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The Best eSIM Data Plans For Switzerland | Prepaid Data Plan Buyer’s Guide

Your guide to buying eSIM mobile data plans in Switzerland.

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Before traveling to Switzerland I suggest buying a Swiss eSIM mobile data plan so you don’t find yourself without reliable data during your trip. To help make things easier, I’ve created this buyer’s guide for the best eSIM data plans for Switzerland—including how to buy an eSIM for Switzerland and what quirks you might experience when buying a Swiss eSIM data plan.

Important Info About eSIM Plans in Switzerland

Before we get started, I want to cover a few quirks about getting mobile data in Switzerland—especially as a visitor. If you want to learn more about eSIM data plans in general then check out my Guide To Using eSIM Data Plans in Europe.

Your eSIM Might Not Work Outside Of Switzerland

As of 2017, the EU passed a “roam like home” policy that bans mobile carriers from charging mobile roaming fees for any EU member country. In short, any eSIM data plan bought in the EU can be used in any other EU country without extra fees or restrictions. This is great for travelers because you can use one plan everywhere.

However, Switzerland isn’t part of the EU. Many eSIM plans still include Switzerland in their coverage area (notably Orange Holiday Europe eSIM and Holafly eSIM) but they’re not legally required to do this—so read the fine print before buying.

Not Many Swiss Mobile Companies Offer Prepaid eSIM Plans

Most Swiss mobile carriers only offer eSIM plans to local customers with yearly contracts so buying a plan once you’re in Switzerland isn’t ideal. Many Swiss companies also charge a one-time activation fee so this also makes buying a local eSIM expensive for short-term visitors.

How Much Mobile Data Do You Need?

As long as you’re not streaming music/videos or uploading a ton of photos, you probably won’t use more than 3GB-6GB of mobile data a week. In fact, the average American smartphone owner uses around 15GB of mobile data each month. 

If you’re spending a lot of time on social media (notably Instagram and TikTok) then you might use a bit more but if you’re just doing normal web browsing and using Google Maps then you might only use 2-4GB a week.

Your Phone Must Be “Unlocked”

Some mobile companies (notably in the US, Australia, and New Zealand) “lock” their phones so they’ll only work on that carrier’s network—this usually only applies if you have a plan that includes a free phone with a multi-year contract. You’ll need to contact your carrier and have them “unlock” your phone so it will accept a third-party eSIM.

In the US, carriers are required to unlock phones if the customer requests it but it’s often not unlocked by default. That said, a few carriers still make customers jump through hoops to unlock their phones so don’t put this off until the last minute.


In a rush? Let’s jump straight into my Swiss eSIM recommendations:

The best full-featured eSIM that can be used in Switzerland and the rest of Europe is the Orange Holiday Europe eSIM. The Holafly Switzerland eSIM is a great data-only option.

The Best Prepaid eSIM Plans For Switzerland

For 99% of travelers, the best option for getting high-speed data in Switzerland is a prepaid eSIM. These plans are geared toward short-term visitors so the setup process is typically pretty easy.

I’ve listed multiple eSIM options below but each carries slightly in what they offer. Here are the main things to consider:

  • Data Only vs Data with Calls and SMS Texts: Some eSIM plans are data only. But other plans come with a European phone number and SMS texting so you can make calls and SMS texts anywhere in the world/Europe. Your current phone number will still work with either plan but your current carrier might charge you extra for calls/texts.
    • NOTE: Apple users can still send iMessage with their current phone number to other Apple users with a data-only plan—you won’t be charged anything extra by your current carrier.
  • Data Allowance: Each eSIM plan comes with a set data allowance so you’ll have to decide how much you think you’ll use during your trip. I’ve also listed unlimited data options below.
  • eSIM Validity Period: Your eSIM plan will typically be valid from 14-30 days from the first day you activate your service so match this up to your trip length (or you can buy multiple eSIMs).
  • Data Tethering: Not all eSIM plans allow you to turn your phone into a mobile hotspot.

Orange Holiday Europe eSIM (50GB) for Switzerland

  • Price: $59.90 (Check SimOptions for details)
  • Data: 50GB
  • Service Speed: 4G/LTE
  • Calls: Unlimited within Europe and 120 min outside of Europe.
  • Texts/SMS: Unlimited within Europe and 1000 outside of Europe.
  • Credit validity: 28 day
  • Data Tethering: Allowed
  • Usable on any device (phones, tablets, hotspots…)
  • This eSIM plan comes with a French phone number that can still be used anywhere in Europe
  • Service works everywhere in the EU

If you need a ton of mobile data, consider the newly released Orange Holiday Europe 50GB eSIM data plan which is a beefed-up version of the Orange Holiday Europe eSIM. It has 50GB of data and it’s valid for 28 days (compared to 14 days with the Orange Holiday Europe plan). This eSIM also comes with many features you don’t find with other plans—including international voice calling and texts (it gives you an actual French phone number that works anywhere in Europe).

The Orange Holiday Europe eSIM plan also allows you to use your phone as a mobile hotspot so you can put that extra data allowance to good use. Orange is also one of the largest mobile companies in Europe so you’ll always get great coverage and high data speeds.


The Orange Holiday Europe eSIM is one of the most robust eSIM plans for Switzerland—it also works for every EU country so it’s great for multi-country trips.

I like how Orange Holiday Europe is one of the few eSIM plans that comes with voice minutes and texts (most eSIM plans are data-only). This Orange Holiday Europe eSIM also allows data tethering so you can use your phone as a mobile hotspot for your laptop/tablet.

