Switzerland power adapters - what plugs are used in Switzerland?

Swiss power outlet

What adapter do I need for Switzerland?

You will need to pack a Type J plug adapter [9] for Switzerland if your plug doesn't fit into a Swiss power outlet.

The type of power adapter, converter or charger that's needed when visiting Switzerland all depend on the voltage and type of device that you're trying to power in a Swiss power outlet. If you don't know which voltage your device uses then please read the section below on how to find out the voltage of your device before going any further.

  • If you are visiting Switzerland from the US then you will need to bring a suitable plug adapter to fit a US plug into a Swiss power outlet. As the voltage is different in Switzerland use a power converter if your device or appliance isn't dual voltage and ensure that your it can work with a 50hz power outlet.
  • If your device is 230 volts or is dual voltage and the plug fits in a Swiss power outlet then it should work in Switzerland.
  • If your device can run on 230 volts or is dual voltage but the plug won't fit in a Swiss power outlet you'll need to bring a suitable plug adapter for Switzerland such a Type J plug adapter [9]. A plug adapter for Switzerland (or power adapter) is designed to change the actual shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in Switzerland, but doesn't change the voltage from 230 volts to a different voltage.
  • If your device doesn't run on 230 volts and isn't dual voltage then you'll also need a power converter for Switzerland to convert the voltage from 230 volts to the correct voltage for your device. You'll still need to bring along a suitable plug adapter for Switzerland if the power converter doesn't use the correct Type J plug adapter.
  • If you only want to power USB devices such as tablets or mobile phones then a USB travel power adapter is suitable and it should be dual voltage, however ensure that you bring one which includes a Type J plug adapter otherwise you'll still need to pack a suitable plug adapter for Switzerland.

Warning: If your device won't handle 230 volts you run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, blowing a fuse or damage to your device. Prior to using your device in Switzerland please check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Switzerland power adapters

Power adapters for Switzerland

If you are packing for a holiday to Switzerland it's useful to know in advance if you'll be able to use your gadgets when you get there. By not knowing which wall socket is used in Switzerland you could end up either weighing yourself down with unnecessary spare adaptors or bring the wrong power adaptor, meaning having to buy a potentially overpriced charger on arrival. Varying different standards and plugs can all be daunting when planning to travel to another country especially to the first time traveller. This isn't as complex as it first appears, with only a handful of different types of common standards used throughout the world this article shows exactly what you'll need in advance to power your device in Switzerland. This page has links to useful instructions telling you exactly which power adapters you'll need to charge your devices when staying in Switzerland by using their types J or C Swiss 230 volt 50Hz power outlets, a majority of Swiss typically use the Type J wall outlets. Power adapters will vary depending on which area you taking a trip to so we recommend that you read the Wikiconnections world power adapters list where you'll find a full list showing powering devices in different regions and countries.

What is the best power adapter for Switzerland?

The best power adapter for Switzerland is a Type J power adapter [9] which allows you to use any 230 volt device or appliance.

What is the best power adapter for Switzerland?

What is a power adapter for a Swiss power outlet?

A power adapter is a compact and lightweight plastic adapter that permits a different type of power plug on an appliance from a foreign region to correctly fit into a Swiss power outlet.

Will a power adapter change the voltage from a Swiss power outlet?

A power adapter only adapts the shape of a plug to fit into a 230 volt Swiss power outlet and is unable to convert to a higher voltage. Should you wish to safely use a 100-120 volt device you also need a more expensive step down power converter.

Do I need a plug adapter in Switzerland?

This depends on the type of plug you are attempting to use in Switzerland.

Do I need a plug adapter if I'm visiting Switzerland from America?

A US plug won't physically fit into a Swiss power outlet so you will need to bring a plug adapter for Switzerland, and because the voltage is 230 volts you will also need to use a power converter for Switzerland if your appliance or charger isn't dual voltage to prevent damage or overheating.

What does a power adapter do?

A power adapter for Switzerland allows visitors travelling from another country to use electrical appliances and devices in Switzerland by altering the shape of the power plug from one shape to another.

Do European plug adapters work in Switzerland?

Because there are 8 different types of power outlets in Europe there is a chance that a power adapter that works in another country in Europe won't fit in a Swiss power outlet.

Where can I buy a power adapter for Switzerland?

Power adapters for sale in an airport

Where can I buy a power adapter for Switzerland?

Power adapters are typically available in most major airports prior to departure, however the range of adapters might be limited to popular destinations. It is recommended to research the exact type of adapter required prior to shopping at the airport. Look in the travel accessories section of airport newsagents, electronic stores and pharmacists but expect to pay 50% more than regular prices. Airports will be your last chance to buy a power adapter before departure, always check the returns policy to ensure you can easily exchange or refund a faulty or unsuitable product in an airside shop.

