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Compare prepaid SIM cards for Ireland

Buy a local SIM card to reduce your roaming rates.


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Ireland, or the Republic of Ireland as it’s officially known, is a popular tourist destination for people traveling around the British Isles. Although it’s joined to Northern Ireland and extremely close to the UK, it’s an independent country rich in history. Using your phone there can be expensive, so to keep costs down why not switch to a local SIM card so you can take advantage of better plans, deals and tariffs? Ireland has reasonable, prepaid SIM cards available for tourists for as little as EUR9.90 (US$11.20) per GB. So, whether you’re planning a quick break or an extended trip, check out the best SIM card offers available on

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Name Product Number of countries Data range Shipment time
1-12 business days
SimCorner's prepaid SIM cards offer local call, text and data rates in dozens of countries around the world. Choose from a range of data packages, including unlimited data in the USA.
Flexiroam X
3-7 business days
Attach the Flexiroam X ultra-thin microchip sticker to your current SIM card to access data roaming in over 140 countries.
Up to 10GB
1- 5 working days

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Telco providers in Ireland

There are three main operators in Ireland: Vodafone, Hutchison 3 (Three) and Meteor (by eir). All three operators have been tried and tested by both locals and international visitors, and can be trusted. Each provider offers the latest technology, and Ireland has some of the best telecommunications in the world. According to OpenSignal’s country coverage map, Ireland’s network signals are above average in the more urban areas but may suffer in some of the more rural counties.

About Ireland’s telecommunications

Ireland’s operators offer great network coverage, providing good 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE wireless services. Roaming rates are good, and all three operators sell prepaid credit, which allows users to take advantage of lots of offers and deals. SIM cards can be purchased pretty easily without any form of identification or registration. Ireland is not part of the UK, so please be advised that UK prepaid SIM cards will be charged roaming in the country. However, Ireland is part of the European Union (EU) “Roam-Like-At-Home” roaming pact so costs shouldn’t be that expensive if you use a European SIM card there.

Below, we have broken down all the telco providers to highlight exactly what they can offer you during your visit to Ireland


Vodafone is the largest operator in Ireland with the highest number of prepaid customers on “pay-as-you-go” plans. It offers 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services on a GSM platform. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores, approved resellers, most supermarkets and corner stores. You can buy credit from the same retailers or online by using your credit card. You won’t have any trouble purchasing the SIM card because there are no rules or regulations and you won’t have to show your passport as a form of ID.

Pay-as-you-go SIM cards can be purchased for EUR10 and come in all sizes. SIM cards are only valid for 180 days from the last time credit was added. If you text “Data Extra” to 50222 then you can start using data in packages, which is much cheaper. If you don’t use a data pack then data is charged at a whopping EUR1 per MB. EUR20 will give you EUR10 worth of credit, 5GB of data on 4G/LTE, unlimited local calls and SMS, valid for 28 days.

The following data add-ons can also be purchased, each valid for 28 days:

  • 1GB add-on on 4G/LTE – EUR5: Text “5DATA” to 50233
  • 5GB add-on on 4G/LTE– EUR15: Text “15DATA” to 50233

Text “bal” to 50233 to check your data balance.

In addition, Vodafone has a selection of prepaid SIM cards available for modems, tablets and laptops:

Broadband Daily500MBmidnight to midnightEUR3
Broadband Weekly2GBvalid for 7 daysEUR10
Broadband Monthly7.5GBvalid for 28 daysEUR20

Overuse rates are charged at EUR0.19 per MB.

Vodafone is part of the EU roaming pact and its “RED” roaming packages are active in the following countries:

  • Albania, Canada, Monaco, Republic of San Marino, Kosovo, Turkey, USA: 200MB per day for EUR2.99
  • Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Rep., Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Lesotho, Macedonia, Mexico, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Nauru, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Russia, Samoa, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Vanuatu, US Virgin Islands: 200MB per day for EUR4.99.

Vodafone’s APN:, and website:

Hutchison 3 (Three)

Hutchison 3 (Three) is the second-largest operator in Ireland. It offers 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services on a GSM platform. Prepaid SIM cards can be picked up for free from official stores, approved resellers, most supermarkets and corner stores. You can buy credit from the same retailers or by using your credit card online. There are no rules or regulations when purchasing the SIM cards, and you won’t have to show your passport as a form of ID. Three has some of the best coverage in Ireland and is even able to provide a good signal in the countryside and remote areas.

Although SIM cards are free, packages will have to be purchased before use. Data-only and Broadband SIM cards can be purchased for EUR5. SIM cards come in all sizes and there is no extra cost for different variations. Dial 1745 to check your balance.

Please be aware that you can only top up online while you’re in Ireland, so it could be complicated if you want to add credit while you’re roaming around Europe. The best option is to purchase a large credit amount before you set off on your travels if you intend to return at a certain point. If you plan on traveling around Europe, then we advise you to purchase a prepaid SIM card in the countries where you spend the most time.

The standard default data rate is charged at a staggering EUR1.01 per MB, so we strongly advise you to purchase data packs to bring these costs down.

The following data packs can be added:

  • 500MB valid for 30 days: EUR4.99

There’s also an all-you-can-use data plan which is sold for EUR20, valid for 30 days. This “unlimited” pack will be capped at 6GB.

