Buying a Sim Card in Ireland in 2022 (2023)

Planning a trip to Ireland and looking for the best way to stay connected on your trip to Europe?Buying a local prepaid sim card in Ireland is the best way to avoid high roaming charges. I have great news for you: Ireland sim cards with data are cheap AND great for traveling in Europe too! In this guide you will find all the info you need for buying a local sim card: where to buy a sim card, best 4G/5G network, up to date prices as per June 2022, my recommendation and even information about international sim cards and e-sim cards for Ireland.

Buying a local prepaid sim card is the first thing I do when arriving to a new country and as I am trying tovisit every country in the worldyou can find more than 200 prepaid sim card guides on Traveltomtom: Europe, USA, Canada, Mexico,Rome, Guatemala, Zambia, Dubai, Jordan, Vietnam,every country and capital city in Europe and many more.

Why buying a sim card in Ireland

First of all to save on high roaming costs! Overseas data plans are expensive and even worst they limit data speed. With a local prepaid sim card you get the best 4G/5G connection and the fastest internet speed.

When you are staying in Dublin then big chance your hotel or accommodations has free WiFi and so do most bars and restaurants. But do you want to rely on other people? Having a data connection on your phone makes traveling so much easier. Ordering a taxi through an app or getting directions from Google Maps, finding nearby places of interest, emergencies, etc.

Also keep in mind that public WiFi is through an unsecured connection, the use of a VPN in these cases is recommended.

My recommendation

Traveltomtom recommends a Three or a Vodafone prepaid sim card for Ireland. In fact there is not much difference. Prices and 4G/5G network are more or less the same. For €20 you get unlimited data for a month. Pretty good, right?

We also recommend looking intotravel sim cards for your trip abroad. These sim cards you can order online and get shipped to your home address. Have a look at mycomparison of the best international sim cards in 2022and find the one that suits your trip to Europe. For $29.90 USD you can already get 10 GB data. Even easier? Order an e-sim card for Ireland!

E- sim cards for Ireland

The best way to stay connected when traveling abroad in 2022 is an e-sim card. These virtual sim cards are easy to get online. You will receive a code in your email and instructions, you will just need to apply the settings then fill out the code and you are done. Have a look at the following e-sim card deals for Ireland.

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $5 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $9 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $13 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $22 USD

Click here to directly order one of the above Ireland e-sim card deals or find more info.

Buying a Sim Card in Ireland in 2022 (1)

You can also still buy a physical sim card for Ireland online. Click here to find out more about sim cards for Ireland including a phone number and order one directly online.

Mobile internet operators Ireland

There are 3 major mobile internet providers in Ireland: Three, Eir and Vodafone Ireland. On top of that there are some other smaller companies like Virgin Mobile but they are not all offering sim only plans for Ireland.

(Video) Buying Sim Card In Ireland | First Day in Ireland [w. English Subtitles]

Finding the best Ireland sim card I narrowed my research down to the main mobile internet providers who all offer a pay as you go sim card for Ireland.

Ireland sim cards and FREE EU roaming

When buying a sim card in Ireland and you are traveling onwards in Europe then make sure your prepaid sim card includes FREE EU roaming. That means that you can use your data, voice and text bundles in Frankfurt, Rome, London, Paris, Amsterdam, etc at NO extra costs.

Check my list with the best European sim cards for tourists in 2022for buying a sim card for your trip to Europe or let me help you with all my tips for buying a local sim card in Europe. In this last article you can find a list with the best prepaid sim card deals per country in the EU.

Where to buy an Ireland sim card in 2022

Dublin Airport

The easiest and most convenient place to buy a sim card for Ireland is on arrival at Dublin Airport of course. In that case you want to read my article aboutbuying a sim card at Dublin Airport.

