It took me a long time to finally come up with an article to help you to get the best sim card for traveling in Europe. The reason it took so long was because I wanted to give you a complete overview and gather all the information about each EU country separately. Because how can you determine what is the best Europe sim card for tourists? Extremely difficult but that is why I wrote this complete guide for buying a sim card in Europe.
For my research finding the best sim card for Europe I traveled to almost all the European countries. I put together complete guides for the best prepaid sim card in Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, UK, Hungary, Croatia, Austria and almost all other European countries, but also checked the airports of Venice, Budapest, Geneva, London, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt and many more.
Please NEVER pay this much for a European sim card!!!!
The photo above is of the most outrageous prices I stumbled upon for a European sim card. I found this in Venice and Milan Airport while researching the best Italy sim card. The whole reason why I created this post is to make you aware that buying a sim card in Europe does not have to be expensive!
All the info about every country and more than 25 airports in Europe I bundled together in this article so when there is someone in the world that is able to tell you everything about buying a sim card in Europe then it is me! Happy to help at any time by the way. Send me a message on my Instagram @traveltomtom.
Warning: this could create serious wanderlust issues! I have been traveling the world now for 7 years continuously and been to more than 100 countries.
Well let me throw this out there in capital letters: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS THE BEST EUROPE SIM CARD!
But don’t worry you can definitely buy a travel sim for Europe that is valid in all the countries, keep on reading! So how does it work? Why is an international sim card for Europe such a difficult thing? Let me explain…
Europe sim card with data
Ok I admit Im totally data addicted when I travel. Because of my job being a professional travel blogger (click on the link to see how I earn money) I always want to be online and my phone is basically my little computer. But this is how we all use our phones nowadays right? Therefore this research for the best sim card in Europe for tourists is mostly focussed on Europe sim cards with data! Calling is so 2013! ;)
Anyway when you have a data connection you can call for free through apps like Whatsapp, Messenger, Viber, Snapchat, etc.
6 Best Europe sim cards to order online
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.
- 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
Orange also offers a cheaper version, but that one has obviously smaller bundles.
- 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
Slightly cheaper than Orange, but also 40% less data. Advantage compared to the Orange sim card: valid for 30 days!
- 12 GB data
- Unlimited calls
- Unlimited sms
- Valid 30 days
- Valid in all of the EU
The smaller brother of the 3 Europe sim card above, less value for money.
- 5 GB data
- Unlimited calls
- Unlimited sms
- Valid 30 days
- Valid in all of the EU
Another option with ok reviews is the Three international sim card with data roaming in 71 countries, including all of Europe.
- 12 GB data
- Unklimited calls*
- Unlimitd sms*
- Valid 30 days
- Valid in 71 countries
- NO hotspot available
There are a couple limitation with this international sim card: no video streaming allowed. *Calls and sms only to UK numbers and to Europe numbers whilst in 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.
But may be you don’t even need to buy one online and can you buy a local sim card at the airport upon arrival! Therefore keep on reading...
Europe sim card and traveling in Europe
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…
Mobile internet operators Europe
The list of all the Europe mobile internet operators is very long as every European country has its own mobile internet providers. Although some brands are present in multiple countries: Vodafone, Orange, 3 (Three), T-Mobile.
That means you can not buy a Movistar sim card anywhere else than in Spain, a Swisscom sim card can only be bought in Switzerland and a TIM sim card can only be bought in Italy. Every mobile internet provider has their own prepaid sim card deals and it is impossible to compare a Italy sim card with a Hungary sim card, although they are both sim cards for traveling in Europe.
Best Europe sim card for your trip
As you have been able to read there are two options for buying a sim card for all of Europe:
- Order a Europe sim card online
- Buy a local sim card valid for all of Europe on arrival
Depending where you arrive you might want to consider to get one at the airport or go into the city and buy a local sim card. Mostly the Europe sim card deals at the airports are more expensive, but it is definitely more convenient.
The best way to get your Europe sim card with data is of course to order it online and let it get shipped to your home address before your Europe trip. Keep on reading for the best sim cards for Europe which you can buy online.
Where to buy a Europe sim card
The most important thing to know to give you the best advice is where are you traveling or actually even more important where are you entering Europe. Because if I tell you that an Austria sim card is the best for traveling in Europe, but you are only visiting France, Spain and Italy it does not make sense.
