Georgia cablecar view
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Buying a SIM Card or eSIM in Georgia

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Note: This article is about how to buy a SIM card in Georgia the country, not Georgia the state in the USA! You can find US SIM card information here.

Bordered by Russia, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the Black Sea, the small nation of Georgia is technically in both Europe and Asia.

One of the country’s claims to fame is that many consider it to be the birthplace of wine, with 8,000-year-old wine jars discovered there in the past. I can confirm the wine made there today is both high-quality and affordable, by the way.

History buffs might also remember that in 1991 the country received its independence from the Soviet Union.

I spent almost a month in Georgia, traveling from the Black Sea coast to the country’s capital of Tbilisi, and was impressed by how far the country (and its mobile network) has come.

I was using a physical SIM card at the time, but when I return, I’ll likely go with a travel eSIM instead unless I really need vast amounts of data. More on both options below.

Companies

  • I recommend Magti for most travelers who want a physical SIM
  • An eSIM from aloSIM is the best option if you only need data

When I first landed in Georgia, I began scouting for the adverts for SIM cards and mobile carriers you typically find plastered all over international airports.

To my surprise, however, I didn’t see any there (or most anywhere in the country.) There was one vendor giving out free SIM cards in the airport, but I steered clear until I could get more info about which network I wanted to go with.

My research turned up two main providers in the country, MagtiCom (which everyone calls Magti) and Silknet. Both offer pre-paid plans, LTE and limited 5G, and have good reputations.

Magti has the best coverage across the country, however: since I planned to explore a lot, that’s the company I decided to go with. I wasn’t disappointed!

Travel eSIM for Georgia

While it wasn’t exactly difficult to buy a physical SIM card, it’s even easier to buy a travel eSIM. It’s what I tend to do in most countries these days, since it means I’m connected immediately and don’t need to waste time hunting down stores and kiosks.

A few eSIM companies offer service in Georgia, and prices vary quite a bit. I found that of the ones I’ve tried before and would be happy to use again, alsoSIM has the best rates for both small and large data packs.

Like most travel eSIMs, it’s data-only: you don’t get a local number. I use apps for everything from communication to transport these days, so the lack of a local number very rarely matters to me, but you might have different needs.

How to Buy a Prepaid SIM Card in Georgia

After deciding on Magti, I needed to find a retailer. Fortunately Google Maps helped me with that, since the building housing the company in Batumi was a little understated and easy to miss.

Outside of a Magti-branded store in Batumi, Georgia

I showed up there on a Sunday morning to find no line, and only one person working there. She was very helpful and spoke good English.

The only thing required was my passport, method of payment (yes, they accepted credit cards) and my signature on Magti forms. Because they were written in the Georgian alphabet I have no idea what I signed, but either way, the whole process took about 15 minutes.

The staff member activated the SIM for me, and installed it in my phone. I had service straight away.

Prepaid SIM and eSIM Costs

A Magti SIM card costs 2 GEL (around 75c USD), and offers a variety of pre-paid plans for Internet and SMS. I was traveling with other people, and ended up buying three SIM cards. I only needed a single passport to buy all three.

Since I was doing some work while in the country and was concerned about how much data I’d use, I bought an unlimited data plan for one of the cards. Good for 30 days, there was a promo deal running that meant it only cost 32 GEL (~$12/€11).

I bought the 5GB/30 day plan for the other two cards, which only set me back 12 GEL each. Since I bought three plans, the staff member decided to give me the SIM cards for free.

You can find all of the current Magti plans here.

aloSIM

While the promo on the unlimited data pack made it a no-brainer when I knew I had a lot of work to do (and uncertain Wi-Fi), it’s rare that I need that.

Most of the time I find myself using 5-10GB of data over the course of a month. For that kind of data allowance, aloSIM has the best prices for Georgia (by quite a margin) as far as travel eSIMs go.