Dublin city center

Buying a Sim Card in Ireland in 2022 (2)

May you have missed the opportunity at Dublin airport or you simply want the best prepaid sim card deal then you can easily buy a prepaid sim card for Ireland in Dublin city center. All mobile internet operators have official retail stores and in Henry Street you will find them pretty much next to each other.

Registration process

When buying a prepaid sim card in Ireland you will need to bring your passport. A copy of your passport is taken in the store and your new Ireland sim card is linked to your name and passport number. If you are not ok with this then you might want to look into an e-sim card for Ireland or aninternational travel sim card that covers Ireland/Europe.

Prices Ireland prepaid sim cards in 2022

In fact a prepaid sim card in Ireland is free however, this free sim card comes with no credit, just the registration. To make calls or use data you will need to top up and activate a data package, so called pay as you go plans. The prices below are up to date as per May 2022.

Vodafone Ireland

Buying a Sim Card in Ireland in 2022 (3)

Vodafone Ireland offers multiple pay as you go plans for prepaid costumers, here are the most common:

  • 10 GB data at 4G+ speed + unlimited calls/text - valid for 28 days = €20
  • 10 GB data at 5G+ speed + unlimited calls/text - valid for 28 days = €25
  • Unlimited data* at 5G+ speed + unlimited calls/text - valid for 28 days = €30

*free data roaming in the EU is capped at 30 GB data.

For more info see theVodafone Ireland website.

(Video) Q&A - Buying a SIM card and which network to chose in Ireland - Danish

Eir Mobile Ireland

Buying a Sim Card in Ireland in 2022 (4)

At Eir they offer three Ireland pay as you go sim cards with data for 4 weeks, all with 5G included:

  • Unlimited data in Ireland* + unlimited calls OR sms = €20
  • Unlimited data in Ireland** + unlimited calls AND sms = €30

*only 13.1 GB data can be used for roaming in the EU. **only 19.6 GB data can be used for roaming in the EU.

For more info have a look at the Eir websitefor their up to date prepay offers.

Three 3 Ireland

Buying a Sim Card in Ireland in 2022 (5)

They offer 3 different prepaid sim card plans at Three 3 Ireland for 28 days:

  • 1 GB data + unlimited calls to Three 3 Ireland = €15
  • Unlimited data at 4G speed* + 60 calling minutes = €20
  • Unlimited data at 5G speed** + unlimited calls/text = €30

* 14 GB data in Europe. **20 GB data in Europe.

For more info have a look at the Three Ireland website.

Best 4G/5G network in Ireland in 2022

To find the best sim card for Ireland let's also compare the 4G/5G network coverage maps of all operators in Ireland.

Is there 5G in Ireland?

Yes 5G in Ireland is widespread and almost all tourist destination in Ireland are covered with a 5G signal.

Vodafone 4G/5G network coverage map Ireland

Buying a Sim Card in Ireland in 2022 (6)

Eir Mobile 4G/5G network coverage map Ireland

Buying a Sim Card in Ireland in 2022 (7)

Three Mobile 4G/5G network coverage map Ireland

Buying a Sim Card in Ireland in 2022 (8)

Based on the above 4G/5G Ireland coverage mapswe can easily conclude that Three Ireland has the best 4G/5G network in Ireland in 2022. Eir Ireland has the smallest 4G/5G network, however in the famous tourist destinations in Ireland you will still find a signal.

(Video) Best Sim Plans for Students In Ireland || Buying Blankets and Pillows in Ireland

Best Ireland sim card for tourists in 2022

All the mobile operators offer a prepaid sim card for Ireland with unlimited data for €20, the packages are different though. Some offer 5G, some only 4G. So what is the best sim card in Ireland for tourists?

When you are going to road trip in Ireland then you want to buy a Three Ireland pay as you go sim card as they have the most extensive 4G/5G network in the country and you can easily find a signal off the beaten path. If you travel onwards in Europe a Vodafone Ireland sim card has the biggest free EU data roaming package: 30 GB in all of the EU.

