Best Tourist sim cards in Albania - Everything you need to know about buying a sim card in Albania

Best Tourist Sim Cards in Albania – Everything Kou Need to Know

Are you wondering what are the best tourist sim cards in Albania? In this post, I will compare all the providers and their plans and will tell you what was my favourite sim card provider in Albania and why.

Albania is increasingly becoming a popular destination for travellers, backpackers and vacationers. This stunning country boasts incredible landscapes, crystal clear beaches, spectacular mountains and some of the most fascinating historical towns.

So, are you planning a trip to Albania and want to know if you need a local Albanian sim card?

If you are staying in Albania for more than just a few days, getting a sim card in Albania is recommended. Roaming charges can drive up your phone bill, so having a local sim card will save you money, allow you to call all local services and the internet packages are excellent.

Why Should You Get a Local Sim Card While Travelling

With a local SIM card, you get prepaid minutes, text messages (not that anyone uses those anymore, haha) and data that you can use in that country. You need mobile data and calls for things like GPS (maps, location), emergencies, calling local guesthouses, taxis and so on.

With a local SIM card, you can avoid high roaming bills on your return.

Often you even get some roaming options for neighbouring countries.

For example, when I arrived in North Macedonia, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that my Albanian One SIM included a roaming package so I could get by until I bought my Macedonian card.

As I write this, I am in Belgrade, Serbia. And since I am only staying in the country for 3 days and Wi-Fi hotspots are widely available, I will not be buying the local sim card. But if I were to stay longer in Serbia and travel to non-urban areas, I definitely would.

Roaming in Balkans

Under the new Balkan roaming rules, all domestic volumes in the Western Balkan countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Serbia are valid up to the defined roaming cap.

I can confirm that my Bosnian card worked in Albania (until I bought an Albanian sim card) and my Albanian card worked in North Macedonia.

However, I did not use them long enough to see if it was worth keeping the original sim card. I always stayed longer than 2 weeks in each country, so it made sense for me to get a local sim card.

Consider an eSIM!

An alternative option that is gaining a lot of popularity is eSim. This is a great option as it will eliminate the need to get a different physical SIM card in each country. One of the most popular is Airalo eSIM

How does it work?

An eSIM is an embedded SIM card – a tiny chip integrated directly into a phone’s circuit board. Many newer phones have such a card along with the traditional SIM. However, you should check if your phone is equipped with it before purchasing the plan.

When you purchase a data plan from the Airalo marketplace, you can install the eSIM directly in the app, via a QR code or by manually entering your eSIM info. It only takes a few moments, and depending on the package, you’ll get a plan with a certain amount of mobile data for a certain amount of time.

Practical Tips: Before purchasing a local sim card, ensure that your phone is unlocked so you can use different providers’ sim cards. These days majority of phones are unlocked, but it’s worth checking.

Where Can You Buy a SIM Card in Albania?

You can buy a sim card in almost all towns in Albania as well as at Tirana airport. The majority of towns in Albania will have Vodafone, and One stores, often more than one. 

In many popular tourist destinations in Albania, you will also find pop-up stores on the streets selling local sim cards. You will have no issue buying a sim card in Albania.

You can pay by cash (I paid in both Lek and Euros) and only some will accept cards so check before buying.

Important – You will be asked for ID (passport or national ID) when purchasing any sim card in Albania. Most of the time a photo of a passport will be fine. 

Best Tourist Sim Cards in Albania (2024)

Sim Card Providers and Tourist Packages

One Albania

Formerly known as Telekom Albania, One is the second-largest carrier in Albania and my personal favourite. It has a good choice of short-term and long-term tourist packages, the app actually works and the top-up options are excellent.

Tourist packages for One Albania:

Currently One offers two different tourist packages:

40GB (1000 minutes and 1000 national SMS) valid for 15 days and costing 2300 Lek.

