Madrid SIM card, eSIM, roaming and other ways to get Internet abroad | May 2024

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Last update: May 6, 2024
Roams UK
Author: Roams UK
In a nutshell

Buying a SIM card in Madrid can be a good option to get Internet access. But you should know that it is not the only one available. You can activate your company's roaming service or connect to a public or portable wifi network. But your best alternative is to get a cheap eSIM that you can activate from your phone, so you don't miss a second of your trip.

Book your Madrid eSIM with Holafly

Madrid SIM card: How to get mobile data during your trip?

Surely you have thought about getting a SIM card in Madrid. And it wouldn't be a bad option, as you can find them in any supermarket or phone shop. After all, these products still offer a good service to get minutes of calls and mobile data.

Another advantage is that you can buy the SIM card both physically and online. It is true that the latter option can be very convenient, although you will have to wait to receive it at home before flying.

We absolutely don't recommend you to buy your SIM card at the airport. You will save time on your trip, it is true, but at the price of paying a lot more than usual. We think it pays to spend some time looking for a specialized shop in downtown.

Anyway, here are the main telephone operators working in Spain:

  • Madrid SIM card of Movistar: It is the most widespread provider in the country, offering outstanding service and coverage.
  • Orange SIM card in Madrid: More and more Spaniards are contracting their telephone services with this company, so you can find their cards in all kinds of establishments.
  • Vodadone SIM card in Madrid: It offers plans with different time periods and amounts of mobile data.

Other ways to get Internet in Madrid

The SIM card is one of the most common options to get Internet in Madrid. But you should know that there are many more. Not surprisingly, having mobile data will make your trip much more fulfilling. You will be able to make reservations at hotels and restaurants, buy train tickets to move outside the city and enjoy many other conveniences.

Our intention is to detail each alternative to obtain mobile data with all their pros and cons. But before we get into the subject, we leave you with this table so that you can consult all your options at a glance:

How much does it cost the Internet in Madrid?
Service Price/Days Data
eSIM Madrid Holafly
  • From £29/10 days
  • Unlimited
Madrid SIM card
  • From £20/28 days
  • 35GB
Wifi in Madrid:
  • Portable
  • Public

  • From £4/day
  • Free

  • 2GB/day
  • Unlimited
Roaming in Madrid:
  • EE
  • O2
  • Three

  • Free
  • Free
  • Free

  • Depending on your plan
  • Depending on your plan
  • Depending on your plan

eSIM Madrid: A simple way to get unlimited data

While buying a SIM card in Madrid is not a bad idea, we believe there are better options these days: eSIM cards. This is a virtual card that you can activate directly from your mobile phone with a simple code.

What is an eSIM card?

One of its great advantages is that it saves you time on your trip, as you don't have to move around town looking for a prepaid card. You sign up for the eSIM, receive it directly in your email and activate it when you arrive at your destination. As easy as that.

eSim Spain
Prepaid: 5 days expiry
Data Unlimited

Connection speed 4G
Pay as you go£195 days expiry
taxes included

There are many companies offering such digital products, such as Airalo, Ubigi or Maya Mobile. But none of them offer plans as varied and complete as those of Holafly. Mainly because their eSIMs provide unlimited data.

  • Advantages of signing up for an eSIM to travel to Madrid with Holafly
    • You won't miss a second of your trip, as you can activate it directly from your phone.
    • Their customer service is 24/7 and can assist you in up to 8 different languages.
    • You will receive the eSIM directly in your mailbox, so you will not have to travel at all.
    • You can keep your old SIM card in case you ever need to use it.
    • It's an inexpensive option to get unlimited data.
  • Disadvantages of the Holafly Madrid eSIM card
    • You will not be able to share your unlimited data.
    • Although you will be able to call via WhatsApp, you will not be able to use your usual number for that.

As you can see, Holafly's eSIM has advantages such as unlimited data or a customer service in 8 different languages that is available 24 hours a day. And if you still have any doubts, here are the plans and prices offered by Holafly for its Madrid eSIM.

Madrid eSIM Holafly: all the plans
Plan Price Gigas
5 days £19 Unlimited
10 days £29 Unlimited
15 days £44 Unlimited
20 days £49 Unlimited
30 days £59 Unlimited
60 days £77 Unlimited
90 days £87 Unlimited

Sign up now for your Holafly eSIM with a 5% discount including the coupon ROAMS

And in case you want to study other alternatives offered by the market, here is another handful of companies from which you can buy an eSIM:

  • Airalo.
  • SimOptions.
  • Nomad eSIM.
  • Ubigi.
  • Yesim.

How does roaming work in Madrid?

Another alternative you can choose, as many travellers do, is your phone company's roaming service. Especially when you travel to a city like Madrid, which is within the European zone.

In this case, roaming will be included in your regular data plan. But be aware that if you exceed the stipulated amount, your provider may add a surcharge without notifying you. We recommend that you know exactly how long you will be away from the UK, as there are times when roaming may not be worth it.

