Preparing for your flight to Geneva? Switzerland is already expensive enough so don't get stuck with high roaming costs. The best way to avoid this is buying a local sim card on arrival in Switzerland. Therefore I wrote this guide for buying a prepaid sim card for tourists at Geneva Airport. I will tell you where to buy one, up to date prices as per July 2022, give you the latest info about EU roaming with Swiss sim cards and even provide you with info about e-sim cards for Switzerland.
As I am on a journey to visit every country in the world I get to many countries and airports and I am passionate about writing local sim card guides. That is how I wrote already more than 150 local sim card guides for tourists. I covered every country in Europe, but also all major Airports like Barcelona, Paris, Dublin, Frankfurt, London, Vienna, etc.
If you for some reason could not buy a local sim card at Geneva Airport then don't worry. I also wrote a complete guide for buying a sim card in Switzerland in 2022!
Why buy a sim card for Switzerland
There are many reasons to stay connected when abroad, but the main reason is that it makes traveling so much more convenient. Ordering an Uber, getting directions from Google Maps or looking for a cool nearby rooftop bar is not possible without and working data connection. The easiest way is to stay connected is to get a local sim card. It is the easy, fast, the best and the cheapest way to do so.
Also keep in mind that public WiFi is UNSECURED and they may not always work the way you would like to. Don't rely on others. When swapping sim cards and phone numbers is NOT your thing then may be a portable WiFi is the solution for your trip abroad. Check my article about how to get WiFi when traveling for an HONEST review of these pockets WiFi's.
Traveltomtom recommends buying a Lebara sim card at Geneva Airport. This sim card deal will give you unlimited data for $1.5 per day!
Another great alternative is finding a travel sim card with global coverage that suits your trip to Switzerland. Check out my article about buying an international sim card in 2022 and find everything you need to know including some great sim card deals for Europe and Swiss.
But if you want to make it really easy for yourself then look into buying an e-sim card for Switzerland.
Swiss sim cards and free EU roaming
Switzerland sim cards and traveling in Europe are a bad combination! There is NO FREE EU roaming on Swiss sim cards. Reminder, Switzerland is a European country but is NOT PART OF THE EU! Therefore, if you are going on a trip around Europe I recommend you check out my article with the best sim cards for traveling in Europe in 2022.
Free data roaming in the EU means that if you buy a sim card in Amsterdam you can use your data, voice and text allowance all over Europe at NO extra costs, also in Switzerland. But not the other way around!
Check out my complete guide with tips for buying a local prepaid sim card in Europe in 2022. Find out about these rules and exceptions and find a breakdown of the best sim card per country.
E-sim card for Switzerland
The best way to get data on your phone when traveling in 2022? An e-sim card! The easiest and most convenient way to stay connected when traveling. No more swapping physical sim cards. Order an e-sim card online, get a code, follow the steps and update your settings and you are ready to go! Check out the following Switzerland e-sim card deals:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $9
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $18
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $27
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $39
Click here to order an e-sim card for Switzerland directly online or find more info. With an e-sim card your keep your number from home.
However, e-sim cards are data-only sim cards. You can also order a physical sim card for traveling in Switzerland. Check out the above offer from Orange for example. This international sim card with coverage in Switzerland gives you 20 GB data for $49.90 and the sim card will be send to your home address prior to your trip. Click here to order this sim card for Switzerland directly or find more info.
Wlecome to one of the most well organized countries in the world and also one of the most expensive ones. Geneva Airport is pretty small and arriving here is very convenient. There is only one arrivals exit and if you have someone picking you up it is easy to find him or her.
There is free Wifi but you will need an activation code. You can get them for free with your passport at the Information desk.
Where to buy a Switzerland sim card in Geneva Airport
This is really simple as there is only one place in Geneva Airport where you can buy a Swiss sim card. When you walk out of arrivals head to the left towards the public busses and after like 50 meters you will see a huge Exchange desk on your left side. This is the ONLY place in Geneva Airport that sells Switzerland sim cards for tourists. There are no Swiss mobile shops!
The sim card desk of the Exchange shop is only open from approximately 8:30 am to 8:30 pm. Pretty damn inconvenient!
