eSIM for Europe Travel: Best Plans Compared + Costs

Do you intend to visit several European nations simultaneously? You start to ponder about the finest and easiest ways to keep connected across all 44 of Europe’s nations. It’s eSIM that was the key to always staying connected while saving a good chunk of cash in the long run in Europe! Let’s take a look at what you need to know about eSIM for Europe in this guide.

I. Does eSIM work in Europe?

Yes. eSIM is available in many European countries, but support varies by carrier. 

Major European network carriers such as Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Orange and some others all support tourist eSIM services. 

The availability of eSIM plans and the process of installation may differ by country and carrier. In some European countries, you can easily get a data-only eSIM as a tourist, while in others you may need to be a resident to get it. 

Using eSIM allows you to have a local data plan without needing to get a local physical SIM card. This makes it convenient for traveling and having dual SIM capabilities. 

Note: research the specific country and carrier you’re interested in to confirm eSIM support and plan availability

II. What is an eSIM for Europe?

eSIM for Europe

An eSIM (embedded SIM) is a digital/virtual software-based SIM Card. Instead of having to physically insert a plastic SIM card into your phone, an eSIM is already built into the device.

eSIM is non-removable. You do not need to go to a physical store to get different SIM cards when traveling Europe, but simply download eSIM plans digitally.

To use eSIM, your phone must be carrier-unlocked and eSIM-supported. Many newer phones support eSIM technology. See our updated list of eSIM-compatible devices for a quick check or learn how to check if your phone works with eSIM by yourself.

Benefits of eSIM data plans for Europe travel:

  • No need to go to buy SIM cards
  • Instant delivery without shipping fees
  • Use two data plans at the same time (but only one activated at a time if phone has a SIM card slot)
  • No need to remove your primary SIM card
  • No need to insert different SIM card for different Europe countries (if traveling multiple countries)

III. Where to buy Europe eSIM for travelers?

For hassle-free connectivity across Europe, tourists have 02 options for buying eSIM:

  • Local mobile network operators which supply eSIM services for tourists, or
  • eSIM providers with Europe eSIM plans

1. Buying eSIM for Europe from European network carriers

You will get eSIM plans directly from local network carriers that support eSIM (see more details below). 

With this way, the speed, signals and everything associated with the eSIM will be at its best. 

However, their tourist eSIM plans tend to be more expensive, and registering requires presenting your passport or ID card in person.

2. Buying eSIM from third-party eSIM providers

It is a budget-friendly option to avoid roaming charges across Europe. Specialized Europe eSIM providers offer a quicker, cheaper, and more convenient way to get connected. You can buy Europe eSIM plans entirely online and activate in under 10 minutes with an eSIM QR code. No need to show ID or visit a store! 

Another advantage is that because these providers partner with multiple European carriers, switching networks is easy if you experience any connection issues.

As a specific suggestion, we recommend Gigago as a reputable eSIM provider for Europe eSIM plans. This provider offers many plan options for tourists and the plans are covered by different network carriers depending on the specific destination. You can see details about their plans below. 

IV. Best eSIM for Europe travel – Prepaid plans

eSIM is the next generation of SIM technology
eSIM is the next generation of SIM technology

Need to know: In 2017, Europe launched a free roaming policy allowing people to use their mobile devices when travelling in the EU paying the same prices as at home. Therefore, any EU data plan can work anywhere within the EU region. 

For example, you can buy a French eSIM and use it in Germany, Italy, Poland, etc.

But, Switzerland and the UK do not join the EU so not all plans will work in these countries. Check each plan carefully to make sure it supports your destination.

You can buy eSIM plans for Europe travel either from European cellular network carriers mentioned above or from reputable eSIM providers.

