Best SIM Cards in Switzerland [2022 Guide]

Switzerland is an attractive holiday destination and a fantastic place to live in. But it’s an incredibly expensive country where prices on mobile and roaming are among the highest in the region. In all cases, you will need to have a local SIM card to stay connected with the outside world if you don’t want to spend hundreds of Francs.

Best SIM cards in Switzerland in 2022 are:

  1. Swisscom – InOne mobile prepaid basic
  2. Sunrise – Prepaid Airbag
  3. Salt – Prepaid
  4. Nomad and Airalo – For travelers

Salt prepaid SIM card is the only option where you don’t pay an activation fee. Other providers charge 19,90 CHF, which includes 20,00 CHF credit.

Don’t let high roaming charges ruin your Swiss experience. Switzerland is already expensive enough, so you don’t want to spend the rest of your money on mobile. Getting a local SIM card is more affordable and easier than you think. In this article, we have picked the best SIM card deals for Switzerland, whether you stay long or short-term. Additionally, we explain Swiss mobile networks and much more.

If you are visiting Switzerland or staying for a short time, a SIM card from Airalo would be the best choice.

Which prepaid SIM card is the best in Switzerland?

No matter if you are a vacationer, a seasonal worker, a student, or expat, you can stay connected while in Switzerland. Everyone should consider getting a SIM card when abroad. Compared to the data roaming tariff in your home country, Swiss prepaid SIM cards are much cheaper.

Prepaid data plans with a volume of 5 GB start at around 10 CHF/month. If you are looking for a more extensive tariff with calls, SMS, and 5 GB of data, you usually pay more than 30 CHF/month.

Prepaid SIM cards in Switzerland

No matter how long you stay in Switzerland, buying a local prepaid SIM card makes sense. The biggest benefit of prepaid SIM is that you don’t have to sign a contract, and you can pay as you go without the obligation to deposit money every month.

Plus, you get instant access to the internet, calls, and SMS within the country. However, data is pricey in Switzerland, even with a local SIM card.

Roaming is costly in Switzerland. For instance, with a German SIM card from Vodafone, you pay 15 EUR for a maximum of 50 MB of data roaming per day. 

Whereas 5 GB might cost you only 9,95 CHF with a Swiss SIM.

If your mobile plan luckily includes data for Switzerland, then you don’t necessarily need a separate SIM. Telekom is one such provider. Otherwise, such cases are very rare.

1. Swisscom

Cost: between 2 CHF per day and 9,90 CHF per month.
Pros: Best network provider in Switzerland and the most reputable company.
Cons: Expensive.

Swisscom is the largest mobile provider in Switzerland. In addition to their in-house SIM cards, there are plenty of third-party providers you can pick from. They all operate on a Swisscom network.

Currently, about 6,738 million customers are using SIM cards run on Swisscom with an excellent quality-price ratio. Keep in mind that Swisscom is also the most expensive provider.

Be aware that the SIM card itself costs 19,90 CHF, where 20 CHF is your starting balance. Swisscom has three main prepaid deals:

InOne mobile prepaid basic – 0 CHF

  • Data: 2 CHF per day unlimited; speed 50 Mbit/s
  • Calls: 0,29 CHF
  • SMS: 0,15 CHF

InOne mobile prepaid go – 5 CHF per month

  • Data: unlimited with max. speed 128 kbit/s
  • Calls: 0,29 CHF
  • SMS: unlimited

The package includes only very slow internet speed; this might be very frustrating to use. Forget about watching videos on your phone.

InOne mobile prepaid young – 9,90 CHF per month

  • Only available for customers aged between 7 and 18 years old
  • Data: unlimited, where 500 MB high-speed, after that 128 kbit/s
  • Calls: unlimited
  • SMS: unlimited

You can always book an add-on to your prepaid tariff with Swisscom. These can be:

  • Additional mobile data for Switzerland
  • Additional mobile data for abroad
  • 100 minutes of calls in Switzerland
  • Unlimited calls in Switzerland
  • Speed boost

2. Airalo

Cost: from 9 CHF per month.
Pros: Best SIM cards for travelers and short-time visitors.

Airalo is the best SIM card provider for digital nomads and travelers who don’t plan to live in the country but rather will stay for a short period of time. This company offers SIM cards for over 190 countries. In Switzerland, its SIM cards run on the Sunrise network.

You can preorder it online before you travel, so it takes away the hustle of trying to buy or order a SIM when arriving in the country. The SIM card will be activated (the validity period starts) when you land and connect to the network.

With Airalo, you can choose between global coverage or opt only for usage in Switzerland.

