France, with its art, culture, history and food scenes, cosmopolitan cities and stunning countryside, is a top destination for both tourists and expats. It’s very possible that someone you know will be in France at some point, and you’ll need to get in touch with them from another country. So how do you place an international call into France? Read on for some tips, tricks, troubleshooting and general information about calling France from abroad.
Every country in the world has a different country code that must be dialed before a local phone number. Without them, phone numbers would have to be far too long for people to memorize, simply so there could be enough phone numbers for everyone in the world to have a unique one.
- France’s country code is +33.
France has a handful of area codes that will allow you to reach different regions of the country.
- Paris and Paris region: 01
- Northwest France: 02
- Northeast France: 03
- Southeast France and Corsica: 04
- Southwest France: 05
France also has two separate area codes just for mobile phones. Regardless of the region, if you’re dialing a mobile phone, the area code will be 06 or 07.
For example, if calling a mobile phone from outside France, you'd dial +33, then 6 or 7, and the 8-digit mobile number.
When calling France from outside the country, the “0” in the area code should be left off.
An example of a French phone number in Paris is 01 09 75 83 51. To call this number from outside France, you'd dial +33 1 09 75 83 51 from a mobile phone, or your international call prefix and then 33 1 09 75 83 51 from a landline.
When calling a foreign country from a landline, you won’t be able to dial the “+” before the country code, so you use an international call prefix instead. These vary depending on what country you’re calling from, but some of the most common are:
|UK, Italy, China, France||00|
|United States or Canada||011|
For a full list of international call prefixes, click here.
If your call to France isn’t going through, troubleshoot with these tips:
- Make sure the local number you’re dialing is correct.
- Make sure you’re using the correct dialing format (your country’s international call prefix, France’s country code, the area code, then the local number)
- If you’re calling on a mobile phone, make sure you use the “+” symbol before the country code, not the international call prefix.
Another way to make a call to France is to use an app, like Whatsapp or Skype. Whatsapp offers free calls, and Skype allows you to pre-load the app with credits for making international calls (calls via the app to another Skype user are free).
Many telecom companies in France offer voicemail as a service that can be added onto a phone line subscription, but it's entirely up to the customer whether he or she wants to subscribe to a voicemail service. These days, many people, especially young people, use mobile phones exclusively and no longer have landlines. Mobile phones generally have built-in voice mailboxes that may have a generic greeting or a personalized one recorded by the user.
If you live in the United States, France’s ringing tone will sound familiar to you. The ringing tone will be very similar to the dial tone you hear when you first pick up a landline phone, but instead of one continuous tone, it will be in two short bursts at a time, with a longer pause in between each pair of sounds.
You can hear France’s ringing tone by clicking here.
If you’re a frequent international traveller, you’ll probably need to send money abroad at some point. If you’re looking to move money across borders quickly, safely and cheaply, try Wise. Wise moves money internationally via a series of local bank transfers, which means money never physically crosses borders, and you don’t have to pay international or intermediary bank fees. You’ll get the exact exchange rate that you see on Google, with no markups or hidden fees. All you pay is a small, fair transfer fee that’s spelt out upfront.
Wise also offers borderless multi-currency accounts, which allow users to send, receive and manage money in several global currencies at once. By 2018, borderless account holders will also have access to consumer debit cards, which makes accessing your money while traveling even easier.
With this guide in hand, hopefully calling abroad won’t seem quite as complicated. Good luck with your travels and your call!
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