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An Honest and In-Depth Bouygues My European eSIM Review

My hands-on review of the prepaid Bouygues eSim data plan

phones and technology, Product Reviews

I love nerding out on the quickly evolving world of travel eSIM data plans. That’s why I was excited when the French mobile company Bouygues released their new My European eSIM prepaid data plan which aims to compete with eSIM plans offered by rival French mobile provider Orange. Let’s jump straight into my Bouygues My European eSIM Review to see how this new prepaid data plan performs.

Bouygues ‘My European eSIM’ Overview

Bouygues Telecom is one of the largest mobile companies in France and the Bouygues My European eSIM is a prepaid data plan that’s aimed at short-term visitors and tourists. After looking at the plan specs, I suspect the Bouygues My European eSIM is Bouygues’ attempt to take on the very popular Orange Holiday Europe eSIM.

And there’s a lot to like about the Bouygues My European eSIM so let’s take a closer look…

Bouygues My European eSIM Data Plan Specs

  • Price: $44.90/€39.90
  • Data Allowance: 30 GB of 4G Internet
  • Validity Period: 30 Days
  • Calls: Unlimted in Europe (€25 credit for international calls)
  • SMS/Texts: Unlimted in Europe
  • Data Tethering: Allowed
  • Coverage Area: Aland Islands, Andorra, Austria, Azores, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Corfu, Crete, Croatia, Cyclades, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Ireland, Jersey, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Man (Isle of), Northern Ireland, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Rhodes Island, Romania, Sardinia, Scotland, Sicily, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Vatican, Wales, Wight (Isle of).

Highlights Of The Bouygues My European eSIM

There are a few things I really like about the Bouygues My European eSIM—especially when compares with the similarly priced Orange Holiday Europe eSIM.

30GB OF Mobile Data

First, the My European eSIM comes standard with 30GB of mobile data—which is one of the highest data packages you’ll find with these visitor-focused data plans. Most travelers will use about 1GB-3GB of data a day with standard usage so you’ll have plenty of data for your travels through Europe. And, unlike the Orange Holiday plan, My European eSIM is valid for 30 days instead of 14 days. This is a huge benefit for those people on extended visits.

European Phone Number

The next major highlight of the Bouygues My European eSIM is that it comes with a European phone number that includes unlimited calls and texts to Europe. As an added bonus, it also comes with a credit for €25 credit for international calls. Having a European phone number can come in handy for calling restaurants, hotels, Airbnb hosts, etc. Do note that Switzerland isn’t included so the service won’t work there.

Mobile Hot Spot / Data Tethering

The My European eSIM allows data tethering so you can use your phone as a mobile hotspot—many eSIM data plans block tethering so this is a nice bonus.

My Experience Using The Bouygues My European eSIM

I tested the Bouygues My European eSIM on a trip to Italy. I purchased the plan from SimOptions for $44.90 and they instantly send me a confirmation email with a QR code that can be scanned to install/activate the data plan.

I waited to activate my eSIM plan once I arrived in Europe but according to Bouygues, the plan won’t activate until you’re actually in Europe.

My iPhone automatically recognized the new eSIM and the service activated itself as soon as I initiated the activation. The process took about 3 minutes.

NOTE: The plan should automatically install and activate when you’re in France but you might have to activate the eSIM manually in your phone’s settings if you’re outside of France.


Bouygues is a major mobile carrier but it’s smaller than its rival Orange so I was curious about their actual coverage and data speeds.

Overall, my service was great. I had a fast 4G connection nearly always and it was rare to have slow speeds. I’ve read from other reviews that Bouygues’ service might be slower and have more limited coverage outside major cities so Orange’s more widespread coverage area might be a better option if you’ll be visiting more rural areas.

During my trip, I mostly used my phone to access Google Maps/Google, Reddit, Instagram, and email. I did a little Spotify streaming but tried to limit streaming since it uses a lot of data. I also used my phone as a mobile hotspot a handful of times and internet speeds were always fast. Again, I limited my mobile hotspot usage to conserve data usage.

Bouygues eSIM Instalaion and Activation

Installing and activating your Bouygues eSIM should be fairly straightforward because they make the process user-friendly… but sometimes settings need to be tweaked to get the service working.

Step One: Buy The Service And Look For The Confirmation Email

Start by purchasing your plan at SimOptions (Bouygues’ official online retailer of eSIM plans). You’ll be sent an email confirmation that contains a QR code and other activation details.

Step Two: Scan The QR Code In Your Confirmation Email

Use your phone to scan the QR code in your confirmation email and this will start the eSIM installation process.

The email will also include manual installation details but the QR code is an easier method.

NOTE: You’ll need an internet connection to install your eSIM so it’s best to do this before you leave or when you have wifi.

Step Three: Follow On-Screen Activation Instructions

The QR code will launch your phone’s automatic eSIM installation and activation process—your eSIM will activate immediately if you are in Europe and if you’re abroad the eSIM won’t activate until you’re actually in Europe so you can scan your QR code from anywhere in the world before your arrival in Europe without your offer starting.

Simply follow the onscreen prompts and it will guide you through the steps. However, if you’re having issues then you might have to check your phone’s settings.

TIP: You can therefore load and scan your QR code from anywhere in the world well before your arrival in Europe without your offer starting.

NOTE: Bouygues is a French company so users have noted that the eSIM automatically activates when activated in France but you have to manually change the settings when activated outside France. So keep that in mind.


  • In “Settings” select “Cellular Data”.
  • Select “Add a cellular package”.
  • Scan the QR code and register the eSIM.


