Visiting Sri Lanka soon? Make sure to know what to expect when it comes to purchasing a Sri Lanka SIM card.
Fortunately, Asia is one of the best places where you can buy a SIM card easily. You should be able to find a cheap SIM card pretty much anywhere in Asia. In fact, most data packages are affordable, which makes the whole thing easier!
In this guide, we’ll explain where to buy a SIM card in Sri Lanka in person and online. We’ll also discuss prepaid SIM cards and eSIMs if your mobile supports them.
Before you read this guide, you may wonder if you actually need a SIM card in Sri Lanka. If you don’t mind not having Internet, you’ll likely find free Wifi in restaurants, shopping malls, and hotels.
That said, if you need data to get around, call a cab, or translate Sinhala or Tamil – you may want to get a SIM card for your travels in Sri Lanka.
Best SIM Cards In Sri Lanka
If you’re traveling in Sri Lanka, we recommend using a SIM card from Dialog, Mobitel, Airtel, or Airalo. (I’ll get back to Airalo later on, so keep reading to learn more!)
That said, if you’re planning on visiting other countries during your trip to Asia, you might want to make sure to pick an option that offers coverage in other Asian countries.
How To Buy A SIM Card In Sri Lanka
You can either buy a Sri Lanka prepaid SIM card in person in some international airports, mobile provider stores, convenience stores, or online.
Usually, you can expect higher costs and low data offers at the airport, so we don’t recommend buying a SIM card at the airport. That said, you won’t necessarily find SIM card shops in every airport, so it’s essential to keep this in mind. And, when you see a shop, you might also have limited options.
For this reason, I’d recommend buying a SIM card directly from the mobile provider store. Note that you may need your passport to buy one.
Although, this means you won’t get data right upon your arrival. So, if you prefer to be connected at all times, you could use an eSIM or purchase an Asia prepaid SIM card online.
Now, let’s take a look at the data plans offered by Dialog, Mobitel, and Airtel.
Dialog SIM Cards
Dialog offers one type of tourist plan, which includes:
- 10 GB data
- LKR 1,299 ($3.54)
Mobitel SIM Cards
Mobitel also offers a prepaid tourist plan:
- Unlimited data
- Free international calls to your home country
- LKR 999 ($2.72)
As you can see, it is a cheaper option than Dialog and also offers unlimited data.
Airtel SIM Cards
Airtel offers two main SIM-only plans for tourists:
- 30 GB, 30 days, LKR 749 ($2.04) – Unlimited Social Media
- 30 GB, 30 days, LKR 515 ($1.40)
Overall, we think Mobitel is the best option if you plan to buy your SIM card in person. That said, any would do if you can’t find their store!
How To Buy A Sri Lanka Prepaid SIM Card Online
If you wish to have your SIM card ready for your arrival, you could purchase it online or on websites like Amazon.
You’ll find different plans on Amazon. For example, OneSimCard works in more than 200+ countries and gives you data for $0.01 per MB. Sri Lanka is included.
But there are many other options worth considering, so have a look and make sure the countries you plan on visiting are listed.
Another option is to purchase a prepaid Asian SIM card on Simify. This works if you live in the United States or Australia. They currently offer 3 different packages that cover Sri Lanka:
- 6 GB, valid for 12 days for $25 – works in 13 countries
- 6 GB, valid for 15 days for $40 – works in 18 countries
- 10 GB, valid for 30 days for $29 – works in 13 countries
Finally, the last option is to buy an eSIM card for Sri Lanka or, if you’re traveling to multiple countries, an eSIM plan for Asia.
How To Buy An eSIM Card For Sri Lanka
eSIM is a new concept allowing you to have a virtual SIM card inside your phone. If your mobile phone supports eSIM cards – it’s definitely one of the best options to get data in Sri Lanka.
Curious? Learn more about eSIMs for travelers on eSIM Roamers.
I started using eSIM as soon as my mobile phone supported it. And I first tried it when visiting my family in Canada. To buy eSIMs, I usually use Airalo. Keep reading to learn more about the best eSIMs for Sri Lanka.
Airalo Sri Lanka
If you want to buy an eSIM for Sri Lanka, you could purchase one on Airalo. This website offers many eSIM cards worldwide and special plans for Asia and Sri Lanka. I’ve been using Airalo for several months, and it works fine.
Here are the options available:
- Mitura: 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $7
- Mitura: 3 GB, valid for 30 days for $15
Alternatively, you can try Discover Global, which offers coverage in 87 countries, including Sri Lanka.
Here’s an overview of the options available on Discover Global:
- 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $9
- 3 GB, valid for 15 days for $24
- 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $35
- 10 GB, valid for 60 days for $59
- 20 GB, valid for 180 days for $89
Now, one important thing to note about Airalo is that you’ll need to keep an eye out for the provider in each country. Suppose you ever have trouble connecting to the Internet during your trip. In that case, it might be because you’re connecting automatically to networks and need to select a network manually instead.
When you purchase the eSIM, you’ll get access to the list of networks supported in each country.
Holafly Sri Lanka
Here’s an overview of their plans for Sri Lanka:
- Unlimited data, valid for 5 days for $19
- Unlimited data, valid for 10 days for $34
- Unlimited data, valid for 15 days for $47
- Unlimited data, valid for 20 days for $57
- Unlimited data, valid for 30 days for $69
- Unlimited data, valid for 60 days for $87
- Unlimited data, valid for 90 days for $99
Nomad Sri Lanka
Finally, Nomad is also a great eSIM provider. Here’s an overview of the plans available for Sri Lanka:
- 1GB, valid for 7 days for $20
- 2GB, valid for 30 days for $48
- 3GB, valid for 30 days for $54
Nomad also has APAC, an eSIM plan for Asia. This plan offers coverage in Sri Lanka. Here’s an overview:
- 1GB, valid for 7 days for $6
- 3GB, valid for 30 days for $15
- 5GB, valid for 30 days for $17
- 10GB, valid for 30 days for $50
- 20GB, valid for 30 days for $69
Final Thoughts On SIM Cards In Sri Lanka
As you can see, getting a prepaid SIM card in Sri Lanka or even an eSIM for your travels in Sri Lanka is pretty straightforward. You’ll even be able to stay connected wherever you go in Asia without changing your SIM card, especially if you purchase an Asia plan.
I believe the eSIM card is the most convenient way to get data in Sri Lanka if you wish to have data upon your arrival. This way, you won’t need to go to a store to buy a SIM card. Obviously, you need to make sure your mobile phone supports eSIM first.
Traveling to Sri Lanka soon? Read one of the following blog posts: