Traveling to Switzerland soon? Don't get stuck with high roaming charges or slow overseas data bundles which reduce the internet speed abroad? Switzerland is already expensive enough so get yourself a local prepaid sim card on arrival. It is easy, fast and the cheapest way to stay connected.
In this guide you will find everything you need to know about buying a prepaid sim card in Switzerland with where to buy a sim card, the best 4G/5G network in Switzerland, up to date prices for prepaid sim cards as per July 2022, my recommendation, restrictions on EU roaming and info about international and e-sim cards for Switzerland.
Getting connected to the internet is the first thing I do when I get to a new country and as I am aiming to travel to every country in the world you can already find more than 150 local prepaid sim card guides from all over the world on Traveltomtom: Europe, France, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, UK, Spain, Sweden, Paris, Rome, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, but also Hong Kong, Colombia, South Africa, Canada, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and many more.
So next time you are planning your adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid sim card advice. Bookmark this website!
Are you flying to Geneva and want to buy a sim card on arrival then check out my guide for buying a sim card at Geneva and I can already tell you there is actually a pretty good Swiss sim card deal available at the airport.
Why buying a sim card for Switzerland
All hotels, bars and restaurants have free WiFi, yet I still recommend you to get a local sim card for traveling in Switzerland. Life these days is simply so much easier when you have a data connection. Think about ordering an Uber, get directions on Google Maps, finding a hotel, supermarket, restaurant and so on. Many reasons for you to get a sim card in Switzerland.
Also just don't rely on WiFi, some hotel WiFi's are slow, have little reach in your room and above all public WiFi is an UNSECURED network.
Traveltomtom recommends a Sunrise prepaid sim card for a trip to Switzerland. They have a great network and offer unlimited 5G for about $3 per day.
As local prepaid sim cards turn out to be a much better deal than global travel sim cards it is not our first recommendation. However, Switzerland is NOT part of the EU, so as soon as you set foot outside of Swiss your data connection will stop working. Therefore it is worth checking out the 12 Best International Sim Cards in 2022 to see if they suit your trip to Switzerland and Europe.
If you prefer to not swap sim cards and change phone numbers then there is now the option using an e-sim card for Switzerland. Keep reading!
Wanna go old school? Then check out my article about getting WiFi on the road and I give you my HONEST review about a portable WiFi device.
Swiss sim cards and EU roaming
HEADS UP! Switzerland is a European country however, it is NOT PART OF THE EU! That means that prepaid Swiss sim cards do NOT include FREE EU ROAMING. Meaning if you buy a sim card in Switzerland and then travel onwards to Italy or France, roaming charges apply.
Basically if you want to use your Swiss sim card for traveling in Europe expect to pay heavy charges! NOT recommended.
Good news is that there are European sim cards that do INCLUDE Switzerland in their FREE EU ROAMING packages, meaning that with for example a UK prepaid sim card you can use your data, voice and text bundle in Switzerland at NO extra costs. Check out my article with a review and comparison of the best sim cards for traveling in Europe in 2022.
E-sim card for Switzerland
The best way to get data on your phone when traveling abroad in 2022 is an e-sim card. Without a doubt the easiest and most convenient way as you don't need to go to a store anymore nor have to swap physical sim cards. You order an e-sim online, receive a code, follow the steps to update your settings and you are set! Check out the following e-sim card deals for Switzerland:
- 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 a Switzerland e-sim card directly online or find more info. With an e-sim card you keep your number from home.
However, e-sim cards are data-only sim cards. You can also still buy a physical sim card for traveling in Switzerland online. 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.
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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 in Zurich, Bern or Geneva Airport.
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Where to buy a Swiss sim card
Airports, like Geneva and Zurich tend to sell different sim cards like Lyca Mobile, Lebara and Yallo. So called MVNO's that operate on the network of the above mentioned main internet providers. Best is to buy your Switzerland sim card in an official retail store. They are in every big city or shopping mall. Just go to Google Maps and type in the by you preferred store and I am sure there is one within walking distance from your hotel.
They also sell Swiss sim cards at gas stations and convenience stores, but you will have to do the activation process all by yourself.
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 4G/5G mobile network in 2022
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 with a 4G or 5G signal. Switzerland already has a very good 5G network as of February 2022. Below you will find the Switzerland network coverage maps of Sunrise, Swisscom and Salt.
