Holafly UK eSIM Review: Is It Worth It for Your UK Trip?

After using my very first eSIM (back in Thailand, a few years ago now) I knew that it was a real turning point - there was no going back to physical SIMs ever again.

The frustration of picking up a SIM at the airport - or worse, a local convenience store - is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. The pressure to make a quick decision despite minimal information, knowing that there are better deals out there, and not even knowing whether it will work is one of the worst feelings for a traveler.

When I scanned that first QR code and installed my first eSIM, I knew my problems were over. I converted in a matter of seconds. Today, I travel with a handful of eSIM apps on my phone, ready for anywhere I travel or anything I do. My most used in the arsenal? Holafly.

In this review, we’ll cover the basics of the Holafly eSIM and discuss our unbiased experience traveling throughout the UK, specifically London and Manchester.

Holafly eSIM

One of the few eSIM providers offering unlimited mobile data, Holafly is a top choice for digital nomads. The trusted brand offers UK-specific packages from just €6.00, helping users avoid roaming charges. Benefit from 24/7 customer support, automatic installation, and a range of cost-effective global plans.

🎁 Special Discount: Use the coupon code FREAKINGNOMADS at the checkout to get 5% OFF on all Holafly's eSIM plans and top-ups!

Check prices at Holafly

Holafly UK eSIM: What’s in the Offer?

Holafly UK eSIM

Holafly offers coverage in more than 197 different destinations, including a dedicated UK plan that’s perfect for international travelers and digital nomads.

For UK eSIMs, Holafly uses three primary carriers - Vodafone Limited, Hutchison 3G UK Limited (Three), and EE Limited. This allows users to connect to the fastest networks and access the best coverage with 3G/4G/LTE/5G speeds when traveling throughout the UK.

As with the majority of Holafly offers, there’s just one data option available - unlimited. This is fantastic for digital nomads and remote workers who are data-hungry and need to stay always connected while traveling.

Before purchasing, users are required to simply enter their trip length into the Holafly app or desktop site. Holafly will then quote the price for unlimited data with coverage in the UK. A breakdown of some example trip lengths and their associated price (in EUR) can be found in the table below.

Number of Days Data Allowance Price (EUR)
1 Unlimited €6.00
2 Unlimited €9.00
3 Unlimited €12.00
7 Unlimited €27.00
10 Unlimited €34.00
15 Unlimited €47.00
30 Unlimited €69.00
45 Unlimited €84.00
60 Unlimited €99.00
90 Unlimited €129.00

The unlimited data package is the major selling point of the Holafly UK eSIM, but there is something the brand doesn’t offer - a local telephone number. They used to offer it for Europe with an Austrian number, but the company decided to focus more on hotspot sharing instead, which is now widely available. To be completely fair, messaging apps (WhatsApp, Skype, VOIP, etc.) can all be used with their mobile data packages, so not a big deal for us but if you were hoping to send text messages and receive calls with Holafly you can’t do it with their UK eSIM.

We decided to put the Holafly UK eSIM to the test on our recent trip to the UK. We tested the networks in London, Manchester, and during the journey between the two cities. So, keep reading to see our impressions.

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How Does the Holafly eSIM for the UK Work?

We’re no stranger to the Holafly eSIM - we’ve used the provider in the USA, Europe, and now in the UK. To test out the UK version of the ever-popular cellular data solution, we traveled between London and Manchester to take in the sights and examine the performance.

Holafly UK: eSIM Purchasing Process

Starting from either the desktop website or the mobile app, it’s quick and easy to purchase a Holafly eSIM to suit your needs. Just follow the below step-by-step guide to get the right eSIM for you:

  1. Start by entering the UK in the “Where do you need internet?” search box. The Holafly UK eSIM landing page is then opened. This contains a great overview of the details surrounding the UK eSIM.
How to buy a Holafly eSIM. Step 1: Select location
  1. Select the number of days and number of eSIMs required for the trip. We selected 40 days to allow enough time to visit and work in both London and Manchester.
How to buy a Holafly eSIM. Step 2: Choose duration
  1. Follow the checkout process, entering the required personal and payment details. Use an email address that can be easily accessed as your new Holafly eSIM will be sent there for installation.
How to buy a Holafly eSIM. Step 3: Purchase eSIM

Holafly UK: eSIM Installation and Activation Process

Holafly offers two main installation and activation processes for users - automatic and by QR Code (manual installation is also available, but not recommended).

Automatic

Holafly eSIM automatic installation

For Apple devices running iOS 17.4 or later, Holafly eSIMs can be installed and activated automatically via the App.

  1. Download and open the Holafly app. Holafly will automatically select the best installation option for your device. If using iOS 17.4 or later, automatic installation is available.
  2. Select “Install and Activate”. Choose “Continue” to begin the process.
  3. Confirm eSIM installation by selecting “Continue” once more.

QR Code

Holafly eSIM QR code installation

Where installation via QR is preferred or necessary, follow the below step-by-step guide: 

  1. Head into your device settings, navigating to the “Mobile Data / Cellular” settings. Select “Add Data Plan”.
  2. Scan the provided QR code. The QR code is emailed to the address provided. Scan this via a second device, printed copy, or screenshot (if using iOS 17 or later). 
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to set data, SMS, and call preferences. Rename the eSIM. In our case, we renamed ours to Holafly UK. This helps distinguish the UK eSIM from our other USA and Europe tester SIMs.

