the majority of cases, you do not need to purchase a Portugese SIM card if you already have an EU/EEA SIM card because you can roam without additional costs.

However, conditions do apply. Mobile operators in some countries may impose a roaming Fair Use Policy (FUP).

In countries where local mobile data rates are extremely low (such as in the Baltics and Nordics), mobile operators may still charge you for roaming in the EU/EEA.

Be sure to head over to the international roaming page to learn whether your mobile operator offers free roaming while in Portugal or if restrictions apply.

Roaming in the EU with Portugese SIM Cards

Portugal and the Portuguese mobile operators have fully adopted the roam like at home regulations principles early on.

Unlike most EU/EEA mobile operators that impose EU/EEA roaming caps, none of the Portuguese mobile operators have such caps.

However, the standard Fair Use Policy applies where you should not be roaming over 50% of the time over a four-month period.

If you do so, EU roaming rates will apply.

You are then better off buying local prepaid SIM cards in other EU nations.

Using Portugese SIM Cards in the Azores and Madeira

Flag of Azores
Flag of Madeira

The Azores and Madeira are Portuguese island groups in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Autonomous Region of the Azores is about 1400 km on the west of Lisbon and 1500 km on the northwest of Morocco.

The Autonomous Region of Madeira is much closer to Africa than Portugal, about 500 km on the west of Morocco.

While these regions are autonomous, they are still part of Portugal – sometimes called Mainland Portugal.

As a result, the Portuguese mobile operators, MEO (by Altice Portugal), NOS Portugal, Vodafone Portugal, the sub-brands (WTF by NOS and Yorn by Vodafone) & the MVNOs (Lycamobile Portugal, Nowo, UZO) are active in the Azores and Madeira.

Meaning that if you bought your Portuguese SIM card in continental Portugal, you could use them as if you were in Lisbon/Porto – you will not be roaming on those islands.

The same counts if you buy your SIM card in Madeira and head to Lisbon later.

Note that the network performance in the Azores and Madeira is worse compared to continental Portugal, but you should still be fine.

Portugal Mobile Speeds, Mobile Internet Prices & Insights

Flag of Spain

Mobile data rates are low in Portugal.

Perhaps not for (Western) European standards, as its average price for 1 GB of data is above the regional average.

Still, it could be much worse (looking at you, the Caribbean).

So, how expensive is mobile data in Portugal?

The average price for 1 GB of data in Portugal is 3.85 USD, above the European average of 2.50 USD. The world average is 4.07 USD.

I do not know what was happening in the country in 2019, but the average cost of 1 GB of data has decreased by 72.5%.

Cable.co.uk split Europe into three territories: Western Europe, Eastern Europe & the Baltics.

The Western European average cost of 1 GB of data, using Cable.co.uk's definition, is 2.66 USD, which is just slightly more than the overall European average.

Let's talk about speed. Are more data speeds fast in Portugal?

As of recently, yes – they are.

Portugal's median mobile download speed is around 68 Mbps.

That is more than double the global mean of around 30 Mbps.

Moreover, you can see a significant spike in speed improvement from November 2021, which correlates with the country's 5G NR launch.

Currently, the only EU/EEA nations with a faster median download speed are Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway & Switzerland.

Okay, now it is time to know which mobile operator is the fastest in Portugal.

The figures below are slightly outdated, but they will still give you an idea of the speed rankings.

That would be NOS Portugal, with a median download speed of 47.09 Mbps of 99.88. Followed by MEO (by Altice Portugal – 41.91) and Vodafone Portugal (36.99).

So what about overall network performance by the Portuguese mobile operators?

NOS is the winner in all categories, although it wins some categories with its competitors MEO and Vodafone.

Basically, you cannot go wrong with NOS (and MEO, for that matter).

With average to reasonable SIM card prices, extensive nationwide coverage, insanely fast mobile download speeds, and low mobile data rates, you should have a smooth network experience in Portugal.

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Currency in Portugal

Portugal uses the Euro with the symbol EUR (which will be used throughout this guide).

However, prices are often listed as just . For example, 25 EUR = €25.

For reference, below are some exchange rates between EUR and USD (US Dollars):

  • 1 EUR = 1.15 USD
  • 10 EUR = 10.75 USD
  • 100 EUR = 107.50 USD

For up-to-date EUR:your currency (let's say GBP – (British) Pound (Sterling)) exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

If your credit/debit card charges you foreign exchange fees, get yourself a Wise Borderless Account and Debit Card.

Their fees are MUCH lower than banks, and credit card companies charge you (and Wise is transparent about their fees, unlike banks).

I have saved literal THOUSANDS of Euros, my main currency, when using Wise abroad when traveling compared to my debit and credit cards. Open a Wise account FREE!

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Portugal Prepaid SIM Cards

Below, I will guide you through MEO (by Altice Portugal), NOS Portugal, Vodafone Portugal & many MVNOs that will be added later, and go through:

  • Background information
  • Mobile coverage
  • SIM card types, prices & availability
  • Recharge / top-up information
  • Combo plans, data plans & special packs (such as social media packs)

With that being said, let’s see what Portugal has to offer to us.


MEO (by Altice Portugal)

MEO Portugal Logo
© MEO

MEO by Altice Portugal is the largest mobile operator in Portugal.

Altice, as a company, is also active in the Dominican Republic and the United States (as a cable television provider).

MEO uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 900 MHz
  • 3G: 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 800 MHz (Band 20), 1800 MHz (Band 3), 2100 MHz (Band 1) & 2600 MHz (Band 7)
  • 5G NR: 3600 MHz (n78)
  • VoLTE: Yes
  • VoWiFi: No

This is what you will learn about MEO:

* Coverage
* How to Get a(n) MEO SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – MEO (by Altice Portugal)

MEO has extensive coverage throughout Portugal.

It has a similar superior 4G/LTE coverage experience as its competitors.

Portugal Opensignal 4G Coverage Experience
Source

Below, you have the coverage maps of MEO in continental Portugal (left) and in the Azores and Madeira (right):

SIM Card Price – MEO (by Altice Portugal)

You can get a(n) MEO SIM card, called Cartão M Móvel Pré-Pago, starting for 2.50 EUR (with 2.50 EUR credit) or 9.99 EUR (with 5 GB and 1000 minutes/SMS) in MEO stores. Data-only SIM cards (Cartão Enjoy Todo o Tráfego Incluído) are sold for 14.99 EUR with unlimited data. SIM cards are also sold at Lisbon-Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS), but not at Porto-Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO).

MEO Portugal Cartão M Móvel Pré-Pago Livre SIM Card
© MEO
MEO Portugal Cartão M Móvel Pré-Pago SIM Card
© MEO
  • 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

Below is an overview of the four MEO SIM cards:

PriceSIM CardCreditDataLocal MinutesLocal SMSValidity
2.50 EURCartão M Móvel Pré-Pago Livre2.50 EURN/AN/AN/A30 days
9.99 EURCartão M Móvel Pré-PagoN/A5 GB1000 minutesShared with call allowance30 days
14.99 EURCartão Enjoy Todo o Tráfego Incluído €14.99N/AUnlimited 1N/AN/A15 days
30 EURCartão Enjoy Todo o Tráfego Incluído €30N/AUnlimited 1N/AN/A30 days
MEO Cartão Enjoy Todo o Tráfego Incluído €14.99 SIM Card
© MEO
MEO Cartão Enjoy Todo o Tráfego Incluído €30 SIM Card
© MEO
  • 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

It is also possible to get a(n) MEO eSIM for the same price as a regular SIM card.

MEO struck a special deal with Airalo, where you can get the Ready to Enjoy tourist offering as an eSIM through their platform before arriving in Portugal.

It costs 19 USD and gives you 30 GB of data for 15 days. – most popular with PTW readers

Oh, and it is one of the few eSIMs on the Airalo platform offering 5G NR.

Portugal MEO Ready to Enjoy Portugal eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

The Ready to Enjoy eSIM is very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers – even with those who do not have a 5G NR capable phone due to the generous data allowance.

Currently, MEO lets anyone test out 5G NR for free until the end of March (2022) (extended to the 15th of September 2022) before charging you for it (how much is unknown – and perhaps they will extend this offer 5 EUR/month).

