Need mobile data in Europe for your travels? This guide details the best Europe SIM card options, as well as eSIM as an alternative from major providers for various countries on the continent. Find information on purchasing plans, delivery times, activation requirements, and more for staying connected affordably while abroad next year.


I. European SIM card with free EU data roaming

Europe Free Roaming
Europe Free Data Roaming

Using a European SIM card allows you to use free data roaming within the European Union.  With a SIM from any EU country, you can use your regular data allowance while traveling in other EU nations. This applies to both making calls and using mobile internet on your phone. There are no extra costs beyond what you’d usually pay at home.

The free roaming policy makes staying connected while exploring multiple countries on a single trip much more affordable. A European SIM is a convenient way to access maps, translations, and more throughout your travels without unexpectedly high bills. Just be sure to purchase your SIM from an EU country to qualify for roaming privileges under the fair use rules.

II. Why choose a prepaid European SIM card for Europe over roaming?

You may wonder, do I need a different SIM card when traveling to Europe? Often a prepaid European SIM card provides the easiest solution. You get one SIM that works across Europe with no extra charges. A prepaid European SIM card provides significant savings and benefits over roaming:

  • Affordable rates for calls, texts, and data across Europe without roaming charges.
  • No hassle of changing SIM cards in each country you visit.
  • Often includes a minimum data allowance along with the ability to top up as needed during your trip.
  • Useful for travelers who visit multiple countries in one trip and want consistent connectivity throughout Europe.

However, if staying in just one or two countries for an extended period, a local SIM from that country may work out cheaper. In some countries where data is especially cheap, like Spain or Portugal, it may prove more economical to purchase a local SIM card once you arrive. A European SIM is best for multi-country trips where you need coverage across borders without changing SIMs.

III. Europe SIM card type – Which is the best for tourists?

For tourists to Europe, pocket Wi-Fi offers offline freedom but can be pricey and bulky. Roaming is convenient but expensive. Free Wi-Fi is unreliable and often limited. Prepaid European SIM cards and Europe eSIMs offer the best balance of affordability, flexibility, and connectivity. Prepaid SIMs are readily available but require ejecting your existing SIM, while eSIMs are digital and activate instantly, making them the ideal choice for most tourists. 

1. Prepaid Europe SIM card

European SIM Card
European SIM Card

Stay connected across multiple European countries without breaking the bank with a handy prepaid SIM card. Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons:


  • Cost-effective: Avoid expensive roaming charges and choose from flexible data plans.
  • Wide coverage: Stay connected in various European countries with a single SIM.
  • Easy setup: Purchase and activate online or upon arrival, often within minutes.
  • Flexibility: Share data with other devices or top-up as needed during your trip.


  • Limited availability: Not all retailers offer international SIMs, especially in smaller towns.
  • Potential compatibility issues: Ensure your phone supports the SIM format used in Europe (usually nano-SIM).
  • Slightly higher upfront cost: Compared to local SIMs, international options might be a tad pricier.

Overall, European SIM cards are a fantastic option for Europe-bound travelers seeking affordability, flexibility, and worry-free connectivity.

2. Prepaid eSIM for Europe

Skip the airport scramble for a SIM card and unlock Europe’s connectivity with Europe eSIM, your super-easy gateway to seamless data across borders. These downloadable “virtual SIM cards” are embedded directly into your smartphone, offering a seamless and convenient way to stay connected across borders.


  • Super quick and easy: Buy and activate your eSIM anywhere, anytime. No more waiting in line!
  • Save some cash: Avoid expensive roaming charges and choose a plan that’s just right for you.
  • One card, many countries: Stay connected across different European countries with a single eSIM.
  • Change your plan on the fly: Top up your data or switch plans easily through your provider’s app or website.
  • Go green: Reduce plastic waste from physical SIM cards.


  • Compatibility: Not all phones support eSIM yet, especially older models. Check if your phone can handle it before you travel.
  • Limited Features: Some eSIM plans might include something other than local phone numbers or voice calling capabilities.

