Why? Because I wanted to try out SIM cards (again).
Yeah… I am a SIM card nerd – welcome to Phone Travel Wiz 🤪.
But it was also an opportunity to try out (new) travel eSIMs, such as Airalo's Eurolink eSIM.
The Eurolink eSIM is the most popular Europe travel eSIM, whereas Airalo itself is the most popular travel eSIM provider.
So besides trying out four Spanish local SIM cards (Movistar Spain, Orange Spain, Vodafone Spain & Yoigo), I tested the Airalo Eurolink eSIM, the Nomad Europe eSIM & SimCorner Europe travel SIM card to find out which option is the best for Spain.
And I will share my results in this review.
Original publication: 29th of December 2022. Last updated: 19th of September 2023.
Table of Contents
Which Phones are Compatible with Airalo eSIMs?
Before discussing the Airalo Eurolink eSIM to be used in Spain specifically, you must know whether your phone can even support Airalo's eSIMs.
Sure, your phone may support eSIM, but the local mobile operator and travel eSIM provider, like Airalo, first needs to certify a phone before the users can use their products.
As of August 2023, the phones shown in the infographic below are compatible with Airalo eSIMs:
With that out of the way, let's talk more about the Airalo Eurolink eSIM!
You can get the Airalo Eurolink eSIM for as little as 5 USD for 1 GB of data (7 days) and up to 185 USD for 100 GB (180 days). The eSIM can be used in Spain and 35+ other European nations with six options: 1 GB/7 days, 3 GB/30 days, 5 GB/30 days, 10 GB/30 days, 50 GB/90 days & 100 GB/180 days).
Below is an overview of how much each Airalo Eurolink eSIM costs:
- Europe/Eurolink 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 5 USD
- Europe/Eurolink 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 13 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Europe/Eurolink 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 20 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Europe/Eurolink 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 37 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Europe/Eurolink 50 GB eSIM for 90 days, costing 100 USD
- Europe/Eurolink 100 GB eSIM for 180 days, costing 185 USD
Note: Phone Travel Wiz reader popularity ranking was updated in September based on data up to the 7th of September (2023 data only).
Regardless of the currency used in your country, Airalo will always charge you in USD (US Dollar).
If your credit/debit card charges you foreign exchange fees, get yourself a Wise Borderless Account and Debit Card.
Their fees are MUCH lower than banks and credit card companies charge you (and Wise is transparent about their fees, unlike banks).
I have saved literal THOUSANDS of Australian Dollars and Euros, my main currencies, when using Wise abroad when traveling compared to my debit and credit cards.
Moreover, regardless of which Airalo Eurolink eSIM you choose, you can always top it up for the same amount of data and prices as listed above.
For example, suppose you buy the 5 GB Airalo Eurolink eSIM (30 days, costing 20 USD) but realize you need more data.
You can top it up with the 3 GB top-up (30 days, costing 13 USD) or the 100 GB top-up (180 days, costing 185 USD).
Many eSIM providers out there do not allow you to top up or extend the validity of your eSIM, so it is cool that Airalo allows you to do so.
The Airalo Eurolink eSIM can be used in Spain and 35+ other countries in Europe, including all nations in the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area, the Balkans, and other European countries, including Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Below is a complete overview of countries the Airalo Eurolink eSIM works in:
- Austria 2
- Belgium 2
- Bulgaria 2
- Croatia 2
- Cyprus 2
- Czech Republic
- Denmark 2
- Estonia 2
- Finland 2
- Gibraltar 1
- Greece 2
- Iceland 2
- Ireland 2
- Italy 2
- Poland 2
- Romania 2
- Spain 2
- Sweden 2
- Switzerland 2
- United Kingdom 2
- Latvia 2
- Luxembourg 2
- Malta 2
1 on 3G only
2 (limited) 5G NR availability at no additional cost! (list updated in December 2022)
With the Eurolink eSIM, you can save a lot of money by skipping the initial SIM card costs per country you visit – averaging 10.78 USD/country in Europe (and get 5G NR access at no additional cost)!
So if you plan on visiting other European countries before or after Spain, getting the Airalo Eurolink eSIM will be convenient AND will save you a lot of money too.
If you want to visit other countries outside of Europe, consider the Airalo Global Discover eSIM that can be used in 84+ countries, including Spain.
I have an ongoing review for the Discover Global eSIM too, letting you know in which countries you should consider it and which one you should avoid it.
