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Switzerland Roaming: How to Save, Operators, and Rates

Roaming in Switzerland, how to use it during your trip, rates, and activation methods. Discover the most cost-effective operator thanks to internet-offer.ch

Planning a trip to Switzerland? Discover the best Swiss prepaid SIM cards and get a free one before your arrival!
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Switzerland is a highly appreciated tourist destination for its mountains, trails, and lakes. Being outside the European Economic Area, the "Roaming Like at Home" service is not guaranteed, and you may wonder how to use your mobile phone during your stay. Find out in this guide how roaming works, how much it costs, and all the best alternatives to save.

Summary

How Roaming Works in Switzerland?

How Roaming Works in Switzerland?

Tourists can use roaming in Switzerland thanks to agreements reached by their mobile operators with Swiss network operators (Swisscom, Sunrise, and Salt). This allows receiving calls, sending messages, and connecting to the internet.


Roaming data in Switzerland allows browsing the web and using favorite apps like WhatsApp, Instagram, Google Maps, and YouTube. However, standard roaming services can be more expensive if a data package is not activated before departure, as you will pay for each consumed MB or KB.

Alternatives to roaming: how to avoid roaming costs in Switzerland

Considering that you will spend a few days traveling around Switzerland, you might wonder if there is a way to avoid high roaming costs. The answer is yes, and below are the best free alternatives to data roaming in Switzerland.

Purchase a Swiss Prepaid SIM Card

In Switzerland, it is quite common to purchase a free prepaid SIM card from various virtual operators. Several proposals on the market allow receiving a SIM card without any activation or credit costs.

 

For example, yallo offers a free SIM card with no obligations and CHF 10 of offered credit, equivalent to 400 MB of free roaming navigation in Switzerland. Lebara also offers a similar solution, while Lycamobile offers a free eSIM without offered credit but the possibility to receive it directly via email before your arrival.

Compare all prepaid SIM cards on internet-offer.ch

Access Free Wi-Fi in Switzerland

This is a common suggestion among experienced travelers who want to save outside the European Union. The advantage of this method is that it is entirely free, while the main disadvantage is that you remain completely disconnected when not near a public Wi-Fi network.

 

Under Swiss law, users must register to access any public Wi-Fi network. Once registered, you can access the internet for free in many places.

 

There are several free networks in Switzerland:

  • Trains and SBB Stations: SBB stations offer a connection at over 80 railway stations and on long-distance national trains via the SBB-FREE network, providing up to 60 minutes of free internet access per day.

  • AutoPostale: Most Swiss AutoPostale buses offer Wi-Fi connectivity while traveling.

  • Hotels, Bars, and Restaurants: Many businesses provide internet access upon registration. Simply look for the "Free Wi-Fi" icon on the menu or at the entrance.

  • Ski Resorts: Major Swiss ski resorts offer free Wi-Fi both at the base of the lifts and on the slopes. These include Saas-Fee, Davos, and Zermatt resorts.

Use Paid Wi-Fi via Mobile Hotspots

To avoid spending a fortune on roaming in Switzerland, you can purchase secure access to widespread public Wi-Fi through 1700 mobile hotspot points across Switzerland. This service can be purchased on a daily, monthly, or hourly basis. The major operators for this service are Swisscom and Monzoon.

 

Another portable Wi-Fi is offered by Travellers Wi-Fi, allowing you to purchase a portable internet router for a one-time fee of €65 with unlimited internet in Switzerland and Liechtenstein for a week.

 

In this case, we are not talking about a free alternative to Swiss roaming, but it is certainly a more cost-effective alternative to foreign operator rates.

How much does roaming cost in Switzerland for tourists?

Most Swiss mobile operators offer special rates dedicated to customers traveling abroad. Typically, telecommunications providers allow the purchase of daily or weekly roaming packages with a certain amount of MB and minutes for use at no additional cost. Alternatively, tourists can use standard pay-as-you-go rates with fixed prices per minute and per KB of internet data.

 

In this section, you can find the roaming rates of major operators from neighboring countries to Switzerland and a comparison of costs applied to tourists from neighboring countries to discover who pays more.

Switzerland Roaming: Who Pays More? Comparison of International Operator Rates

Roaming in Switzerland for tourists can be more or less economical depending on the home operator and the agreements made by local operators with the respective telecommunications providers. But who are the tourists paying more per minute, and who pays more for each GB consumed?

 

The team at internet-offer.ch has analyzed the rates and roaming packages offered by major mobile operators from countries neighboring Switzerland, creating the following comparison of Switzerland roaming rates. If you're interested in discovering details of the rates applied by individual mobile operators in your country, skip this section and immediately read the information about Switzerland roaming you are looking for!

