Best eSIM for the United Kingdom: compare, buy online, and travel

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The UK is one of the best places to visit in the world, its landscapes, history, and culture make it one of the favorites among tourists, as its museums, commerce, and natural parks mean that there are an infinite number of activities to enjoy. Therefore, we know that you don’t want to be left without documenting 100% everything you experience and much less because of data problems abroad, so don’t worry, we’ll be telling you everything about the eSIM United Kingdom.

eSIMs are a convenient, easy-to-use, and completely virtual tool that will make your trip easier, as you will avoid paying excessive data charges and will remain connected at all times. Moreover, acquiring an eSIM is often easier and faster than getting a traditional physical SIM card.

In Roaming, we teach you all about this virtual card, its benefits, how it works, and the different operators on the market, as well as their rates and plans.

eSIM united kingdom

Buy a United Kingom eSIM online


What you need to know about eSIM card UK

As eSIM cards are completely virtual cards, they are still new technology, which is why some cellular devices are not yet compatible with them, but so that you don’t have any problems when you travel to the UK. Here is a list of things you should have in mind before buying an eSIM card.

  • First, make sure that your cellphone is compatible with eSIMs. In addition, also check with the operator or provider with which you are going to buy your card. At the present time, we know that the iPhone XR or newer versions are preferred by the virtual SIM providers.
  • You must have an email address in order to register and receive your eSIM.
  • To activate your eSIM you must have an internet connection, as your eSIM profile is downloaded from the carrier’s servers, this can be done directly in the UK at a Wi-Fi hotspot.
  • Some providers will require you to install their App to download the eSIM.

If your smartphone does not support eSIMs, we recommend purchasing a traditional physical SIM card with 8 GB or 12 GB data for 30 days at $38.51 and $49.83 USD respectively. You can learn more about the UK SIM card in our article, UK SIM card.

(You may be interested in Best eSIM for Europe)

Cellular eSIM card providers for travel to the UK

It is important that you are aware of the eSIM providers for the UK, so we have created a shortlist of the main companies offering this service in the UK. Please note that these companies sell international eSIM cards primarily for use on business or leisure travel.

  • Holafly
  • Truphone
  • Flexiroam
  • GigSky

eSIM providers’ rates and data plans for travel to the UK

Now that you know the main providers, the next step is to find out about their plans and prices. Here is a list with information about each provider, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.  In case you are traveling to different EU countries, we recommend you bring a prepaid eSIM for Europe.

Keep in mind that the difference in prices can be due to several reasons, such as roaming agreements with each company and their coverage, so keep in mind that sometimes a very cheap eSIM may not cover all the destinations you are going to visit.

Holafly plans and prices in the UK:    

  • Unlimited data for 5 days at $19 USD.
  • Unlimited data for 15 days at $47 USD
  • Unlimited data for 20 days at $54 USD
  • Unlimited data for 30 days at $64 USD

Truphone UK plans and prices: 

  • 5GB for 30 days at $32 USD

Flexiroam UK plans and pricing:

  • 10GB for 24 days at $30.80 USD
  • 7GB for 24 days at $26.60 USD

Gigsky UK plans and pricing:

  • 5GB for 30 days at $34.99 USD
  • 3GB for 15 days at $21.99 USD

Comparison of eSIM providers UK

SupplierDataDays Price Support LanguageSales Channel
HolaflyUnlimited data5$19 USDSpanish, English, German, and FrenchWeb
HolaflyUnlimited data15$47 USDSpanish, English, German, and FrenchWeb
HolaflyUnlimited data20$54 USDSpanish, English, German, and FrenchWeb
HolaflyUnlimited data30$64 USDSpanish, English, German, and FrenchWeb
Truphone5GB30$32 USDEnglishWeb, Play store, App Store
Flexiroam10GB24$30.80 USDEnglishWeb, Play store, App Store
Flexiroam7GB24$26.60 USDEnglishWeb, Play store, App Store
Gigsky5GB30$34.99 USDEnglishWeb, Play Store, App Store
Gigsky3GB15$24.99 USDEnglishWeb, Play Store, App Store
Table 1. Comparison of eSIM providers for connecting to the Internet in the UK.

eSIM features for travelling to the UK

Visiting the UK is one of the best experiences you will ever have in your life and what better way to keep this wonderful memory forever that with your phone? Nowadays, we can do this without any problem thanks to technological advances, and to make the most of your eSIM, here are the main features of these virtual cards.

