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Roaming in Turkey: is it free or do extra charges apply?

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Last update: September 28, 2023
Fernando Carrillo
2.892 people have read this post in the last 12 months
In a nutshell

Roaming in Turkey is only free on some of Vodafone Xtra Plans, whereas other UK carriers will charge you around £1 for every call, text and MB used. If you want to avoid extra charges on your phone bill, an Holalfy eSIM card may come in handy thanks to its fixed price data plans.

Is roaming in Turkey free?

Roaming in Turkey is not usually free, as most UK carriers charge its customers for any calls, texts or data used during their stay in this country. Keep in mind that Turkey is not included in the European roaming zone, therefore the terms and conditions that phone companies apply when it comes to roaming are different.

However, if you are a Vodafone customer you can enjoy free roaming in Turkey with its unlimited data Max Plan and 4 Xtra benefits. This SIM only deal allows you to access your UK data, text and minutes allowance in more than 80 countries, Turkey included. However, this is one of their most expensive Xtra plans.

If you do not consider yourself a heavy phone user, switching phone carriers or upgrading your contract just to have free roaming in Turkey with Vodafone might not be the best idea. On the long run you will be paying to much on your phone bill for a service that you will only need in some occasions.

Data roaming charges in Turkey: do they apply?

Data roaming charges do apply in Turkey, unless your data plan includes international data usage in this country. Even though the charges for data or minutes vary between carriers, in general they are quite expensive, as you will have to pay at least £1 for every call or 20p per MB. To know what is the cost of these services, we recommend you contact your carrier.

Here are some examples of how much companies charge for data roaming in Turkey, as well as for other services like phone calls or text messages:

Roaming charges in Turkey
Carrier Making a phone call Receiving a phone call Sending a text message Data usage
Three £1.40 per minute £0.99 per minute £0.35 per text £3 per MB
EE £2.34 per minute £2.34 per minute £0.76 per text £7.84 for 500MB
Virgin Media £1 per minute £0 £0.50 per text £0.50 per MB
Giffgaff £1 per minute £1 per minute £0 £0.20 per MB

Best SIM for roaming in Turkey and other options

If you need Internet access while traveling abroad and want to avoid high roaming charges, you have several options. You can use a SIM card, an eSIM or wifi, here are the features of the options available so you can decide which option is best for the trip you are planning.

One of the best options is an Holafly eSIM card, which lets you use high-speed internet during your stay at a lower price and, unlike roaming fees or add-ons, you will avoid surprises on your phone bill at the end of the month as they have a fixed price.

eSim Turkey
Prepaid: 5 days expiry
Data Unlimited

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

These are the deals available to roam with Holafly in Turkey:

Holafly Turkey data plans
Plan Price Data
5 days £19 Unlimited Data
7 days £24 Unlimited Data
10 days £29 Unlimited Data
15 days £44 Unlimited Data
20 days £49 Unlimited Data
30 days £59 Unlimited Data
60 days £77 Unlimited Data
90 days £87 Unlimited Data

Wave goodbye to roaming fees in Turkey with Holafly

If you are thinking about visiting another country, you may take a look at these other tips for other destinations:

On the other hand, if you need an eSIM but you want to compare the different options that exist in the market before hiring a Holalfy eSIM for Turkey, here are some of the options that you can consult and their comparisons:

Turkey SIM card

Another option available to avoid high roaming charges is a SIM card. This option can be purchased before arriving in the destination country or after landing.

If you want to have internet once you land, we recommend buy a SIM card for Turkey over the internet. There are several shops so you can compare the options available. You will need to keep an eye on delivery times so that the card arrives at your home before you leave for your trip.

On the other hand, you can buy the SIM card once you are in Turkey. You can buy it in the different shops at the airports or in the shops of the operators such as Turkcell, Vodafone or Turk Telekom. If you decide to buy the card at the airport, you should know that it is usually the most expensive option.

Wifi in Turkey

Using wifi is one of the first options that comes to mind when we think of using the internet when we travel. If you choose this option, you should know that there is one that is much more secure than the other.

Public wifi is one of the options available, but you should be aware that it is the least secure of all, as these networks are open to cyber-attacks. If you use these networks, we recommend that you do not enter passwords or private data or keys.

The safest option if you want to connect to wifi in Turkey is portable wifi. This portable router can be carried in your pocket and you can connect several devices simultaneously. This device is purchased on a rental basis, which means that at the end of the contract you must return it, if it breaks or you lose it you will have to pay a penalty.

If you want to avoid all these problems, you can sign up for Holafly eSIM card and travel without worries in Turkey.

Worry-free Internet with Holafly eSIM

If you are traveling to various destinations and need to know about the different international data plans available, these are some of the options available to have internet available anywhere:

Frequently asked questions about roaming in Turkey

How do I activate roaming in Turkey?

Roaming services are usually activated by default in most SIM cards, so you will not have to do anything to activate your roaming in Turkey, your phone will automatically connect to the mobile network available. However, if roaming is disabled, you will not be able to activate it from Turkey as you should have done it before leaving the UK.

Will my phone have to be on roaming in Turkey?

Yes, your phone has to be on roaming in Turkey if you want to send text messages, make or receive phone calls or use data. Keep in mind that if you turn off roaming while in Turkey you will not be able to use your phone at all.

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.

Personas que han participado en este post:

Fernando CarrilloRoams
Actualizado por Fernando Carrillo

Fernando estudió Administración, Publicidad y Relaciones Públicas. Con más de dos años de experiencia en Roams, Fernando es experto en el asesoramiento sobre telefonía, tarifas de móvil e internet. Además, también es especialista en canales de televisión y las distintas ofertas que tienen los operadores con tv.

Laura Burón
Edited and revised por Laura Burón