How To Buy A Tourist Sim Card At Dublin Airport

tourist sim card dublin airport
Photo Provided By Andrey Metelev

Looking back years ago before the development of mobile data, some of us can’t imagine how people travelled without being able to access Google Maps or mobile banking. It’s crazy to think about it.

These days, everybody wants to stay connected, and for good reason. For example, we all need to access online check-ins and taxi applications on our phones.

Whether you’re visiting Dublin for a day or a week, you’re going to need a tourist sim card to get around, and the easiest place to do so is the airport.

Since the majority of people who come to Ireland land in Dublin, we’re going to show you exactly how to purchase a tourist sim card at… have a guess… Dublin Airport, of course. From where you can buy one to how much you should be paying, we’ve got you covered.

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tourist sim card dublin airport

Where Can You Buy A Sim Card In Dublin Airport?

Photo Provided By Dlkinney – “Signs Of Dublin Airport” – Licensed Under CC BY 2.0.

Landing at Dublin Airport, you’ll either touch down in Terminal One or Two. Both terminals sell international sim cards for mobile phone networks in Ireland. There are no actual phone operator shops selling the sims; they’re retailers, not the actual companies, so try not to get confused.

Here’s what you need to look out for in each terminal.

Terminal 1 – WH Smith is in Terminal One Arrivals on the left-hand side after the baggage reclaims. It’s open from 4:30 am to 21:30 pm. If you land after those times, you won’t be able to get your hands on a sim card.

Terminal 2 – Spar is in Terminal Two Arrivals and is on the left-hand side after the customs section. It’s open 24 hours a day. This is the terminal you want to be at if your flight is landing late.

What Sim Cards Can You Buy At Dublin Airport?

There are three Irish sim card options when you land at Dublin Airport. Let’s break them down below.


Photo Provided By Janitors – “Vodafone” – Licensed Under CC BY 2.0.

Vodafone Ireland has a couple of sim card deals on offer when you land. Here’s what you have to choose from.

  • For €25, you get a sim card with 5 GB of 4G data as well as unlimited calls and texts to any Vodafone number in Ireland. 
  • For €25, you get a sim card with 20GB of 4G data as well as 100 minutes of calls and unlimited texts to any network in Ireland.
  • For €35, you get a sim card with 15 GB of 4G data, unlimited calls and text to any network in Ireland and 100 minutes to any phone in Europe.

Lyca Mobile

Photo Provided By Pr1001 – “IMG_2002” – Licensed Under CC BY 2.0.

The Lyca Mobile sim cards that are sold in Dublin Airport cost 25 euros. This fee is then put into an account which you can access on Lyca Mobile’s website and then you must purchase one of the plans from there. Anybody who’s been in Ireland for more than a month can top them up through their site.

Here are the plans you can choose from.

  • For €10, you get unlimited national minutes, SMS, and data, as well as 100 international minutes and EU roaming. 
  • For €7.50, you get 30GB of data, unlimited Ireland calls and texts, unlimited Poland & Romania Lyca Mobile calls and EU roaming.
  • For €9, you get 300 Ireland mins and texts, unlimited Lyca to Lyca calls and EU roaming.


Photo Provided By Karen V Bryan – “Three Mobile UK” – Licensed Under CC BY-ND 2.0.

Three Ireland only has one sim card deal and it’s one of the more popular phone packages. If you don’t manage to get your hands on a 3 sim card in Dublin Airport, there are many shops that sell them around the city.

Here’s what you get with their price plan.

  • For €30, you get unlimited data and Three network to Three network calls and texts.

What Are The Best Sim-Only Deals At Dublin Airport?

Photo Provided By Andrew Becks – Pixabay

The answer to this really depends on what you’re looking for when comparing all of the above pay-as-you-go plans, but if we were to choose the best sim-only deal, we’d go ahead with Three Ireland. While it’s not the cheapest, it’s the best in terms of coverage and the amount of data allowance that you get. Plus, if you meet some buddies, there’s a high chance they’ll be using Three, so you can call them for free.

If you’re looking for the cheapest SIM-only plan, well then Lyca Mobile cards are a clear winner, but they’re said to be unreliable sometimes.

