If you intend to tour Europe this year, you’re probably thinking about how you can connect to the internet during your adventures. Well, with a data SIM card for Europe, it’s never been easier to stay connected – say goodbye to expensive roaming charges and connect to superfast cellular internet in Europe at a low price.
We’ll explain everything you need to know before you buy your Prepaid data SIM card for Europe, including rates, where to buy it, and more. Also, let us tell you that if you currently have the latest generation mobile phone, then the virtual SIM card could be an excellent alternative for your trip. Read on to find out which of these options will be best for you while in Europe.
Virtual SIM card for Europe
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Where to buy a data SIM card for Europe?
Before we start talking directly about how and where you can get a prepaid internet SIM card for Europe, it is essential to highlight why you need one. While the internet is easy to get nowadays, as most places have free wifi, if you are one of those people who like to stay in communication and be constantly connected to the internet, then you will need an extra option to the free wifi hotspots.
And you must be wondering why. While free wifi points are advantageous, they are most insecure or unstable. Since many people tend to be connected to these, and also being an open network, you give free passage to anyone to your personal information from your phone. That is why we concluded that taking a SIM card with you on your trip is the best option, whether physical or virtual card.
But, there is one big decision to make when buying a Europe tourist SIM card, as you will be able to make the purchase through the following options:
- Buy before you start your trip from an online store.
- Buy at an Orange, Vodafone, Movistar, SFR, or Three physical stores you’ll find once you land in Europe.
Buy before you travel.
We will start by discussing how to buy a prepaid SIM card before your trip begins. This is very easy to do through online stores. Nowadays, it is very common to find online stores for any product, including SIM cards for tourists. That’s why while surfing the internet, you can come across countless providers from which you can purchase one of these products for your trip to European countries.
However, it is important to mention that before buying any SIM card through an online store, verify the benefits you will have, as well as the coverage of each country to visit, and of course, the process and payment methods since these characteristics may vary a lot depending on the provider.
Another aspect to mention is that prepaid SIM cards purchased this way are more expensive than the local SIM cards in Europe. So if you want internet once you arrive at your destination and do not have to spend time visiting a physical store, you could try to acquire an eSIM for Europe, which is easy to acquire and very economical. We will tell you more about it later.
Pros of buying a data plan for abroad before traveling
- Internet the moment you land – you can activate your International SIM card the moment you land, perfect if you need to book a cab or message a friend or family member.
- Multi-country options – Most companies offer SIM cards that cover multiple countries. You might find it hard to find this option from local shops in Europe, meaning you have to buy a new SIM card in each country you go to.
- Save time – rather than having to go hunting for local shops at your destinations, buying before you go lets you start exploring the local scenery straight away.
- No communication problems – how’s your Norwegian? Kudos to you if you’ve been racking up the points on Duolingo, but unless you’re fluent in the local language, it might be hard to buy a SIM card from a local shop in Europe.
That’s why we recommend buying before you go: it gives you the peace of mind that you can enjoy your trip immediately. But what advantages are included when you buy your data SIM card in Europe?
Buy your tourist SIM card in Europe.
If you are not related to virtual shopping, the alternative you can consider is to buy your prepaid SIM card for Europe once you arrive at your destination. We will tell you about some of the phone companies that offer this service on the continent, such as Vodafone and their Data SIM Card.
Orange is one of the operators that offer SIM cards for people who are traveling in Europe. They have two data plans for tourists: Orange Holiday Europe with 20 GB and Orange Holiday Europe with 8 GB. These plans are so-called “all-included” packages as they have unlimited calls and messages within the European territory, allow data tethering, have no usage limits per consumption, can be used on any device, and are valid in more than 30 destinations on the continent.
With Vodafone, you can get a pay-as-you-go SIM card from packages called prepaid S, M, L, XL, and XXL. These vary in the amount of data they offer, ranging from 25 GB to 150 GB for 28 days. This can be a suitable option if you don’t have an eSIM-compatible cellphone. Despite the 24-48h free delivery, they also include roaming within Europe and unlimited calls and minutes to other Vodafone numbers.
The pay-as-you-go SIM card from Three works in the UK and has in its catalog data packages of 10GB, 25GB, 50GB, and even an unlimited data version. These cards can be purchased on Amazon, and in addition to having unlimited messages and minutes, the roaming service costs an extra $2.5 per day in Europe approximately, and you can cancel at any time. No contract is required to purchase these SIM Cards for Europe.
How much does a SIM card for traveling to Europe cost?
So far, we have talked about the plans available from various operators, which vary both in data packages and flexibility of use. The most complete plans tend to have a higher cost. If you are a customer who does not consume a lot of data, you can opt for a more basic plan. Also, the decision of which one to purchase may depend on the length of your stay, as is the case of Orange’s prepaid SIM car that offers 14-day packages or Vodafone and its Data SIM Card with 30-day options.
