Best eSIM for Portugal Traveler: Comprehensive Provider Comparison

Portugal is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Nowadays, a lot of tourists would rather use an eSIM than a physical SIM card when traveling thanks to advanced technology. Although this technology is quite new, eSIM is already available in Portugal. Because of this, purchasing an eSIM for your trip to Portugal is a smart move that enables you to connect as soon as you step off the plane.

So, what is the best eSIM Portugal for travel? In this article, we will give you the most information as well as compare options so that you can determine if it is an appropriate choice for you.

What is the best eSIM for Portugal Travel 

Most eSIM providers in Portugal currently offer similar eSIM packages in terms of speed, with the main difference being the number of packages and prices. Here we choose the top best eSIM packages for tourists in Portugal.

Provider Data Validity Type Network Throttle speed Phone number Sharing (Hotspot/Tethering,..) Price (USD)
Gohub 300MB – 2GB/days Data only 2 – 30 Days NOS Comunicacoes / MEO 128Kbps No Yes $3.99 – $90.79
Gohub 1GB – 50GB Data only 3 – 30 Days NOS Comunicacoes / MEO 128Kbps No Yes $7.29 – $114.79
Holafly Unlimited Data only 5 – 90 Days NOS Comunicacoes / MEO N/A Yes No $19 – $99
Airalo 1 – 30GB Data only 7 – 30 days MEO/NOS (Optimus) N/A No No $4.5 – $32
Nomad 1GB – 20GB  Data only 30 days Son Aecom/OPtimus/TMN/Vodafone N/A No No $6 – 33
Mobimatter 50 – 200GB Data only 30 days N/A N/A No Yes $47.99-$124.99
Mobimatter 5 – 20GB (Include Portugal)  Data only 30 days N/A N/A No Yes $7.99 – $22.99

**Daily Plan: A daily eSIM plan is a mobile or data plan that is designed to be active for a single day. Users subscribe to this plan to have access to a specific data amount, voice minutes, and possibly other services for a 24-hour period. Once the day expires or the data limit is reached, the plan may automatically renew or require manual renewal.**

**Fixed Plan: A fixed eSIM plan is a subscription-based service with a predetermined data allocation, voice minutes, and possibly other features. Unlike a daily plan, a fixed plan typically operates on a longer time frame, such as a week, month, or longer. Users pay a fixed fee for a specified period, and the plan remains active until the end of that period, regardless of usage.**

According to the above information, the eSIM Portugal 300MB – 2GB/days, available on Gohub, is an excellent choice. This plan is particularly responsive for those engaging in activities such as sharing on social media, using maps, watching videos, or needing frequent connectivity for work.

While the eSIM Portugal 300MB – 2GB/days is a suitable choice for many, it’s just one of the numerous options available. To ensure you make the best decision for your connectivity needs in Portugal, it’s vital to compare leading eSIM Portugal Providers and their Plans for you

Comparison of Top eSIM Portugal Providers

1. Gohub

Gohub is a relatively young provider of travel eSIMs, established in 2018. Gohub offers eSIMs that support in over 100 countries and regions worldwide.  Specifically, with their eSIM for Portugal, they specialize in partnerships with renowned network providers like MEO, NOS. This is the top two most popular network providers  in Portugal with a good balance of price, capacity data, and coverage.

Gohub’s primary focus is to enhance the customer experience with their products. They prioritize selecting eSIMs from official network partners worldwide, ensuring a wide range of choices that cater to customers’ needs and budgets. Additionally, with a 24/7 technical support team, Gohub’s dedicated support is always available to assist customers throughout their journeys.

At Gohub, the best eSIM packages for Portugal with supporting hotspot or tethering features are: 

At the time of writing this article, Gohub gets 4.6 stars on TrustPilot.

2. Holafly  

Holafly is a well-known eSIM provider catering to tourists in Portugal, with a global reach extending to over 190 countries and regions. They primarily utilize the  Rogers Communications Portugal Inc. network  with a wide coverage throughout Portugal, including in rural areas.

A key feature of Holafly’s service is their exclusive offering of Unlimited data packages. However, it’s important to note that despite the ‘unlimited’ label, high-speed data usage is capped, after which the speed reduces. Therefore, users should be mindful of their data consumption.

