Are you planning your trip to Switzerland and looking for the best e-sim card to stay connected and avoid high roaming charges? This is a complete guide with everything you need to know about using an e-sim card when traveling to Switzerland and a comparison of the best Switzerland e-sim cards in 2024.

Don’t waste money on high roaming charges, read my recommendations below and order an e-sim card for Switzerland on the internet and get connected in just a couple minutes. Below you will find a Switzerland e-sim comparison, up to date prices as per April 2024, all specifications and my recommendations.

This guide will also show you where and when to order an e-sim card for Switzerland, answer all your FAQ’s about using e-sim cards, a comparison with local prepaid sim cards for Switzerland and of course links to directly order your e-sim card for traveling to Switzerland online.

Since 2012 I am already traveling the world full time and throughout the years I turned my passion for traveling into a lifestyle and became a full time nomadic travel blogger. That is why I constantly get to a different country and pretty much every week I need to look for a new sim card to stay connected.

In 2023 I visited for example 34 different countries so imagine how many different prepaid and e-sim cards I used throughout the year.

In the past I used to buy a local prepaid sim card on arrival in every country, but nowadays I mostly use e-sim cards to stay connected when traveling abroad. On my latest trip to Switzerland I tested the below recommended Switzerland e-sim cards for tourists.

Helping other travelers to save money while traveling the world is one of the reasons I started this travel blog. Providing essential travel tips is what made me start writing sim card guides from every country I visited and now on Traveltomtom you can already find more than 200 sim card guides from all over the world.

Traveltomtom also wrote e-sim card guides for: MoroccoMexicoVietnamSingaporePhilippinesMalaysia, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Asia, Turkey, Egypt, Dubai, BrazilEurope, United Kingdom, Italy, USA, international e-sim cards and many more.

Traveltomtom also wrote a complete guide for buying a prepaid sim card for Switzerland in 2024.

So next time you are planning your adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid sim card and e-sim card advice for your holiday destination.

Let me start with giving you my e-sim card recommendation for Switzerland in 2024. These are my favorite e-sim cards for traveling to Switzerland in 2024.

My recommendation

Traveltomtom recommends the following two e-sim cards for traveling to Switzerland:

1. Orange Holiday Europe 50GB eSIM for $59.90 USD

  • 50 GB data
  • 5G ready
  • Unlimited calling/texting
  • 120 minutes international
  • 1,000 sms international
  • Valid in 39 countries (all of Europe)
  • Valid for 28 days
  • $1.2 USD per Gigabyte

2. Airalo e-sim card for $24 USD

  • 10 GB data-only e-sim
  • 4G/LTE
  • Operates on the Salt Mobile network
  • Valid in Switzerland only
  • Valid for 30 days
  • $2.4 USD per Gigabyte

The simple reason why Traveltomtom recommends the Orange Holiday Europe eSIM for traveling to Switzerland is that it is the best value e-sim with the lowest cost per Gigabyte. You can order this Orange e-sim card for Switzerland via SimOptions.

With $1.2 USD per Gigabyte the Orange e-sim card from SimOptions is the cheapest rate available for Switzerland e-sims.

The Orange Holiday Europe eSIM is 5G ready and valid in all of Europe. On top of that the Orange eSIM comes with a phone number from France that starts with +33 and you can make unlimited calls/sms anywhere in Europe. To top it off this Orange eSIM also allows you to call 120 minutes to anywhere in the world + 1,000 sms to any number in the world.

With all these benefits no wonder why Traveltomtom rated this Orange e-sim card as the best e-sim for traveling to Switzerland.

The other recommendation is an Airalo e-sim card for Switzerland. Traveltomtom has been using Airalo e-sim cards for nearly 5 years now and never had an issue. Airalo has e-sim cards for Switzerland that start from just $4.5 USD.

The Airalo e-sim cards are much cheaper to start with, but they are also much more limited. It depends on what you are looking for.

