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Best Tourist Sim Cards in Switzerland in 2024

Choosing a sim card is hard. We've analysed the best tourist sim cards in Switzerland across pricing, coverage and data. Find out the best pick!

If you plan on visiting Switzerland, having a reliable internet connection is essential for navigating new cities and making your travel experience more convenient. From finding the best restaurants and directions to your accommodation, to booking a taxi and sharing photos with your family, staying connected on the go is crucial.

While roaming is always an option, the international fees can quickly become expensive. That’s why we recommend either getting an eSIM or a local SIM card in Switzerland to access affordable local phone rates.

Luckily, obtaining either option is incredibly easy in Switzerland, but it’s important to know which one suits your needs best. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about purchasing a SIM card in Switzerland, including updated pricing and recommendations for the best SIM card to buy.

Table of Contents

Best Sim Card in Switzerland for Tourists

The best sim card in Switzerland is the Switzerland eSim offered by Airalo. The Airalo eSim uses the excellent Sunrise network (with coverage pretty much everywhere in Switzerland) and is priced considerably cheaper. For just 13 CHF you can get 5GB of data valid for a month, plus there are options for additional data that works out cheaper than the 3 CHF daily price of Sunrise and the 2 CHF daily price of Salt.

There is one situation where I would recommend a local sim card in Switzerland over an eSim is if you require unlimited data. For most travellers, 5GB or 10GB with Airalo will be more than enough, but if you know you are likely to use a huge amount of mobile data then you would be better off with a Salt prepaid daily sim card.

Switzerland Sim Card Prices

A Tourist Sim Card in Switzerland costs between 13 CHF and 20 CHF in February 2024, however, the exact price will often depend on the store you visit and the plan you choose.

Alternatively, an eSim in Switzerland will cost between $4.50 USD and $38 USD. This, again, depends on how much data you require and which eSim provider you choose.

I generally recommend this Airalo plan for most tourists visiting Switzerland which includes 5GB of data which is valid for 30 days and costs $14.50 USD.

Switzerland Sim Card Providers

In Switzerland, there are three main SIM card providers that dominate the market: Sunrise, Salt, and Swisscom.

Sunrise is a leading telecommunications company offering a wide range of mobile services, including prepaid and postpaid SIM cards. They are known for their strong network coverage and competitive prices, making them a popular choice among consumers.

Salt is another prominent provider, renowned for its affordable SIM card plans and innovative offerings. They cater to diverse customer needs, providing flexible options for data, voice, and messaging services.

Swisscom, the largest telecommunications company in Switzerland, offers premium SIM card packages with top-notch network quality. They pride themselves on reliability, high-speed connectivity, and comprehensive coverage across the country.

Overall, these three providers offer varying options and price ranges, allowing customers to choose the best SIM card plan that suits their requirements.

Sunrise Tourist Sim

Sunrise is a prominent telecommunications company in Switzerland, offering excellent tourist sim card services. Their sim cards provide seamless connectivity for travelers, enabling them to stay connected with family and friends. With affordable rates and extensive national coverage, Sunrise ensures a hassle-free experience for tourists exploring Switzerland. From stunning mountain peaks to picturesque cities, visitors can capture and share their experiences instantly. Sunrise is the go-to choice for reliable connectivity and easy communication while traveling in Switzerland.

Sunrise Switzerland Tourist Sim Price

The price of a Sunrise tourist sim card in Switzerland is 3 CHF (per day).

The plan offered by Sunrise stores includes unlimited data valid for as long as you need (minumum 8 days).

Salt Tourist Sim

Salt is a leading mobile network operator in Switzerland, offering tourist sim cards that cater to the needs of travelers. Their sim cards provide extensive coverage, high-speed data, and unlimited local calls. With Salt, tourists can stay connected while enjoying their Swiss adventure, whether it’s exploring scenic landscapes or visiting cultural sites. Their reliable network ensures hassle-free communication, making Salt’s tourist sim cards an essential companion for any traveler in Switzerland.

Salt Switzerland Tourist Sim Price

The price of a Salt tourist sim card in Switzerland is 1.99 CHF (per day).

The plan offered by Salt stores offers Unlimited data valid for as long as you require.

Swisscom Tourist Sim

Swisscom is the leading telecommunications company in Switzerland, providing reliable and extensive network coverage across the country. Tourists visiting Switzerland can benefit from Swisscom’s convenient tourist SIM cards. These SIM cards offer affordable and flexible data and calling options, allowing tourists to stay connected and navigate the beautiful Swiss landscapes effortlessly. Swisscom’s tourist SIM cards are easily purchasable at the airport, train stations, or Swisscom shops, making it a hassle-free experience for travelers.

Swisscom Switzerland Tourist Sim Price

The price of a Swisscom tourist sim card in Switzerland is 20 CHF.

The plan offered by Swisscom stores includes Unlimited data + unlimited calls & texts valid for 7 days.

How to Get a Sim Card in Switzerland

Identify mobile providers: Sunrise, Salt and Swisscom are your best options in Switzerland.

