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Top 7 Best eSIM for UK in 2024

If you are traveling to the UK, the best eSIM to use comes from Holafly. Get to know everything it offers and how to get one!

Julio Osuna

July 3, 2024

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Traveling to the United Kingdom soon? You’ll probably want internet coverage while you’re there, and using an eSIM is arguably your best option. Most of the time, an eSIM will be the most budget-friendly and the most convenient option whenever you’re traveling.

But choosing an eSIM provider isn’t easy, as there are dozens of different options for you to choose from. That’s why we compared UK eSIM providers and came up with a list of the best options to help you choose.

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Can I buy an eSIM for the UK?

Yes, you can buy and use an eSIM in the UK as long as your device is compatible with eSIM technology. That shouldn’t be an issue since most cell phones, as well as some laptops, tablets, and even smartwatches, are eSIM-compatible nowadays.

Holafly offers a great option to those traveling to the UK with unlimited data included in all plans, flexible plan duration choices, as well as fast and reliable internet coverage all throughout the UK.

Why should I get an eSIM for the UK?

Price and convenience are the two main reasons for getting an eSIM in the UK. It’s cheaper than other alternatives, such as using pocket WiFi, paying data roaming charges, or buying a local physical SIM card. 

You can buy a UK eSIM well in advance of your trip and activate it as soon as you land in the UK. There’s no longer a need to run around the airport looking for a spot that sells physical SIM cards. 

Simply use your QR code or a mobile app to activate your eSIM data plan, and you can use the internet within minutes to get a ride to your hotel, use the maps app, or simply get your daily dose of social media.

What is the Best eSIM for the UK?

The answer to what is the best eSIM for the UK can differ depending on your personal needs. Some may need unlimited data, while others are fine with just a few GB for their holidays. Some may need a long list of benefits and features, while others only consider the price.

That’s why we’ve listed out 7 of the best eSIM options for the UK, as well as the pros and cons of each service. But before we dive in, here’s a quick overview of what each of them has to offer.

eSIM featuresHolaflyUbigiTruphoneGigSkyOrangeO2Vodafone
Voice CallsNoNoNoNoYesYesYes
Top-UpNo (not needed because all plans include unlimited data).YesYesYesYesYesYes
AppYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Unlimited dataYesYesNoYesYesNoYes
Overview of top UK eSIM providers.

1. Holafly

Holafly is often described as the best eSIM option if you need unlimited data. In fact, unlimited bandwidth is included in all Holafly plans for the UK. All that’s left for you to choose is the number of days you need the eSIM and the number of eSIMs you need, in case you need multiple.

The plans range from 1 to 90 days in length, and you can select the exact number of days you need anywhere within that range. The pricing starts at $US 6 for 1 day of coverage and goes up to $139 for 90 days.

holafly online store
Holafly Online Store. Source: Holafly.

Holafly makes buying an eSIM easy since you don’t have to create an account when buying on the website. Simply enter your details and pay for the plan. The QR code for activation will be sent to your email immediately. Alternatively, you can use the Holafly app for iOS or Android to make your purchase.

Paying for your eSIM data plan is also super easy. You can use your credit or debit card, PayPal, Google Pay, or Apple Pay. If you change your mind, Holafly offers a very flexible refund policy as well.

The company works with the biggest mobile network operators in the UK, such as Verizon, Virgin Media, and Three. This ensures solid coverage pretty much anywhere within the UK. 

Holafly offers 24/7 customer support in several languages as well as email support and a vast searchable knowledge base. So if things go wrong or if you simply have some questions, you can get help almost instantly.

holafly esim customization uk
Holafly eSIM for the UK. Source: Holafly.

The only real downsides to Holafly are that it doesn’t offer any limited data plans if you were to need them and the fact that it doesn’t offer a local phone number for phone call or SMS messaging functionality. That said, you can still make VOIP calls and send messages through the numerous apps available today.

Holafly pros

  • Unlimited data with all plans;
  • 24/7 customer support;
  • Flexible plan duration;
  • Multiple payment options;
  • Apps for iOS and Android.

Holafly cons

  • No phone call or SMS functionality;
  • No limited data plans.

2. Ubigi

Ubigi Logo. Source: Ubigi.

Ubigi is another well-tenured player in the eSIM market that offers good options for those traveling to the UK. It offers both unlimited and limited data plans, with the only downside being that the duration of Ubigi plans for the UK is limited to 7 or 30 days with nothing in between.

