How To Get A SIM Card In Delhi For Tourists

It is best to stay in touch with friends and family while in a new country. It is also smart to keep them apprised with your travel itinerary. Data plans in India are the cheapest in the world right now. Hence, there is no point in using an international SIM card. It is a waste of money. Here is our guide to buying SIM card in Delhi for tourists.

Why Local SIM cards?

  • Better connectivity.
  • Gets you access to the local apps for cabs, food delivery, shopping, maps, etc.
  • Cost-effective.
  • The WiFi at cafes, hotels, etc needs a local SIM number to verify.

Which Provider To Choose?

Rising competition has brought significant depreciation in the charges with improved service. The top service providers are Airtel, Jio, Vodafone and BSNL. Personally, recommend Airtel or Jio. They provide good internet speed and data packs at competitive prices.

Where To Get The SIM Card?

It is highly recommended that you purchase the SIM card directly from the network providers themselves. You can find the locations of the offices of any service provider on their website.

Some travel companies arrange for cards beforehand and have them delivered to you when you land. However, it is advisable to go the official route especially if you plan on staying for an extended period of time.

Indian SIM Card at the airport

The most convenient, even though it is slightly more expensive. You can approach the service provider in the arrival section at terminal 3 IGI Delhi. You just need your passport, visa and a photograph to get the process started.

Most SIM card prices are around 6-7 USD for foreigners. It includes talk-time, daily internet, and SMS for a month. You can recharge for the following months from the in-app offers. The SIM is activated within 2-3 hours.

Data Roaming In India

The connectivity, in India, changes with every state. This means that as soon as you cross the state border (the state in which you bought the card), the national data roaming charges are put in place. While Internet packs do not have any roaming charges, the incoming and outgoing calls do. Although, calls between two numbers of the same service provider do not incur any additional charges due to data roaming.

If you only need the SIM card for data packs, you can pass this section. If you plan on making a lot of calls, there are two options. First, you can buy the SIM card in the state where you will be spending the most time. Second, you can browse and opt for plans that include roaming-free, unlimited talk time, all across India.


You need the following documents to buy a SIM card in Delhi for tourists:

  • Your Passport
  • Photocopy of the passport and visa
  • Passport pictures
  • Local reference number, in case you are staying with a local.
  • Address proof in your country of residence ( for eg., a driver’s license)
  • A pen to save time!

As a tourist, the SIM card issued to you is only valid until your visa is valid. The SIM Card will be blocked once your visa expires.

Make sure to check out our Free Resources for Delhi.

May 2022
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