Traveling to Geneva soon? Switzerland is already expensive enough so don't get stuck with high roaming costs. The best way to avoid this is buying a local sim card on arrival. Therefore I wrote this guide for buying a sim card at Geneva Airport. In this blog I will tell you where to go, the up to date prices as per June 2021 and give you the latest info about EU roaming and Swiss sim cards.
As I am on a journey to visit every country in the world I get to many countries and airports and I am passionate about writing local sim card guides. That is how I wrote already more than 150 local sim card guides for tourists. I covered every country in Europe, but also all major Airports like Barcelona, Paris, Dublin, Frankfurt, London, Vienna, etc.
If you for some reason could not buy a local sim card at Geneva Airport then don't worry. I also wrote a complete guide for buying a sim card in Switzerland!
Why buy a sim card for Switzerland
There are many reasons to stay connected when abroad, but the main reason is that it makes traveling so much more convenient. Ordering an Uber, getting directions from Google Maps or looking for a cool nearby rooftop bar is not possible without and working data connection. The easiest way is to stay connected is to get a local sim card. It is the easy, fast, the best and the cheapest way to do so.
Also keep in mind that public WiFi is UNSECURED and they may not always work the way you would like to. Don't rely on others. When swapping sim cards and phone numbers is NOT your thing then may be a portable WiFi is the solution for your trip abroad. Check my article about how to get WiFi when traveling for an HONEST review of these pockets WiFi's.
Traveltomtom recommends buying a Lebara sim card at Geneva Airport. This sim card deal will give you unlimited data for $1.5 per day!
Thinking about buying a sim card with global coverage? Personally I DO NO RECOMMEND these international sim cards. Please, check my article in the link before buying an international sim card. Very few of them are actually worth it. Some are in my opinion a SCAM to be honest!
Swiss sim cards and free EU roaming
Switzerland sim cards and traveling in Europe are a bad combination! There is NO FREE EU roaming on Swiss sim cards. Reminder, Switzerland is a European country but is NOT PART OF THE EU! Therefore, if you are going on a trip around Europe I recommend you check out my review of the best sim card for traveling in Europe.
Free data roaming in the EU means that if you buy a sim card in Amsterdam you can use your data, voice and text allowance all over Europe at NO extra costs.
Also the other way around. Some sim cards with FREE EU roaming do NOT work in Switzerland. Roaming charges can apply. So ask you provider when traveling to Switzerland. Check out this complete guide for buying a local sim card in Europe in 2021 with all my tips and tricks and a breakdown of the best sim card per country.
Buy your sim card for Switzerland online
Click on the link to order a Switzerland sim card online from the Simoptions website. For $50 you get 20 GB data and unlimited calls and sms valid in over 30 countries. The sim cards are valid and already activated for using in Switzerland and in the rest of Europe. They will be shipped to your home address before your trip.
Wlecome to one of the most well organized countries in the world and also one of the most expensive ones. Geneva Airport is pretty small and arriving here is very convenient. There is only one arrivals exit and if you have someone picking you up it is easy to find him or her.
There is free Wifi but you will need an activation code. You can get them for free with your passport at the Information desk.
Where to buy a Switzerland sim card in Geneva Airport
This is really simple as there is only one place in Geneva Airport where you can buy a Swiss sim card. When you walk out of arrivals head to the left towards the public busses and after like 50 meters you will see a huge Exchange desk on your left side. This is the ONLY place in Geneva Airport that sells Switzerland sim cards for tourists. There are no Swiss mobile shops!
The sim card desk of the Exchange shop is only open from approximately 8:30 am to 8:30 pm. Pretty damn inconvenient!
Prices Swiss sim card Geneva Airport in 2021
At the Exchange Shop they only sell two prepaid Switzerland sim cards for tourists: Lebara prepaid sim card and a Yallo prepaid sim card.
At the time of research (June 2021) 1,11 USD was 1 CHF. Prices for Swiss sim cards shown below are in Swiss francs but are about 10% cheaper when calculated to US dollars.
