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Ireland SIM card for travelers: How to buy in 2024

Stay connected with an Ireland SIM Card. Get to know more about the available SIM cards and different alternatives for travelers.

Julio Osuna

May 21, 2024

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If you have plans to visit Ireland in 2024, chances are you need an Ireland SIM card to stay connected. While there are many alternatives to use in the country, travelers need to have a better idea of how each one works and what they offer.

That’s why we have information about different SIM cards for traveling to Ireland in 2024. We’ll also discuss local companies, such as Tesco, Three, and Vodafone, and online stores that will work for travelers! So, let’s get started.

What travelers need to know about SIM cards for Ireland

For travelers, one of the main ideas of getting SIM cards is to save money, avoid roaming charges, and be able to stay connected while traveling. That’s why it’s so important to know how these work and what plans travelers can get.

Currently, there are two types of data plans available. Prepaid packages are accessible for travelers, as most SIM cards already include a plan that may include data, mobile calls, and text messages.

people walking around ireland
People walking around Ireland. Source: Pexels.

Postpaid plans are not accessible for travelers, as they require a longer commitment to pay for the service. While they include a variety of additional features, they aren’t sold to travelers due to the basic requirement of focusing on long-term customers!

One important thing for those planning a trip to Ireland is that having an eSIM upon arrival makes it easier to stay connected, and using mobile data apps, like Google Maps, becomes much easier. 

So, now we have an idea of what travelers need to know about a SIM card for Ireland, let’s move on to how to get one while in the country.

How to buy a prepaid SIM card for Ireland

Getting SIM cards to stay connected while in Ireland might be an issue for travelers. But there’s no need to worry as the purchase process is actually quite simple.

Upon arriving at the Dublin airport, people will find different stores ready to sell prepaid SIM cards to those arriving in the country. While these are a good choice to get internet access to move around, chances are the plans are not the most complete to use.

Another option to get SIM cards for Ireland is to visit convenience stores, gas stations, or similar places. Similar to the stores found at the airport, there will be different options for purchasing a SIM card with mobile data to move around.

landscapes in ireland
A young man traveling around Ireland. Source: Pexels.

Lastly, travelers can choose to visit any of the Vodafone stores, or maybe Three or Tesco stores, to get a SIM card directly from them. But remember, it’s harder for a traveler to get a SIM directly from a local carrier.

Our last option is to buy a SIM card for Ireland through an online store. This makes it easier, allows to save time and money, and allows travelers to stay connected as soon as they arrive in the country. 

Buying prepaid SIM card for Ireland Online

Now that we have mentioned the option to buy an Ireland SIM card from an online store, it’s necessary to know how this process works.

Compared to buying a SIM card upon arriving, people must plan this with some anticipation. As it must be delivered, it surely will take some time for the card to arrive at your destination, so keep that in mind.

There are some chances that the SIM card you want to purchase includes local calls, mobile data, and text messages, but it’s necessary to make a price comparison. Prices might go up due to the delivery service!

In these cases, having access to an Ireland eSIM is an alternative for travelers. It is easier to purchase, and prices are quite similar to those of other alternatives in the market. One of the main options for travelers is Holafly.

Holafly home website
Holafly home website. Source: Holafly.

Holafly Ireland virtual SIM card with unlimited data

Compared to a prepaid SIM card, an Ireland eSIM is faster and easier to purchase. As long as you have an eSIM-compatible device, you won’t have to worry about arriving at the airport without data access.

The Holafly eSIM provides various benefits, such as unlimited data and customizable days. This allows travelers to choose exactly how many days they want their eSIM to work without worrying about data allowances.

The best part is that it only takes a QR code for the eSIM to be installed on a mobile. It’s a great alternative to avoid high roaming charges, and as long as your device is compatible and unlocked, you can buy as many as you need!

Lastly, the Ireland eSIM from Holafly offers great coverage, 24/7 customer support, a top-up feature to add more days, data-sharing for up to 500MBs per day, and a lot more for travelers to stay connected during the trip!

Unlimited data eSIM for Ireland
Ireland eSIM from Holafly. Source: Holafly.

Buying a SIM card in Ireland

Getting a prepaid SIM card in Ireland is not a complicated process; there are some options available for travelers.

Currently, there are three different ways to get SIM cards while traveling. 

  • At the airport: Various stores offer prepaid SIM cards for travelers. 
  • At physical stores: While walking around the city, local carrier stores will offer the chance to get a local SIM card with a prepaid plan.
  • At convenience stores: SIM cards will be available for travelers in convenience stores, gas stations, or similar stores. There will be different local carrier options for getting a prepaid SIM card in these places.

Tesco Ireland SIM card for tourist 

Tesco Ireland is quite known for what they offer with their data plans. For those who want a local SIM card from the company can access their prepay SIM Only plans.

Similar to other carriers, Tesco offers a variety of data plans, but not all of them are available to travelers. Currently, only two data packages are available for travelers to get physical SIM cards from this carrier.

