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Buying SIM Cards in Switzerland

Buying SIM Cards in Switzerland

Switzerland is located in Central Europe home to a number of mountains, lakes and charming villages. The countries diverse sceneries are something out of a story book and a postcard. These sceneries have attracted both first time travelers and experienced ones. If you’re interested to see the country’s natural wonders you should head out to the iconic Matterhorn, one of the highest mountain in Europe. Another site to see is Jungfraujoch also known as “The Top of Europe” which is a scientific observatory, offering a panoramic view of the country. You can also visit Interlaken one of the most popular summer destinations which can be found between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.

If you’re interested in learning about Switzerland’s contemporary culture, Lucerne is the place to be. The town is popular for its music concerts and the yearly International Music Festival. The town also hold historic land marks such as Lion Monument, Chapel Bridge and Swiss Transport Museum. Are you looking forward on travelling to Switzerland? We’ll help you get one thing off your mind. We will guide you on buying a SIM card for your travel in this wonderful country.

The First Thing You Need To Do

The first step to buying a SIM card actually doesn’t start itself but rather with our cellphones. Why? Most of the time, especially if you buy your phone from a particular service provider you can only use your phone exclusively with that provider hence you’ll need to get unlocked. An unlocked phone means that you can use it with any SIM Card.

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It is worth mentioning that though most phones are now readily unlocked depending on its brand and who you bought it from, it’s necessary that you check your phone if it’s locked or unlocked. There’s a simple way of checking if your phone is locked, simply turn off your phone and replace the original SIM Card with a different SIM card from a different SIM Card provider. If a message such as “Restricted” and “Contact your service provider” your phone is locked. If you can still operate your phone and make calls and texts, good, it means that your phone is unlocked. If it is no need to worry, simply contact your service provider to get it unlocked. If for any reasons (like a lock up period) your service provider declines to unlock your phone, simply seek help from an independent phone store or tech store and ask your phone to be unlocked, this usually costs only a small amount.

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Choosing A SIM Card

Switzerland is not a part of the European Union though a part of Europe. This is important to remember as the roaming regulations between the countries belonging to the European Union does not apply. Though it is also note worthy that companies will offer packages and discounted rates due to the geographic location of the country.

Identification is required upon the point of purchase. Expect that they will photocopy of your passport. After that a few forms needs to signed before your SIM card gets activated. There are three main service providers in Switzerland:


Swisscom is the largest service provider in Switzerland. They offer their SIM card called “inOne” which costs CHF19.90 and comes with CHF20 credit and 100MB worth of data. The SIM card combines calls, text messages and data hence the name. You can top it off with these packages: For CHF5 you get 5GB worth of data good for one day. For CHF8.9 you get 500MB worth of data good for one month. And for CHF19.90 you get 1.5GB worth of data good for one month.

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They also offer roaming packages such as: For CHF9.90 you get 200MB worth of data. For CHF29.90 you get 1GB worth of data. And for CHF69.90 you get 3GB worth of data.


Sunrise ties with Swisscom as the country’s biggest service provider. Their SIM cards cost CHF19.90 that comes with CHF19.90 worth of credit. You can top it off with two packages, Airbag and Unlimited. Under Airbag they offer these packages: For CHF7.50 you get 250MB worth of data. For CHF15 you get 1GB worth of data. For CHF30 you get 3GB worth of data. For CHF45 you get 5GB worth of data. And for CHF80 you get 10GB worth of data.

Under Unlimited plan you can get these packages: For CHF2.50 you get unlimited texts, calls and data use for one day. For CHF50 you get unlimited texts, calls and data use for thirty days. For CHF120 you get unlimited texts, calls and data use for ninety days.

Salt Mobile

Salt Mobile is the smallest service provider in Switzerland but its quickly catching on with their competitive rates and packages. Another advantage is that they also offer the most affordable SIM cards out of the three service providers. Their SIM card costs CHF10 and comes with a CHF20 credit. Salt also offers a great and very affordable data rate. For CHF1.99 a day you get unlimited data up to 4G or LTE. This is package is the reason as to why Salt Mobile doesn’t offer any other plans except for their 1GB worth of data that is good for 30 days which costs CHF15.

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Coverage is good all throughout the country though rural areas and some mountainous areas have weaker coverage.

So where do you buy one?

With consideration to Switzerland’s process when it comes to purchasing a SIM card we highly encourage you to buy from the official stores and authorized resellers as paperwork needs to be done and assistance in setting up the SIM card is readily available, especially if you have limited knowledge of the native language. However, top ups are available practically everywhere from supermarkets, news agents, gas stations and even corner stores. You can also avail and activate top ups online.


Remember to prepare your passport upon purchase of the SIM card and do the necessary paper works. You can only do these in official stores, hence it is important that you buy from one as you’ll need to go there anyway, if you buy your SIM card elsewhere. Another thing worth remembering, especially if you’re planning to use your Swiss SIM card elsewhere in Europe, checking roaming plans and rates is essential if you don’t want unwanted bills to pile up.

Written by Gear Up To Travel

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