In terms of pricing, Holafly’s rates are higher compared to other providers offering similar plans. Additionally, their eSIM plans do not support hotspot or tethering features.

Holafly offers eight different eSIM packages for Portugal, all with unlimited data but varying in duration and price: 

  • Unlimited data, valid for 5 days, $19  
  • Unlimited data, valid for 7 days, $27
  • Unlimited data, valid for 10 days, $34
  • Unlimited data, valid for 15 days, $47  
  • Unlimited data, valid for 20 days, $54
  • Unlimited data, valid for 30 days, $64
  • Unlimited data, valid for 60 days, $87
  • Unlimited data, valid for 90 days, $99

As of the latest reports, Holafly has earned a 4.7-star rating on TrustPilot.

3. Airalo 

Airalo, a pioneer in the eSIM market since 2019, offers eSIM services in over 200 countries and regions worldwide. They provide a dedicated app that enables customers to purchase, activate, and manage their eSIMs conveniently. In Portugal, Airalo uses the MEO/NOS (Optimus), known for its fast and reliable connectivity.

Despite being a market leader, Airalo has faced criticism regarding its customer service, with issues such as slow response times and difficulties in reaching support during troubleshooting.

06 packages available for Portugal: 

  • 1GB, valid for 7 days, $4.5
  • 2GB, valid for 15 days, $7
  • 3GB, valid for 30 days, $9.5
  • 5GB, valid for 30 days, $10
  • 10GB, valid for 30 days, $17
  • 20GB, valid for 30 days, $32
  • 30GB, valid for 15 days, $19

At the time of writing this article, Airalo gets 2.5 stars on TrustPilot.

4. Nomad

Nomad is one of the most expensive eSIM brands on the market. It’s particularly well-suited for short-term travelers, frequent globetrotters, and those who visit multiple countries in a single journey.

The brand offers a user-friendly app that simplifies the process of purchasing and installing eSIM cards directly on mobile phones. However, the app is currently only available for iOS users in specific countries, including the U.S., Portugal, Portugal, UK, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Cyprus, Israel, India, UAE, and Morocco.

They offer many Regular Plans (from 1GB- 20GB) for Portugal travelers but the price is not cheap compared to other providers. 

  • 1GB, valid for 7 days, $4
  • 3GB, valid for 30 days, $9
  • 5GB, valid for 30 days, $13
  • 10GB, valid for 30 days, $22
  • 15GB, valid for 30 days, $28

At the time of writing this article, Nomad gets 4.4 stars on TrustPilot.

5. Mobimatter 

Mobimatter, founded in 2018 in the UAE, is a provider of mobile internet services. For your trip to Portugal, you can buy Mobimatter’s eSIM packages specifically for Portugal and nearby regions. They offer an app where you can control and recharge your eSIM. 

However, Mobimatter offers fewer package choices compared to other providers. They mainly offer plans of 30 days or more. Short-day packages are not available yet. 

Here is the only eSIM plan exclusively for Portugal travel from Mobimatter: 

  • 50GB, valid for 30 days, $47.99
  • 200GB, valid for 30 days, $124.99

Other eSIM Europe include Portugal such as: 

  • 3GB, valid for 30 days, $5.99
  • 5GB, valid for 30 days, $7.99
  • 10GB, valid for 30 days, $12.99
  • 20GB, valid for 30 days, $22.99

At the time of writing this article, Mobimatter gets 4.1 stars on TrustPilot.

Below, we will assess the advantages and disadvantages of various eSIM providers for travel in Portugal, enabling you to select the most appropriate option.