Below we introduce best eSIM for Europe travel from these providers:

1. Orange Europe eSIM – Holiday Europe

Orange Holiday Europe eSIM
Orange Holiday Europe eSIM
  • Holiday Europe 12GB: 12GB data in 4G/LTE + unlimited calls/texts within EU + 30 min and 200 texts from EU to worldwide, valid for 14 days, $19.99 (French phone number accompanied)
  • Holiday Europe 30GB: 30GB data in 4G/LTE + unlimited calls/texts within EU + 120 min and 1000 texts from EU to worldwide, valid for 14 days, $9.99 (French phone number accompanied)
  • Holiday Europe 1GB: 1GB data in 4G/LTE, valid for 7 days, $4.99 (French phone number accompanied)
  • Holiday Europe 50GB: 50GB data in 4G/LTE + unlimited calls/texts within EU + 120 min and 1000 texts from EU to worldwide, valid for 28 days, $49.99 (French phone number accompanied)

Refer: Orange Europe 

 2. Bouygues eSIM for Europe – My European eSIM

Bouyguest Europe esim for tourists
  • 30GB data + unlimited calls and SMS in France and from Europe + 25€ call credits and SMS to international and oversea territories, valid for 30 days, for $39.90 (French phone number accompanied)

Refer: Bouygues Europe  

3. Vodafone Europe eSIM

  • 5GB, valid for 10 days, 12€
  • 10GB, valid for 15 days, 23€
  • 20GB, valid for 30 days, 35€

Refer: Vodafone Europe 

4. Gigago eSIM for Europe

Gigago esim for Europe

Among eSIM providers for Europe, Gigago offers the most diversifying choices. 

For Europe, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 1 GB for 3 days with $3.50 . What is great about Gigago’s Europe eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $3.50$126.00 . Thus, it does not matter how Internet users you are and how long your trip is in Europe, there is always an option for you with Gigago.

Refer: Gigago Europe eSIM

Note: The plan features and prices are subject to change. So, to get the most updated information, visit the official website of each provider.

V. How much does an eSIM for Europe cost?

The price for Europe eSIM varies depending on the plan features, provider and associated functions. Basically, it cost $3.5 for 1GB used in 3 days. The more data volume, validity or added features, the higher the price.

VI. Which European carriers support eSIM?

Here are some of major European carriers that support eSIM services:

  • Vodafone – offers eSIM support in countries like Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, Netherlands, Portugal, Ireland, Romania, Czechia, and more.
  • Deutsche Telekom – supports eSIM in Germany, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Montenegro, Austria, and other markets.
  • Orange – offers eSIM plans in France, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, and other Orange footprint markets.
  • T-Mobile – provide eSIM support in many European countries including Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, and Slovakia.
  • Telefónica – offers eSIM in Spain under their Movistar brand, as well as in the UK through O2 which they own.
  • Telenor – Provides eSIM in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Hungary, Montenegro, and Serbia.
  • Swisscom – gives eSIM support in Switzerland.
  • Telia – supports eSIM in Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, and Latvia.
  • Three – offers eSIM in UK, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, and Austria so far.

VII. Which Countries Support eSIM for Europe Travel?

Currently, you can use a Europe eSIM to travel to the following European countries: 

  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Bulgaria
  • Belgium
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • France
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Jersey
  • Latvia
  • Luxembourg
  • Lithuania
  • Liechtenstein
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

Our recommendation: You had better double check which countries your eSIM provider supports, as the coverage can vary. For travel within continental Europe, most major eSIM carriers should suffice, although some may also cover additional regions or territories outside mainland Europe. It is best to finalize your eSIM selection and arrangements well in advance of your trip rather than waiting until the last minute.

VIII. Which type of eSIM for Europe should travelers choose?

Tourist Europe eSIM are prepaid. They are available in 02 forms:

  • European eSIM plans with data only
  • European eSIM plans with data, voice and texts

The data-only EU eSIM is more recommended for the average tourists to Europe because it still allows users to get Internet connection and stay in touch in Europe and does not cost much.

The data, voice, text EU eSIM plans are suitable for those who need to make analog calls/SMS with the eSIM. The plans often go with a certain amount of credits for calls and texts. 

IX. What to prepare for Europe eSIM installation and activation?

  • A carrier-unlocked, eSIM-equipped device
  • A stable internet connection
  • A QR code sent from your eSIM provider that is displayed on another screen or printed. Don’t worry if you cannot, you can use manual installation instead)

X. How to use eSIM in Europe – How to activate eSIM on Europe

Pro Tip: It is recommended to buy eSIM before you leave because you need Internet connection (data or wifi) to complete the installation process. One is before departure is ideal to save the longest validity of your eSIM plan.

