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Getting a Portuguese mobile number and SIM-card



Joanna Horanin

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Last updated at 23/04/2024, 08:30

Hi, I'm Joanna, the author of The Blond Travels. In the worlds of Thailand and Portugal, I feel like a fish in water - and it's no coincidence! I've been exploring Thailand for over a decade, and I've settled in Portugal for 6 years now. My mission is to support Dreamers - just like you - in discovering these fascinating countries and helping those in love with them find their own place on Earth, preferably for good! Let's uncover these unique corners of the world together.

Are you going to Portugal for holidays or for a bit longer? You will need a phone number and mobile internet. Find out how to get a Portuguese SIM card and a number.

Nowadays it’s hard to live without a phone, right? Even if you want to get some rest and get away from it, you need to change crucial information. In a new country, internet is needed to navigate and to check your route around the city, or to call your family in your home country. Below information will help you to get a Portuguese mobile number and mobile internet.

Roaming in Portugal

If you are coming to Portugal only for a couple of weeks, or days, a SIM card might not be needed. Citizens of the UE countries can enjoy the same tariffs in Portugal as in their home countries. Those coming from outside of the EU, might want to use roaming. Check the cost with your mobile provider.

If you’re staying here longer, think about getting a Portuguese SIM or a mobile phone contract.

Mobile networks in Portugal

The most popular mobile networks in Portugal are:

  • Meo – apparently they have the best reception, but I think they have the worst customer service. Their shops are always full of people and it takes ages to sort things out.
  • Vodafone – the second best mobile provider with much better customer service.
  • Nos – you can see their adverts everywhere in Portugal, but I heard different opinions about their reception.

Top-up SIM cards in Portugal

You can get a SIM card at the airport. However, quite often there are really long queues and the service is very slow. It’s sometimes best to buy a SIM in the city. You can purchase one in shops which belong to the networks, in certain kiosks, or places, where they sell mobile phones.

Remember to take your passport with you when intending to buy a card.

How to top-up your SIM?

I encountered a few problems when wanting to top up a card. In theory you can do it in an ATM, but you need a Portuguese debit card. The same comes to topping it up online.
Your card can be topped up in a mobile shop or through Payshop.

Monthly phone contracts in Portugal

As a foreginer you can buy a phone and pay monthly bills. To do so, you need to go to a network shop. When singing the contract you will be asked to show:

Do you have any questions? Leave them in the comments!