The Airalo e-sim cards for Switzerland only support 4G/LTE, are data-only and do not come with a phone number. Which means incoming and outgoing calls and sms are not supported with Airalo e-sims for Switzerland.

Is Switzerland one of your stops on a trip around the world then you can also look into getting an e-sim card for world travelers. There are a bunch of e-sim cards that cover multiple countries and some are great for traveling to Europe, Asia and America.

There are 2 very important things to check before ordering an e-sim card for Switzerland or in general before using an e-sim card.

Unlocked phones only

Make sure your phone is unlocked. E-sim cards for tourists only work in unlocked phones. If you are not sure if your phone is unlocked then contact your mobile internet provider in your home country.

In general phones from Europe, Asia and the Middle East tend to be unlocked. Phones from North America are often locked.

If your smartphone is locked that means it does not allow another prepaid sim card or e-sim card to operate in the device. You can easily unlock your phone, but depending on your mobile internet provider you will be charged a fee for unlocking your phone.

E-sim compatible phones only

Second, and equally important: e-sim cards only work if your smartphone supports e-sim cards, also called e-sim compatible. All newer smartphones support e-sim cards. If you are not sure if your phone is e-sim compatible then simply go to Google and type in your mobile phone model in the search bar and ask if it is e-sim compatible. You will get the answer instantly. 

If your phone is NOT e-sim compatible then there is no other solution and you can NOT use an e-sim card for traveling to Switzerland.

However, you can still order a sim card for Switzerland on the internet before your trip. Find out everything you need to know about international sim cards for traveling abroad in 2024.

Comparison of the best e-sim cards for Switzerland

Buying an e-sim card on arrival in Switzerland is still not possible. None of the mobile internet providers in Switzerland offer e-sim cards for tourists, only physical prepaid sim cards for tourists. At Zurich, Geneva and Basel Airport there are sim card shops on arrival, but none of them have e-sim cards.

The only way to get an e-sim card for Switzerland is ordering one on the internet.

Luckily there are multiple e-sim providers that sell Switzerland e-sim cards for tourists. Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for traveling in Switzerland from one of the well-known e-sim card providers that have proven to be reliable operators. 

Traveltomtom has tested and reviewed multiple e-sim providers. Here are Traveltomtom's trusted favorites that have proven to be reliable:

  1. SimOptions
  2. Airalo
  3. Nomad

Nowadays, you can buy an e-sim card for pretty much every country around the world. Order directly from one of the above e-sim card providers and instantly receive your e-sim card in your email. But before you buy an e-sim card first read all my tips below.

SimOptions is the only e-sim provider that also offers international prepaid sim cards for Switzerland. These are pre-activated physical prepaid sim cards that will be delivered to your door step before your trip and it is plug and play when you arrive in Switzerland.

Airalo and Nomad only sell e-sim cards for Switzerland.

SimOptions

SimOptions is a reputable e-sim card provider that is very much recommended by Traveltomtom. Ordering your tourist e-sim card for Switzerland through SimOptions is done fast and easy.

Traveltomtom has used SimOptions uncountable times for staying connected when traveling abroad. Very reliable, never an issue and often some of the cheapest e-sim card deals.

SimOptions is specialized in international e-sim cards valid in multiple countries, but also has data-only e-sim cards for Switzerland from their own brand.

simoptions esim card plans for switzerland 2024

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $4.5 USD
  • 3 GB data for 15 days = $10 USD
  • 5 GB data for 15 days = $14.5 USD
  • 30 GB data for 30 days = $59.90 USD

These SimOptions e-sim cards for Switzerland are only valid in Switzerland and are data-only. Incoming and outgoing calls/sms are not supported and these e-sim cards do not come with a phone number.

These are ok e-sim cards for a short trip to Switzerland. Click here to order these SimOptions e-sim cards for traveling in Switzerland.

