The Netherlands, also known as Holland, is a very popular tourist destination in Europe. It is an expensive country for the people who are not from North America or North-Western Europe because of its high cost of living. Moreover, international roaming can be very expensive, that’s why buying a local SIM card is highly recommended. Luckily, the SIM cards in the Netherlands and their plans aren’t as expensive as in some EU nations.
A SIM in the country is available between 1 Euro ($1.20) and 10 Euros ($12). You can even get SIM cards for free in select stores or online in some cases. Moreover, you can get 1 GB of data for as low as 2 Euro (EUR). This makes Dutch SIM cards affordable among the European Union members. The Netherlands has 3 major operators and 8 MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators). In this article, we will showcase six and sort them from best to average.
T-Mobile is the largest and the faster network that offers SIM cards in the Netherlands. The company discontinued its 2G operations in June 202 so, at the time of writing, it operates on 3G, 4G/LTE, and 5G NR frequencies. T-Mobile has very extensive coverage throughout the Netherlands, and its 4G/LTE network is considered the best. A T-Mobile SIM card is called T-Mobile Prepaid and is available for 10 EUR having 5 or 10 EUR credit in it. Users can buy it at the official stores as well as with third-party vendors like grocery and convenience stores.
After your first recharge, you will get 1 GB of data. At this time, you will be able to participate in T-Mobile’s online game called PrePaid Surprise afterward. This game allows you to win keys for extra data, calling minutes, SMS, and even physical items. However, it is only available for prepaid customers so postpaid customers don’t have access. The top-up vouchers are easily available too at official and partner stores throughout the country.
Vodafone is the second-largest wireless carrier in Holland. It operates on 2G, 4G/LTE, and 5G NR frequencies. It phased out its 3G services in 2020 and has great coverage across the country. Its SIM card is available in all Vodafone stores and partner stores in the country. The SIM card costs 5 EUR which also includes data and credit. You can also buy a Vodafone SIM card in the Netherlands at a local address.
Their top-up vouchers are sold everywhere and the price ranges between 5 and 50 Euros. Online recharge is also available for Dutch bank account holders and international debit/credit cardholders. You can recharge using the iDeal app too, but it is available only to those with a Dutch bank account. Vodafone offers daily, weekly, and monthly bundles for its prepaid customers.
KPN is the smallest main operator in the country. It was a state-owned mobile operator and had a monopoly in the country until the privatization of wireless services happened. All MVNOs in the Netherlands use KPN’s wholesale network. On the wholesale network of KPN, the download speed is capped at 25 Mbps and the upload speed at 10 Mbps. Even the KPN prepaid users can only use the internet at these restricted speeds.
KPN operates on 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE, and 5G NR frequencies. Apart from T-Mobile, it has the best 4G/LTE coverage. A KPN SIM card is available for as low as 4.99 EUR with 10 EUR credit in it. All the official stores and its partner stores sell the KPN SIM cards and its top-up vouchers across the country. Its top-up value varies between 5 and 50 Euros.
4. AH Mobiel
AH Mobiel is a mobile SIM card brand by Albert (AH), a Dutch supermarket chain. It is a KPN MVNO as it doesn’t have a mobile infrastructure. Therefore, it depends on KPN and hence its coverage and quality depend upon the main carrier’s network. Its SIM cards and top-up vouchers are available in the official stores only. The SIM card costs 5 EUR and comes with a preloaded credit of 5 EUR.
You can recharge the SIM card either using the vouchers or via international debit/credit cards. Dutch bank account holders can use the iDeal app too to recharge. Every top-up has free bonus credit and a validity of 31 days. AH Mobiel offers two types of bundles: All-In-One and data-only. Its data-only bundle comes with 1000 MB of data for 31 days and is priced at 10 EUR.
ALDI TALK is a brand by ALDI, a discount supermarket chain in the Netherlands, and a KPN MVNO too. Its SIM cards are sold exclusively by ALDI stores. The SIM card costs 9.99 EUR and comes with a preloaded 10 EUR credit. The top-up vouchers are available in ALDI stores for 10 and 20 Euros. You can also recharge it online via the iDeal app, through international debit/credit cards, or PayPal.
ALDI TALK sells two types of bundles, namely All-In-One and data-only. The bundles mostly have a validity of 30 days. All-In-One bundles range between 4 EUR and 10 EUR while those with only data cost between 1 EUR and 12.50 EUR. Remember that all KPN MVNOs have limited data speeds of 25 Mbps and 10 Mbps for downloads and uploads respectively.
Lebara is again a KPN MVNO in the Netherlands. Apart from the Netherlands, it is active in 9 other countries of the world. The carrier focuses on the ex-pat communities living in the countries it operates. That’s why they offer cheap and attractive rates for overseas calls. A Lebara SIM card is available for 5 or 15 EUR depending on the type.
In some cases, the SIM card is available for free as well. However, for that, you will need to buy a top-up or bundle on the spot. On top of the card itself, its top-up vouchers are available in many stores across the country. It offers three types of data featured bundles. Out of those, two are combos and one is data-only. The bundles are affordable and have a validity of 28 or 30 days depending on the bundle you purchase.