Phoning from France

How dial from France, how to call local and international numbers from your US cellphone, use phone cards, sim-card deals, and the cheapest ways to call.

rotary dial phoneDialing: To make an international call from within Europe (even on your cellphone), dial 00 then country code (1 for the US, 44 for the UK) then the area code, etc.

To dial a local French number from your cellphone, you still have to dial as if it were international: 00 then the country code (France is 33), then drop the first 0 of the local number.  So a 10-digit local phone number starting with 04 or 06 would be a 9-digit number starting with a 4 or a 6.

For Americans, if you are having a problem reaching an 800 number from France (which is not free, by the way!), a little trick is to dial 001 then change the 800 to 880.

To give your hotel number to the folks back home, drop the first 0 and replace it with the French country code of 33.  So a 10-digit local phone number that looks like this 04 xx xx xx xx would be dialed from the US as 011 33 4 xx xx xx xx.

And don’t forget, New York is 6 hours earlier, SF is 9 (so evening here is morning there).

skypeFacetime or Skype: If you have a smartphone, the very cheapest way to call is to find a free wifi spot and use Facetime or Skype.  With Facetime you are limited to other iPhones, but with Skype you can buy a tiny credit, and then call any phone in the world (even landlines and businesses) for just 2 cents a minute.  Choose the Pay As You Go plan and pay for a $10 credit which gives you 500 minutes.  Just tap ‘make a skype call’, choose the country you want to call, and dial away…

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Photo credit: R Sull. Dhscommtech licensed under Creative Commons

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