Whether you are traveling to Almaty or passing through Almaty airport on a connecting flight, having a local SIM card for Kazakhstan can be extremely useful during your trip. Getting a SIM card allows you to have mobile data access, make local calls, and avoid expensive roaming charges from your home provider.

The good news is that there are several options for purchasing SIM cards right at Almaty International Airport. Here is what you need to know about getting a SIM card when you land at Almaty.

SIM Card at Almaty Airport

I. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Almaty Airport

The main options for purchasing a SIM card after you land at Almaty International Airport are:

1. Kcell Store

Kcell is the largest mobile operator in Kazakhstan. There is an official Kcell store located in the arrivals area of Almaty Airport, just after you exit customs and baggage claim. The Kcell store sells standard voice and data SIM cards, as well as more advanced plans like unlimited data packages. You can purchase the SIM card and activate it on the spot. Kcell offers strong 4G LTE coverage throughout Almaty and Kazakhstan in general.

2. Beeline Store

Beeline SIM
Beeline SIM at Kzakhstan

Beeline is another top mobile provider in Kazakhstan. Like Kcell, Beeline operates an official store at the Almaty Airport arrivals area. You can visit the Beeline store right after customs to purchase one of their prepaid plans or data-only SIM cards. Beeline also has solid 4G speeds and connectivity across Kazakhstan.

3. Tele2 Store

In addition to Kcell and Beeline, Tele2 is a third option for picking up a local SIM at the airport. Tele2 offers prepaid voice and data plans. While their network coverage is not as extensive as Kcell and Beeline, it is still decent in urban areas like Almaty. The Tele2 store is located in the arrivals concourse.

4. Vending Machines

Almaty International Airport
Almaty International Airport. Source

If you want to get a SIM card as quickly as possible without visiting a store, there are also vending machines for Kcell, Beeline, and Tele2 located in the arrivals area. The vending machines allow you to directly purchase a prepaid SIM pack. However, you may have less plan options compared to visiting the main store.

II. Almaty Airport SIM Card Options and Costs

Airport Operators SIM Card Price
Almaty Airport Kcell - Second largest operator with broad coverage nationwide. approximately $10-12 USD
Almaty Airport Beeline - Largest operator with reliable network across Kazakhstan. approximately $6-8 USD
Almaty Airport Tele2 - Strong coverage, lower prices. approximately $4 USD 

In summary, as a tourist, you can expect to pay between  $4-12 USD for a prepaid SIM card from major operators Kcell, Beeline, or Tele2 when arriving at Almaty Airport in Kazakhstan. All offer reliable connectivity for travel around the country.

Plan Your Kazakhstan Trip with Confidence - Read this Comprehensive Guide to Getting a SIM Card in Almaty: How To Buy A SIM Cards In Almaty: Tips from Locals

III. What You Need to Prepare for Getting a SIM Card at Almaty Airport

When purchasing your Kazakhstan SIM card at the Almaty Airport, make sure you are prepared with the following:

Unlocked Phone

Your phone must be unlocked to accept a foreign SIM card. Contact your home provider in advance to request an unlock.


Have your passport ready to present for activating prepaid SIM cards.

Local Currency

Have some Kazakhstani Tenge (KZT) to pay for your SIM card and data plan. ATMs and currency exchanges are available at the airport.

Phone Cleaner

Bring a SIM card pin or adapter to switch your existing SIM for the new Kazakhstan SIM.


Be ready to wait in line during peak arrival times. Getting a SIM card can take 10-30 minutes depending on the store traffic.

Kazakh Phrases

Learn a few key Kazakh phrases to help communicate with store staff when purchasing your SIM card

As long as your phone is unlocked, getting a working SIM card at Almaty airport is quick and hassle-free. Just look for the provider stores or vending machines after you exit customs.

IV. eSIM as an Alternative to SIM Card at Almaty Airport

If you have a newer model phone with eSIM capability, another option is using an eSIM for connectivity in Kazakhstan instead of a physical SIM card. An eSIM is a digital SIM profile that is downloaded to your phone.

Some benefits of eSIM include:

  • No need to find a physical SIM card at the airport
  • Remote activation before you travel or upon landing
  • Ability to access multiple plans and data packages
  • Quickly switch between plans and providers

While eSIM is convenient, regular SIM cards still tend to offer lower rates, especially for longer-term data packages. But eSIM makes a great backup if you can’t get a SIM card for whatever reason upon arrival at Almaty airport.

If you’re looking for a more convenient way to get mobile connectivity in Kazakhstan without having to purchase and change a local physical SIM card, consider buying an eSIM plan from esimkazakhstan.com – the #1 eSIM provider in Kazakhstan which offers different plans for any traveling goals.

Plan that may interest you

Kazakhstan eSIM 7 Days Plan
Kazakhstan eSIM 7 Days Plan
From $5.00
Kazakhstan eSIM 30 Days Plan
Kazakhstan eSIM 30 Days Plan
From $9.90

After purchasing a plan, you will receive an activation QR code via email, which you can scan on your device to connect instantly to GIGAGO’s high-speed network. This provider offers a hassle-free alternative for travelers needing mobile connectivity in Kazakhstan.


Do I need to register my SIM card?

Usually, there is no registration required for prepaid SIM cards purchased at Almaty airport. You simply need to show your passport when buying the SIM.

Can I get a SIM card outside the airport?

Yes, SIM cards can also be purchased at phone shops and kiosks throughout Almaty city. However, the airport providers often have the most English support.

Are data speeds fast on local SIM cards?

The main providers offer excellent 4G LTE coverage in Almaty with typical download speeds of 20-50 Mbps, great for apps, video, and streaming.

Can I use a SIM card in other countries?

No, Kazakh SIM cards only provide service within Kazakhstan. For other countries, you’d need to purchase a new local SIM card.

What if my phone is locked to my home network?

You’ll need to contact your provider and request for your phone to be unlocked before traveling so you can use a foreign SIM abroad.

VI. Conclusion

Getting a Kazakh SIM card upon arrival at Almaty International Airport is super convenient and affordable. Just look for the Kcell, Beeline, or Tele2 stores and vending machines located right in the arrivals hall. For around $5-10, you can get set up with a prepaid plan including voice calls, texts, and plenty of 4G data. With an unlocked phone and passport in hand, it’s quick and easy to stay connected during your visit to Almaty. Enjoy your trip!