100GB (unlimited minutes and unlimited national SMS) valid for 21 days and costing 2900 Lek.

I recommend getting the first one. If you are staying for longer than 2 weeks in Albania you will then be able to top up your card and you will no longer be limited to tourist packages.

I for example topped up 5GB for 600Lek over the app. You can also pop into the shop and ask for current offers. Check the One Albania website for current tourist packages. 

Top-ups and credit checks: You can top up at all One Shops, by credit card online on One app or through another mobile phone (mobile number) by calling at +355681000141.

Pros: The app actually works, loads of data even on the cheapest package, great top-up packages, and good coverage.

Cons: Maybe slightly worse coverage than Vodafone, but I didn’t notice much difference.

Best Tourist sim cards in Albania - Everything you need to know about buying a sim card in Albania


Vodafone is still the market leader in Albania and this was the sim card I went with originally. Their tourist packages are excellent and you get more options than with One.

What made me change into One was how non-existent/mon functional the app was. It might work better on your phone or at the time you read this article, but I didn’t want to go to the shop every time I wanted to check my balance, how much data I had left or to top up. 

Tourist packages for Vodafone Albania:

Vodafone changed the packages in May 2023 and it is literally mimicking the One after:

40GB (1000 minutes and 1000 national SMS) valid for 15 days and costing 2300 Lek.

100GB (unlimited minutes and unlimited national SMS) valid for 21 days and costing 2900 Lek.

Top-ups and credit checks: Recharges can be made by sending the 12-digit code of the scratch card via SMS to 141 or through calling 142 from a Vodafone mobile number or through Vodafone e-top-up. Check credit by sending an SMS for free with the text “Balance” to 141. Credit validity depends on the top-up amount.

Pros: The oldest and most reliable provider. According to many loyal users. 

Cons: Very glitchy app, at times not working at all

Best Tourist sim cards in Albania - Everything you need to know about buying a sim card in Albania
Best Tourist sim cards in Albania – Everything you need to know about buying a sim card in Albania

ALB Telecom

This provider has now merged with One Albania therefore I do not recommend looking into their offers. As it stands right now (2024) the two best tourist SIM card providers in Albania are One and Vodafone.

My Favourite Sim Card Provider in Albania

Having used both Vodafone and One, my personal recommendation for the best SIM card in Albania is One.

I liked their tourist package and the different top-up options, I always received excellent service in their stores and their app, although not the best app in the world, worked really well for what I needed it for. I was able to check my credit, top up my balance and choose a data package that suited me.

Even when I arrived in North Macedonia, I was still connected, so I can confirm that Balkan roaming works just fine.

I hope you found this guide to the best tourist sim cards in Albania useful. Albania is an incredible country and I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I did. If you have any questions please ask in the comments and I will be happy to answer.

Until then, enjoy Albania and happy travels!

Pati x

This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you purchase the product or make a booking via one of my links, I will receive a small commission. Please know that I will never recommend or promote a product I don’t believe in or haven’t used. This way, you are supporting this blog at no extra cost to you. Thank you!

Exploring more of Albania?

This is my complete guide to all the wonderful things to do in Tirana, and in this post, you will find out where to stay in Tirana.

If you are visiting Shkoder, be sure to read my complete guide to all the wonderful things to do in Shkoder. And if you are planning a visit to Theth and hiking the Albanian Alps I have you covered too!

Heading to the beach? Great idea! Here is the list of all the most beautiful beaches near Himare!

Finally, if you are wondering where to stay, here is the list of then ost iconic hostels in Albania!


  1. Pushpendra says:

    Good article, very helpful. But one question Is Hotspot work with Tourist package? As mentioned on vodafone website vodafone sharing option not available on this package?

    1. patisjourneywithin says:

      Hi! I never had to use the hotspot option as literally anywhere I went there was a wifi avaliable. The best option would be to ask on the day of purchase. I wish I was able to help more. Enjoy Albania!

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