ESIM Europe Review — Airalo: The Best eSIM App for Spain

Dive into this eSIM Europe Review to find the best eSIM app for Spain. With Airalo, you’ll never have to worry about getting trapped in that medieval labyrinth of a city again. Airalo works as an affordable, seamless, and simple solution to getting mobile data on your trip to Europe. Keep reading to find out if it’s the right option for you (and for a nice discount)!

Do you need mobile data in Spain?

Absolutely. Whether you’re navigating the historic streets of Barcelona, trying to find museums in Madrid, or finding your way to the beaches of Valencia, having mobile data makes your life so much easier. 

European cities (and in my experience – Valencia, Spain) can have really complicated streets. For the most part, these cities grew organically, with winding roads and paths that don’t always make a lot of sense. 

You’ll also discover that sometimes you need to Google opening hours, find a quick translation, or book a last minute tour online ASAP.

Because in this day and age – nothing is possible with internet access

So let’s go over the best eSIM app for Spain – and why this applies as a general eSIM Europe review. 

What is an eSIM?

Let’s start with the big question first – what is an eSIM? 

An eSIM, or embedded SIM, is a digital SIM card that’s downloaded onto your phone. 

Unlike traditional physical SIM cards, you can activate an eSIM without the need for a physical card. 

(You also don’t need that stupidly tiny SIM-tray opener thingy that you always end up losing…)

With an eSIM, you’re able to simply download the app and get access to a mobile network. This is particularly useful for international travel. 

Because as SOON as you land, you’ll have internet access. No more waiting for a card to get shipped to you, or buying one in the airport, or trying to find a tech store in the middle of your vacation. 

The Best eSIM app for Europe travel — Airalo

There are a few options for eSIM apps in Europe. In my opinion, Airalo is a top choice for me. 

Everything connects smoothly, it’s easy to get more data if you need, and there are customizable plans that are really affordable. 

So in this European eSIM review, I’ll be focusing on Airalo, how it works, and why I believe it’s the best option – especially for American travelers. 

The benefits of Airalo

Let’s start with looking at the pros of using the Airalo eSIM app

Here are the benefits I’ve found of going the digital route for data connectivity in Europe:

1. No need to pick up a card: 

In the past, if you wanted to get access to the internet – you had to either buy a SIM card for an outrageous price at the airport or somehow find your way to a tourist-trap tech store in the city center. 

And let’s be honest – neither option is ideal. 

The last thing you want to do after getting off a 6+ hour red-eye flight is go figure out mobile data options in another language. 

But with Airalo – you never have to worry about it. 

You just download the app before ever leaving, and voilà, you have internet access the second you land. 

2. Cheaper

In my experience – it’s often a lot cheaper. 

Cheaper than buying a SIM card in-situ and WAY cheaper than roaming prices. 

I mean, when I had Verizon, they were offering roaming rates that would have cost me HUNDREDS for my 2-week vacation. 

But Airalo rates start at just $4.50 for 7 days – so yeah, a lot better. 

3. Dual SIM cards

If your phone supports dual SIM functionality, you can keep your home number while enjoying local rates.

In other words – you don’t have to tell your family and friends you have a new number for 2 weeks. Your old phone number works perfectly fine. 

But be careful: I highly recommend using WhatsApp or another messaging service. Your normal SMS messages aren’t covered in international eSIM cards by default. 

4. Easily add more credit

So you started scrolling on TikTok out of habit, and all the sudden you don’t have any data left. 

I get it, it happens. 

Airalo lets you easily top up your plan directly from the app. Even if you’ve used up your entire limit, you can still access the mobile app to add more credit. 

However – it is more expensive to top up than it is to simply ration out your data. To be fair, it’s only a few extra dollars. But still – I like to warn my budget-conscious travelers! 

Airalo — how it works

The next step in this eSIM Europe review is to talk about how to actually use Airalo for international travel. 

The process is super simple. Here’s how it works:

  1. Download the app: Get the Airalo app from your app store (Apple or Google Play).
  2. Select your destination: Choose the eSIM plan that suits your needs for Spain.
  3. Install: Follow the instructions to purchase and install the eSIM on your device.
  4. Activate: Just turn on your data when you land, and you’re ready to go.

It really is that simple. 

In my experience, the most difficult part is choosing the package. Since you have a LOT of options for different amounts of data (from 1 to 20 GB), it can be hard to know what you’ll need. 

