Traveling to Indonesia can be an amazing cultural experience. With over 17,000 islands, it is the largest archipelago in the world and offers incredible diversity. From the bustling capital city of Jakarta to the gorgeous beaches of Bali, you’ll find limitless sights to explore.

When visiting a new country, having connectivity is crucial. Being able to access maps, translation apps, and ride shares can make your travels much smoother. Getting an Indonesia SIM card for your phone is the best way to stay connected affordably across the islands.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about getting a tourist SIM card in Indonesia

indonesia sim cards

I. Should I Buy a New Indonesia SIM Card for My Trip?

Buy a New SIM Card for Indonesia Trip

For most travelers, getting an Indonesia SIM card is highly recommended. It will provide you with affordable data and calling rates compared to using your home SIM card abroad. Some key benefits include:

  • Avoid Roaming Fees: Using your regular SIM card from back home can rack up extremely high roaming charges, especially for data usage. A local SIM helps you avoid these expensive fees.
  • Access Google Maps and Transport Apps: Having mobile data and GPS enabled on your phone is extremely useful for navigating, locating attractions, finding restaurants and hailing rides from services like Grab.
  • Pocket Wifi: You can use the SIM card’s data to create a WiFi hotspot and connect multiple devices like laptops or tablets when wireless internet is not available.
  • Local Phone Number: Having an Indonesian number is useful for arranging local meetups, restaurant reservations or contacting your hotel/AirBnB.
  • Cheap Calling Rates: Indonesia SIM cards have cheap rates for local calls. International calls are also reasonably priced.
  • Prepaid Control: Top up as you need so you only pay for what you use. It’s easier to stick to a budget.

The main downside is that you will have to swap SIM cards which takes a few minutes. But the benefits easily outweigh this small inconvenience. For a short trip under a week, you may be fine using roaming. But for longer stays, a local SIM is a travel essential in Indonesia.

II. Indonesia SIM Card Types – Which One is the Best for Tourists?

When purchasing an Indonesia SIM card, you’ll have to choose what type of SIM plan you need:

Regular SIM Card

This is the standard physical nano, micro or regular sized SIM that goes into your unlocked phone. It contains the mobile network access. The major carriers like Telkomsel, XL Axiata and Indosat Ooredoo offer tourist SIMs in different data packages.

eSIM Card

An embedded digital SIM that is programmable and allows you to activate mobile plans without having to insert a plastic card. eSIMs are not yet common in Indonesia. Currently, only Telkomsel offers tourist eSIMs targeted at international travelers.

For most travelers, a regular physical prepaid Indonesian SIM card is the best option. They are easy to purchase at the airport or convenience stores, inexpensive and come with sufficient data allotments. eSIMs offer the convenience of digital activation but have fewer package options currently.

Don't stress about SIM cards Get an eSIM instead

III. How Much Data is Enough for a Prepaid Tourist SIM Card for Indonesia?

For moderate internet usage, 5-10GB of data for a 7-14 day Indonesia trip is recommended. This is enough for Google Maps, some social media, messaging, emails and web browsing. With a prepaid SIM, you can top-up more data if needed. Here are some typical data usages to estimate how much you may require:

  • Google Maps (1 hour/day): 300MB
  • Social Media (occasional usage): 30-50MB/day
  • Messaging on WhatsApp: 5MB/day
  • Emails & Light Web Browsing: 100MB/day

Streaming video or music will consume data quickly – up to 2GB/hour for HD video. For heavier usage, opt for 15-25GB valid for 30 days. Most Indonesia SIMs have an unlimited data option with speeds reduced after the allotted 4G data is used up. This prevents bill shock while still providing connectivity.

IV. How Much Does a Indonesia SIM Card Cost?

SIM card prices in Indonesia are very affordable. You can get started with data, calling and texts for as low as IDR 100,000 (USD $7). Here are typical costs:

Operator Plan Data Allotment Validity Price Additional Benefits
Smartfren Daily Unlimited 1GB 1GB daily 14 days Rp49,500 Unlimited 24 hours access after daily limit, free calls to Smartfren
Quota 100GB 100GB total 30 days Rp100,000 25GB main quota, 75GB local quota
Telkomsel Tourist Prepaid Card 25GB 30 days Rp150,000 25 minutes calls, can be pre-ordered online
IM3 Freedom Combo Varies, up to 25GB main quota Varies, up to 30 days From Rp60,000 Daily quota, rollover data, call minutes, SMS, IMPoin rewards
XL Quota M 6GB main, 5GB app, up to 10GB local 30 days Rp42,000 Validity for 30 days

If you’re looking for the biggest data bang for your buck, the clear winner is Smartfren’s 100GB Quota plan. For just 100K IDR, you get a massive 100GB of data to use over 30 days. That’s insane value!

