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Best eSIM providers and plans for Europe 2024

eSIM cards have been revolutionizing the way we stay connected, particularly in Europe. Embedded directly into devices, these virtual SIMs, or simply eSIMs, put an end to needing physical SIMs.

If you’re traveling through Europe, there are many advantages of having an eSIM – global roaming, the flexibility to switch between local plans effortlessly, and no need to fumble with physical SIM cards. Mobile data has become vital as digital train tickets, Google Maps, concert passes, and restaurant menus rely on it. However, with so many eSIM providers available, selecting the right one can be daunting.

For this article, we explored and tested many eSIM providers to guide you towards an informed decision. Read on to ensure your European adventures stay connected with the best eSIM provider and plan in Europe.

Top 5 best eSIM providers for Europe

What to consider when choosing eSIM for traveling in Europe?

When selecting an eSIM for Europe, several crucial things should be considered:

  • Country or region coverage. Firstly, you need to check if an eSIM is available in the country within Europe you’re traveling to. All the providers we covered in our list are available in most European countries and globally.
  • Data and call requirements. Determine if you require both calling and data or just internet access. Providers vary in the services they offer, some solely providing data, while others include phone numbers for calls and SMS or only allow receiving calls and SMS. Also, think about your data needs and choose between fixed plans, pay-as-you-go, or top-up options for additional data.
  • Plan validity period. Consider the duration of your stay abroad in Europe and select an eSIM with a validity period that aligns with your travel timeframe. Accordingly, you can choose eSIM plans for different timeframes (3, 7, 15, 30 days, or similar).
  • Price. Compare prices from different providers to find the most cost-effective eSIM for your online time in Europe.

The best eSIMs for Europe travel – detailed list

We tested numerous eSIM providers and created a list of the best ones. To determine the best picks, we looked at factors like regional plans, network coverage, activation process, pricing, customer support, and other features. Read more below:

1. Saily – best eSIM for Europe in 2024

Saily esim banner
Supports 5G networks:
Starting price:
Yes (37 countries)
Current deal:Get Saily today!

Saily is the best eSIM for Europe in 2024, standing out for its comprehensive coverage and affordability. Designed by the creators of NordVPN, this quickly expanding eSIM application provides cellular data plans in a whopping 150+ countries.

Saily provides 7-day and 30-day options, with up to 10GB of data. This is ideal for those who desire flexibility in their data usage while traveling in Europe. The 7-day plan has a generous 1GB of data, perfect for light users. For more extended stays, the 30-day plans range from 3GB to 10GB.

Activating Saily is a straightforward process. Simply download the app, choose your plan, and you're ready to surf the internet. There's no need for physical SIM cards or tedious contracts.

In terms of cost, Saily is very economical. Prices start at $2.99 for 1GB of data for 7 days, depending on the country. This makes Saily an attractive option for budget-conscious travelers. Moreover, the data speed doesn't disappoint either, ensuring smooth 4G/LTE connectivity.

In a nutshell, Saily is a reliable, affordable, and comprehensive eSIM solution for anyone traveling to Europe. With flexible plans, easy activation, and extensive coverage, it covers all the bases for a hassle-free connectivity solution abroad.

2. Airalo – cost-effective eSIM provider for Europe

Airalo banner
Supports 5G networks:
Starting price:
Coverage in Europe:
Yes (39 countries)

A worthy alternative to Saily for European travel in 2024 is Airalo. This provider offers European coverage and eSIMs for over 39 countries across the region.

You can choose from regional plans spanning the entire Europe or specific sub-regions like Eastern or Northern Europe for targeted savings. Airalo offers data-only options, meaning you won’t get a phone number assigned and won’t be able to make calls unless via VoIP. There are prepaid plans that eliminate contracts, and the top-up option lets you get more data if needed.

Activation is a breeze – you just need to download the Airalo app, scan a QR code, and connect within minutes. Payment options are plentiful, and support is excellent, readily available via chat, email, or with informative troubleshooting guides.

Airalo prices for Europe start at just $4.50 for 1GB and the plan lasts up to 7 days. It covers 39 countries in Europe. Alternatively, you can choose a plan for a specific country. Airalo doesn't hold back on network speeds either, ensuring reliable 4G/LTE connectivity and, increasingly, 5G coverage in major European cities.