As an added bonus, the Orange Holiday Europe eSIM doesn’t require registration unless you use it longer than 14 days.

  • Price: $49.90 (Check SimOptions for details)
  • Data: 30GB
  • Calls: Unlimited within Europe and 120 min outside of Europe.
  • Texts/SMS: Unlimited within Europe and 1000 outside of Europe.
  • Credit validity: 14 day
  • Service Speed: 4G/LTE
  • Data Tethering: Allowed
  • Usable on any device (phones, tablets, hotspots…)
  • This eSIM comes with a French phone number
  • Backed by one of the largest mobile networks in Europe


The Orange Holiday Zen eSIM is another excellent option for people traveling to Switzerland (and the rest of Europe) because it comes with 8GB of mobile data—which should suffice for most travelers who aren’t heavy data users. Heavy data users are better served by the Orange Holiday Europe eSIM which has 20GB of mobile data.

As an added bonus, the Orange Holiday ZEN eSIM doesn’t require registration unless you use it longer than 14 days.

  • Price: $29.90 (Check SimOptions for details)
  • Data: 8GB
  • Calls: Unlimited within Europe and 30 min outside of Europe.
  • Texts/SMS: Unlimited within Europe and 200 outside of Europe.
  • Credit validity: 14 day
  • Service Speed: 4G/LTE
  • Data Tethering: Allowed
  • Usable on any device (phones, tablets, hotspots…)
  • This eSIM comes with a French phone number
  • Backed by one of the largest mobile networks in Europe

HOLAFLY Switzerland ESIM

Holafly is a new data-only eSIM provider that I’ve used in Europe—the service was great and I got very fast data speeds (read my Holafly eSIM Review to learn more). Holafly sells both country-specific and Europe-wide data plans.

Unlike other eSIM data providers, Holafly’s plans give you unlimited data and their plans run from 5 to 90 days (they will throttle your data if you use excessive data).

  • Prices For Unlimited Data (Check Holafly for details)
    • 5 Days: $19
    • 10 Days: $34
    • 15 Days: $47
    • 20 Days: $54
    • 30 Days: $64
    • 60 Days: $84
    • 90 Days: $99
  • Service Speed: 5G/4G/LTE
  • Calls: None
  • Texts/SMS: None
  • Tethering: No

O2 GO CARD ESIM For Switzerland

You might also consider the O2 Go Card Plan—which operates on the O2 mobile network (the largest mobile network in the UK) so the service quality will be good.

The O2 Go Card Plan is slightly cheaper than the Orange Holiday Zen plan so you only get a very limited amount of EU calls/texts but the plan lasts for 30 days.

  • Price: $24.90 (Check SimOptions for details)
  • Data: 10GB
  • Service Speed: 4G/LTE
  • Calls: Includes $2 of credit to make calls within Europe
  • Texts/SMS: Includes $2 of credit to send/receive texts within Europe
  • Credit validity: 30 day
  • This eSIM card comes with a Czech phone number


Ultra budget travelers might consider the Smart Comfort X eSIM—it’s a budget data-only eSIM plan that gives you 5GB of data but no calls or texts.

The Smart Comfort X eSIM is a third-party service so it connects to whatever local network is available—for example, France (Bouygues), Germany (O2), Italy (WIND), Spain (Telefonica), etc.

  • Price: $17.90 (Check SimOptions for details)
  • Data: 5GB
  • Service Speed: 4G/LTE
  • Calls: None
  • Texts/SMS: None
  • Credit validity: 30 day


Three companies in Switzerland own their mobile infrastructure— SwisscomSunrise, and Salt. Swisscom is the largest network and they have the best coverage and fastest speeds. Sunrise and Salt have made improvements over the past few years but Swisscom is still number one.

The downside to using one of these major carriers is the price. For example, a gigabyte of mobile data from Salt is around $17 so it’s easy to spend a lot on data. And you might have to pay an activation fee—for example, Swisscom charges $22 USD for the SIM (but that includes $22 worth of credit).


I’ve written extensively about using smartphones and data plans in Europe and tips for buying SIM Cards For Visiting Europe. Below are some more helpful tips about using your phone in Switzerland and throughout Europe.


Traveling with your phone will quickly drain your batteries so I highly recommend a portable battery. I use Anker PowerCore 10000 because it’s tiny and affordable but there are multiple options.


Pickpockets love stealing smartphones so pay attention while you’re using your phone, stash it away safely while on public transportation/crowds, and don’t set it down while you’re in public. Read my guide to Pickpockets in Europe for more anti-theft advice.


It’s easy to burn through a lot of data because many apps use data in the background. Facebook, email, Instagram, Snapchat… those all constantly use data throughout the day without you knowing it. That’s it’s important to know how to limit your data usage.

  • USE AIRPLANE MODE AND BLOCK DATA TO SPECIFIC APPS: I’ll put my phone in Airplane Mode because that disables all data (but GPS still works in Airplane Mode). You can also go into the settings and disable data access to each app. I’ll go in and turn every off except for things like Google Maps or others that I’ll use more frequently — this way when I turn off Airplane Mode only those apps that will use data. Then I’ll turn Airplane Mode back on when I’m done.
  • DOWNLOAD OFFLINE MAPS: Google Maps lets you download entire city maps so they can be used offline. As a bonus, GPS doesn’t use data so offline Google Maps works fairly well (but not all functionality works). Here is a good YouTube video that explains everything.
  • SAVE HEAVY PHONE USAGE FOR WIFI: Wait until you’re somewhere with a WiFi connection before you do any heavy streaming or download files.


Here are a few articles I’ve written about traveling through Switzerland and Europe.

James Feess
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