The best place to buy a international sim card for Europe is in the country you arrive. That is why I researched almost all European countries and airports to find the best sim card for Europe FOR YOUR Europe trip.
From the following list find the country where you will enter Europe and follow my advice for a European sim card.
Austria sim card for Europe travel
When flying to Vienna, then DO NOT buy a sim card at Vienna Airport! It is the biggest rip off in all of Europe. The cheapest sim card there costs around €60 and gives you 100 MB internet! Completely ridiculous. For the best Austria sim card for Europe travel wait till you get to the city and go to a 3 (Drei) Austria store. They sell prepaid Austria sim cards for €30 that gives you 18 GB data which you can use all over Europe. Good deal, but finding a Three Austria shop can be challenging, plus you won't find them at the airports unfortunately. Therefore consider ordering a Europe sim card online.
Belgium sim card for traveling in Europe
Belgium is the only country where buying a sim card for traveling in Europe is cheaper at the airport than in the city. When arriving in Belgium buying an Orange sim card at Brussels Airport is the best idea. It gives you 4 GB data for $17. Click on the link for more specific information. Buying a Belgium sim card for traveling in Europe is not the best deal, you get much better value when you order a Europe sim card online.
Croatia sim card for Europe travel
Are you arriving in Croatia then it sucks when you are willing to buy a Europe sim card for your trip. Most Croatia sim cards don’t allow free roaming in Europe. There is a T-Mobile Croatia sim card that gives you 3.5 GB data for EU roaming for $15. All Croatia sim cards sold at Split, Dubrovnik and Zagreb Airport are only for use in Croatia. When arriving in Croatia you want to order a Europe sim card with data online.
Denmark sim card for traveling in Europe
Arriving in Denmark means flying into Copenhagen Airport. A sim card at Copenhagen Airport for traveling in Europe with 5 GB data will cost you $20, click on the link for more info. When you are spending your first couple days of your Europe trip in Denmark I recommended travelers NOT to buy a Europe sim card in Denmark at all. Denmark sim cards are expensive and the value for money is shit! Also for Denmark counts that ordering a European sim card online is the best thing to do.
France sim card for traveling in Europe
If arriving in France the best prepaid sim card for Europe is Free Mobile. They offer 25 GB data for $35 to be used in Europe, which makes them the best prepaid sim card in France. A bummer is that there are only a few Free Mobile shops in the big cities and they don’t sell Free Mobile sim cards at Paris Airport for example. When flying to Paris Airport you can by an SFR sim card for Europe travel with 50 GB data for $56. Unfortunately this Europe sim card is only available in Terminal 1 at Paris Airport.
Germany sim card for traveling in Europe
One of the most expensive countries in Europe to buy a sim card for all of Europe. The biggest data packages on a Germany sim card are only like 3 GB and you already pay around $25. Germany sim cards are totally not worth buying. At Frankfurt Airport a prepaid sim card for Europe travel even costs $40 for 3GB.
When Germany is your first stop in Europe then it is best to order a Europe sim card with data online!
Greece sim card for Europe
On the streets in Athens you can get great Greece sim card deals with Vodafone vendors, but be aware that data in the EU is limited and therefore a Greece sim card is not the best for traveling in Europe. When flying into Greece it is best to order a sim card for all of Europe online.
Hungary sim card for Europe travel
I was surprised how relatively expensive Hungary sim cards are compared to the other prices in the country. Hungary is pretty cheap and a 20 GB travel sim for Europe can already be found for $36. At Budapest Airport sim cards for Europe travel are more expensive: 15 GB costs $38. Still this is cheaper than ordering a sim card online. So Hungary is a great place to find the best sim card for traveling in Europe.
Italy sim card for traveling in Europe
Yes an Italy sim card is a great deal for traveling in Europe. Not only at Rome, Milan and Venice Airport they sell great Europe sim cards, also in the cities. Expect to pay around $35 for 15-20 GB of data which you can use all over Europe. No need to order a sim card for traveling in Europe online when your trip starts in Italy. That said waiting in line in Italy can sometimes be a waste of your holiday.