Find your nearest store: Locate a store or retailer by searching on Google Maps for your nearest store or asking at your hotel reception. I’ve never had issues finding a store as they can usually be found in major cities, shopping centers, or tourist areas. If possible, I always recommend to to avoid airports and head in to an official store in the city.

Bring the necessary documents: It is always a good idea to carry your passport or identification documents for sim card registration purposes. We’ve found most providers will need to confirm your identity to provide a sim card and it can be a major hassle to head to a store only to have to come back again later with your passport.

Choose your plan: Either request the plan you are after or consult with the staff in the store to select the right plan for you. My recommendations at the beginning of this guide are a good starting point, but the staff will usually be able to suggest the best option.

Pay and activate your card: Pay for the SIM card and plan, and the staff will activate it for you.

Test: It’s always a good idea to check that you can access the internet before you leave the store. I always search for something on Google then refresh my Instagram feed to check it’s working fine.

Where to Get a Sim Card in Switzerland

At the Airport

Buying a prepaid sim card for Switzerland at the airport is usually considered the most convenient option for travellers arriving by plane.

However, airport stores selling sim cards are almost guaranteed to charge inflated prices, so if you are a cost-conscious traveller then you should definitely buy your sim card from a store in the city center.

In addition to this, we would argue that buying physical sim cards at all aren’t particularly convenient now that most people use esim compatible phones. If you are looking for the most convenient option, then buying an esim before you arrive or with the airport wifi is much easier and will save you having to queue up or communicate with staff.

If you must purchase a sim card at the airport in Switzerland then you will be in luck. All major international airports in Switzerland have stores selling sim cards. Despite the prices being higher than normal, the staff are knowledgable and will be able to get you set up with the correct sim card relatively quickly.

In Stores

If you want to avoid the inflated sim card prices you’ll find at the airport and your phone isn’t esim compatible, then you’re going to need to head in to a store to buy your sim card.

I recommend visiting one of the official retail stores of the mobile internet operators such as Sunrise, Salt and Swisscom. Your best option is to enter their names into Google Maps and find the branch closest to your hotel or accommodation. Typically the staff in the official stores in Switzerland are knowledgable and helpful which means you can ensure you’ll walk away with a functioning sim card.

Despite this, it’s always a good idea to check your internet is working before you leave the store by loading a Google search results page and your preferred social media app. You should also ensure you always bring your passport with you when purchasing a sim card in case they need to register it.

Online

If you like to be prepared and would prefer to arrive in Switzerland with your sim card all sorted and your phone ready to connect to the internet immediately then you should look into purchasing a sim card online.

The first option is to buy your sim card in advance via SimOptions, which is a company that will prepare and ship a sim card directly to your door. It’s a reliable and effective service, but with the invention of eSims it’s becoming obsolete.

The better option is to purchase an eSim online. We’ve written more on that below!

Switzerland eSim

An eSim is a digital version of a traditional sim card and is most likely the future of connectivity for mobile devices. The convenience of no longer visiting a store, handing over your passport and purchasing a physical sim card is quickly making physical sim cards obsolete in favour of eSims.

We recommend Airalo’s eSim when travelling to Switzerland. The Airalo Switzerland eSim offers fast internet speeds, wide coverage and extremely competitive prices making it a far more compelling option than purchasing a physical sim card from any of the local sim card providers.

In order to get set up with an Airalo eSim, all you need to do is visit Airalo here and purchase the eSim online (the $14.50 USD plan is suitable for most travellers). Once you’ve purchased the sim card Airalo will email you instructions and a QR code. Following these instructions should take just a couple of minutes, then you’ll have a sim card in Switzerland without having to venture outside.

Airalo Switzerland

Our preferred eSim provider in Switzerland is Airalo. We used them, alongside a local sim card on another device, for our most recent trip to Switzerland and found the service to be equal to the local sim card but without the hassle of acquiring a sim card in a store.

Airalo’s Switzerland eSim uses the Sunrise network to provide data and connect users to the internet. You can expect very good coverage and reliability with the Sunrise networknetwork as they are amongst the best mobile internet operators in Switzerland.

Here are the plans and prices for Airalo’s Switzerland eSim:

1GB data valid for 7 days – Price: $4.50 USD
2GB data valid for 15 days – Price: $8 USD
3GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $10 USD
5GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $14.50 USD
10GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $24 USD
20GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $38 USD

For most travellers we recommend the 5GB data plan for $14.50 USD which is valid for 30 days. Some travellers may prefer a larger plan, whilst travellers visiting for just a couple of days may be fine with a smaller plan.

Holafly Switzerland

An alternative eSim provider we can recommend is Holafly.

Holafly’s eSim is a suitable option for travellers who require large amounts of data, such as digital nomads and people who work online while they travel. All of Holafly’s Switzerland eSims offer unlimited data.