Comparison of Switzerland Roaming for tourists

As observed from the charts, the cost of roaming in Switzerland for tourists varies widely among both the different analyzed countries and within the same countries.

 

Specifically, foreigners from Liechtenstein, as expected, face the lowest standard rates per consumed GB, with an average price of €55/GB, while Austrians are the ones facing the highest costs with an average of €15,720/GB. Regarding Switzerland roaming rates for calling home, Italians have the lowest per-minute costs, registering an average of €0.32/min.

 

Compared with a Swiss prepaid SIM, a tourist wanting to use 1 GB during a 4-day stay should budget at least €55 (but it can go up to €19,900 with the most expensive roaming rates), while they could spend just 10 CHF with the purchase of a Swiss prepaid SIM.

If you want to get a free prepaid SIM, proceed to the dedicated comparison on internet-offer.ch!

If, on the other hand, you want to discover in detail the rates applied by your mobile operator, read the details of standard rates and roaming packages available to use your mobile phone in Switzerland.

Switzerland Roaming for German Tourists

The current standard rates for roaming in Switzerland for German tourists are:

  • Telekom Mobile: €1.49/minute; €8400/GB.

  • O2: €0.54/minute; €230/GB.

  • Vodafone DE: €0.20/minute; €4000/GB.

  • 1&1: €0.59/minute; €190/GB.

 

Below are the details of standard rates for roaming in Switzerland and packages offered by the major German mobile operators.

T-Mobile Switzerland: Telekom Roaming Rates

To use Telekom Mobile in Switzerland, you have the following roaming options:

  • T-Mobile DayPass M: €5.95 per day with 300 MB of roaming data.

  • T-Mobile WeekPass M: €15.95 per week with 1 GB of roaming data.

  • T-Mobile WeekPass L: €29.95 per week with 3 GB of roaming data.

  • T-Mobile Travel Mobile Basic: €14.95 per month with 1 GB of roaming data and 60 minutes.

 

If you use T-Mobile standard Switzerland roaming rates for calls, you pay €1.49 per call and €0.42 every 50 KB of roaming data.

Vodafone in Switzerland: Vodafone Germany Roaming Rates

Vodafone Germany allows the purchase of the following Switzerland roaming packages:

  • Vodafone EasyTravel Tag: €7.99 per day with 500 minutes and use of roaming data consuming your national tariff.

  • Vodafone EasyTravel Woche: €21.99 per week with 3500 minutes and use of roaming data consuming your national tariff.

 

If you do not purchase an optional Vodafone Germany Switzerland roaming package, you pay €0.20 per minute and €0.20 every 50 KB of roaming data.

Looking for an economical SIM on the Vodafone network? Check the affordability of WeTell.

O2 Switzerland: O2 Germany Roaming Rates

O2 allows the purchase of the following Switzerland roaming packages:

  • O2 Roaming Plus: €2.99 per day with 300 MB of roaming data.

  • O2 Roaming Plus Monthly: €9.99 per month with 500 minutes and 3 GB of roaming data.

 

If you do not purchase an optional O2 Germany Switzerland roaming package, you pay €0.54 per minute and €0.23 per MB of roaming data.

1&1 Switzerland: 1&1 Roaming Rates

1&1 allows the purchase of the following Switzerland roaming packages:

  • 100 MB Tagespaket: €4.99 per day with 100 MB of roaming data.

  • 500 MB Wochenpaket: €14.99 per week with 0.5 GB of roaming data.

  • 2000 MB Monatpaket: €39.99 per month with 2 GB of roaming data.

 

If you do not purchase an optional 1&1 Switzerland roaming package, you pay €0.59 per minute and €0.19 per MB of roaming data.

Buy a 1&1 German SIM now and save on roaming with their cost-effective rates.

Roaming in Switzerland for Italian Tourists:

The current standard rates for roaming in Switzerland for Italian tourists are as follows:

  • TIM: €0.19/minute; €70/GB.

  • Wind3: €0.20/minute; €5/GB.

  • Vodafone IT: €0.70/minute; €200/GB.

  • Iliad: €0.18/minute; €60/GB.

  • Fastweb: €0.00/minute; €2.20/GB.

 

Below are the details of standard rates for roaming in Switzerland and packages offered by the major Italian mobile operators.

TIM Switzerland: TIM Roaming Rates

To use TIM in Switzerland, you need to activate TIM Opzione Svizzera. This package costs €5 per month and provides 5 GB of roaming data and 500 minutes.

 

If you use TIM standard Switzerland roaming rates for calls, you pay €0.19 per call and €0.007 cents per KB of roaming data.

