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Rome’s Train Station Has SIM Cards Waiting For You

Rome’s train station has SIM cards and you should plan to buy one immediately when you arrive as one of the first things you do and it’s easy with this guide.

Rome's train station has SIM cards - Termini

Termini Station Rome, Italy

What Is A Sim Card Used For?

If you weren’t aware, SIM stands for Subscriber Identity Module and it is a memory chip that holds unique information about your cell phone account. It tracks the identity of the country, carrier, and user of any given cell phone. In other words, when your cell phone connects to a cellular network, the SIM card tells the network who is using it.

Do You Need A Sim Card In Italy?

You aren’t required to get a SIM from an Italian telecom service when you arrive, but it is something you will need to consider for a couple of important reasons. First, if you use Verizon or AT&T in the US, you will need to check into their international plans.

Rome's train station has SIM cards - Digital Experts

Digital Experts

For example, Verizon’s TravelPass is an additional $10 per day, for which you get unlimited calls and text, but data is pulled from your domestic balance, which can be an issue since wi-fi isn’t quite as ubiquitous as in the U.S. and you will probably use it more for maps and WhatsApp while here.

Do You Need A Data or Voice SIM Card In Italy?

When you buy a SIM card in Italy, it should include both voice and data. You will need a voice SIM for a couple of reasons: making emergency calls to Italian authorities in the case of an emergency, calling restaurants to make a reservation or calling your home country. You will need a data SIM for most other things, like using WhatsApp to communicate, navigating with Google maps or just checking your email. Don’t try to save money here, you need a full service SIM card in Italy.

Orange Prepaid SIM

30GB of data in Europe with 2 hours of international calls and 1000 texts from Europe to anywhere in the world.

Rome’s Train Station Has SIM Cards

When you are planning your trip to Italy, you will need to decide if you would prefer to use your existing US (or non-Italian) cellular carrier or if it makes more sense to buy a SIM card in Italy. After you arrive in Rome’s Termini Station, a SIM card from Italy may be the first thing you do.

Rome's train station has SIM cards - W3 in Termini

W3 is WindTre

There are stores for the major and minor Italian carriers on the ground level (piano 0), which is the level with the train tracks (binario), and on the “basement” level (piano -1) in Termini Station. Once you exit the security gates by the trains, stores for buying SIM Cards from the major Italian telecom companies, TIM, Vodafone and WindTre are easy to find. There is also a kiosk in the main hall for what looks like a lower-cost mobile provider called Kena. It looks like it is a brand of TIM and I don’t see any plans specific for travelers, so you should probably just skip that one.

All of the major Italian telecom companies have plans that are comparable, so don’t spend a lot of time trying to compare the plans between the carriers.

Buying A SIM Card From Vodafone At Termini Station

The first option for buying a SIM card in Termini Station is from Vodafone. There are two stores in Termini, one one the main concourse on the ground floor (piano 0) and if that is too busy, there is another store on the “basement” level (piano -1).

Rome's train station has sim cards - Vodafone in Termini

Vodafone in Termini

Their program, called Vodafone Holiday, is specifically designed for tourists and costs 30€, which includes the SIM card and the first renewal. Vodafone Holiday is available only for rechargeable plans and it is valid only for calls, messages and data usage only in Italy. The minutes and messages included are valid for Italian and foreign numbers for countries included in the promotion. Pay-numbers (ex. 89xxxxx) and answering service are not included in the promotion.

Rome’s Train Station Has SIM Cards For You To Buy

Another option for buying a SIM card in Termini Station is from TIM. Like Vodafone, there are two stores in Termini, one one the main concourse on the ground floor (piano 0) and if that is too busy, there is another store on the “basement” level (piano -1).

TIM also has a plan designed for tourists, Viaggio PASS Mondo, in Italy. The cost details are:

  • The cost of the offer is €30, which is charged at the time of activation.

  • If the minutes, SMS or GB included in the offer run out, the basic roaming rates will apply if there are no other offers dedicated to international roaming that may have been activated on the line.

Rome's train station has SIM cards- TIM for Tourists

Tourist Smart Cards

There are more details available on their site, but at a high-level, some of the offer details are:

  • Promo offer that can be activated by 29 January 2023.
  • All prices shown are VAT included.
  • The offer is valid for incoming and outgoing calls, sent text messages and smartphone browsing in over 80 non-European countries.
  • The offer will be activated within 48 hours of the request at the latest.
  • The 100 minutes of calls included in the offer include 50 minutes of calls made roaming from the countries included in the offer to Italy and the country visited, and 50 minutes of calls received. The minutes, SMS and GB included in the offer will be usable within ten days of the first call, SMS or Internet connection made abroad and, in any case, by 02/28/2024.
  • The use of the bundle expires on the tenth day at 23:59 Italian time.
  • Following expiry, the offer can be reactivated by the customer.

Buying A SIM Card From WINDTRE At Termini Station

Another option for buying a SIM card in Termini Station is from WINDTRE. Like TIM and Vodafone, there are two stores in Termini, one one the main concourse on the ground floor (piano 0) and if that is too busy, there is another store on the “basement” level (piano -1).

The WINDTRE program for tourists is called: Tourist Pass – SIM for Tourists. The details are:

  • 20 GB of Data
  • 13.7 GB of Data used in the member countries of the European Union
  • 100 Minutes to Italian numbers and 100 Minutes to phone numbers Abroad
  • It is a Self-deactivating offer, which is convenient.
Rome's train station has SIM cards - WindTRE

W3 in Termini

While this is an inexpensive option, on a personal note, we recently used all three major carriers for a couple weeks, both in Italy and on a brief sojourn in Paris, and while TIM and Vodafone seemed to function well, there were more dead zone with WINDTRE, but again, that was just our limited experience with all three at the same time.

Unlocking Your Phone

The PUK And The PIN

  • The PIN (Personal Identification Number) is intended to protect your SIM Card from unauthorized use. 
  • The PUK (Personal Unblocking Key) code is a code consisting of 8 digits. It is used to unblock your SIM card when you enter an incorrect PIN 3 times. A card blocked by the PUK code cannot be unblocked and you have to replace it.
Rome's train station has SIM cards - Skip Kena

You Can Skip Kena

These numbers are on the card holding your new SIM and it is important to save them securely. When using a SIM card in Italy, some phones are set to require that every time you turn off your phone and turn it back on, you will have to unlock your SIM card, especially if it isn’t from your domestic service provider. My experience is that this security feature can be turned off, but at least the first time you are prompted, you will need the PIN.

More Information For Traveling Around Rome and Italy

Since Rome’s train station has SIM cards, getting one will be your most immediate travel need, but for more information on other things you will find at Termini Station in Rome, you may find these useful as well:

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