3. Nomad – easy-to-use eSIM for Europe with great network coverage

Nomad banner
Supports 5G networks:
Starting price:
Coverage in Europe:
Yes (35 countries)

Nomad is another easy-to-use eSIM for Europe with great network coverage – it’s available in 35 countries within the European region.

This eSIM provider offers flexible plan options ranging from regional options focused on European plans for the borderless experience. Nomad offers short-term eSIMs to keep you covered (1GB for 7 days). Planning an extended adventure? Opt for longer-term plans with generous data allowances (20GB for 30 days).

Nomad, same as Airalo, doesn’t come with a number, so no call and text service will be available. However, if you run out of your data plan, you can use the add-on option and top up the internet. Most Noman data plans in Europe are expected to have 3G or 4G speed. They also support 5G speed in several countries.

Now activation-wise, you receive instructions to install the eSIM through your phone’s settings and activate your plan when you want to start using data. You can follow the in-app instructions or refer to the eSIM troubleshooting guide if you encounter any problems.

Start using Nomad for $4.00 for 1GB that lasts up to 7 days. This plan covers 35 countries in Europe, so wherever you travel – you can stay connected.

4. JetPac – ultra-fast eSIM for Europe travels

JetPac banner
Supports 5G networks:
Starting price:
$1/4 days
Coverage in Europe:
Yes (28 countries)

Aside from its local plans, JetPac has a broad range of regional eSIM deals. One of the most popular regions is Europe, where JetPac covers 28 countries.

JetPac has coverage in 100+ countries around the globe. However, you can also pick some of its regional plans, such as the European offer. More precisely, there are 28 countries that are part of this deal, meaning you can use the same eSIM for all of them.

When it comes to the installation, you have nothing to worry about! You will have your European JetPac eSIM in the blink of an eye. In other words, you need to select the plan length and data allowance that suit your needs and install it on your device.

There are 8 European plans that you can choose from. Currently, the most affordable one is the 1GB deal, which costs only $1. However, you can always go for some of the longer plans with more data allowance.

5. aloSIM – flexible eSIM for Europe with easy installation and activation

aloSIM banner
Supports 5G networks:
Starting price:
Coverage in Europe:
Yes (34 countries)

Very similar to its contenders but a worthy eSIM for Europe is aloSIM. It’s a flexible option available in 34 countries in Europe.

You can select a regional (Europe) plan with aloSIM and use the selected plan in all those countries while traveling. It’s also available worldwide, just so you know. Unfortunately, aloSIM comes with data-only plans, too, so you won’t be able to get a phone number and make calls. You can simply use WhatsApp or other VoIP to receive and make calls.

aloSIM guarantees great speeds, including LTE and 5G, but your connection speed may vary depending on your exact location. You can check all the local networks available while choosing the plan.

Purchasing and setting up aloSIM takes just a few minutes. After the purchase, you can install an app on your iOS or Android device or set it up manually. We tested it – the app is simple to navigate and all the features you need are easy to find.

aloSIM pricing starts at $4.50 for 1GB to use within 7 days. You can add more data whenever you need it.

6. Instabridge – fast and secure eSIM for Europe

Instabridge banner
Supports 5G networks:
Starting price:
Coverage in Europe:
Yes (34 countries)

Instabridge provides fast access to the internet and is one of the fastest eSIMs for Europe. It’s available in 34 countries in Europe and worldwide as well.

You can get quick access to plans by selecting a specific country or a whole region of Europe – the price is going to depend on it. Unlike other providers, Instabridge provides long-term plans (up to 1 year) if you’re staying in one country. If you run out of data, you can go with the pay-as-you-go option.

Instabridge stands out by being available to use on up to 10 devices without any extra cost. Speaking of, it has more extras like no other eSIM for Europe. For example, a map of free Wi-Fi hotspots, a VPN, or a data-saving browser.

The app is intuitive and functional (iOS and Android). Select the country you’re traveling to and choose the preferred data. Then, select the duration – 7 days, 15 days, or 30 days. After you make the payment, you can enjoy the internet.

Get an Instabridge regional package for Europe for only $3. This starting plan lasts for 7 days and gives you 1GB of data.

7. BNESIM – cheap eSIM for Europe with additional perks

BNESIM banner
Supports 5G networks:
Starting price:
Coverage in Europe:
Yes (30 countries)

BNESIM is one of the most affordable eSIM providers for Europe. It has less coverage than providers like Airalo or Nomad, only 30 countries in Europe, but is one of the cheapest options out there.