On arrival power adapters can be found in local electrical high street shops and drug stores, but always check the build quality first as safety standards might be different in a foreign country as this is important when dealing with electrical goods. Keep in mind that a shopping trip searching for power adapters in an unknown location might be impractical, especially as this needs to happen quickly before batteries run out.

Hotel receptions could have a power adapter for sale, hire or as a complimentary extra for guests; however, availability is normally limited and a hotel might not have the exact type required for your country. If in doubt, call ahead to the hotel first and request a reservation as it is unlikely that an adapter will be found in your room on arrival.

It will more convenient and cheaper to buy the correct power adapter in advance of your trip. High street stores normally sell popular types of travel adapters to popular locations and for widest choice it is recommended to buy a power adapter online.

Switzerland power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in Switzerland?

Type C and J power outlets

What plug sockets are used in Switzerland?

There are two types of power supply used in Switzerland, types J and C with the primary power outlets being type J:

  • Plug Type C - The power outlet (technically known as a type C socket or Europlug) is identified by 2 holes adjacent to each other for live and neutral pins.
  • Plug Type J - You can identify the flattened hexagon shaped wall socket by the 3 large round holes in a triangular pattern for live, neutral and ground.

Do US plugs work in Switzerland?

No; an American plug won't work in Switzerland because it won't fit in a Swiss power outlet without the use of a power adapter. The voltage is different therefore use a power converter if your device isn't dual voltage and check that your appliance is compatible with a 50hz power outlet.

Is the voltage in Switzerland the same as the US?

The voltage which comes from a Swiss power outlet is 230 volts, whereas 120 volts is used in America. If your US appliance or charger can't handle dual voltage then you will need to use a suitable power converter for Switzerland which allows a 120 volt American appliance to work with a 220-240 volt outlet.

Are Swiss power outlets the same as the US?

American plugs won't fit in a Swiss power outlet so you will need to bring a power adapter for Switzerland. Both the voltage and frequency are different so if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage please use a power converter for Switzerland and check that it works with a 50hz supply.

How do I use a 110 volt appliance in Switzerland?

To use a 110 volt or 120 volt appliance in a Swiss power outlet you need to bring a step down power converter.

What is the frequency used with a Swiss power outlet?

The frequency from a Swiss power outlet is 50Hz.

Do European plugs work in Switzerland?

Tourists in Europe

Do European plugs work in Switzerland?

Various locations throughout Europe all use different standards of power outlet types and voltages, with 8 types of power outlets used throughout Europe (types C, D, E, F, G, J, K and L) you could discover that a plug which works with a Swiss power outlet might not work in an electric outlet in another country. When travelling to more than one country in Europe it is advised to either use a multiple power adapter travel set [12] consisting of all types of power adapters, or a smaller single international travel plug adapter [13] as both these options ensure that you are covered for all different power outlet types that you may find. When preparing to travel check our list of power outlets used in Europe to discover which power adapters and converters you will require for your journey.

Is electrical power reliable in Switzerland?

While power cuts are unpredictable, electricity in Switzerland is dependable as there is no history of persistent power cuts in comparison to other countries.

Are power outlets common in Switzerland?

100 percent of population in Switzerland has access to electricity.

Do I need a portable charger for Switzerland?

Whilst electrical cuts aren't common and electricity is available to the entire population, travellers should still bring a power bank to recharge their cell phone.

  • During a trip to Switzerland increased use of smart phones for taking pictures, storing calendars, sat nav, social network sharing and streaming videos will syphon off power excessively. Beyond the inconvenience of missed photo opportunities a flat smart phone battery could potentially leave you stranded without sufficient power to make emergency calls or being able to use a satellite navigation app to find your way back to hotel or accommodation. By packing a portable charger [14] lowers that risk as it allows you to power up your smart phone on the move.
  • Bring at least a 10,000mAh portable charger [14] which will store enough energy to power over 3 full charges whilst a 20,000mAh power bank [17] should keep a typical smart phone charged for up to 7 days depending on the model of phone and usage. A mAh rating (milli ampere-hours) shows the capacity of the battery giving an indication of the number of charge cycles the power bank can do, so a higher mAh will be better for travellers.
  • If your laptop has a USB-C charging port then packing a portable charger for a laptop [18] marked with PD (power delivery) that supplies at least 20Wh can be used to recharge your laptop when travelling to Switzerland. Be aware that some airlines won't let you bring power banks on an aircraft that supply 100 Wh of power or more and must not be left in checked-in luggage.
  • Typical consumer portable chargers won't work with high wattage items, but a rechargeable hair dryer [15] or gas hair straighteners [16] are available for travelling.
Do I need a portable charger for Switzerland?