Eir has the cheapest prepaid sim card deal with unlimited 5G data for €20. As you can see in my Ireland prepaid sim card comparison is that every deal has different advantages. So pick your preference!

Personally I always recommend the operator with the strongest 4G/5G network, since prices are more or less the same anyway.

Buy a sim card for Ireland online

Buying a Sim Card in Ireland in 2022 (9)

If all of the above sounds like too much hassle then look into buying a sim card for Ireland online. These international sim cards cover Ireland and all the rest of Europe and are already activated for you. Have a look at the below international sim card deals:

1.Orange Holiday Europe - $49.90

  • 20 GB data
  • Unlimited sms & calling in Europe
  • 120 minutes worldwide
  • 1,000 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days

2.Three PAYG AIO15 - $29.90

  • 10 GB data
  • Unlimited calling & sms in Europe
  • Valid 30 days

3.Three PAYG AIO20 - $39.90

  • 12 GB data
  • Unlimited calling & sms in Europe
  • Valid 30 days

Click here to directly order one of the above sim card deals for traveling to Ireland and Europeand find more deals and info. Also another reminder that you can very easilybuy an e-sim card for Ireland.

I hope this article with my prepaid Ireland sim cards comparison was helpful. If you have any more questions then please leave me a comment below and Im happy to help you out.

For a complete guide about the best UK sim card for tourists in 2022, buying a sim card at Dublin Airportor the best European sim cards for travelers in 2022have a look at my articles in the links.

Enjoy your trip to Ireland!

Some links in this article about the best Ireland sim card are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using the outgoing links I’ll earn a small commission. Don’t worry this is atno extra cost to you. Thank you for your understanding!


Buying a Sim Card at Dublin Airport in 2022

(Video) International sim card - Use your phone while traveling Europe

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(Video) Ireland Basics - Sim Cards


Can I buy a SIM card in Ireland for my phone? ›

Yes you can! Although there are not many options and no official phone stores at Dublin Airport, there are several places where you can buy a sim card for Ireland.

How to get Ireland SIM card? ›

You can buy an Irish SIM card in the mobile operator stores (Vodafone, Three, Eir, AnPost Mobile & Tesco Mobile) or other retailers (for Lycamobile), including grocery stores, electronic stores & convenience stores. Dublin Airport (DUB) sells SIM cards too.

Can I just purchase a SIM card? ›

If your existing phone uses GSM technology, there's a good chance you can purchase a new SIM card for it. You just need to make sure it's “unlocked” first. Some carriers include software that links the SIM card to the phone's serial number. If the two don't match, the phone won't work.

What documents are required to buy a new SIM? ›

What are the documents required to get a new SIM? Following original documents can be shown as Proof or Identity (POI) and Proof of Address (POA) : Aadhaar, Voter ID & Passport. For eKYC based Jio SIM activation process, Only your biometric finger impression and Aadhaar details is required.

Do you need proof of residence to buy a SIM card? ›

Verify Your New SIM Card

You will need the following to purchase a South African SIM card: valid identification (your passport or National ID card) proof of residence (formal confirmation from hotel, on a letterhead)

Does Centra sell SIM cards? ›

Availability. As usual, their SIM card is free. It can be ordered online to be sent to an Irish postal address (hotel addresses are accepted). Or you can buy it in selected retailers: Centra, Spar, Supervalu, MACE, Costcutter, Londis, Gala, Eason.

Can foreigners buy SIM card? ›

You will need to show your passport, visa, and passport photo to get a SIM card. Indian SIM cards need to be activated by the provider on their network. This can take anywhere from a few hours up to 48 hours.

Can a foreigner register SIM card? ›

Foreign Nationals who register a SIM Card with their Passports or ECOWAS Cards will have the SIM only activated for use for only 30 days. This can only be extended twice more for a period of 30 days each time after re-applying and providing evidence of their extended stay to their Service Provider.

