Planning your trip to Ireland and wondering how to stay connected? Avoid high roaming charges and slow overseas data roaming plans, get yourself an e-sim card for traveling to Ireland or buy a local prepaid sim card on arrival. This is a complete guide for finding the best sim card for your trip to Ireland.

Find out everything you need to know about prepaid sim cards for Ireland, where to buy a sim card, a comparison of the mobile internet providers in Ireland, the best e-sim cards, the best 4G/5G network, up to date prices as per June 2024, my recommendation, information about international sim cards and more.

One of the first things I do when planning my next trip is figuring out how to stay connected. In the past I always used to buy a prepaid sim card on arrival, nowadays I mostly use e-sim cards. Which sim card I prefer depends on how long I stay and how much data I need for my trip.

As I like to document all my travel tips and also try to visit every country in the world you can already find more than 200 sim card guides on Traveltomtom from all over the world: Europe, USA, New York, Miami, Los AngelesCanada, TorontoMexicoRome, LondonGuatemala, Zambia, Dubai, Abu DhabiJordan, Vietnam, Bangkok, Bali, Singapore, Philippines, Australia and many more.

So next time you are planning your adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for my personal e-sim card, international or prepaid sim card advice for your destination. Bookmark me and let me help you save money.

Some links in this article about the best ways to stay connected when traveling to Ireland are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using an affiliate link I will earn a small commission. Don’t worry this is at absolutely no extra cost to you!

Why buying a sim card for Ireland

Saving on high roaming costs is the main reason for getting a prepaid sim card or an e-sim card when traveling to Ireland. Overseas data plans are expensive and they limit data speed. With a local prepaid sim card or an e-sim card you get the best 4G/5G connection and the fastest internet data speed.

When you are staying in Dublin or any tourist destination in Ireland then your hotel or accommodation probably has free WiFi and so do most bars and restaurants. But that is no guarantee! 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, using banking apps, etc.

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

If you decide to buy a local prepaid sim card in Ireland then I have great news for you: prepaid data plans are reasonably priced and come with unlimited data in Ireland and include free EU data roaming! However, Traveltomtom advices you to check out this list of the best sim cards for traveling to Europe in 2024 and find much better sim card deals.

My recommendation

Traveltomtom recommends a Three prepaid sim card for Ireland. They have prepaid sim card plans for tourists with unlimited data for €20 EUR ($22 USD) and they have the best 4G/5G network in Ireland. Pretty good sim card deal, right?

However, not everyone needs unlimited data and especially those who just want to stay in touch through WhatsApp, check their email and get directions from Google Maps are better off with an e-sim card for Ireland as they already start from $5 USD for 1 GB.

Traveltomtom is an advocate for using e-sims as it is simply so much easier to connect and set everything up through the internet. Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Ireland via SimOptions, Nomad or Airalo.

We also recommend looking into world travel sim cards with data for your trip to Ireland. These sim cards you can order online and get shipped to your home address. Have a look at my comparison of the best international sim cards with data in 2024.

Best e-sim cards for Ireland

The easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Ireland in 2024 is an e-sim card. You order online and set everything up in just a couple clicks. No more visiting a sim card shop or swapping physical sim cards.

You order an e-sim card for Ireland on the internet, you receive a QR code, scan it, follow the simple steps and within less than 2 minutes you have an Ireland e-sim card installed on your phone.

Upon arrival in Ireland it automatically connects you to an available network and you enjoy data on your phone pretty much when the plane lands.

Make sure your phone is e-sim compatible before ordering an e-sim card for Ireland.

Airalo

airalo esim card plans for ireland 2024

Airalo is a reliable e-sim provider that sells e-sim cards from pretty much every country in the world. Have a look at the Airalo e-sim card plans for Ireland in 2024:

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $5 USD
  • 2 GB data for 15 days = $7 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
  • 20 GB data for 30 days = $32 USD

Click here to directly order an e-sim card for Ireland.

The above data-only e-sim cards from Fáilte are only valid only in Ireland, calls are NOT supported. Fáilte e-sim cards operate on the 4G/LTE network of Eir and Three.

