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 May 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 to visit every country in the world you 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.
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 into travel sim cards for your trip abroad. 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 in 2022 and 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.
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.
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 2022 for 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
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 about buying a sim card at Dublin Airport.
Dublin city center
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.
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 an international 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 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 the Vodafone Ireland website.
Eir Mobile Ireland
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 website for their up to date prepay offers.
Three 3 Ireland
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
Eir Mobile 4G/5G network coverage map Ireland
Three Mobile 4G/5G network coverage map Ireland
Based on the above 4G/5G Ireland coverage maps we 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.
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
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:
- 20 GB data
- Unlimited sms & calling in Europe
- 120 minutes worldwide
- 1,000 sms worldwide
- Valid 14 days
- 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 Europe and find more deals and info. Also another reminder that you can very easily buy 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.
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 at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your understanding!