Can I buy SIM card at supermarket? ›

How to buy a Woolworths SIM card, a Coles SIM card or an ALDI SIM card. Unsurprisingly you can buy any of these SIM cards in the corresponding stores. Woolworths SIM cards are available from Woolies, Coles SIM cards from Coles, and ALDI SIM cards from ALDI. Coles and Woolies also sell SIM cards online.

Can I just buy a SIM card without a plan? ›

You'll often also find carrier SIM cards available on sites like eBay and Amazon. Yes you can buy a SIM card without buying a plan. It will need to be activated and by the company it is registered to though. Those would be prepaid SIMs.

Is it cheaper to go SIM-only or contract? ›

It could cost less – SIM-only deals tend to be cheaper in the long run compared to contract agreements because you're not paying back the cost of a new smartphone. You can stick with your phone – if you're particularly attached to your phone you could keep it.

Is it cheaper to get a SIM-only plan? ›

Not necessarily. SIM-only plans are generally cheaper than fixed contract plans, but that doesn't necessarily make them better.

What ID do you need to activate a SIM card? ›

Telcos must check your ID when you activate a prepaid mobile service.
To activate a new prepaid mobile service, you will need to give the telco your:
  1. name.
  2. date of birth.
  3. home address (or business name and address if you're activating on behalf of a business).
Sep 26, 2022

Do you need ID for SIM card? ›

Quick steps: Activating a new SIM

You may need valid ID. Use this key to activate the SIM card online. You'll need an internet connection for this (use a computer or your WiFi).

What do I need to do before changing my SIM? ›

To minimise the chaos when you switch numbers, remember to do the following:
  1. Step 1: Before you switch that SIM card, make sure your contacts list is saved. ...
  2. Step 2: For important work contacts, verify their numbers. ...
  3. Step 3: Update your key service providers. ...
  4. Step 4: Make sure you don't get locked out of your accounts.

Can I get a SIM without any documents? ›

What are the documents required to get a new SIM? Following original documents can be shown as Proof or Identity (POI) and Proof of Address (POA) : Aadhaar, Voter ID & Passport. For eKYC based Jio SIM activation process, Only your biometric finger impression and Aadhaar details is required.

Why do you need a passport for a SIM card? ›

It is an anti-terrorist measure. If you don't have to show your passport at point of purchase, you may well find that you can't actually use your SIM until you have supplied, and had checked, your ID details. Thus having to show your passport at point of purchase may well have significant advantages. 8.

Can I buy a SIM card in Lidl? ›

You can buy the Sim Card in any Lidl – the starter packs are near the counters.

Does Lidl sell SIM card? ›

Every Lidl store sell those SIM cards? 3. Re: Where to get prepaid data SIM card? Yes, they do.

Can you buy SIM cards at newsagents? ›

Apart from the big network providers' own stores, other shops you can walk into and buy a SIM card in London include: Carphone Warehouse. WHSmith newsagents. Boots drugstores.

Do you need an ID to buy a SIM card in Europe? ›

Most European countries require a photo ID or passport when buying a prepaid sim card, however when buying one at supermarkets and gas stations you will need to register online yourself to get the credit stated.

Can I get an EU SIM card? ›

Order a European SIM Card Online. If you like to be organised and want to slip that travel SIM card for Europe into place as soon as you arrive, then ordering a European SIM online for delivery to your home or workplace is a great option.

How to get SIM card? ›

To open the SIM card slot on most Android phones, place your SIM card ejector tool or pin into the pinhole on your device. With subtle firmness, push into the hole until the SIM card holder is partially ejected. You may need to pull out the rest of the holder manually afterward.

Can I use passport to register my SIM card? ›

How do I update my line if I used a different registration document other than my ID to procure a sim card? Other forms of identification documents such as military and alien IDs and passports can also be used to update your lines as long as you remember to carry them when you go for registration.

