Planning a trip to Malta and wondering if you should get Malta SIM card? Getting Malta SIM card can make your travel experience much easier by providing convenient data and connectivity options. This guide will cover everything you need to know, from different SIM card types, data amounts, costs, where to buy, and more tips for using a Malta SIM card during your trip.

Malta SIM Cards

I. Should I Buy a New SIM Card for My Malta Trip?

Malta SIM Cards

Purchasing Malta SIM cards can be very useful when visiting the islands. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Convenient Connectivity: easy internet access and phone connectivity across Malta. 
  • Avoid Roaming Fees: only pay local rates, saving you a lot of money, especially if using higher data amounts.
  • Local Number Provided: useful when calling local businesses, hotels, restaurants

So, in summary, getting Malta SIM cards make travelling there far more convenient and connected while allowing you to save money. It’s recommended for most visitors who want seamless phone usage while in Malta.

Read also: Using a Cell Phone in Malta – How Can I Do It?

II. Malta SIM Card Types – Which One is the Best for Tourists?

There are a few main options when choosing Maltese SIM cards:

Form Types Explanation
Physical SIM Data-only SIM Provide internet access but do not offer voice calling or texting capabilities. Ideal for tablets or devices that primarily require internet connectivity.
Voice and Data SIM Offer a combination of voice calling, texting, and data services. Suitable for smartphones or devices that require both communication and internet access.
Tourist SIM Typically provide a preloaded package with voice, text, and data services optimized for travelers.
eSIM Data-only eSIM Offer internet access but do not provide voice calling or texting capabilities. 
Voice and Data eSIM Offer a combination of voice calling, texting, and data services. 
Tourist eSIM Provide a preloaded package with voice, text, and data services optimized for travelers. 

Still an emerging option but useful for dual SIM phone users who don’t want to swap physical SIMs. Lacks some flexibility of prepaid SIMs.

So, for most first-time visitors, prepaid Malta SIM cards are the best option – easy, flexible, no contracts plus you get an assigned local number.

III. How Much Data is Enough for a Prepaid Tourist Malta SIM Cards?

Data requirements can vary drastically depending on your intended phone usage during your visit. To determine how much is enough, first think about potential usage scenarios

Lighter usage like looking up a few maps, some web browsing and messaging may get by on 2-4GB for a short visit.

Moderate usage including more extensive mapping, daily social media usage, some music streaming and messaging could need 5-10GB.

Heavier data consumption with lots of video streaming, large app/map usage etc may require 15GB+.

Also consider trip duration – longer visits mean more time to use more data. Top ups are available if initially underestimating usage.

In summary, most Malta tourist SIM card packages range from around 1GB for very light users up to 20GB+ for heavy usage. Consider your intended phone activity and trip length before deciding.

IV. How Much Does Malta SIM Cards Cost?

SIM card costs vary between the main providers but here is an overview of typical pricing:

  • One-off SIM card cost: €5-10 (~5.45-10.91 USD)
  • Calls (per minute): €0.05-0.35 (~0.055-0.38 USD)
  • Texts (SMS): €0.05-0.15 (~0.055-0.16 USD)
  • Data (1GB package): €5-15 (~5.45-16.36 USD)

So the SIM card itself is very affordable. The main expense comes from the prepaid data packages bought.

Here is a cost example from Epic Malta for a tourist SIM with an ongoing 7-day 3GB data package:

  • SIM card: €5 (-5.45 USD)
  • 7-day recurring 3GB data pack: €8 (~8.73 USD)

So around €13 (~14.18 USD) initial cost for a 3GB, 7-day tourist SIM. For heavier users, 30-day 15GB packages go for around €30-40 depending on the provider.

V. Malta eSIM – Alternative to Physical SIM Cards

An eSIM is a digital-only SIM card installed directly on compatible smartphones and wearables. As an alternative to physical SIM cards, key advantages include:

  • Don’t need to physically swap SIMs in and out of devices
  • Support dual SIM functionality on a single device
  • Avoid potential loss/damage concerns of physical SIM cards

There are several mobile operators provide eSIM, such as GO, Epic, and Melita. Before buying and using eSIM, make sure your devices are built-in eSIM capabilities. Check detailed in eSIM Compatible Devices List. 

Besides Malta’s main network providers, you can try eSIM data plan from esimmalta.com with a range of plans for tourists. 

Explore Malta for a full week with fast internet from $5.

