How to Buy a Georgia Sim Card During Your Adventure in the Caucasus

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Headed to Georgia? Here’s everything you need to know to get a prepaid sim card in Georgia so that you can stay connected while in the country, including my personal experiences and what I paid for my sim card.

 

Read:  What to Pack for Georgia

 

Georgia Sim Card Companies

There are three cell phone companies in Georgia offering prepaid data plans for visitors and tourists.

 

Geocell

I chose Geocell because it’s a sister to Azercell, which I used in Azerbaijan. I have also used Kcell in when I needed a sim card in Kazakhstan. In Georgia, Geocell offers multiple pacakages for prepaid data. I purchased a plan of 6 GB of data for 15 GEL (about $6). For more information about Geocell’s prepaid data packages, visit their website.

 

A Geocell store in Tbilisi
A Geocell store in Tbilisi

Beeline

Beeline is an international cell phone company. While I didn’t use them in Georgia, I have purchased Beeline sim cards in Armenia and Kyryzstan. I found the prices to be good in both countries. For pricing in Georgia, it looks like they may be the cheapest option of the three available, especially if you get a larger data package. You can check current prices on their website.

 

I ended up getting my Sim at the Beeline in Cholpon Ata
I have used Beeline in Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, but not in Georgia.

 

 

Magticom

I have not personally used Magti before. According to the website, the prices are identical to Geocell with the exception of being slightly more expensive to get a 1GB plan.

 

How to Buy and Activate a Sim Card in Georgia

The process for buying a sim card in Georgia was simpler than in Azerbaijan and less time consuming than in Armenia.

 

  1. Taking a number and waiting for it to be called: My number was called right away.
  2. Going over packages with the sales associates: This took no time as there was only one tourist sim option that made sense for my situation.
  3. Paperwork and checking passports: I showed my passport, signed the sales slip, and paid with credit card.
  4. Installing and activating the sim card: They set the sim up for me and played a video on Youtube so that I knew it was working.

 

         Total Time: 15 min

 

Pro Tip: Double check that your phone is activated. In Armenia, my friend left the store without checking. She had to go back and get hers activated the next day. 

 

When you enter Geocell , take a number and wait your turn.

 

Getting a Sim Card in Tbilisi

Unlike in Yerevan, where there seems to be a cell phone provider on every corner, I went a few days without running into a cell store in Tbilisi. I purchased my Georgia sim card at the Geocell in the mall at the Tbilisi Central Train Station. The store is open on daily from 10 am until 10 pm, except for Sundays when the store closes two hours early.

 

Address:  2 Station Square, Tbilisi Central, 3rd floor

 

There are dozens of other locations in Tbilisi from each of the providers, just make sure to look up directions since they aren’t as ubiquitous here as in some other major cities.

Waiting my turn to buy a prepaid tourist sim card in a Geocell in Tbilisi
Waiting my turn to buy a prepaid tourist sim card in a Geocell in Tbilisi

FAQ about Buying a Sim Card in Georgia

Here are the most common questions about getting sim cards in Georgia.

 

Do I need a passport to buy a sim card in Georgia?

Yes, you’ll need to show your passport to be allowed to buy a sim card in Georgia. From internet reports, it may be that this rule is new or only being enforced as of 2018. Therefore, if you have heard that people didn’t need a passport in the past, this is no longer the case going forward. You will also need to show a passport to get a prepaid sim card in Armenia and Azerbaijan.

 

What else do I need to bring with me?

You’ll need a form of payment and your cell phone. I paid with credit card, but they also took cash. Bring your phone with you and have them activate the phone before you leave. Make sure it’s working. While in Armenia, my friend’s phone wasn’t working when we left the store and she had to go back the next day.

 

Can I buy a sim card at the Tbilisi airport?

Yes, there are multiple sim card pacakages available when you arrive in Tbilisi. Note the prices listed for each company here, as they may be higher when you buy them at the airport.

 

If I choose to not get a sim card, is wifi common in Georgia?

Yes, we found that most restaurants and cafes had free wifi that was very fast. Our AirBnB apartment also had great wifi. It was not available in some public places like the train station or on public transportation.

 

Will my Georgia sim card work in Abkhazia and South Ossetia?

No, your Georgia sim cards will not work in these two break-away republics since they use Russian systems. You will need a different sim card for them. in Abkhazia, you can choose between Aquafon and A-mobile. In South Ossetia, cell service is provided by Megafon (Ostelcom).

 

Does Georgia follow the EU’s International Roaming Rate Caps?

No, Georgia is not part of the EU. If you use your EU phone plan on roaming in Georgia, you can get hit with extremely high data rates and come home to a shockingly high cell phone bill.

 

Can I use my international roaming from the US and Canada?

Yes, if you have international roaming turned on and your American or Canadian plan includes Georgia, then your cell phone should work. Note that data is pretty inexpensive in Georgia, so if your American or Canadian roaming plan is more than ten dollars, you might want to get a data plan in Georgia. Note that your cell phone must be unlocked ahead of time. Your cell phone company will unlock your phone for you if you contact them in advance of your trip.

 

Will my Armenian Sim Card work in Georgia?

No, Armenian sim cards will not work in Georgia.

 

Read: Everything You Need to Know to Buy an Armenian Sim Card

 

Will my Azerbaijan Sim Card work in Georgia?

No, you will need separate sim cards for Georgia and Azerbaijan. While the process in Armenia was straightforward, getting a sim in Azerbaijan was a nightmare.

Read: How to Get an Azerbaijan Sim Card without Losing Your Effing Mind

 

 

 

5 Things to Pack for a Trip to Georgia

  • The Lonely Planet Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan which is available as a paper copy or in a Kindle edition. (While you all know I’m a Rick Steves stan, he doesn’t have a guide to the Caucasus).
  • An Unlocked Cell Phone so that you can use a Georgian sim card.
  • A scarf for visiting the monasteries.
  • Trekking Poles for anyone planning to do the hikes while in Georgia, especially if you have knee issues.
  • Travel Insurance Policy information, because things happen on the road. I pay for World Nomads, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’re going to be doing any hiking or trekking while in Georgia.

    I have been a paying customer of World Nomads for travel insurance for two years, and I happily recommend them.  It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’re going to be doing any adventure sports like horseback trekking, hiking, or traveling off-road. Even in Tbiisi, you’ll be happy when you’re able to replace your stuff if it’s lost or stolen.

     

Read:  Georgia Packing List for Women and Men

 

I got great cell reception in Georgia, even up in the mountains.
I got great cell reception in Georgia, even up in the mountains.

More about Traveling Georgia

 

More about Traveling the Caucasus

Many people who travel Georgia combine it with a trip to Azerbaijan and Georgia:

 

Azerbaijan Travel Resources

 

Armenia Travel Resources

 

 

Have you bought a Georgia sim card? Are you researching prepaid data plans an upcoming trip to Georgia? Leave your best Georgia data tips and any questions about data connectivity in Georgia below!

 

 

Pin this Article for Your Trip to Georgia

How to Get a Georgia Sim Card
How to Get a Georgia Sim Card

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