Here are the options you have:

  • 3 GB for 30 days for $7;
  • 10 GB for 7 days for $8;
  • 10 GB for 30 days for $10;
  • 50 GB for 30 days for $32;
  • Unlimited data for 7 days for $24;
  • Unlimited data for 30 days for $44.

You can purchase the plans on their website or dedicated apps for iOS and Android, where you can also activate your eSIM and track your data usage. There are loads of payment options to choose from as well, so you won’t be limited to using your credit card.

Like most providers nowadays, Ubigi doesn’t offer phone call or SMS functionality. More notably, Ubigi doesn’t offer 24/7 customer support and doesn’t even have a live chat feature. This can be quite frustrating if you need internet access quickly and things aren’t working as they should.

Ubigi pros

  • Both limited and unlimited plans;
  • Dedicated iOS and Android apps;
  • Many payment options;

Ubigi cons

  • Plans are limited to 7 or 30 days only;
  • No 24/7 customer support;
  • Limited plan duration choices;
  • No phone call or SMS functionality.

3. Truphone

Truphone Logo. Source: Truphone.

Truphone is a company that mostly deals in communications beyond eSIM cards, but it also offers both local and global plans to its customers. The plans all offer limited data, but with options going up to 100 GB, that shouldn’t be too much of an issue for most users. Here’s a rundown of all Truphone eSIM plans for the UK:

  • 100 MB for 1 day for free;
  • 1 GB for 1 day for $4;
  • 3 GB for 30 days for $8;
  • 7 GB for 30 days for $12;
  • 12 GB for 30 days for $17;
  • 20 GB for 30 days for $32;
  • 50 GB for 30 days for $45;
  • 100 GB for 30 days for $60.

Their free 100 MB plan is a nice touch. It basically functions as a free trial, which you can use to get a connection immediately and later buy a full eSIM plan of your choosing. All other options are either 1-day or 30-day plans with limited data. So if your stay is shorter, you’d pay a little extra just because of the 30-day duration.

Like all the other providers on the list so far, Truphone has apps for iOS and Android that make buying and managing your plans much more convenient. 

Unfortunately, the company doesn’t offer 24/7 customer support or a live chat option, so if things go wrong, you’ll have to resort to its knowledge base or fill out a support ticket and wait for a reply.

Truphone pros

  • Free 100 MB trial plan;
  • Apps for iOS and Android.

Truphone cons

  • No 24/7 customer support;
  • No unlimited plans;
  • Limited plan duration choices;
  • No phone call or SMS functionality.

4. GigSky

GigSky Logo. Source: GigSky.

GigSky has been in the communications game for over 13 years and has grown to be one of the most popular eSIM providers worldwide. The Silicon Valley company offers both limited and unlimited plans for the UK and a 100 MB free plan that allows you to test out its service.

  • 100 MB for 7 days for free;
  • 1 GB for 7 days for $4.99;
  • 3 GB for 15 days for $9.99;
  • 5 GB for 30 days for $14.99;
  • 10 GB for 30 days for $22.49;
  • Unlimited data for 7 days for $27.99;
  • Unlimited data for 15 days for $44.99.

You can use the GigSky website, as well as their iOS or Android app, to purchase, activate, and manage your eSIM cards. It’s worth noting that the only payment option available is using your credit or debit card. If you want to use PayPal or any other online payment option with GigSky, you’re out of luck.

Other than that, the company does offer 24/7 customer support via a live chat, which is only accessible through their help center page. You also have the option to email them or fill out a ticket and get a reply within 24 hours. 

GigSky pros

  • Both limited and unlimited plans;
  • 24/7 customer support;
  • Dedicated iOS and Android apps.

GigSky cons

  • Limited payment options;
  • Limited plan duration choices;
  • No phone call or SMS functionality.

5. Orange Travel

Orange Logo. Source: Orange.

While Orange Travel doesn’t have a dedicated UK plan, it’s still fairly popular with travelers thanks to its Orange Holiday Europe eSIM plan. The plan provides coverage in 38 different European countries and is the first one on this list to include phone call and SMS messaging functionality with its plans.

All Orange Travel prices are in euros, so if you’re paying with any other currency, the exact price will differ depending on the exchange rate on any given day.

  • 1 GB for 7 days for €4.99 (~$5.40);
  • 12 GB + calls and SMS for 14 days for €19.99 (~$21.60);
  • 30 GB + calls and SMS for 14 days for €39.99 (~$43.30);
  • 100 GB + calls and SMS for 28 days for €49.99 (~$54.10).

You can buy their eSIM plans on their website or through Android or iOS apps, where you can also top-up your plan in case you run out of data. And with no unlimited data plans on offer, data usage is something you might want to keep an eye on.

Orange does state that they offer 24/7 email support, but their live chat is limited to 8 AM to 12 AM CET Monday through Friday. When live chat isn’t available, you’ll have to fill out a support ticket or email them directly, but the response is usually longer than it would be via live chat.

Orange Travel pros

  • Offers phone call and SMS functionality;
  • Apps for iOS and Android;
  • 24/7 email support.

Orange Travel cons

  • No unlimited plans;
  • Live chat support isn’t available 24/7.

6. O2

O2 Logo. Source: O2.

O2 is one of several UK-based cell service providers that also offer eSIMs to its customers. While it not be as well-rounded as companies that only deal with eSIM cards, it’s an option worth considering, especially if you need a local phone number to go along with your data plan.

The company offers both monthly and pay-as-you-go plans, all of which can be used with a physical SIM card or an eSIM. Many plans also cover data roaming in Europe, so you can travel outside of the UK without changing your plan.

The plans range from £10 (~$13) for 8GB of data and go up to £30 (~$39) for 125GB for pay-as-you-go plans, all of which include unlimited call minutes and SMS messages. There are monthly plans as well, but they require you to commit to a longer contract, so it’s not an option for most travelers.

When it comes to customer support, it’s hard to reach a live chat with an actual person without answering 100 questions to their chatbot first. And since they’re a local carrier, you can expect the customer support to be limited to their normal working hours.

O2 pros

  • Local phone number;
  • Phone call and SMS functionality;
  • Apps for iOS, Android, and Windows.

O2 cons

  • No unlimited pay-as-you-go plans;
  • No 24/7 customer support.

7. Vodafone

Vodafone Logo. Source: Vodafone.

Vodafone is similar to O2 in the fact that it is not an eSIM-only provider but rather a local carrier that offers eSIM plans. All plans we’ll mention below can be used with a physical or an eSIM card.

There are pay-as-you-go and monthly plans available, but since monthly plans require long-term commitment, we’ll only look at viable short-term options for those traveling to the UK.

The plans range from £10 (~$13) for 27 GB to £40 (~$52) for unlimited data, with unlimited phone calls and messages included in all plans. Most plans are subject to a special offer that lasts until January 9, 2025, and the data amounts may change once the offer ends.

Just be cautious and disable the auto-renewal option if you’re going to use Vodafone. Otherwise, you’ll continue getting charges even when you no longer wish to use their services.

Vodafone is open from 8 AM to 10 PM UK time every day, and this is also the only time you can get customer support from them. If you arrive in the UK at night and have issues with their eSIM, you’ll have to wait until at least 8 AM to get some help.

Vodafone pros

  • Both limited and unlimited plans;
  • Local phone number;
  • Apps for iOS and Android.

Vodafone cons

  • No 24/7 customer support;
  • May auto-renew plans if you don’t disable the feature.

Conclusion: which is the best eSIM for the UK?

With so many eSIM options to choose from, you’re sure to find one that suits your needs. At the same time, there’s no single answer to which one’s the best because the needs of every user are different.

To recap, let’s quickly run through some of the main features to consider when choosing an eSIM.

Which one offers more mobile data?

While several eSIM providers offer unlimited data with their packages, Holafly is the only one to include it in all its plans. All you need to do is choose the exact number of days for your plan, and you’ll get unlimited bandwidth no matter what you choose.

Which eSIM is best for travel to the UK?

Holafly UK eSIM is definitely one of the best options. It provides solid coverage all over the UK and includes unlimited data with all its plans, so you’ll never run out of data and end up stranded in the country without an internet connection. 

Which operators support the eSIM in the UK?

Vodafone, EE, O2, and Three offer eSIMs to all their customers, and they collaborate with eSIM providers such as Holafly to allow them to provide a quality service to anyone in the UK.

FAQs about the best eSIM for the UK

What is the best eSIM card for tourists in the UK?

Holafly offers arguably the best option for tourists traveling in the UK. All Holafly plans include unlimited data and you have the option to choose the exact number of days you need the coverage for, so you’re not limited by the pre-selected plans that most other providers offer.

How do you buy an eSIM in the UK?

To buy an eSIM in the UK, visit the Holaly website, pick a plan that suits your needs, and make your purchase. Within seconds, you’ll receive a QR code which you can use to activate your eSIM and start using the internet in the UK.

Which eSIM is the best for international travel?

Holafly offers bundle plans that provide coverage in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia, and the Caribbean. This makes Holafly a great choice if you plan to travel across borders and want to stay connected at all times.

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