In second place is the Telkomsel Tourist Card. At 150K IDR you get 25GB which is plenty for a short vacation in Indonesia. Best of all, you can order it online before your trip. No hassle SIM hunting when you arrive.

Coming in third are the high-tier Freedom Combos from IM3. They offer 25GB or more starting around 60K IDR. With daily quotas, rollover data and call minutes included, these provide reliable connectivity for a month without breaking the bank.

For daily use, consider Smartfren’s 1GB Daily Unlimited plan. At under 50K IDR for two weeks, you get refilled 1GB daily plus unlimited use after. Perfect if you’re always on your phone.

And finally, XL’s Quota M pack gives you 6GB for 42K IDR which isn’t too shabby. But the validity is only 30 days, so it’s best as a backup option or if you’re not a heavy user.

V. Indonesia eSIM – Alternative to Physical SIM Cards

Travellers to Indonesia will be pleased to hear that getting mobile data is now simpler than ever thanks to eSIM technology. eSIMs allow you to activate a data plan directly on your device without the hassle of a physical SIM card.

how benefits you

Here are some key advantages of using an Indonesia eSIM card:

  • No SIM swapping: Activate an eSIM remotely on your phone without having to physically insert a card. This saves time and hassle.
  • Multi SIM capability: Have separate plans for Indonesia travel while retaining your regular number on the physical SIM.
  • Flexibility: You can switch data plans or carriers easily with an eSIM by installing a new mobile plan remotely.

One great option for purchasing an eSIM for Indonesia is by GIGAGO. Their straightforward website allows you to easily browse reasonably priced plans starting at just a few dollars for short trips. Plans range from 3-30 days so you’re guaranteed to find one that suits your stay.

buy indonesia esim plans

Once you’ve selected a plan, all you need to do is complete a swift online order. The friendly team at will then promptly send your activation details by email. No waiting around or solving puzzles required!

So whether exploring Bali or relaxing in Lombok, an eSIM from provides an hassle-free means of staying connected online while abroad. The simple setup means more time to enjoy yourself – now that’s what I call a real vacation!

VI. Where to Buy a Indonesia SIM Card?

It’s quite easy to purchase a prepaid Indonesia SIM card. Here are some recommended spots to buy your nano or micro-SIM:

Airport SIM Card Kiosks and Shops

After you pass through immigration, you’ll find convenient SIM card sellers at stands or shops at the Jakarta and Bali airport arrival halls. For example, TRE is an official Telkomsel reseller at multiple airports.

SIM Card Retail Stores

Walk-in to retailer outlets of major providers like Telkomsel (Halo), XL Axiata (Xplor) and Indosat Ooredoo (IM3 Ooredoo). Bring your passport as registration is required.

Convenience Store Chains

Major chains like Circle K, Indomaret and Alfamart will have SIM cards for sale along with top-up vouchers. This is the most convenient option.

Online Orders

A few retailers like TripMate allow you to order Indonesia eSIM or physical SIMs for airport pickup or delivery in Bali/Jakarta.

To get started, buy an Indonesia starter SIM pack. Top ups can be done later through the carrier’s app or at convenience stores. Avoid street vendors selling SIMs as these may be fraudulent. Purchase from authorized sellers for network reliability and security.

VII. How to Use Indonesia SIM

Here’s a simple guide to using your new Indonesian SIM card:

  1. Unlock Phone: Ensure your smartphone is unlocked for use with foreign SIMs. Contact your home carrier to arrange this if needed.
  2. Insert SIM: Turn off your phone, insert the nano or micro-SIM into the tray after removing any existing SIM.
  3. Setup: Power on your device and follow the on-screen instructions to setup your new phone number and data plan. Enter your personal info when prompted.
  4. Install Carrier App: Download the mobile app for your provider like MyTelkomsel to manage your account or do top-ups.
  5. Activate Data/Calling: either via the app or through USSD codes, enable your data pack and international calling if needed. Dial *888# to check balance.
  6. Setup APN: For data to work, enter APN settings – name: Telkomsel, APN: internet
  7. Top-Up: When data runs low, recharge easily via the provider app, ATMs, convenience stores or retailers.