How do I keep my SIM active internationally? ›

So, if you are traveling from India to any other country, you will have to get a data roaming pack or enable international roaming to get cellular network abroad. Therefore, whenever you are traveling abroad, you need to activate international roaming on your phone by contacting your existing telecom partner.

What SIM card works in all countries? ›

1. Orange Holiday World. The international sim card with data that covers EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. Yes, with this prepaid travel sim you have data roaming included in 197 countries!

Can I just buy a new phone and put my SIM card in it? ›

If the phone you're switching to is from the same carrier or it's unlocked, you shouldn't need a new SIM. But if you're switching from one carrier to another, you'll need a SIM card for your new carrier.

Does Tesco have SIM cards? ›

Where do I get the best deals on sim only? If you're looking for great SIM only deals, Tesco Mobile is the place to be. We offer a range of contract SIMs and pay as you go, allowing you to choose whichever option suits you best.

How much do SIM cards usually cost? ›

But you can expect to spend around 6.50 USD on a SIM card on average globally.

Do I have to pay monthly for a pay as you go SIM? ›

With a pay-as-you-go deal, you simply pay for the data, minutes and texts you use. There's no contract, so you don't need to pay a charge every month – you can choose to top up or leave whenever you like.

Does a SIM-only deal come with a phone number? ›

Data only SIM plans are used for tablets, mobile WiFi devices and occasionally mobiles. They're rarely used for mobile devices as they don't provide a phone number, but some people just want data on their phone to browse, make calls and send messages using data.

Does a SIM card come with a phone number? ›

A SIM card, or subscriber identity module, is a small card in your cellphone that connects you to the network. Your SIM card contains your phone number, and lets you make phone calls, send text messages, and more.

Are they getting rid of pay as you go SIM? ›

It's stopping selling 'traditional' pay-as-you-go Sims.

It's also stopping selling its International Sim, which allows you to make UK calls to international mobiles and landlines from 1p/min. Existing customers with a Classic Pay As You Go Sim or International Sim can continue to use it and top up as normal though.

How long do pay as you go SIM cards last? ›

Major Pay As You Go Networks. On most major Pay As You Go networks, you'll normally be able to leave your SIM card unused for up to 6 months or 9 months at a time. As long as you use your SIM card for a chargeable activity during this time, your account will remain open and your Pay As You Go credit will never expire.

Is it better to buy a phone SIM free? ›

You'll not have to worry about network branding, locked network features or network specific apps with a SIM free phone. And even better? An unlocked, SIM free phone has a far greater resale value than a locked network equivalent.

What does 12-month SIM only mean? ›

What is a 12-month SIM? In a nutshell, a 12-month SIM contract offers a set allowance of texts, minutes and data for a monthly fee. As we say, they don't include the cost of a new phone, so are a lot cheaper than most standard phone-and-tariff contracts.

What happens when you change to SIM only? ›

A SIM only deal allows customers to take a package of data, calls and texts from a mobile provider without also taking a handset from them. SIM only deals are ideal for: People who have a handset they're happy with.

Does Tesco do SIM only Deals? ›

Whether you're looking for a deal packed with minutes, texts or unlimited data, there's lots of SIM only deals to choose from with Tesco Mobile.

How long does a SIM card take to activate? ›

Most transfers will become active within a few hours but the process can take up to 24 hours to complete.

Do I need to activate my phone after switching SIM cards? ›

Your new SIM card should come with activation instructions, so just follow those carefully, insert the new SIM card into your new phone and test it out with a call or a text. Then you can start going through the process of transferring over everything else.

Does new SIM need to be activated? ›

Your replacement sim will come activated and set up with your existing number, so all you need to do is insert it into your device.

Can you buy a SIM card with cash? ›

Only the following methods of payment are accepted: credit card, PayPal, bank transfer.

What do you lose when changing SIM card? ›

When you replace your SIM card in your phone, you lose access to any data on the old card. Photos, apps, and other documents that aren't stored on the SIM are not affected by the card switch.