The eSIM sold on Airalo will not be subject to this, so you can always use 5G NR with this tourist eSIM!

  • Find out about the best local eSIMs, travel eSIMs & travel SIM cards for every country (lookup tool)
Best Local & Travel eSIMs Worldwide Tool by Phone Travel Wiz

Note that MEO offers VoLTE (Voice over LTE (4G)) if your phone supports it and if you have enabled it in the settings but no VoWiFi (Voice over WiFi).

MEO SIM cards get deactivated if there has been no activity for 3 months (no top-up for 3 months or no activity for 3 months).

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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – MEO (by Altice Portugal)

MEO top-ups are available in MEO stores and PayShop locations, which are grocery stores, corner shops & electronics shops throughout Portugal.

The following (online) MEO top-ups are available:

Top-UpValidity
15 EUR15 days
20 EUR20 days
30 EUR30 days

To top up your MEO SIM card, the salesperson how much credit you want, your phone number, pay, and they will top up your SIM card with the POS system.

Note that you will be charged 0.80 EUR for this service – even in MEO stores.

This fee will be deducted from your top-up (a 10 EUR recharge will leave you with 9.20 EUR).

You can also recharge online with (international/EU) debit and credit cards without being charged 0.80 EUR/top-up.

Dial *#123# to check your MEO balance.

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – MEO (by Altice Portugal)

MEO has four data-featured plans:

All MEO plans can be activated online.

Click on the links above to jump to the plan you are interested in.

M Móvel Plans – MEO (by Altice Portugal)

The M Móvel Plans plans are combo plans with data (with 5G NR access), minutes & SMS.

Note that the call and SMS allowances are shared, meaning that you can call/send up to 500 minutes or SMS or 1000 minutes or SMS.

The following M Móvel Plans are available:

PriceDataSocial Data 2Local/EU Minutes/SMS 1Validity
3 EUR200 MBN/A500 minutes/SMS7 days
3.50 EUR200 MBN/A1000 minutes/SMS7 days
3.50 EUR1 GBN/A500 minutes/SMS7 days
4 EUR1 GBN/A1000 minutes/SMS7 days
4.25 EUR3 GB10 GB500 minutes/SMS7 days
4.75 EUR3 GB10 GB1000 minutes/SMS7 days
5 EUR5 GB10 GB500 minutes/SMS7 days
5.50 EUR5 GB10 GB1000 minutes/SMS7 days

1 for calls/SMS within and to other EU/EEA member states and back to Portugal (NOT from Portugal to other EU/EEA member states)
2 for Facetime, Google Hangout, iMessage, Skype, Viber & WhatsApp

MEO Portugal M Móvel Plans
+Internet Plans – MEO (by Altice Portugal)

The +Internet Plans are, as the name implies, data bundles (with 5G NR access).

The following +Internet Plans are available:

PriceDataValidity
3.99 EUR0.25 GB1 month
6.99 EUR0.5 GB1 month
9.99 EUR1 GB1 month
14.99 EUR5 GB1 month
MEO Portugal Data Plans
Mobile Broadband Plans – MEO (by Altice Portugal)

The Mobile Broadband Plans are data bundles (with 5G NR access) for the Cartão Enjoy Todo o Tráfego Incluído SIM card (data-only SIM card).

Note that Mobile Broadband Plans are for local use only – you cannot roam for free in the EU/EEA with these bundles.

PriceDataValidity
15 EURUnlimited15 days
20 EURUnlimited20 days
30 EURUnlimited30 days
35 EURUnlimited35 days
40 EURUnlimited40 days
45 EURUnlimited45 days
50 EURUnlimited50 days
55 EURUnlimited55 days
60 EURUnlimited60 days
65 EURUnlimited65 days
70 EURUnlimited70 days
75 EURUnlimited75 days
80 EURUnlimited80 days
85 EURUnlimited85 days
90 EURUnlimited90 days
95 EURUnlimited95 days
MEO Portugal Mobile Broadband Plans
+Social Net Add-Ons – MEO (by Altice Portugal)

The +Social Net Add-Ons are, as the name suggests, data add-ons for select social media apps and other apps, including music and video streaming.

