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Must-knows about Swiss SIM cards and alternatives

  • We recommend the Travelers Wifi portable WiFi hotspot if you are online a lot or travel with a group.
  • We recommend the SimCorner card as a budget option.
  • You’ll also need a SIM card or mobile hotspot to use internet in the trains. There is no Wifi in most cases.
  • Switzerland is not an EU member state, so don’t assume low call and data rates on your own mobile plan if you live in the EU. Double-check with your provider.
  • Buying a Swiss SIM card or hotspot may require identification (passport or ID card).

Option 1: premium mobile WiFi hotspot (the best option)

We prefer a mobile WiFi hotspot for Switzerland, offered by Travelers Wifi. We tested it and were impressed by the ease of use and speed. This hotspot was much faster than the WiFi in our hotel! We enjoyed having high-speed internet available everywhere we went: on the train, while hiking, and while relaxing out on the terrace.

Rental periodPriceMore information (delivery options, price for your rental period)
2 daysCHF 39.40, or CHF 35.91 with coupon code MSA202210travelerswifi.com
7 daysCHF 69.40, or CHF 62.91 with coupon code MSA202210travelerswifi.com
14 daysCHF 99.70, or CHF 90.18 with coupon code MSA202210travelerswifi.com
21 daysCHF 101.80, or CHF 92.07 with coupon code MSA202210travelerswifi.com
anysee websitetravelerswifi.com

Advantages

  • It’s fast. The hotspot uses the 4G LTE network with speeds of up to 150 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload, depending on the location. When we tested it, we measured a 25-40 Mbps download speed and 17 Mbps upload speed. That’s really fast: it’s enough for streaming video, Skyping, uploading your photos to the cloud, and anything else you need to do online.
  • No data limit! There is absolutely no data limit. You pay a fixed amount when you order the device, and you can be online all day long. Unlike many other providers offering unlimited data, there will not be a speed reduction after you’ve used a certain amount of data.
  • You only need one hotspot for the whole family. You can connect up to 5 devices like phones, tablets and laptops.
  • Easy charging. The hotspot continues to work when you connect it to the included charger at the end of the day. So you will keep your internet connection. Charging only takes an hour.
  • It’s convenient. With your own hotspot, you do not need to replace the SIM card in your phone, so your phone will continue to work as normal. Also, this hotspot is an excellent solution for locked devices that cannot use any other SIM card. Even phones that don’t work in Europe can get online as long as they can connect to a WiFi network. The hotspot is a lightweight small device that easily fits in any pocket. The dimensions are 11.2 x 7.6 x 1.6 cm.
  • Excellent coverage through the Swiss 4G LTE Sunrise network.
  • No additional costs, all are paid in advance.
  • Knowledgeable helpdesk via phone and e-mail. We didn’t need this, because it worked perfectly.
19 May 2023
Worked perfectly

Get a Travelers Wifi. We used it everywhere in Switzerland. Worked perfectly.

7 July 2022
Love it while hiking and navigating around towns

We are in Switzerland now and are using Travelers Wifi. It’s great – we love having it while we are hiking in the Bernese Oberland and to use Google Maps to navigate around towns, etc.

27 June 2022
Customer service is very responsive

I highly recommend Travelers Wifi. I always get one when traveling in Switzerland. Their customer service is very responsive and pick up and drop off in the airport in Zurich is very simple.

Disadvantages

  • This is not the cheapest option. The price varies depending on the rental duration. We think it’s worth it as you will get very fast and unlimited connectivity, and you can connect multiple devices. This hotspot is affordable for demanding users, groups and families. Note that long-term rental (up to one year) is possible as well.
  • The hotspot only works in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. There is a slightly more expensive version that covers most countries worldwide including Switzerland. This version also offers unlimited data, but there is a speed reduction to 3G if you use a lot of data (this does not apply to Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein). 3G starts if you use more than 2 GB per day in the European Union or more than 500 Mb per day in other countries. The maximum speed will be available again the next day.
  • The battery doesn’t last a full day, but 10 hours at least. We recommend turning it off if you don’t need your devices to be connected for a while. It’s just one push on the button to turn it off or on. Charge it in your accommodation or on board a train (many trains have outlets). Make sure it’s fully charged when you leave for your day trips. We experienced no issues following this procedure. If you expect to use it continuously and can’t recharge daily, it’s recommended to order along an extra battery.