How do I replace my old SIM card with a new SIM? ›

Change SIM card found at the back of the phone

Once the back panel has been removed, you will be able to see the insides of your smartphone. Look for the SIM card here. If you find the SIM card, then go ahead and change your SIM card.

Can I use my cell phone in Ireland? ›

Almost all EU cell phone networks will have a partner service in Ireland and you won't be charged roaming fees for calls, text messages or data usage. If you're travelling from outside the European Union, you should contact your current phone provider to find out more.

Can I put a new SIM card in my phone myself? ›

Insert the SIM card into the new phone.

If the new phone also has a SIM tray, open it now. If there's a battery cover, remove the cover and locate the SIM slot. The SIM has a small notch at one corner that acts as a guide—this means it will only fit into the tray or slot one way, making it simple to insert properly.

How do I get a SIM card for my phone? ›

Call your current carrier to ensure your phone is not locked to another carrier, or help to get it unlocked. Purchase a SIM kit from the carrier that's right for you. Follow the SIM kit instructions to activate the phone.

How do I change my phone to Ireland? ›

Manage Your Device's Language Settings
  1. Visit your device's Settings and tap General.
  2. Tap Language & Region.
  3. Select one of the four supported languages and tap OK in the top-right corner.

Will I get charged for using my phone in Ireland? ›

Pay As You Go Roaming charges

Republic of Ireland is a Go Roam in Europe destination which means you can use your data here at no extra cost. If you have an Add-on with a data allowance of 12GB or greater, a fair use limit applies, with use over 12GB subject to a surcharge (see below).

Do I need a different SIM card for Ireland? ›

You'll only need a phone that can operate on the frequencies used in Ireland if traveling there (preferably all of the frequencies to have the most optimal experience while in Ireland). Your mobile phone should also be unlocked (SIM-lock-free) to be able to buy and use an Irish SIM card.

Can I use WhatsApp in Ireland? ›

When you are traveling out of the country, you can still use WhatsApp account via mobile data or Wi-Fi. If you use a local SIM card while you are traveling, you can still use WhatsApp with your home number.

Will I lose everything on my phone if I get a new SIM card? ›

Your contacts, messages, apps, wallpaper and pretty much anything else that isn't your phone number will stay on your phone – even if you take the SIM card out. No need to worry about losing your email settings or your entire contact list (we get it, nobody knows anyone's phone number anymore).

Does a new SIM card mean a new number? ›

SIM Cards Change Your Number

You need to understand that when you replace your SIM card, you'll automatically be getting a new phone number since cell phone numbers are actually associated with the SIM cards and not the individual phones.

Can you buy a SIM card without a contract? ›

Pay-as-you-go SIMS have no commitment and no contract. Top-up your data, text or minutes by top-up card, credit or debit card whenever you want and choose the amount that matches your budget.

Can I put any SIM in any phone? ›

All mobile phones use SIM cards but they don't all use the same size ones, so you'll need one that's the right size for your phone. In most cases this will be a nano SIM.

How do I avoid roaming charges in Ireland? ›

Tips for Using Your Mobile Phone in Ireland
  1. Turn your data off when in Ireland! ...
  2. Contact your cellular provider and inquire about using your mobile phone in Ireland. ...
  3. Purchase an Irish SIM card. ...
  4. Buy a cheap prepaid phone when you arrive. ...
  5. Rent a mobile wifi unit.
Dec 19, 2022

Can I set my iPhone to Irish? ›

Use your iPhone or iPad to change your region

Tap View Account. You might be asked to sign in. Tap Country/Region. Tap Change Country or Region.

How do I get my iPhone to work in Ireland? ›

If you buy a phone in the US or Canada ("America") if it is locked to an american carrier you can use it under a roaming plan in Ireland, keeping the original number, but paying roaming rates. You cannot use it with a SIM from a local carrier in Ireland.


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