Another inconvenience is that you can only buy a sim card at Geneva Airport with cash (Euros or Swiss Francs) only, no credit cards accepted!
Lebara sim card Geneva Airport
Lebara Switzerland offers unlimited high speed internet for 1.5 CHF per day to be used in Switzerland only. Outside of Swiss roaming charges apply!
If you buy a Lebara sim card at the Exchange shop it will be activated for you on the spot. Then you will need to top up your credit with how many days you stay in Switzerland. You could also opt for one of the Lebara prepaid sim card bundles so you can use it in Europe or around the world. These data bundles are more expensive but include calling and texting as well. See the below options.
As these international Lebara Mobile bundles always have small data packages I am not a fan of Lebara sim cards for travelers!
Yallo sim card Geneva Airport
Second option for buying a Switzerland sim card at Geneva Airport is Yallo Switzerland. This mobile internet company operates on the Sunrise Switzerland network. At Geneva Airport you can buy a Yallo sim card with 10GB data in Switzerland for 30 CHF, normally 40 CHF, it also includes calling and texting, see below.
Roaming charges apply for traveling in Europe but you can buy the following top ups.
Mobile internet connection Switzerland
Like most things in this country the mobile network coverage is very well established. Swiss mobile internet connection is even guaranteed in some remote places. All mobile networks in Switzerland have great 4G coverage and 5G in Switzerland is very well established as well. For the best 5G network check out my article about buying a Switzerland sim card.
Best Switzerland sim card Geneva Airport in 2021
Unfortunately there are only two Swiss sim card options available in Geneva Airport. Comparing the above mentioned sim cards is hard as they have different flexibilities and therefore depending on your needs you gotta decide for yourself what is the best Swiss sim card at Geneva Airport.
For short visits Traveltomtom recommends buying a Lebara prepaid sim card at Geneva Airport. For $1.5 you get unlimited data per day.
If you are not in a rush then wait till you get to Geneva city. There you will find better deals with Swisscom, Sunrise and Salt. Click on the following link to read all about the best prepaid sim card in Switzerland.
Both prepaid Swiss sim cards sold at Geneva Airport do NOT included roaming in the EU so if you are looking for a sim card for traveling in in Swiss AND in Europe then you want to look into the following Switzerland sim cards that you can order online.
Buy a Swiss sim card online
Save the hassle of buying a Swiss sim card on arrival, let it be shipped to your home address before your trip to Switzerland. The following Switzerland sim cards are also great for traveling in Europe as they all offer free roaming. All of the following prepaid sim cards can be ordered through the Simoptions website. They are specialized in sim cards for travelers.
1. Orange Holiday ZEN - $29.90
- 8 GB data
- Unlimited calls in Europe
- 30 minutes worldwide
- Unlimited sms in Europe
- 200 sms worldwide
- Valid 14 days
2. Three PAYG AIO20 - $39.90
- 12 GB data
- Unlimited calls within Europe
- Unlimited sms within Europe
- Valid 30 days
- 20 GB data
- Unlimited calls in Europe
- 120 minutes worldwide
- Unlimited sms in Europe
- 1,000 sms worldwide
- Valid 14 days
Personally I recommend the last option of Orange as I consume a lot of data and I wanna roam the internet without think about my data limit.
How to get from Geneva Airport to the city
Believe it or not but you can get free public transportation tickets! In a city where everything is crazy expensive this made me smile big time. In the baggage hall just before you walk out of arrivals there is a machine that gives out free public transportation tickets to get you anywhere within Geneva city. The tickets are valid for 80 minutes.
Got your travel insurance sorted already?
Click below for a free quote, you don't want to get stuck in the worlds most expensive country right? :)
I hope all the above tips for buying a sim card in Geneva Airport were helpful for your next trip to Switzerland. Let me know if you have any additional questions and I try to answer them in the comments below. Enjoy your trip to Geneva.