The +Social Net Add-Ons are available:

PricePlanSocial DataAppsValidity
4.99 EUR+ Smart Net Messaging10 GBVarious 11 month
4.99 EUR+ Smart Net Music10 GBVarious 21 month
4.99 EUR+ Smart Net Social10 GBVarious 31 month
6.99 EUR+ Smart Net Video20 GBVarious 41 month

1 for Discord, Facetime, Google Hangouts, iMessage, Kakao Talk, Line, Skype, Tango, Telegram, Viber, WeChat & WhatsApp
2 for Amazon Music, Apple Music, Deezer, Napster, Spotify, SoundCloud, TIDAL, TuneIn & YouTube Music
3 for Badoo, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, TikTok, Tumblr & Twitter
4 for Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO (Portugal), Netflix, Periscope, Twitch, Vimeo & YouTube

MEO Portugal + Smart Net Plans
EU Roaming – MEO (by Altice Portugal)

You can use your MEO allowances in the following EU/EEA member states without paying roaming fees:

As MEO does not have dedicated EU/EEA roaming allowances, you can use your full allowance without restrictions in other EU/EEA member states.

Note that the Broadband Plans are for local use only.

APN/Internet Settings – MEO (by Altice Portugal)

  • Name: Internet MEO
  • APN: MEO

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.

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NOS Portugal

NOS Portugal Logo
© NOS Portugal

NOS Portugal, just NOS and not to be confused with the Dutch Broadcasting Foundation (Nederlandse Omroep Stichting in Dutch), is the second-largest mobile operator in Portugal.

It also has the best overall network performance in the country.

It used to be the smallest mobile operator of the Big Three, until it invested a lot in its services.

Now, it has overtaken Vodafone Portugal and is looking to kick MEO (by Altice) off its throne (or not – I do now know NOS' intentions 🤪.

NOS uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 900 MHz & 1800 MHz
  • 3G: 2100 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 800 MHz (Band 20), 1800 MHz (Band 3), 2100 MHz (Band 1) & 2600 MHz (Band 7)
  • 5G NR: 700 MHz (n28) & 3500 MHz (n78) – not for prepaid customers (yet)
  • VoLTE: Yes
  • VoWiFi: Yes

This is what you will learn about NOS:

* Coverage
* How to Get a(n) NOS SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – NOS Portugal

NOS has the best coverage throughout Portugal.

It also won the Portugal Best Mobile Coverage Speedtest Award of 2021.

It has a similar superior 4G/LTE coverage experience as its competitors, but it has a better 4G/LTE availability.

Below, you have the coverage maps of NOS in continental Portugal (left) and in the Azores and Madeira (right):

SIM Card Price – NOS Portugal

You can get a(n) NOS SIM card for 10 EUR with 5 GB of data and 1500 minutes/SMS in NOS stores. Data-only SIM cards (Kanguru Live XL) are sold for 15 EUR or 40 EUR with unlimited data for eight days or 30 days. SIM cards are also sold at Lisbon-Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS) but not at Porto-Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO).

NOS Portugal SIM Card Colorful
© NOS Portugal
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Below is an overview of the three NOS SIM cards:

PriceDataLocal MinutesLocal SMSValidity
10 EUR1 GB80 minutesShared with call allowance30 days
15 EURUnlimitedN/AN/A8 days
40 EURUnlimitedN/AN/A30 days
NOS Portugal Kanguru Livre XL 1 Semana SIM Card
© NOS Portugal
NOS Portugal Kanguru Livre XL 1 Mês SIM Card
© NOS Portugal
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It is also possible to get a(n) NOS eSIM for the same price as a regular SIM card.

NOS Portugal Livres Dia eSIM
© NOS Portugal

To use a(n) NOS eSIM, you need to have one of the following devices:

  • Google Pixel 3/3 XL
  • Huawei Mate 30 5G/30 Pro 5G
  • Huawei Mate 40 Pro
  • Huawei P40/P40 Pro
  • iPhone 11/11 Pro/11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE 2020
  • iPhone XR/XS/XS Max
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold/Fold 2
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20
  • Samsung Galaxy S20/S20+/S20 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip/Z Flip 5G
  • Find out about the best local eSIMs, travel eSIMs & travel SIM cards for every country (lookup tool)
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Note that NOS offers VoLTE (Voice over LTE (4G)) if your phone supports it and if you have enabled it in the settings.