The price range for these options is quite wide. You can go from a basic plan of 20GB or less for costs ranging from $10 to $25 or opt for more complete plans with unlimited data options between $30 and $45. You should also consider that sometimes you must add to these costs the price of shipping to your destination if you are buying online and add to your travel planning the days it may take for your SIM Card to arrive.
Ultimately if you do not want to pay for shipping and do not want to wait for it to arrive at your address, you can choose to buy them once you are in your destination country. The prices will be around the ranges mentioned above, and you will have your Prepaid SIM Card available right after you buy it.
Advantages of buying your data SIM card in Europe
Although it is not our recommended option, buying a SIM card does offer these advantages:
- More options – given the number of brands and deals available, you’ll definitely find the best SIM card for your travels. We recommend buying from a brand like Orange, Vodafone, Movistar, or Three, which offer strong coverage in many European countries.
- Minutes and messages available – In practically all the options you choose, regardless of the brand or operator, you will have access to unlimited calls and messages within the continent.
- Europe Roaming – Most operators will offer you roaming services available throughout the continent with good coverage support. Don’t forget that sometimes you will have to pay a daily surcharge for this service.
Virtual SIM Card for Europe with unlimited data
When we told you about how to buy your SIM Card for Europe before your trip, we gave you a small hint that there is another alternative, which is the Virtual SIM card for the continent. These chips are the 100% digital evolution of the already known physical cards, also known as eSIM. You can also find them in virtual stores such as Holafly. The virtual SIM card for Europe of this company has the advantage of offering unlimited data. In addition to an immediate delivery after your purchase, you will receive a code for activation through your email.
In case you are still unsure if this is a solution for you, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of virtual SIM cards.
Advantages and disadvantages of virtual SIM cards
- Greater flexibility
These virtual SIM cards keep the entire purchase and configuration process online, so you can purchase it from anywhere in the world and choose any destination you want to maintain an internet connection. The process from purchase to activation will not take more than a few minutes.
- No surprises, no additional fees
You will be paying only what the online store indicates on its website. You will not have to pay or wait for shipping because the virtual SIM card will arrive as a QR code to your email. In addition, their costs are more competitive because you don’t have to add the price of the physical chip.
Advantages of a Holafly Virtual SIM card for Europe
- Coverage in multiple European countries
Covering more than 48 destinations, you can use your Holafly virtual SIM card for Europe, no matter where you are on the continent, from Ireland to Iceland and Slovakia to Slovenia.
- Unlimited data
You can buy Unlimited data for a month or more. Also, the Holafly virtual SIM card for Europe with data has different plans, with unlimited data from 5 days until 90 days.
- 24-hour customer support, wherever you are
Holafly’s support team can be reached from their online site 24/7, 365 days a year, in more than four languages.
- New has its limitations.
Virtual SIM cards are a technology that is slowly being implemented in the telecommunications industry, so not all mobile devices have compatibility or access to this type of technology. We invite you to check if your phone can use eSIM in Holafly’s updated list of compatible models.
How much does a Virtual SIM card for Europe cost?
If you own a compatible cellphone, check out what deals you can get:
|Amount of data||Number of days||Price (USD)|
Buy your Europe virtual SIM card with Unlimited data
Connection throughout the continent
FAQs about SIM cards for Europe
You can activate data roaming and use data provided by your domestic carrier. But be aware that this will be very expensive. If you intend to use this option, you can expect a hefty phone bill when you get back home. Alternatively, you could buy Pocket Wi-Fi (a portable device that generates a WiFi connection for your phone). This option is also expensive, and you’ll have to carry the device everywhere. A data SIM card for Europe is the cheapest and most convenient way of connecting to the internet abroad.
Roaming services in Europe vary between cellular providers as each operator has a different rate. But on average, the value per MB is usually between $7 and $15. Watching a movie on Netflix at that rate could cost hundreds. That’s why we recommend buying a Digital SIM card to avoid roaming costs.
The following phones are compatible with the virtual SIM: iPhone SE, XR, XS, XS Max, iPhone 11, 11 Pro y 11 Pro Max, 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, 12 Mini, Samsung S20, Galaxy Z Flip, Note 20 Ultra, Fold LTE, Huawei P40, P40 Pro, y Google Pixel 3, 3a,4, 4a, Motorola Razr 2019.
This will depend on how you purchase your SIM card. But we can tell you that online providers tend to offer a wider variety of data plans than the local stores in Europe. However, if you want to have as much data as possible, then our recommendation is the eSIM with unlimited data for Europe of Holafly.