End of June 2019 I went on a trip to Switzerland to enjoy its unbelievable scenery. When I landed in Geneva I gathered all the info for buying a Swiss sim card at Geneva Airport and uickly found out that buying a Switzerland sim card in an official shop was worth it. To find the best prepaid sim card in Switzerland I researched the Swiss mobile shops and this is what I found out.
Swiss sim cards are a NO-GO for traveling in Europe! Interested in the best sim card for all of Europe then click on the link and I explain you everything you need to know for your next Europe trip.
Being connected to the internet is the first thing I do when I get to a new country. As Switzerland is not part of the EU, roaming charges often apply even for sim cards from France, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, UK, Spain, Sweden, etc. Check your mobile internet package before ending up with crazy roaming costs on your trip to Switzerland. My Orange sim card for traveling in Europe worked perfectly fine and I didn’t get charged anything for roaming in Swiss.
Swiss sim card and traveling in the EU
The other way around is a little disappointing as all the prepaid sim cards in Switzerland have no free roaming in Europe. Basically when you want to use your Swiss sim card for traveling in Europe expect to pay heavy charges!
Sim card for traveling in Europe
On a Europe trip? Buy your Europe sim card online through this link. Check out the offer from Orange and get a sim card with 20GB data for $50 send to your home address.
Mobile internet operators Switzerland
There are three main internet operators on the Swiss mobile market: Sunrise, Swisscom and Salt. All three have multiple shops in a central locations in big cities around Switzerland. Unfortunately you won’t find them on Airports.
Where to buy a Swiss sim card
Airports tend to sell different sim cards like Lyca Mobile, Lebara and Yallo who operate on one of the networks of the above mentioned main internet providers. Best is to buy your Switzerland sim card in the city. Just go to Google Maps and type in the by you preferred shop and Im sure there is one within walking distance ones you are in the city center.
What to bring when buying a prepaid sim card Switzerland
When buying a Switzerland sim car for tourists you will need to bring your passport or a copy of your passport. The Swiss sim card will be registered on your name.
Best Swiss mobile network
Like everything in Switzerland the mobile network is very well organized. Basically everywhere in the country apart from very remote places in the mountains are covered. Switzerland even started with 5G. Below you will find the network coverage maps of Sunrise, Swisscom and Salt.
Sunrise Switzerland network coverage
Salt Switzerland network coverage
Swisscom network coverage
As you can see from the above the Swiss mobile networks are very good with Swisscom having the best network in Switzerland.
Prices prepaid Switzerland sim card
Based on the network it doesn’t really matter which Switzerland sim card for tourists you buy, but let’s have a look at the prices and the prepaid packages all the Swiss mobile operators offer. Prices below are in CHF, but at the time of researching in June 2019 the CHF and the USD were exactly the same.
Swisscom sim card
A Swisscom prepaid sim card cost 20 CHF, but also comes with 20 CHF credit. It is not possible to buy a data package with a Swisscom sim card. A data connection cost 2 CHF per day, calling is 29c per minute and sms is 15c per text. Data is only valid in Swiss, not in the EU! Roaming in France cost for example 5 CHF per day.
Be aware that the daily unlimited internet for 2 CHF ends at 00.00. So if you use the internet for the first time at 23.00 (11pm) then you only have 1 hour left.
Very important!! Swisscom claims unlimited internet per day, but note that there is a limit of 10GB per month. That means if on your first 5 days you already use 2GB per day. You run out of data! Sucks big time Swisscom! May that occur extra charges apply.
Salt Switzerland sim card
Buying a Salt Switzerland prepaid sim card is comparable to Swisscom. A sim card cost also 20 CHF, including 20 CHF credit. Surfing the internet cost 2 CHF per day, calling is 49c per minute and texting is 12c per sms.
Its data is NOT valid in the EU either, but Salt Switzerland does NOT have a 10GB cap per month on its data. The unlimited data per day always ends at midnight. You are allowed to use a hotspot.
Sunrise Switzerland sim card
Just like Swisscom and Salt a Sunrise prepaid sim card cost 20 CHF and comes with 20 CHF credit. Sunrise Mobile offers an unlimited package including calls, sms and data in Switzerland that costs 50 CHF. You can use a hotspot on your phone to connect your Macbook to the internet.
You can also opt for the unlimited data per day which at Sunrise Switzerland costs 2,5 CHF per day. There is no limit, but data is only available in Switzerland. Roaming charges are expensive!
Best Switzerland sim card
In case you use a lot of internet and need to make calls I would recommend you to get a Sunrise Switzerland sim card as they have an unlimited option for 50 CHF = $50 USD. If you just want a Swiss sim card for traveling around and you don’t use that much data then a Salt Switzerland sim card is the best sim card for tourists. Swisscom and Salt basically offer the same as internet costs 2 CHF per day when you use it, but Swisscom has a limit of 10GB a month, Salt does not have that!
As all the Switzerland prepaid sim cards do NOT have international roaming within the EU, a Swiss sim card is NOT good for traveling in Europe. In that case I recommend looking into an Orange prepaid sim card which you can order online and get it shipped to your home address. For $50 you get 20GB data and 200 international calling minutes worldwide. Click here to learn more about this Europe sim card.
For everything you need to know about buying a Europe sim card click on the link to read my complete guide!
Portable WiFi device
In case you are traveling with kids then a TEP Wireless portable WiFi device is a great solution as you can connect up to 5 devices at the same time and you get unlimited WiFi for a couple dollars a day! Check them out below.
Travel insurance for your trip to Switzerland
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I hope all the above tips for buying a prepaid Switzerland sim card were helpful. May you still have questions please send me a message on my Instagram account @traveltomtom. I am happy to help answering your travel questions. Be aware that this could create some wanderlust with pictures from over 100 countries and 7 years of traveling the world.
My best travel adventures from around the world can be found in this link. Or when interested in how to earn money from a travel blog or how I became a professional travel blogger then click on the links to read my story.
Enjoy your trip to Switzerland!