Roaming in Europe: A Visitors Guide to Costs for Each Provider
I strongly believe in the value of keeping in touch with other people, especially while travelling. After writing a recent guide on roaming costs I was curious how much it costs specifically to use roaming in and around Europe to stay in touch with people - both in a European country and back home. I put together this guide on how much it costs people from around the world to roam in Europe.
Roaming in Europe typically costs the equivalent of about 5-10 Euro per day. This is approximately 10 USD per day for Americans visiting Europe, 12 CAD per day for Canadians and 10 AUD per day for Australians. Typically this includes additional data or the use of your own plan from back home, and calls and texts to your home country and the country you’re in.
For the major providers from each country, the table below contains details on how much roaming in Europe typically costs (all in your home currency):
|If you are from:||Expect to pay for roaming in Europe|
T-Mobile: Free, though $5/day for better service
In this guide to roaming in Europe I've looked at how much it costs to roam your phone into Europe if you're coming from each of these countries (click to skip ahead):
All currencies I use in these further details are the local ones (i.e. $10 under the section for United States means USD, and $12 under the Canadian section means CAD).
In general, it can be cheaper to get a local SIM card on arrival in Europe. If you buy a SIM card in a European Union country it should work in any other European Union country (Switzerland being an exception as it’s not in the EU).
Many countries are included in “Europe”, so in this guide I’ve tried to highlight some of the countries that are NOT covered by providers - most providers I looked at had great coverage when it came to European countries.
Roaming in Europe for each of the major providers can be summarised as:
- AT&T: $10/day to use your plan allowance
- T-Mobile: Basics for free, but unlimited calls and data can be purchased from $5/day
- Verizon: $10/day to use your plan allowance or $70/month for additional allowance
I found all three providers offer good coverage over the European area. This includes the European Union, Scandinavia, Switzerland, and eastern Europe.
Below are further details for each provider:
Roaming in Europe with AT&T is available using their International Day Pass which costs $10/day. This includes:
- Data: Uses your plan allowance
- Talk: Unlimited calls to the US, the country you’re in, and other countries in Europe
- Texts: Unlimited
To get started with AT&T’s International Day Pass head to their website to sign up1.
I found all large countries in Europe, such as Germany and France, to be supported by AT&T, as well as smaller countries such as Switzerland, Romania, and Estonia. I’d say AT&T has Europe well covered.
T-Mobile’s Simple Global roaming is available in Europe at no extra charge on most of their plans. This means that you would expect:
- Data: Unlimited at 2G speeds
- Talk: $0.25 per minute
- Text: Unlimited
Faster data can be purchased at the following rates2:
- 512mb to be used within 24 hours for $5/day
- 5GB to be used within 10 days for $35
- 15GB to be used within 30 days for $50
All options include unlimited voice calling to the country you’re in and back to the States.
At these rates I’d say if you’re staying up to 1 week in Europe, then it might be worth buying the 5GB of data. For longer stays, consider buying a local SIM card on arrival.
All of these options are available on T-Mobile’s Essentials (no data included though) and Magenta plans.
There is no need to activate if you have one of these plans, you can start roaming when you arrive. The additional data/calls can be purchased ahead of time. I also checked to the extent to which T-Mobile covers Europe, it seems to have good coverage of the European Union, Switzerland, and eastern Europe.
Roaming in Europe with Verizon costs $10/day. A TravelPass can be added on to your plan and you’ll only be charged for the days you use it3.
The TravelPass includes:
- Data: 500mb full speed and then a slower speed after that
- Talk: As per your plan at home
- Text: As per your plan at home
I couldn’t find how much the speed slows down to and I’m not personally with Verizon myself. Please reach out if you’ve experienced it, I imagine it slows down based on network congestion rather than to a fixed speed.
To activate the TravelPass with Verizon, text
4004. More information is available on their website here.
Verizon also offers a monthly international travel plan for $70 per month which includes:
- Data: 0.5GB
- Talk: 100 mins
- Text: 100 messages
A $130 per month plan is available which includes more data (2GB), talk (250 mins) and texts (1,000 messages).
Verizon also seems to cover all of Europe, as far as I could tell. Including the European Union, Switzerland, and eastern Europe.
Roaming a Canadian cell plan into Europe typically costs about $12 per day. This typically gets you either access to your monthly plan, or additional data, along with unlimited talk and text in the country you’re visiting and back to Canada. In particular:
- Rogers, for $12/day your monthly plan quota is used
- Telus, for $12/day your monthly plan data is used but you get unlimited talk and text
- Bell, for $12/day you get an additional 500mb of data and then unlimited but slow data, and you get unlimited calls and text to Canada and the country you’re currently in
I’ve included further details for each of these major providers below:
Roaming in Europe with Rogers is available for $12 per day with their Roam Like Home option. This gives you:
- Data: Deducted from your monthly plan
- Talk: Deducted from your monthly plan
- Text: Deducted from your monthly plan
Rogers covers nearly all of Europe with some notable exceptions being Andorra, Cyprus, and Moldova. Overall though I’d say they have it well covered (just be careful if you’re passing through Andorra on a drive).
Calls can be used on Canadian numbers (just like normal) and to regular numbers in the country you’re currently in.
Each day (and therefore $12 charge) counts as the calendar day ending at 11:59pm Eastern Time, regardless of where you are actually roaming. You’re only charged on calendar days when you make/receive a call, send a text, or use data (so receiving texts does not trigger Roam Like Home charges)4. Roaming is capped at 15 days per monthly bill - I usually advise if you’re looking to stay more than a few days in any country you should try your best to pick up a local SIM card.
