Traveling to Europe and planning your trip? Don't get stuck with high roaming costs or even slow overseas data roaming packages! Get yourself a sim card for traveling in Europe. This is a guide for finding the best European sim card for you. With where you can order one, up to date prices as per June 2021 and everything else you need to know.

For my research finding the best sim card for Europe I traveled to every European country. I put together complete guides for the best prepaid sim card in Italy, Switzerland, Ireland, Poland, FranceSweden, UK, Hungary, Croatia, Austria, Finland, etc. on top of that I checked all major airports in Europe: Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest, Geneva, London, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin, Madrid, Manchester, Lisbon, Rome, Milan, Venice, Vienna, Oslo and many more.

My recommendation for Europe sim cards

Buy a local sim card, it is much cheaper!

In the links above you will find specific guides for buying a local sim card per country or airport, but that is only on arrival. All the sim cards listed in this article are European sim cards with data that you can order online before your trip. All these sim cards will be shipped to your home address before your trip and are activated automatically from its first use.

In most case there is free shipping to the US included.

Traveltomtom DOES NOT RECOMMEND world sim cards with global coverage. While reviewing and comparing all international sim cards I came to the simple conclusion that most of them are not worth it or I would almost say a scam! They are so expensive. Check out the link above to read all about it.

Why buying a sim card for Europe

A very simple question? Do you want to rely on others when traveling to Europe? Yes, your hotel, bar, restaurant, train and even park have free public WiFi these days. So getting WiFi when traveling is fairly easy. Yet Traveltomtom still recommend you getting a sim card for Europe.

First of all public WiFi can not be trusted in speed, signal and security. What if the signal in your hotel room is weak and you can't change rooms? Or it is too slow to even upload an Instagram story. Getting connected with your phone makes traveling so much easier, just like real life!

Think about ordering a cab on the streets through a taxi app, or getting directions from Google Maps and finding a nearby restaurants with good reviews or finding out the train schedule to get back to your hotel. So many reasons Traveltomtom recommends getting a sim card for your trip to Europe.

Local sim card vs. European sim card

All sim cards mentioned in this article are sim cards with FREE EU roaming intended for those that visit a couple countries on a short trip. However, if you only travel to 1 or 2 countries in Europe you might be better off buying a local sim card on arrival. Local sim cards are mostly valid in 1 country only. Especially for a trip to Eastern Europe I would recommend buying a local sim card, rather than a European sim card.

For a complete overview of all sim card prices per country have a look at my guide for buying a local sim card in Europe in 2021.

I love traveling in Europe off the beaten path, have a look at my 12 secret places to visit. I bet some of them you have never even heard of.

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To make it all easy for travelers coming to Europe, just buy your sim card online before your trip! Here are the 8 best European sim cards plus a portable WiFi device, the best way to get WiFi when traveling.

1. Orange Europe sim card - 20 GB 

Click on the link to order it online and see if you can get free shipping. The best value for money is given by Orange and to me the best Europe sim card for tourists that you can order online.

Price: $50

  • 20 GB data in all of the EU
  • 120 minutes to any country in the world
  • 1000 sms to any country in the world
  • Valid 14 days
  • Free shipping to loads of countries

europe sim card orange 728x90

2. Orange Europe sim Card - 3 GB

Orange also offers a cheaper version, but that one has obviously smaller bundles.

Price: $25

  • 3 GB data in all of the EU
  • 30 minutes to any country in the world
  • 200 sms to any country in the world
  • Valid 14 days

3. Three (3) Europe sim card - 12 GB

Slightly cheaper than Orange, but also 40% less data. Advantage compared to the Orange sim card: valid for 30 days!

Price: $40

  • 12 GB data
  • Unlimited calls
  • Unlimited sms
  • Valid 30 days
  • Valid in all of the EU

4. Three (3) Europe sim card - 5 GB

The smaller brother of the 3 Europe sim card above, less value for money.

Price: $30

  • 5 GB data
  • Unlimited calls
  • Unlimited sms
  • Valid 30 days
  • Valid in all of the EU

5. O2 Go Card

Another cheaper sim card for Europe travel I would recommend is this O2 sim card, but the data bundle is pretty small.

Price: $25

  • 5 GB data
  • $6.40 calling credit included
  • $6.40 texting credit included
  • Valid 30 days
  • Valid in all of the EU, excluding Switzerland.

6. Three (3) data only sim card for Europe VALID 1 YEAR

I only recommend this sim card for Europe for people that travel to Europe often! The sim card only holds data credit but the credit is valid for 1 year!

Price: $60

  • 12 GB data
  • NO calls included
  • NO sms included
  • Valid 1 year
  • Valid in all of the EU, including Switzerland

7. Three (3) data only sim card for Europe VALID 2 YEARS

Similar to the above Three Europe sim card but then with a validity of 2 years!

Price: $80

  • 24 GB data
  • NO calls included
  • NO sms included
  • Valid 2 years
  • Valid in all of the EU, including Switzerland

8. GiffGaff UK sim card for Europe

Looking for a FREE European sim card? GiffGaff is an operator originally from the UK that sends your sim card to your home address for free. You will get a prepaid sim card valid in all of Europe including an activation code. Simply go to the Giffgaff website, enter the code add you Giffgaff goodybag with data credit and you are good to go.

A Giffgaff sim card is initially made as a pay-as-you-go sim card in the UK, however it also offers free roaming in the EU. BE AWARE: free roaming in the EU is capped at 25 GB per month and Giffgaff uses a fair use policy.

Rates for GiffGaff sim cards for Europe are good! All the pay-as-you-go data packages below INCLUDE unlimited calls/text in the EU as well.

giffgaff uk sim card sim only prices 2021

9. Portable WiFi for Europe

Not directly a Europe sim card, but for a couple dollars per day you can get unlimited internet all day long. Best thing about TEP Wireless is that you can connect up to 5 devices at the same time, so perfect for people traveling to Europe with kids.

portable wifi device for traveling

Free data roaming on European sim cards

The European Union came in 2017 finally with the genius idea to let go of roaming charges within the EU countries. Therefore since June 2017 people can use their UK sim card in Spain and their Italy sim card in Sweden without any extra charges. For people looking for a sim card for Europe travel this was the best news ever of course.

Therefore upon arrival in Europe you only need to buy one local prepaid sim card and you are connected to the internet during all of your trip in Europe. Well there are always exceptions so keep reading…

europe sim card orange 728x90

Buying a local sim card for Europe on arrival

The best deals for European sim cards you get on arrival in Europe. In France for example you get 150 GB data for €20 and data bundles in Italy are also big. But most countries in Eastern Europe they do NOT offer free EU data roaming at all. Therefore I recommend you to check my complete guide for buying a local sim card in Europe in 2021, with a specific list of every country in Europe and what prices to expect on arrival. 

I hope all the above tips for finding the best sim card for Europe in 2021 were helpful. May you still have questions please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.

Looking for off the beaten path destinations in Europe then click on the link and I bet most of those you have never even heard of.

Enjoy your trip to Europe!

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