SIM card Belgium

Buying a SIM card in Belgium

By Patricia Rey Mallén Get Connected7 Comments

Belgium: country of beer, chocolate, the European Union, and one of the most original landmarks on the planet.

It is also one of the most (unfairly, in my opinion) underrated countries in Europe. Many travelers just pass through, reserving a mere half-day to visit Brussels, maybe check out Brugge, and move on.

Most people who do stay longer, though, end up pleasantly surprised. Belgium has a diverse population, a thriving arts scene, a phenomenal beer selection… and a very fast, reliable cellular network.

  • Need travel insurance for your time in Belgium? We currently use HeyMondo, thanks to its comprehensive coverage options, competitive pricing, and the ability to buy or renew a policy while outside your home country. Residents of most countries get a discount with this link.


  • We recommend Proximus or Orange for most travelers
  • A Belgium eSIM is often the best option if your device supports it

Belgium’s telecom landscape is dominated by three companies: Proximus, Base, and Orange. While you’ll get good service with all of them, Proximus and Orange have the highest levels of LTE coverage, blanketing the entire country.

I opted for Proximus, a decision made easier by the fact it has a store in Midi station, conveniently located just by the exit of the Eurostar terminal. If you mostly need data, though, I’d recommend you also take a look at Orange, which has lower data prices.

There are also a handful of resellers working in the country, running mostly on Base’s network and offering competitive voice and SMS packages. If you don’t need data, it may be worth checking them out.

Many can only be signed up for online, however, which as I later learned, make them a non-starter for foreigners.

While this article is about buying physical SIM cards, if you have a recent iPhone or other supported device, the best way to get connected in Belgium may be to buy an eSIM instead.

We've written an explainer of what eSIMs are all about if you're not familiar with them. Because they're software rather than a plastic card, you can buy before you leave home, avoid the hassle of kiosks and phone stores entirely, and get connected as soon as you land.

These days, we use aloSIM: easy to buy and set up, it's a simple, low-cost way of staying connected when you travel. You'll get a discount on your first purchase with the code TMA.

How to Buy a Prepaid SIM Card in Belgium

Purchasing the SIM card was quick. I just popped into the Proximus store at the Midi train station, beside the Eurostar terminal exit, and asked one of the attendants for help.

They explained to me the couple of options I had for a prepaid card in flawless English, and set me up as soon as I made my choice.

They also registered me under their system, for which you need to show proof of ID. As an EU national, I showed my ID card. For anybody else, passports are a valid form of identification.

In the past, there was no need to show proof of ID to purchase a prepaid card. You could even do it online, with the SIM card arriving in the mail a few days later. Things changed after the terrorist attacks of early 2016, however. Belgium changed the law, requiring all new SIM card buyers to register.

The documentation requirements to do this online are high, with new customers being asked to provide their e-identity number and Belgian bank account, among others. Since only residents have these things, foreigners can no longer sign up for SIM cards online.

Prefer to spend your vacation sightseeing instead of buying SIM cards? Grab one in advance to stay connected in Belgium and across Europe.

This Orange SIM includes 20GB of data, 1000 international texts, and two hours of international calls. The price includes US delivery, and it's valid for two weeks in 30 European countries. Use the code SIMOFF20 at checkout to get 20% off!

Other options are available if you're traveling for longer, need a portable hotspot, or want a different mix of calls, texts, and data. No matter how you do it, you'll be connected with a minimum of fuss before you've left the airport.

Prepaid SIM Costs

Getting the SIM card set me back 10€, loaded with the same amount of credit. As well as the credit, the SIM had a bonus 3GB of data included.

As the starter pack noted, it’s worth it to top up with a bit more credit, as you get more bang for your buck. Adding 15€ credit gives a bonus 50 minutes of calls and 3GB of data, while 25€ gives an 83 minute/5GB bonus. All SIMs include unlimited domestic SMS.

You can spend your credit on extra data (or calls) as needed. 500MB valid for a month costs 6€, for instance, while 3GB will set you back 12€.

Alternatively, Orange’s Go Light plan gives 4GB of data, plus 150 minutes of calls and unlimited texts, for 9€. Bumping that up to 19€ gets you 20GB of data, and larger plans are also available. Keep in mind, though, that download speeds on Orange’s network are generally lower than with Proximus.

Topping Up

Topping up is fairly simple. You can do easily it online, either through Proximus’ website or free app.

Alternatively, you can purchase a credit voucher at any of the authorized spots, including supermarkets, convenience stores, and gas stations around the country.

Coverage and Data Speeds

Proximus talks a lot about its LTE network, but unfortunately the phone I was using at the time didn’t support the right frequencies to get LTE service in Europe.

That disappointment faded fast, though, when I realised just how fast the HSPA+ network was. At almost 30Mbps, it’s one of the fastest speeds I’ve ever seen.

That speed was pretty consistent throughout the country. Great stuff!

Proximus 3G speeds in Belgium
Proximus HSPA+ speeds in Belgium

EU Roaming

Belgium is part of the European Union, so EU roaming regulations apply. These “roam like at home” rules ended roaming charges across much of Europe in 2017, letting you use a SIM card from any EU country across all the others at no extra charge.

There are some exceptions and limits, however, especially with large data packages. Double-check the exact details at time of purchase.

Check out our guides to buying SIM cards in many other countries here.

About the Author
Patricia Rey Mallén

Patricia Rey Mallén

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A roaming writer and tech enthusiast, Patricia has been wandering the globe for 10-odd years. A passionate Apple lover, she is familiar with Genius bars from Sydney to Reykjavík to Mexico City, and only vaguely remembers life before the internet.


  1. Avatar

    Plz I want to know if,a Ghanaian can use his or her sim for only browsing
    N whatsapp calls

    1. Dave Dean

      If your cell company from Ghana offers international roaming in Belgium then yes, you can use your SIM there, but it will probably be quite expensive. Check the pricing with them, but it’ll likely be much cheaper to buy a local SIM instead.

  2. Avatar

    If I buy a sim card in Belgium, will it work as well in Italy?

  3. Avatar

    I decided on Proximus’ Simcard after reading this article. However, I went to the store yesterday and since I do not have an ID card, they wanted to register me using my passport, in which case the Simcard would be ready to use within 5-7 working days. Then they said that if I went to Orange, it would be done faster (even on the same day). That’s why I’m visiting Orange today. Anyways, it’s a nice article

  4. Avatar

    Hi, does the card get activated instantly or do I need to wait? I’ll be there for a couple of days, so is it possible to use?


    1. Dave Dean

      It does, yes. Honestly though, if you’re only there for a couple of days, I’d look at a short-expiry eSIM (mentioned in the article) instead if your phone supports it and you only need data. It’ll be a cheaper and easier option for you.

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