With these simple steps, you’ll be connected instantly through your Indonesia SIM!

VIII. Best Mobile Operators for Indonesia SIM Cards

There are a number of telecom providers that offer prepaid Indonesia SIMs for tourists. Here are the top networks:

Telkomsel – Best Overall Coverage

As Indonesia’s largest mobile operator, Telkomsel has the widest 4G LTE coverage on over 90% of inhabited islands. Their ‘simPATI’ and ‘Halo’ prepaid plans come with data packs ideal for travelers. With good speeds and reliability, they are a top choice for a Indonesia SIM card.

XL Axiata – Value Plans

XL has the second best connectivity in Indonesia covering all major and 80% of smaller islands. Their ‘Xplor’ prepaid plans provide affordable data rates, local calling and SMS. A good option if you want to save money.

Indosat Ooredoo – Good Urban Areas

This major provider has excellent coverage in populated cities and tourist areas in Java, Bali, Sumatra and Sulawesi. But they lag in eastern Indonesia. Their ‘IM3 Ooredoo’ tourist SIM packs work well for urban travel.

Smartfren – Best 4G-Only

Smartfren has a younger network as a 4G/LTE-only provider. They offer speeds up to 200Mbps in big cities like Jakarta, acceptable elsewhere. But their data-only plans are not ideal for local calls/texts.

When choosing, go with Telkomsel or XL Axiata for the widest coverage and network reliability if you plan to explore beyond main hubs. For city travel, all major providers will suffice. Avoid smaller networks with patchy services.

IX. Tips for Saving Data for Indonesia SIM Card

To reduce data consumption from your Indonesia SIM and avoid costly overages, here are some useful tips:

  • Disable auto-app updates: Stop apps updating in the background needlessly burning through your data. Do updates manually over WiFi.
  • Limit streaming: Streaming video and music will demolish data quickly. Avoid or use the lowest quality setting. Download content offline when on WiFi.
  • Use Public WiFi: Connect for free at hotels, cafes and airports to use data-hungry apps instead of mobile data. But avoid banking or sensitive transactions on public networks.
  • Monitor usage: Check your remaining data balance and usage within your provider app to identify any heavy usage.
  • Auto photo uploads off: Disable background auto uploads of photos/videos to the cloud which consume large amounts of data.
  • Offline maps: Download offline maps and directions on Google Maps to avoid using live mobile data when navigating.
  • Messenger compression: Enable data compression in chat apps settings to minimize usage.

With some diligence, you can easily make 5-10GB last for the duration of your Indonesia trip. Enjoy the islands without worrying about network access!


Do I need to show ID to buy a Indonesia SIM card?

Yes, you need to present your passport as registration and identity verification is required when purchasing an Indonesian SIM.

Can I get a prepaid SIM at Bali/Jakarta airport on arrival?

Yes, there are SIM card desks and stores located right in the arrival halls of the international airports in Bali and Jakarta, making it easy to get connected upon landing.

Are data speeds fast on Indonesia SIM cards?

Yes, 4G speeds on major provider networks like Telkomsel average 20-50Mbps, fast enough for most daily usage. In congested areas speeds may reduce slightly.

How long is a Indonesia tourist SIM card valid for?

Prepaid SIMs aimed at travelers are valid for a set number of days, typically 30 days from activation. You can extend validity by doing a recharge.

Can I make international calls with my Indonesian SIM?

Yes, Indonesian SIMs allow international calls by default. Calling rates are reasonable at around IDR 2000-3000 per minute. Ensure you have calling credits.

XI. Final Words

A local Indonesia SIM card is essential for staying conveniently connected at affordable rates during your travels across the archipelago. With this guide, you are now equipped to choose the right plan and provider based on your needs, data usage, trip duration and locations.

Happy and hassle-free travels in Indonesia! Stay in touch efficiently with the right SIM card along the way.