Syria – home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world, rich cultural heritage & for having impressive train stations.
While the current situation of the country is less than desirable, Syria used to be a thrilling travel destination.
It is, however, still possible to visit the country.
Most who do so are Syrians living abroad visiting family back home.
But there are many others who travel to the country for tourism purposes.
Especially Aleppo and Damascus, which are considered safe (for local standards, that is).
Even then, Syria may be one of the few countries where staying connected is a must – mostly for your safety.
Luckily, the mobile telecommunications infrastructure is still intact (in highly populated areas).
And anyone can still buy SIM cards – including tourists.
So, how much will a Syrian SIM card cost?
You can get a Syrian SIM card for 250 SYP (0.10 USD) from MTN, currently the only mobile operator, in their stores (called Service Centers). You may be able to get SIM cards at Damascus International Airport and Aleppo International Airport.
That price is not too bad, huh?
What if I told you that a data-featured plan with 1 GB of data valid for 30 days will cost you around 3 USD (4000 SYP).?
Things are not too pricey in Syria… because of inflation and the Syrian Pound becoming more worthless by the day.
Hopefully, that will reverse… one day.
In this guide, I will tell you everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Syria. Let's do this.
Original publication: 1st of November 2021. Last updated: 30th of November 2023.
Table of Contents
What is the Best SIM Card in Syria?
If you want to buy the best SIM card in Syria, then MTN Syria is your only option. It is currently the only mobile operator in Syria.
So, which other SIM cards are available in Syria?
Syria currently has one mobile network operator offering prepaid services easily accessible to travelers:
- MTN Syria
Anyone 18 or older living in or visiting Syria can buy a Syrian SIM card with no restrictions.
But you do have to comply with the SIM card registration regulations, which include showing your passport at the point of sale.
- Find out which countries have SIM card registration regulations and what is required from you (lookup tool)
Where Can You Buy a Syrian SIM Card (+Costs)?
You can get a Syrian SIM card in MTN stores (called MTN Service Centers). Some Peruvian airports may sell (tourist) SIM cards (at inflated prices)..
You can expect to pay for the following Syrian SIM card:
- MTN Syria: 250 SYP
If you plan to buy a SIM card at an airport, the prices can be higher than the one listed above – be aware of this.
Use the Wise Currency Converter tool (free) for up-to-date SYP (Syrian Pound) to your currency (let's say INR – Indian Rupee) exchange rates.
For your convenience, below are some exchange rates between SYP and USD (US Dollars):
- 10 SYP = 0.40 USD
- 100 SYP = 0.40 USD
- 1000 SYP = 0.40 USD
- 10 000 SYP = 3.10 USD
But for any other currency, the Wise Currency Converter tool.
Syrian Prepaid SIM Cards Explored
Below, I will guide you through MTN Syria 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)
Let's see what Syria offers us.
MTN Syria (إم تي إن سوريا)
MTN Syria, just MTN but officially إم تي إن سوريا, is currently the only mobile operator in Syria after Syriatel collapsed in 2020.
As part of MTN's focus on Africa, it decided to sell its remaining 75% of shares of its Syrian division to TeleInvest – a Saudi company that had the other 25% remaining shares.
While the government is talking about allowing a new entrant into the Syrian telecom market, you will have to deal with MTN for the foreseeable future.
MTN uses the following frequencies:
- 2G: 900 MHz
- 3G: 2100 MHz
- 4G/LTE: 1800 MHz
Coverage – MTN Syria
MTN has decent coverage throughout Syria.
Coverage in populated areas is, surprisingly, good. But that is mostly on 3G.
4G/LTE reception is rare in the country.
Do note that due to the current situation, local internet blackouts may happen.
It is hard to stay connected when towers get blown away.
Even then, coverage is astonishngly decent.
Below is MTN's coverage map produced by Speedtest:
SIM Card Price – MTN Syria
You can buy an MTN SIM card for 250 SYP in MTN stores, called MTN Service Centers. MTN SIM cards may be available at Damascus International Airport and Aleppo International Airport.
