Taipei is the vibrant capital of Taiwan, known for its modern cityscape, bustling night markets, and delicious street food. As a major tourist destination in Asia, Taipei attracts millions of visitors every year.

When traveling to Taipei, having access to mobile data is extremely useful for maps, translations, ride-hailing apps, and more. The best way to get affordable data during your trip is to purchase a local SIM card in Taipei.

Here is a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about getting a SIM card in Taipei, with tips from savvy locals.

I. Which Mobile Operator is the Best in Taipei?

Mobile Operator is the Best in Taipei
Mobile Operator is the Best in Taipei

There are five major mobile network providers available in Taipei:

  • Taiwan Mobile – The largest telecom company in Taiwan with the best coverage nationwide. They offer prepaid SIM cards specifically for travelers.
  • FarEasTone – The second biggest provider in Taiwan with excellent 4G LTE speeds. Their tourist SIM card is called “Super Tourist SIM”.
  • Taiwan Star – A reliable operator with great value plans. Their prepaid SIM card is called “Star SIM”.
  • Chunghwa Telecom – The oldest telecom company in Taiwan with wide coverage. Their prepaid SIM is called “Super Wow SIM”.
  • GT – A newer provider owned by Google with competitive data plans. Their prepaid SIM is “GT Nomad SIM”.

Here’s a comparison of popular tourist prepaid SIM packages in Taipei:

 Taiwan MobileFarEasToneTaiwan StarChunghwaGT
Data15GB12GB10GB8GB5GB
Validity14 days7 days15 days5 days5 days
SpeedLTELTELTE4GLTE
CoverageExcellentExcellentVery goodVery goodGood
Cost~$20 USD~$15 USD~$15 USD~$10 USD~$10 USD

Based on coverage and data amounts, Taiwan Mobile generally offers the best SIM card deal for tourists visiting Taipei. Their unlimited data plan with 15GB of high-speed data for 14 days offers great value.

II. Best Taipei SIM Cards and Cost

Based on the comparison of data allowances, durations, speeds and prices of the different prepaid SIM card options for travelers in Taipei, the Taiwan Mobile Tourist Prepaid SIM provides the best overall value.

SIM CardData AllowanceDurationCalls/TextsSpeedsPrice (NTD)
Taiwan Mobile Tourist Prepaid SIM15GB14 daysUnlimited local calls & texts, 100 NTD international call creditUp to 150Mbps LTE590 (~$20 USD)
FarEasTone Super Tourist SIM12GB7 daysUnlimited calls & texts to Taiwan numbers, 100 NTD international call creditUp to 300Mbps499 (~$15 USD)
GT Nomad Prepaid SIM Card5GB5 daysUnlimited local calls & textsUp to 150Mbps LTE299 (~$10 USD)
Prices provided are estimates and may vary depending on exchange rates and promotional offers available at time of purchase.

It also offers excellent coverage across Taiwan on Taiwan Mobile’s fast LTE network. While it has a higher upfront price compared to the other options, it is still very affordable at only 590 NTD (~$20 USD).

Unless travelers need a SIM immediately upon arrival as with the FarEasTone option, or have a very short stay under 5 days as with the GT Nomad option, the Taiwan Mobile Tourist Prepaid SIM is recommended for most travelers visiting Taipei who need reliable data connectivity during their trip.

III. Where to Buy a SIM Card in Taipei

Getting your hands on a SIM card in Taipei is easy. Here are some options:

Upon Arrival

Get the inside scoop on Where to Buy SIM Card at Taoyuan Airport

All the major Taiwanese telecoms operate SIM card counters inside Taoyuan International Airport in the arrivals area. Here you can directly purchase SIM cards from Taiwan Mobile, FarEasTone, Taiwan Star, Chunghwa, and GT.

Prices and packages are very similar to those available in the city. Having a SIM card right upon landing can be super convenient for staying connected as soon as you get to Taipei.

In the City

Buy a SIM Card in Taipei

If you miss the airport SIM card booths, don’t worry – you can easily buy SIM cards in Taipei city. The main mobile providers all have retail shops scattered around the city, most often located inside malls and metro stations.

7-Eleven and FamilyMart convenience stores also sell prepaid SIMs from Taiwan Mobile and GT. Prices are generally the same as the airport and main retailer stores.

Buying from an official shop lets you chat with staff to find the best SIM card and plan for your needs. Bring your passport for registration.

Leave your physical SIM at home and discover Taipei with taiwanesim.com

IV. eSIM for Travelers to Taipei – A Smart Alternative

Using an eSIM is also a great option for getting data in Taipei. An eSIM is a digital SIM card that is installed directly on your phone – no physical SIM card required.

