Best eSIM For Travelling to Europe in 2023

Best eSIM For Travelling to Europe in 2023

Say goodbye to switching SIM cards!

eSIM technology for Europe offers you the opportunity to have connectivity without the hassle of getting a local SIM card at the destination. In addition, it’s perfect for long-haul flights for tourism or work purposes, or if you want to stay connected when you’re backpacking.

And since Europe is a fantastic place to visit, we have chosen the best eSIMs for traveling to Europe. So, in this article, we’re going to review the best eSIM options and other ways to get internet in Europe.

Also read: Best eSIM to Travel to the UK in 2023

What is an eSIM?

eSIM europe

Image credit: Priscilla Du Preez

In the first place, it’s a virtual SIM card similar to a physical SIM card that is already embedded in several compatible cell phones. These SIMs work through a QR code that you must scan with your cellphone for installation. In this way, you download the eSIM profile that holds the operator’s information. The eSIM providers for Europe that work with them, agree with the owners of the local networks of each country. Because of this, you can connect to the signal of a local operator of the destination country, without having to pay anything extra. 

Why is an eSIM necessary in Europe?

Certainly, the eSIM in Europe is key in the change of concept towards a new model of cellular internet connection during trips abroad that is already underway. Why? 

  • You avoid charges for international roaming with your domestic operator.
  • You don’t have to look for a store to buy a local SIM wherever you go.
  • Furthermore, you’ll have an internet connection as soon as you arrive at your destination, so you won’t be left without a connection.
  • Likewise, you can use a single eSIM to connect to the internet in multiple countries in Europe.
  • By buying an eSIM in your country, you won’t have to deal with the language barrier in the destination country.

As a matter of fact, in Europe, this is essential, as it is a way of ensuring sustainable and environmentally friendly cellular connectivity, as well as offering a better user experience. In some regions of the old continent, it is not so easy for tourists to get this service.

What cell phones are compatible with eSIM?

Image credit: Arnaud STECKLE

Since 2018, with the release of the iPhone XR and XS, all subsequent devices that Apple has released include the eSIM card technology. Among them are:  

  • iPhone 11, 12, 13, 14, this covers all versions, including the Mini and the iPhone SE 2020 and 2022. However, you must check the compatibility of your iPhone because in some countries it’s not included, as is the case in China.

Now, to date, Samsung has few models compatible with eSIM compared to the number of phones it has launched. Among those that include eSIM, we have:

  • Samsung Galaxy S20 onwards, Galaxy Fold onwards, Galaxy Note 20 onwards, and Galaxy Z Flip onwards. Although, it’s also indispensable that you check compatibility, especially if no operators in your country support eSIM.

For its part, Huawei cell phones that are compatible with virtual SIM cards are: 

  • Huawei P40, P40 Pro, Mate 40 Pro, and recent versions. 

As for Google Pixel, the versions compatible with eSIM are:

Google Pixel 3, 3a, Pixel 4, 4 XL, 4a, 5, and recent versions.

If we discuss the Oppo brand, you should keep in mind that the only versions compatible are:

  • Oppo Find X3 Pro and Oppo Reno 5A. Whereas, Oppo Find X5 Lite doesn’t support the eSIM. 

On the other hand, if you have a Motorola cellphone, the models compatible with the eSIM are:

  • Razr (2019 onwards) and Razr 5G (dual SIM).

There are other brands, that, although not very popular, are compatible with the virtual data eSIM card, such is the case of:

  • Nuu Movil X5, Gemini PDA, Rakuten Mini, Sony Xperia 10 III Lite, Sony Xperia 1 IV, Rakuten Big-S, Rakuten Big, Honor Magic 4 Pro.

It’s worth clarifying that these brands are not usually available in every country, and sometimes only support eSIM in some regions.

The best eSIM data plans for Europe

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With the launch of eSIM technology, different travel eSIM providers have entered the market, which come to compete with local European cellular operators. So, here we’re going to show you which are the best eSIM data plans for Europe. And for this, we will give you more details of the most important brands in the region such as Holafly, Orange and Vodafone.


Holafly is a Spanish company that offers travelers eSIM cards with cellular data. Indeed, it stands out for its simplicity in the purchase process and few requirements, except for having a cellphone compatible with the eSIM.

To buy it, go directly to this link, the Holafly eSIM for Europe. On the product page, select the number of days of your trip and complete the purchase process. As soon as you finish the process, you’ll receive the QR code in your email so that you can activate the eSIM on your cellphone or device.

Advantages of using a Holafly eSIM in Europe

  • Includes unlimited data in more than 32 European countries, encompassing Switzerland, the UK, and Turkey.
  • Their prices range from $19 USD for 5 days to $99 for three months.
  • In some European countries, it connects to 5G networks, which makes it one of the fastest connections.
  • It is cheaper than roaming with your domestic operator.
  • All plans include unlimited data.
  • It’s easy to buy, install and use.
  • You keep your WhatsApp number.
  • You don’t need to show documents to buy an eSIM.
  • Offers 24-hour technical support in English.

