Calling to and from France to the USA

telecom in france

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Live in the US and have relatives in France you wish to contact? Planning a trip to America for and want to know how to call France while you’re there? Whatever the reason, if you need to call France from the USA, below is all about how to do so.

How to dial a French phone number from the US

USA-flag

There are certain steps to follow if you want to contact France from abroad. From the United States, follow the steps below in order to call a French number in France:

  • Start by dialling 011, which is the US exit code. From a cellphone, you can dial “+” instead.
  • Then add 33, which is the country code for France.
  • Finally, type in the French phone number you want to join, omitting the 0 at the beginning (you should have 9 digits to dial).

For example, to call the French number 01 23 45 67 89, you will dial 011 331 23 45 67 89, or +331 23 45 67 89.

France is set to the Central European Standard Time (CEST), or GMT+1 timezone. meaning it is 6 hours ahead of the US East Coast and 9 hours ahead of the US West Coast. Keep this into account when planning the time of your calls.

The French area codes

Below is a guide to recognising the area of a French number, and how to differentiate a French fixed line to a cellphone number.

The French area codes for fixed lines

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You may come to notice that French fixed phone numbers all include 10 numbers, generally written in 5 pairs of digits such as 0X XX XX XX.

Numbers always start by a zero, but the second number depends on the area the phone line.

Here is a list of the France area codes and city dialling codes:

French phone area codes
City / Region Area Code
Paris / Île de France 1
Northwest France (Brest, Cherbourg, Le Havre, Nantes, Orleans, Rouen), the Réunion and Mayotte Overseas Departments 2
Northeast France (Boulogne, Calais, Dijon, Lille, Nancy, Strasbourg, Reims, Troyes) 3
Southeast France (Cannes, Grenoble, Lyon, Marseille, Monaco, Nice, St. Etienne, Toulon, Valence) and Corsica 4
Southeast France (Bordeaux, Limoges, Lourdes, Toulouse) and Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint-Martin, French Guiana and Saint Pierre et Miquelon Overseas departments 5

The French format for cellphones

Mobile phones in France are built on the same 0X XX XX XX model as the fixed lines, but you will always recognise them as the second number will either be a 6 or a 7.

As a result, to call the French cellphone number 07 12 34 56 78, you will type in 011 337 12 34 56 78,
or +337 12 34 56 78.

The French codes for other French lines

In France, customer service lines will typically start with “08“, resembling 08 XX XX XX XX.

As for French VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) numbers, these start by “09” and thus look like
09 XX XX XX XX.

If you ever need to contact a French utilities service from the US, follow this guide to calling important French numbers abroad. Check this other guide to find out how to contact the major emergency numbers in France.

Moving to France from the USA?Find out all about how to proceed, from your visa to healthcare in this guide dedicated to moving from the US to France.

How much will it cost to call France from the US?

If you plan on calling France quite frequently, this will end up being extremely expensive without the right phone plan, as long-distance and roaming charges can get expensive.

Here are some solutions to avoid extortionate phone bills overtime, when calling France from the US and vice versa:

  • Buying a cheap, pay-as-you-go phone can be a helpful short cut to make any of these procedures easier to complete.
  • Having a French telephone number will allow you to make phone calls in France for relatively cheap, and several prepaid plans offer special rates for calling abroad.
  • International SIM cards, such as Flexiroam can allow you a certain amount of calling time and/or data while in France at very competitive rates.
  • Some travel concierge services allow you to rent a phone for the duration of your stay in France. Search “France phone rent” online to find such companies and compare rates.

Another cheap solution to contact France is to use the Internet and a WiFi connexion to make calls. Services such as Skype, FaceTime or Viber are great free VoIP services that you can use via all devices to communicate from either side of the Atlantic.

Travel to France often?If so, it’s worth signing up for a postpaid mobile phone plan. In the long run, these are cheaper than pay-as-you-go and offer better calling time/data allowances. Call our English-speaking customer service line at 09 77 55 72 27 (Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 9 pm and 9:30 am to 6:30 pm on Saturdays and on Sundays 9 am to 5 pm), or ask for a free callback to help you find a plan that meets your needs

How to call the USA from France

house-france-usa

If in reverse you need to call the US from France, the procedure is the following:

  • Start by dialling 00 – this is the Europe exit code. From a cellphone, you can dial “+” instead or the double zero.
  • Then add 1, which is the country code for the US (and Canada).
  • Finally, type in the American phone number you want to join (you should have 10 digits to dial).

For example, to call the US number 012-345-6789, you will dial
00-1-012-345-6789, or +1-012-345-6789.