It’s still more than using a local SIM, but when there’s not much in it, I tend to value the convenience of being connected immediately over saving a few dollars.

It’s not the only game in town, of course: while Georgia isn’t serviced by all the eSIM companies, there are still plenty of options. We’ve compared many of them in the past, and here’s how the best ones stack up price-wise.

Validity Period

  • 7 days

  • 15 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

Data Amount

  • 1 GB

  • 2 GB

  • 3 GB

  • 5 GB

  • 10 GB

Price (USD)

  • $5

  • $10

  • $13.50

  • $15

  • $22.50

Validity Period

  • 7 days

  • 15 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

Data Amount

  • 1 GB

  • 2 GB

  • 3 GB

  • 5 GB

  • 10 GB

Price (USD)

  • $5.50

  • $10

  • $13.50

  • $20

  • $35

Validity Period

  • 7 days

  • 15 days

  • 15 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

Data Amount

  • 1 GB

  • 3 GB

  • 5 GB

  • 10 GB

  • 20 GB

Price (USD)

  • $7.90

  • $14.90

  • $19.90

  • $39.90

  • $69.90

Topping Up

Magti

Topping up is a breeze. Banks have self-service kiosks throughout the country, both inside and outside the branches. You won’t have to look far to find them, they’re everywhere.

Different banks have different color-coded kiosks but all of them have top-up options for Magti.

Kiosks inside a bank in Georgia, with "Express Bank" branding on top.

The kiosks have an English menu option. Just change the language (generally by tapping the UK flag) and the rest is self-explanatory. Select mobile payments, select Magti, enter your phone number, select the amount of data you want to buy, and pay by credit card or cash.

You can also top up on the Magti mobile app called MyMagti. You can add credit for phone calls, SMS, or data with just a few taps, and pay via a credit card in a matter of minutes.

aloSIM

Topping up with aloSIM (or any of the other travel eSIM companies) is done by logging into the website or app. You just select your Georgia eSIM, hit the top-up button, and buy the same package again.

The top-up packs have exactly the same pricing and duration as the original eSIMs: there’s little difference between topping up your current eSIM and buying a new one, other than not having to activate it.

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Coverage and Data Speeds

I noticed I had good LTE speeds as soon as I bought my SIM card in Batumi, but the real test would come days later when I took a slow-moving train across the country.

Train at a station in Georgia, with cloudy skies and a wet platform with a few people on it.

The trip took six hours, and the train was certainly dated. There was no Wi-Fi, no working electrical plugs, and no food. There was a bathroom, at least, and there was data via Magti’s network almost the entire time.

It wasn’t the fastest of speeds in the most remote spots, but it was consistent and usable the whole way. I was impressed. The train arrived in Tbilisi, the country’s capital, and fast LTE speeds returned.

Magti LTE speeds in Georgia, in the middle of nowhere (left) and Tbilisi (right)
Magti LTE speeds in Georgia, in the middle of nowhere (left) and Tbilisi (right)

Check out our guides to SIM cards and eSIMs in 75+ other countries here.

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7 Comments

  1. Such detailed information! Very helpful though ☺
    Thankyou

  2. Avatar RUBES GARUTI says:

    grazie per le informazioni .io parlo poco l’inglese ,se vado in uno di questi negozi attivano loro la nuova SIM ?.

    1. That’s ok, I’m sure I speak even less Italian! Yes, the staff member activated the SIM card, and installed it in the phone. I have updated the article to make that more clear.

  3. Heading to Georgia in August September – This is precisely what I needed to know. Many thanks.

  4. Wonderful, clear, well exponed information. Very useful. Thanks a lot.

  5. Hey!

    Really helpful article. Just one question does the sim card also work in Armenia perhaps?

    Thanks a bunch!

    1. The Magti SIM will work in Armenia, but you’ll need to pay for the roaming — it’s not included in the prepaid packages you buy. Roaming data bundle prices are here.

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