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Athena13 Aug 18th, 2011 06:06 AM

Greece: Cell Phone Rental Recommendations
Does anyone have any recent experience with renting a cell phone and have any recommendations? I'm going in October alone and want something for emergencies.

mnapoli Aug 18th, 2011 06:10 AM

Check with your cell phone carrier. We are going to Greece next week and were able to rent a phone from Verizon for about $20. They mail you the phone and actually transfer your own cell number to that phone for the duration of your trip.

brotherleelove2004 Aug 18th, 2011 09:24 AM

You can buy a cheap cell phone at the Germanos Store in the airport shopping area and load it with as many minutes as you thing you'll need. They'll activate it for you and you'll be good to go. It won't cost you more than about €50.

ParisAmsterdam Aug 18th, 2011 01:42 PM

Buy an unlocked GSM phone from for $39. Pick up a SIM when you get to Athens... as BrotherLee says, you can get a SIM right at the airport. This way you'll also be able to use the phone when you get home as well.

I wouldn't use your own carrier's 'special travel deal'... most people find the deal turns out to be pricier than expected...
Whatever you do... don't rent. Rental stories usually seem to end badly. ;^(

brotherleelove2004 Aug 18th, 2011 02:38 PM

If you want a phone you can use both in the US as well as in Europe and Asia be sure it's an "unlocked quadband" phone, also known as a World Phone. It has to funciton on all 4 mobile phone frequencies to be considered such.

brotherleelove2004 Aug 18th, 2011 05:16 PM

Also make sure it's not associated with any service provider.

yiassas Aug 18th, 2011 08:20 PM

Just to clarify, you can no longer get a phone or sim at the airport unless you are flying on to one of the islands straight away. The Germanos store in arrivals has closed. There is one on your right as you go through to departures.
If you are coming in to Athens first there are plenty of stores to choose from, Germanos, Wind, Vodafone, Cosmote, all will sell a phone with a sim card for pay as you go use. Alternatively just buy the sim card as stated & use in a suitable unlocked phone.

Heimdall Aug 18th, 2011 10:54 PM

If you can, pick up an unlocked GSM quad-band phone before you leave home. That way you can preload your contact numbers, charge up the battery, and be ready to use it as soon as you get to Greece. Then you will have a phone for future travels, and even to use as a spare at home.

Almost every island or town has a shop where you can buy Cosmote & Vodafone sim cards, so don't worry if you can't buy one at the airport. Last I checked the sim cards cost about €5 and come with a small amount of air time. Top-ups can be bought in supermarkets. Ask the store clerk to set up the phone for you.

ira Aug 19th, 2011 06:51 AM

Hi Ath,

Get the Mobal World Phone for $29. You are charged only for the emergency call you might have to make.

You keep the phone forever.


mrcamp Aug 19th, 2011 07:05 PM

Anyone still use mobal these days with their excessively expensive rates? There are much better options out there.

ira Aug 20th, 2011 05:59 AM

Hi mr,

>Anyone still use mobal these days with their excessively expensive rates? There are much better options out there.<

You got a better deal than $29 for the phone and $2 for 1 emergency call?


Athena13 Aug 21st, 2011 07:54 AM

Thank you everyone for the food for thought!

Commodore Aug 25th, 2011 04:33 AM

I bought 2 unlocked GSM cell phones (about 4-5 years old) for $50/ea. Took family to Europe for 6 weeks this summer. Got to Paris, spent about $40 in a FNAC store to load a SIM chip in each and get enough minutes for several calls/day. Now home. Looking to sell the phones, and keep my cost to the $40 of the two plans.

This was great for communication whenever we split up, or for calling ahead for hotel, restaurant, directions, etc. The plans allowed for unlimited texting. Good luck.

mrcamp Aug 27th, 2011 05:56 PM

ira, yes. Buy a basic unlocked phone on ebay for about $20 or so, or buy a cheap dual band phone (similar to the cheapo phoen Mobal is selling) in europe for about 10 euro, then buy an ekit sim or a local sim that will not cost you more than $0.20 to call the internationally. Heck! Mobal's rates are probably the most expensive of any international sim card I am aware of.

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