SimOptions has 3 international e-sim cards from Orange which are valid in multiple countries including Switzerland.

orange international esim cards for switzerland 2024

  • 12 GB data for 14 days = $29.90 USD
  • 30 GB data for 14 days = $49.90 USD
  • 50 GB data (5G ready) for 28 days = $59.90 USD

These international e-sim cards from Orange are valid in all of Europe (39 countries) and come with a phone number from France that starts with +33. You can make unlimited calls/sms anywhere in Europe and to top it off this Orange eSIM also allows you to call 120 minutes to anywhere in the world + 1,000 sms to any number in the world.

The Orange Holiday Europe 50GB eSIM is 5G ready and is also the best value e-sim card for Switzerland with a rate as low as $1.2 USD per Gigabyte.

Click here for more info or to order an Orange international e-sim card for Switzerland via SimOptions.

Unfortunately SimOptions doesn’t specify exactly which mobile network operator these e-sim cards use in Switzerland.

The validity of these e-sim cards is 1 year and the credit validity starts instantly after installing the e-sim card, even if you are not in Switzerland. For more info check the SimOptions website.

Airalo

Airalo is a very reliable e-sim card provider and Traveltomtom has used Airalo uncountable times in more than 50 countries around the world. I can totally recommend using Airalo for ordering an e-sim card. 

Why using Airalo? Airalo is one of the most recommended e-sim providers and very reliable. Airalo has e-sim cards for pretty much every country in the world. For Switzerland e-sims the Airalo e-sim cards are more expensive per Gigabyte compared to the SimOptions e-sims I showed you above.

If you need only a couple Gigabyte data for your trip to Switzerland then Airalo is a recommended e-sim card and their cheapest e-sims start from just $4.5 USD.

airalo esim card plans for switzerland 2024

Here are the Airalo e-sim card plans for Switzerland for 2024: 

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $4.5 USD
  • 2 GB data for 15 days = $8 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $10 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $14.5 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $24 USD
  • 20 GB data for 30 days = $38 USD

Click here to order an e-sim card for Switzerland from Airalo.

The best value Switzerland e-sim card from Airalo gives you 20 GB data for $38 USD, which comes down to $1.9 USD per Gigabyte. Not a bad rate but higher than the Orange e-sims from SimOptions.

The Airalo e-sim cards for Switzerland are from Pilatus Mobile and they operate on the 4G/LTE network of Salt Mobile. The Airalo e-sim cards for Switzerland are not 5G ready, the only support 4G/LTE network.

For more info about the best 4G/5G mobile data network in Switzerland check my complete guide for the best prepaid sim card for Switzerland in 2024, including network coverage maps of all the mobile internet providers.

All the Airalo e-sim cards are data-only sim cards without a phone number, so any phone/sms service is NOT supported. An Airalo e-sim card has to be installed within 1 month and after activation the credit validity starts when it connects the first time to a supported network. For more info check out the Airalo website.

Nomad

Lately Traveltomtom started recommending Nomad e-sim cards as they sometimes have cheap tourist e-sims for a lot of countries. Unfortunately, the Nomad e-sim card plans for Switzerland are pretty expensive compared to Airalo and SimOptions.

On top of that Traveltomtom lately had some issues with the performance of Nomad e-sim cards, so it is not Traveltomtom's first recommended e-sim for traveling to Switzerland in 2024, although they have good e-sim card plans for Switzerland.

nomad esim card plans for switzerland 2024

Here are the Nomad e-sim card plans for Switzerland for 2024:

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $6 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $12 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $14 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $19 USD
  • 15 GB data for 30 days = $27 USD
  • 20 GB data for 30 days = $33 USD

Click here to order an e-sim card for Switzerland from Nomad.

The Nomad website is a little less user friendly for finding the best e-sim card for your trip to Switzerland. You can't see all e-sim card deals in one overview, you have to click a little here and there depending on the size of your screen.

The best value e-sim card for Switzerland from Nomad is the one with 20 GB data for $33 USD, which comes down to $1.65 USD per Gigabyte.

nomad switzerland esim card specifications

The Nomad e-sim cards are from Nomad Black and they are data-only. Incoming and outgoing calls and sms are NOT supported. They operate on the LTE/4G network of Salt Mobile.

