What is the best eSIM for internet on your trip to the UK?

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The United Kingdom is one of the most amazing tourist destinations in Europe for its incredible natural landscapes, cosmopolitan cities like London and Liverpool, and beautiful seaside towns. In this post we are not going to talk about what to see in the UK, but about the best option to have internet on your trip. Passporter always recommends eSIM cards as they allow you to connect to the internet immediately without paying excessive bills like with roaming, or risking your data on public wifi networks.

We will tell you how to find the best eSIM for UK, and we will compare the main brands on the market such as Holafly, Airalo or SimOptions. When choosing the eSIM that best suits your trip you should take into account criteria such as speed, data limit, customer support, price or duration of the plans. We can already tell you that the eSIM cards without data limit like the ones from Holafly are a safe choice with no extra charges and 24/7 support

eSIM comparison for a trip to the UK

When comparing different eSIM brands we must take into account all the features that will determine if the card fits the needs of our trip. That’s why we have prepared this table with all the essential information about each brand to help you choose. Later on we will elaborate on all the important aspects so that you don’t miss any information.

BrandPlan durationData sharingUnlimited dataAppGB per planSupport PriceTrustpilotScore
Holafly5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 60 and 90 daysNoYesYesUnlimited data on all plansIn English and other languages, direct chat and WhatsApp19€ -99€4,64
Airalo7, 15 and 30 daysYesNoYes1GB, 2GB, 3GB, 5GB, 10GB and 20GBIn English, via a bot5€ – 36€3,93,8
Maya Mobile30 daysYesYesNo1GB, 3GB, 5GB, 10GB and unlimitedIn English, via a bot5€ – 47€4,53,2
Simoptions14 and 30 daysNoNoNo5GB, 8GB, 10GB and 20GB In English, via chat17,9$ – 49$3,53
Nomad30 daysYesNoYes1GB, 3GB, 5GB, 20GB, 30GB, 40GB, 50GB and 100GBIn English, via email or the App5€ – 166€3,13,6
eSIM card brand comparison to have internet on your trip to the UK

1. Holafly, eSIM for UK with unlimited data and multilingual customer support

Esim data for UK Holafly
eSIM to have internet in the UK with Holafly
AdvantagesAll of their eSIM plans offer unlimited data.
They offer data packages by continent and by country.
Holafly’s eSIM cards are easy to purchase and install with QR code or manually.
They offer a wide variety of eSIM cards with different prices and contract durations.
They have eSIM cards for 160 destinations.
24/7 technical support in Spanish, English, German, French, Italian, and Japanese.
Very flexible pricing.
They offer Europe-wide eSIM cards including UK.
You can pay in euros, dollars and Mexican pesos.
It has an App where you can check the consumption and the remaining days of the contract.
InconveniencesTheir eSIM cards do not include calls or sms.
Holafly’s eSIM card for the UK does not allow data sharing.
You can’t do the setup through their App.
Advantages and disadvantages of Holafly eSIM cards

The Spanish company Holafly  is one of the best options to buy eSIM cards and travel comfortably because the brand offers unlimited data plans for the United Kingdom and a 24/7 customer service in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Japanese that responds in less than a minute by chat or WhatsApp. The company has offices in several countries around the world with more than 100 workers and currently has the best customer rating on Trustpilot with a score of 4.6.

On the website of Holafly you can find 7 unlimited data plans with a duration of 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 30, 60 and 90 days. The price ranges from €19 to €99. The brand also offers its customers an eSIM card for all Europe including UK and other 31 countries, so you can move from country to country without switching eSIMs.

Data planPrice in EurosPrice in DollarsPrice in Mexican Pesos
5 days – unlimited data19€19$$339
10 days – unlimited data34€34$$699
15 days – unlimited data47€47$$899
20 days – unlimited data57€57$$1199
30 days – unlimited data69€69$$1399
60 days – unlimited data87€87$$1699
90 days – unlimited data99€99$$1999
Pay for your eSIM for the UK in Euros, Dollars or Mexican Pesos with Holafly

The Holafly eSIM cards can be installed easily by scanning the QR code that you will receive by email once you have completed the purchase. The installation can also be done manually without the need for a computer, simply writing a code in the settings of your mobile that you can consult in the mail or in your App, which is very convenient to control the duration of the data plan.

