COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Stay up to date with the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.   Learn More >

Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Cell Phone/SIM Card Paris purchase NOW. Emergency Situation

Cell Phone/SIM Card Paris purchase NOW. Emergency Situation

Old May 16th, 2012, 03:53 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 5,759
Cell Phone/SIM Card Paris purchase NOW. Emergency Situation

I'm asking this as a favor for a relative who currently has friends in Paris who did not bring or rent a phone ahead of time. This is how the question was sent to me:

"two friends from Philly came over for a week, husband is very sick and in hospital. Wife does not have phone - what is the best thing - cheapest and most practical - to getting a phone for, say, a week to ten days. She needs to make calls in Paris and to the US. And what sort of store does one go to?"

Any Fodorites have some practical suggestions? Thanks in advance!

Also, my relative is also currently in Paris and speaks French, so that could help the situation.
Liz5959 is online now  
Old May 16th, 2012, 04:43 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,981
There are a number of places that sell phones using a pre paid minutes. The largest independent outlet is Phonehouse with stores all over Paris. You should be able to find a phone, SIM, and some talk time for under 30€.

Some of the mobile phone providers have very competitive rates. Lebara, which sells SIMs (they sell phones as well but on line) has a pre paid minute plan which costs 0.02€ per minute to the USA with a 0.15€ connection fee.

Do not rent a phone. Most of the companies renting phones were unscrupulous and are hopefully out of business. Purchasing a phone outright and using a pre paid minute plan will be much cheaper.
Sarastro is offline  
Old May 17th, 2012, 04:04 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 5,759
Thanks Sarastro, I've sent your suggestion to Paris. Though it is some sort of holiday there today and they're not sure stores will be open.

Any other suggestions?
Liz5959 is online now  
Old May 17th, 2012, 04:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,002
Well, if they can't wait the one day for shops to open they could try airports or bigger railway stations, which often have shops open when the majority are closed. No guarantees but worth a try.

lavandula is offline  
Old May 17th, 2012, 05:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 645
My husband and I often use Onesuite to make calls when we're in Europe. If the woman has online access, she could sign up at and buy minutes. (Minimum is $10, I believe.) Then she can find the access number for Paris on their site, and use the minutes from a pay phone the same way she would a calling card.

We just got back from Paris earlier this week, and Onesuite still works well and is cheap. We had no problem finding pay phones, even though I saw posts here saying they have become a scarce commodity in Paris. They had pay phones at our hotel, and one on the street near the hotel. Can't say if this is the case all over Paris.
MareW is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Mar 11th, 2011 07:44 AM
Aug 13th, 2010 04:45 AM
Mar 2nd, 2006 11:31 PM
Aug 8th, 2005 07:42 AM
Jul 21st, 2004 02:38 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information