Keep your devices always connected during 15-day Malta trip with:

VI. Where to Buy Malta SIM Cards?

Prepaid tourist SIM cards are widely available for purchase across Malta. Here are some options:

1. Where to buy physical Malta SIM Cards

Go store
  • Malta International Airport: Upon arrival at Malta International Airport, you will find several kiosks and stores offering SIM cards. 
  • Mobile Operator Stores: The official stores of mobile operators in Malta, such as GO, Epic Malta, and Melita, are a reliable option to purchase a SIM card.
  • Supermarkets and Convenience Stores: Many supermarkets and convenience stores in Malta, such as Pavi, Scotts Supermarket, and Tower Supermarket, have dedicated sections where you can buy prepaid SIM cards.
  • Electronics Stores: Some electronics stores, including larger chains like Scan Malta and Smart Superstore, also sell SIM cards alongside mobile phones and other electronic devices.
  • Online: Various online marketplaces and websites provide options to order SIM cards, which can be delivered to your preferred address in Malta.

2. Where to buy Malta eSIM online

buy Malta sim cards

For eSIMs, simply purchase online ahead of time from provider websites or third-party sellers like esimmalta.com. Once signed up, you’ll receive instant activation instructions.

When purchasing, always ask to see SIM card packaging and confirmation of included value/credit. Be sure to check data package inclusions.

VII. How to Use Malta SIM

Using your new Maltese SIM card is very straight-forward. Here is an overview of the activation process:

  1. Ensure phone unlocked and does not contain existing SIM card
  2. At point of sale, provide passport for SIM registration
  3. Choose preferred data package and any extra add on bundles
  4. At checkout, the SIM will be activated and ready for use
  5. Insert activated SIM card into phone
  6. Power on device and allow time for automatic network configuration
  7. Enjoy Malta connectivity!

Be sure to use included data via the network provider’s own apps/portals where available to easily monitor usage over time. Consider turning off autoplay functions and automatic downloads in certain apps to help minimise unintended background data consumption.

That covers the key steps to get up and running with a Malta tourist SIM. Smooth sailing ahead!

VIII. Best Mobile Operators for Malta SIM Cards

There are three leading network providers offering prepaid tourist SIMs in Malta:

Mobile Operator Coverage Price Range for SIM Card Pros Cons eSIM Available
Epic Wide coverage across Malta From 10.09 USD
  • Extensive network coverage.
  • Competitive pricing.
  • Offers various data and calling packages
  • Limited international roaming options. 
  • Customer service could be improved.
Yes
GO Extensive coverage across Malta From 10.09 USD
  • Strong network coverage.
  • Competitive pricing.
  • Offers a wide range of data and calling packages.
  • Limited international roaming options.
  • Customer service could be improved.
Yes
Melita Wide coverage across Malta From 10.09 USD
  • High-speed internet connectivity.
  • Flexible plans and packages.
  • Good customer service.
  • Network coverage in some rural areas may be limited.
  • Limited international roaming options.
Yes

All options are great starting points. Assess based on preferred store locations, data needs, and price preferences.

IX. Tips for Saving Data for Malta SIM Card

To help avoid unexpectedly using up your purchased data too quickly, here are some handy usage tips:

  • Enable data tracking in your provider account and monitor use
  • Set daily data limits with usage alerts
  • Disable large automatic downloads (updates, podcasts, playlists etc)
  • Download maps/navigation offline via hotel wi-fi before heading out each day
  • Use messaging rather than voice calls when possible
  • Disable video autoplay in apps and social media feeds
  • Stream video and music selectively over wi-fi instead of mobile data
  • Turn on data saver modes in browsers and apps
  • Always use hotel, cafe, and shopping centre free wi-fi when available

Following those guidelines will really assist keeping tighter control on background mobile data consumption.

X. FAQs

Do I need to show ID to buy a Malta SIM card?

Yes, by law SIM card registration requires passport verification for tourists. Ensure you have your passport ready for sighting.

Can I use a Malta SIM across Europe?

Most Maltese prepaid SIMs include free EU roaming. But always check data fair use limits as excessive usage abroad can incur surcharges.

What network providers have shops at Malta Airport?

On arrival, dedicated Epic and GO mobile outlets operate at the airport terminals for convenient SIM pick up.

Do Malta SIM cards expire?

Yes, prepaid SIMs have set validity periods, most commonly 7, 15 or 30 days from activation before requiring top up to resume service. Manage this ahead of time based on the length of your trip.

XI. Conclusion

A Malta SIM card is essential for no-fuss connectivity for any visitor planning trips across Malta and Gozo. This guide has summarized all the key considerations from providers, costs, packages, purchasing pick up points and usage tips based on different travel scenarios. Just evaluate the options against your intended phone usage and trip plans. With a shiny new Maltese SIM in hand, seamless island-hopping awaits!