Dial *111# to access the MTN menu.
- 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)
Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check – MTN Syria
MTN top-up vouchers are sold in MTN Service Centers, grocery stores, corner shops & electronics shops throughout Syria.
The following top-ups are available at MTN Service Centers:
|50 SYP||46 SYP|
|75 SYP||70 SYP|
|100 SYP||95 SYP|
|150 SYP||142 SYP|
|200 SYP||191 SYP|
|250 SYP||238 SYP|
|300 SYP||287 SYP|
|500 SYP||479 SYP|
|650 SYP||620 SYP|
|750 SYP||718 SYP|
|1000 SYP||959 SYP|
|1200 SYP||1151 SYP|
|1500 SYP||1438 SYP|
|2000 SYP||1919 SYP|
The following top-ups are available from dealers:
|90 SYP||94 SYP|
|100 SYP||105 SYP|
|105 SYP||110 SYP|
|150 SYP||157 SYP|
|200 SYP||209 SYP|
|225 SYP||235 SYP|
|250 SYP||261 SYP|
|300 SYP||313 SYP|
|350 SYP||365 SYP|
|400 SYP||418 SYP|
|450 SYP||470 SYP|
|500 SYP||522 SYP|
|650 SYP||678 SYP|
|750 SYP||783 SYP|
|900 SYP||939 SYP|
|1000 SYP||1043 SYP|
|1200 SYP||1252 SYP|
|1500 SYP||1565 SYP|
|1950 SYP||2034 SYP|
|2000 SYP||2086 SYP|
|2500 SYP||2608 SYP|
|4000 SYP||4172 SYP|
|5000 SYP||5215 SYP|
|6000 SYP||6258 SYP|
|10 000 SYP||10 430 SYP|
|15 000 SYP||15 645 SYP|
|20 000 SYP||20 860 SYP|
To top up your MTN SIM card, you would dial *110*VoucherCode# or call 1818 and follow the instructions.
For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would dial *110*123456#.
Dial *100# to check your MTN balance.
You can also top up and check your balance on the myMTN Syria app.
Do note that this app is for Android devices only and is only available on the MTN website.
The page will give you an .apk file for you to download.
I would always be weary of why an official app is not available on the Play Store or App Store.
Proceed with caution – even though the app is on MTN's official website.
If the Syrian government can make the largest mobile operator in the country collapse due to political feuds, it can certainly instruct anyone to upload a malicious .apk file on the MTN website.
Packages, Plans, Bundles & Offers – MTN Syria
MTN has seven data-featured prepaid plans:
- 3G Hourly, Daily & Monthly Bundles (combo)
- MTN Shabab Bundles (combo)
- Yalla Bundles (combo)
- Deluxe Bundles (combo)
- Hour & Medium Packages (data)
- Monthly Data Bundles (data)
- Social Bundles (social media)
I will list all the prices in SYP (Syrian Pound).
To convert SYP to your currency (let's say EUR – Euro) with up-to-date exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.
Click on the links above to jump to the plan you are interested in.
3G Hourly, Daily & Monthly Bundles – MTN Syria
The 3G Hourly, Daily & Monthly Bundles are combo plans with data (without 5G NR access and restricted to 3G speeds), minutes & SMS.
These 3G Hourly, Daily & Monthly Bundles are available by dialing *234#:
|Price||Data||Local Minutes||Local SMS||Validity|
|175 SYP||10 MB||10 minutes||10 SMS||1 day|
|300 SYP||20 MB||20 minutes||20 SMS||5 days|
|450 SYP||30 MB||30 minutes||30 SMS||5 days|
|725 SYP||150 MB||30 minutes||30 SMS||5 days|
|1000 SYP||50 MB||150 minutes||50 SMS||3 days|
MTN Shabab Bundles – MTN Syria
The MTN Shabab Bundles are combo plans with data (without 5G NR access), minutes & SMS exclusively for the Shabab tariff plan.
