Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Buy prepaid SIM cell phone SIM card at Charles de Gaulle airport? (

Bonjour_Voyageurs May 5th, 2014 07:14 AM

Buy prepaid SIM cell phone SIM card at Charles de Gaulle airport?
Several years ago when I traveled to Paris I was able to find an Orange kiosk at the airport and purchase a SIM card for my unlocked cell phone. From the searching I have been performing I get the sense that is no longer an option. Am I correct?

StCirq May 5th, 2014 07:43 AM

I don't know if it's still an option or not, but even if it is, it's not the cheapest way to go. Just go on e-bay or amazon and buy a cheap unlocked quad-band GMS phone (mine cost $26 and has the ability to hold 3 SIM cards). Then go to and order your free starter SIM, which they will mail to you. All you need to do is activate it within 90 days and register it once in France and you're good to go. You can top up the minutes as you need to. Very low-cost and easy.

Bonjour_Voyageurs May 5th, 2014 08:01 AM

Thank you StCirq. We leave on May 14 so I am afraid if I went with your suggestion it would not arrive on time. Aside from that glitch, isn't that also a service whereby they charge a monthly or yearly fee for usage?
Unfortunately, I am unable to travel to France every year which is the reason I have not opted for thiis less expensive option.(believe me, if I did not have family here I would get my carte d'identité and move there permanently).

StCirq May 5th, 2014 08:31 AM

I'd buy the phone anyway. It will arrive before your departure if you buy today. Then just pick up a SIM once you arrive in France. The Relay stores at the airports almost always have them. It might not be Lebara. It might be SFR or Orange or something else.

To answer your question, though, no there is no monthly or yearly usage fee. But the SIM will no longer be valid if you don't use it for 6 months. Not an issue for me - I just get another (with a new number).

Sarastro May 5th, 2014 09:34 AM

Yes and no. There are no Orange kiosks to my knowledge but any of the Relay stores, found in all of the terminals, sell prepaid SIMs from companies such as Lebara or Lycamobile which offer services at far lower cost than Orange.

Bonjour_Voyageurs May 6th, 2014 07:27 AM

Thanks everyone.
StCirq: I already have bought an unlocked cell phone that will work there.
Now I will just try to find a Relay store at the airport. Hopefully there is one near the RER B train.

StCirq May 6th, 2014 07:42 AM

There are online maps of CDG airport that will show you exactly where everything is in the airport.

Robert2533 May 6th, 2014 08:09 AM

If you buy the sim card at a Relay store, make sure it's set up properly before you leave.

Here is a link to the information StCirq mentions:

I would go with Orange, SFR or Bouygues. Both Lebara or Lycamobile use the virtual network system.

Sarastro May 6th, 2014 09:09 AM

Both Lebara and Lycamobile use the Bouygues network.

Relay is a tabac. They do not have personnel who set up pre paid SIM cards. SIMs much be registered and activated before they can be used. This can be done either by calling the service number (if you speak French) or on line. CDG airport offers 30 minutes of free internet to anyone who connects.

StCirq May 6th, 2014 09:15 AM

Actually, I purchased an SFR SIM at a Relay once, and without me even asking, the man at the cash register asked for my phone, opened it up, took out my U.S. SIM, and installed the SFR one. I wouldn't count on that happening, of course. It really surprised me, especially as I didn't need him to do it.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:12 PM.