Installing and activating an Europe eSIM card is easy. 

Just make sure that you prepare enough essential things before starting the process. Here is a pre-install checklist:

  • Make sure your phone is carrier-unlocked and eSIM-supported
  • Prepare a stable internet connection for smooth setup
  • Prepare the QR code and other needed information before installing

1. Install and activate Europe eSIM on iPhone

To ready your iPhone for eSIM activation in Europe:

  • Connect iPhone to a stable Wi-Fi network to ensure smooth downloading and installation.
  • Go to Settings > Cellular/Mobile data
  • Tap on Add a cellular plan to add eSIM
  • Use the phone’s camera to scan the QR code sent in your email by the eSIM provider
  • When the Cellular Plan Detection notification appears, tap Continue. After scanning, tap Add cellular plan again, wait 15-20 minutes to allow the eSIM to completely activate on your device.
  • Name your eSIM: Go to Cellular Settings > label the new eSIM with a personalized name like “Europe eSIM”
  • Choose Data Source: choose your newly installed eSIM your default mobile data option over the primary SIM. Toggle off the cellular data if necessary
  • Switch mobile data: enable this option to allow the switching function between physical SIMs and eSIMs.

2. Manual activation

  • Go to Settings > Mobile/Cellular section
  • Add eSIM > Enter details manually
  • Import the SM-DP+ Address and activation code for the eSIM
  • Tap Next

2. After Arriving in Europe

To activate your eSIM on Android in Europe:

  • Activate eSIM and data only: Turn ON the eSIM and Data roaming
  • Manual APN setup: manually set up the APN sent into your nail. 

You can now use calling, messaging with eSIM for Europe.

X. When to buy eSIM for Europe?

eSIM is an important item when traveling in Europe
eSIM is an important item when traveling in Europe

You can buy Europe eSIM anytime you want. Most eSIM plans can be set up within 30 – 90 days after placing an order. However, we recommend setting up your eSIM before your departure date, so it is ready to activate when you land at your European destination while still remaining the longest validity of your eSIM plan. 

Alternatively, you can install and activate it upon arrival but make sure that there is a stable internet connection. 

Don’t worry, all international airports in Europe have free WiFi. 

XI. Is there Unlimited data eSIM Europe?

Yes, Bouygues and Orange Europe offer so-called unlimited data for Europe travel. However, be noted that “unlimited data” is not as unlimited as it sounds. Usually, after a certain amount of data with the maximum speed, people can still use mobile data on their eSIM but with a restricted speed, not the maximum one. The speed is often throttled to 384kbps.

XIV. FAQs about eSIM for Europe

Are calls and SMS supported by the eSIM for Europe?

There are a few eSIMs for Europe that support calls, SMS, and even have a phone number. Depending on your individual needs, you can select the best eSIMs for your travel to Europe.

Does European eSIM plan come with a European phone number?

Some European prepaid eSIM plans have a phone number associated. Orange eSIMs come with a French phone number. A European phone number can be helpful for calling restaurants, hotels, Airbnb hosts, etc.

How Much Data do I Need When Traveling Europe?

The typical user uses 3GB of mobile data each week, according to studies, but your usage will likely differ.
If you use apps frequently, limit your use of social media, and stick to basic web browsing (or store your heavy usage for when you’re on wifi), it’s simple to keep your data usage around 1-2GB each week.

Can I share data between other devices by the Europe eSIM?

Most eSIM for Europe does not allow you to share data. However, you can find some plans that offer hotspot features to share your data with other devices. 

Can I use Europe eSIM on the tablet?

Absolutely, yes. All devices that support eSIM like iPads, Windows 10 PCs, the HP Spectre Folio, the Lenovo Yoga 630, etc… Check full eSIM compatible devices list.

XV. Final Words

A trip to Europe is the ideal opportunity to unwind while exploring different cultures, mouthwatering cuisine, and interesting history. The problems of exchanging SIM cards are lessened by eSIM for Europe technology, and it takes less time to locate actual mobile merchants abroad. Don’t waste a single minute of your planned trip to Europe because you undoubtedly spent a lot of money on it. Your journey to Europe will be one to remember—in a positive way—if you just select your own preferred eSIM provider.