Ready to ditch the stress and embrace seamless European connectivity? Visit today and unlock your adventure.

Important Note: To use eSIM, make sure your cell phone is:

  • Unlocked: to receive signals from mobile network operators
  • eSIM-compatible: Just new models of cell phones can support eSIM. See a full list of Europe eSIM-supported devices.

IV. How much does a Europe prepaid tourist SIM card/eSIM cost?

The cost of a prepaid tourist Europe SIM card or eSIM varies depending on the amount of data, calls, and texts you need, as well as the provider and plan you choose. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from US$10 to US$100 or more for a prepaid SIM card or eSIM that will provide you with enough coverage for your trip.

1. Orange Holiday Europe SIM/eSIM

Orange Holiday SIM Card/eSIM
Orange Holiday SIM Card/eSIM

Orange Holiday Europe SIM/eSIM is a popular choice for tourists visiting Europe. They offer a variety of data plans, from 1GB to 50GB of data, all with calls and texts within 50+ countries and regions in Europe. The price is between $5 and $50, depending on the data plan.

Plan Price (USD) Data Validity Calling & Texting
Orange Holiday Europe SIM/eSIM ~$5 1GB in 4G/LTE 7 days Not included
~$21 12GB in 4G/LTE 14 days 30 mins + 200 texts
~$43 30GB in 4G/LTE 14 days 120 mins + 1000 texts
~$54 50GB in 5G/LTE 28 days 120 mins + 1000 texts

2. Bouygues My European SIM/eSIM

Bouygues My European SIM/eSIM
Bouygues My European SIM/eSIM

The Bouygues My European SIM/eSIM is a prepaid tourist SIM card/eSIM that offers 15-30GB of data, unlimited calls, and SMS within Europe, valid for 15-30 days with a price range from US$20 – US$40.

Bouygues My European SIM/eSIM

Plan Price (USD) Data Validity Calling & Texting
Bouygues My European SIM/eSIM ~$21 15GB 15 days -
~$24 15GB 15 days Unlimited calls in France and in Europe
~$43 30GB 30 days Unlimited calls in France and in Europe

Note: You need to activate your prepaid Bouygues MY EUROPEAN SIM card for the first time while in France.

3. Three Pay As You Go Plan Data Pack

Three offers a range of Three Pay As You Go SIM cards for travelers to Europe. The price of a SIM card will vary depending on the amount of data, calls, and texts you need. However, you can expect to pay between US$10 and US$40 for a SIM card with a reasonable amount of data.

Three Pay As You Go Data Pack

Plan Price (USD) Data Validity Calling & Texting
Three Pay As You Go Data Pack ~$11 10GB 1 month Unlimited
~$16 60GB 1 month Unlimited
~$21 120GB 1 month Unlimited
~$38 Unlimited 1 month Unlimited

4. T-Mobile Go5G International Plan

T-Mobile Go5G International Plan

T-Mobile also offers T-Mobile international roaming plans. These plans typically include unlimited calling and texting, and a certain amount of data in Europe and other destinations. Data rates for T-Mobile’s international plans are as follows:

Plan Price (USD) Data Validity Calling & Texting Additional
T-Mobile Go5G Essential 60 50GB in 5G/4G/LTE 1 month Unlimited -
T-Mobile Go5G Plus 90 Unlimited 1 month Unlimited In-flight connection Unlimited data in 215+ countries & destinations
T-Mobile Go5G Next 100 Unlimited 1 month Unlimited In-flight connection Unlimited data in 215+ countries & destinationsUnlimited data in Canada & Mexico

5. Vodafone Travel Europe eSIM

Vodafone Travel Europe eSIM
Vodafone Travel Europe eSIM

The Vodafone Travel Europe eSIM is a good option for travelers who need a simple and affordable way to stay connected while traveling in Europe. The Vodafone Travel Europe eSIM is a data-only eSIM that can be used in over 45 countries across Europe, and only for American and Canadian residents. The price of the eSIM starts at €12 (~US$13) for 5GB of data, and you can add more data as needed.