How to use the WiFi hotspot

This is how it works:

  1. Order the Travelers Wifi device for the number of days you will be in Switzerland.
  2. Choose how to receive the device: delivery to your home address, a Swiss hotel, holiday home, or any other address in Switzerland. Or reserve one to pick it up from the airport, several train stations, post offices, or tourist offices.
  3. Once you have your device, open the package and press the button on the hotspot. It is already charged so you can use it immediately.
  4. The package also includes the hotspot password. Use it to securely connect all your devices (phone, tablet, etc.) to the WiFi network of the hotspot. You’re online now! The SIM card in your phone can stay in place and will work as normal.
  5. Use it wherever you go, and connect it to the included charger when you’re back at your accommodation.
  6. On the last day of your stay, you can put the device in the return envelope and return it where you collected it, at a post office, or drop it in any of the Swiss Post mailboxes which can be found in any village. Instructions are in the package.

SIM card and Wifi promotions

As soon as we find discounts, we’ll list them here.

SimCorner
Discounted SIM and eSIM cards
This promotion ends 31 December 2024

Get a 5% discount on any order. Use discount code myswissalpssim.

Members-only

Members-only promotion

Members-only promotion

This promotion is available to members only. Check out all the benefits members have access to.

Airalo
15% discount on eSIMs
This promotion ends 30 November 2023

Use coupon code NOV15 for a 15% discount on your eSIM for Switzerland, Europe or the world.

Are you already an Airalo customer? Then use coupon code NOV10 for a 10% discount.

These promotions are offered by our trusted partners.
Find other promotions

Option 2: budget prepaid SIM card for data/calls/text (recommended for regular use)

We recommend the Europe & UK SIM card offered by SimCorner. It offers plenty of internet data, calls and text messages not only in Switzerland, but also in the rest of Europe. It can be used for 30 days.

Where to buy

Advantages

  • It’s affordable: 12 Gb of data for $24. Even 1 Gb is plenty for the average holiday and regular usage, assuming you can access WiFi in your hotel or apartment. We’ve used less than 1 Gb in two weeks. 12 Gb is enough to share among multiple people, or to watch short videos.
  • Excellent coverage because it works with many network carriers (see simcorner.com/pages/about-us).
  • Good speed: 3G or 3.5G (HSPA+) in most countries, 4G in some countries. During our test with this card, we measured a download speed between 2.2 and 11 Mbps and an upload speed between 1.4 and 5.6 Mbps.
  • You only need one SIM card for multiple devices: you can use your phone as a WiFi hotspot (test this before departure), so other devices of you or your family (tablet, laptop) can get online through your phone. Note that the speed may be reduced a bit if sharing the connection.
  • No additional costs, all are paid in advance.
  • Works in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and a lot of other countries.
  • Unlimited calls and text to standard Europe and UK landlines and cell phones.
  • Free unlimited incoming calls.
  • Always fits in your phone as it comes in standard, micro and nano formats.

Disadvantages

  • The SIM card can only be used in phones, not in other devices. Other devices can use the hotspot of your phone though.
  • Your phone needs to be SIM-lock-free.
  • Your phone needs to work in Europe. It needs to operate on dual-band or quad-band for that.
  • You can’t recharge the SIM card when the 30 days have expired or the data is all used up. If you need more, you will need to buy another SIM card.

How to install the SimCorner SIM card

Please read the instructions. For your convenience we’ll list the procedure below:

  1. Once you have received the SIM card, go to simcorner.com/registersim to pick a start date. The card will automatically be activated on that day.
  2. Disable mobile data on your phone while traveling to Switzerland if you don’t have a data plan from your home provider.
  3. Enable mobile data on your phone once you are in Europe. Turn off your phone, remove your SIM card, insert the SimCorner SIM card, and turn on your phone.
  4. Enable roaming data on your phone.
  5. You should now be online. If you’re connected to WiFi you can temporarily disable that to verify that you can still access the internet without WiFi.
  6. Your phone number will be sent to you via SMS once the SIM card is active. You can also find it in your phone settings. This is the number people can call to reach your phone.

Option 3: prepaid eSIM card

eSIMs are electronic downloadable SIM cards. A physical card is no longer needed. Do check if your phone supports eSIM.

Where to buy

Option 4: use your own SIM card

If you live in the EU, calls and internet usage on your cell phone cost the same whether you’re in your own country or elsewhere in the EU. So you may not need to buy anything if rates, data speed and data amounts are just fine for your holidays as well. Do note that Switzerland is not a member state of the EU. Many providers do count Switzerland as an EU country. Some don’t, so in that case you’ll pay more.

Try to estimate how much you will call and how much data you will need during your stay. Check the rates of your provider for calls and data in Switzerland. It can still be cheaper to buy a SIM card or WiFi hotspot. For fast internet, and especially if you travel with multiple people, renting a mobile Swiss WiFi hotspot is an excellent option.

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Arno
Page author: ArnoI have visited Switzerland countless times since 1997. I've explored most of the country, but find myself staying in the Bernese Oberland and GraubĂĽnden most frequently. The alps and the rail network remain very impressive, even after all these years.