The Nomad Switzerland e-sim cards have to be installed on your phone within 30 days and after installation its validity starts when it connects for the first time to a supported network in Switzerland. Basically when the plane lands. For more info check the Nomad website.

What is the cheapest e-sim card for Switzerland?

cheapest esim card for switzerland 2024

The cheapest e-sim card for Switzerland is either an Airalo e-sim card for $4.5 USD or a SimOptions e-sim card for $4.5 USD. Both e-sims give you 1 GB data for 7 days, are only valid in Switzerland and do not support calling and texting.

Why ordering an e-sim card for traveling in Switzerland

E-sim cards are the easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Switzerland in 2024 and you can arrange everything online in just a couple clicks. No more visiting a sim card shop and swapping physical sim cards. Order online, scan the QR code, follow the steps and you are connected in less than 2 minutes. 

The most important reason to get an e-sim card is because we would like to stay connected on our trip to Switzerland without wasting money on high roaming costs. Our smartphones are pretty useless without a working data connection. Think about ordering a taxi through an app, finding nearby friends, restaurants and bars. Get directions from Google Maps or simply staying in touch with family back home, check your social media apps on long bus rides or your banking apps when paying contactless. 

One of the best things about arriving in Switzerland with an activated e-sim card is that you are online as soon as the plane lands. More about when to instal your e-sim card later.

There are so many reasons to stay connected when traveling to Switzerland, but the most important reason is that it makes your trip to Switzerland so much more convenient and fun!

At the same time we don’t want to waste money on high roaming charges. Many mobile internet operators still charge $3 USD per MB for data roaming, that means just opening the Instagram app will already cost you 20 MB * $3 USD = $60 USD! Not kidding… it still is very common in 2024.

E-sim cards are the easiest way to avoid high roaming charges!

Overseas data roaming plans

So what about overseas data roaming plans? Well, not recommended! Why? Did you read the small letters at what data speed you can use data roaming? Pretty much all mobile internet operators limit the data speed for overseas data roaming plans, which means you end up with 3G data speed. Do you have the patience to handle 3G? It is frustrating when all around you in pretty much all of the amazing tourist destinations in Switzerland there is 4G/LTE available.

And price-wise it should be a no brainer since you have seen how affordable the e-sim cards for Switzerland are. Why would you pay $5 to $10 USD per day on an overseas data roaming plan that limits your data speed.

Uncountable times travel friends have asked me: “Tom, can I use your hotspot? My data roaming plan is so slow, it is barely working!” Trust me, invest a couple dollars in an e-sim card or an international prepaid sim card for traveling to Switzerland if you want a physical prepaid sim card.

Stay connected all the time instead of begging for WiFi or a hotspot from friends. 

Where to buy an e-sim card for Switzerland? 

Online

You can only buy an e-sim card for Switzerland through an e-sim card provider on the internet. There are multiple e-sim card providers for Switzerland. Traveltomtom compared around 7 e-sim card providers and concluded that the above mentioned ones (SimOptionsNomad and Airalo) are the best and most reliable e-sim card providers in 2024.

When buying an e-sim card for Switzerland through one of the above recommended e-sim providers you only need your email address and the e-sim card is instantly ready to use after installation. There is no ID registration needed.

On arrival in Switzerland

There are 3 main mobile internet providers in Switzerland: Swisscom, Salt and Sunrise. Unfortunately as per April 2024 none of the mobile internet operators in Switzerland offer e-sim cards for tourists. 

That means you can only get a physical prepaid sim card for tourists, a chip that you put in your phone. On arrival in Switzerland you will have to go to a phone store to buy a local prepaid sim card or you can get an overpriced tourist sim card at the airport.

Traveltomtom also wrote specific guides for buying a sim card at Geneva Airport and Zurich Airport.