You can select a local plan from 170+ countries or opt for a regional plan for Europe. This plan is data-only and doesn’t include a phone number. If you’re outside Europe, BNESIM offers more inclusive deals with additional services.

What’s worth mentioning, BNESIM has the Infinity plan with unlimited internet for 30 days – this is something unique that other providers lack. It also has different bundle deals, so you can choose the package that fits your needs in Europe.

You can set up BNESIM eSIM almost instantly, as it takes only a few steps. Additionally, no identification is required, so it makes the process smooth sailing. You can activate the eSIM on the app. It’s user-friendly and even has features like data tracking, 24/7 support, and more. BNE eSIM is compatible with 3G, 4G, and 5G networks.

The cheapest BNESIM plan in Europe starts at $.0.98 for 1GB, and you can use it within 30 days. Alternatively, opt for 3GB for $7.64 and use it within 30 days, or choose your custom deal.

Does my phone support eSIM?

Not all phones have built-in eSIM compatibility. Determining if your phone supports eSIM involves checking its specs and settings:

  • iPhone phones. To check eSIM compatibility on your iPhone, navigate to Settings > General > About, and scroll down to Available SIM. If this option is available together with a 15-digit IMEI number, your iPhone supports eSIM. It’s available on newer models such as iPhone XR, XS, 11, 12, and up. Alternatively, consult your device's user manual or visit the manufacturer's website to verify eSIM capability.
  • Android phones. The process varies slightly among manufacturers and models. Generally, you need to head to Settings, select Network & Internet or a similar option, and look for a SIM card or Mobile network. If you find an option for adding a new SIM or mobile plan, your Android phone likely supports eSIM. Additionally, check the device specifications on the manufacturer's website or refer to the user manual for explicit information about eSIM support.

Generally, Android phones from various manufacturers, including Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy, and others, have been incorporating eSIM support in recent models. Always ensure your phone's operating system is up to date to access the latest features and eSIM capabilities.

Can I use my domestic mobile provider's international data plan?

Yes, you can use your domestic mobile provider's international data plan and it can be convenient, but it often comes with drawbacks. Roaming data can be expensive and slow, making it less favorable for travelers. In contrast, eSIM providers collaborate with local mobile networks, ensuring faster and more reliable speeds during international use.

To give you an example, US domestic mobile providers like AT&T and Verizon offer international plans with fixed costs. For instance, AT&T's International Pass charges $10 per day for international calling and data. Verizon provides a monthly international plan for $100, offering unlimited data with potential slowdowns after 20GB.

As luck would have it, eSIMs offer more flexibility in terms of duration and data allocation. This adaptability makes eSIMs a flexible choice for international travelers looking for cost-effectiveness and connectivity. When comparing prices, eSIM plans often outshine the fixed offerings of domestic mobile providers.

Things to know about using an eSIM card for Europe

An eSIM card is your digital passport to connectivity without borders across Europe. Let’s look up 5 essential tips that'll make your eSIM experience smooth, from compatibility checks to activation tricks and calls.

  1. Unlock your phone. Locked phones are tied to specific carriers, restricting the use of eSIM cards, so check before you leap.
  2. Check eSIM compatibility. Not all phones support eSIM. Ensure your model is new enough and supports this technology before buying an eSIM plan.
  3. Calling and numbers. Not all eSIM plans include calling or providing a local number. Some offer data-only options, while others provide a number for receiving calls and texts only. Choose the plan that fits your needs.
  4. eSIM card activation. Activate your eSIM wisely – some plans begin validity upon installation, while others start when connecting to a European network. Don't waste data days by activating too early. Most eSIMs also have a limited activation window, typically 1-3 months, so don't let it expire.
  5. Roaming. Deactivate roaming on your domestic SIM to avoid unwanted charges. Your eSIM will handle all your European connectivity needs.

Bonus tip: Activation methods vary. Scan a QR code, use a dedicated app, or follow SMS instructions. Each provider has its own process, so follow their guide closely.

Final thoughts

Long story short, the eSIM card – an evolution of the physical SIM card – is a modern and cost-effective option if you’re traveling within Europe or internationally.

There are a number of eSIM providers to choose from, but we found that the best eSIM for travel in Europe is Saily. It has proved reliable with short and long-term plans not only within Europe but globally as well. In fact, this eSIM provider covers 150+ countries. It’s easy to set up and use on the go with a modern app.

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