Plan Price (USD) Data Validity Calling & Texting
Vodafone Travel Europe eSIM ~$13 5GB 10 days -
~$25 10GB 15 days -
~$38 20GB 30 days -

Overall, Bouygues and Orange would be good mid-tier options that balance cost and data allowance. T-Mobile is best if your budget allows for unlimited data usage. Three data packs are very cost-effective for light data use only. Consider your typical data needs and which countries you’re visiting the most.

V. Europe-eSIM – Alternative to SIM card with data and calls for Europe

Europe eSIM
Europe eSIM

A Europe eSIM is an eSIM that is designed to work in Europe. It typically includes data and calls, and you can use it in over 30 European countries. This means that you can stay connected with your friends and family back home without having to worry about expensive roaming charges.

Here are some of the benefits of using a Europe eSIM:

  • Convenience. You can purchase and activate your Europe eSIM online or at an airport kiosk. You don’t need to wait in line to buy a physical SIM card.
  • Environmentally friendly. eSIMs don’t require any plastic or paper, which makes them a more sustainable option.
  • Wide coverage. Europe eSIMs often offer coverage in more countries than physical SIM cards.
  • Easy to use. You can activate and manage your Europe eSIM through your phone’s settings.
  • No roaming fees. With a Europe-eSIM, you can use your data and calls in all of the countries covered by the plan without paying roaming fees.

Overall, a Europe eSIM is a convenient and affordable way to stay connected while traveling in Europe. It is a good option for travelers who want to avoid having to swap out physical SIM cards. Just check your device support and purchase from a reputable European carrier.

No more waiting around airport shops or worrying about coverage – with‘s nationwide 4G/5G networks, you’ll have reliable connectivity wherever you are.

Packages start from just $5 for 3 days, with data allowances from 1-50GB. Once your trip is over, simply deactivate – no leftovers or contracts. Don’t let connectivity concerns ruin your vacation. Explore‘s offerings and get your eSIM plan today.

VI. Buying a prepaid SIM card in Europe – Where to buy?

There are many places to buy a prepaid SIM card in Europe. Here are 3 popular options:

1. Online 

This is a convenient option if you want to have your SIM card ready before you travel. You only need to ensure that your phone is compatible (GSM unlocked) and know your preferred data usage. There are several popular online retailers for prepaid SIM cards in Europe such as SimOptions, Amazon, eBay, and TravelSIM.

  • Price: Data package prices vary between €10-€30, plus costs for talk and text. It depends on the provider and plan. Cheaper than airport options, but shipping costs may apply.
  • Pros: Convenient, wide selection, compare prices in advance.
  • Cons: Delivery time, possible activation issues upon arrival.

Bonus Tip: Check if your phone is eSIM compatible! This allows downloading virtual SIM cards directly, eliminating the need for a physical card.

2. Airport

If you need to get a SIM card as soon as you arrive in Europe, buying one from 7-Eleven, Relay, or major mobile carrier kiosks is the easiest option. However, keep in mind that airport SIM cards are usually more expensive than the ones you can buy online or in physical stores. Don’t forget to bring your passport or a valid photo ID, as most retailers require it for SIM card activation.

  • Price: Expect higher prices compared to online and physical stores.
  • Pros: Instant activation, no pre-planning needed.
  • Cons: Expensive, limited selection, potentially crowded, and stressful.
Vodafone Store at the Prague Airport
Vodafone Store at the Prague Airport

3. Physical Stores

Orange Store in Paris
Orange Store in Paris

If you want to compare prices and plans or get support in person, purchasing a SIM card can be a good option. However, it’s important to research available providers and plans in your destination country beforehand. You can find SIM cards at various stores, including carrier-specific stores, convenience stores, supermarkets, and gas stations.

