Best eSIM for United Kingdom: compare and travel (2023)

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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 everything you experience and much less because of data problems abroad, so don’t worry; we’ll be telling you everything about the digital SIM card United Kingdom.

Embedded SIM cards are a convenient, easy-to-use, and entirely virtual tool that will make your trip more accessible, as you will avoid paying excessive data charges for roaming or renting impractical devices such as pocket wifi.

Purchasing a virtual SIM card is often easier and faster than getting a physical SIM card. In Roaming, we teach you all about this digital 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


Does eSIM work in the United Kingdom?

Currently, within the UK, local operators allow the use of virtual SIM cards as long as you have a compatible phone. Being a tourist, buying this service locally can be demanding, so we recommend using virtual stores to get an digital SIM card. 

View in the streets of the United Kingdom. Source: Pexels

Many international providers facilitate the purchase of virtual SIM cards for tourists. Do not worry about the quality of the service because even when purchased online, they use the networks of the operators in the UK to work. Some of the most critical operators in the country are Vodafone, O2, and Three. If the online store offers you coverage from any of these, you will be assured of service during your adventure.

eSIM United Kingdom card need-to-know information:

As virtual SIM cards are completely unseeable, 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 will connect on your journey.
  • You must have an email address in order to register and receive your digital SIM card.
  • To activate your eSIM, you must have an internet connection, as your profile is downloaded from the carrier’s servers. For this reason, we recommend you do it before your trip or if you are in the UK from a secure network.
  • Some providers will require you to install their App to download the eSIM.

If your smartphone does not support this type of SIM cards, we recommend purchasing a traditional physical SIM card.

(You may be interested in Best eSIM for Europe)

Mobile eSIM card providers for travel to the UK

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

  • Holafly
  • Truphone
  • Ubigi

Rates and data plans from eSIM providers for travel to UK

Now that you know the 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.  If you travel 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 remember that sometimes a very cheap virtual SIM card may not cover all the destinations you will visit.


This store has positioned itself more and more as one of the leading solutions for tourists. They have a virtual SIM card for the UK that you can buy for days of service that fits your visit. You will find options from 5 to 90 days plan. They offer unlimited data on all alternatives with costs between $19 and $99, depending on the duration. 

united kingdom sim card

The website and the purchase process are very user-friendly and allow any type of customer to purchase an eSIM easily. In case of a question, you can use their 24/7 multilingual customer service, which will help you with your problem. They have several payment methods, such as credit and debit cards, PayPay, G Pay, and Apple Pay.

Pros Holafly

  • Easy purchase and installation process
  • Coverage with Vodafone UK, one of the best phone companies in the country.
  • Unlimited data accounts
  • Keep your WhatsApp number on your cellphone.
  • You’ll have 24/7 customer service from Holafly’s support team
  • You can easily buy a top-up to extend your service with Holafly.
  • You can use Holafly’s mobile App to manage your eSIM on your iPhone.

Cons Holafly

  • Does not include a local number in the United Kingdom, only data to use as you prefer
  • You cannot share data with other devices.
  • You must have a phone compatible with the technology.


This is a UK-based company that sells this type of SIMs to more than 100 countries around the world. They have an app for Android and Apple that you can use to purchase their services. Additionally, they have options for iPad and Apple Watch in case you need connectivity on those devices as well. 

For the UK, they have eight data plans for their virtual SIM card, two of which are one-day plans with 100MB or 1GB of browsing. There are also thirty-day options from 3GB and up to 100GB of browsing. Costs range from $5 for the one-day option to $60 for the 100GB option.

Pros of Truphone

  • App in Android and Apple
  • Coverage in more than 130 countries.
  • You can use the Truphone eSIM on iPad and Apple Watch.

Cons of Truphone

  • Only offers plans with a duration of 30 days and one day only, with limited flexibility.
  • You can not purchase through their website, only through their APP, and you need to register.
  • The app is not available in many countries in the world.


Another remote option to buy a digital SIM card for the UK is Ubigi. This store has an app on Android and Apple as well. They offer service to many destinations worldwide and even some regional solutions with coverage in multiple countries. You can see all the information about their plans on their website.

Their virtual SIM card for the United Kingdom has two monthly options. The first one of 5GB of browsing for 10$ and a second one of 20GB of browsing for 20$. In both options, you only have data and no local calls or messages. Among the payment methods are international credit cards.

Pros of Ubigi

  • High-speed 4G and LTE networks.
  • No need for a contract.
  • Fast refill.

Cons of Ubigi

  • They only offer data plans for one month.
  • Not compatible with many phones.
  • Users have to pay monthly for the use of the app.

Comparison of eSIM providers UK

SupplierDataDays Price Support LanguageSales Channel
HolaflyUnlimited data5$19 USDSpanish, English, German, and FrenchWeb
HolaflyUnlimited data7$27 USDSpanish, English, German, and FrenchWeb
HolaflyUnlimited data10$34 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
HolaflyUnlimited data60$84 USDSpanish, English, German, and FrenchWeb
HolaflyUnlimited data90$99 USDSpanish, English, German, and FrenchWeb
Truphone1GB1$4 USDEnglishWeb, Play store, App Store
Truphone12GB30$17 USDEnglishWeb, Play store, App Store
Truphone100GB30$60 USDEnglishWeb, Play store, App Store
Ubigi5GB30$10 USDEnglishWeb, Play Store, App Store
Ubigi20GB30$20 USDEnglishWeb, Play Store, App Store
Table 1. Comparison of eSIM providers for connecting to the Internet in the UK.

Features of eSIMs for Travel to the United Kingdom

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 than with your phone? Nowadays, we can do this without any problem thanks to technological advances, and to make the most of your service, here are the main features of these virtual cards.

  • For the most part, these cards for travelers do not offer analog calls, only data. If you plan to communicate by voice, you can do it with Apps like Skype or WhatsApp.
  • Do not remove your digital SIM card 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 it from your device.
  • With eSIM technology, you can add multiple data plans to your phone, 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 phone, so you can keep your local SIM when you travel to the UK.

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

Mobile Internet coverage map for travel to the UK

Before deciding on the perfect virtual SIM card 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 phone carriers offering eSIM in the United Kingdom

For UK residents wishing to switch from a traditional physical SIM to an eSIM, three telecom companies 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.

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 digital SIM card for yourself. If you still have questions or want to know more about virtual SIM cards, 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 to the ones offered by O2 or EE, who will ask for your information, and at the moment, they are only available for postpaid customers..

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

No, the eSIM for the 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 roam, and your virtual SIM should be working.

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 the digital SIM card and its bands; otherwise, you will be left without service in the UK and will be forced to rent or buy a new cellphone.

What is an eSIM or digital SIM?

The eSIM is the evolution of traditional SIM cards. It will work 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

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