Best SIM Cards In Switzerland For Tourists

When you first land in Switzerland as a tourist, you will want to get access to Swiss mobile data as soon as possible.

Sure, there is wifi in your hotel or Airbnb, and maybe even in the cafe, but if you want to be able to surf on the go, you need mobile data. That means you need a Swiss SIM Card.

Switzerland has three main providers: Swisscom, Sunrise, and Salt. And below I have collected all of the relevant information on their Prepaid SIM cards for Switzerland.

The best option for visitors or tourists though is to get your 4G data sorted out before you leave home!

Have 4G Data As Soon As You Land In Switzerland

Maybe you want a SIM card before you leave to save on the hassle and ensure you have access to 4G as soon as you land.

There are two ways you can do that.

  1. Buy a SIM card online and have it sent to you before you leave
  2. Buy an eSIM card online and activate it on your phone (no physical sim card required!)

Data As Soon As You Arrive

Don’t waste time or money on SIM cards. Get an eSIM delivered electronically and save money at the same time.

Buy A eSIM Card for Switzerland

I prefer option 2 and I use eSIM cards all the time when I travel :> And actually have a whole post on eSims for Switzerland

Esims have a lot of positives:

  • They are easy to activate (via a QR code)
  • They run in parallel to your standard SIM (you get to keep your number) and use another eSIM in your phone. It’s great!
eSIM Options for Switzerland

There are lots of eSIM options for Switzerland, but my favorite hands down is Airalo. They have lots of data options for Switzerland and Europe in general, and their service is top-notch. (You can read a full review on Airalo)

You can get mobile data for as little as around $2 per GB and it is on the Sunrise network, one of Switzerland’s best mobile providers.

SEE YOUR ESIM OPTIONS HERE

Buying A Swiss SIM Card Before You Travel

There are some great online providers that will send you a SIM for Switzerland before you leave home.

Here are some of the companies you can check out if that is the option you prefer:

Best Swiss Prepaid SIM Card Options

Swisscom shop
Swisscom Shop in Zurich HB

Swisscom Prepaid SIM Cards

Swisscom is the original telephone company in Switzerland, so they have the best network (more on that below). In my experience, you will find you get mobile reception almost anywhere you go in the country, even on hikes in the Alps.

So, they are probably one of the best options when it comes to getting a Switzerland SIM card if you want to always have 4G available.

When I asked the Swisscom attendant, he said the following are the options they have for prepaid SIM cards for Switzerland. It comes down to pay-per-use vs payment for unlimited everything for a specific timeframe.

Swisscom inOne Prepaid
Swisscom inOne Prepaid SIMs

inOne mobile prepaid SIM Card

  • Basic – Calls 0.29/min, SMS 0.15/SMS, Internet 2.−/day
  • go (5 CHF / 30 Days) – Calls 0.29/min, Unlimited SMS, Unlimited data with 128 kbit/s
Swisscom Flatrate Prepaid SIMs
Swisscom Flatrate Prepaid SIMs

Prepaid Flatrate (Unlimited Calls, Unlimited SMS, Unlimited data)

  • 7 days for 20 CHF
  • 30 days for 65 CHF
  • 90 days for 150 CHF

You can also maintain your data or add additional options via your Swisscom Cockpit. It’s way easier this way. I have done it before with many other mobile providers. You can do it from the web on your phone or laptop.

Or, if you just want to quickly add credit online, you can head to this page.

Related Reading

Best Switzerland eSIMs Compared (For Your Next Visit)

Learn More

Sunrise Prepaid SIM Cards

Sunrise also has some worthwhile prepaid SIM card options you can check out. They have a one-time fee of 19.90 CHF or the SIM card, but keep in mind that includes 20 CHF credit, so in essence, it is free.

The two main options they have are a daily payment of CHF 2.5, or a per-use payment. They also have a Europe-wide data-only option too. Once you have a Sunrise card you also get access to free mobile data on SBB trains too.