For more info about buying a prepaid sim card for tourists in Switzerland in 2024 click on the link to read my complete guide and a comparison of all the mobile internet providers in Switzerland.

For my research about the best Switzerland prepaid sim cards for tourists I also compared all the 4G/5G data networks of the mobile internet operators in Switzerland and I found out that all mobile internet operators have a very extensive 4G/LTE and even a 5G mobile data network in Switzerland.

But it also leaves no doubt that Swisscom has the best 4G/5G mobile data network in Switzerland in 2024.

When to order/activate an e-sim card for Switzerland?

You can order an e-sim card for Switzerland pretty much any time you want. Most e-sim cards have to be installed on a phone within 1 month after purchasing, some even within 1 year, so you have time.

More important therefore is when do you instal/activate the e-sim card. The validity of some e-sims start straight after the installation, other e-sim cards only start their validity when they connect the first time to a supported network.

Traveltomtom advices to instal your e-sim card on the day of departure to Switzerland or a day before. You will need a stable internet connection to instal your e-sim card. Pretty much all the international airports in Switzerland have free public WiFi which works ok most of the time, so you could use that to install your e-sim card on arrival.

Very important is to make sure you have a stable internet connection or you might run into issues with your e-sim. Therefore just to make sure Traveltomtom advices you to install/activate your e-sim card in your home country.

My personal advice is to instal your tourist e-sim card for Switzerland before you get into the plane, because then as soon as the plane lands in Switzerland you will be connected to the internet and you can enjoy data on your phone instantly.

How do I know all this info about e-sims? Traveltomtom uses on average more than 30 e-sim cards per year because of my nomadic lifestyle of constantly traveling the world, 365 days a year, since 2012.

How to activate an e-sim card

Installing and activating an e-sim card is made as simple as possible. Everyone can activate an e-sim card and the instructions on how to are very detailed and will be send to you instantly by email after you ordered your e-sim.

But wait, forget about the instructions, it gets even easier. Just scan the QR code!

When you order an e-sim card plan for Switzerland you instantly receive a summary of your order including a QR-code after the payment is processed.

You will see a summary of your e-sim card order including a QR code on your screen and at the same time you will also receive an email with the same QR code. The email contains instructions on how to instal and activate your Switzerland e-sim card. Regardless where you order your e-sim card, all e-sim providers send you detailed instructions.

But installing an activating an e-sim card is as easy as scanning the QR code with the same phone where you want to activate the e-sim card on. The QR code contains all the information about your Switzerland e-sim card. 

Once you scan the QR code you will be guided through a couple simple steps and within less than 1 minute your e-sim card is successfully installed.

Very important is that you are connected to the internet when installing your e-sim card otherwise you will get an error and issues can occur.

Tip: if you order an e-sim card with the same phone where you want to instal the e-sim card on then ask a friend or someone nearby to take a photo of the QR code and then you scan the QR code from his/her phone and start the installation.

Things to know before ordering an e-sim card for Switzerland 

Here are some general tips and FAQ’s for using e-sim cards when traveling abroad. These tips do not only apply for Switzerland e-sim cards, but are things you have to know before buying an e-sim card in general.

Make sure your phone is unlocked

To make sure you didn’t miss this, let me say this again: e-sim cards only work in UNLOCKED phones. If your phone is unlocked then you can use any e-sim card without any problems.

If your phone is locked then ask your mobile internet provider from your home country to unlock your phone before your trip to Switzerland. It is likely that your mobile internet provider will charge you a fee for unlocking your smartphone.

If you are unable to unlock your phone you can look into getting a portable WiFi for staying connected when traveling to Switzerland or better… bring a second unlocked phone on your trip to Switzerland and use it as a portable WiFi device.

Which smartphones support e-sim cards?

Another very important thing you have to check before buying an e-sim card is if your smartphone supports e-sim cards. If you have any of the latest smartphones then there is no need to worry, all new smartphones of the well known brands support e-sim cards.

The fastest way to find out if your phone is e-sim compatible is by asking Google the question: is my (your phone model) e-sim compatible? Simple as that!