Looking for a SIM on the TIM network? Purchase an economical SIM from Kena Mobile.

Fastweb Switzerland: Fastweb Roaming Rates

Fastweb can be the best Italian operator for roaming in Switzerland. Roaming in Switzerland is already included in Fastweb's tariff without additional costs. However, there is a policy of limited usage, and if these limits are exceeded, standard roaming rates will apply: €0.22 cents for every MB of roaming data, and calls to Italy are free.

Buy a Fastweb SIM now to roam in Switzerland for free.

Windtre Switzerland: Windtre Roaming Rates

Windtre allows the purchase of the following Switzerland roaming packages:

  • Travel Svizzera: €4.99 per month with 10 GB of roaming data and 50 minutes. Only purchasable in-store.

  • Travel Pass Svizzera (weekly): €9.99 per week with 10 GB of roaming data and 100 minutes.

  • Travel Pass Svizzera (monthly): €19.99 per month with 25 GB of roaming data and 200 minutes.

 

If you do not purchase an optional Wind3 Switzerland roaming package, you pay €0.20 per minute and €0.005 cents per MB of roaming data.

If you want to use the Wind3 network without paying more than necessary, check out the offers from VeryMobile.

Vodafone Switzerland: Vodafone Italy Roaming Rates

To use Vodafone Italy in Switzerland, you need to activate Smart Passport +. This package costs €3 per day and provides 200 MB of roaming data and 60 minutes.

 

If you use Vodafone standard Switzerland roaming rates for calls, you pay €0.70 per minute and €0.20 per MB of roaming data.

If you want to use the Vodafone network with more flexibility, you could opt for Ho Mobile.

Iliad Switzerland: Iliad Roaming Rates

To use Iliad in Switzerland, you need to activate 5GB in Svizzera. This Iliad package costs €4.99 per month and provides 5 GB of roaming data.

 

If you use Iliad standard Switzerland roaming rates for calls, you pay €0.18 per minute and €0.06 per MB of roaming data.

Roaming in Switzerland for Austrian Tourists

The current standard rates for roaming in Switzerland for Austrian tourists are:

  • Magenta: €1.29/minute; €19,900/GB.

  • Drei Mobile: €1.29/minute; €10,000/GB.

  • A1 Mobile: €2.99/minute; €11,260/GB.

 

Below are the details of standard rates for roaming in Switzerland and packages offered by the major Austrian mobile operators.

Magenta Switzerland: Magenta Roaming Rates

Magenta offers its customers the following Switzerland roaming packages:

  • Zusatzpaket Travel & Surf Schweiz Small: €2.00 per week with 150 MB of roaming data.

  • Zusatzpaket Travel & Surf Schweiz Medium: €5.00 per week with 400 MB of roaming data.

  • Zusatzpaket Travel & Surf Schweiz Large: €15.00 per week with 1 GB of roaming data.

 

If you do not purchase an optional Magenta Switzerland roaming package, you pay €1.29 per minute and €11.26 per MB of roaming data.

Drei Mobile Switzerland: Drei Mobile Roaming Rates

To use Drei Mobile in Switzerland, you need to activate Roaming Wochenticket. This Drei Mobile package costs €6.00 per week and provides 0.5 GB of roaming data.

 

If you use Drei Mobile standard Switzerland roaming rates for calls, you pay €1.29 per minute and €10 per MB of roaming data.

A1 Mobile Switzerland: A1 Mobile Roaming Rates

To use A1 Mobile in Switzerland, you need to activate A1 Roaming Schweiz. This A1 Mobile package costs €9.90 per week and provides 0.25 GB of roaming data.

 

If you use A1 Mobile standard Switzerland roaming rates for calls, you pay €2.99 per minute and €1.99 per 100 KB of roaming data.

Roaming in Switzerland for French Tourists:

The current standard rates for roaming in Switzerland for French tourists are:

  • Orange: €2.40/minute; €12,000/GB.

  • SFR: €1.32/minute; €1,980/GB.

  • Bouygues Telecom: €0.38/minute; €300/GB.

 

Below are the details of standard rates for roaming in Switzerland and packages offered by the major French mobile operators.

Orange Switzerland: Orange France Roaming Rates

Customers of Orange France have Swiss roaming included by default in their mobile subscription.

 

If you want to use Orange standard Switzerland roaming rates in addition to your Orange package for calls, you pay €2.40 per minute and €12 per MB of roaming data.

Bouygues Telecom Switzerland: Bouygues Telecom Roaming Rates

If you want to use Bouygues Telecom standard Switzerland roaming rates for calls, you pay €0.38 per call and €0.30 per MB of roaming data (for subscriptions) and €0.06 per MB for prepaid SIM cards.

