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Has anyone purchased a Sim Card at the Zurich Airport?

We are leaving for Switzerland on 9/7/18 and have Verizon phones which are unlocked. I am hoping to purchased a simcard at the Zurich airport that we can use for Switzerland and Italy. We are staying in Zurich for 3 days and then moving on to Chur, St. Moritz, Lake Lugano, Lake Como & Milan for a total of 15 days.

For the last two years when we have visited Europe, we had TMobile and no coverage despite TMobile assuring we would. I switched carriers and got new phones this year and hope all goes well.

I would love to hear from anyone who has done this at the airport and which carrier they used.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Posted by
421 posts

My son was there a few months ago with an unlocked Verizon phone. He bought one at the Swisscom store in the airport center, level 0. To get there, cross the bridge from the terminal, over the road. The store is above the train station terminal. The simcard he bought cost about 20 euros and had 3 gig of data for a month. They will ask for your passport and hotel address, so have everything ready. The entire process took about 5 minutes and was super easy he says.

Posted by
14 posts


Thank you so much taking the time to respond and providing details!! I appreciate the directions and cost. Thank you again.

Posted by
23 posts

My niece and I were in Switzerland last year, she also has Verizon phone unlocks. She did purchase the sim card in the location at Zurich airport that Carl has mentioned. It worked great but we can only used it in Switzerland only. We had about 0.5 G left when we left for Amsterdam 2 weeks later we have to get a new Sim card in Holland. You can check with the store to see if Sim card will work in Italy for you.

Posted by
270 posts

I have done this, however longer, and it is not a problem.

I have used an unlocked Verizon iPhone and had no problems. Well, ALMOST, no problems. ;)

I bought the service (which, with Google Maps, Google Translate, Youtube, and surfing, lasted 3 weeks) and let them insert the SIM card and get it 'working'. It took a few minutes so they handed it back and said something to the effect of, "It may take a little while--stop at another store if it doesn't start working in a little while." So we sat in the store until it started working--which--after 20-30 mins--it DIDN'T. We politely gave it back to the clerk, she did some stuff on her computer and, poof, suddenly it worked.

Rule #1: DO NO LEAVE UNTIL IT WORKS. It is infinitely easier to get it working at the airport (they are EXPERTS) than to find another store somewhere else. If you follow this one rule you will have 20-30CHF service that is at least as fast and reliable as your Verizon service at home. We went through Salt/Orange.

When the data inevitably ran out it prompted me and allowed me to 're-up' while on the road several times with no issues.

EDIT: Get the ZRH Zurich Airport app for iPhone

which will tell you ALL kinds of stuff and how to access SO many services and shops. If you do end up waiting for your phone to activate go to the observation deck for 5CHF per person. Worth it!