Major benefits of using an eSIM include:

  • Easy online setup – Activate an eSIM plan remotely before you travel
  • Multi-country coverage – Switch between eSIMs as you travel between countries
  • Dual SIM functionality – Have both a local eSIM and your regular SIM active
  • Quick activation – eSIMs activate instantly, no need to swap SIM cards

Taiwan eSIM (taiwanesim.com) offers affordable eSIM data packages for tourists and travelers visiting Taiwan. With Taiwan eSIM, you can enjoy fast LTE speeds without ever worrying about physically swapping SIM cards. Taiwan eSIM plans are available for durations of 5 days, 7 days, 10 days, 15 days and 30 days, starting from as low as $4.

An eSIM is super convenient, letting you access data immediately upon landing in Taipei. If your phone has eSIM capabilities, it’s a great alternative to physical SIM cards.


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V. Things to Prepare when Buying SIM Cards in Taipei

Here are some tips on what to have ready when purchasing a Taipei SIM card:

  • Unlocked Phone – Your phone must be unlocked to use a foreign SIM card. Contact your home carrier to unlock it before traveling.
  • Passport – Your passport will be required for registering and activating your prepaid SIM card.
  • Cash – Have local currency (New Taiwan Dollars) ready to pay for your SIM card. Most shops accept credit cards too.
  • Compatible Phone – Very old phones may not support 4G LTE bands used in Taiwan. Check that your device”,”id”:”compl_012jaT6Lt1oxwe8Kj1Gv22Ba”,”completion”:” compatible.
  • Plan Details – Know your data needs so you can choose the right plan. Light users may only need 1-2GB for a short visit.
  • Taiwan Address – You may be asked to provide a local address in Taiwan during SIM registration. Your hotel or Airbnb address will suffice.

With your unlocked phone and passport handy, buying a Taipei SIM card takes less than 10 minutes in most shops.

VI. Tips and Recommendations

Follow these tips to make the most of your Taipei SIM card experience:

  • Purchase your SIM at the airport upon arrival for instant connectivity.
  • Taiwan Mobile generally has the best coverage and speeds across the city.
  • Get at least 10GB of data if you’ll be using maps and social media heavily.
  • Top-up or recharge if you need more data during your stay. Extra data packs can be added.
  • Enable data roaming on your phone before inserting the SIM to start using mobile data.
  • Connect to LTE/4G networks for fastest speeds. Toggle network modes in your phone settings.
  • Buy a nano-SIM if you have an iPhone. Most Android devices use micro-SIMs.
  • Don’t throw away your SIM after your trip. Top it up with more data next time you visit Taipei!

VII. FAQs

Where can I buy a prepaid SIM card when I arrive in Taipei?

The major airport, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, has kiosks located in both the arrival and departure halls of the terminals selling prepaid SIM cards from all the main providers like Taiwan Mobile, Chunghwa Telecom, FarEasTone, etc. You can purchase them there with just your passport.

Do I need anything other than my passport to buy a SIM card in Taipei?

At the airports, your passport is sufficient. But if buying from a store in the city, some providers like FarEasTone may require a second form of ID like a driver’s license in addition to your passport. Taiwan Mobile only requires a passport.

Which provider has the best coverage in Taipei and Taiwan?

The three major providers – Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, and FarEasTone – all have excellent coverage throughout Taiwan including Taipei and smaller islands. Taiwan Mobile and Chunghwa may have a slight edge in coverage. T Star and GT have a smaller network focused around major cities and islands.

What kind of prepaid SIM card options are available?

The main providers offer starter packs priced around NT$300-1000 that include a set amount of data valid for 60-185 days. They also offer daily/weekly unlimited data plans. Visitor/tourist SIMs with weekly unlimited data plans are sold at airports and some stores.

How can I recharge my SIM card in Taipei?

You can top up credit and purchase additional data packages at convenience stores like 7-Eleven and FamilyMart, at provider stores, or online via the provider’s website or app. Topping up involves getting a recharge voucher with a code and dialing a short number to activate it on your SIM.

Is there unlimited internet available on prepaid SIM cards in Taipei?

Yes, some prepaid SIM cards in Taiwan do offer true unlimited internet data, especially the visitor SIM plans sold at airports for periods like 1 week. But some providers may throttle speeds after a certain data usage threshold like 20-50GB per month.

VIII. Final Words

I hope this guide has provided you with all the information you need to stay connected during your upcoming Taipei travels! From the best providers to recommended packages, you are now well prepared to purchase the perfect SIM for your trip.

Whether it’s Google Maps to find hidden temples, food photos for Instagram, or calls to book tours – having a Taiwanese SIM card will make exploring this amazing city even better. So be sure to buy one upon arrival and stay seamlessly connected in Taipei!

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