There are four main plans you can choose from in Switzerland:

  • 7 days validity with 1 GB of data for 9 CHF
  • 30 days validity with 3 GB of data for 18 CHF
  • 30 days validity with 5 GB of data for 27 CHF
  • 30 days validity with 10 GB of data for 39 CHF

Keep in mind that packages include only data for the internet. It doesn’t provide you with a local number, but you can easily make calls via apps like Whatsapp.

3. Nomad

Cost: from 8 CHF per month.
Pros: Cheapest SIM card for Switzerland.

Nomad is a digital eSIM marketplace for travelers and, as the name might say – digital nomads. You will get affordable data plans anywhere in the world, including Switzerland.

You can pick from several Swiss plans:

  • 30 days validity with 1 GB of data for 8 CHF
  • 30 days validity with 3 GB of data for 15 CHF
  • 30 days validity with 5 GB of data for 17 CHF

If you need more data, have a look at these packs:

  • 30 days validity with 10 GB of data for 24 CHF
  • 30 days validity with 20 GB of data for 34 CHF

Optionally, you can book additional data via the app. For example, 1 GB costs 8 CHF, and 5 GB costs 17 CHF. You decide how much you want to add.

Similarly to Airalo, Nomad gives you only internet data but no calls and SMS (but who needs it nowadays anyway). After the validity is over, your plan will expire.

4. Sunrise

Cost: from 0,75 CHF to 2,50 CHF per day.
Pros: Overall good deals.
Cons: High activation fee.

Sunrise has 2.99 million customers in Switzerland and so the second most popular provider. With a Sunrise Prepaid plan, you only pay for what you use – no contract, no minimum duration.

There is a one-time SIM activation fee of 19,90 CHF (which includes CHF 20 CHF of free credit).

Here are the most popular prepaid plans from Sunrise:

Prepaid unlimited – 2,50 CHF per day

  • Data: Unlimited 4G+ data for 2,50 CHF per day
  • Calls: Unlimited calls in Switzerland
  • SMS: Unlimited SMS in Switzerland

With unlimited SIM, you can:

  1. Surf, call, and chat in Switzerland
  2. You only pay when you use it

Prepaid Airbag – Pay as you go

  • Data: 100 MB 4G per day – 1,2 CHF per day
  • Calls: 0,30 CHF per call
  • SMS: 0,20 CHF
  1. You only pay for what you use
  2. High-speed data for the first 100 MB/day, then reduced speed – overall, 100 MB should be enough for texting on WhatsApp and a little bit of Instagram here and there.

Prepaid Young – Pay as you go

  • Available for everyone under 30
  • Data: 100 MB 4G per day – 0,75 CHF per day
  • Calls: 0,25 CHF per call
  • SMS: 0,25 CHF

5. Salt

Cost: 1,99 CHF per day to 9,95 CHF per month
Pros: Good transparent deals, easy to use, no activation fee.

Salt offers a fair prepaid SIM card that gives you everything needed. It’s free and totally up to you how much you want to spend. There is only one prepaid plan.

You can also choose to purchase SIM for 20 CHF, where the total amount will be available as a balance on the card.

Salt Prepaid – Pay as you go

  • Data: unlimited for 1,99 CHF per day; 150 Mbit/s speed
  • Calls: 0,49 CHF per call (60 min max)
  • SMS: 0,12 CHF

Alternatively, you can book mobile data at a fixed price which is valid only in Switzerland. This might be cheaper than paying for an unlimited plan:

  • 100 MB for 3 CHF
  • 500 MB for 9 CHF
  • 1 GB for 15 CHF

You can also buy a SIM card just for the internet. The basic plan includes 5 GB of data for Switzerland and costs only 9,95 CHF per month. New customers can choose between various contract duration ranging from 1 to 24 months.

Salt surf – 9,95 CHF

  • Data: 5 GB with maximal speed
  • Only internet

Besides prepaid SIM, Salt has a wide range of other mobile options, but they include a high activation and SIM card fees.

Here are some other popular prepaid SIM cards in Switzerland:

SIM cardIncludedDownload
speed
NetworkPrice (CHF)
Lidl Connect Prepaid500MB375 MbpsSalt4,90
Migros M-Budget Plus500MB50 MbpsSwisscom5,00
Mucho Data Mini2GB50 MbpsSwisscom9,90
Digital Republic Flat 10Unlimited10 MbpsSunrise10,00
Coop mobile prepaid1,5GB100 MbpsSwisscom14,90
Digital Republic Flat 50Unlimited50 MbpsSunrise8,00
Source: www.moneyland.ch

How to top up the balance on a prepaid SIM card

You can top up funds at any time, regardless of where you are:

  • In online store
  • In a store
  • In a Mobilezone branch
  • At SBB ticket machines
  • At the ATM
  • In one of the partner shops
  • At the post office
  • At the kiosk

Cheapest prepaid SIM card

If you only need an internet prepaid surf package from Salt is the cheapest on the Swiss market. You get 5 GB of data for just 9,95 CHF per month.

Salt surf – 9,95 CHF per month

  • Data: 5 GB with maximal speed
  • Only internet

In addition to the above-mentioned SIM cards, you can also find one on the Swiss online comparison tool. They offer a pretty thorough overview.

Best mobile network in Switzerland

Swisscom has the best network in Switzerland. Swisscom, Sunrise, and Salt are Switzerland’s three main mobile network providers. Swisscom is the leading company. In 2020, it received an outstanding note for its connectivity.

Second comes network provider Sunrise and Salt landed in third place with a rating of very good.

These are the primary network providers; however, you will see smaller companies that sell SIM cards to customers. All of them are using one of the main networks. Here are popular Swiss SIM cards providers and the networks they are using:

SIM card providerNetwork
Lidl ConnectSalt
AiraloSunrise
YalloSunrise
WingoSwisscom
MigrosSwisscom
UPCSwisscom
Aldi Suisse Sunrise
Talk TalkSunrise
Coop Mobile Swisscom
Source: www.alao.ch

Best SIM card for the internet

Swisscom and Sunrise networks have the fastest speeds and the most comprehensive 5G coverage. However, if you are looking for the best SIM card provider, Airalo is the winner.

They run on the Sunrise network and cost a fraction of what you will pay for a SIM card sold directly from Sunrise company.

Sunrise network showed the fastest speeds for uploads in smaller Swiss cities. The Salt network is a bit behind but still offers great internet speed.

Swisscom provides an average download speed of 94.2 MBit/s, making it the fastest mobile network. Sunrise has an average internet speed of 76.5 MBit/s. Lastly, Salt shows an average speed of 53 MBit/s. The results of the upload tests should show a similar ratio.

Overall, speed isn’t something you need to worry about when it comes to the internet in Switzerland. The price, on the other hand, is something to consider. The best price-value ration SIM card for the internet is one from Airalo.

  • Data: 3 GB with maximal speed
  • Only internet
  • Price: 18 CHF
  • Valid: 30 days

SIM card in Switzerland for tourists

What SIM card is the best for visitors in Switzerland? As a tourist, you especially need a flexible plan, billed preferably daily or weekly.

As a tourist, the best SIM card deal is either an eSIM from Airalo or inOne mobile prepaid basic from Swisscom. Airalo costs 9 CHF and gives you 1 GB of data, and Swisscom goes for 19,90 CHF, but 20 CHF will be deposited as a credit.

With Swisscom, you pay 2 CHF per day for unlimited internet. It’s a great option if you stay only a few days in Switzerland; you pay only for each day and not per month as with many other mobile plans. So if you plan to stay for 10 days, it will cost you only an initial 19,90 CHF.

In addition, you can check out this comparison site. Just enter your preferences on the left.

Generally, when traveling to Switzerland, you 100% will need to get a local SIM card. Switzerland is outside the EU & Schengen and doesn’t provide roaming free internet like most other European countries.

Besides, roaming on mobile the internet is painfully expensive if you decide to use a foreign SIM in Switzerland.

However, if you want to use a Swiss SIM in Europe, it’s not a good option. Internet data included in Swiss mobile plans can be used only within Switzerland. Consequently, you will pay high roaming fees in other countries.

Where to buy a SIM card in Switzerland

In Switzerland, tourists and locals can buy a prepaid SIM card in numerous places:

  • Airports
  • Supermarkets e.g. Migros and Coop
  • Shopping malls
  • Discounters, e.g., Aldi and Lidl
  • Gas stations
  • Convenience stores
  • Telecom shops of a respective network provider, e.g., Swisscom, Sunrise, Salt, and Mobilezone
  • Electronics stores, e.g., MediaMarkt, Interdiscount and Melectronics
  • Post offices

Documents you need

Fortunately, everyone can buy a SIM card in Switzerland. You only need to have a valid ID with you.

Can you order the prepaid SIM card online?

It’s also possible to buy a SIM card online. In that case, a provider will send a SIM card by post – but for this, you need an address in Switzerland. Without a Swiss address, you can purchase it online.

In some cases, ordering a SIM to your hotel or Airbnb can be a viable option.

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Anna

Anna is an enthusiastic expatriate with experience of living in Germany, Austria and Greece. She shares her passion for living abroad on this website.

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