Switzerland SIM Cards: Everything You Need To Know | 2022
Visiting Switzerland soon? Make sure to know what to expect when it comes to purchasing a Switzerland SIM card.
Fortunately, Europe is one of the best places where you can buy a SIM card easily. You should be able to find a cheap SIM card pretty much anywhere in Europe. In fact, most data packages are affordable, which makes the whole thing easier!
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Please be aware that Switzerland is not part of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) therefore, free EU roaming is not always available here. This could mean that if you have a SIM card from a different European country, you might be charged high fees for roaming. Therefore it is best to ensure you buy a local SIM or check your coverage beforehand.
In this guide, we’ll explain where to buy a SIM card in Switzerland in person and online. We’ll also discuss prepaid SIM cards and eSIMs if your mobile supports them.
Before you read this guide, you may wonder if you actually need a SIM card in Switzerland. If you don’t mind not having Internet, you’ll likely find free Wifi in restaurants, shopping malls, and hotels.
That said, if you need data to get around, call a Uber, or translate German or French – you may want to get a SIM card for your travels in Switzerland.
Best SIM Cards In Switzerland
If you’re traveling in Switzerland, we recommend using a SIM card from Sunrise, Salt, Swisscom, or Airalo. (I’ll get back to Airalo later on, so keep reading to learn more!)
That said, if you’re planning on visiting other countries during your trip to Europe, you might want to make sure to pick an option that offers coverage in other European countries.
How To Buy A SIM Card In Switzerland
You can either buy a Europe prepaid SIM card in person in some international airports, mobile provider stores, convenience stores, or online.
Usually, you can expect higher costs and low data offers at the airport, so we don’t recommend buying a SIM card at the airport. That said, you won’t necessarily find SIM card shops in every airport, so it’s essential to keep this in mind. And, when you see a shop, you might also have limited options.
For this reason, I’d recommend buying a SIM card directly from the mobile provider store. Note that you may need your passport to buy one.
Although, this means you won’t get data right upon your arrival. So, if you prefer to be connected at all times, you could use an eSIM or purchase a European prepaid SIM card online.
Now, let’s take a look at the data plans offered by Sunrise, Salt, and Swisscom.
Sunrise SIM Cards
Sunrise offers three different types of plans:
- Prepaid unlimited: Unlimited Data for CHF 2.50 ($2.50)
- Prepaid airbag: 100 MB Data for CHF 1.20 ($1.20) Includes 30 mins of calls
- Prepaid young (for teenagers): 100 MB Data for CHF 0.75 ($0.75) Includes 25 mins of calls
These prices are all paid per 24-hour period. There is a one-time SIM activation fee of CHF 19.90 ($19.92), which includes CHF 20 ($19.99) free credit.
Salt SIM Cards
Salt has one prepaid plan available:
- Unlimited Data CHF 1.99 ($1.99) / day
- National calls CHF 0.49 ($0.49)
- National SMS CHF 0.12 ($0.12)
Sim cards with Salt are free. However, you need to top up with credit before you can use them.
Swisscom SIM Cards
Swisscom offers three prepaid flat-rate SIM plans:
- Flatrate 7 days: CHF 20 ($19.99) for unlimited data, calls & SMS
- Flatrate 30 days: CHF 65 ($64.98) for unlimited data, calls & SMS
- Flatrate 90 days: CHF 150 ($149.96) for unlimited data, calls & SMS
A Swisscom sim card will cost you CHF 19.90 ($19.92) to buy and will come with CHF 20 ($19.99) credit.
Overall, we think Salt is the best option if you plan to buy your SIM card in person. That said, any would do if you can’t find their store!
How To Buy A Switzerland Prepaid SIM Card Online
If you wish to have your SIM card ready for your arrival, you could purchase it online or on websites like Amazon.
You’ll find different plans on Amazon. For example, the Orange Holiday Europe Prepaid SIM Card works in more than 30 countries and gives you 20BG of data for 14 days. Switzerland is included.