After testing Holafly’s eSIM cards we can say that they are one of the most expensive options on the market, but that in the end they are profitable because you can travel without worries thanks to their customer service, the most efficient of all the eSIM cards we have tested. Here we share this ranking where we evaluate from 1 to 5 all the features of the Holafly eSIM cards for UK based on our experience.

DataDurationSupportPriceAppSpeedData SharingCurrenciesTotal
Evaluación de las características de las eSIM de Holafly

In this post you can read about our experience with Holafly eSIM cards and some users’ opinions: Our review of Holafly eSIM: is it worth it?

Holafly eSIM Installation Process

2. SimOptions, an eSIM card marketplace

AdvantagesThey offer regional, country or global data packages.
Sim Options eSIM cards are easy to purchase and install.
They offer a wide variety of eSIM cards with different length, price and gigabytes.
They have eSIM cards for 160 countries.
Some plans include calls and SMS.
InconveniencesGigabytes are limited to 20GB or less and do not have unlimited data cards.
Short-term plans have very limited gigabytes.
eSIM features for the same country vary depending on the brand contracted.
The duration of data plans is limited to 14 and 30 days.
Not all eSIM cards allow recharging data.
Technical support depends on each brand and good customer service cannot be guaranteed.
Speed depends on each brand of eSIM card.
There is no App to control data consumption.
Advantages and disadvantages of SimOptions eSIM cards

SimOptions is an eSIM card marketplace where local mobile carriers in each country sell their eSIM cards. The brand, with offices in Paris, Thailand and Hong Kong, offers data plans for eSIM cards in more than 160 countries and also have regional and global plans.

For the UK you will find six plans for 14 and 30 days with data limits of 5GB, 8GB, 10GB and 20GB. Prices are a bit higher than average and range from $17.9 to $49.9. Most plans do not allow you to top up the installed eSIM if you run out of data and there is only one eSIM that includes calls.

The main drawback of SimOptions is that its website is a bit chaotic and the data plans, as they are from different brands, are very diverse and their features vary a lot, not only the price, speed or duration, but also the customer support, the possibility of recharging or sharing data. This will force you to look in detail at each brand and will make it harder for you to make a decision.

Data planPrice in U.S.Dollars
30 days – 15 GB17,9$
30 days – 10GB24,9$
30 days – 10 GB + calls24,9$
30 days – 20 GB34,9$
14 days – 8 GB34,9$
14 days – 20GB49,9$
Pay for your eSIM for the UK in US Dollars with SimOptions

Our personal experience is that with SimOptions cards you lose a lot of time comparing between one and the other. In addition, the price is high, you can only pay in dollars and they don’t give you the guarantee of a good technical support. Here we rate SimOptions eSIM cards from 1 to 5 and in this post you can read about our opinion and what other customers think about the brand: Our review of Sim Options eSIM: is it worth it?

DataDuration SupportPriceAppSpeedData Sharing CurrenciesTotal
Evaluation of SimOptions eSIM features
eSIM to have internet in the UK with SimOptions

3. Airalo, the cheapest eSIM brand on the market

Advantages They offer regional, country or global data packages.
Airalo eSIM cards are easy to purchase and install.
It is one of the cheapest brands in the market.
They offer a wide variety of eSIM cards with different duration, price and gigabytes.
They have eSIM cards for 190 countries.
Their eSIM card allows you to share data with other devices.
They allow you to recharge the eSIM.
They have an App and you can buy and install the eSIM from it.
InconveniencesGigabytes are limited to 5GB or less and do not have unlimited data cards.
Short-term plans have very limited gigabytes.
Their eSIM cards do not include calls and sms.
The duration of the data plans is limited to 7, 15 and 30 days.
Their services and technical support is exclusively in English and takes a long time to respond.
Advantages and disadvantages of Airalo eSIM cards

Airalo is along with Holafly one of the world’s best-known brands for buying an international travel eSIM. The company, founded in Singapore in 2019 by Turkish entrepreneurs Abraham Burak and Ahmet Bahadir Özdemir, was one of the first to offer such services, and has a wide coverage of countries where they offer eSIM cards.