My recommendation: Go for 5 GB per week. As long as you’re not watching lots of videos, that should be plenty for Google Maps, browsing, and messaging. 

Why Airalo is the best eSIM app for Spain (and Europe in general)

There’s a bunch of eSIM apps for Europe, but my favorite is still Airalo. Here’s a quick-list of why they’re my favorite:

  • User-friendly
  • Affordable pricing
  • Wide coverage and good speed
  • Easy to top up
  • Local and regional plans

And for me – that really makes it the go-to option. It’s simple, affordable, and works well. 

Of course, I can’t pretend like I’ve tried every single eSIM App for Spain, but Airalo has worked well for me – so why change? 

Tips for using Airalo in Europe

If you’ve never traveled to Europe before, let’s talk about a few things you need to know before coming. 

Because while Airalo makes the data connection process easy, there are some caveats you have to be aware of. 

So here are my top tips for using eSIM apps in Spain:

Save heavy usage for Wi-Fi

For normal activities like using Maps, browsing websites, and messaging – you shouldn’t use up too much data.

But if you decide to watch some TikToks, check out a Youtube tutorial, have a video call, etc, then you’ll end up burning through your data. 

So when you can, stick to Wi-Fi. This way you don’t even have to worry about topping up your data. 

Personally, I believe this is a better option than to go for one of the more expensive unlimited data plans. 

Download offline maps

If you’re sticking to large cities like Valencia, then this shouldn’t be an issue. But if you want to go to more rural areas, download offline maps. 

I especially recommend this if you plan on renting a car and heading out somewhere on your own. 

Personally, I’ve only had issues when going to the mountains. But it’s better to be safe than sorry! 

Use WhatsApp

While Americans are still sticking to SMS messages for the most part – basically everyone across Europe and Latin America is using WhatsApp

It’s a simple messaging app that uses simple internet access rather than being connected to your mobile phone provider. 

In other words – it doesn’t matter if you’re connected to café Wi-Fi – you can still call or text your family back home. 

So I highly recommend downloading this app. Even if you don’t use Airalo – WhatsApp is a huge convenience of international travel. And sometimes – it’s even necessary, especially if you want to have that digital nomad lifestyle. 

Make sure your phone is unlocked

If you’ve purchased your phone directly through your mobile provider – they may have “locked” your phone. 

So for example, if you bought your phone through Verizon and set up a plan with them – they may have blocked your phone so other SIM cards don’t work with that phone. 

Which means Airalo wouldn’t work, either. 

Check to see if your phone is locked. If it is, then make sure to call your mobile provider and ask them to get it unlocked. 

Be careful of non-EU countries

If you purchase a local plan that is specific to Spain, it will work in any country in the European Union

Which means there are multiple European countries where this does not work

Namely the UK, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and Andorra. 

I live in Europe now, so I have a permanent data plan. But BOTH times I went to Andorra and Switzlerand, I completely forgot about this.

And just by having my data ON when I crossed the border, I ended up getting charged roaming fees

So if you want to travel to multiple countries – keep this in mind. This includes airports. If you have a layover in England or in Switzerland, be careful to keep your phone in airplane mode. 

Another option is to purchase the Airalo Eurolink eSIM. With one of these regional Eurolink eSIM plans, it will work in non-EU countries as well. However, they are just a touch more expensive. But if you’re traveling to multiple countries, this is a great option. 

Phones that are eSIM compatible

Unfortunately, not every phone is able to use eSIMs

That’s because the phone needs to have hardware installed that allows it to take advantage of this technology. 

So in this section, I’ll list out all the phones that are eSIM compatible as of December 2023. 

Apple Phones that are eSIM compatible

  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2020)
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2022)
  • iPhone 14
  • iPhone 14 Plus
  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • iPhone 15
  • iPhone 15 Plus
  • iPhone 15 Pro
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max

Samsung phones that are eSIM compatible

  • Samsung Galaxy S23
  • Samsung Galaxy S23+
  • Samsung Galaxy S23
  • Samsung Galaxy S22
  • Samsung Galaxy S22+
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy S21
  • Samsung Galaxy S21+
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy S20
  • Samsung Galaxy S20+
  • Samsung Galaxy S2 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy S23
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold 2
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold 3
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold 4
  • Samsung Galaxy Flip 1
  • Samsung Galaxy Flip 3
  • Samsung Galaxy Flip 4
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Hybrid Dual SIM