SimOptions

simoptions international esim cards for ireland 2024

SimOptions is a reliable e-sim provider and Traveltomtom has used SimOptions in more than 50 countries around the world and never faced an issue. 

SimOptions sells international e-sim cards that are valid in multiple countries, including Ireland and they also come with a phone number and support incoming and outgoing calls/sms.

Here are the SimOptions e-sim card plans for Ireland for 2024:

  • 15 GB data + unlimited calls in Europe for 15 days = $21.90 USD
  • 10 GB data-only (5G ready) for 30 days = $24.90 USD
  • 12 GB data + 30 minutes international calls + unlimited calls in Europe for 14 days = $29.90 USD
  • 30 GB data + unlimited calls in Europe for 30 days = $44.90 USD
  • 30 GB data + 120 minutes international calls + unlimited calls in Europe for 14 days = $49.90 USD
  • 50 GB data (5G ready) + 120 minutes international calls + unlimited calls in Europe for 28 days = $59.90 USD

Click here for more info or to order an international e-sim card for Ireland via SimOptions.

Nomad

nomad esim card plans for ireland 2024

Another trusted and reviewed e-sim provider is Nomad and Traveltomtom has used Nomad now in more than 10 countries. Nomad sometimes has amazing competitive e-sim card plans with cheap prices.

Here are the Nomad e-sim card plans for Ireland in 2024:

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $6 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $12 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $14 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $19 USD
  • 15 GB data for 30 days = $27 USD
  • 20 GB data for 30 days = $33 USD

Click here to order an e-sim card for Ireland via Nomad.

Make sure that your phone is unlocked and your phone is e-sim compatible before buying an e-sim card for Ireland.

Is your phone unlocked but not e-sim compatible then you can to order a physical prepaid sim card for traveling in Ireland. What about a prepaid sim card with 30 GB data in Ireland and Europe for $44.90 USD? You can order a physical prepaid sim card for Ireland via SimOptions.

Mobile internet operators in Ireland

There are 3 major mobile internet providers in Ireland: Three, Eir and Vodafone Ireland. On top of that there are a couple MVNO's Mobile Virtual Network Operators like Lebara and Lycamobile.

For finding the best Ireland sim card for tourists I narrowed down my research to the main mobile internet providers who all offer pay-as-you-go sim card for Ireland for tourists. That is how they call prepaid sim cards in Ireland.

Ireland prepaid sim cards and EU data roaming

When buying a prepaid sim card in Ireland and you are traveling onwards in Europe then make sure your prepaid sim card includes free EU data roaming. That means that you can use your data, voice and text bundles from your Ireland sim card also in Germany, Netherlands, Spain, France and the rest of Europe.

Since Brexit there are different rules for the UK. Check out my article about the best prepaid and e-sim cards for the UK in 2024 or Traveltomtom's complete guide for buying a local prepaid sim card on arrival in Europe for more tips about EU data roaming.

Prepaid sim card plans in Ireland include free EU data roaming, Traveltomtom specified it in the prepaid sim card comparison below.

You can also arrive prepared for your trip to Europe by ordering a sim card for traveling in Europe online. Traveltomtom compared the best Europe travel sim cards in 2024.

Where to buy a sim card for Ireland

Dublin Airport

The most convenient place to buy a prepaid sim card on arrival in Ireland is at Dublin International Airport of course. In the arrival hall there are several phone stores that sell prepaid sim cards for tourists.

Check out Traveltomtom's complete guide for buying a sim card at Dublin Airport in 2024 for more detailed info.

Phone stores city center

eir phone store dublin

If you have missed the opportunity at Dublin airport or you simply want a cheaper prepaid sim card deal then you can easily buy a prepaid sim card for Ireland in Dublin city center or any other tourist destination in Ireland. All mobile internet operators have official retail stores and in for example Henry Street in central Dublin you will find a Vodafone, Eir and Three store pretty much next to each other.

The easiest way to find the nearest mobile phone store is through Google Maps. At the official phone stores you get the best service, rates and everything will be set up for you. This is also the only place where you can get an e-sim card instead of a physical prepaid sim card.