Airalo’s eSIM card data plans for the UK have durations of 7, 15 and 30 days, and prices range from $5 to $36. Airalo is known for being one of the cheapest brands on the market, however, its customer service leaves much to be desired and takes a long time to respond. In addition, their data plans have very limited gigabytes and you will most likely run out of data in the middle of your trip and have to recharge. This means that in the end the costs will increase and what seemed cheap will be expensive in the end.

Data planPrice in U.S. Dollars
7 days – 1 GB5$
15 days – 2 GB7,5$
30 days – 3 GB10$
30 days – 5 GB15$
30 days – 10 GB22,5$
30 days – 20 GB36$
Pay for the UK eSIM in US Dollars with Airalo

Although Airalo is cheap and offers a wide variety of eSIM cards that can be controlled through their App, the truth is that it is not one of the best options because of the technical service, as you can see on Trustpilot in the user reviews and ratings. Airalo has one of the lowest scores with 3.7. Here you have the ranking of each aspect of Airalo and in this post you can also read about our opinion of the brand: Our review of Airalo eSIM: is it worth it?

DataDuration SupportPriceAppSpeedData Sharing CurrenciesTotal
Evaluation of Airalo’s eSIM features
eSIM to have internet in the UK with Airalo

4. Maya Mobile, data packages with the GBs you need

AdvantagesThey offer data packages by continent and for countries.
Maya Mobile eSIM cards are easy to purchase and install with QR code or manually.
They have eSIM cards for 194 destinations.
Data plans limited to 1GB, 3GB, 4GB, 10GB that can run out quickly.
Flexible pricing.
Possibility of internet sharing.
You can set up auto-recharge after 30 days to recharge.
Data sharing with other devices.
InconveniencesTheir eSIM cards do not include calls or sms.
They do not have an App.
Their unlimited data plans have a speed of 1Mbps after the first 30GB.
Technical support in English via a bot.
They only have data plans for 30 days.
Advantages and disadvantages of Maya Mobile eSIM cards

This company offers eSIM cards for 30 days in the United Kingdom. In this case, the price of the data packages varies depending on the gigabytes. In total they have 5 packages of 1, 3, 5 and 10 gigabytes, and one unlimited data package.This last one has a trick. The maximum speed of this plan is 2Mbps, and after you have used 30GB of the plan, the speed drops to 1Mbps.The price ranges from 5€ to 47€.

Like Holafly, Maya Mobile is known for the speed and simplicity of their installation process, which is also done through a QR code that you receive by email. In addition, they have a 100% refund policy of the purchase in case the data does not work, which is not common since they have a minimum of two data providers in each country where they offer their services.

There is also the possibility of signing up for an unlimited data plan for eSIM for all of Europe plus UK with a duration of 30 days and for a price of 46€.

Data planPrice in Dollars
30 days – 1 GB5$
30 days – 3 GB7$
30 days – 5 GB10$
30 days – 10 GB16$
30 days – unlimited data*47$
Pay for your UK eSIM in Euros with Maya Mobile

In the case of Maya Mobile we consider it a disadvantage their plans being very inflexible and only having a duration of 30 days. They don’t offer plans with truly unlimited data like some other brands such as Holafly, which means you may run out of data in the middle of your trip or browse at a very slow speed. Here the table with the score for each of the features of their eSIM cards.

DataDuration SupportPriceAppSpeedData Sharing CurrenciesTotal
Evaluation of Maya Mobile’s eSIM features

5. Nomad and their App

Advantages They offer regional, country or global data packages.
Nomad eSIM cards are easy to purchase and install.
The app is very convenient and allows you to recharge the eSIM.
They offer a wide variety of eSIM cards with different prices and amount of gigabytes.
They have eSIM cards for 112 countries.
Technical support both in the app and on the web.
Very affordable prices.
InconveniencesGigabytes are limited to 100GB or less and do not have unlimited data cards.
Short-term plans have very limited gigabytes (1GB).
Their eSIM cards do not include calls and sms.
The duration of data plans is limited to 7 or 30 days.
Their services and technical support are exclusively in English.
Advantages and disadvantages of Nomad eSIM cards

Nomad is a company dedicated to the distribution of eSIM cards so you can have internet during your travels. It is also a marketplace like SimOptions, but their website and App are much better developed and it is a bit easier to compare eSIM cards. One of the advantages of the brand is that it has an App with which its customers can easily and quickly sign up for data plans.

