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.
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.
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 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
- Taking a number and waiting for it to be called: My number was called right away.
- 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.
- Paperwork and checking passports: I showed my passport, signed the sales slip, and paid with credit card.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More about Traveling Georgia
- What to Pack for Georgia for Women and Men
- How to Get from Sheki to Tbilisi and Vice Versa
- The Dry Bridge Market: The Funky Tbilisi Flea Market with History on Display
More about Traveling the Caucasus
Many people who travel Georgia combine it with a trip to Azerbaijan and Georgia:
Azerbaijan Travel Resources
- How to Get an Azerbaijan Sim Card
- 75 Epic Reasons You Need to Travel Azerbaijan
- Azerbaijan Packing List
- 21 Things to Know Before You Rent a Car in Baku, Azerbaijan
- How to Get from Ganja to Sheki and Vice Versa
- How to Get from Sheki to Tbilisi and Vice Versa
- 21 Things to Do in Ganja, Azerbaijan
Armenia Travel Resources
- What to Pack for Armenia for Women and Men
- How to Buy a Sim Card in Armenia
- Geghard Monastery: A Day Trip that turned into a Spiritual Odyssey
- 33 of the Most Beautiful Mosques in the World and the Pictures to Prove It
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!
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