Prices Swiss sim card Geneva Airport in 2022
At the Exchange Shop they only sell two prepaid Switzerland sim cards for tourists: Lebara prepaid sim card and a Yallo prepaid sim card.
At the time of research (February 2022) 1 USD was 0.92 CHF. Prices for Swiss sim cards shown below are in Swiss francs but are about 10% cheaper when calculated to US dollars.
Another inconvenience is that you can only buy a sim card at Geneva Airport with cash (Euros or Swiss Francs) only, no credit cards accepted!
Lebara sim card Geneva Airport
Lebara Switzerland offers unlimited high speed internet for 1.5 CHF per day to be used in Switzerland only. Outside of Swiss roaming charges apply!
If you buy a Lebara sim card at the Exchange shop it will be activated for you on the spot. Then you will need to top up your credit with how many days you stay in Switzerland. You could also opt for one of the Lebara prepaid sim card bundles so you can use it in Europe or around the world. These data bundles are more expensive but include calling and texting as well.
As these international Lebara Mobile bundles always have small data packages I am not a fan of Lebara sim cards for travelers!
Yallo sim card Geneva Airport
Second option for buying a Switzerland sim card at Geneva Airport is Yallo Switzerland. This mobile internet company operates on the Sunrise Switzerland network. At Geneva Airport you can buy a Yallo sim card with 10GB data in Switzerland for 30 CHF, normally 40 CHF, it also includes calling and texting, see above.
Roaming charges apply for traveling in Europe but you can buy the following top ups.
Mobile internet connection Switzerland
Like most things in this country the mobile network coverage is very well established. Swiss mobile internet connection is even guaranteed in some remote places. All mobile networks in Switzerland have great 4G coverage and 5G in Switzerland is very well established as well. For the best 5G network check out my article about buying a Switzerland sim card.
Best Switzerland sim card Geneva Airport in 2022
Unfortunately there are only two Swiss sim card options available in Geneva Airport. Comparing the above mentioned sim cards is hard as they have different flexibilities and therefore depending on your needs you gotta decide for yourself what is the best Swiss sim card at Geneva Airport.
For short visits Traveltomtom recommends buying a Lebara prepaid sim card at Geneva Airport. For $1.5 you get unlimited data per day. This is actually even cheaper than a Switzerland prepaid sim card from one of the main internet providers. In Geneva city you will find stores of Salt, Swisscom and Sunrise. Click on the following link to read all about the best prepaid sim card in Switzerland in 2022.
Both prepaid Swiss sim cards sold at Geneva Airport do NOT included roaming in the EU so if you are looking for a sim card for traveling in Europe in 2022 then click on the link or consider the options below.
Buy a sim card for Switzerland online
All of the above too much hassle? Don't worry! Order an international sim card online that covers Switzerland and get it shipped to your home address before your trip. These sim cards are automatically activated from its first use AND they include FREE EU roaming. Check out the options below:
Orange Holiday ZEN - $29.90
- 8 GB data
- Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
- 30 minutes worldwide
- 200 sms worldwide
- Valid 14 days
Three PAYG AIO20 - $39.90
- 12 GB data
- Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
- Valid 30 days
- 20 GB data
- Unlimited calls/sms in Europe
- 120 minutes worldwide
- 1,000 sms worldwide
- Valid 14 days
Click here to order an international sim card for Switzerland directly online or find more info about it. Personally I recommend the last option of Orange for those who use a lot of social media. I use it myself also when traveling to Europe.
Last reminder that you can also order an e-sim card for Switzerland and fix everything within just a couple minutes.
How to get from Geneva Airport to the city
Believe it or not but you can get free public transportation tickets! In a city where everything is crazy expensive this made me smile big time.
In the baggage hall just before you walk out of arrivals there is a machine that gives out free public transportation tickets to get you anywhere within Geneva city. The tickets are valid for 80 minutes.
I hope all the above tips for buying a sim card in Geneva Airport were helpful for your next trip to Switzerland. Let me know if you have any additional questions and I try to answer them in the comments below.
Curious what it looks like trying to visit every country in the world? Go check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and follow along. As of July 2022 I have visited more than 135 countries, so still a long way to go.
Enjoy your trip to Geneva!