Best prepaid SIM Card for Europe: prices and where to buy?

Author: Jimmy Carreño

Updated: July 10, 2023

europe sim card

So, you want to discover Europe, the old continent home to countless nations, cultures, museums, monuments, and landscapes. Okay, but now you need to know where to buy the best data SIM card for Europe. With an international prepaid SIM card, you can connect to the internet at 4G speed and receive free mobile calls. But how do you do this at the lowest cost?

We will be telling you about the different ways in which you can purchase a data SIM card for your trip to Europe. We will explain the advantages and disadvantages of the different options; so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. As a bonus, we will also tell you about the International eSIM, the perfect alternative for those who need the option to connect to the internet immediately. Read on to find out more!

Buy a Europe eSIM online

Where to buy a SIM card for Europe?

It is possible to purchase a data SIM card for your travels in two ways; either through online providers or through physical stores in the country you are visiting. Of course, each option will have its pros and cons. That is why it is important that you know each of your alternatives very well. Across Europe, some well-known carriers with physical stores are Vodafone, Telekom, O2, and Orange, among others.

There are many ways in which you can buy a prepaid SIM card for Europe. But our recommendation for you to have mobile internet at all times is to do it before you arrive in your destination country. Online stores have many packages for you, but you can also try your luck with local operators in the country you arrive.

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

Easy to buy

One of the great advantages of buying your prepaid SIM card before arriving in Europe is how accessible the online stores make it for their customers. Just for starters, we know that Europe is one of the continents where most languages are spoken. Buying a local SIM card once you arrive can be difficult if you don’t speak the native language.Providers like Holalfy offer their website and customer support in multiple languages so you can make your purchase with peace of mind. Without a doubt, the easiest and fastest way to get mobile internet in Europe is through an international SIM card.

On the other hand, if you are not convinced of all the advantages of online stores, you can also buy a data SIM card once you arrive at your destination. If you have time, we recommend you investigate at least before your arrival which operators work in the country and if they have SIM cards for tourist services. You will most likely be able to buy SIM cards in the physical stores of the local operators, at international airports, in malls and supermarkets, and even sometimes in pharmacies or wholesalers. Again this depends a lot on the operator, and in turn, this will depend on which country in Europe you are arriving in.

Buy before you travel.

This is the best option according to our recommendation and that of many travelers, but why? It is easy to answer, and the first thing you will discover is that online stores usually have more options for plans for tourists than local operators. At the same time, there is a huge amount of online stores to choose from. You can easily save time because you don’t use your travel space for these tasks; you can buy them from home! International SIM cards are also much cheaper than other mobile internet options like international roaming or pocket wifi that you can take with you. 

Yes, it is true that there are many positive points when buying your prepaid SIM card online, but we also have to take into account some things before choosing a store. These SIM cards, even though they are international, will always use the network of a local operator in the country you arrive in. For this reason, you should always buy one that uses a network with good coverage and speed throughout your destination. It is also important to verify which frequencies your phone uses and if they are compatible with those of the destination country; in this, you can usually get help from remote providers.

Buy upon arrival

We already anticipated that it would be much easier for resident customers to buy local SIM cards from local operators in Europe. As a tourist, you may encounter some obstacles, but there are always exceptions. We have to remember that for most destinations, after buying a SIM card in Europe, you have to go through a local SIM registration process. This added to having to look for a physical store where to buy it, which can be a time-consuming task during your trip.

With this in mind, you can buy your SIM card in the stores of the main mobile operators in Europe (Vodafone, Telekom, O2, or Orange), in major airports, shopping malls, vending machines, and e-commerce stores. The decision is in your hands, and we hope we have helped you make the right one.

Vodafone, Telekom, O2, and Orange Stores in Europe.

These are some of the operators that you can find in a large number of countries in Europe. They all have in common that they offer data SIM card options for tourists and have branches in several countries. Although the European Union plans to standardize five mobile operators for all countries in the future, there are currently a huge number of mobile operators all over the continent. Again to avoid getting lost purchasing a tourist, we invite you to check which ones work in your destination country and so you can get a little ahead of the work if you decide to do this once you arrive. 

Now that we are more clear on this, you can find local SIM cards from Vodafone, Telekom, O2, or Orange as a visitor. To make the purchase, you basically have to find a physical store or branch of the provider of your choice, buy the SIM card and make the respective registration, and finally install it on your phone. Again there are a lot of interesting destinations in Europe and a larger number of mobile operators, but generally, you will find stores in all cities, malls, and international airports.

How much does a SIM card cost to travel to Europe?