The brand offers data plans in more than 100 countries and also by continents so that we can make use of our internet connection even if we are moving between different countries. In the case of the United Kingdom, the data packages only have a duration of 30 days, which is not flexible at all. In addition, they have data limits ranging from 1 GB to 100 GB. The fact that they do not have unlimited data plans is a big disadvantage as we will be forced to recharge.

In the UK they work with mobile providers EE and Telefonica.

Data plan Price in DollarsPrice in EurosPrice in Pounds
30 days – 1 GB5$5€4,5£
30 days – 3 GB9$9€
30 days – 5 GB11$10,5€9,5£
30 days – 10 GB14$13,5€12£
30 days – 20 GB21$20€18£
30 days – 30 GB58$55€49£
30 days – 40 GB75$71,5€63£
30 days – 50 GB90$85,5€75,5£
30 days – 100 GB175$166€146,5£
Pay for your eSIM for the UK in US Dollars, Euros and Pounds with Nomad

The Nomad App is very useful to monitor the consumption and recharge in case we run out of data. We can also use it to get in touch with customer service, which unfortunately is only in English.

Here you can see our ranking of Nomad’s eSIMs.

DataDuration SupportPriceAppSpeedData Sharing CurrenciesTotal
Nomad eSIM feature evaluation

Conclusion: what is the best eSIM for UK

In this post we have seen that there are many important factors to take into account when comparing eSIM cards because for each type of travel you will have different connection needs. That’s why we prepared this section where we share which eSIM card is best for each type of travel based on our experience

When we travel we don’t want to run out of data in the middle of our trip, that’s why eSIM cards with unlimited data are the best option if we want to travel without worries. In this case, the only brands that offer unlimited eSIM data are Holafly and Maya Mobile, but remember that Maya Mobile’s unlimited data plans are not real, since after using 30GB the browsing speed will drop to half. With some companies like Airalo you can recharge the already installed eSIM through their website or App, but the best thing is not having to pay again if you run out of data.

We know it can be tricky to estimate the gigabytes you’ll need during your trip, so we have prepared this table to help you estimate if you end up choosing an eSIM card with a data limit, which we don’t recommend.

PlataformGigabyte consumption per hour
Instagram0,12GB – 0,18 GB
Facebook0,12GB – 0,18 GB
Twitter0,06 GB
Tiktok0,18 GB – 0,8 GB
Netflix0,3GB – 7GB
Youtube0,14GB – 1,7 GB
Amazon Prime0,8GB – 6GB
Internet traffic on video and social media platforms

The installation process of eSIM cards is always simple and fast, but it is true that there are some companies that make it even easier. The first thing is to check if your phone is compatible with the eSIM of the brand. This information can be found on the website of each provider.

Purchasing the eSIM for UK can be done via the web with some brands such as Holafly or Maya Mobile or via the app with Airalo or Nomad. The SimOptions and Nomad websites are marketplaces, which means they don’t sell their own eSIM cards but third-party brands, so it can make the purchase process a bit confusing.

The only brands that allow you to do the installation through the App are Airalo and Nomad, and in the case of Holafly, in the App you will be able to get the code to install the eSIM manually without using a computer. You can also do the installation scanning a QR code that you will receive by email as soon as you complete the purchase with Holafly, Airalo, or Maya Mobile.

Install eSIM Holafly for UK
eSIM instalation for the United Kingdom

On the other hand, it is very important to consider the customer service to help you in the installation process and solve any doubt or problem. Most brands such as Maya Mobile or Airalo have a chat bot that takes a long time to respond and only does so in English. In this regard Holafly tech support is the best as they respond in less than 1 minute in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Japanese via web chat or via WhatsApp, where a conversation is automatically opened after purchase.

eSIM to have internet in the UK

Many times when we travel we want to share data with other devices and only some providers like Airalo or some SimOptions cards make it possible. That said, be aware that the eSIM data of these brands is very limited, and if you share it will run out sooner.

The cheapest brands are Airalo and Maya Mobile, however, their data plans are very limited and will most likely run out and you will have to pay again with the top-up. That’s why it’s sometimes recommended to pay a little more and get a eSIM with unlimited data from Holafly, to get peace of mind and not have to recharge again.

