In the Republic, the telephone system is known as Eircom; in Northern Ireland, it's British Telecom. Every effort has been made to ensure that the numbers and information in this guide are accurate at the time of writing. Overseas calls from Ireland can be quite costly, whether you use a local phone card or your own calling card.
To call Ireland from home: Dial the international access code (011 from the U.S., 00 from the U.K., 0011 from Australia, or 0170 from New Zealand). Then dial the country code (353 for the Republic, 44 for the North). Next, dial the local number, remembering to omit the initial 0, which is for use only within Ireland (for example, to call the County Kerry number 066/12345 from the United States, you'd dial 011-353-66/12345). To make local calls: To dial a local number within an area code, drop the initial 0. To dial a number within Ireland, but in a different area code, use the initial 0. Local calls from a phone booth require a Callcard (in the Republic) or Phonecard (in the North). Both are prepaid computerized cards that you insert into the phone instead of coins. They can be purchased in a range of denominations at phone company offices, post offices, and many retail outlets (such as newsstands). There's a local and international phone center at the General Post Office on O'Connell Street in Dublin.
To make international calls from within Ireland, first dial 00 and then the country code (U.S. and Canada 1, U.K. 44, Australia 61, New Zealand 64). Next you dial the area code and local number. For example, to call the U.S. number 212/000-0000 from Ireland, you'd dial tel. 00-1-212/000-0000. The toll-free international access code for AT&T is tel. 1-800-550-000, for Sprint it's tel. 1-800-552-001, and for MCI it's tel. 1-800-55-1001. Note: To dial direct to Northern Ireland from the Republic, simply replace the 028 prefix with 048.
For directory assistance, dial the toll-free number tel. 11811 if you're looking for a number inside Ireland. In Northern Ireland, try tel. 118888. From the United States, the (toll) number to call is tel. 00353-91-770220.
The three letters that define much of the world's wireless capabilities are GSM (Global System for Mobiles), a big, seamless network that makes for easy cross-border cellphone use throughout Europe and dozens of other countries worldwide. In the U.S., T-Mobile and AT&T Wireless use this quasi-universal system; in Canada, Microcell and some Rogers customers are GSM, and all Europeans and most Australians use GSM.
If your cellphone is on a GSM system, and you have a world-capable multiband phone, you can make and receive calls while you're in Ireland. Just call your wireless operator and ask for "international roaming" to be activated on your account. Unfortunately, per-minute charges can be very high. Other options include renting a phone in Ireland. You can either rent a phone from any number of overseas sites, including kiosks at airports and at car-rental agencies, or rent one before you leave home.
As another option, you can purchase a "pay as you go" SIM card from an Irish phone company and use that in your own phone, topping it up whenever you need to. There's a Vodafone shop in Dublin airport where you can purchase an Irish SIM card. This allows you to pay in-country rather than international rates for calls you receive while you're there.
Disposable phones are less common in Ireland and the U.K. than in some other countries, although some supermarkets do sell them.
If you buy a disposable phone or an Irish SIM card, local calls may be as low as 10¢ per minute, and in Ireland incoming calls are free.
Internet & Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi is widespread in Irish cities, but rural areas are still not well-served. The best B&Bs do provide it, but in some far-flung areas (Donegal, the North, and parts of Galway) it's still quite rare in rural B&Bs, and even some four-star hotels. Internet cafes are less common than they used to be, although you'll still find PCs you can use in hotels, hostels, libraries, and tourist information offices, especially in larger towns and more tourist-centered areas.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.