Can I trust these e-sim card providers?

All the e-sim card providers for Switzerland recommended above (SimOptions, Nomad and Airalo) are reputable e-sim card providers reviewed and tested by Traveltomtom. All of them are licensed third party companies and resellers that partner or work directly with the mobile internet providers in Switzerland.

Traveltomtom has successfully used prepaid and e-sim cards from SimOptions and Airalo or more than 5 years. Nomad is fairly new to Traveltomtom, but Nomad has so far proven to be a reliable e-sim card provider as well.

That said, Traveltomtom has faced some issues with installing Nomad e-sim card which was a bit disappointing and therefore it is recommended to follow all steps exactly as described and make sure you are connected to a stable internet connection.

All e-sim card providers have their own Helpdesk which you can contact may you encounter any problems with your purchased e-sim or in case you want to claim a refund.

Traveltomtom does NOT sell Switzerland e-sim cards, I only RECOMMEND you to use e-sim cards for your next trip to Switzerland instead of buying a local prepaid sim card.

Can I keep my phone number from home with a Switzerland e-sim card?

Yes, you can and this is for many people a reason to order an e-sim card to stay connected when traveling to Switzerland. An e-sim card can be used next to your physical or e-sim card from your home country at the same time. You do not need a dual-sim phone for using an e-sim card.

So you can have multiple e-sim cards installed on your phone? Yes, no problem at all!

For example: you can turn off the mobile data from your sim card from home but still use it for texting and calling. Your new Switzerland e-sim card you can be used at the same time just for data to ensure you are not wasting money on high roaming costs.

This is also the trick to keep receiving sms for example for OTP (one time password) sms to login to applications.

Switching between physical and e-sim cards is a matter of turning them on/off in the settings. Just always make sure your sim card from home is switched off for data roaming.

Can I make phone calls with a Switzerland e-sim card?

Yes, depending on the e-sim card you order you can make phone calls in Switzerland and beyond.

With an Orange international e-sim cards from SimOptions you can make phone calls to anywhere in the world. Even better is that you get 120 minutes free calling to any phone number in the world and 1,000 sms to any number in the world. On top of that you get unlimited calling/texting to 39 countries in Europe.

holiday europe  50gb esim

So if you are looking for a Switzerland e-sim card that includes calling and texting Traveltomtom recommends an Orange e-sim card from SimOptions.

Unfortunately all the tourist e-sim cards for Switzerland from Airalo and Nomad are data-only e-sim cards and any outgoing calls/sms are not supported.

If you buy a local prepaid sim card for tourists on arrival in Switzerland then you get (unlimited) calling and texting included, but these are physical prepaid sim cards, e-sims for tourists are not available in Switzerland.

Pretty much all hotels, restaurants, guides and tour companies in Switzerland have WhatsApp services, so you can easily give them a call through WhatsApp. There is no direct need for local calling minutes.

Does a Switzerland e-sim card come with a phone number?

Yes, the above mentioned Orange international e-sim cards from SimOptions come with a phone number from France that starts with +33. That means you can also receive phone calls.

The tourist e-sim cards for Switzerland from Airalo and Nomad are data-only e-sim cards and these e-sims do not come with a phone number and can not receive any phone calls or sms.

In the above Switzerland e-sim card comparison you can find all the specifications per e-sim card.

Local prepaid sim cards that you buy on arrival in Switzerland offer incoming and outgoing calling and texting as well, but as mentioned before there are only physical prepaid sim cards available in stores in Switzerland.

Can I use 5G on an Switzerland e-sim card?

There is only 1 e-sim card for Switzerland that is 5G ready and that is the Orange Holiday Europe 50GB eSIM from SimOptions. The 5G network in Switzerland is very extensive and even in mountain villages there is often 5G available.

Unfortunately none of the e-sim cards for Switzerland from Airalo and Nomad are 5G ready. Which means the max data speed on all e-sims is 4G/LTE.