The above package contains 2 sim cards for Europe, so 18 GB for $30. Winner! :)
Netherlands sim card for traveling in Europe
My passion for writing about Europe sim cards for tourists started at Amsterdam Airport. As Im Dutch I often passed by the Europe sim card stand and when I out of curiosity looked at the prices I was shocked: 500 MB for €20! I felt like we were ripping tourists off and that is why I started writing about sim cards for tourists. Never buy a Netherlands sim card for Europe travel. Together with Germany it is the most expensive country in Europe for data.
When arriving in the Netherlands order your Europe sim card online!
Poland sim card for traveling in Europe
Because a data sim card is so cheap in Poland, you can already get 50 GB data for $6, you can’t use them abroad. Buying a Poland sim card for traveling in Europe is kind of useless as data can’t be used outside of Poland. When traveling to Europe and Poland is your first stop than order your Europe sim online.
Spain sim card for traveling in Europe
Although Spain sim cards come with free roaming their data packages are small and no good value for money. You pay around $30 for 3 GB data only. Spain sim cards are even cheaper at Barcelona Airport where you can find a data only prepaid sim card for Europe with 9 GB for $17. When arriving at Barcelona Airport that Europe sim card is totally worth it. When arriving elsewhere in Spain it is recommended to order a Europe sim card online.
Slovakia sim card for traveling in Europe
All the Slovakia prepaid sim cards for tourists come with free roaming in Europe, but are they worth buying when you start your Europe trip in Slovakia? Nope! Prices are good, but data packages are small and 6 GB costs €13. You could buy multiple Slovakia sim cards for traveling in Europe though that is still cheaper than ordering your Europe sim card online. But also a lot of hassle... :)
Slovenia sim card for traveling in Europe
Being one of the smallest countries in Europe Slovenia does NOT have deals for Europe sim cards. All the prepaid Slovenia sim cards sold can only be used in Slovenia. Therefore buying a sim card for Europe travel is not worth it in Slovenia. Order your sim card for Europe online instead.
Switzerland sim card for traveling in Europe
Sim cards from Switzerland hold a special place in this research for the best sim card in Europe as Switzerland is NOT part of the EU after all. Luckily almost all Europe sim cards you buy abroad allow you to roam for free in Switzerland. The other way around NOT! Prepaid Swiss sim cards have NO free roaming in the EU, neither those sim cards at Geneva Airport. In case you are starting your Europe trip in Switzerland it is best to order your travel sim card for Europe online.
Sweden sim card for traveling in Europe
Despite Sweden being one of the most expensive countries in Europe to travel, buying a European sim card for tourists is worth it when arriving in Sweden. For $15 you get 5 GB data for Europe and for another $20 you get 10 GB more. Sweden sim cards are a good country to start your trip when looking for the best sim card in Europe for tourists.
United Kingdom sim card for traveling in Europe
Last but not least! Buying your Europe sim card in the United Kingdom upon arrival is totally worth it. I bet many of you start your Europe trip by flying to London. I wrote guides for all the airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton. But you can also buy your international sim card for Europe in London: $35 gives you 20 GB data valid all over Europe. A UK sim card for Europe is a great idea.
Best Europe sim cards to order online
You can order this Orange sim card online and get it shipped to your home address before your Europe trip. It comes with 20GB data, 2 hours international calling time and 1,000 text messages. See if you qualify for free shipping by clicking on the link or on the banner below.
There is also a cheaper version but this Europe sim card only gives you 3 GB data for Europe and 30 minutes international calls and costs $25. If this sounds interesting to you click here.
Portable WiFi Device
Perfect for traveling to Europe with kids! Have a look at TEP Wireless if you are looking for a way to keep your kids quiet! A portable WiFi device from TEP Wireless lets you enjoy unlimited internet per day and you can connect up to 5 devices at the same time for a couple dollars per day. Click on the banner below for more info.
I hope all the above tips for finding the best sim card for Europe were helpful for you. May you still have questions please don’t hesitate to send me a message on my Instagram: @traveltomtom or leave me a comment below.
Be aware that my 140K Instagram account will definitely create some serious wanderlust as Im now traveling the world for more than 7 years and have been to more than 100 countries. There are many inspiring photos to be found from all around Europe.
My best travel adventures? Click here to find out. Or interested how to make money from a travel blog then click on the link to read my article about it.
Enjoy your trip to Europe!