Oh, you can also use VoWiFi (Voice over WiFi).

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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – NOS Portugal

NOS top-ups are available in NOS stores and PayShop locations, which are grocery stores, corner shops & electronics shops throughout Portugal.

NOS Portugal SIM Card
© NOS Portugal
NOS Portugal SIM Card Back
© NOS Portugal

To top up your NOS SIM card, the salesperson how much credit you want, your phone number, pay, and they will top up your SIM card with the POS system.

Note that you will be charged 0.80 EUR for this service – even in NOS stores.

This fee will be deducted from your top-up (a 10 EUR recharge will leave you with 9.20 EUR).

You can also recharge online with (international/EU) debit and credit cards without being charged 0.80 EUR/top-up.

Dial *111# to check your NOS balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the NOS App (Cliente NOS) app (Android/iOS).

NOS Portugal NOS App (Cliente NOS) App
© NOS Portugal

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – NOS Portugal

NOS has four data-featured plans:

All NOS plans can be activated on the NOS App (Cliente NOS) app.

Click on the links above to jump to the plan you are interested in.

Pagamento com Carregamento (Payment with Loading) Plans – NOS Portugal

The Pagamento com Carregamento (Payment with Loading) Plans are combo bundles with data (without 5G NR access), minutes & SMS.

Note that the call and SMS allowances are shared, meaning that you can call/send up to 500 minutes or SMS or 1000 minutes or SMS.

The following Pagamento com Carregamento are available:

PriceDataLocal/EU Minutes/SMS 1Validity
12 EUR200 MB500 minutes/SMS1 month
17 EUR500 MB800 minutes/SMS1 month
18 EUR1 GB800 minutes/SMS1 month
19 EUR1 GB3000 minutes/SMS1 month
20 EUR2 GB3000 minutes/SMS1 month
22 EUR3 GB4000 minutes/SMS1 month
25 EUR5 GB7000 minutes/SMS1 month
29 EUR10 GB 210 000 minutes/SMS1 month


1 for calls/SMS within and to other EU/EEA member states and back to Portugal (NOT from Portugal to other EU/EEA member states)
2 5G NR access

NOS Portugal Pagamento com Carregamento Payment with Loading Plans
Pacotes de Internet Mensais (Monthly Internet Packages) – NOS Portugal

The Pacotes de Internet Mensais (Monthly Internet Packages) are, as the name implies, data plans (without 5G NR access).

The following Pacotes de Internet Mensais are available:

PriceDataValidity
3.99 EUR250 MB1 month
6.99 EUR500 MB1 month
9.99 EUR1 GB1 month
NOS Portugal Pacotes de Internet Mensais Monthly Internet Packages
Tarifários Kanguru (Kangaroo Tariffs) – NOS Portugal

The Tarifários Kanguru (Kangaroo Tariffs) are data plans (without 5G NR access) for the Kanguru Live XL SIM card (data-only SIM card).

Note that Tarifários Kanguru are for local use only – you cannot roam for free in the EU/EEA with these bundles.

The following Tarifários Kanguru are available:

PriceDataValidity
10 EURUnlimited3 days
15 EUR15 GB1 month
15 EURUnlimited8 days
20 EURUnlimited15 days
20 EUR30 GB1 month
30 EURUnlimited22 days
40 EURUnlimited40 days
45 EURUnlimited45 days
50 EURUnlimited50 days
55 EURUnlimited55 days
60 EURUnlimited60 days
65 EURUnlimited65 days
70 EURUnlimited70 days
75 EURUnlimited75 days
80 EURUnlimited80 days
Data Add-Ons – NOS Portugal

The Data Add-Ons are, as the name suggests, data add-ons (for Pagamento com Carregamento and Pacotes de internet mensais) – they cannot be purchased as standalone plans.