The Prepay 15 data plan is the most common choice for travelers. A SIM card with this package costs $16,30. 

The thing is that Tesco doesn’t offer these SIM cards outside of their official stores. So, if you want this to be your current mobile phone provider, you had better take all your documents when purchasing a SIM card from them!

The other plan available is the Prepay Data Plus for $16,50 every 28 days, which includes more data, text messages, and phone calls compared to the Prepay 15 package.

Tesco SIM card plans in Ireland
Tesco SIM card plans in Ireland. Source: Tesco,

Three Ireland SIM card

Three is another famous option within the United Kingdom, including Ireland. These SIM cards are actually easier to get compared to the one offered by Tesco, and that’s because they do offer a Visitor SIM card.

This SIM card is accessible through any Three local stores. While other SIM cards from the company can be found around Ireland, chances are these come with a prepaid package that’s less complete.

The Prepay Plan from the Three Ireland SIM cards costs $21,70 and can be renewed every 28 days. It includes unlimited data, calls, and text messages.

Three SIM card plans in Ireland
Three SIM card plans in Ireland. Source: Three.

Vodafone prepaid SIM card in Ireland

The last option to get a SIM card comes with Vodafone Ireland. Similar to Three, Vodafone offers SIM cards for different countries in Europe.

In this case, Vodafone is quite similar to Tesco in terms of how it works. This is due to the fact that their Ireland SIM cards don’t offer an actual plan for travelers. There’s a pay-as-you-go option, which is the most similar service available.

Currently, there are three plans that vary from $21,70 to $32,50. These include from 10GB to unlimited data packages. Phone calls and text messages are also included in these plans.

Vodafone SIM card plans in Ireland
Vodafone SIM card plans in Ireland. Source: Vodafone.

Due to Vodafone Ireland being similar to Tesco, people can get these plans in a physical store. It means people have to take the cell phone where they want to use the Ireland SIM and their documents to get the data pack they prefer.

Prepaid SIM cards vs. Postpaid SIM cards

When it comes to choosing a SIM card in Ireland, you might wonder why you can’t access postpaid plans

There’s a simple reason for this, and that’s because postpaid plans are charged on a recurring billing cycle each month. So, how can a traveler get a local SIM card with a postpaid plan? There’s no way, and that’s why a prepaid SIM card is a better option.

The thing with a prepaid SIM card is that these are actually quite basic. Or it might be complicated to get, as it seems on Tesco and Vodafone. Three offers a service that’s more focused on travelers, which makes it a better option to get a prepaid SIM card.

And when it comes to getting a SIM card from convenience stores or similar places, prepaid plans are even more basic than postpaid data plans

That’s why it’s better to get a service that’s better than physical SIM cards in Ireland, such as Ireland eSIM. 

As mentioned before, the Holafly eSIM works quite well and offers even more benefits than Ireland SIM cards. With unlimited mobile data, 24/7 customer support service in a variety of languages, top-up to get more days for your eSIM, data-sharing for up to 500MBs per day, and prices vary from $6 to $139, making them quite accessible!

ireland holafly esim information
Ireland eSIM from Holafly information. Source: Holafly.

Which SIM card is best in Ireland?

Up to this point, we have information about what each provider offers in Ireland. While Tesco, Three, and Vodafone might seem like an ideal option to get data plans with a SIM card, these are actually not as good as expected.

Three is the only one that actually offers SIM cards for travelers in Ireland. Vodafone and Tesco don’t have a service for travelers, even though they have a pay-as-you-go service, but that’s more focused on locals.

On the other hand, having access to Holafly becomes a great alternative to an Ireland SIM card. The unlimited mobile data, accessible prices, and the option to share data make this digital SIM card a better option for travelers.

So, if you want to avoid switching SIM cards and get unlimited mobile data, the prepaid eSIM data plan comes as a winner for travelers!

FAQ about SIM cards for Ireland

Can I buy an Ireland SIM card at Dublin airport?

Yes. People will find Ireland SIM cards as soon as they arrive at the Dublin airport. Travelers might find local SIM cards, but chances are there will be a variety of international options to choose from.

How much does an Irish SIM card cost?

It will depend on the carrier people use. These will vary from $21,50 to more than $30 and will likely include a plan. Remember that using a SIM card in Ireland is a must to take unlocked phones.

Can you buy an Irish SIM card online?

As for now, no. This is one of the disadvantages for people traveling to Ireland, as they will need to wait until they get one SIM card in the airport or any other store to get data on their phones.

Do English SIM cards work in Ireland?

One thing about English SIM cards bought in the UK is that these will work in different countries around Europe. The thing here is that people will surely have some roaming charges when using their service provider in a different country.

What is the best SIM card for Ireland and the UK?

While local SIM cards might work for staying connected in the UK and Ireland, chances are people need a better option that offers more mobile data without being too expensive. In this case, the Holafly Europe eSIM works great for those planning a trip to Ireland, the UK, and multiple countries in the European Union.