Did you know that Lycamobile offers French SIMs on the Bouygues Telecom network at affordable prices?

SFR Switzerland: SFR Roaming Rates

To use SFR in Switzerland, you do not need to activate any roaming package as it is already included in your mobile offer.

 

If you want to use SFR standard Switzerland roaming rates in addition to your SFR package for calls, you pay €1.32 per minute and €1.98 per MB of roaming data.

Roaming in Switzerland for Liechtenstein Tourists:

The current standard rates for roaming in Switzerland for Liechtenstein tourists are:

  • 7acht: €0.25/minute; €100/GB.

  • FL1: €0.45/minute; €10/GB.

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Did you know you can request a free Swiss prepaid SIM? Get yours for free now.

FAQ on Roaming in Switzerland

Is it better to have a subscription with included roaming or buy Swiss roaming packages separately?

It depends on your consumption profile. According to the latest data from ComCom, data consumption in roaming has increased by +50% compared to before the pandemic because people travel more frequently. Therefore, it is cost-effective to subscribe to an offer with included roaming to avoid spending a lot of money on daily options. The alternative is to use a prepaid SIM card from a local operator.

What are the differences between Roaming in Switzerland and Roaming in Europe?

One of the key measures that has simplified the use of mobile phones for travelers abroad is free roaming within the European Union. Since June 2017, EU citizens can enjoy free roaming within the member countries. This initiative, known as "Roaming Like at Home," allows consumers to use their national tariff plan for calls, SMS, and data without additional costs when traveling in Europe. Switzerland, not being part of the European Economic Area, is excluded from this mechanism to protect consumers, and the rates are set directly by their mobile operators.

 

The amount of free gigabytes usable in the EU by a European subscriber is calculated with the following formula:

2×(tariff price excluding VAT)/Maximum wholesale tariff cost

 

For example, if the monthly cost of my phone plan is €10/month, I will have access to all included minutes and SMS in my package and approximately 13 GB of free navigation.

What to Look for in a Specific Roaming Offer for Switzerland?

When selecting a roaming offer for Switzerland, it's essential to check the following features:

  • Extended Mobile Coverage: Ensure good reception in the area where you'll be staying in Switzerland.

  • Clear Rates: Avoid quickly depleting your SIM credit by understanding the tariff structure clearly.

  • Included Roaming Packages: Look for packages that include international calls from Switzerland if you want to stay in touch with family and friends.

  • Multilingual Assistance: Multilingual customer support is crucial abroad to resolve any issues during your trip.

  • Flexibility and Contract Duration: Evaluate the flexibility and duration of the contract, especially if your trip is short. It's essential to be able to suspend the service without incurring penalties.

How to Activate Data Roaming in Switzerland?

To stay connected once you arrive in Switzerland, follow these steps to activate data roaming: Settings > Mobile Data > Data Roaming > On. After activation, select the best network to ensure your device's coverage. You can also view the Swiss network coverage map on our website.

How to Deactivate Data Roaming in Switzerland?

To deactivate roaming in Switzerland, follow these instructions: Settings > Network > Mobile Data > Data Roaming > OFF.

 

For Apple devices, specifically, you need to disable Cellular Data and Data Roaming. Open Settings and select Cellular Data or Mobile Data. Then, under Cellular Data Options, turn off Cellular Data and Data Roaming. To confirm success, check that the cellular data icon has disappeared from the status bar.

 

For Android users, go to Settings, select Wireless, choose More, then go to Mobile Networks and access Mobile Network Settings. Here, uncheck the Data Roaming box, ensuring worry-free travel without unexpected charges.

How to Make Calls from Switzerland?

To make calls from Switzerland, select your country's dialing code and ensure you have activated a roaming package with calls or have enough credit to use the standard Swiss roaming rate.


For making free calls from Switzerland, you can use VoIP technology through messaging apps like WhatsApp or FaceTime, connecting to a public Wi-Fi network. If you don't have these apps installed, check if you can use Wi-Fi Calling for free and proceed with this second option.

Stay Informed and Save on Swiss Roaming

As you've read on this page, it's crucial to be cautious about the roaming charges applied by your mobile provider in Switzerland to avoid high costs. One of the best ways to avoid these surcharges is to rely on local prepaid SIM cards available in Switzerland. If your trip is approaching, order a free SIM now, choosing the best one for you among those compared on internet-offer.ch.

Rate this guide and if you're still curious about Swiss mobile networks, read other guides on internet-offer.ch!

Author: Lapo Zarina

Publication: February 2024

Sources: Roaming Wikipedia page, operator websites (see PDF), and proprietary data reprocessing | WIX Images | Proprietary comparative tables

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