Telus has its Easy Roam plan which costs $12 per day for use in much of Europe. This means you can use:
- Data: Deducted from your monthly plan
- Talk: Unlimited to calls to Canada and the country you’re in
- Texts Unlimited to any phone number in the world
Easy Roam is activated as soon as you use roaming data, send a text, or make or answer a call. It is then active for 24 hours from that time. To enable it for activation first, text
7626 or chat with a virtual assistant.
I found Telus to have great coverage across Europe, even including Cyprus (unlike Rogers, though similarly not covering Andorra). I’d feel comfortable taking Telus on a journey throughout Europe - including the European Union, Scandinavia, and eastern Europe.
Easy Roam is capped at $180 per billing cycle which equates to 15 days in abroad5. I usually advise to pick up a local SIM card if you’re planning to stay more than a few days.
Roaming in nearly all of Europe on Bell is included on their Roam Better plan. For much of Europe, this costs $12 per day and includes:
- Data: 500mb full speed then slowed down to 512kbps for the remainder of the day (by Eastern Time)
- Talk: Unlimited calls to Canada and to the country you’re in
- Texts: Unlimited
Enrol by texting
8000. You can do this before you leave Canada as you’ll only be charged for each day you call, text, or use data when in another country6.
Roam Better should be available in the European Union, eastern Europe and Scandinavia. The only country I could find NOT on Bell’s supported roaming was Andorra (and chances are you’re not going there).
Roaming into Europe using a UK SIM card is still currently available at no extra cost, at the time of writing this guide. I’ll update this section if this changes in the future.
Roaming in Europe typically attracts these costs for Australians:
- Telstra: $10/day for 500mb and unlimited calls and SMS
- Vodafone: $5/day to use your Australian quota
- Optus: $10/day for 1GB and unlimited calls and SMS
More details on each of these included below.
Telstra offers an International Day Pass for $10 per day that covers nearly all of the countries in Europe. It includes:
- Data: 500mb/day
- Calls: Unlimited calls to standard numbers in the country you’re in
- SMS: Unlimited texts to standard numbers in the country you’re in
The pass is available in pretty much all of the European Union and Scandinavia. Notably, it’s not available in Andorra (watch out if you happen to be driving through) or Malta.
Telstra doesn’t actually state that calls to Australia are part of the International Day Pass, though I’d take a guess they’re included. All quotas are in addition to your normal monthly plan7.
Vodafone Global Roaming is available in Europe for $5/day. This includes:
- Data: Use your own plan quota
- Calls: Use your own plan quota
- SMS: Use your own plan quota
Vodafone Australia covers the European Union (except Andorra), Scandinavia, and some of eastern Europe.
Roaming is activated automatically once you use your phone in another country8.
Optus has a $10/day Roaming Pass available for use in much of Europe. This includes:
- Data: 1GB per day
- Calls: Unlimited
- SMS: Unlimited
Data is in addition to your plan allowance in Australia. If you have a plan with roaming allowances included, as soon as these are used up, Optus will roll you over onto this Roaming Pass9.
Optus doesn’t say where the calls can be made. I’d take a guess they include calls to Australia and to the country you’re currently in.
Optus has similar coverage to Vodafone including the European Union (except Andorra), Scandinavia, and much of Eastern Europe.
Roaming Pass is activated in the Optus App and may take up to 48 hours to activate (though you’ll only be charged on days you use it).
Spark has two options for roaming in Europe: A Roaming Pack for $20/7-days which includes calls, texts and data OR a Roaming Data Pack for $15/7-days which only includes data.
The Roaming Pack costs $20 for 7 days and includes10:
- Data: 1GB
- Calls: 200 minutes inbound and 200 minutes outbound
- Texts: 200
The Roaming Data only Pack costs $15 for 7 days and includes 1GB of data.
To activate the Roaming Pack, text
BUY ROAM to
258. To activate the Roaming Data Pack, text
BUY DATAROAM TO
258. I couldn’t figure out if you could activate the roaming pack in one country and then use it in another. If you know the answer, please reach out and let me know and I’ll update this guide.
Alternatively you can activate Auto Buy Roaming so that it activates automatically when you arrive in a European country.
Vodafone has Daily Roaming in Europe for $7 a day. This means you get11:
- Data: Use your plan’s
- Minutes: Use your plan’s
- Texts: Use your plan’s
Vodafone New Zealand covers the European Union (except Andorra), Scandinavia, and some of eastern Europe.
How to Beat Roaming Costs
Some of the ways I’ve found to beat roaming costs include:
- Buying a local SIM card
- Using Skype or apps to make phone calls (on that local SIM card, or using WiFi)
- Setting up VOIP to make phone calls
Buying a local SIM card is my favourite, it lets me call and be called in the country I’m visiting. If I’m staying in a country more than a few days I will buy a local SIM card.
I wrote a whole guide about each of these steps, you can check it out here: alternatives-to-roaming
I’ve also written guides on picking up a SIM card if you’re arriving in these cities:
At the time of writing, it’s still possible to buy a local SIM card when arriving in the UK and using it to roam to Europe.
Written by Chris who travels frequently for work and understands what it can be like to arrive somewhere new and unfamiliar.
I wrote Landing Last Minute to help the hurried traveler get necessary information about any destination.