  • Price: Moderately priced, often cheaper than airport options.
  • Pros: Good selection, compare prices, ask questions, get help with activation.
  • Cons: Requires research and time, may not be available in all locations.

Recommendation: For maximum convenience and peace of mind, purchasing your SIM card online before your trip is the way to go. Not only will you avoid airport queues and inflated prices, but you’ll also have ample time to research and choose the perfect plan for your needs.

Important Note: While the EU has a free data roaming policy, travelers should ensure their European data plan includes it. Plans from Western countries like the UK, France, Netherlands, and Scandinavia generally provide free EU-wide roaming. However, some prepaid SIMs from Eastern Europe may limit free roaming between countries. So when getting a SIM card after arriving, always ask if it has unlimited roaming in the EU.

VII. Do European plans come with a European phone number?

The answer is yes, mobile plans in Europe usually provide a local number. You’ll get a number from that location when activating service in an EU country. This means calls and texts within Europe are like domestic use, not pricier international rates. Keeping in touch with folks back home or locals is affordable.

Websites with eSIM plans for travel offer this phone number benefit too. Whether a data-only package or one with calls/messages, a European number allows smooth mobile use across the EU.

Europe eSIM Data and Calls plan is perfect for travelers. Get 12-50GB of data plus free calls/texts in Europe, all on a fast network that spans 50 countries. Order your digital eSIM online from $21 for hassle-free communication during your European adventure. Check out the Europe eSIM plan options below:

14 Days
14 Days
28 Days

VIII. How to use a European SIM card

Using a European SIM card can be pretty straightforward. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Check your phone: Ensure it’s unlocked or European.
  2. Buy a SIM: At airports, carrier stores, or online (eSIM). Register SIM if required (passport/address).
  3. Insert & activate: Follow the instructions, and add credit/plan.
  4. Restart the phone: The Network should connect automatically.
  5. Enjoy! Make calls, text, and use data in Europe.

IX. How much mobile data do you need when traveling Europe?

The amount of mobile data you need when traveling in Europe depends on several factors. Here is a concise recommendation for mobile data when traveling Europe:

  • Light users: If you’re a light data user who only plans to use your phone for basic tasks, 1GB-3GB of data per week should be enough.
  • Moderate users: If you’re a moderate data user who plans to use your phone for some streaming and GPS navigation, 3GB-6GB of data per week should be enough.
  • Heavy users: If you’re a heavy data user who plans to do a lot of streaming and video calling, 5GB or more of data per week will be necessary.

Purchase a local SIM card or arrange an international plan through your provider before traveling for affordable rates. WiFi-only tablets save data.

X. Best mobile operators in Europe 

Europe’s vast mobile landscape boasts numerous operators, but Deutsche Telekom shines brightest with its comprehensive network reach.

Operator Network Coverage Pros Cons
Vodafone Extensive coverage, strong in Northern, Central, and Southern Europe Wide roaming options, good data speeds Slightly higher prices in some regions
Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile) Widest in Europe, strong 5G presence Reliable network, affordable plans Limited roaming options outside Europe
Orange Reliable network, strong in France & Southern Europe  Extensive 5G network, good customer service Higher roaming costs outside affiliated networks
Three Affordable data plans, decent coverage in major cities Competitive pricing, flexible plans Limited network coverage in rural areas
Telefónica (O2, Movistar, Vivo, etc) Strong in the UK, Germany, the Czech Republic, Spain & Portugal, with decent coverage elsewhere Diverse plans, good family options Network performance can vary in certain regions

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a reliable mobile network in Europe, operators like Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, and Orange are great options as they have comprehensive networks across multiple large European markets, thanks to their large scales of operation and investments. However, national players can also provide strong connectivity within their country.

Note: The "best" mobile operator depends on your individual needs and travel plans. Consider factors like data usage, budget, and specific countries you'll visit to make the best choice for your European adventure.