That said, all the best places to visit in Switzerland offer an excellent 4G/LTE signal and the data speed is very good even on 4G/LTE. For more info about the best 4G/5G network in Switzerland have a look at Traveltomtom's guide for the best prepaid sim card in Switzerland in 2024 including detailed network coverage maps.

Are there e-sim cards for Switzerland with unlimited data?

None of the by Traveltomtom recommended Switzerland e-sim cards for tourists include unlimited data.

Even if you would come across e-sim card providers that offer e-sim cards for Switzerland with unlimited data then make sure the unlimited data is on max data speed. Mostly the data speed is capped after you used X amount of Gigabytes. 

Holafly is an e-sim card provider that sells e-sim cards with unlimited data, but does NOT specify what is the exact so-called Fair Use Policy (FUP). 

Traveltomtom does NOT recommend Switzerland e-sim cards with unlimited data plans. There are always restrictions. And on Holafly sim cards I experienced a reduce in data speed after using more than 2 GB per day. When I contacted support they explained me that I had to wait for 24 hours until my data speed was restored to normal.

Those 24 hours were a nightmare as my data speed was barely enough to use WhatsApp. Social media apps were not loading! 

Again, Traveltomtom does NOT recommend e-sim cards for Switzerland with unlimited data. But if you think you will never use more than 2 GB per day, then this might be your favorite e-sim card.

However, then you should ask yourself: what is then the point of an e-sim with unlimited data!?

The Orange Holiday Europe 50GB eSIM gives you 50 GB data which for most travelers is more than enough for their trip to Switzerland. If this is not enough you can also order 2 e-sim cards and after one is done, you instal the second one.

There are a lot of different specifications per e-sim card. Another reason why I advice you to take a close look at my comparison of the best e-sim cards for traveling to Switzerland in 2024 before choosing your favorite.

Are e-sim cards the best way to stay connected when traveling to Switzerland?

E-sim cards are the easiest and fastest way to get data on your phone when traveling to Switzerland, but what is the best way?

There are 3 ways to stay connected when traveling to Switzerland:

  • Local prepaid sim cards
  • International prepaid sim cards
  • E-sim cards

Let’s compare e-sim cards, local prepaid sim cards and international prepaid sim cards, for you to find out what is your preferred way of staying connected.  

Local prepaid sim cards

In general if you use a lot of data then local prepaid sim cards are a cheaper way to stay connected, depending on the length of your trip.

Data plans on local prepaid sim cards in Switzerland are much bigger than on e-sim cards. For around $21 USD you can get a local prepaid sim card with unlimited data for 10 days. The downside is that a local prepaid sim card for tourists can only be purchased on arrival in Switzerland in a phone store or at the airport but NOT on the internet. 

Another big difference is that local prepaid sim cards have the advantage that they come with a local phone number and mostly with calling minutes and sms bundles. That means incoming and outgoing calls are supported.

However, when buying a local prepaid sim card in Switzerland you get a physical sim card and you need to swap this one with your existing sim card from home.

More info about the best Switzerland sim cards for tourists can be found in my complete guide for buying a prepaid sim card for Switzerland in 2024 or check out Traveltomtom's guide for buying a sim card at Geneva Airport or Zurich Airport.

International prepaid sim cards

If your smartphone is not e-sim compatible you can order an international prepaid sim card for traveling to Switzerland. These are physical prepaid sim cards you order on the internet and will be delivered to your home address.

Some of these are great for visiting Switzerland and they are valid in up to 141 countries around the world and you can easily order them online.

If after visiting Switzerland you are traveling onwards in America, Asia or in Europe then check Traveltomtom’s list of the best sim cards for traveling internationally in 2024.

international prepaid sim card plans for switzerland 2024

As I mentioned before SimOptions is the only sim card provider that also sells physical prepaid sim cards for traveling internationally.

A pre-activated physical sim card will be delivered to your door step before your trip to Switzerland. You put this physical sim card in your phone and as soon as the plane touches the ground in Switzerland and the sim card connects to a supported network you are online. Plug and play!

