How to Dial to and from Europe

By Rick Steves

Many Americans are intimidated by dialing European phone numbers. You needn’t be. It’s simple, once you break the code.

By the way, in some European countries, particularly those with area codes, phone numbers can have varying lengths — a hotel might have a seven-digit phone number and an eight-digit fax number.

Dialing Within a Country

About half of all European countries use area codes (like we do); the other half uses a direct-dial system without area codes.

To make calls within a country with a direct-dial system (Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland), dial the same number whether you’re calling across the country or across the street.

In countries that use area codes (such as Austria, Croatia, Britain, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, and Turkey), dial the local number when calling from a landline within a city, and add the area code if calling long-distance (or from a mobile phone) within the country. Example: To call a Munich hotel (tel. 089/264-349) from a landline within Munich, dial 264-349; to call it from Frankfurt, dial 089/264-349.

Dailing Internationally

Always start with the international access code — 011 if you’re calling from the US or Canada, 00 from anywhere in Europe. From a mobile phone, simply insert a + instead (by holding the 0 key).

Then dial the country code of the country you’re calling (see chart below).

Finally, dial the number — including the area code, if it has one. If the number or area code begins with a 0, you’ll nearly always drop the 0; the only exception is calling Italy, which requires you to dial that 0.

Examples: To call the Munich hotel (tel. 089/264-349) from Italy, dial 00 (or +), then 49 (Germany’s country code), then 89/264-349 (area code — without its initial zero — and number).

To call a Paris hotel (tel. 01 47 05 49 15) from the US, dial 011 (or +), then 33 (France’s country code), then 1 47 05 49 15 (phone number without its initial zero).

To call a Madrid hotel (tel. 915-212-900) from Germany, dial 00 (or +), 34 (Spain’s country code), then 915-212-900.

Calling the US from Europe: To dial the US direct, first enter the international access code (00 from Europe, or + from anywhere), then the country code of the US (1), then the area code and the seven-digit number. To call my office in Edmonds, Washington, from anywhere in Europe, dial 00-1-425-771-8303.

More Dialing Tips

The chart below shows how to dial per country. For further instructions, see countrycallingcodes.com or howtocallabroad.com.

If you’re using a mobile phone, dial as if you’re in that phone’s country of origin. So, when roaming with your US phone in Italy, dial as if you’re calling from the US. But if you’re using a European SIM card, dial as you would from the country where you purchased the card.

European Calling Chart

Just smile and dial, using this key: AC = Area Code, LN = Local Number.

European Country Country Code Calling long distance within... Calling from the US/Canada to... Calling from a European country to...
Austria

43

AC + LN

011 + 43 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

00 + 43 + AC (without the initial zero) + LN

Belgium

32

LN

011 + 32 + LN (without initial zero)

00 + 32 + LN (without initial zero)

Bosnia-Herzegovina

387

AC + LN

011 + 387 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

00 + 387 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

Croatia

385

AC + LN

011 + 385 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

00 + 385 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

Czech Republic

420

LN

011 + 420 + LN

00 + 420 + LN

Denmark

45

LN

011 + 45 + LN

00 + 45 + LN

Estonia

372

LN

011 + 372 + LN

00 + 372 + LN

Finland

358

AC + LN

011 + 358 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

999 + 358 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

France

33

LN

011 + 33 + LN (without initial zero)

00 + 33 + LN (without initial zero)

Germany

49

AC + LN

011 + 49 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

00 + 49 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

Gibraltar

350

LN

011 + 350 + LN

00 + 350 + LN

Great Britain & Northern Ireland 44 AC + LN 011 + 44 + AC (without initial zero) + LN 00 + 44 + AC (without initial zero) + LN
Greece

30

LN

011 + 30 + LN

00 + 30 + LN

Hungary

36

06 + AC + LN

011 + 36 + AC + LN

00 + 36 + AC + LN

Ireland

353

AC + LN

011 + 353 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

00 + 353 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

Italy

39

LN

011 + 39 + LN

00 + 39 + LN

Latvia

371

LN

011 + 371 + LN

00 + 371 + LN

Montenegro

382

AC + LN

011 + 382 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

00 + 382 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

Morocco

212

LN

011 + 212 + LN (without initial zero)

00 + 212 + LN (without initial zero)

Netherlands

31

AC + LN

011 + 31 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

00 + 31 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

Norway

47

LN

011 + 47 + LN

00 + 47 + LN

Poland

48

LN

011 + 48 + LN

00 + 48 + LN

Portugal

351

LN

011 + 351 + LN

00 + 351 + LN

Russia

7

8 + AC + LN

011 + 7 + AC + LN

00 + 7 + AC + LN

Slovakia

421

AC + LN

011 + 421 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

00 + 421 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

Slovenia

386

AC + LN

011 + 386 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

00 + 386 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

Spain

34

LN

011 + 34 + LN

00 + 34 + LN

Sweden

46

AC + LN

011 + 46 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

00 + 46 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

Switzerland

41

LN

011 + 41 + LN (without initial zero)

00 + 41 + LN (without initial zero)

Turkey

90

AC (if no initial zero is included, add one) + LN

011 + 90 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

00 + 90 + AC (without initial zero) + LN

  • The instructions above apply whether you’re calling to or from a European landline or mobile phone.
  • If calling from any mobile phone, you can replace the international access code with “+” (press and hold 0 to insert it).
  • The international access code is 011 if you’re calling from the US or Canada.
  • To call the US or Canada from Europe, dial 00, then 1 (country code for the US and Canada), then the area code and number. In short, 00 + 1 + AC + LN = Hi, Mom!