Get 5% Off on Holafly UK eSIMs

Use Code 'FREAKINGNOMADS' and Save on New eSIMs and Top Ups

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iPhone users who would like to learn more about the installation process can use the below video:

Alternatively, for Android users:

Using Holafly eSIM in the UK: Our Experience

Digital nomad holding a phone with Holafly eSIM app in London tube

To gain accurate insight into Holafly’s UK eSIM, we decided to put it to the test during our travels around the UK. We ventured between London and Manchester, investigating the download speed, upload speed, and documenting the connection details found in the table below:

Location Speed Connection details
London 88.93 Mbps (download) / 9.25 Mbps (upload) Generally strong speeds, though uploads can be a bit slower
Manchester 50.98 Mbps (download) / 11.04 Mbps (upload) Reliable connection with good performance throughout the city

Although we spent the majority of our time in the UK’s two major cities, we were thoroughly impressed with the performance of the Holafly plan. We found huge download speeds (88+ Mbps) in London and great performance in Manchester (50+ Mbps).

The connection, using Vodaphone, Three, and EE, was ultra-reliable and we didn’t notice any spotty service when spending time in the cities. The only time we did lose connection or notice any issues was during the train journey between the cities as we passed through the British countryside.

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Use Code 'FREAKINGNOMADS' and Save on New eSIMs and Top Ups

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Pros and Cons of Holafly eSIM for the UK

We’ve examined the technical details of the Holafly UK eSIM, but should you invest in one for your next trip to the UK?

Below are the pros and cons of the Holafly eSIM based on our experience traveling in the UK.

Pros:

  • Unlimited data
  • Fast and reliable internet
  • No more roaming charges
  • Customizable plans
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Hotspot and share up to 500MB of data daily

Cons:

  • No local phone number
  • Pricier than local eSIM providers
  • Fair Usage Policy (Data throttled after hitting daily limits)

Are there any Alternatives to Holafly for the UK?

Holafly is one of the best eSIM providers, but it’s not the only option for digital nomads. Airalo, Nomad, and Jetpac all offer great alternatives for UK travel.

Airalo

Airalo eSIM website

As Holafy’s biggest competitor, Airalo offers a similar service tailored to nomads departing on shorter trips.

There are no unlimited or long-term plans available, but travelers can choose between 1GB and 20GB of mobile data for between 7 and 30 days. It’s a more affordable plan, but you get much less data for your money.

If you’re not worried about breaching the data cap or need a short-term eSIM (7-30 days), Airalo is a great fit. But if you are data-heavy like us, you’ll end up spending more by topping up many times, so in that case, Holafly could be a better solution.

🎁
Special Discount: As a thank you for being our reader, you can use our Discount Code 'FN10' and get 10% OFF on all Airalo plans!

If you want to learn more about Airalo, read our full Airalo review below:

Airalo eSIM: Is It Legit? Our Honest Review
In-depth review of Airalo’s eSIM for international travelers. We look at the pros, cons, pricing and more to see if it’s really a good eSIM for you.

Nomad

Nomad eSIM website

With data plans for 170+ countries, Nomad offers an eSIM with a clearly defined target market - digital nomads.

In the UK, Nomad primarily uses the EE Network for fast, reliable connections with 4G/5G speeds.

Similar to Airalo, Nomad is a great choice for fast-moving nomads who don’t rely too heavily on their mobile data but, again, not a great choice if you use an eSIM for remote work or heavy streaming.

If you want to learn more about Nomad, read our full Nomad review below:

Nomad eSIM Hands-On Review: Is It a Good eSIM?
Discover the pros and cons of Nomad eSIM in our hands-on review. Find out if it’s the right eSIM solution for your international travel needs.

Jetpac

Jetpac eSIM website

Produced by the Singapore-based tech company Circles, Jetpac is the new kid on the block of eSIMs.

Users can pick from global, regional, or single-country data plans to find the perfect plan to complement their trip. The Jetpac plans can be super affordable, starting at just $1, but it’s the perks that make the brand so unique. You’ll be able to get complimentary airport lounge access among the list of available benefits. But if you are searching for a more established and widely available eSIM (Jetpac is “only” available in 100 countries), then Holafly might suit you best.

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SPECIAL DISCOUNT: Use our exclusive code FRKNGNOMADS10 to unlock FREE 10GB on Jetpac Global eSIM!

If you want to learn more about Jetpac, read our full Jetpac review below:

Jetpac eSIM Review: Is It a Good eSIM for Travel?
We put Jetpac’s global travel eSIM to the test. Read our hands-on review to see how it performed in terms of reliability, pricing, and features.

Holafly UK eSIM Review: The Bottom Line

The real selling point of the Holafly eSIM lies in the unlimited data. For remote workers and digital nomads working away from trusted Wi-Fi, this is a huge perk. The affordable, unlimited data opens up the possibility to work from absolutely anywhere.

Not only does Holafly offer a great product, but they’re an ethical and trustworthy company. Users have access to 24/7 customer support, offering peace of mind wherever in the world you may find yourself.

The Holafly eSIMs are, however, slightly more expensive. At €69.00 for a 30-day plan, coughing up the cash can be a problem. The question that you must ask yourself - and that nobody else can answer - is whether the unlimited data, ease of use, and peace of mind are worth it for you? If so, then you should definitely go ahead and purchase it.

Ready To Stay Connected on Your Next Trip to the UK with Holafly?

Get 5% Off on Holafly UK eSIMs

Use Code 'FREAKINGNOMADS' and Save on New eSIMs and Top Ups

Grab Your Discount Now!

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