If you look at the international prepaid sim cards above you see that the physical sim card version of the Orange Holiday World is also a good option for traveling to Switzerland.

A physical prepaid sim card with 10 GB data only costs $24.90 USD, which is only $2.49 USD per Gigabyte or a physical prepaid sim card with 30 GB data only costs $49.90 USD, which is only $1.66 USD per Gigabyte

Click here to order a physical prepaid sim card for Switzerland via SimOptions.

E-sim cards

As explained throughout the article there are two different e-sim cards for traveling in Switzerland:

  • E-sim cards that you buy on the internet through a third party
  • E-sim cards that you buy in Switzerland in a mobile internet provider store

However, as of April 2024 the mobile internet providers in Switzerland do NOT offer e-sim cards for tourists. They only provide physical prepaid sim cards for tourists.

E-sim cards vs. local prepaid sim cards

Getting an e-sim card on the internet is the easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Switzerland, no doubt! You arrange everything online within just a couple clicks. Right here, right now and you are all set for your trip to Switzerland.

You arrive prepared and there is no need to visit a sim card shop on arrival in Switzerland. As soon as the plane lands, you are online!

But what is cheaper? An e-sim card or a local prepaid sim card for tourists?

When we compare the prices for Switzerland e-sim cards with the prices for local prepaid sim cards in Switzerland, it is an easy conclusion that local prepaid sim cards are more affordable as you get more Gigabytes for the same price.

For around $21 USD you get a local prepaid sim card with unlimited data for 10 days. For more info check out my article about the best prepaid sim cards for Switzerland in 2024

But local prepaid sim cards can only be bought in Switzerland on arrival in a sim card shop or at the airport with your passport and a tourist e-sim card for Switzerland can be bought in 2 minutes on the internet at any time of day without any form of identification.

Remember that some of the e-sim cards for Switzerland also go down to only $1.2 USD per Gigabyte. The Orange Holiday Europe 50GB eSIM from SimOptions gives you 50 GB data and is the best buy e-sim card for Switzerland in 2024.

After a long flight you just want to get to your hotel and it is often a big task to go to a phone store and buy a local prepaid sim card. With an e-sim card that you order on the internet you are connected as soon as the plane lands.

Simply because of this convenience Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim cards for Switzerland from either SimOptionsNomad or Airalo.

There are many reasons why a lot of travelers simply get an e-sim card for visiting Switzerland: faster, easier, less stress and even cheaper depending on how much data you need.

Data speed

Another difference between a local prepaid sim card and an e-sim card is that e-sim cards are in general through a third party, a so called MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator). These MVNO’s operate on the network of one of the main mobile internet operators and basically buy bandwidth.

This may sound a little bit too technical, but what it means is that e-sim cards through an MVNO are the last ones in line when the line is busy. Especially during peak times, the performance of an e-sim cards could be less compared to a local prepaid sim card from a mobile internet operator you bought in Switzerland.

Bottomline: the data speed of e-sim cards can be less compared to a local prepaid Switzerland sim card.

In reality you won't really notice the difference much because yes it may occur that your data speed is a little slower for a couple minutes, but it is still fast enough to roam the internet without any problems.

I am sure some of the above tips for finding the best e-sim card for your trip to Switzerland were helpful. I hope that after reading through my comparison and all my tips and tricks it was easier to make a decision and order your preferred e-sim card for Switzerland.

If you still have any questions about e-sim cards then please leave me a comment below and I am more than happy to help you out.

Curious what the life of a full time nomadic traveler looks like? Go check out my 610K Instagram account or 1.2 Million TikTok account both called @traveltomtom. Follow along with daily updates from around the world about the good, the bad and the ugly about traveling.

Traveltomtom is on the road to 197, meaning I would like to travel to every country in the world. As of April 2024 I have visited more than 155 countries, still about 40 to go, but no rush.

Enjoy your trip to Switzerland!

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