eSIM provider Pros Cons
Gohub
  • Numerous choices are available, ranging from short-term to long-term options. 
  • Offers excellent and immediate 24/7 Multi-language support in case of troubleshooting issues. 
  • Sharing hotspot/ tethering
  • Cheaper prices than other providers 
  • Entered the eSIM market later than other providers. 
Holafly
  • Unlimited data, but only a certain portion is available at high speed; once this is used up, the speed is used at slow speed
  • A well-known provider with many years of experience on the market (since 2018) 
  • Having phone number
  • No hotspot/tethering and top-up 
  • Don’t mention about Throttle speed of Unlimited data
Airalo
  • A leading company in the market, established in 2019.
  • An easy-to-use application for user convenience.
  • Cheaper prices than other providers 
  • Cheaper prices than other providers 
  • Little options for Portugal Tourist 
  • No hotspot/tethering
  • More bad review about Slow response and customer support 
Nomad
  • Offering Portugal tourists unlimited data eSIM packages, with a note that daily usage exceeding 2 GB will result in a reduced speed of 512 kbps.
  • An application designed for ease of use and user convenience.
  • For short-term travelers, there will be few options for regular Plans (Not Unlimited Data)
Mobimatter
  • An application that allows customers to purchase, utilize, and manage their plans
  • Ideal for tourists staying long in Portugal. 
  • Sharing hotspot/ tethering
  • No plans for short trips.

In conclusion, for Portugal travel, Gohub is better than Airalo, Holafly, Nomad, and Mobimatter. The reasons are:

  • They offer a range of Portugal eSIM packages tailored to various travel requirements.
  • Their plans share Hotspot/tethering, a feature not commonly offered by competitors.
  • They provide 24/7, multilingual support to address any issues you might face.
  • Their website is user-friendly, allowing for quick and efficient eSIM purchases in just about 10 minutes.

Things to Know Before Buying eSIM Portugal

Ensure your Phone have supported eSIM 

Before choosing an eSIM service, it’s crucial to first ensure your smartphone is eSIM-ready. Compatibility varies by model and manufacturer, so a quick review of your device’s settings or specifications can clarify this. For an easy-to-follow process to check eSIM support on your device and a list of compatible models, visit How to Check Your Device’s eSIM Compatibility.

How to buy eSIM Portugal

1. Buying eSIM from Mobile Network Providers in Portugal

When traveling to Portugal, a convenient way to stay connected is by purchasing an eSIM from local mobile network providers like NOS, MEO. This process involves either visiting their websites or physical stores to select a suitable prepaid eSIM package. The advantage of this method ensures optimal network speeds and reliable coverage across Portugal. 

There are, however, some downsides that the process of providing personal information can be time-consuming. Additionally, be aware that some providers might limit network speeds on prepaid packages, potentially affecting your internet experience. 

2. Buying eSIM from International eSIM Providers

An alternative to buying directly from Portugal providers is to purchase an eSIM from international eSIM providers such as Gohub, Airalo, Holafly, and Nomad. These eSIMs can be bought online, making them a great choice for tourists. You can even purchase them before you start your trip or while you’re traveling. These providers usually have partnerships with multiple carriers, offering you a variety of options at competitive prices. One significant advantage is that you often don’t need to provide identification, streamlining the purchase process. This flexibility and ease make using international eSIM providers an excellent alternative to direct purchases from Portugal carriers

How to set up and activate eSIM on your phone? 

Generally, Setting up and activating an eSIM on your phone involves receiving an eSIM activation plan, either through a QR code or manually entering details provided by your carrier. Once you have the necessary information, you can easily add the eSIM to your phone’s cellular settings. For a detailed, step-by-step guide tailored to different phone models and tips to ensure a smooth setup, check out How to Install eSIM on Your Phone

More tips before traveling Portugal

  • Switch to a Portugal eSIM Provider Before Arrival: To avoid roaming charges and ensure seamless connectivity, switch from your current mobile service to a local eSIM provider before arriving in Portugal.
  • Manage Data Usage Wisely: After activating your eSIM card, proactively manage your mobile data. Turn off data usage for apps that are not essential or are high data consumers. This includes social media apps like Instagram and TikTok, and streaming services like Netflix. Reserve the use of these apps for when you have access to Wi-Fi, such as in your hotel.
  • Download and Familiarize Yourself with Local Travel Apps: Enhance your travel experience by downloading local Portugal travel apps. These can provide valuable information and help with navigation, local attractions, transport options, and more. Familiarize yourself with these apps to make your travel more convenient and enjoyable.
  • Plan Your Visit According to the Best Times to Travel Portugal: Research the best times to visit Portugal, considering factors like weather, festivals, and tourist seasons. Look for a month-by-month travel guide to Portugal to plan your trip effectively. This will help you to experience the best of what Portugal has to offer during your visit. 
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