How to Watch BBC iPlayer in Europe for FREE

By Novak Bozovic / October 30, 2023

BBC iPlayer is available only in its home country – the United Kingdom. Since the UK is no longer a member of the European Union, many of its digital services are once again confined by the country’s borders. However, the good news is that you can bypass any digital roadblock, which means you can still watch BBC iPlayer in Europe. And yes, you can still watch it for free!

To make that happen, you need to trick BBC iPlayer into thinking you’re in the United Kingdom. So, you need a VPN service that offers servers in that country. Aside from that, your chosen VPN must have a track record of working with iPlayer (also providing streaming-friendly performance, of course), which means not every VPN will do the job.

Our team has tested more than 65 VPN services in total. Since we understand that iPlayer is among the most popular free streaming services, we tested each of those VPNs with BBC’s streaming platform. So, we know exactly which one to recommend.

Ready to get started? If you are – here’s all you need to know on how to watch BBC iPlayer in Europe, free of charge!

How to Watch BBC iPlayer in Europe for FREE?

To easiest way to watch BBC iPlayer in Europe is to connect to a VPN server in the UK. Here’s our full guide on how to make that happen:

1. Subscribe to a VPN that works with iPlayer, such as NordVPN.

2. Download and install VPN on the device(s) you’ll use to stream iPlayer.

3. Open the VPN app and complete the initial setup (reach the VPN’s home screen).

4. Connect to any server located in the United Kingdom.

5. Use any Web browser to access iPlayer’s website.

BBC iPlayer Home Screen

6. Click “Sign In” and log in to your BBC account (or create a new one).

7. Pick any title you’d like to play and initialize its stream.

8. When asked if you have a TV license, confirm that you do.

iPlayer Asking for TV License

9. Confirm if you’d like to enable iPlayer’s parental controls.

iPlayer Asking for Parental Guidance Controls

10. You’ll now get to stream iPlayer with no limitations. Enjoy!

The instructions above apply to watching iPlayer anywhere in Europe via its website. However, the streaming service is available on more than your computer. So, if you need device-specific guides, here’s how to download the iPlayer app from outside the UK.

Do You Need a VPN to Watch BBC iPlayer in Europe?

Yes, really do need a VPN if you plan to watch BBC iPlayer outside the United Kingdom. So, no matter where in Europe you currently reside, a VPN is a must.

Keep in mind that BBC iPlayer employs rigorous location-related checks. As soon as you open its website or mobile app, it will see your location. Naturally, that will lead to the following geo-block error message: “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.”

BBC iPlayer Geo-Block Error Message
iPlayer shows you an error message if you're outside the UK.

That happens due to your IP address. Sites like BBC iPlayer check your IP to see from where you connect to the Web, as IP addresses are associated with individual countries. So, the trick is to change your IP address – and that’s exactly where VPNs come into play.

To help you get started, we’ve produced a handy guide to the best VPNs for iPlayer. However, if you’re short on time, know that NordVPN is your best bet at the moment (remember that we tested dozens and dozens of VPNs).

NordVPN unblocks iPlayer on any device, from any country. It’s the fastest VPN available, really simple to use, and it unblocks plenty more streaming platforms.

What Can You Watch on BBC iPlayer?

BBC iPlayer covers an extensive range of content, including (but not limited to) movies, TV shows, documentaries, as well as sports-focused content.

One of the reasons why iPlayer is so popular is because it offers live TV channels. At any given moment, you’ll find the following video and audio streams on iPlayer: BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies, BBC News, BBC Scotland, S4C, BBC Parliament, Radio 1, and BBC Alba.

Then, there’s an endless library of on-demand content. BBC iPlayer is home to titles such as Peaky Blinders, Gentleman Jack, Killing Eve, Top Gear, and more. The streaming platform recently started offering US TV shows as well, such as Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars.

In terms of the currently available movies, here are some of the most popular titles: Blade Runner 2049, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Magic Mike, Dunkirk, Vice, and more.

Can’t Access BBC iPlayer in Europe with a VPN? – Try This!

Any VPN that supports iPlayer should have no problem unblocking the streaming platform. Still, technical issues may arise on occasion. So, here’s what to do if you can’t access BBC iPlayer in Europe with a VPN.

You can find other possible solutions in our central guide to troubleshooting VPNs. Also, our guide to resolving VPN error codes might come in handy if you need extra information.


Is BBC iPlayer Available in Europe?

BBC iPlayer is available in the United Kingdom only, which means it’s no longer available across Europe (as the UK is no longer part of the EU).

However, you can use a VPN to unblock iPlayer from anywhere in Europe. Just connect to a server in the United Kingdom, as you’ll trick iPlayer into thinking you’re in the UK.

Is BBC iPlayer Free to Watch?

Yes, BBC iPlayer is free to watch. You only need a BBC Account to access iPlayer, which you can register for using your email address. No payment information is needed.

How Can I Watch BBC iPlayer Outside the UK?

The best way to watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK is by using NordVPN. Once you connect to its UK-based server, you’ll get to stream iPlayer without any restrictions.

Does iPlayer Work with a VPN in Europe?

Yes, iPlayer works with many VPNs from any country in Europe. However, the best VPN for that specific streaming service is NordVPN.

Is It Illegal to Watch iPlayer in Europe Using a VPN?

No, it’s not illegal to watch iPlayer in Europe using a VPN. That’s because VPNs are legal to use (in most countries), so you have every right to use them.

However, it’s also true that iPlayer requires a UK TV license. Even if you don’t have one, you can say that you do – and you’ll access iPlayer with no issues. However, keep in mind that doing that is against iPlayer’s Terms of Use.

That’s all on how to watch BBC iPlayer in Europe for free. If you have any questions, make sure to post your comment below. Thank you for reading!

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