The following Data Add-Ons are available:

PriceDataValidity
3.99 EUR500 MBUntil plan expires
5.99 EUR1 GBUntil plan expires
13.99 EUR3 GBUntil plan expires
15.99 EUR5 GBUntil plan expires
25.99 EUR10 GBUntil plan expires
EU Roaming – NOS Portugal

You can use your NOS allowances in the following EU/EEA member states without paying roaming fees:

As NOS does not have dedicated EU/EEA roaming allowances, you can use your full allowance without restrictions in other EU/EEA member states.

Note that the Tarifários Kanguru plans are for local use only.

APN/Internet Settings – NOS Portugal

  • Name: NOS Internet
  • APN: umts OR internet

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

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Vodafone Portugal

Vodafone Logo
© Vodafone

Vodafone Portugal, just Vodafone, is the smallest mobile operator in Portugal.

It was the first mobile operator to reach a download speed of 600 Mbps on 4G/LTE-A (also known as 4G+) back in 2015.

Vodafone, as a company, is active in Africa (mostly as Vodacom), Asia, Europe, the Middle East & Oceania.

Vodafone uses the following frequencies:

  • 2G: 900 MHz
  • 3G: 900 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 800 MHz (Band 20), 900 MHz (Band 8), 1800 MHz (Band 3), 2100 MHz (Band 1) & 2600 MHz (Band 7)
  • 5G NR: 3500 MHz (n78)
  • VoLTE: Yes
  • VoWiFi: Yes

This is what you will learn about Vodafone:

* Coverage
* How to Get a Vodafone SIM Card & SIM Card Price
* Topping Up Options & Methods + Balance Check
* Plans & Packages
* APN/Internet Settings

Coverage – Vodafone Portugal

Vodafone has extensive coverage throughout Portugal.

It has a similar superior 4G/LTE coverage experience as its competitors.

Below, you have the coverage maps of Vodafone in continental Portugal (left) and in the Azores and Madeira (right):

SIM Card Price – Vodafone Portugal

You can get a Vodafone SIM card, called Vodafone You Cartão SIM, for 9.90 EUR with 9.90 EUR credit or 5 GB and unlimited social media data 1 & 500 minutes/SMS for 28 days in Vodafone stores. Data-only SIM cards (Internet Móvel Pré-Pago/Vodafone Go Total) are sold for 14.99 EUR or 30 EUR with unlimited data for 15 days or 30 days. SIM cards are also sold at Lisbon-Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS) and Porto-Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO).

To learn more what Vodafone at Porto-Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO) has to offer, check out my Porto Airport SIM card buying guide.

Vodafone Portugal Vodafone Easy Total Cartão SIM Card
© Vodafone Portugal
Vodafone Portugal Vodafone You Cartão SIM Card
© Vodafone Portugal
  • 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)
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Below is an overview of the four Vodafone SIM cards:

PriceCreditDataValidity
9.90 EUR9.90 EURN/AUnknown
9.90 EURN/A5 GB 128 days
14.99 EURN/AUnlimited15 days
30 EURN/AUnlimited30 days
Vodafone Portugal Vodafone Go Total SIM Card 15 Days
© Vodafone Portugal
Vodafone Portugal Vodafone Go Total SIM Card 30 Days
© Vodafone Portugal
  • 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)
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Short-term visitors and tourists can also get the Vodafone Travelers SIM cards – Vodafone's tourist offering.

For 20 EUR, you get 10 GB of data, 500 local/EU minutes/SMS & 30 international minutes (to the EU/EEA, Angola, Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand & the United States – all for 30 days

Vodafone Portugal Vodafone Travelers SIM Card

It is also possible to get a Vodafone eSIM for the same price as a regular SIM card.

Vodafone eSIM
© Vodafone
  • Find out about the best local eSIMs, travel eSIMs & travel SIM cards for every country (lookup tool)
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Note that Vodafone offers VoLTE (Voice over LTE (4G)) if your phone supports it and if you have enabled it in the settings.

Oh, you can also use VoWiFi (Voice over WiFi).

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Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – Vodafone Portugal

Vodafone top-ups are available in Vodafone stores and PayShop locations, which are grocery stores, corner shops & electronics shops throughout Portugal.

