Traveling to London soon? Let me help you getting a sim card on arrival. Avoid high roaming costs and slow overseas data roaming. Buying a sim card at London Stansted Airport is easy. In this guide I tell you where you can buy a sim card, up to date prices as per May 2022, my recommendation and even info about international and e-sim cards for London.

The first thing I do when I get to a new country is buying a local prepaid sim card to get connected. As I am aiming to travel to every country in the world I get to a lot of new countries and therefore on Traveltomtom you can find almost 200 prepaid sim card guides from all over the world: Europe, Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam, FrankfurtUSA, New York, NewarkVietnam, Spain, Indonesia, Guatemala, Iceland and many more.

Of course you can also find my guide about the best prepaid sim cards in the UK in 2022!

So when you are planning your next adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid sim card advice. Bookmark this website!

My recommendation

Traveltomtom recommends buying an EE prepaid sim card at London Stansted Airport. For £25 you get 13 GB data.

We also recommend looking into travel sim cards. Check out my article about the best international sim cards for traveling in 2022 and see which one suits your trip. You can order them online and they will be shipped to your home address before your trip. Click here for an article specialized on the best sim cards for traveling in Europe in 2022.

E-sim card for the UK

Electronic sim cards are the easiest way to stay connected when traveling abroad in 2022. You don't need to buy a sim card in a shop anymore, neither swap a physical sim card. You order online, you receive a code, follow the instructions and you are able to connected to a foreign network when abroad and use the data allowance you purchased. Check out the following UK e-sim card deals:

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $5 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $10 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $15 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $22.5 USD

Click here to directly order one of the above e-sim card deals for the UK and find more info.

europe sim card orange 728x90

You can also still the order a physical sim card with coverage in the UK and get it shipped to your home address before your trip. For $49.90 USD you get 20 GB data + unlimited calls within Europe and 120 minutes worldwide. Click on the link to order directly or find more info.

UK sim cards and traveling in Europe in 2022

Because of regulations in power since June 2017 mobile roaming costs in the European Union are banned. Great news for people traveling to Europe, which means that you are able to use a UK sim card in Amsterdam, Rome, Barcelona, etc. at no extra charge.

Brexit and free roaming in Europe

Although Brexit is a fact the free EU roaming stayed untouched so far. Until further notice you can still use your UK sim cards all over Europe. For more info about free EU roaming and tips for buying a local prepaid sim card in Europe, click on the link.

RELATED: check out these cheap Airbnbs in London for under $100 per night. I found you the best listings with great reviews!

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Where to buy a sim card at London Stansted Airport

where to buy a sim card london stansted

Just like at London Gatwick Airport and London Luton Airport there are prepaid sim card vending machines at London Stansted Airport. It works exactly like ordering a snickers. The sim card vending machine at London Stansted Airport is located at luggage belts.

At the end of the hall next to the luggage belt you can get your prepaid sim card for tourists. Be aware that If you go through customs, you can NOT go back inside the baggage hall to buy a sim card from the vending machine. 

But there is another place where they sell sim cards for tourists at London Stansted Airport. In the arrival hall, immediately after you walk out of the arrivals door there is a WH Smith shop on your right hand side, see the picture above.

Prices prepaid sim cards at London Stansted Airport in 2022

Next to the luggage belts you can already buy your UK sim card for tourists at the sim card vending machine. At London Stansted Airport the vending machine is loaded with the exact same prepaid sim card options as at London Gatwick Airport.

Sim Card Vending Machine

sim card vending machine london stansted

It is all self-service at the sim card vending machines but there is very detailed information about the following UK sim cards: Vodafone, Lyca Mobile, EE and Three. There are 6 different sim cards to choose from:

Vodafone 20 SLV for £20

vodafone uk sim card london stansted

  • 200 UK minutes
  • Unlimited UK texts
  • 1GB data UK + extra 4GB
  • Valid 30 days

It says that data is only valid in the UK. But well... let's forget about Vodafone anyway: too expensive! I would NOT recommend buying a Vodafone sim card at London Stansted Airport.

Three All in One Bundle Unlimited for £30

three uk sim card london stansted

  • Unlimited calls in the UK
  • Unlimited texts in the UK
  • 12GB data
  • Valid for 30 days

You can use your Three data all over Europe and on top of that in: Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and USA. 

EE National Bundle for £20

ee uk sim card london stansted

  • 150 UK or international minutes to 34 destinations
  • 150 UK texts
  • 10.5GB data
  • Unlimited EE to EE calls and texts
  • Valid for 30 days

EE International Bundle for £25

ee uk sim card london stansted 1

  • 250 minutes UK or international
  • 500 UK texts
  • 13GB data
  • Unlimited EE to EE calls and texts
  • Valid for 30 days

Something extra about EE sim cards is that they are the only mobile internet provider that has a wifi connection at London Underground stations. There is no phone signal in the London tube, but you can connect to EE wifi at stations when you decide to buy a EE sim card at London Stansted Airport.