MTN Shabab Bundles get automatically activated if you top-up enough for the bundle you want:
|Price||Credit||Data||Local SMS||Local MMS||Validity|
|225 SYP||169 SYP||2.5 MB||50 SMS||5 MMS||30 days|
|450 SYP||337 SYP||5 MB||100 SMS||10 MMS||45 days|
|1000 SYP||711 SYP||10 MB||200 SMS||50 MMS||45 days|
Yalla Bundles – MTN Syria
The Yalla Bundles are combo plans with data (without 5G NR access), minutes & SMS.
These Yalla Bundles can be activated by dialing *444#:
|Price||Data||Local Minutes||Local SMS||Validity|
|350 SYP||10 MB||10 minutes||10 SMS||1 day|
|550 SYP||20 MB||20 minutes||20 SMS||5 days|
|800 SYP||30 MB||30 minutes||30 SMS||5 days|
|1300 SYP||150 MB||30 minutes||30 SMS||5 days|
|2000 SYP||50 MB||150 minutes||50 SMS||3 days|
Deluxe Bundles – MTN Syria
The Deluxe Bundles are combo plans with data, social media data (for unspecified apps), minutes & SMS.
Dial *2000# to activate Deluxe Bundles:
|Price||Data||Local Minutes||Local SMS||Validity|
|35 250 SYP||4000 MB||500 minutes||500 SMS||30 days|
|58 500 SYP||12 000 MB||1000 minutes||1000 SMS||30 days|
|146 250 SYP||50 000 MB||5000 minutes||5000 SMS||30 days|
1 unspecified social media apps
Hours & Medium Internet Package – MTN Syria
The Hours & Medium Internet Package are data plans (without 5G NR access).
Hours & Medium Internet Package can be activated by dialing *111#:
|500 SYP||1 GB Unspecified (“Social Media”)||1 hour|
|600 SYP||1 GB||1 hour|
|800 SYP||Unlimited||1 hour|
|1200 SYP||3 GB Unspecified (“Social Media”)||3 hours|
|1400 SYP||3 GB||3 hours|
|2800 SYP||Unlimited||4 hours|
|6750 SYP||500 MB||30 days|
|11 700 SYP||1000 MB||30 days|
|19 800 SYP||2000 MB||30 days|
|27 750 SYP||3000 MB||30 days|
|33 750 SYP||4000 MB||30 days|
|37 500 SYP||5000 MB||30 days|
|46 500 SYP||25 000 MB||30 days|
|53 250 SYP||35 000 MB||30 days|
Monthly Data Bundles – MTN Syria
The Monthly Data Bundles are, as the name implies, are data plans (without 5G NR access).
These Data Bundles are available, which you can activate by dialing *111#:
|600 SYP||50 MB||30 days|
|1200 SYP||100 MB||30 days|
|2000 SYP||200 MB||30 days|
|3000 SYP||300 MB||30 days|
|6750 SYP||0.5 GB||30 days|
|11 700 SYP||1 GB||30 days|
|19 800 SYP||2 GB||30 days|
|22 750 SYP||3 GB||30 days|
|33 750 SYP||4 GB||30 days|
|37 500 SYP||5 GB||30 days|
|46 500 SYP||25 GB||30 days|
|53 250 SYP||35 GB||30 days|
|97 500 SYP||50 GB||30 days|
The Social Bundles are data-only plans for select social media apps, including Botim, IMO, Telegram, WhatsApp & YouTube individually.
Dial *111# to activate Social Bundles:
|340 SYP||100 MB||1 day|
|700 SYP||100 MB||IMO & Botim||1 day|
|700 SYP||100 MB||Telegram||1 day|
|1000 SYP||200 MB||Unspecified (“Social Media”)||1 day|
|1400 SYP||500 MB||YouTube||1 day|
|10 000 SYP||10 000 MB||YouTube||1 day|
APN/Internet Settings – MTN Syria
- Name: MTN Syria
- APN: internet
Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.
The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Syria
Getting a SIM card from MTN would be your only option when considering a Syrian SIM card.
Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my sim card buying guides for other destinations around the world.
Next Steps to Enhance Your Travel Experiences
Looking for the next steps to enhance your phone travel experiences? Here is what to do:
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