Sunrise Switzerland 4G/5G network coverage
Salt Switzerland 4G/5G network coverage
Swisscom 4G/5G network coverage
As you can see from the above the Swiss 4G/5G network maps every tourist destination in Switzerland is covered with an excellent 4G/5G signal. It is also clear that Swisscom has the best 4G/5G network in Switzerland as per February 2022.
Prices prepaid Switzerland sim card in 2022
Based on the network coverage it doesn’t really matter which prepaid Switzerland sim card you buy, but let’s have a look at the prices and the prepaid data packages that the Swiss mobile internet operators offer. Prices below are in CHF, at the time of researching in February 2022 the CHF and the USD kind of the same, but the USD is slightly stronger: 1 USD = 0.92 CHF.
Swisscom prepaid sim card
A Swisscom prepaid sim card cost 19.9 CHF, but comes with 20 CHF credit. 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.
Swissom also offers the above flatrate prepaid sim card data bundles:
- 7 days unlimited data = 20 CHF - $22
- 30 days unlimited data = 65 CHF - $70
- 90 days unlimited data = 150 CHF - $162
Roaming charges outside of Switzerland apply also on these prepaid data bundles, no EU roaming included. For more info prepaid sim card info see the Swisscom website.
Salt Switzerland prepaid sim card
You can get a FREE Salt Mobile sim card, but it comes with 0 credit and you basically can NOT use it unless you top up. There is also the following option with 20 CHF credit. Surfing the internet cost 2 CHF per day, calling is 49c per call and texting is 12c per sms.
Data on Salt prepaid sim cards data is NOT valid in the EU, only in Switzerland. The unlimited data per day always ends at midnight. You are allowed to use a hotspot regarding the fair-use policy. For more detailed info see the Salt Mobile website.
Sunrise Switzerland prepaid sim card
Just like Salt a Sunrise prepaid sim card for Switzerland cost 19.90 CHF and comes with 20 CHF credit.
Sunrise offers unlimited data + chat per day in Switzerland for 2.5 CHF per 24 hours. There is no limit, but data is only available in Switzerland. Roaming charges are expensive! If you want to use 5G you pay 3 CHF per 24 hours extra. These are the set fares as per February 2022, confirmed by the info I found on the Sunrise website.
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Best Switzerland sim card in 2022
Switzerland prepaid sim cards are no good value for money. However, they are flexible! When you are traveling to Switzerland for just a couple days I recommend you getting a prepaid sim card from any of the main internet providers and use their offer of 2 CHF for unlimited data per day.
In my comparison of the prepaid Switzerland sim cards I came to the following conclusions:
- the 4G/5G network coverages are identically good for every provider
- all prepaid sim cards in Switzerland cost 19.90 CHF including 20 CHF credit
- Salt and Swisscom offer unlimited data per day (ending at 00.00) for 2 CHF
- Sunrise offers unlimited data + chat for 24h for 2.5 CHF
- All data allowance is ONLY valid in Switzerland, EU roaming is at extra costs
A Sunrise prepaid sim card is a little more flexible as their unlimited data package is valid is for 24 hours and does NOT end at 00.00 like the Salt and Swisscom data packages per day.
Therefore Sunrise is the best prepaid sim card in Switzerland in 2022!
The fact that there is NO FREE EU ROAMING included in Swiss sim cards makes them useless for traveling in Europe. When Switzerland is your first stop in Europe and you are intended to continue traveling in Europe then have a look at my article with the best prepaid sim cards for Europe in 2022. All the sim cards in this article are valid all over Europe, including Switzerland!
Buy a sim card for Switzerland online
Does all of this sound like too much hassle then don't worry I got you covered. Check out the international sim cards below and choose the one that suits you best. These pre-activated sim cards will be shipped to your home address before your trip to Switzerland and the BEST thing, they include FREE EU roaming:
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 one of the above prepaid sim cards for Switzerland directly online or find more info. My personal recommendation is the last option from Orange, the sim card I also use for traveling in Europe.
Another reminder that you can also order an e-sim card for Switzerland directly through this link and fix everything in just a couple minutes!
I hope all the above tips for buying a prepaid Switzerland sim card were helpful. May you still have questions please leave me a comment below. I am also more than happy to help you out with questions and travel tips for Swiss.
Looking for some serious travel inspiration? Have a look at my Instagram account @traveltomtom and find out what it is like to travel to every country in the world. As of July 2022 I have visited more than 135 countries!
Enjoy your trip to Switzerland!
Some links in this article about the best Swiss sim card are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using the outgoing links I’ll earn a small commission. Don’t worry this is at no extra cost to you, but I have the duty to inform you. Thank you for your understanding!