Sunrise Prepaid SIM options
Sunrise Prepaid SIM options

Prepaid Unlimited

  • 24 hours of Unlimited data, calls, SMS – 2.5 CHF

Prepaid Airbag

  • Pay per call, SMS and day of data
    • Data – 1.20 CHF a day for 100 MB of 4G
    • SMS – 0.20 CHF per SMS
    • Calls – 0.30 CHF/min (max 0.60)

Unlimited Europe

  • 40 GB data in Europe – CHF 49.90 30 days

Salt Prepaid SIM Card

Salt is a newer provider in Switzerland, so its network is not as good as Sunrise’s or Swisscom’s. However, it is still pretty good and it will cover you in most major destinations. Just not in more remote areas.

According to the shop attendant, the Prepaid SIM card from Salt is quite simple. You get a Prepaid sim card for FREE with 10 CHF credit included. After that, you have to top it up with credit.

Their rates are as follows:

  • Calls: 0.49/call (60 min max.)
  • SMS: 0.12/SMS
  • Unlimited data: 1.99 CHF/day
  • Or fixed data for 30 days
    • 100 MB for CHF 3
    • 500 MB for CHF 9
    • 1 GB for CHF 15

You can only use the data in Switzerland, like with all the other prepaid SIM cards from the competitors.

Buying A SIM Card at the Zurich Airport Or In A City

Zurich Airport Shops

When you land at Zurich Airport there are a whole bunch of shops as you exit the terminal and head towards public transport in the main building. Inside that building are quite a few places to get a SIM card, including all three major mobile network operators, and a mobile phone shop:

You can also find the same stores in most major towns and cities in Switzerland. That way, you can get firsthand advice on which SIM card is best for your situation and also get help with the activation process.

My Recommendation For Mobile Data

I travel a lot and am probably writing this while on the road. When I am abroad I use eSims 95% of the time instead of going through the hassle of getting a local SIM Card. That is the same for Switzerland (if I did not live there that is :>)

Instead of going through the hassle of getting a local sim, losing your number, having to register, etc., why not just get an electronic SIM (eSim) which is a code essentially you load into your phone? All newer phones (iPhone X or later – so 5 years or so for most manufacturers) have it built in.

You just buy an eSim when you land, on the plane, or before you leave, and activate it when you arrive. It takes a minute or two. And you have data ready to go!

Here is my complete review of all eSim options in Switzerland!

Plan Your Trip to Switzerland

Accommodation: I always book my hotels via Booking.com. They have some of the best rates, longterm deals, easy cancellation and more
Transport: Train travel is one of the best ways to explore Switzerland. Buying a Swiss Travel Pass is a great way to save money on travel and museums.
Car Rental: Having a car gives you flexibility on your travels. I use RentalCars.com and Discover Cars to get the best deals on car rentals in Switzerland.
Luggage Storage: Find out where you can store your store your luggage while you are visiting various places in Switzerland.
Trips & Tours:Viator and Get Your Guide are the best places to find local tours and trips for your adventures in Switzerland.
Packing: Here are my recommendations for what to pack for a trip to Switzerland. As someone who has lived half their life in Switzerland, I have a good idea of what you need to bring!
Written by Ashley Faulkes
As a twenty-year resident of Switzerland, I am passionate about exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful country, I spend my days deep in the great Swiss outdoors, and love to share these experiences and insights with fellow travel enthusiasts.

3 thoughts on “Best SIM Cards In Switzerland For Tourists

  1. It is very strange offer. On Monday, July 17th, 2023 at about 18:15, I went to Swisscom boutique at Geneve Cornavin railway station. I asked for this offer and they have refused to sell it to me as they required passport and they insisted that ID card is not enough. But most of the Europeans do not travel with passports across Europe because crossing borders and embarking planes or ships with ID card is accepted everywhere with few exceptions. So, this offer is for whom?

    1. And what did you do next? Did you buy any sim card somewhere? Because i am travelling to Switzerland and I want to buy sim card

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