Prepaid SIM cards & Wifi hotspots for Switzerland

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We had rented the Travelers Wifi based on this website and found it worked everywhere.

Must knows about Swiss SIM cards and alternatives

  • A prepaid SIM card for Switzerland is easy to buy, install and use;
  • Your phone needs to be SIM-lock free;
  • There is an even better option: rent a Wifi hotspot for high speed internet wherever you go;
  • Internet coverage is very good in 99% of Switzerland, but there may be no signal in some remote uninhabited areas;
  • Switzerland is not a member of the EU. Do not assume low call and data rates if you live in the EU. Double check with your provider.

There are various ways to stay online while you`re in Switzerland. A SIM card for your phone is one option. Another is to rent a personal high speed Wifi hotspot.

Option 1: mobile Wifi hotspot (the best option)

A mobile Wifi hotspot for Switzerland, offered by Travelers Wifi: we tested this device 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: in the trains, while hiking, and while relaxing out on the terrace.

Where to buy details and prices


  • It's fast. The hotspot uses the fast 4G network. When we tested it, we measured a 25-40 Mbps download speed and 17 Mbps upload speed. That's really fast. Fast enough for streaming video, Skyping, uploading your photos to the cloud, and anything else you need to do online. It can even be faster than that, depending on the location;
  • 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 10 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 number will continue to work and contacts stored on your SIM card will remain available. Also, this hotspot is an excellent solution for locked devices which 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 light weight small device that easily fits in any pocket;
  • Excellent coverage through the Swiss 4G network;
  • No additional costs, all is paid in advance;
  • Knowledgeable helpdesk via phone and email. We didn't need it as it worked perfectly.


  • This is not the cheapest option. The price is CHF 17.45 per day for a minimum of 2 days. Prices drop for longer rental periods, e.g. down to CHF 6.66 per day for 30 days. 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;
  • The hotspot only works in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. There is a slightly more expensive version that covers most countries world wide including Switzerland. This version also offers unlimited data, but there will be a speed reduction if you use more than 500 Mb of data per day outside of Switzerland and Liechtenstein;
  • The battery lasts up to 10 hours. The hotspot will turn off automatically after not using it for a while, but we recommend to manually turn it off if you don't need your devices to be connected while traveling. It's just one push on the button to turn it off or on. Connect it to the charger when you're in your accommodation. 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 a Swiss hotel, holiday home or any other address in Switzerland. Or pick it up from several train stations, post offices or tourist offices;

  3. 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.

  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, simply return the device where you collected it, or drop it in any of the Swiss Post mailboxes which can be found in any village.

Alternative for the rest of Europe

Looking for a similar device for other countries?

Option 2: prepaid SIM card for data (recommended for regular usage)

The "Switzerland prepaid data SIM card", offered by Simly: we have used this card ourselves and were very happy with the coverage and data speed in Switzerland.

Where to buy details and prices recharge your Swiss SIM card


  • It's affordable. 1 Gb of data for € 35.90. For € 51.90, you will get 3 Gb. For € 81.90, you will get 12 Gb. 1 Gb is plenty for the average holiday and regular usage, assuming you can access Wifi in your hotel or apartment. We used much less than that in two weeks;
  • Excellent coverage through the network of the national carriers Sunrise and Salt Mobile. 3G is supported;
  • Can be used in smart phones and tablets (like the iPad);
  • Also works in other countries: Austria, France, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Is that not enough? Then buy the Europe SIM card: en/buy-prepaid-sim-card/europe-prepaid-data-sim-card-10-gb.html. It works in Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom;
  • 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 is paid in advance. There's no shipping fee either;
  • If you have used all your data you can recharge the SIM card.


  • The card does not support phone calls. It only includes data. But there are ways to call anyway:
    • you can make free calls through Skype and WhatsApp;
    • if you have a dual SIM phone you can still receive or make occasional calls through your normal SIM;
  • Your device needs to be SIM-lock free;
  • Contacts stored on your SIM card will not be available until you place back your own card. You can best store contacts in memory;
  • Your device needs to work in Europe (quad-band and penta-band phones work in Europe and nearly everywhere else in the world);
  • Tethering (connecting your phone to a laptop to use it as a modem) is not supported, but also not needed because you can use your phone as a Wifi hotspot.

How to install the Simly SIM card

Please read the included manual and follow the recommended steps. For your convenience we'll list the procedure below:

  1. Disable mobile data on your phone while traveling to Switzerland if you don't have a data plan from your current provider;

  2. Enable mobile data on your phone once you are in Switzerland. Turn off your phone, remove your SIM card, insert the Simly SIM card, and turn on your phone;

  3. Enable roaming data on your phone;

  4. You should now be online. If you're connected to Wifi you can temporarily disable that to verify you can still access the internet without Wifi;

  5. If you want to make calls:

    • Install Skype. Accept the phone number it displays. This is the number included on the card;

    • Or: install WhatsApp to make WhatsApp calls.

Option 3: prepaid SIM card for (unlimited) data and calls

The "Europe & More" SIM card, offered by OneSimCard: a card to access the internet and make calls in Switzerland and many other countries.


  • VoIP app for cheap calls to any phone number. Outgoing calls cost $0.03/minute;
  • The price for data is $0.25/Mb, or less with a data package. Optional 14 days unlimited data for $125 per 14 days (2G/3G);
  • Excellent coverage: roaming to the Swisscom network (3G);
  • Works in the rest of Europe too;
  • You only need one SIM card for multiple devices: you can use your phone as a Wifi hotspot, so your other devices (tablet, laptop) can get online through your phone;
  • No additional costs, all is paid in advance;
  • Free shipping to Canada, Japan and the US (minimum order value applies);
  • If you have used all your airtime you can recharge the SIM card;
  • The card includes a European phone number, and one for Australia, Canada, US or UK.


  • Your device needs to be SIM-lock free;
  • Contacts stored on your SIM card will not be available until you place back your own card. You can best store contacts in memory;
  • Your device needs to work in Europe (quad-band and penta-band phones work in Europe and nearly everywhere else in the world).

Do I even need a SIM card for Switzerland if I live in the EU?

If you live in the EU, calls and internet usage on your cell phone are the same whether you're at home or elsewhere in the EU. Switzerland is not a member state of the EU though. Some providers do count Switzerland as a EU country. Some don't, so 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. For fast internet, and especially if you travel with multiple people, renting a mobile Swiss Wifi hotspot is an excellent option.

Insiders tips about mobile internet in Switzerland

  • In general, Wifi in hotels isn't bad at all, but we'd recommend not to rely on those networks alone if internet connectivity is important to you;
  • Shops at the airports of Geneva and Zurich sell SIM cards as well. However, buying a SIM card or hotspot online is much easier. You'll be able to use it immediately without loosing time, and you won't be depending on opening hours;
  • You'll also need a SIM card or mobile hotspot to use internet in the trains. There is no Wifi;
  • There are plenty of Swiss apps for public transport schedules, the weather and maps to make your stay more comfortable.

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