All in all, Holafly’s eSIM cards are the best choice for travel to UK because of their unlimited data and multi-language technical support that responds in less than a minute. With Holafly you will never run out of data on your trip.

Other options for getting internet in the UK

Here are some other alternatives for internet when traveling to the UK that may interest you. eSIM cards are the fastest, most convenient and secure way to connect to the network, but there are other options that may suit your needs better.

These are the reasons why we prefer to use eSIM cards for internet on our travels, and we’ll tell you in more detail what other options you have below.

ConvenienceImmediate delivery and activation upon purchase.
Purchase prior to travel.
Easy installation; unlike SIM cards, there is no need to remove the original card.
You’ll be connected as soon as you land, no need to find a store first.
You’ll find tailor-made plans to suit the duration and needs of your trip.
No need to rely on batteries, as with Pocket wifi.
You won’t have to carry an extra device during your trip, like the Pocket Wifi.
Peace of mindYou will have 24/7 technical support in English, unlike with a SIM or Pocket Wifi.
You will not have to worry about forgetting or losing any device other than your cell phone.
SecurityYou will avoid using public wifi networks vulnerable to hacking.
You will avoid entering personal data in endless forms to get Wifi.
No need to open or manipulate your mobile phone like with SIM cards.
Advantages of eSIM cards for your trip to the UK

1. SIM cards from O2 UK and Vodafone

In the United Kingdom you can buy SIM cards from the main mobile operators such as O2 and Vodafone. These companies, that offer the most complete and best connected networks in the country, offer SIM cards that you can buy in their official stores. These stores are located at international airports and in the commercial areas of each city.

The price of SIM cards varies greatly depending on the data plan and the length of the contract. But to give you an idea, estimate that limited data plans of less than a week cost around €8.

AdvantagesThere are a variety of brands and data plans to choose from.
Installation is fast.
They can be purchased online or in physical stores.
You can make calls and send messages with a local number.
InconveniencesIt always replaces your regular SIM, which can be lost or damaged.
The cell phone must be opened and handled during the installation process.
You have to travel to buy it or wait for the card to be delivered.
When the contract of your travel SIM expires, it must be replaced by another one.
You will not be able to keep your regular phone number.
Advantages and disadvantages of SIM cards for internet connection in the UK

2. Renting a Pocket WiFi for the UK

Another alternative for connecting to the internet in the UK is renting a Pocket WiFi, i.e. a portable router with which you can access the internet anywhere you go.

There are two Pocket Wifi companies in the UK:

  • Travel WiFi: provides a device with which you can access the internet for 7 days for a fee of €57.75. Shipping is free, but the final price does not include insurance.
  • Wifi Travellers for €70.5 you will have internet for 7 days. Shipping is an additional €5.1 and no anti-theft or loss insurance is included.
AdvantagesCan be used by several devices at the same time.
You can choose the gigabyte package that suits you best.
No need to install anything on our cell phones.
InconveniencesIt is one of the most expensive options.
There are few brands to choose from.
Contracts are usually of long duration.
In addition to the data plan, you have to pay for rental, insurance and shipping costs.
The battery lasts 6 hours maximum.
If you use it with more people you have to be in the same room.
You have to carry it with you wherever you go and you run the risk of losing it.
Advantages and disadvantages of a pocket wifi for internet connection on a trip to the UK

3. Search for free WiFi networks in the UK

Although this is apparently the cheapest option, the truth is that you need to be cautious when connecting to public networks as they are vulnerable to hacking. It is therefore recommended to limit their use to cases of necessity and avoid making transactions that put our personal data at risk.

In the UK you can find free wifi hotspots in tourist attractions such as museums, cafés and restaurants, hotels and airports.

AdvantagesIt is free of charge.
There is nothing to install on our cell phones.
InconveniencesIt is difficult to find free access wifi networks.
Public wifi networks are often slow or give connection problems.
You often have to fill in forms and share your personal data.
Some free wifi networks have limited time.
You have to be near the router to connect.
These networks are vulnerable to hacking.
Advantages and disadvantages of using free wifi networks in the UK

4. Activate Roaming for UK

Although data roaming or roaming offered by your operator can be quite convenient for connecting to the internet in the UK, you should be aware that the costs are often very high. When roaming, you will keep your phone number and will not need to install anything on your mobile, simply activate data roaming and you will be able to surf the internet.