XI. Tips on using prepaid SIM cards in Europe

Savvy travelers ditch the roaming charges and embrace local prepaid SIM cards for a truly connected European adventure. But navigating the options can be daunting, especially for first-timers. Here’s a concise rundown of essential tips to ensure smooth sailing with your European SIM card:

  • eSIM vs. Physical SIM: Consider an eSIM for convenience (downloadable online) if your phone supports it. Otherwise, grab a physical SIM at airports, kiosks, or carrier stores upon arrival. 
  • Shop Around: Compare data, call, and text allowances, validity periods, and top-up options before buying. Tourist-oriented packages might not be the best deal.
  • Unlock Your Phone: Ensure your phone is unlocked for international use before you leave home. Most carriers offer unlocking services.
  • Mind the Size: SIM cards come in micro, nano, and standard sizes. Check your phone’s compatibility and request the right one.
  • Activate & Top-Up: Follow the instructions to activate your SIM card right away and top-up credit as needed. Many kiosks and stores offer top-up options.
  • Download Essentials: Before landing, download offline maps, translation apps, currency converter, and essential contact information to avoid data charges.
  • Use Wi-Fi When Possible: Utilize free Wi-Fi at cafes, hotels, and public areas to conserve mobile data, especially for video streaming or downloads.
  • Control Data Usage: Monitor your data usage and switch off mobile data when not actively using it to avoid unexpected charges.


1. Can I use my mobile data plan when traveling to Europe?

It depends. For EU countries, roaming charges are gone, use your current plan. For non-EU, check with your carrier for roaming options. Most US carriers offer discounted roaming, and a pass will likely cost less than pay-as-you-go roaming. 

2. Why buy a data plan before traveling to Europe?

Even with free EU roaming, buying a Europe data plan can provide more data, offer better coverage in rural spots, and avoid data usage surprises from your home plan.

3. Should You Get A Physical SIM card Or eSIM for Europe?

eSIM preferred! Convenient, saves hassle, and often offers flexible travel plans. But check compatibility and local eSIM availability. Physical SIM works with older devices, but swapping is a pain. Choose based on your priorities.

4. What countries in Europe support eSIM?

All EU countries and most non-EU countries in Europe support eSIM, except a few like Belarus and Moldova. Switzerland and the UK might require specific eSIM plans. ️

5. Is there a SIM card for Europe and the UK?

Yes, there are many SIM cards available for Europe and the UK, offering various data packages, call and text allowances, and validity periods. Some popular options are Vodafone EuroTraveller, Orange Holiday Europe, Three UK, etc.

6. Is there a SIM card for Europe & Spain?

Yes, many SIM cards work in both Europe and Spain. You can choose between physical SIM cards or eSIMs depending on your preference. Here are a few popular options: Orange Holiday Europe, Three UK SIM, Vodafone Travel eSIM Europe,, etc.

7. Is there a SIM card for Europe & Turkey?

Yes, SIM cards are designed for use in multiple European countries including Turkey such as Orange Holiday Europe SIM, T-Mobile International Plans, etc. These multi-country SIM cards allow you to use your mobile data, call, and text across many European nations and Turkey on a single SIM.

8. Is there a SIM card that works in all of Europe?

Yes, there are SIM cards that work throughout the entire European Union. Certain UK and global SIMs provide calls, texts, and data in all EU/EEA countries without roaming fees.

9. Is there a SIM card for Europe with unlimited data?

It can be challenging to find true unlimited data SIM cards, but some offer high data caps for use across multiple European countries. Three PAYG Data Pack is an option for unlimited data. 

10. Is there a SIM card for Europe travel from the USA?

Yes, there are SIM options from the US that work in Europe, but a local European prepaid SIM purchased upon arrival may provide the best value.

XIII. Final Words 

In summary, investing in a European SIM card is key for affordable cellular access abroad. Be sure to research providers and plans based on your destinations. If your device supports eSIM technology, consider purchasing an eSIM plan that activates immediately without a physical card. Having a working European SIM/eSIM will help you navigate destinations and stay in touch more easily during your travels.