Ireland is a popular getaway to Europe, especially to flights arriving from the United States. Buying a prepaid sim card for Ireland is the best way to avoid high roaming costs and good news for you: Ireland sim cards with data are cheap for tourists AND great for traveling in Europe! In this guide you will find all the info you need for buying a local sim card: where to go, best value for money, best network and a comparison of the prices.

As part of visiting every country in the world I started writing local sim card guides everywhere I go. Simply to get you the information you need to get the best deal. We don't want to waste money that we can use for exploring the world, right? That is how I wrote local sim card guides for places like: Rome, Guatemala, Zambia, Dubai, Jordan, Vietnam, USA and every country and main airport in Europe. 

Why buying a sim card in Ireland

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? Just like in normal life, having an internet connection on your phone makes traveling so much easier. Ordering a taxi through an app when on the streets or getting directions from Google Maps. Finding nearby places of interest or even emergencies. I can come up with a ton of reasons to buy a local sim card in Ireland.

My recommendation

Traveltomtom recommends a Three or a Vodafone 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?

Whatever you do, Traveltomtom does NOT recommend to get a global sim card for traveling. A local sim card is ALWAYS better! In my article reviewing and comparing the best international sim cards I came to the simple conclusion that most of these traveler sim cards are a waste! Very expensive compared to local sim cards.

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 9 best European sim cards for tourists 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.

Buying a sim card for Ireland online

Is buying a sim card in Ireland too much hassle on arrival then ordering one online is your best bid. There are a bunch of international sim cards that work perfectly in Ireland. You can order them directly through the Simoptions website, they have a broad selection and are specialized in sim cards for travelers.

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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.

Best Ireland mobile network in 2021

To find the best sim card for Ireland we will also have a look at their network strength (source nperf.com). We are aiming for the highest so let's look how the 5G network in Ireland, because yes there is 5G in Ireland and it is pretty good!

Mobile internet network Vodafone Ireland

vodafone ireland network coverage

Mobile internet network Eir Mobile Ireland

eir ireland network coverage

Mobile internet network Three 3 Ireland

three ireland network coverage

Based on the mobile network coverage we can easily say that Three Ireland has the best network in Ireland and an amazing 5G network. Eir Ireland has the smallest network in all the Ireland tourist destinations you won't have any problem finding a strong signal.

Where to buy an Ireland sim card in 2021

If you are arriving by plane then most likely you wanna read my article about buying a sim card at Dublin Airport. Or in case you have missed it, you can also order an Ireland sim card online.

But in all major cities you will find Vodafone, 3 and Eir Mobile stores around the city center and they all offer sim only deals for Ireland. Bring you passport when buying an Ireland sim card.

ireland sim card 2

Free sim Ireland

Yes in fact you get a free sim card for Ireland, but you will have to buy a top up in case to get that free Ireland sim card. So when you read somewhere that you can get an Ireland sim card for free, then this is another good reminder that nothing in this world is free! All the pay-as-you-go sim cards are free in Ireland, but come with NO credit!

Prices prepaid Ireland sim card in 2021

These are all the up to date prices as per June 2021 for local sim cards in Ireland. Based on what you can find in the stores in Dublin and on the providers' websites.

Vodafone Ireland sim only deals

Vodafone Ireland offers 3 sim only plans:

  • €20 = unlimited calls & sms + 10 GB data - valid for 28 days all over Europe.
  • €20 = 100 minutes & 100 sms + 20 GB data - valid for 28 days all over Europe.
  • €30 = unlimited calls & sms + 100 international minutes + 30 GB data - valid for 28 days all over Europe.

ireland sim card 4

For more info about Vodafone Ireland Prepaid have a look at their website, it seems like the packages are upgraded and you get a little more value for money. That said, I can't find any pay-as-you-go sim packages with 5G.

vodafone ireland sim card

Eir Mobile Ireland sim only deals

They offer three Ireland pay as you go sim cards with data at Eir Mobile:

  • €20 = unlimited data in Ireland + unlimited calls OR sms - valid for 28 days.

* only 10.9 GB data can be used in Europe.

  • €30 = unlimited data in Ireland + unlimited calls AND sms - valid for 28 days.

* only 16.3 GB data can be used in Europe.

eir ireland sim card

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

Three Ireland sim only deals

They offer 3 different prepaid sim card plans at Three Ireland.

All three pay-as-you-go-packages offer unlimited data with a fair policy use. They limit data usage in Europe though. See below for all the info, or for the latest prepaid offers have a look at the Three Ireland website.

Also at Three we see that a prepaid sim card does NOT come with 5G, you will have to pay €5 extra for it.

three ireland sim card

Best Ireland sim card for tourists

All the operators offer a prepaid sim card for Ireland with unlimited data for €20. So what is the best sim card in Ireland for tourists? 

When you on a road trip you want to buy a Three Ireland sim only deal as they have the best network and you can easily find a signal off the beaten path. If you travel onwards in Europe a Vodafone Ireland sim card has no data restrictions in Europe.

General conclusion they are all more or less the same!

Buy an Ireland sim card online

Save yourself the hassle of buying a sim card in Ireland, just order one online and you will be online as soon as you land. It is easy, convenient and this international prepaid sim card for Ireland will be send to your home address. They are already activated for you. Have a look at the below offered sim cards by Simoptions:

1. Orange Holiday Zen - $29.90

  • 8 GB data
  • Unlimited sms & calling in Europe
  • 30 minutes worldwide
  • 200 sms worldwide
  • Valid 14 days

2. Orange Holiday Europe - $49.90

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

3. Three PAYG AIO15 - $29.90

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

4. Three PAYG AIO20 - $39.90

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

All the above sim card deals for traveling in Ireland and Europe can be ordered directly from the Simoptions website. They are specialized in sim cards for travelers. Click on one of the links for more info or on the banner below.

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I hope this article about buying an Ireland sim card was helpful. Let me know if you have any more questions 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, buying a sim card at Dublin Airport or the best European sim cards for travelers have 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 at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your understanding!

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