By Rick Steves
Many Americans are intimidated by dialing European phone numbers. You needn't be. With these tips and list of calling codes for Europe, it's simple, whether you're calling from the US, Canada, or within Europe.
Whether you're phoning from a US landline, your own mobile phone, a Skype account, or a number in another European country (e.g., Spain to Italy), you're making an international call. Here's how to do it:
- Dial the international access code.
- 011 if calling from a US or Canadian landline or mobile phone; if dialing from a mobile phone, you can enter a + instead of the 011 (press and hold the 0 key)
- 00 if calling from a number in any European country; if dialing from a mobile phone, you can enter a + instead of the 00
- Dial the country code.
- For example, dial 39 if you're calling Italy or 33 for France (see chart below)
- Dial the phone number.
- If the number begins with a 0, drop it (except for Italy)
In some countries, it's normal for phone numbers to have varying lengths (for instance, a seven-digit phone number and an eight-digit mobile number).
European Country Codes
Just smile and dial...
|Country||Country Code||Country||Country Code|
|Great Britain &
 For long-distance calls within Hungary, dial 06, then the area code and number.
 When making international calls to Italy, do not drop the initial 0 from the phone number.
 For long-distance calls within Russia, dial 8, then the area code and number. To call the US or Canada from Russia, dial 8, then 10, then 1, then the area code and number.
If you're calling from one number to another within the same European country (either from a landline or with a local mobile phone or SIM card), simply dial the phone number, including the initial 0 if there is one.
In the US, we're accustomed to seven-digit phone numbers and three-digit area codes, but European phone numbers and calling standards are a bit harder to predict. Phone numbers and area codes can vary in length, even within the same country, and mobile phones utilize their own sets of prefixes.
In some countries, much like at home, you can choose to drop the area code if dialing landline to landline within the same area code, while in other countries, you must dial the full number, even if calling across the street. But I keep things simple by always just dialing the full phone number, including the area code or prefix.
- To call a Munich hotel (tel. 089/264-349) from your Berlin hotel phone, dial 089/264-349. To dial it from your hotel in Italy, enter 00, then 49 (Germany's country code), then 89/264-349 (area code — without its initial 0 — and number).
- To call a Paris hotel (01 47 05 49 15) from your US home phone, dial 011, then 33 (France's country code), then 1 47 05 49 15 (the hotel's phone number minus its initial 0).
- To call a Madrid hotel (915-212-900) from a friend's house in Germany, dial 00, then 34 (Spain's country code), then 915-212-900.
- To call a Florence museum (055-238-8651) from your US mobile phone (whether you're in Florence or the US), dial +, then 39 (Italy's country code), then 055-238-8651 (phone number with its 0).
If you get stuck, see countrycallingcodes.com or howtocallabroad.com for more help. Remember that if you're dialing from a mobile phone, you can enter a + instead of the international access code (011 or 00) by pressing and holding the 0 key.
Whether dialing from a mobile phone or landline, this is how to call the US or Canada from Europe:
- Dial 00, Europe's international access code, or enter + from any mobile phone.
- Dial 1, the country code for the US and Canada.
- Dial the phone number, including area code.
So to call my office in Edmonds, Washington, from anywhere in Europe, I dial 00-1-425-771-8303; or, from a mobile phone, +-1-425-771-8303.