But there are many other options worth considering, so have a look and ensure the countries you’re planning to visit are listed.
Another option is to purchase a prepaid European SIM card on Simify. This works if you live in the United States or Australia. They currently offer 4 different packages.
- 12 GB, valid for 30 days for $26 – works in 71 countries
- 100 GB, valid for 30 days for $49 – works in 44 countries
- 80 GB, valid for 28 days for $69 – works in 45 countries
- 40 GB, valid for 28 days for $55 – works in 45 countries
Finally, the last option is to buy an eSIM card for Europe.
How To Buy An eSIM Card For Switzerland
eSIM is a new concept allowing you to have a virtual SIM card inside your phone. If your mobile phone supports eSIM cards – it’s definitely one of the best options to get data in Switzerland.
Curious? Learn more about eSIM for travelers.
I started using eSIM as soon as my mobile phone supported it. And I first tried it when visiting my family in Canada. To buy eSIMs, I usually use Airalo. Keep reading to learn more about the best eSIMs in Switzerland.
If you want to buy an eSIM for Switzerland, you could purchase one on Airalo. This website offers many eSIM cards worldwide and special plans for Europe and Switzerland. I’ve been using Airalo in Europe for several months, and it works fine.
Here are the options available for Switzerland only:
- Pilatus Mobile: 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $9
- Pilatus Mobile: 3 GB, valid for 30 days for $18
- Pilatus Mobile: 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $27
- Pilatus Mobile: 10 GB, valid for 30 days for $39
Here’s an overview of the options available in Europe:
- 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $5
- 3 GB, valid for 30 days for $13
- 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $20
- 10 GB, valid for 30 days for $37
- 50 GB, valid for 90 days for $100
- 100 GB, valid for 180 days for $185
The options mentioned above are part of Eurolink and offer coverage in 39 countries, including Switzerland.
Alternatively, if you’re traveling in other countries that are not mentioned on the list, you can try Discover Global, which offers coverage in 87 countries, including Switzerland.
Here’s an overview of the options available on Discover Global:
- 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $9
- 3 GB, valid for 15 days for $24
- 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $35
- 10 GB, valid for 60 days for $59
- 20 GB, valid for 180 days for $89
Now, one important thing to note about Airalo is that you’ll need to keep an eye out for the provider in each country. Suppose you ever have trouble connecting to the Internet during your trip. In that case, it might be because you’re connecting automatically to networks and need to select a network manually instead.
When you purchase the eSIM, you’ll get access to the list of networks supported in each country.
Alternatively, you could look at your options on Holafly. You can read our Holafly review to learn more about this eSIM store. I’ve also tried this eSIM provider in Europe, and it worked fine. Their Europe eSIM work in 32 countries (including Switzerland), and they offer the following plans:
- Unlimited data for 5 days for $19
- Unlimited data for 10 days for $34
- Unlimited data for 15 days for $47
- Unlimited data for 20 days for $54
- Unlimited data for 30 days for $64
- Unlimited data for 60 days for $84
- Unlimited data for 90 days for $99
Finally, Nomad is also a great eSIM provider. Here’s an overview of the plans available for Switzerland:
- 1GB, valid for 7 days for $8
- 3GB, valid for 30 days for $15
- 5GB, valid for 30 days for $17
- 10GB, valid for 30 days for $24
- 20GB, valid for 30 days for $34
Final Thoughts On SIM Cards Switzerland
As you can see, getting a prepaid SIM card in Switzerland or even an eSIM for your travels in Switzerland is pretty straightforward. But please remember, European roaming charges apply if you use your Swiss SIM card in other EU countries and vice versa.
I believe the eSIM card is the most convenient way to get data in Switzerland if you wish to have data upon your arrival. This way, you won’t need to go to a store to buy a SIM card. Obviously, you need to make sure your mobile phone supports eSIM first.
Traveling to Switzerland soon? Read one of the following blog posts: