prepaid sim mobile internet tourists switzerland travel
Telecom

The Cheapest Mobile Internet for Travel in Switzerland

May 8, 2024 - Ralf Beyeler

Are you planning to travel to Switzerland? Learn how to enjoy cheap mobile Internet as a tourist in Switzerland using Swiss prepaid SIMs in this guide.

From selfies with the Matterhorn to live-streaming in Lucerne and checking an online guide to Bern’s old town, being able to stay online while visiting Switzerland is a definite plus for many travelers. If you fall into this category, you will be happy to know that you can easily buy and use a local Swiss prepaid SIM as a tourist. This guide from moneyland.ch answers the most important questions.   

Can getting a Swiss SIM save me money?

Yes. Compared to using data roaming from your wireless carrier back home, getting a Swiss prepaid SIM card is much more affordable.

For example, Vodafone users in Germany have to pay 15 euros to use up to a limit of 50 megabytes of roaming data for Switzerland per day. For the equivalent of around 17 euros, a Swiss SIM can give you 5 gigabytes of data – around 100 times as much. And the Swiss data allowance also remains valid for longer than the German data roaming offer.  

An exception to this rule is if your mobile plan from back home includes roaming allowances for Switzerland. In that case, there may be no benefit to using a Swiss SIM while in Switzerland. For example, Deutsche Telekom users in Germany benefit from the same conditions when roaming in Switzerland as they do back home.

Where can I buy a Swiss prepaid SIM as a tourist in Switzerland?

There are plenty of stores in Switzerland which sell prepaid SIM cards to tourists. These include:

  • Swiss supermarkets like Migros and Coop (which sell their own M-Budget and Coop Mobile SIMs respectively).
  • Discount supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl, which sell their own SIMs.
  • The branch stores of Swiss telecom companies like Salt, Sunrise, and Swisscom. At specialized telecom stores like Mobilezone.
  • Electronics stores like those run by Fust, Interdiscount, Media Market and Melectronics.
  • Post offices.

In order to use a Swiss prepaid SIM, you have to complete an identification and registration process. This can generally be done quickly right at the store where you buy the SIM. In Switzerland – unlike many other countries – anyone can buy and use SIMs regardless of where they live. You do not have to provide a social security number or tax number. You only need to present your passport or ID card and fill out the registration form.

Can I order a Swiss prepaid SIM online?

Although most Swiss mobile service providers do send SIM cards in the mail, they typically only post SIM cards to addresses in Switzerland. Buying a SIM card at a store when you arrive in Switzerland is generally the simplest and quickest way to obtain and activate a Swiss SIM.

An interesting alternative for tourists is offered by Swisscom, Switzerland's largest telecom company. In Swisscom's online store, you can buy a prepaid SIM card and also complete the required identification procedure online. You can then select a retail outlet (a specific K kiosk or Avec convenience store, for example) of your choice at which you will collect the SIM card. All you have to do when you get to Switzerland is present the invoice you receive from Swisscom at the chosen retail outlet to collect a fully-activated SIM card that can be used immediately. K kiosks and Avex stores are commonly found at train stations and gas stations. Stores at these locations are generally open until late, and are often open on Sundays as well. Currently, no other Swiss mobile service providers (including Sunrise and Salt) offer any comparable services.

How much do Swiss prepaid SIMs cost?

Most Swiss prepaid SIM cards cost between 10 and 20 francs, and come preloaded with credits approximately matching the price of the SIM.

Many Swiss mobile services also offer optional prepaid bundles for mobile data or phone calls. There are also bundles which include both data and calls. You can easily find and compare Swiss prepaid mobile offers by selecting the “prepaid” filter in the Swiss mobile plan comparison.

Are there alternatives to using Swiss prepaid SIMs?

Swiss mobile service Digital Republic has an interesting offer for tourists traveling to Switzerland. Before you even come to Switzerland, you can download its eSIM to your device and complete the identification process online. You can pay for the bundle – which is valid for 30 days – online using a credit card.

Digital Republic offers several different bundles, all of which include unlimited data for a flat fee. The only difference between them is the Internet speed. An unlimited data bundle with a speed of 50 Mbps costs 20 Swiss francs. The SIM is complimentary and you do not pay any activation fees.

This alternative is only practicable if your device is eSIM-capable.

Which Swiss data bundles can I get as a tourist?

Special tourist bundles are hardly offered in Switzerland. But the regular prepaid bundles which Swiss use are available to you as a foreign tourist as well, and can deliver excellent value.

The table below shows Swiss prepaid offers which can also work well for visitors. All of these have validity periods of at least 28 days.

Offer includes
What it
speed
Download
Network Swiss francs
Price in
Lidl Connect Prepaid 500 MB 375 Mbps Salt 4.90
Migros M-Budget Plus 500 MB 50 Mbps Swisscom 5.00
Mucho Data Mini 2000 MB 50 Mbps Swisscom 9.90
Digital Republic Flat 10 Unlimited 10 Mbps Sunrise 10.00
Coop Mobile Prepaid 1500 MB 100 Mbps Swisscom 14.90
Swisscom inOne mobile prepaid 2048 MB 50 Mbps Swisscom 19.90
Digital Republic Flat 50 Unlimited 50 Mbps Sunrise 20.00

 

Which combined call and data bundles can I get as a tourist in Switzerland?

Numerous Swiss prepaid mobile providers offer combined bundles which include both data and calls. Some of these even include minutes for international calls to other European countries, which adds to their value for travelers. All of the bundles shown in the table below are valid for at least 28 days.

Offer What it
includes
Download
speed
Network Price in
Swiss francs
Yallo All in 15 1200 minutes
2048 MB,
100 Mbps Sunrise 15.00
Mucho Duo Mini 1300 minutes
5000 MB,
15 Mbps Swisscom 17.90
Mucho Ultra 19 75 minutes
10’000 MB,
15 Mbps Swisscom 19.00
Aldi Suisse Smart M 2unlimited calls
20’480 MB,
300 Mbps Sunrise 24.90
Mucho Duo Swiss unlimited minutes
30’000 MB,
15 Mbps Swisscom 24.90
Aldi Suisse Smart L 2unlimited minutes
51’200 MB,
300 Mbps Sunrise 29.90
Yallo All in 40 1unlimited minutes
10’000 MB,
100 Mbps Sunrise 30.00
Yallo All in 40 + SpeedOn 1unlimited minutes
Unlimited MB,
100 Mbps Sunrise 40.00

1 Valid for calls within Switzerland and to many European countries.
2 Valid for calls within Switzerland, and to Germany, Italy, France, Austria, and Liechtenstein.

Are there any flat-fee offers for visitors to Switzerland?

Offers which give you unlimited data and/or calls can be an interesting option for short visits to Switzerland. Both Sunrise and Swisscom offer 7 days of unlimited local data and calls in Switzerland for a flat fee of around 20 francs. However, if you need to make calls to other European countries, these may not be the best solution because they do not include international calls.

How can I get a Swiss data bundle or flat-fee offer?

The first step is to buy a Swiss prepaid SIM and load it with enough prepaid credits. After that, you can use your prepaid credits to buy data bundles or flat-fee offers online or using SMS codes.

makes finding the current best offers for your needs quick and easy.The mobile plan comparison on moneyland.ch

What should I pay attention to when using Swiss prepaid offers as a tourist?

It is a good idea to deactivate prepaid bundles when you leave Switzerland. The reason for this is that some Swiss mobile providers will automatically extend bundles which have not been deactivated, until all of your prepaid credits have been used up.

Are Swiss prepaid SIMs good for mobile Internet users?

Switzerland’s three mobile networks from Salt, Sunrise, and Swisscom are all well developed and provide reliable Internet connectivity countrywide. The networks from Sunrise and Swisscom have shown excellent results in independent tests, and are among the best mobile networks in the world.

.the mobile plan comparison on moneyland.chSwiss prepaid SIMs will provide you with good stable Internet access. Make sure to look at the Internet speeds of prepaid offers before you buy. You can easily filter prepaid offers based on their Internet speeds using

Are Swiss prepaid SIMs a good option for making calls?

If you expect to call home a lot while in Switzerland, make sure to get a prepaid bundle which either includes calls to your home country or has very favorable international call fees.

The moneyland.ch mobile plan comparison lets you select a country which you want to make calls to from Switzerland (in the “international calls” field). This is then accounted for in comparisons.

Can Swiss SIMs be used for mobile hotspots?

. Getting an offer which gives you unlimited Internet for a fixed price is recommended in this case.pocket WiFi. This is useful if you want to get online with other devices like laptops or tablets using your phone’s Internet connection or a mobile hotspotsSwiss SIMs can generally be used for

Do my Swiss prepaid credits ever expire?

.  Swiss guide to prepaid mobile servicesYes, Swiss prepaid mobile credits do expire. Rules vary between service providers. With many Swiss mobile carriers, prepaid credits only expire when you do not use any paid services (outgoing calls or Internet access, for example) for one year. You can find more information in the

Compare Swiss mobile plans and prepaid offers (with or without roaming)
Prepaid mobile in Switzerland: Questions and answers
More on this topic:

Expert Ralf Beyeler
Ralf Beyeler is the telecom expert at moneyland.ch and also covers other areas of personal finance.
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