Lyca UK Plan Super for £25

lyca mobile uk sim card london stansted 1

  • 3000 minutes in the UK
  • 100 international minutes to selected countries 
  • 3000 texts in the UK
  • 6GB data
  • Valid for 30 days

Lyca UK Plan Ultra for £35

lyca mobile uk sim card london stansted

  • Unlimited calls in the UK
  • 100 international minutes to selected countries 
  • Unlimited texts in the UK
  • 15GB data
  • Valid for 30 days

Lyca Mobile uses the network of O2 in the UK.

WH Smith Shop

If you want a little more service then I recommend you to go to the WH Smith shop directly on your right hand side when you walk into the arrivals hall. There is even a lovely lady walking around willing to help you finding the right sim card for your trip to Europe.

sim card stansted airport

stansted airport sim card

EE UK prepaid sim card

The WH Smith shops offer the same EE sim cards as the sim card vending machine at the luggage belts.

Lebara Mobile UK prepaid sim card - £20

  • 500 international minutes to 41 destinations
  • 500 UK minutes
  • 1GB data
  • For £2 extra 200 international minutes

Not the best UK sim card for tourists at all as you can easily call through Whatsapp, Viber, Skype for free nowadays and 1GB data is gone in 1 hour.

Lebara Mobile £30

  • Unlimited international minutes to 41 destinations
  • Unlimited UK minutes
  • 1000 UK texts
  • 5GB data
  • £5 additional PAYG credit

In case you have read more of my sim cards for Europe articles like the one from Amsterdam Airport or Frankfurt Airport you will understand why I am NOT a fan a Lebara Mobile. Simply no value for money and pricey compared to the other prepaid sim cards available.

Three UK prepaid sim card

sim card stansted airport london

At WH Smith they offer 3 different Three UK sim cards for £20, £30 and £45. The packages are slightly different than the UK prepaid sim cards in the vending machine. All the packages offered at WH Smith give you 3000 UK minutes and 3000 UK texts. The difference is the data bundle: 1GB, 12GB and Unlimited data. So for £45 you have unlimited 4G internet for 1 month.

Best sim card at London Stansted Airport in 2022

When comparing all the prepaid sim cards I personally think that: EE UK is the best prepaid sim card at London Stansted in 2022!

You get 13 GB data for £25, the most value for money when it comes to data. Still rather expensive when comparing this what the UK sim cards for tourists you can buy in London City Center.

Also an EE sim card will provide you an exclusive wifi signal in the London Underground. Very handy when you go sightseeing and travel from one side to the other in London.

If I had the choice buying a sim card at London Stansted Airport at either the vending machine or the WH Smith shop, then I totally would go for the lovely lady at the WH Smith shop.

where to buy a sim card london stansted 1

Also when arriving at London Stansted Airport and you are willing to call home for free for 2 minutes, then head to the WH Smith shop as they give you 2 minutes free calling time with the phone below. Just a nice service of them as they took all the paid-phones away at London Stansted after the recent renovation.

Buy a UK sim card for Europe online

europe sim card orange 728x90

Sounds all like too much hassle? Then order your sim card for London online. Below you can find 4 great sim card deals for Europe that of course also work in the UK:

1. Orange Holiday ZEN - $29.90

  • 8 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
  • 30 minutes worldwide
  • 200 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days

2. Three PAYG AIO15 - $29.90

  • 10 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms within Europe
  • Valid 30 days

3. Three PAYG AIO20 - $39.90

  • 12 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms within Europe
  • Valid 30 days

4. Orange Holiday Europe - $49.90

  • 20 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
  • 120 minutes worldwide
  • 1,000 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days

Click here to order one of the above international sim cards for London directly online or find more info. Also another reminder that you can also order an e-sim card for the UK, click on the link for more info.

Personally I would recommend one of the last two available options: Orange or Three. The sim card will be shipped to your home address and will automatically be activated from its first use.

From Stansted Airport to Luton Airport

from london stansted to luton

May you just like me somehow end up on the wrong airport or you have a connection flight to catch at an other London airport? Take the National Express bus 737. That bus will bring you directly from Stansted Airport to Luton Airport in about 1,5 hours. Price: £15.60.

How to get from Stansted Airport to London city center

There are many ways to get to London, some more expensive than others of course. When it comes to public transport you have two options: bus and train.

Bus from Stansted Airport to London City Center

from stansted airport to london

There are several bus connections connecting London city with Stansted Airport. If you want to take the National Express bus you can walk up to their service desk right in front of Arrivals inside the terminal. They have busses going to London every 10 minutes and the drive will take about 50 minutes depending on traffic. Tickets can be purchased for £8 already, though more expensive when you book them at the airport.

Train from Stansted Airport to London City Center

When taking the train you simply go down to the train station and buy a ticket for London at one of the machines. There are always people walking around to help you in the process. The train will take you In three stops to Tottenham Hale for £16.70. The tickets can be up to 50% cheaper when booked in advance.

Thank you for reading my tips for buying a sim card at London Stansted Airport, I hope they were useful. Let me know if you have any more questions, leave me a comment below and I am more than happy to help!

Enjoy your trip to London!

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