Sources

  • International Electrotechnical Commission - World plugs by location (cited August 2014)
  • Wikipedia - Mains electricity by country (cited July 2014)
  • Index Mundi - Power outages in a typical month (cited May 2018, data collected between 2006 to 2017)
  • Index Mundi - Access to electricity (cited May 2018, latest data collected 2010)
  • WikiPedia - List of countries by average yearly temperature (cited May 2018, data averaged between 1961 to 1990)

Switzerland chargers

What is a USB travel power charger?

A USB travel charger is a dual voltage charger with interchangeable plugs and multiple USB ports, suitable for charging multiple USB powered devices when travelling abroad.

What USB charger do I need for Switzerland?

If you are travelling to multiple countries and bringing more than just one device the best international travel charger for Switzerland to buy is a multiple USB port charger which includes swappable plugs such as a 4 port USB travel charger [2]. Swiss use two different standards of wall outlets (types J and C) and using a power charger like this will ensure that you are covered for type C.

Because these chargers come with interchangeable plugs and handle 100 volts to 240 volts it makes them ideal for over 100 countries around the world simply by changing the included plugs. If your model of device is compatible with Fast Charge then you will benefit from much faster charging times with one of these types of power adapters, and compatibility with more power demanding devices.

Unlike other travel chargers this means you can recharge more than one device at once without needing to pack multiple travel chargers. Only bringing a single lightweight USB travel charger will keep the size down, making it ideal to store in hand baggage. Due to their space saving versatility these types of travel adapters can be used back at home so when you're not on holiday they can sit overnight charging multiple phones and tablets using just a single wall outlet.

We recommend searching for this type of flexible power adapter at an electronics retailer. The travel adapter illustrated here is the iKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger [2] which has been successfully tested with multiple USB devices in numerous countries around the world with good reliably.

What USB charger do I need for Switzerland?

Why use a travel USB charger for Switzerland?

  • Typically travel USB chargers include multiple USB charger ports, this means that you should only need to bring one charger to charge multiple devices. Instead of bringing 4 separate power chargers you only need to pack one 4 port USB wall charger to power up to 4 devices, thereby reducing the size and weight of your baggage.
  • Travel USB chargers should include swappable plug heads for various countries thereby making them suitable if visiting other countries across Europe which are likely to use a different standard to Switzerland.
  • Good USB travel chargers are rugged, lightweight and compact; ideal for rigors of travel instead of than risking bringing along a domestic charger which might be impossible to repair or replace in Switzerland.
  • USB chargers will accept both the 230 volts used in Switzerland power outlets plus different voltage standards in other countries.
  • There is a chance that some hotel bedrooms or accommodation in Switzerland might only have one power outlet, by using a travel charger with multiple USB ports means you can share the single wall outlet with family or other traveler instead of waiting to charge each device one by one.
  • Because of their versatile nature a travel USB charger takes the worry out of travelling to any unknown country as they are guaranteed to work practically anywhere on the planet.
  • Power outlets in airports are often in short supply and the demand for charging multiple cell phones before a flight can be high, therefore a USB travel charger with multiple ports and the ability to charge quickly is perect.
  • Sometimes the power grid in a country can be unstable, a travel USB charger allows for unexpected surges and prevents damage to any devices attached to it. Attempting to repair an overloaded smartphone in Switzerland could prove to be problematic and expensive.
  • Premium USB travel chargers also incorporate a power outlet strip to allow you to power low wattage devices such as laptops, however these are unsuitable for high wattage domestic such as hair dryers or clothes irons. See the section on using travel appliances in Switzerland for useful guidelines and advice on the best power adapter for a high wattage devices with a Swiss power outlet.
  • Certain cell phones could pull more than the normal 500 milliamps produced from a standard 5 volt USB adapter to charge or provide fast charge. More expensive USB chargers will support fast charging should any of your devices require additional power.
  • When back at home travel USB chargers can still be used by charging multiple cell phones every night using only one power outlet.

What is the best USB charger for Switzerland?

The is the most compact option for travellers from around the world who only have USB devices, but for those also wishing to use their domestic plugs these power strips provide larger but more versatile solutions. All 3 power adapters offer surge protection which is crucial for visitors of counties with unreliable power grids. These travel adapters come with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering both Switzerland and over 150 countries around the world:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK international travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the best selling portable option for travellers originating from America visiting Switzerland.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Similarly having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers from North America using type B plugs and gives almost the same set of features as the BESTEK with only one less AC outlet at almost half the price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has just 2 AC outlets but offers a generous 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it ideal for a majority of travellers from around the world visiting Switzerland.