Features not included in the Holafly eSIM

  • Most Holafly eSIM plans don’t include a cellphone number, they only offer internet. To make calls, you can use apps like WhatsApp or Skype.
  • The virtual card with unlimited data doesn’t allow connection sharing.


Orange is a French company that offers telephone services, internet connection, and television and has the eSIM service. 

To buy it, you must register with Orange by entering your data. Thereafter, you proceed with the purchase and installation of the eSIM.

Advantages of using an Orange eSIM in Europe

  • It allows you to share the internet of your cellphone with other computers.
  • Offers plans from $20 with data limited to 8 GB.
  • Includes French cellphone number.

Considerations to consider the Orange eSIM for Europe

  • You only have data packages for 14 days.
  • It’s essential to register your data to comply with French law.
  • It doesn’t offer online customer service for you to resolve doubts before the purchase. You must make inquiries through a form, which can take days to give you an answer.

Note: If you are a frequent traveller, read our article about prepaid eSIM data plans in the USA.


Vodafone is a British group and telecommunications company. It’s one of the most important in the region. However, despite being one of the largest telecommunications companies in Europe, it doesn’t stand out in eSIMs for international travelers.

This means that you’ll be able to activate and use a Vodafone UK eSIM if you’re a paying monthly customer.

Advantages of using a Vodafone eSIM in Europe

  • Can be bought online, unlike other UK companies.
  • The customer can buy the same plans as with the SIM.
  • Gives you 5G coverage where available.

Details to consider of the Vodafone eSIM for Europe

  • It’s only available for Pay Monthly clients, that is, it doesn’t work on Pay As You Go clients.

How to activate an eSIM in Europe

Image credit: Joss Woodhead

Now, we’re going to explain the steps you must follow to activate an eSIM in Europe, whether you have an iPhone or an Android device.

Apple iPhone

In Holafly, the steps to follow are the following: go to Settings> Mobile data> Add new plan. When the camera turns on, you scan the QR code and wait until the installation process is finished. Now, select the plan > turn on Mobile data > turn on Data roaming.

For Orange, the process is as follows: Go to Settings> Mobile data> Add mobile data plan. Now, point the camera lens at the QR code > configure mobile data settings > set eSIM as the primary line > and add a PIN.


If you buy an eSIM from Holafly or Orange, this is what you should do: You receive the QR code on your email > go to Settings > go to Connections or Internet networks > SIM card manager > Add new mobile/cellular plan. Wait for the camera to turn on, scan the QR code > choose eSIM as default > and turn on Mobile/Cellular data roaming.

Comparison of eSIM for Europe and other alternatives

Some cell phones are incompatible with the eSIM for Europe, so it’s good that you know other alternatives so that you can connect to the internet. If you haven’t made the final purchase decision yet, this comparison of the eSIM for Europe will help you have a better idea.

eSIM vs. Prepaid SIM card for Europe

The eSIM is a virtual chip that is activated through a code and not inserted in the cellphone, while the SIM card does require to be inserted in the cellphone’s chip slot. 

The eSIM can’t be used for voice services, but only for cellular data. Instead, the SIM card is a physical card, it can include call service and text messaging. 

eSIM for Europe vs. Data roaming

The eSIM for Europe allows you to use cellular data overseas without having to pay anything to your local operator. For its part, data roaming is the international connection service of the operators, in general, the cost of the latter is quite high.

Pocket WiFi vs. eSIM for Europe

An eSIM is a digital card that is embedded in a cellular device. It’s not a physical card, and therefore, you can use it on your cellphone or device, just by scanning a QR code.

On the other hand, a Pocket WiFi is a portable router that can connect to the internet through the routers wireless signal. In other words, it’s an additional device that you will have to carry in your backpack.

How much cellular data do you need to travel to Europe?

The amount of cellular data you need to travel to Europe depends on your regular consumption. For example, if you’re going to use at least 3 apps per day for 2 hours, you’ll need a plan greater than 150 MB per day. While, if you’re one of those who consume streaming content and love social media, the estimate is 3.5 GB for a plan of approximately 15 days.

With Holafly, you won’t have to worry about wondering how much data you require since they are unlimited, and you only need to choose the number of days of your trip.

Which operators are compatible with eSIM in Europe?

eSIM technology in Europe has entered with a big push. For this reason, it is already being said that it would be part of the new generations of cellphones. That’s why there are several operators compatible with the eSIM for Europe.

However, if you are a traveler, most of these companies will likely ask you to be a subscription customer. Therefore, it’ll be much more convenient for you to buy a Holafly eSIM for travel from the comfort of your home.

Here is a list of telephone companies in Europe that already have eSIM enabled for their customers:

  • A1
  • Bouygues Telecom
  • EE
  • Magenta
  • Magyar Telekom
  • O2
  • Orange
  • POST
  • SFR
  • Sunrise
  • Swisscom 
  • Telekom
  • T-Mobile
  • Telia
  • TIM
  • Tango Mobile
  • Turk Telekom
  • Vivacom
  • Vodafone

Does The UK have eSIM available for internet in Europe?

Yes, although it’s only enabled for clients who participated in the initial tech trials. Therefore, if you’re interested in a UK eSIM, and you are not part of this group, you will have to wait for them to officially launch.

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