In this day and age getting connected with mobile data when you arrive at an airport in a foreign country is so important. Navigating your trip involves having access to maps and transportation apps and making calls or sending messages. Getting a local SIM card at Nice Airport – Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE) in France is an easy, cheap alternative. It does not tie you down using your unlocked phone rather than renting a SIM card or a mobile wi-fi device. Getting and making use of a SIM cards at Nice Airport.

SIM card at Nice airport

1. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Nice Airport – Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport

There are several locations at Nice Airport to purchase a SIM card after you land. You can buy a SIM card at Nice Airport in the following locations:

1.1. FNAC (Terminals 1 and 2)

In addition to different SIM cards, FNAC has mobile operators such as Orange, SFR, and Bouygues Telecom. Prepaid and postpaid SIM cards are your options. It is advisable to get prepaid plans if you will just be in France for a short time, by purchasing a SIM card at Nice Airport with some amount of credit that can be used to pay for calls, text messages, and data usage. If you are planning to live in France for a longer time, going with the postpaid plan would be a good option, as it includes some number of calls, texts, and data for a month fee.

  • Opening hours: From 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM, seven days a week.
  • Location:
    • In Terminal 1, FNAC is located on Level 1, near the security checkpoint.
    • In Terminal 2, FNAC is located on Level 2, near the check-in counters.
  • Language support: English, French.
FNAC at Nice airport


  • When purchasing a SIM card at FNAC, be sure to ask the salesperson to help you activate the SIM card and set up a data plan.
  • FNAC also sells a variety of other travel essentials, such as currency exchange, luggage storage, and tourist information.

1.2. Relay (Terminal 2)

The largest mobile operator in France is Orange. It is one of Relay’s selling points. In Nice Airport, you can select a SIM card that is linked to a prepaid offer or a postpaid deal. Prepaid is good value for those who stay in France just for a few days since you buy a SIM card and load credit to pay as required for calls, texts, and data.

  • Opening hours: Relay is open from 5:15 AM to 10:00 PM, seven days a week.
  • Location: Terminal 2 of Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport, near gate B41.
  • Language support: English, French.

However, Relay is one of the best places to shop as it is a convenient place with several options when buying a SIM card at Nice Airport. Nevertheless, it should be pointed out, though, that Relay sells SIM cards from Orange only.

Relay at NIce airport

2. Nice Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport SIM Card Options and Costs

The main French carriers like Orange, SFR, and Bouygues Telecom all offer prepaid SIM cards at Nice airport. There are also some third-party SIM card brands tailored towards travelers, like LeFrenchMobile. Here are some of the top options with average costs:

Operator Plan Price Data Calls Texts
Orange Holiday (7 days) ~ 20 USD 20GB Unlimited (within France and Europe) Unlimited (within France and Europe)
SFR La Carte (1 month) ` 16 USD 20GB Unlimited (within France) Unlimited (within France)
Bouygues Telecom B&You (1 month) ~ 13 USD 30GB Unlimited (within France) Unlimited (within France)

Some benefits of LeFrenchMobile are they come with unlimited calls and texts to 80 countries. However, Orange and SFR may have better rural coverage. Shop around for the best deal for your trip length and data needs.

3. What You Need to Prepare for Getting a SIM Card at Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport

To purchase and use a local French SIM card at Nice airport, there are a few requirements you’ll need to prepare:

  • An Unlocked Phone – Your smartphone must be unlocked to use a foreign SIM card abroad. Contact your home carrier in advance to request your device be network unlocked.
  • SIM Card Size – Bring your own standard size or nano SIM adapter if your device requires the smaller size. Micro SIMs are rarely available now.
  • Passport – When buying a prepaid SIM card, shops at Nice airport will ask to see your passport to register the SIM card.
  • Cash – Have some Euros on hand to pay for your French SIM card and initial top-up credit.

Also be sure to turn off data roaming on your home SIM before inserting the French SIM card at Nice airport to avoid racking up roaming charges. With a bit of preparation, getting connected is quick and easy upon arrival at Nice airport.

4. eSIM as an Alternative to SIM Card at Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport

If you have an unlocked phone with eSIM capability, you could consider an eSIM for France as an alternative to a physical SIM card at Nice airport. eSIMs are digital SIMs that are scanned and downloaded to your phone.

Some benefits of using an eSIM include:

  • Remote set-up before arrival
  • No need to go to store or vending machine at airport
  • Multiple plans and numbers on one device
  • Easily switch data plans as you travel

Top France eSIM providers include, DENT, and KnowRoaming. Plans range from 1GB short term to 20GB for a month. Just make sure to download the eSIM before departure for remote activation.

While eSIMs are handy, local French SIMs tend to offer lower rates especially for longer trips. But eSIMs give you more flexibility if you’re visiting multiple countries or are only in France briefly.

Learn more about France eSIM plans and options from Purchase an eSIM plan and stay connected hassle-free wherever you travel in France. Shop affordable France and Europe eSIM data plans starting at just $6. 

Browse affordable 3-day data plans starting at just $6. Stay online throughout your trip:

Affordable 7-day data plans starting at just $6.50. Stay online throughout your week: 

Extended coverage with affordable 15-day plans starting at just $6.50: 

5. FAQs About Purchasing a SIM Card at Nice Airport

What network coverage is best in France?

Orange generally has the best overall coverage around France. SFR also has excellent 4G speeds and connectivity.

How long does it take to activate the SIM card?

If you purchase your SIM at a shop like Orange or Relay, they can set it up right away and it will be ready to use in minutes. SIMs from vending machines may take up to 24 hours to activate.

Can I use mobile data throughout France?

Yes, French SIM cards allow you to use data affordably across metropolitan France. Speeds and coverage vary between urban and rural areas.

Are there ID requirements to buy a SIM card?

Shops at the Nice airport will ask to register the SIM card with your passport details. This is required by law to purchase prepaid SIMs in France.

Do I need to cancel my SIM card before leaving France?

No cancellation is required. French prepaid SIM cards simply expire after the valid number of days. You can toss out the SIM when your trip is over.

6. Final Words about SIM Card at Nice Airport

Purchasing a local French SIM card at Nice Airport upon arrival at Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport is highly recommended to keep connected throughout your trip through France. Stop by one of the mobile carrier shops or pickup a card from the vending machines. Just be sure your phone is unlocked and have your passport ready. You’ll then be able to use maps, travel apps, and stay in touch affordably across France. Enjoy your time in Nice!