  • Go to “Settings” and then select “Connections”.
  • Select “SIM card manager”.
  • Select “Add a Mobile plan”, then “Add via QR Code”.
  • Scan the QR Code and register the eSIM.
  • Select “OK” at the end of the profile download.

Troubleshooting Steps

In the event that you encounter any network-related difficulties, please proceed by following the steps outlined below:

  • Enable Data Roaming
  • Set Network to Automatic
  • Choose 4G/LTE as Preferred Network Type

Bouygues My European eSIM Alternatives

While I am a big fan of the Bouygues plan, there are a few other prepaid eSIM data plans worth checking out—let’s take a look at my favorite eSIM plans:

Holafly Unlimited Data eSIM With Europe Calling

  • Prices For Unlimited Data (Check Holafly for details)
    • 10 Days: $34
    • 15 Days: $47
    • 20 Days: $54
    • 30 Days: $64
    • 60 Days: $84
    • 90 Days: $99
  • Service Speed: 5G/4G/LTE
  • Calls coverage: 60 minutes of credit for calls to/from Europe—except Iceland, Norway, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Turkey. Comes with an Austrian phone number.
  • SMS: None
  • Tethering: No
  • Data service works everywhere in the EU

Holafly is a new Spain-based eSIM provider that I previously used while in Europe and had a great experience.

Unlike other mobile data companies, Holafly gives you unlimited data and a local phone number with 60 minutes of credit for making/receiving calls from European numbers. I also like how Holafly’s plans come in durations from 5 to 90 days—so you don’t have to over/underbuy for your particular trip.

Holafly isn’t an actual mobile carrier but they rent bandwidth from local mobile provider networks—the only downside is that you’re more likely to get less priority on the local network during peak usage times.

Holafly doesn’t allow data tethering in most cases so you won’t be able to use your phone as a mobile hotspot.


Best eSIM Austria - Orange Holiday Europe eSIM Prepaid Data Plan
  • Price: $49.90 (Check SimOptions for details)
  • Data: 20GB (they sometimes give you 30GB of data)
  • Service Speed: 4G/LTE
  • Calls: Unlimited within Europe and 120 min outside of Europe.
  • Texts/SMS: Unlimited within Europe and 1000 outside of Europe.
  • Credit validity: 14 day
  • Data Tethering: Allowed
  • Usable on any device (phones, tablets, hotspots…)
  • This eSIM plan comes with a French phone number that can still be used anywhere in Europe
  • Service works everywhere in the EU

The Orange Holiday Europe eSIM data plan is a popular full-featured eSIM plan that’s very similar to the Bouygues eSIM—including international voice calling and texts and it allows you to use your phone as a mobile hotspot.

This plan comes with 20GB of data but Orange sometimes runs a special where they give you an extra 10GB—but even 20GB should be plenty of data for most users. Orange is also one of the largest mobile companies in Europe so you’ll always get great coverage and high data speeds.

The potential downside to the Orange Holiday Europe eSIM is that it’s only valid for 14 days once activated so it’s not great for longer visits.

Overall, I think the Bouygues is a better deal because you get more data and it’s valid for 30 days. But Orange probably has better coverage outside major cities/towns.


Orange Holiday Zen eSIM | Best eSIM For Visiting Europe
  • Price: $29.90 (Check SimOptions for details)
  • Data: 15GB
  • Service Speed: 4G/LTE
  • Calls: Unlimited within Europe and 30 min outside of Europe.
  • Texts/SMS: Unlimited within Europe and 200 outside of Europe.
  • Credit validity: 14 day
  • Data tethering allowed
  • Usable on any device (phones, tablets, hotspots…)
  • This eSIM card comes with a French phone number

The Orange Holiday Zen plan is very similar to the Orange Holiday Europe plan but it has less data and it’s cheaper. This is a great option for users who don’t use a lot of data.


  • Price: $24.90 (Check SimOptions for details)
  • Data: 10GB
  • Service Speed: 4G/LTE
  • Calls: Includes $2 of credit to make calls within Europe
  • Texts/SMS: Includes $2 of credit to send/receive texts within Europe
  • Credit validity: 30 day
  • This eSIM card comes with a Czech phone number

The O2 Go Card Plan is on the O2 mobile network (the largest mobile network in the UK) so the service quality will be good.

And while it’s slightly cheaper than the Orange Holiday Zen plan, you get less mobile data and you don’t get the benefit of any international calls/texts—you also get a very limited amount of EU calls/texts.


  • Price: $17.90 (Check SimOptions for details)
  • Data: 5GB
  • Service Speed: 4G/LTE
  • Calls: None
  • Texts/SMS: None
  • Credit validity: 30 day

The Smart Comfort X eSIM is a budget data-only eSIM plan option that gives you 5GB of data but no calls or texts (you can still send iMessage if you’re sending messages between iPhones and make calls/texts via WhatsApp, etc).

Smart Comfort X eSIM is also what’s considered an “international eSIM” so it’s not backed by a specific data provider (i.e Orange, O2, etc.). That means it will connect to a specific partner provider in each country—for example, France (Bouygues), Germany (O2), Italy (WIND), Spain (Telefonica), etc.

Because of its limited data limits, the Smart Comfort X eSIM plan is best for light data users.

Final Thoughts About The Bouygues My European eSIM

There is a lot to like about this Bouygues eSIM. It’s probably the best option for travelers who want a prepaid data plan with a European phone number. It edges out the similar Orange Holiday Europe eSIM thanks to its bigger data allowance, longer validity period, and slightly cheaper price.

Bouygues also offers a few cheaper alternatives that come with less data that are worth checking out. All the Bouygues plans are available at SimOptions.


Check out other helpful articles I’ve written about visiting Europe on a budget:

James Feess
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