Supermarkets, gas stations and convenience store

Traveltomtom recommends buying a prepaid sim card for Ireland in an official retail store of the internet provider, not in a random phone store, gas station, supermarket or convenience store. In these places you will find sim cards from for example Lycamobile or Lebara, so called MVNO's. They also work, but you will need to register yourself and activate the prepaid plans, etc. There is little service from the staff of these store obviously and therefore not directly recommended for tourists. An advantage that these stores have is that they are open till late and phone stores are only open during office hours.

Online

All this hassle can be avoided by simply ordering a sim card for your trip to Ireland on the internet. Be prepared and online as soon as the plane lands.

If your phone is e-sim compatible then simply order your e-sim card for Ireland online. Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Ireland via SimOptions, Nomad or Airalo.

before but you can also stay connected in Ireland by buying a sim card online. E-sim cards are super easy to get and you can only buy them online. They are the easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Ireland, but you can also buy a sim card for Ireland and get it shipped to your home address before your trip.

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. The registration is free. You will receive a new physical prepaid sim card that comes with a phone number that starts with +353.

If for some reason you are not ok with this then you want to order an e-sim card for Ireland or an international travel sim card with data that works in Ireland.

These sim cards that you order on the internet do not require an ID verification, just your email address.

Prices Ireland prepaid sim cards in 2024

Prepaid sim cards in Ireland are free when you opt for any of the prepaid sim card plans.

All prices and info below are up to date as per June 2024. Prices are in shown in Euros: $1 USD = €0.92 EUR and €1 EUR = $1.09 USD.

Vodafone Ireland

vodafone ireland prepaid sim card plans for 2024 

Vodafone Ireland offers multiple pay as you go plans for prepaid costumers. They are valid for 28 days:

  • Unlimited 5G high speed data + 100 (internatonal) minutes/text  = €20 EUR - ($22 USD)
  • 10 GB data at 4G+ speed + unlimited calls/text = €20 EUR - ($22 USD)
  • Unlimited 5G high speed data + unlimited calls/text + 100 international minutes = €30 EUR - ($33 USD)

Vodafone Ireland allows up to 35 GB free data roaming in the EU. For more info see the Vodafone Ireland website. In the Vodafone stores in Ireland you can opt for an e-sim as well as a physical prepaid sim card.

Eir Mobile Ireland

eir ireland prepaid sim card plans for 2024

Eir Ireland offers only one pay as you go prepaid sim card with data for tourists and it is valid for 4 weeks:

  • Unlimited 5G high data + unlimited calls/sms = €20 EUR - ($22 USD)

EU data roaming is capped at 31.5 GB. For more info have a look at the Eir website for their up to date prepay offers. In the Eir stores in Ireland you can opt for an e-sim as well as a physical prepaid sim card.

Three 3 Ireland

three ireland prepaid sim card plans for 2024

Three (3) offers 3 different prepaid sim card plans for tourists for 28 days:

  • 1 GB data + unlimited calls = €15 EUR - ($16.5 USD)
  • Unlimited data at 5G speed* + 60 minutes = €20 EUR - ($22 USD)
  • Unlimited data at 5G speed** + unlimited calls/sms = €30 EUR - ($33 USD)

*21 GB EU data roaming. **32 GB EU data roaming.

For more info have a look at the Three Ireland website. In the Three stores in Ireland you can opt for an e-sim as well as a physical prepaid sim card.

Best 4G/5G network in Ireland in 2024

For finding the best prepaid sim card in Ireland lets also compare the 4G/5G network coverage maps of all mobile operators in Ireland. Traveltomtom found the Ireland network coverage maps of Vodafone, Eir and Three and put them next to each other to compare their 4G/5G network.

Is there 5G in Ireland?

Yes, there is 5G in Ireland and it is widespread around the country. Almost all tourist destination in Ireland are covered with a 5G signal or when not you will find a 4G/LTE signal, even off the beaten path.