Holafly’s Switzerland eSim uses the Swisscom/Sunrise/Saltnetwork to provide data and connect users to the internet. This network will provide reliable speeds and coverage while in Switzerland

Here are the plans and prices for Holafly’s Switzerland eSim:

Unlimited data valid for 5 days – Price: $19 USD
Unlimited data valid for 7 days – Price: $27 USD
Unlimited data valid for 10 days – Price: $34 USD
Unlimited data valid for 15 days – Price: $47 USD
Unlimited data valid for 20 days – Price: $54 USD
Unlimited data valid for 30 days – Price: $64 USD
Unlimited data valid for 60 days – Price: $84 USD
Unlimited data valid for 90 days – Price: $99 USD

What is an eSim?

An eSIM, also known as an embedded SIM, is a digital SIM card that is permanently installed in a device, like a smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch. Unlike traditional SIM cards that need to be physically inserted or removed, an eSIM is built directly into the device.

The eSIM is integrated into the device’s hardware and can be remotely activated and programmed by a mobile network operator. This means that users can easily switch between different mobile networks or plans without the need for physical SIM card swaps.

The convenience, flexibility, and user-friendliness of eSIM technology are particularly beneficial for travelers or those who frequently switch between mobile networks or travel internationally. It eliminates the need to buy and insert physical SIM cards, making it much more convenient to manage multiple mobile connections on a single device.

To activate an eSIM, users simply need to scan a QR code provided by their mobile network operator or manually enter the activation details. Once activated, the device can connect to the chosen mobile network and enjoy voice, data, and messaging services, just like with a regular SIM card.

Why Use an eSim?

There are several advantages to using an eSIM:

– Convenience: No need to physically insert or remove a SIM card when switching networks or plans. Great for frequent travelers who need to change networks or use local SIM cards in different countries.

– Dual SIM functionality: Can have two active mobile numbers on one device. Useful for separating personal and work numbers or managing multiple phone lines.

– Space-saving: No physical SIM card slot required, freeing up space in the device. Allows for smaller devices or use of the extra space for other components.

– Remote provisioning: Activation and management of mobile plans can be done remotely. No need for a physical SIM card or store visit. Offers flexibility and convenience for managing mobile connectivity.

– Future-proofing: more mobile networks and service providers are offering support for eSIMs. By using an eSIM-compatible device, you can take advantage of new offerings as they become available.

Overall, eSIM technology provides flexibility, convenience, and future-proofing for mobile connectivity, making it a compelling choice for many users.

eSim Supported Phones

eSIM technology is becoming increasingly popular and is supported by a growing number of smartphones and other devices. Here are some examples of eSIM-compatible phones:

Apple iPhone series (iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 13, etc.): Apple was one of the early adopters of eSIM technology and offers support for eSIM on various iPhone models.

Google Pixel series (Pixel 3, Pixel 4, Pixel 5, etc.): Google’s Pixel smartphones also support eSIM functionality, allowing users to activate and use eSIMs.

Samsung Galaxy series (Galaxy S22, Galaxy Note 20, etc.): Many of Samsung’s flagship devices now come with eSIM support, enabling users to utilize eSIM technology.

OnePlus devices (OnePlus 7, OnePlus 8, etc.): OnePlus has included eSIM support in some of its smartphone models, offering users the flexibility of using eSIMs.

Motorola Razr (2020): The latest iteration of the iconic Motorola Razr features eSIM compatibility, enabling users to use eSIMs for cellular connectivity.

These are just a few examples, and the list of eSIM-compatible phones continues to expand as more manufacturers embrace this technology. There’s a very strong chance your phone supports eSims so if you’re unsure we recommend looking it up on our list of eSim supported phones.

How to Use an eSim

Using an eSim is new for many travellers, however, the good news is it’s surprisingly easy to get set up – even for the technologically challenged!

Here’s a general guide on how to use an eSIM:

Check eSIM Compatibility: Ensure that your device supports eSIM functionality. Many newer smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, and other devices are eSIM compatible including all iPhones produced since 2018.

Obtain an eSIM: There are multiple ways to acquire an eSIM. You can purchase an eSIM online from a provider like Airalo (which we recommend) or directly from a mobile network operator. Some devices also allow you to scan a QR code provided by your carrier to download the eSIM profile.

Activate the eSIM: Your eSim provider will send you instructions to activate the sim. This will usually involve scanning a QR code, entering an activation code, or downloading the eSIM profile directly onto your device.

Set up the eSIM: Once activated, your device will guide you through the eSIM setup process. This typically involves selecting the eSIM as your preferred mobile plan, configuring settings like data roaming, and entering any necessary authentication details.

Enjoy the Connection: Once the eSIM is set up, you can use it as you would with a physical SIM card. Make calls, send messages, browse the internet, and use data services as needed. You can also switch between eSIM profiles if you have multiple eSIMs installed on your device.

Mitchell

Mitchell

Hi, I’m Mitchell. I’m a full-time traveller, explorer and travel blogger. I've travelled all around the world, using and testing countless travel sim cards along the way. I'm the founder of and writer for Travel Sim Expert where I write guides to help travellers stay connected all around the world.

Hi, I’m Mitchell. I’m a full-time traveller, explorer and travel blogger. Travel Sim Expert is a blog dedicated to helping you find the best sim card for you, no matter where you are or what your budget is. 

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