AdvantagesThere is no need to install anything on our cell phone.
There is no need to contract any extra service.
You can receive calls, send messages and connect to the internet immediately.
InconveniencesThis is the most expensive option.
Sometimes it is activated without us realizing it.
Not all telephone companies offer this service.
Advantages and disadvantages of roaming in the UK

In Spain, some operators offering this service are Movistar, Vodafone and Orange. Before activating it, we recommend that you check the rates charged by the operator with which you have a contract to avoid surprises when you receive your bill.

Frequently asked questions about how to have the internet in the United Kingdom

How do eSIM cards work?

eSIM cards allow you to have internet on your cell phone when you travel abroad without having to remove your regular SIM card, as is the case with SIM cards. This is possible thanks to a chip that is incorporated in the latest generation of cell phones.
The purchase of the eSIM data plan can be done through the web or the App of some brands. Choose your destination, the duration and the gigabytes of the data plan and pay securely.

How are eSIM cards installed?

The installation and activation of the eSIM is a really easy procedure that will only take a few minutes.
Once you have verified that your cell phone is compatible with the product and chosen the data plan that best suits your needs, go to the mobile data settings on your smartphone and select “add data plan”. Then the camera will open so you can scan the QR code that you will have received in the mail after the purchase. The installation and activation of your card will then begin.
This process must be carried out with an internet connection, so it is recommended to do it before starting the trip or as soon as you arrive at the hotel.

How do I know if my mobile phone is compatible with an eSIM?

Most models of popular brands such as Apple, Samsung, Motorola, Huawei or Google are compatible as long as they are recent models. Several iPads are also compatible. However, it is best to consult the website of each provider, where they will indicate all the compatible models.

What is the delivery time for the physical SIM card?

SIM cards can be purchased in physical shops or online, with delivery times ranging from 48 to 72 hours. There are also companies that offer same day express delivery.

Are there unlimited internet options in the UK?

Most companies offer unlimited data packages. Holafly, unlike the others, offers a wide range of unlimited data packages.

When do I need to activate my SIM or eSIM card?

Data cards are activated as soon as they are installed in the country of origin, i.e. when the SIM card is inserted or the QR code is scanned.

How long do data packages last in the UK?

Data packages usually last for 30 days, however, some providers such as Holafly offer more flexible packages between 5 days and 3 months.

Can I share data and hotspot with Holafly?

Unlimited data plans do not normally allow data sharing, but plans with a specific number of GBs included do.

Is the data with Holafly really unlimited?

The data on unlimited plans is really unlimited. Please note, however, that local mobile operators may temporarily reduce the speed if you use applications such as Netflix or YouTube very intensively. These limits are more intended to avoid network saturation by a few users.

Is Holafly’s UK eSIM reliable?

Holafly is a Spanish company launched in 2018 that you can trust, it has been tested by over 400,000 customers, travel blogs and YouTubers. Holafly has been marketing eSIMs since 2019.

What are the reviews of Holafly’s UK eSIM?

Holafly has over 10,000 positive experiences posted on Trustpilot, with an “Excellent” rating and 4.6 average score.

Does SIM Options offer unlimited data in the UK?

No, with SIM Options you can find data plans of up to 10 GB or 20 GB, depending on the plan. Once the data runs out, it would be reduced to an unusable speed (128kb).

10 GBIs Sim Options’ UK eSIM reliable?

SIM Options has both positive and negative reviews, and a lower average Trustpilot score than Holafly of 3.8. SIM Options is a Hong Kong based company.

Does Maya offer unlimited data in the UK?

No, Maya actually limits the speed on its unlimited plans to only 5mbps. Once 30 GB is consumed, Maya further limits the speed to 1mbps.

Is Maya Mobile’s eSIM a reliable option for the UK?

Maya is owned by a US company, Maya Virtual Inc. Reviews of Maya on Trustpilot are good, with an average rating of 4.5.

Is the Airalo eSIM a reliable option for the UK?

Airalo reviews on Trustpilot are good, with an average score of 3.9.

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