In mid-January of 2022, I decided to do something crazy.
As I had not been on a trip since March 2021 because of COVID travel restrictions, I decided that I would catch up on the lost travel time and go on a trip.
Yeah… it was intense… but fun! 😎
This also allowed me to (re-)test various local SIM cards, but also (new) travel eSIMs, such as Nomad's Europe eSIM.
So besides trying out four Italian local SIM cards (Wind Tre (formerly Wind Italy and 3 Italy), TIM Italy, Vodafone Italy & Iliad Italy), I tested the Airalo Eurolink eSIM, the Nomad Europe eSIM & SimCorner Europe travel SIM card to find out which option is the best for Italy.
And I will share my results in this review.
Original publication: 30th of December 2022. Last updated: 19th of September 2023.
Table of Contents
Which Phones are Compatible with Nomad eSIMs?
Before discussing the Nomad Europe eSIM, you must know whether your phone can even support Nomad's eSIMs.
Unlike most travel eSIM providers, Nomad claims that every eSIM-compatible phone can use its eSIMs.
So that makes things easy 😎.
But the image will still give you an overview of the most popular phones that support eSIM.
As of August 2023, the phones shown in the infographic below are compatible with Nomad eSIMs:
With that out of the way, let's talk more about the Nomad Europe eSIM!
How Much Does the Nomad Europe eSIM Cost?
You can get the Nomad Europe eSIM for as little as 6 USD for 1 GB of data (7 days) and up to 26 USD for 10 GB (30 days). The eSIM can be used in Italy and 34 other European nations with four 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.
Note that Nomad recently introduced a two-tier system for its Europe eSIM: one for 30 countries and the other for 35 countries.
Fortunately, the Nomad Europe 35 countries variant is only up to 3 USD more expensive than the 30 countries version.
Below is an overview of how much each Nomad Europe eSIM costs:
- Europe 1 GB eSIM for 7 days (30 countries by Tele2 Sweden), costing 5 USD/5 EUR/4 GBP/7 CAD/4.50 CHF (price dropped)
- Europe 1 GB eSIM for 7 days (35 countries by Truphone), costing 5 USD/5 EUR/4 GBP/7 CAD/4.50 CHF
- Europe 3 GB eSIM for 15 days (30 countries by Tele2 Sweden), costing 12 USD/11.50 EUR/10 GBP/16.50 CAD/11 CHF (price dropped)
- Europe 3 GB eSIM for 30 days (35 countries by Truphone), costing 13 USD/12.50 EUR/10.50 GBP/18 CAD/11.50 CHF (price dropped)
- Europe 5 GB eSIM for 30 days (30 countries by Tele2 Sweden), costing 14 USD/13 EUR/11.50 GBP/19.50 CAD/12.50 CHF (price dropped) – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Europe 5 GB eSIM for 30 days (35 countries by Truphone), ccosting 9 USD/8.50 EUR/7.50 GBP/12.50 CAD/8 CHF (price dropped) – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Europe 10 GB eSIM for 30 days (30 countries by Tele2 Sweden), costing 22 USD/20.50 EUR/17.50 GBP/30 CAD/19.50 CHF (price dropped) – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Europe 10 GB eSIM for 30 days (35 countries by Truphone), costing 22 USD/20.50 EUR/17.50 GBP/30 CAD/19.50 CHF (price dropped)- very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Europe 15 GB eSIM for 30 days (30 countries by Tele2 Sweden), costing 29 USD/27 EUR/23 GBP/39.50 CAD/26 CHF (price dropped)
- Europe 15 GB eSIM for 30 days (35 countries by Truphone), costing 29 USD/27 EUR/23 GBP/39.50 CAD/26 CHF (price dropped)
- Europe 20 GB eSIM for 30 days (30 countries by Tele2 Sweden), costing 35 USD/32.50 EUR/28 GBP/48 CAD (price dropped) – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Europe 20 GB eSIM for 30 days (35 countries by Truphone), costing 35 USD/32.50 EUR/28 GBP/48 CAD/31 CHF (price dropped) – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
Europe 30 GB eSIM for 30 days (35 countries by Truphone), costing 70 USD/64.50 EUR/55 GBP/92.50 CAD (price dropped) Europe 40 GB eSIM for 30 days (35 countries by Truphone), costing 90 USD/82.50 EUR/70.50 GBP/119 CAD (price dropped)
Note: Phone Travel Wiz reader popularity ranking was updated in September based on data up to the 13th of September (2023 data only).
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 Nomad Europe 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 Nomad Europe eSIM but realize you need more data.
You can top it up with the 3 GB Nomad Europe top-up or the 10 GB Nomad Europe top-up.
Many eSIM providers out there do not allow you to top up or extend the validity of your eSIM, so it is cool that Nomad allows you to do so.
In Which Countries Can the Nomad Europe eSIM Be Used?
The Nomad Europe eSIM can be used in Italy and 24 or 34 other European countries, depending on the chosen variant, including most nations in the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area and a few other European countries, including Monaco, San Marino & the United Kingdom.
Below is a complete overview of countries the Nomad Europe eSIM works:
- Austria 1, 2
- Belgium 1, 2
- Bulgaria 2
- Croatia 1, 2
- Cyprus 2
- Czech Republic 1, 2
- Denmark 1, 2
- Estonia 1, 2
- Finland 1, 2
- France 1, 2
- Germany 1, 2
- Greece 1, 2
- Hungary 1, 2
- Iceland 1, 2
- Ireland 1, 2
- Italy 1, 2
- Latvia 2
- Liechtenstein 2
- Lithuania 2
- Luxembourg 1, 2
- Malta 1, 2
- Monaco 2
- Netherlands 1, 2
- Norway 1, 2
- Poland 2
- Portugal 1, 2
- Romania 2
- San Marino 2
- Slovakia 1, 2
- Slovenia 1, 2
- Spain 1, 2
- Sweden 1, 2
- Switzerland 2
- Vatican City 2
- United Kingdom 1, 2
1 25 countries variant
2 35 countries variant
With the Nomad Europe 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!