Anyway, here are the roaming plans of the main UK providers:

  • EE roaming in Madrid: It's included in the usual plans, so it won't cost you any more money than you pay.
  • Roaming with O2 in Madrid: Unless you exceed the limit stipulated by the company, you will be able to connect to the Internet in the Spanish capital normally.
  • Three roaming for Madrid: As you are within the EU zone, roaming will not cost you more money than you pay with your usual plan.
  • Vodafone roaming for Madrid: With your usual plan, you will be able to call and connect to the Internet in Spain as you would in the UK.

Connect to a wifi network in Madrid

What many people do during their travels is to connect to a public wifi network to solve their internet problems. And it's certain to get you out of trouble, but you should know that these connections don't work for every task.

Never make online purchases or bank transactions connected to one of these networks. It may sound catastrophic, but we assure you that anyone could access your data and bank accounts.

Get Internet data with a pocket wifi network in Madrid

It is best to connect to a pocket wifi or MiFi. You can rent these portable devices from different companies to access the Internet in Madrid. Although they are a convenient alternative, they can cost money. Especially if you need a lot of mobile data.

  • Wifivox: You will have 1GB of data per day and you will be able to connect up to 5 different devices.
  • Travel Wifi: This company's plans are up to 2GB per day, although they will be slightly more expensive.
  • MioWifi: It has a high-speed 4G connection that you can share with other devices.
  • Klook Wifi: Its greatest strength is that it has a variety of plans ranging from 1GB to 4GB of mobile data.

Although this option may be convenient as it provides you with mobile data anywhere in Madrid, it does have its drawbacks. Mainly, the price that it can cost you in case your trip is at least a little long.

Don't forget to return the equipment in perfect condition, otherwise you'll have to pay a fine, which can be very high. And in case of theft or loss, your personal data will be exposed. Make sure you travel to a safe place before hiring this type of service.

Why you should have Internet in Madrid?

You may want to share your adventures on social media or contact any family members or friends. There are many reasons why you might need the Internet in a city like Madrid:

  • WhatsApp: Depending on your roaming service, you may find it difficult to make calls to friends and family. Take action with WhatsApp.
  • Madrid Subway routes: The Madrid Metro has an infinite number of lines and stations. Being able to check the routes from your phone will save you a lot of time if you plan to take public transport.
  • Google Maps: If you want to find your way around the city easily and move around freely, you need an app like this.
  • Theatre and micro-theatre: Madrid is a city that breathes theatre. If you want to keep up to date with the latest news, both on the main and underground circuits, you'll need an Internet connection.
  • Check the weather: Remember that it can get very hot in Madrid during the summer. You should know the coolest times of the day to go for a walk during those hours.

In addition to these conveniences, having Internet access in Madrid, with a SIM card or by any other method, will allow you to make the most of your experience. You can book a free tour of Madrid de los Austrias, kill zombies in a virtual reality with your friends or visit one of the many museums in the city such as El Prado or the Reina Sofia.

That's why we think you should get Holafly's eSIM Madrid.

Book your Madrid eSIM with Holafly

Tips before travelling to Madrid

Although Madrid is a very traveller-friendly city, we think you should take note of these tips before you set off on your trip:

  • Avoid the summer months: In Madrid, it can be 40 or 45 degrees Celsius. That is why we recommend other times such as winter or Easter.
  • Buy the transport pass: The metro ticket costs €1.50. And if you go from the airport, it will cost much more. With the pass, you will save an incredible amount of money, because you will use a lot of public transport.
  • Don't stop to eat in tourist areas: It may seem very seductive to eat in Sol or Plaza Mayor, but we assure you that you will not eat well and it will cost you an arm and a leg. Look for more secluded neighborhoods to try the authentic Madrilenian gastronomy.
  • Reserve a Sunday for the flea market: In Madrid there is a huge market every week in the old town neighbourhoods. It is the best way to soak up the traditional culture. And you might even find a bargain.

FAQs about SIM card in Madrid

Can I buy a SIM card at Madrid airport?

You can buy a SIM card at the airport in Madrid, but although this is a convenient option, it will cost more than usual.

Where to buy a SIM card in Madrid?

You can buy your SIM card in Madrid at any supermarket or phone shop. Avoid doing so at the airport.

What is the best way to get Internet in Madrid?

You can buy a SIM card in Madrid, activate your provider's roaming or connect to a wifi network. But your best alternative is to get an eSIM that you can activate conveniently from your mobile phone.

Our methodology
Roams offers a free information and comparison service, which tries to help anyone find the product that best suits their needs. To ensure that the data presented is correct, extensive market research and product analysis is carried out. Our database of mobile phone and internet rates is updated every day. The content is frequently reviewed by a team of writers with previous experience and/or specific training in telephony.

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Roams UKRoams
Actualizado por Roams UK

Roams offers its advice on recurring-use services to enhance consumer savings. Its expertise is already valued by thousands of users, who trust Roams comparisons in different sectors to hire the best option.

Nadia Pérez
Edited and revised por Nadia Pérez