I used my Airalo Eurolink eSIM in Spain and ten other countries (Portugal, Italy, Andorra, Malta, Greece, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia & Slovenia) on my one-month Europe trip (and I will use it in various other countries in 2023 – I had to head back to Australia because my boyfriend wanted me back 🤪).
Before we continue, I do want to let you know how travel eSIM providers like Airalo work.
It is impossible for Airalo, or any other mobile operator, to operate in every country (and do not trust any company saying otherwise), so they set up roaming agreements.
What Airalo does, and basically all (actual) mobile operators do, is partner up with a local mobile operator so that their customers can still stay connected abroad.
In the case of Spain, the Airalo Eurolink eSIM uses the Orange Spain (on 5G NR), Vodafone Spain & Yoigo networks.
Note: the Airalo Eurolink eSIM often uses two or three local networks, whereas country-specific ones (Guay Mobile in Spain) often just use one network.
However, the Airalo Spain Guay Mobile eSIM, the fifth-most popular Airalo eSIM for Phone Travel Wiz readers (behind Italy, Eurolink, Japan & Thailand), uses the Movistar Spain network instead.
But the Guay Mobile eSIM is restricted to 4G/LTE.
With the Airalo Eurolink eSIM, you can use 5G NR on the Orange Spain network, which is huge.
Most travel eSIM providers are still “restricted” to 4G/LTE (or even worse, 3G in some countries).
So if you want to use 5G NR instead of 4G/LTE, stick with the Airalo Eurolink eSIM instead of the Guay Mobile eSIM.
I will discuss the Guay Mobile eSIM later because I want to share my network experience with the Airalo Eurolink eSIM first.
When I was in Spain, the Airalo Eurolink eSIM only used the Vodafone Spain network (the eSIM did not have accces to the other two networks, let alone 5G NR… so you are lucky now 😜).
As you can expect, I also bought a Vodafone Spain SIM card and tried it out.
Vodafone Spain allowed, and still allows, prepaid customers to use its 5G NR network, while I could not with the Airalo Eurolink eSIM.
So using the Airalo Eurolink eSIM was a good test to see how Vodafone Spain's 4G/LTE network performs while roaming on it.
Because my Airalo Eurolink eSIM used only the Vodafone Spain network back then, I will solely focus on it for this section (but you can read about Orange Spain's and Yoigo's network performance in the respective reviews).
When looking at 4G/LTE availability, Vodafone Spain has the best availability percentage of 89.1%, ahead of Movistar Spain (87.9%), Orange Spain (87.7%) & Yoigo (82.4%), according to Opensignal.
Vodafone Spain has the second-best 4G/LTE coverage experience (9.2 on a 10-point scale), ahead of Yoigo (6.9) but behind Movistar Spain and Orange Spain (both 9.5)
When looking at 5G NR, Vodafone Spain is losing the 5G NR availability race (4.1%), behind Orange Spain (9.6), Movistar Spain (9.9) & even Yoigo (10.6).
When we take a look at the 5G NR reach, Vodafone Spain is doing bad again, with a reach score of 1.9, behind Orange Spain (2.9), Movistar Spain (3.1) & Yoigo (3.3).
Fast speeds with the Airalo Eurolink eSIM in Spain!
When Vodafone Spain performed well on 5G NR, the Airalo Eurolink eSIM often did too on 4G/LTE.
I say often because when Vodafone Spain was rocking it in El Corte Inglés Callao in Madrid (304.23 Mbps on 5G NR), the Airalo Eurolink eSIM was somehow stuck on 3G (2.32 Mbps).
Anyway, I had an average download speed of 68.28 Mbps and a median download speed of 57.57 Mbps with the Airalo Eurolink eSIM: it passed the 4K video streaming test in Spain (minimum of 25 Mbps).
The same can (barely) be said for the HD live streaming test in Spain – the Airalo Eurolink eSIM had an average upload speed of 10.85 Mbps and a median upload speed of 9.20 Mbps, making it (barely) pass the HD live streaming test (minimum of 10 Mbps).
Nomad cannot tell me because its roaming partner, Truphone, will not disclose it. SimCorner simply does not know 🥲.
But the Airalo Eurolink eSIM slightly outperformed the Nomad Europe eSIM in terms of its average download speed (68.28 Mbps vs. 10.85 Mbps).
However, the Nomad Europe eSIM had a way better upload performance than the Airalo Eurolink eSIM (25.87 Mbps vs. 10.85 Mbps).
So what about the SimCorner O2 Europe SIM card? How did it do?
It had an average download speed of 49.57 Mbps, which was slower than the Airalo Eurolink eSIM.