  • For the most part, eSIM cards for travelers do not offer analogue calls, only data. If you plan to communicate by voice you can do it with Apps like Skype or WhatsApp.
  • Do not remove your eSIM if it ever has problems, as eSIMs can only be installed once, so if there are any problems, it is recommended that you contact your eSIM provider. Do not remove the eSIM.
  • With eSIM technology, you can add multiple data plans to your iPhone, depending on available memory. Although you can only use one at a time, the advantage is that you don’t have to change your cellphone number every time you travel.
  • You will have Unlimited data
  • Some eSIMs set up the APN automatically.
  • The eSIM will return to your dual SIM iPhone, so you can keep your local SIM when you travel to Germany. Remember to set up your iPhone to avoid surprise bills.

(You may be interested in Best eSIM for the USA)

eSIM coverage for traveling to the UK

Before deciding on the perfect eSIM for you, remember to check the coverage of each provider in the UK carefully, as depending on the plan and price, it may not provide sufficient coverage. 

Always keep in mind the coverage maps of the major national carriers. These are the companies with which eSIM providers have the most roaming agreements. 

  • Vodafone
  • O2
  • EE

Vodafone UK 4G coverage map

Vodafone coverage map in the UK. Source: GSMA
Vodafone coverage map in the UK. Source: GSMA

O2 UK 4G coverage map

Map of O2 coverage in the UK. Source: GSMA
Map of O2 coverage in the UK. Source: GSMA

Map of EE’s 4G coverage in the UK

Map of EE coverage in the UK. Source: GSMA
Map of EE coverage in the UK. Source: GSMA

Local cellular operators offering eSIM in the United Kingdom

For UK residents wishing to switch from a traditional physical sim to an eSIM there are two telecoms companies that offer this service but remember that before making the switch you must meet the above requirements and some extra requirements that may be requested by each provider.

  • O2
  • EE

Frequently asked questions about eSIM United Kingdom

We hope you have found this article useful and that you will be able to buy the best eSIM for yourself. If you still have questions or want to know more about eSIMs, here are some frequently asked questions that people who buy an eSIM in the UK often have.

Do I need a passport to buy an eSIM card in the United Kingdom?

You do not need a passport, some providers do require your address. This applies only to the tourist eSIM. Not for the eSIM offered by O2 or EE, who will ask for your information.

Can I share data or tether with the eSIM in the UK?

No, the eSIM for UK does not allow you to share data.

How to activate the eSIM for the United Kingdom?

After installing the virtual SIM profile you need to choose it as your default cellular data medium, turn on data and roaming and your virtual SIM should be working.

Do international prepaid eSIM cards work?

Yes, just like physical cards, virtual SIM cards also have an expiry date.

When do the days of my data plan start to count?

The days start counting from the moment you activate your eSIM by scanning the QR code on your phone.

Which phones are compatible with the eSIM UK?

UK eSIM compatible phones are increasing every day. Remember that if you live in a European or Latin American country and plan to travel to the UK, you must carry a cellphone compatible with both eSIM and its bands; otherwise you will be left without service in the UK and will be forced to rent or buy a new cellphone.

These are the phones on which you will be able to install and activate an eSIM in the UK. Make sure the eSIM provider supports it first: iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone SE 2020, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, Samsung Galaxy S20, Samsung Galaxy S20+, Samsung Galaxy S20+, Samsung Galaxy S20+ Ultra, Samsung Galaxy S21, Samsung Galaxy S21+, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, Huawei P40, Huawei P40 Pro, Google Pixel 3a, Google Pixel 3a XL, Google Pixel 4, Google Pixel 4a, Google Pixel 4a, Google Pixel 4a XL.

What is an eSIM or digital SIM?

The eSIM is the evolution of traditional SIM cards. The eSIM works thanks to a chip inserted inside the cellphone, which allows you to store and configure your profile. To learn more we invite you to read: what is the eSIM, and how does it work?

eSIM for other destinations

Don’t forget to also visit our articles on eSIM for travel to:

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