Vodafone isn’t a bad Irish cell phone company, but their sim cards are a little expensive for what you get.

Don’t Forget Your Passport

Photo Provided By Ohsarahrose – “My Irish passport” – Licensed Under CC BY-ND 2.0.

You’re obviously going to have your passport with you when you land at any airport. It’s important to remember that you need it to get a SIM card in Ireland. Years ago, it wasn’t really a thing, but it’s gotten a little more strict now.

What Currency Will You Pay For Your Sim Card With?

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To pay for a SIM card in cash, you’ll have to pay in euros as it’s Ireland’s adopted currency. Those who don’t happen to have euros on them can just pay with their debit or credit card.

Five Reasons You Should Buy A Sim Card In Dublin Airport

Photo Provided By Sean MacEntee – “Dublin Airport” – Licensed Under CC BY 2.0.
  • You won’t be charged with roaming charges from your home sim card.
  • You can use data wherever and whenever you like.
  • You can use your phone in an emergency.
  • You can text a friend who you’re supposed to meet without having to look for wifi.
  • You don’t have to risk using dodgy free public wifi networks.

How About E-sims? Are They Worth It?

Photo Provided By Freestocks – Unsplash

E-sim cards have become increasingly popular in recent years. Airalo is a popular provider for E-sims in Ireland, but there’s a data allowance which mightn’t suit what you’re looking for.

Here are some of their deals

  • For $5, you get 1GB of data and it’s valid for 7 days
  • For $9, you get 3GB of data and it’s valid for 30 days
  • For $13, you get 5GB of data and it’s valid for 30 days
  • For $22, you get 10GB of data and it’s valid for 30 days

How Do E-sims Work?

  • Step 1 – Download an app provided by the E-sim network.
  • Step 2 – Choose your destination + chosen package.
  • Step 3 – Install the E-sim.
  • Step 4 – Activate the E-sim.
  • Step 5 – You’re good to go.

Will Your International Sim Card Work In Ireland?

Photo Provided By DaModernDaVinci – Pixabay

International sim cards work in Ireland, but you’ll be charged extortionate prices for using them. Contact your sim provider to see what your roaming charges will look like, but I can guarantee you, that it won’t be long before you splash on a price plan when you land.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Dublin Airport Have Free Wifi?

Photo Provided By Brett Jordan – Unsplash

There is indeed free wifi in Dublin Airport. Once you go into your wifi settings, you should see the name ‘Free Dublin Airport Wifi’. As soon as you’re connected, you’ll be able to roam for as long as you like.

How Do You Get The Sim Card Out Of An iPhone?

Photo Provided By Tomekwalecki – Pixabay

If you’ve forgotten your pin to remove the sim card from your iPhone, you should ask the person in the shop who’s working there for one. They’ll have one handy.

Will You Be Able To Use Your Data Roaming Outside Of Ireland In The EU?

When you leave Ireland for another country in the EU, your data allowance won’t be affected as the EU’s new ‘Roam Like Home Policy’ has you covered. It lets anybody who has a sim card for an EU country use their data like they would in the country they got the sim card from. So you don’t have to worry about data roaming charges.

For more information on this policy, see here.

How Do You Go From Dublin Airport To The City Centre?

Photo Provided By D464-Darren Hall – “RV573 Harristown County Dublin” – Licensed Under CC BY 2.0.

Getting from Dublin Airport to the city centre is simple. You can either take a bus or a taxi, but we’d recommend a bus as it’s A LOT cheaper. For more information, see our post on transport from Dublin Airport.

Can You Get A Prepaid Sim Card Anywhere Besides Dublin Airport?

Photo Provided By Jeremy Bezanger – Unsplash

There are many places you can get a prepaid SIM card in Dublin and throughout Ireland, if you’re willing to wait. From an abundance of phone providers waiting for you to get signed up to their network to stands supplying Irish call cards, you’ll be covered.

Some of the other networks that you’ll be able to have access to outside of Dublin Airport include:

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Written By Adam

Where In Dublin is owned, controlled and run by Adam Ryan. He’s a one-man army who knows Dublin like the back of his hand and strives to help anybody planning on visiting Dublin enjoy themselves. 

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