Categorized | First Things First

Where to get a phone before you get to Spain?

Posted on 12 February 2010 by American expat!

As I recommend in my upon arriving to Barcelona post, the very first thing to do is get a Spanish phone number! The easiest and fastest way is to buy a cheap, pre-paid phone when you get there, but what if you are the kind of person that wants everything taken care of before arrival? (so that you can leave a number when you are arranging to see apartments, signing up for schools, applying for jobs, for example.) For you, I’ve found a couple of options.

How to get a Spanish phone number before you get to Spain

Here are two pre-paid SIM cards that will give you a Spanish number and that you can recharge anywhere. These are pay as you go- no contracts or bills.

Note: These only run in unlocked phones!

The first is H2O Wireless Direct Dialing GSM Sim Card. This gives you unlimited Talk, Text, MMS + 100MB of web data., free international calls and is contgract free.

Next is OneSimCard International SIM Card for Over 200 Countries

You’ll get a European phone number, unlimited incoming free text messages and calls, an additional phone number if you want, and of course no contract. This is a good option if you’ll be traveling to several countries.

Looking around Amazon, there are quite a few international SIM cards available, but you are eventually going to want a Spanish phone. Contracts are totally different than in the US, all phones are unlocked and they are not contracted to be sold only with certain phone service companies. It is a better and cheaper system.

If you wanted to run you US phone number and your Spanish phone number in the same phone, you can do that too! I had one for a few years – it was very handy to not have to cart and charge two separate phones. Here are just a couple examples of unlocked dual SIM phones:

LG Optimus L7 II Unlocked Phone P715, 4 GB – International Version

Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini GT-i8200 Factory Unlocked International Version

I’ll stop with the phone promos, there are tons on Amazon I have just discovered. You can also find some on eBay, but a lot of those are pretty low quality phones and imitations. I am speaking from experience here…. I bought one on eBay a couple years ago which worked great, but it was a no-name Chinese model, and thinking about it now reminds me to recommend staying away from the no-name Chinese phones. Not only are they are impossible to navigate, they come with strange videos, weird and useless features like UHF Television functions and of course, awful ringtones.

2 Comments For This Post

  1. Summer Says:

    Hi, I’m moving to Barcelona in August and I have an iPhone 4S through Verizon that will be coming with me. I’ve been told that I can suspend my account without paying for a certain amount of time to retain my current American phone number. The iPhone is unlocked so does that mean I should just get a Spanish SIM card when I get to Spain? What’s your suggestion to people who want to keep their iPhones when they move?

  2. American expat! Says:

    Yeah just get a SIM card, it will work in your iphone. Though it will need to be the mini SIM that the iphone 4 uses, so you might have to cut the basic SIM card you get – I am not sure that you can buy a prepaid mini SIM or that you will be able to get one without a contract.

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