There is also a data-only SIM card which offers the following options:

Broadband DayEUR3500MB1 day
Broadband WeekEUR102GB7 days
Broadband Month 1GBEUR151GB30 days
Broadband Month 7.5GBEUR257.5GB30 days
Broadband Month 20GBEUR3520GB30 days

A great data add-on to the above-mentioned plans is a 5GB pack which is charged at EUR7.50. Overuse or out-of-bundle data will be charged at EUR0.0615 per MB in Ireland and the EU. Tethering is not allowed on any prepaid SIM cards.

EU roaming is available in all 28 member states and also the following countries: Andorra, Monaco, Switzerland and San Marino.

Three’s APN:, and website:

Meteor (by eir)

Meteor (by eir) is the third provider in Ireland. Although eir is the country’s largest telecommunications company, its mobile and cellular services are the smallest. It offers good 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services on a GSM platform. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores, approved resellers, most supermarkets and stores. You can buy credit from the same retailers or by using your credit card online. There are no rules or regulations when purchasing the SIM cards, and you won’t have to show your passport as a form of ID.

Meteor offers some good rates and deals, and Internet speeds are pretty good thanks to eir’s advanced technology. Meteor is popular with the younger audience, and it’s catching up with Vodafone and Three.

Pay-as-you-go SIM cards come with a minimum of EUR10 top-up. The 4G SIM cards can be purchased along with a EUR20 top-up, which comes with several voice and data plans. SIM cards will be active for 150 days after your last top up. Dial *#100# to check your balance.

The following packages can also be added; each is valid for 28 days:

EUR 4.99500MBno cap2G, 3G
EUR 9.991GBno cap2G, 3G
EUR 2015GB4.2GB cap2G, 3G, 4G
EUR 3015GB6.3GB cap2G, 3G, 4G

Text your preferred pack to 50104 to activate. The following data boosters can also be added:


Meteor also sells a prepaid SIM card for mobile broadband. The following options are available:

EUR19.9915GB30 days30 Days
EUR3050GB180 days180 Days

The above-mentioned packs can be added online or by going into a store and purchasing a deal there. Check stores at time of purchase because they can sometimes alter their promotions.

EU roaming is available in all 28 member states and special roaming deals can be added to bring down the costs even further. Check in the store at time of purchase for the latest offers because they can change from time to time.

Meteor’s APN:, and website:

Some top tips from staff:

  • Locals call a SIM card a “Chip” or “SIM”.
  • Although Gaelic is the traditional language of Ireland, English is now the main language.
  • Ask the retailers to help set up the SIM cards for you. They are official sellers and will be very happy to help.

TripAdvisor tips for the best SIM cards and where to buy them

TripAdvisor reviews can help guide you through which SIM cards have been tried and tested in Ireland. Here are some top tips from TripAdvisor users:

“There are a number of Tesco stores in Dublin which offer lower running costs and better reception on 95% of the whole Island.”

“We arrived at Dublin Airport and near the exits were 2 different phone companies. Both were staffed by helpful sales people. Both charged just for the “charge” on the prepaid SIM card. Easy to get and cheap. Refills available at most convenience stores.”

“I found out that the smaller Tescos do not carry the nano type SIM cards that are used in iPhone 5 and newer devices, though they all had the full size and micro.”

“There are plenty of shops and stores around Ireland and they all sell prepaid SIM cards. Make sure your phone is unlocked before you travel otherwise it won’t work in other countries.”

Pros and cons of Ireland’s telco providers

You will need a SIM-unlocked, GSM-compatible international phone. To double check you have this option, or whether it’s possible to unlock your device, contact your provider before you set off on your travels.


  • Prepaid credit when required
  • No in-store contract needed
  • Could be compatible with your current phone
  • Ireland is part of the EU roaming pact


  • No devices offered with the SIM card packages
  • Can only be used on SIM-unlocked GSM phones
  • Roaming can be very expensive unless you purchase data packs
  • Networks can become overcrowded, which can slow Internet speeds

Had more questions about finding the best SIM card?

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4 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    AmihaiMarch 12, 2019

    Can you estimate how many GB I need for four days driving in Ireland using Google maps navigator?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesMarch 13, 2019Staff

      Hi Amihai,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      Google maps navigator does not require large data usage as shown on reviews. It generally eats up 5mb per hour of driving. 1GB equates to 1024MB. So 1GB is more than enough if you are only going to use the data plan for Google map navigator. Hope this helps!


    Default Gravatar
    PatrickNovember 10, 2018

    My phone services is republic wireless my phone is a moto G 4
    I will be traveling to Ireland for 2 weeks this coming summer with
    My family should I get SIM cards prior to going to Ireland or wait till I land @Dublin.What is best service coverage co. For Southern Ireland. Thank you.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaNovember 21, 2018Staff

      Hi Patrick,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      In general, it is cheaper to use a local SIM card rather than use your foreign card and get charged with more expensive roaming fees. Moreover, you would need to check if your phone would work in Ireland if you insert a local SIM to it. Sometimes, if the phone is locked to your current provider, it might not be able to handle a foreign SIM card like the one you will be using in Ireland.

      For most people, they don’t see any problem buying the SIM card when they arrive in Dublin. There are three operators in Ireland and all of them offer great network coverage. Perhaps the deal breaker for you would be their available rates, package, and deals. To learn more about these operators, you can read this page to help you make a better choice.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


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