Power converters for Switzerland

What does a power converter for Switzerland do?

A power converter allows travellers to use a 100-120 volt electrical appliance with a 230 volt Swiss power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a power converter?

A heavy and expensive power converter [19] will transform the voltage of 230 volts from a Swiss power outlet to work with a non-230 volt appliance, however a smaller and more lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your appliance to slot into a power outlet found in Switzerland.

Do I need a power converter for Switzerland?

If travelling to Switzerland from a different country ensure the device will accept a 230 volt power supply.

  • You will need a step down power converter [20] if you are travelling to Switzerland from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your appliance or device isn't compatible with 230 volts. See the WikiConnections list of world power outlets guide to find out the voltage is used in your country.
  • You won't need a power converter if you already use either a 230 volt single voltage device or one that supports dual voltage.
  • Normally electrical devices designed to use a lower voltage such as 110 volts and then used in a 230 volt outlet run the risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your device.
  • You won't need a power converter if you are attempting to power a smaller electrical device such as a mobile phone or laptop as these are typically designed for international use and dual voltage, however always always check the device for dual voltage support prior to your journey.
  • For powering high wattage appliances or generate heat (for example hair straighteners and clothes irons) then you will need to use a more expensive higher wattage heavy duty power converter [6].
  • It will be more cost effective to bring a smaller lightweight dual voltage travel appliance than trying to bring a heavier high wattage power converter to Switzerland just to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • For more information read our travel guides on how to use clothes irons, curling wands, blow dryers and flat irons in Swiss power outlets , along with guides for some affordable dual voltage alternatives.

Will I need a power converter if I'm visiting Switzerland from the US?

The 230 volts used in a electric outlet in Switzerland is different to an 110 volt American outlet, therefore you will need to use a step down power converter if your appliance or charger doesn't support dual voltage.

What kind of converter do I need for Switzerland?

You need to buy a step down power converter [20] in order to use any 100, 110 or 120 volt appliance in Switzerland.

What is the difference between a power transformer and a power converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power transformer and a power converter?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.

How to convert 230 volts to 110 volts

  1. Use a step down power converter [20] to allow you to use a 110 or 120 volt appliance with a 230 volt Swiss power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for Switzerland before plugging that into a Swiss power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage to the 110-120 volt range.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 110-120 volt appliance can now be used with a 230 volt Swiss power outlet.

What voltage does Switzerland use?

Switzerland uses 230 volts in their power outlets.

Is my device single voltage or dual voltage?

Single voltage hair dryer

Is my device single voltage or dual voltage?

The way to see if a device is either single voltage or dual voltage is to look for a sticker on the supplied power plug, or on the appliance itself, typically on the rear of the unit or near to where the power cord sits. The location might depend on the make or model of your unit, it should also state on the box.

  • Single voltage devices could have a specific number - such as 110V.
  • Single voltage devices might also have a small voltage range (20 volts difference) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V.
  • Dual voltage devices will typically say a larger range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

What can I connect to a Swiss power outlet?

Travel appliances which can connect to a Swiss power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to a Swiss power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with a Swiss power outlet

Mobile phones that can connect to the Swiss power outlet

Apple iPhones which can be connected to a Swiss power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that work with a Swiss power outlet

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which work with a Swiss power outlet

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with a Swiss power outlet

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travelers visiting Switzerland, if you wish to contribute any useful information or feedback please email travel@wikiconnections.org. For more comprehensive technical details visit the Wikipedia page on AC power plugs and sockets [21].

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland - wikipedia.org entry about Switzerland.
  2. IKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters.
  3. Type C plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type C power outlets without converting voltage.
  4. Type F plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type F power outlets without converting voltage.
  5. Dual voltage travel hair dryer - Folding handle hair dryer with dual voltage suitable for international travel.
  6. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors.
  7. Dual voltage travel hair straighteners - Hair straighteners with adjustable temperature and dual voltage for 110 volts and 220 volts suitable for international travel.
  8. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  9. Type J plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type J power outlets without converting voltage.
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapter - power adaptor
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  12. Multiple power adapter travel set - international travel plug adapter set .
  13. Portable international travel plug adapter - AC Wall Charger with 2 USB sockets and outlets for US, UK, Australia and European power plugs which works in over 150 countries.
  14. Portable charger - A power bank is a portable charger which can recharge USB powered devices such as mobile phones and tablets on the go.
  15. Rechargeable hair dryer - Rechargeable battery powered blow dryer suitable for travelling.
  16. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges.
  17. 20,000mAh portable charger - High capacity 20000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for charging mobile phones and some tablets for several days.
  18. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support.
  19. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts.
  20. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet.
  21. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets - AC power plugs and sockets