Using your cell phone in Europe

Using your cell phone in Europe

Using your cellphone in Europe as a foreigner

Travelers from overseas destinations such as the USA, Canada, South America and Asia can also use their cell phones in Europe. When calling and using mobile data with the smart phone in Europe, there are some topics to keep in mind:

Sim lock
In some cases, cell phones can have a sim lock. It is not very common but it can happen when the smart phone has been offered to you by a mobile network provider in your home country at favourable conditions. It means you can not use other providers sim cards in your phone. In these cases, you can contact the provider and ask them to remove the sim lock since you will be traveling abroad. If you have bought your cell phone in a store or online without mobile phone subscription you can be 100% sure there is no sim lock on your phone. The same is true when you have used other sim cards from different mobile phone providers in your phone before. If it worked, it means there is no sim lock on your phone and you can easily use different prepaid sim cards in your cell phone when traveling in Europe.

Data roaming charges
When you are traveling around in your own country, you do not have to worry about calling charges or data charges because the preset charges of your own provider will apply. This changes completely when you travel to another continent such as Europe and you start using your cell phone with the mobile phone subscription from your home country over there. When you do so, the mobile phone charges can be very high. This will be most visible when using mobile data for common tasks such as navigation, checking email, browsing the internet and using apps like WhatsApp or FaceTime. When doing so with your home sim card in your cell phone the costs you will have to pay to your home provider can be substantial. Yet, there is a simple solution that many people use when traveling between continents. When arriving in Europe for instance, you can start using a local prepaid sim card. You can buy it at the airport for prices ranging from about Euro 25.= to Euro 55.=. This way, you will know exactly what your maximum costs for using mobile data will be and you can freely use your cell phone while traveling in Europe.

Prepaid sim cards
As mentioned in the above, prepaid sim cards can be bought at most airports in Europe. At Amsterdam Airport, you can order your sim card from Airport Telecom in the Arrival Hall. Prepaid sim cards for Europe can be ordered in advance on the Airport Telecom website. You can choose for picking up the sim card up on arrival in Amsterdam or free delivery to an address of your choice in the Netherlands and Belgium.

eSIM solution
When traveling to Europe, you can also use a prepaid eSIM. A prepaid eSIM offers exactly the same advantages as a physical prepaid sim. The only difference is that a physical prepaid sim needs to be placed physically in your cell phone. This is not the case with eSIM. To start using the prepaid eSIM, a QR code needs to be scanned with you cell phone. The big advantage is that the QR code can be send to you by email. It means you do not have to go to a store at the airport when arriving in Europe. You can order your eSIM online before starting your trip to Europe. The eSIMs for Europe are available now on the Airport Telecom website too. The great thing is that it does not matter what airport in Europe you will travel to since you will pay and receive the prepaid eSIM in advance by email. Please not that cell phones are equipped to use eSIM. In case of iPhone, the eSIM can be used in the models iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, 11, 12 and 13.


In case you have any questions about the above, feel free to contact us by phone on +31 (0)20 6530999 or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We wish you a very good trip!