Vodafone 4G/5G network coverage map Ireland

vodafone 4g 5g network coverage map ireland 2024

Eir Mobile 4G/5G network coverage map Ireland

eir 4g 5g network coverage map ireland 2024

Three 4G/5G network coverage map Ireland

three 4g 5g network coverage map ireland 2024

Although the above mobile data network coverage maps are updated for 2024 they are not 100% accurate. However, they are a great reference to compare the 4G/5G networks of the mobile internet providers in Ireland in 2024.

All tourist destinations in Ireland are very well covered with a phone signal, regardless which provider you choose, but it leaves no doubt that Eir has the smallest 4G/5G network in Ireland in 2024

For Traveltomtom it is a very simple conclusion that Three has the best 4G/5G network in Ireland in 2024.

Best sim card for Ireland in 2024

All the mobile operators offer a prepaid sim card for Ireland with unlimited data, the packages are a little different but prices are all the same. So what is the best prepaid sim card for tourists in Ireland in 2024?

If you don't not use much data the best sim card for your trip to Ireland is in fact an e-sim card. You can already order an e-sim card for Ireland for just $5 USD and you get 1 GB data. Enough for staying in touch with friends on WhatsApp, email and getting directions.

Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Ireland via SimOptions, Nomad or Airalo.

When you are going to road trip in Ireland then Traveltomtom recommends a Three or Vodafone pay as you go sim card for Ireland. Three and Vodafone have the most extensive 4G/5G network in the country and you can easily find a signal even off the beaten path.

All prepaid sim cards come with unlimited 5G data for €20 EUR ($22 USD). Eir keeps it simple and also gives you unlimited calls/sms. Vodafone and Three have some limitations to the calling and texting. So pick your preference!

All in all after comparing all the prepaid sim card plans and the 4G/5G network coverage maps of the mobile internet providers in Ireland Traveltomtom comes to the conclusion that Three is the best prepaid sim card in Ireland in 2024.

Order a prepaid sim card for Ireland online

international prepaid sim card for ireland

If buying a prepaid sim card on arrival in Ireland sounds like too much hassle or you simply rather buy a sim card for Ireland on the internet but your phone is not e-sim compatible then check out the following.

Arrive prepared in Ireland with an international prepaid sim card. You order them online and a physical prepaid sim card will be delivered to your home address. You put this sim card in your phone and it automatically connects to an available network upon arrival in Ireland, basically when the plane lands you are instantly online.

SimOptions is the only sim card provider that sells physical prepaid sim cards for Ireland:

1. O2 Go Card - $24.90

  • 10 GB data
  • $2 calling credit (no top-up)
  • valid for 30 days
  • valid in 34 countries
  • 4G/LTE

2. Three Data Pack - $24.90

  • 10 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms
  • Valid 30 days
  • Valid in 56 countries
  • 4G/LTE

3. Orange Holiday ZEN - $29.90

  • 12 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
  • 30 minutes worldwide
  • 200 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days
  • Valid in 34 countries
  • 4G/LTE

4. Bouygues Telecom - $44.90

  • 30 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
  • Valid 30 days
  • Valid in 47 countries
  • 4G/LTE

5. Orange Holiday Europe - $49.90

  • 30 GB data
  • Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
  • 120 minutes worldwide
  • 1,000 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days
  • Valid in 34 countries
  • 4G/LTE

Click here for more info or to order an international prepaid sim card for traveling in Ireland in 2024.

Personally Traveltomtom recommends the Bouygues Telecom or the Orange sim card with 30 GB data. I have used these sim cards a lot in the past and never had an issue.

But as mentioned many times before nowadays when traveling to Europe or Ireland I always use an e-sim card. It is just so easy and done fast and as soon as the plane lands you are online.

Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Ireland via SimOptions, Nomad or Airalo

I am sure this article with my comparison of the best prepaid sim cards for Ireland was helpful for your upcoming trip. If you have any questions then please leave me a comment below and Im happy to help you out.

For a complete guide about the best UK (e)sim card for tourists in 2024, buying a sim card at Dublin Airport or the best European sim cards for travelers in 2024 have a look at my guides in the links.

Curious what it looks like trying to visit every country in the world? Go check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and follow along. As of June 2024 I have visited more than 155 countries, so still a long way to go.

Enjoy your trip to Ireland!