Use a UK Mobile phone in Russia: How much does it cost? (Guide for travelers)

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Traveling around the world is a remarkable experience in every place that you visit. Getting to know new cultures, new places, new people, and more. It sounds like a fantastic plan for most people to make, and we want to give you some tips to enjoy it. Today, we will talk about how to use a mobile phone in Russia if you are from the UK, so stay tuned!

Here we will tell you everything related to this service. How it will work, what you need to know to make it work, and much more. So, get ready to learn everything about how to improve your trip!

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Can I use my phone in Russia?

Initially, the answer to this question is simple: Yes, people from the UK and every other country can to use their cellphones when traveling to Russia.

Nevertheless, there are some things that individuals should be aware of before using their devices there. Before traveling, you should be familiar with the country’s coverage areas, cellphone band frequencies, and other important information. All travelers should try to keep these basic aspects in mind.

To learn more about the place you are visiting, try to look up all the necessary information that we will discuss here. Sometimes, it’s not only about where you have to go or want to go; staying in contact with those at home and even the locals is crucial for those traveling worldwide.

Currently, there are a few possibilities you may learn about regarding cellphone usage in Russia, and that is what we will discuss in more detail later. Everyone should be aware that there is a lot to learn and a variety of possibilities.

What are the options for using a UK Mobile phone in Russia?

When discussing our options available to use our cellphones in Russia, even though there are much more, some of the best options currently available are Pocket WiFi devices and roaming services

Some of these services are better than others, but we can ignore that fact for now. Traveling and staying in touch have become necessities as we progress into the digital world.

What are channels of communication available to travelers in Russia, then? We can only mention SIM cards, eSIMs, free WiFi, and portable WiFi gadgets. But which of these choices is the most beneficial to travelers? That’s what we’re here to talk about.

So, if you’re unsure which service you’ll choose, we’ll give you all the information you need to make the best choice.

eSIM for traveling abroad

eSIM for Russia
eSIM with unlimited data in Russia. Source: Holafly.

For those unfamiliar, eSIMs are digital SIM cards that have recently gained considerable popularity. Most of the features we are used to seeing on the market are provided, and they operate similarly.

What information must they know about this service, and how can they obtain one? Well, there are many companies out there that provide this service to customers. They are easy to get because tourists can easily purchase these cards from online stores.

This is the situation with Holafly eSIM with unlimited data plans, which happens to be the eSIM we recommend most to use. Only one thing to remember: to use a virtual SIM card, your device must be of the most recent generation because old devices don’t support eSIMs.

Prices start at $19 for five days with unlimited data. Therefore, it’s best the users choose the option that suits them most. There are other possibilities, though, if you need to remain longer outside the UK.


  • There is excellent quality coverage in most places with support by PJSC VimpelCom and Tele2 Russia networks.
  • Unlimited data plans are available in all options.
  • Recharge your eSIM for Russia service through top-ups.
  • Simple to install on your cellular device.
  • Activation only requires a QR code!
  • Most of the time, it operates with 4G network speeds.
  • Doesn’t take up any real room on a cellphone.


  • It only works on last-gen devices.
  • It can’t be used on more than one device at a time.
  • eSIMs only last for a certain amount of time.

International SIM Card

The SIM card is what comes in second. People from across the world are familiar with these. They have been around for a long time and can now be used as a substitute for travel if people want to stay connected.

These SIM cards function differently since they require an open-band device to function. If this is not the case, people won’t be allowed to use any of these international SIM cards.

The rest of the purchasing procedure is straightforward and quick. You won’t need to do much to use it once you’ve installed it on your cellular device. Since SIM cards from online stores or local operators in Russia have affordable fees and good coverage, we advise getting one for your trip to Russia!

Pocket WiFi

It’s time to discuss portable WiFi devices. These are simple to rent and can even be delivered to people’s homes within a few days!

The drawback of these gadgets is their high cost. Rent for a full week of use ranges from about $50 to $349. Depending on how many days they travel, it might even be higher.

In addition, depending on whether a penalty must be paid, renting a device of this type can cost up to $400, so keep that in mind as much as you can.

Free WiFi

One option for those who wish to keep connected while traveling is to use a free WiFi connection. In Russia, it is a common alternative in different places of the country

But we won’t always be connected to one. And given that travelers must always be connected, that is something to consider. It nonetheless makes sense to keep in mind despite its flaws.

Can I use my UK phone service in Russia?

Yes! That’s the short answer we can give to travelers. They all can use their cellphones with their cellular services in Russia when they travel there. 

For those wondering, in this particular case, we are talking about the roaming services each one of these companies offers. If you are from the UK, you use Three, O2, or Vodafone.

Thankfully, for Russia, these companies offer roaming services with excellent coverage. But what about the prices and fees? Let’s talk about that.

Using my Mobile phone in Russia with Vodafone 

When it comes to Vodafone, they give customers the option to use their cellular devices with their roaming service easily. The corporation separated the roaming zones into three categories, with Russia having the highest roaming costs offered by Vodafone. Keep in mind that the daily roaming fee in this country is $7.2.

They charge roughly $0.05 per minute for phone calls and about $0.02 for each SMS message.

Using my Mobile phone in Russia with O2

For O2 users, there’s a chance to use the roaming service when going to Russia. The cost of the service is somewhat high at £7.20/MB and £2/min call (approximately 8.8$/MB and 2.5$/min).

So, if you are an O2 user, keep this in mind whenever you want to travel to this country because you may need to look for other options!

Using my Mobile phone in Russia with Three Mobile

Three Mobile is the final cellular network operator on our list. Since they are well-known to UK users, we couldn’t ignore them in this section.

There is a drawback, though. Currently, something similar happens with rates available at £6 per MB and £1.25 per minute (approximately 7.2$/MB and 1.53$/min) being a very expensive alternative.

Local mobile operators in Russia

There are numerous cellular operators available for use in Russia. As for now, we can tell Beeline, MegaFon, and MTS are among the best options to use.

But,  MegaFon offers way better coverage in most of Russia. They offer better plans, more comprehensive coverage, and generally are more easily available to customers. However, things are a little different for travelers who aren’t Russian citizens.

When visiting Russia, tourists can obtain one of these cellular operator plans or subscriptions, but it is difficult to do so, so keep that in mind.

How much does it cost to use my UK phone in Russia?

The service we choose to employ will have a major impact on this. For eSIMs, we recommend using the Holafly eSIM, which we can find from 19 to 54 USD, which is actually the same cost of a Pocket WiFi.

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