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sim card for N.Ireland

I will be flying into Dublin but immediately taking a bus to Belfast where I'm spending my entire trip. This will be a Sunday but I need to purchase a sim card for my unlocked phone as soon as possible. Is it possible to buy a sim card at Dublin's airport that will work in the North or will I have much chance of finding a store open in downtown Belfast on a Sunday? Otherwise do I need to wait an extra day for this purchase? Also which card has the best reception in the North? I will be driving and on my own so want to have good reception. Thanks

Posted by
29260 posts

carol, One option you could consider would be to use a SIM from one of the "travel phone" firms such as Roam Simple, Cellular Abroad, Telestial, Mobal, or EuroBuzz. That way you'd have a working phone that would work all over Europe as soon as you step off the plane. Many of them use U.K.-based cellular networks, rates are predictable and calling is post-paid so no need to top-up. Check their respective website for further details and costs. If your "unlocked phone" is a Smartphone, you'll also have to consider the aspect of cellular data, which can be expensive. I've been using a travel SIM for the last few years, and so far it's worked well. I try to limit voice calls, and mostly use texts, so that keeps the costs down. Happy travels!

Posted by
29 posts

Thanks, I will check it out. The phone I have is actually one I purchased the last time we were in Ireland so it's not one I use at home-an inexpensive one that we used just on our trip with prepaid minutes. Also, I am leaving in 5 days so I may have little time to explore many options. However, it looks like we may be traveling more (I retire this year) so a phone that I can use many places would definitely be a plus.

Posted by
521 posts

Carphone Warehouse can sell you a pay-as-you-go sim for any of the networks. They have 5 branches in Belfast, all open from 13.00 to either 17.00 or 18.00 on Sundays. Use the store finder at http://www.carphonewarehouse.com

Posted by
29260 posts

carol, Carphone Warehouse is also a good choice, as they handle a variety of brands, and the sales staff can suggest the best one for your needs. The travel SIM that I use is attached to O2, and I've been pleased with the service. Congratulations on your upcoming retirement! I retired a couple of years ago, and it's "the best job I never had". Cheers!

Posted by
29 posts

Thank you both. I believe we got our phone from a carphone warehouse to begin with. I found several options for Belfast on Sunday so that should work out perfectly.