If we don’t know exactly where you are going, it is a bit difficult to answer how much a SIM card might cost. However, there is a range of prices we can consider. Within the continent, you can find local SIM cards from $10 to even $70; this will, of course, depend on the provider and the data package included. Again it all depends on you, the destination you are going to visit, and where you buy your SIM card for Europe.

eSIM card for Europe, the new alternative

The eSIM is practically a SIM card that works digitally, which offers similar benefits, but is much simpler to use. Holafly is an online store that specializes in selling eSIMs for Europe and other different places in the world. Purchasing their services can be done very easily through their website. All you have to do is search for your destination, choose the plan of your choice, and make the payment. Then, the eSIM will be delivered to your email in a matter of minutes.

Plus, the best thing about this store is that with their eSIM for Europe, you will be able to connect to the internet in over 32 countries and have unlimited data for the duration of your plan. However, before acquiring a virtual SIM, there are some essential things to consider:

  • To use a virtual SIM, you must have a compatible device. Check out the full list of compatible phones with eSIM.
  • You will need an active email address to receive the virtual SIM card information and an internet connection to install it on your phone.
  • To buy an eSIM through an online store, you must have one of the most common payment methods: credit card, Paypal, or Google Pay.

Holafly online store

If your trip is about to start, or even you are already in Europe, but you want a much more versatile option that offers you more benefits. Then we bring you a new alternative with which you can enjoy unlimited internet. We are talking about the Holafly online store. As you can see through their website, you can buy your virtual SIM card before or during your trip and enjoy immediate delivery anywhere in the world; you will have internet in just minutes!

Among the plus points of these digital SIM cards, we can find that they offer unlimited data packages for Europe and most destinations. In addition, the purchase and installation process in their store is very easy to use; you only need an internet connection, and the rest will take you no more than five minutes. If you experience any problems, you can use Holafly’s 24/7 customer service on different platforms and multilingual advisors.

One new feature is that you will get a total of 120 minutes of talk time! This way you’ll be able to get calls (60 minutes) and make calls (60 minutes) in Europe. With an Austrian number (+43) you’ll be able to call locals for inquiries and make sure your contacts can also call you.

There is a wide variety of plans that Holafly offers, and now you can also top up your service if you need to extend it for more days. There are virtual SIM cards for almost every destination in Europe and also regional options for Europe, North America, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America, with which you will have coverage in many countries. You don’t have to adjust to your provider. Holafly has a solution for you, just go to their online store and find it.

Disadvantages of Holafly’s eSIM card

With all this panorama of points in favor of the Holafly store, you must think that there must also be disadvantages. This provider does not escape from this, and currently, their virtual SIM cards that offer unlimited data, as in the case of Europe, do not allow you to share data. However, there are options for other destinations that do allow you to do so.

How can I shop at Holafly? 

We don’t want to spend too much time on a process that is simple. To buy a virtual SIM card with Holafly, the first thing you have to do is go to their website, choose the destination, and plan you are interested in. After that, you will proceed to pay by any of the means they offer, and then you will receive a QR code in your email to install your eSIM. It’s that easy, and you will be connected to the internet in Europe with excellent service.

How much does the virtual SIM card for Europe cost?

Another great benefit of eSIM is that its cost is relatively inexpensive. You will not have to pay for any extra delivery or service. Below is a table with the prices of Holafly’s eSIM plans for Europe:

Days of useAmount of cellular dataPrice (USD)
5 days Unlimited data$19
7 days Unlimited data$27
10 days Unlimited data$34
15 days Unlimited data$47
20 days Unlimited data$54
30 days Unlimited data$64
60 days Unlimited data$84
90 days Unlimited data$99
Comparison table of Holafly virtual SIM cards for Europe.

What is the best option to buy?

Purchasing a SIM card through an online store might be a good option, but you would have to wait for delivery. So, If you have an eSIM-compatible mobile phone, we recommend you purchase Holafly’s eSIM for Europe. With it, you can enjoy a variety of benefits, such as unlimited data, 24-hour technical support, and much more.

Also, remember that you’ll have coverage in more than 32 European countries, including:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, and Ukraine.

FAQs about SIM cards for travel to Europe

Is data roaming free in Europe?

Roaming is free for EU and partner countries, thanks to agreements that offer free roaming or “home free” to EU citizens.

How to have the Internet in Europe?

If you are not an EU citizen and you are going to travel to a European country, the best way is to buy a Europe SIM card or eSIM that offers an Internet connection for a fixed cost. There are prepaid SIM providers on the market with coverage in most countries in the region.

Where to buy a Europe SIM card?

If you are traveling around Europe, some Europe SIM card providers offer them online on their websites, such as SimOptions, and TravelSIM. If their delivery options do not include your country of residence, you can opt for the Holafly eSIM card, which they will send to your email address. Remember that Europe prepaid cards should give you coverage in all EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.

Which countries does Holafly’s Europe data eSIM card cover?

The Holafly virtual SIM card gives you internet service in the following European destinations: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, and Ukraine.

SIM cards for other destinations

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