Short term cell phone for Germany?
July 21, 2014 6:45 AM   Subscribe

I'll be traveling with my (American) family for around 20 days in Germany. We would like to have two phones for short term use to handle brief day to day communication. Best options?

These should be cheap basic phones - we don't need data, just voice and text. Ideally, it would be easy for other Germans to call us. We do not need them to make any calls back to the US. At the end of the trip, we have no problem leaving the phones behind with our German friends (assuming the handsets are fairly inexpensive). Has anyone found something similar? Where should we go once we arrive in Munich to look at our options? Is there somewhere online where I can research these beforehand? Thanks!
posted by sewellcm to Travel & Transportation around Germany (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can get a prepaid sim card at most grocery stores. Sometimes this comes with a cheap phone for about 10 EUR more. Compare the deals (If I recall correctly, Vodafone, O2, Blau... are all options there). Remember, in Europe you don't have to pay for incoming calls, so have your German friends call you instead of the other way around, and you should be fine! Have fun!
posted by gemutlichkeit at 7:09 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

You could go to Saturn and look at the cheap phones and prepaid SIMs there.
posted by Too-Ticky at 7:40 AM on July 21, 2014

What phones and provider do you have in the United States?
posted by k8t at 7:56 AM on July 21, 2014

Between the four of us we have 2 Verizon non-smart phones, 1 Verizon Android phone and 1 Republic Wireless Android phone.
posted by sewellcm at 8:05 AM on July 21, 2014

I did this last time I went to Ireland. Don't bother to buy ahead, just walk into any store that has multiple carriers (e.g. Saturn) and ask for the cheapest prepaid phones. In Ireland we were able to amazingly buy unlocked phones with credit for 8GBP a piece. There were crappy phones, but good enough for calls/text. We even bought & swapped new SIMs (5EUR/ea) when we crossed the border between North Ireland/Ireland.

As for Munich, there's a Saturn a 5minute walk (1 stop) from the Hauptbahnhof in Munich (at Karlsplatz Stachus). Online their cheapest phone is the unlocked Nokia 108 (30 EUR) but places often have better deals on super cheap phones available only in store. Just walk in, tell them you want two cheap prepaid phones with some credit and they'll take care of you. There's even an O2 store across the street from the main exit of the Hauptbahnhof, but the best deals on prepaid are often with the smaller carriers (Blau,, Lidl, Aldi talk, etc).

When you register your SIM just give your hotel address or the address where you're staying it won't be verified and you'll be off and running. Something else to consider is if anyone has an iPad with cellular (any carrier) it's unlocked and you can grab a data only SIM which is great for maps and other smartphone activities.
posted by notpeter at 8:41 AM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Stay away from o2. They are notorious for rather shady "short term contracts" (Spoiler: They aren't as short term as you think if you aren't careful.).

This might help.
posted by MinusCelsius at 11:22 AM on July 21, 2014

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