Google Phones that are eSIM compatible

  • Google Pixel 2
  • Google Pixel 2 XL
  • Google Pixel 3
  • Google Pixel 3 XL
  • Google Pixel 3a
  • Google Pixel 3a XL
  • Google Pixel 4
  • Google Pixel 4 XL
  • Google Pixel 4a 5G
  • Google Pixel 5
  • Google Pixel 5a
  • Google Pixel 6
  • Google Pixel 6 Pro
  • Google Pixel 6a
  • Google Pixel 7
  • Google Pixel 7 Pro
  • Google Pixel 8
  • Google Pixel 8 Pro

Other brands that support eSIM

  • Huawei P40
  • Huawei P40 Pro
  • Huawei P50 Pro
  • Huawei Mate 40 Pro (not Pro+)
  • Huawei Mate Xs 2
  • Huawei Mate X2
  • Oppo Find X3 Pro
  • Oppo Reno 5A
  • Oppo Find X5
  • Oppo Find X5 Pro
  • Oppo Find X3 Pro
  • Oppo Find X5
  • Oppo Find X5 Pro
  • Oppo A55s 5G
  • Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G
  • Oppo Find N2 Flip
  • Sony Xperia 10 III Lite
  • Sony Xperia 1 IV
  • Sony Xperia 10 IV
  • Sony Xperia 5 IV
  • Sony Xperia 1 V
  • Sony Xperia 10 V
  • Sony Xperia Ace III
  • Xiaomi 12T Pro
  • Xiaomi 13
  • Xiaomi 13 Lite
  • Xiaomi 13 Pro
  • Xiaomi 13T Pro
  • Motorola Razr 2019
  • Motorola Razr 5G
  • Gemini PDA
  • Rakuten Mini
  • Rakuten BigS
  • Rakuten Big
  • Rakuten Hand
  • Rakuten Hand 5G
  • Surface Pro X
  • Honor Magic 4 Pro
  • Fairphone 4
  • Sharp Aquos Sense 6s
  • Sharp Aquos Wish
  • DOOGEE V30
  • Nuu Mobile X5

eSIM Europe Review — Get a discount on the best eSIM App

Honestly, eSIMs make your trip to Spain SO much easier. You don’t have to worry about getting lost or missing out on having documents in hand. And Airalo is by far one of my favorite eSIM providers for Europe. 

Up until December 31st, you can use the promo code DEC15 for 15% off the total price. Which makes getting connected in Europe even easier. 

If you have any questions about Airalo or planning your trip to Spain, just send me a message. I’m always happy to help! 

Bon viatge! 


Is Airalo legit? 

Yes, Airalo is a legitimate and trusted eSIM provider. They are also the world’s FIRST eSIM provider. 

How much does Airalo cost? 

Prices vary based on destination and data plan. For Spain, they go from $4.50 for one week to $26 for a large monthly plan. 

What is the best eSIM app for Europe? 

I consider Airalo the best eSIM app for Europe thanks to its coverage and affordability.

What are the cons of Airalo? 

Coverage does not include non-EU countries automatically. Likewise, phone calls and normal text messaging are not included in the base plans. 

Do eSIMs work with any phone? 

No, your phone must be eSIM-compatible. Check your device’s compatibility before purchasing an eSIM plan.

How do eSIMs work? 

eSIMs work by providing a digital SIM card embedded in your device, eliminating the need for a physical card.

Is the Holafly Europe eSIM or Airalo eSIM better?

I prefer Airalo, as the rates are better and the service is great. The one time I tried Holafly, I ran into some problems, so I prefer Airalo. 

Need help planning your trip to Valencia?

Here are the tools I use for the cheapest (and most reliable) vacation planning:

  • 🏠Booking – Affordable hotels and apartments
  • 🏠Hostel World – Safe and budget-friendly hostels 
  • ✈️Skyscanner – My favorite tool for cheap flights
  • 🚗Discover Cars – Best place for car rentals
  • 🚄Trainline – The easiest way to book local trains in advance
  • 📶Airalo – eSim cards for easy internet access while traveling
  • 🦺Safety Wing – The #1 travel medical insurance 
  • 💸Airhelp – Cancelled flight compensation (it’s free!)
  • 💱Wise – Easiest low-fee way to transfer currency 

Affiliate disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. These are links to services I personally recommend using for your trip to Valencia. At no extra cost to you, I may earn a small commission from these brands if you choose to make a purchase. Your support helps me pay my bills and eat more bunyols!

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