To top up your Vodafone SIM card, the salesperson how much credit you want, your phone number, pay, and they will top up your SIM card with the POS system.

Note that you will be charged 0.50 EUR for this service – even in Vodafone stores.

This fee will be deducted from your top-up (a 10 EUR recharge will leave you with 9.50 EUR).

You can also recharge online with (international/EU) debit and credit cards without being charged 0.50 EUR/top-up.

Dial #*100# to check your Vodafone balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the My Vodafone (Portugal) app (Android/iOS).

Vodafone Portugal App
© Vodafone Portugal

Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – Vodafone Portugal

Vodafone has two data-featured plans: You Plans (customizable combo) & Internet Móvel Pré-Pago/Vodafone Go Total (data for data-only SIM card).

All Vodafone plans can be activated on the My Vodafone (Portugal) app.

You Plans – Vodafone Portugal

The You Plan is, as the name suggests, a customizable bundle that allows you to set how much data (with 5G NR access) and how many minutes you want.

The prices in the table below are for two weeks, but you can also set your plan up for four weeks instead (for double the price).

The following You options are available:

Data/Minutes 1200 MB1 GB3 GB5 GB10 GB
500 minutes6 EUR7 EUR8.50 EUR10 EUR11.50 EUR
1000 minutes7 EUR8 EUR9.50 EUR11 EUR12 EUR
2000 minutes8.50 EUR9.50 EUR10.50 EUR11.50 EUR12.50 EUR
5000 minutes9.50 EUR10.50 EUR11.50 EUR12.50 EUR13.50 EUR

1 for calls/SMS within and to other EU/EEA member states and back to Portugal (NOT from Portugal to other EU/EEA member states)

You can also add the following passes (read: add-ons):

  • Chat Pass: Call+, Facebook Messenger, Facetime, Google Hangouts, iMessage, Message+ Skype, Viber & WhatsApp (1 EUR or 2 EUR – up to 10 GB)
  • Music Pass: Apple Music, Google Play Music (read: YouTube Music), Spotify & SoundCloud (1 EUR or 2 EUR – up to 12.5 GB)
  • Social Pass: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter (1 EUR or 2 EUR – up to 12.5 GB)
  • Video Pass: Netflix, Periscope, TV Vodafone, Twitch & YouTube (2 EUR or 4 EUR – up to 15 GB)
Vodafone Portugal You Plans
Internet Móvel Pré-Pago/Vodafone Go Total Plans – Vodafone Portugal

The Internet Móvel Pré-Pago/Vodafone Go Total Plans are data plans (with 5G NR access @ max. 50 Mbps) for the Vodafone Go Total SIM card (data-only SIM card).

Note that Tarifários Kanguru are for local use only – you cannot roam for free in the EU/EEA with these bundles.

The following Internet Móvel Pré-Pago/Vodafone Go Total Plans are available:

PriceData 1Validity
5 EURUnlimited2 days
10 EURUnlimited5 days
15 EURUnlimited15 days
20 EURUnlimited20 days
25 EURUnlimited25 days
30 EURUnlimited30 days
35 EURUnlimited35 days
40 EURUnlimited40 days
45 EURUnlimited45 days
50 EURUnlimited50 days
55 EURUnlimited55 days
60 EURUnlimited60 days
65 EURUnlimited65 days
70 EURUnlimited70 days
75 EURUnlimited75 days
80 EURUnlimited80 days
85 EURUnlimited85 days
90 EURUnlimited90 days

1 speed throttled to 10 Mbps after using more than 200 GB

EU Roaming – Vodafone Portugal

You can use your Vodafone allowances in the following EU/EEA member states without paying roaming fees:

As Vodafone does not have dedicated EU/EEA roaming allowances, you can use your full allowance without restrictions in other EU/EEA member states.

Note that the Internet Móvel Pré-Pago/Vodafone Go Total plans are for local use only.

APN/Internet Settings – Vodafone Portugal

  • Name: Vodafone Internet
  • APN: net2.vodafone.pt
  • Username: vodafone
  • Password: vodafone

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.

Jump back to the Table of Contents.

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The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Portugal

Getting a SIM card from MEO or NOS would do you well when considering a Portugese SIM card.


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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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