If you want to visit other countries outside of Europe, consider the Nomad Global eSIM, which can be used in 110 countries, including Italy.
But be aware it is a very expensive eSIM (so expensive that I do not use it – 1 GB/20 USD, 3 GB/48 USD & 5 GB/54 USD).
Instead, I have an ongoing review for the Airalo Discover Global eSIM (which is much cheaper than the Nomad Global eSIM), letting you know in which countries you should consider it and which ones you should avoid it.
My Nomad Europe eSIM in Italy Experience
I used my Nomad Europe eSIM in Italy and seven other countries (Portugal, Spain, Malta, Greece, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria & Slovakia) 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 Nomad 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 Nomad 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 Italy the Nomad Europe eSIM uses the Vodafone Italy network.
As you can expect, I also bought a Vodafone Italy SIM card and tried it out.
Vodafone Italy did not allow me to use its 5G NR network because the tourist SIM card is restricted from it (even though I was promised I could use it 🙄).
So the comparison between Vodafone Italy and the Nomad Europe eSIM should be fair because the latter cannot use 5G NR either.
Besides using a Vodafone Italy SIM card, I also tried out other Italian SIM cards in Catania (Sicily), Rome & Vatican City: Wind Tre (formerly Wind Italy and Tre Italy), TIM Italy & Iliad Italy – you can read those reviews too.
When looking at 4G?/LTE coverage experience, Vodafone Italy has the best experience, with a score of 9.8 (out of 10).
It is on par with Wind Tre and TIM Italy.
Fast speeds with the Nomad Europe eSIM in Italy!
The eSIM's peak performance was at Vatican City Square, with a download speed of 141.03 Mbps.
Vodafone Italy, on the other hand, had a download speed of 136.56 Mbps – basically the same results.
Anyway, I had an average download speed of 45.21 Mbps and a median download speed of 36.92 Mbps with the Nomad Europe eSIM: it passed the 4K video streaming test in Italy (minimum of 25 Mbps).
The same can be said for the HD live streaming test in Italy – the Nomad Europe eSIM had an average upload speed of 15.01 Mbps and a median upload speed of 9.54 Mbps, making it pass the HD live streaming test (minimum of 10 Mbps).
Honestly… there is nothing bad to say about these results, except that the Nomad Europe eSIM was sometimes extremely slow compared to Vodafone Italy (Ristorante da Antonio in Catania: 2.01 Mbps vs. 21.39 and Rome Termini Station/Mall: 9.10 Mbps vs. 54.21 Mbps).
But that is normal.
I would recommend the Nomad Europe eSIM for Italy, and it would be one of my top recommendations for anyone wanting to buy a Europe travel eSIM (even if you were to use it only in Italy).
So why would I recommend an eSIM that can be used in 25 or 35 countries if you were to only visit italy?
That is because the prices for the Nomad Italy and Europe eSIMs are similar (for the 25 countries variant).
The Nomad Europe eSIM is up to 3 USD more expensive than the Nomad Italy one.
So yeah… it does not really matter lol 🗿.
Of course, there is no point in buying the Nomad Europe eSIM if you are only staying in Italy.
However, this tells you that if you visit two or more European countries on your trip, you should always go for the Nomad Europe eSIM instead of the country-specific ones.
Because you will end up spending much more on the Nomad country-specific eSIMs instead of just one Nomad Europe eSIM.
I have to say that this pricing strategy is unusual – for example, I recommend getting the Airalo Eurolink or Discover Global eSIMs if you visit multiple European countries because you pay a premium to use those eSIMs in multiple countries.
In the case of Nomad, you can say you do not pay a premium for that privilege.
Anyway, Nomad's Europe eSIMs have become much more affordable over the months, making it the Europe eSIM I know of.
And it offers quite some options too (1 GB, 3 GB, 5 GB & 10 GB).
In Italy, the Nomad Europe eSIM uses the Vodafone Italy network, which has fast speeds.
Note that the Nomad Italy eSIM uses the Iliad network instead.
Taking all 15 speed tests into account, I had an average overall download speed of 45.21 Mbps and a median download speed of 36.29 Mbps with the Nomad Europe eSIM in Italy.
When looking at upload speeds, I had an average upload speed of 15.01 Mbps and a median upload speed of 9.54 Mbps with the Nomad Europe eSIM in Italy.
Anyway, by using an extensive 4G/LTE network, offering affordable data plans & offering fast download speeds, you should have a smooth browsing experience with the Nomad Europe eSIM in Italy.
Interested in using the Nomad Europe eSIM in another country or countries? Read my Nomad Europe eSIM review (tested in eight countries).
Other Italian eSIM & Travel SIM Card Reviews (Airalo & SimCorner)
As mentioned earlier, I also tried out the Airalo Eurolink eSIM and SimCorner O2 Europe SIM card when I was in Italy and various other European countries.
You should read those reviews too.
>>> Nomad Europe (in other countries) eSIM Review | Airalo Eurolink (in Italy) eSIM Review | Airalo Eurolink eSIM Review | SimCorner O2 Europe (in Italy) SIM Card Review | SimCorner O2 & 3 Europe SIM Cards Review<<<
I also tried out various local Italian SIM cards: Wind Tre, TIM Italy, Vodafone Italy & Iliad Italy.
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 Italian 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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