However, just like the Nomad Europe eSIM, SimCorner O2 Europe's average upload speed was way faster (27.34 Mbps).
But I do suspect that you will have (much) better upload speeds with the Airalo Eurolink eSIM because you now have 5G NR access on the Orange Spain network, which I did not have when I was in Spain).
I would also encourage you to read the Nomad Europe in Spain review or the Nomad Europe in eight countries review too because its eSIMs have decreased in price lately… making them cheaper than the Airalo Eurolink ones 😲.
I would recommend the Airalo Eurolink eSIM for Spain, and it would be one of my top recommendations for anyone wanting to buy a Europe travel eSIM (but not only for Spain).
While I had a good experience in Spain with the Airalo Eurolink eSIM, you are better off getting the Airalo Guay Mobile eSIM if you are only visiting Spain.
I did not try out the Guay Mobile eSIM in Spain because I was too busy with the Eurolink eSIM, Nomad Europe eSIM, SimCorner O2 Europe SIM card & the four local SIM cards. But more than 300 Phone Travel Wiz readers have tried the eSIM, and I have yet to receive bad feedback for it, so you will be fine if you get it!
That is because you pay a premium to be able to use one eSIM in more than 35 European countries.
However, unlike the Airalo Guay Mobile eSIM, the Eurolink eSIM can use 5G NR (on the Orange Spain network).
And I can tell you that 5G NR speeds are fast in Spain – I love it 😍.
So if you are visiting multiple European countries, you better go with the Airalo Eurolink eSIM because you will be saving quite some money when you do so (and you can use 5G NR in more than half the eligible countries while the country-specific eSIMs cannot).
Okay, back to Spain specifically, getting the Airalo Eurolink eSIM, and any other Airalo eSIM for that matter, is easy and straightforward (even though I did not spend any time on how to install Airalo eSIMs – you will manage… promise!).
Airalo's Eurolink eSIM has the most generous data allowance of any Europe eSIM I know of (1 GB, 3 GB, 5 GB, 10 GB, 50 GB & 100 GB).
In Spain, it uses the Orange Spain, Vodafone Spain & Yoigo networks, with 5G NR access on the Orange Spain network.
When I was in Spain, the Airalo Eurolink eSIM could only use the Vodafone Spain network (on 4G/LTE), and it worked well too.
Anyway, your speeds will often be fast enough for general data browsing and video streaming.
Taking all 11 speed tests into account, I had an average overall download speed of 68.28 Mbps and a median download speed of 57.57 Mbps with the Airalo Eurolink eSIM in Spain.
When looking at upload speeds, I had an average upload speed of 10.85 Mbps and a median upload speed of 9.20 Mbps with the Airalo Eurolink eSIM in Spain.
As Vodafone Spain offered 5G NR access for free to prepaid customers already, I did not expect the Airalo Eurolink eSIM to perform (significantly) better than Vodafone Spain itself.
But that is not always true.
In some countries, like Austria, actively and effectively throttle the speeds of prepaid customers (to as low as 20 Mbps download).
Fortunately, this is not something you have to worry about in Spain… except for upload speeds with the Airalo Eurolink eSIM – they were significantly slower than Vodafone Spain's (30.16 Mbps average and 22.65 Mbps median).
By using extensive 4G/LTE and 5G NR networks, offering affordable data plans & offering fast download speeds, you should have a smooth browsing experience with the Airalo Eurolink eSIM in Spain.
Interested in using the Airalo Eurolink eSIM in another country or countries? Read my Airalo Eurolink eSIM review (tested in 11 countries).
Other Spanish eSIM & Travel SIM Card Reviews (Airalo & SimCorner)
As mentioned earlier, I also tried out the Nomad Europe eSIM and SimCorner O2 Europe SIM card when I was in Spain and various other European countries.
You should read those reviews too.
>>> Airalo Eurolink (in other countries) eSIM Review | Nomad Europe (in Spain) eSIM Review | Nomad Europe eSIM Review | SimCorner O2 Europe (in Spain) SIM Card Review | SimCorner O2 & 3 Europe SIM Cards Review<<<
I also tried out various local Spanish SIM cards: Movistar Spain, Orange Spain, Vodafone Spain & Yoigo.
If your phone does not support eSIM (but felt like reading this Airalo review in full anyway – awesome) or want to have the best network experience possible, you want to go directly with the local mobile operators instead of roaming on their networks (as you do with travel eSIMs).
So I encourage you to read the Spanish SIM card reviews too.
Check out my reviews page if you want to read all the other reviews I have written, including other European SIM cards.
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