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Best eSIM for the UK and Europe

Top 3 choices for travel eSIM to UK and other European countries

· 3 min read

Visiting the UK and other countries in the EU, and looking for the best eSIM to help you stay connected as you hop between the different European countries? We have narrowed down the top 3 eSIM options for Europe and the UK, to help you stay connected on your European adventures!


1. Orange Holiday eSIM

Ever since Brexit, many telecommunications operator in the EU no longer offer coverage in the UK as part of their packaged offerings, and vice versa. And for those that do, they don't necessarily offer eSIMs for a prepaid plan — or they might require you to first get a physical SIM before they can change it to an eSIM. It sure is troublesome.

The good news is that Orange, the French multinational telecommunications operator, still offers a prepaid eSIM for tourists which include coverage in the UK and 49 other European countries! There are various options, including plans which offer you a French phone number for calls and messages. However, if you do not need a local number when traveling, you also have the option to get a data-only eSIM.

And yes, you can easily order your eSIM online!

Features: Data-only or all-inclusive (including a French number, local calls, and SMSes)

Price, volume, and validity: The data-only eSIM starts from 4.99EUR for 1GB of 4G data, valid for a period of 7 days — which is likely to be insufficient. If you need more data or longer periods of validity, you can get the all-inclusive eSIM starting from 19.99EUR for 12GB of data, valid for 14 days.

2. Bouygues Telecom

Bouygues Telecom is another French telecommunications operator offering an European eSIM for tourists that also provide coverage in all four countries in the UK.

Bouygues Telecom offers three different plans - the basic plan comes only with 15GB of data, the Basic+ plan includes 15GB of data and unlimited calls within Europe, and the European eSIM comes with 30GB of data, unlimited calls within Europe, and credits for international calls.

The prices are rather competitive with longer validities and bigger volume packs than the Orange eSIM. 39.90EUR can get you 30GB of data with Bouygues Telecom, valid for 30 days. In comparison, 39.99EUR can also give you 30GB of data with Orange, but with a validity of only 14 days.

Although Orange is commonly known to have better coverage and speed in France, Bouygues Telecom also provides rather decent coverage. If you are mostly going to be in the urban areas, the difference between both networks are negligible.

Features: Data-only or all-inclusive (including a French number, local calls, and international calls)

Price, volume, and validity: The basic plan includes 15GB of data, valid for 15 days, at 16.90EUR. For a more comprehensive plan and larger data volumes, the My European eSIM provides 30GB of data valid for 30 days, and includes unlimited calls within Europe and 25EUR credits for international calls.

3. Nomad European eSIM

If you don't need that much data for your travels and are looking for a more cost-effective alternative, consider getting an European eSIM from Nomad instead! As a provider of international travel eSIMs, Nomad has plans in over 165 countries worldwide. They also provide regional eSIM plans, which allow you to travel across multiple countries in the region with just a single eSIM.

With Nomad's regional eSIM for Europe, you will be able to seamlessly stay connected as you travel between the UK and other countries in the EU. You will be automatically connected to the local providers of the various destinations as you travel across countries.

An advantage of getting a Nomad eSIM is that it works with multiple network providers in each country. That also means that in case one network doesn't work, you can easily switch to another network and stay connected!

The caveat is that Nomad's European eSIMs do not come with a local phone number, with coverage in only up to 35 countries. While it does not cover as many countries as Orange or Bouygues, most major destinations are included in the coverage of Nomad's Europe eSIM. Just be sure to double-check that the countries you are visiting are included in the coverage of the eSIM.

Features: Data only

Price, volume, and validity: 10GB of data for 17EUR, valid for 30 days.

Get a Nomad regional eSIM for your next trip to Europe

Nomad's regional eSIMs for Europe are at affordable rates from as low as USD1.80/GB. Nomad's eSIMs will automatically hook on to the network that provides the best signal strength, so you don't have to worry about the lack of coverage as you travel through the different countries!

It's easy to get a Nomad eSIM. Simply create an account on the Nomad Web Store or iOS/Android apps, find a plan that is suitable for your needs, and proceed with the check out! Upon successful purchase, you will receive an email that includes the installation and activation instructions for your plan.

Note that since you will need a stable internet connection to purchase and install your eSIM, it is advised to buy your eSIM before you fly, so that you don't have to worry about not getting connectivity at the airport after landing.