How to call France from the UK

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If you have a second home in France, are moving to France or have relatives in the UK, or even are prone to travel frequently between both places for business.. Whatever the reason, you may need to know how to call France from the United Kingdom, or vice versa. Find out how to do so in the article below.


Calling a French phone number from the UK

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If you are in the United Kingdom and wish to contact someone in France, you have to follow a specific protocol, as with every time you want to contact France from abroad. Here is how to proceed to call a French number in France from the United Kingdom:

  • Type 00 into your phone - this is the UK exit code. From a mobile phone, you can simply type "+".
  • Next, add 33 - this is the code specific to France.
  • End by typing the last 9 digits of the French phone number you are contacting, skipping the first digit which will be a zero.
For instance, to ring the French number 01 23 45 67 89 from the UK, you can type in either the sequence 00 331 23 45 67 89 or +331 23 45 67 89.

France is located in the CEST or Central European Standard Time. As a result, it is 1 hour ahead of the UK (GMT+1 timezone), and even though this is a very minor time difference, you may want to keep this in mind as you plan your phone calls in France.

What are the French phone formats?

The following guide will help you identify the French area code of the number you want to join, and recognise a French fixed line from a mobile phone line.

The French area codes for fixed phone numbers

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In France, fixed phones numbers are made up of 10 numbers, oftentimes presented in 5 sets of 2 digits, such as 0X XX XX XX.

All fixed phone numbers will start with a zero, then the following digit is determined by the phone line's area code.

Below is a summary of the area codes in France, with the main cities found in each zone:

The area codes for the main French cities and regions
Zone (Region or City) Area Code
Paris / Île de France 1
Northwest France (Brest, Cherbourg, Le Havre, Nantes, Orleans, Rouen), the Réunion and Mayotte DOMs 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 the Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint-Martin, French Guiana and Saint Pierre et Miquelon DOMs 5
So, for instance, to contact the French fixed number 01 12 34 56 78 from the UK, you have to dial 00 331 12 34 56 78 or +337 12 34 56 78.

The format for French mobile phones

Just like fixed phone numbers, all mobile telephone numbers are presented in the 0X XX XX XX model. They are easy to identify as the first digit is a zero, and the second digit is a 6 or a 7.

So, for instance, to contact the French mobile number 07 12 34 56 78 from the UK, you have to dial 00 337 12 34 56 78 or +337 12 34 56 78.

The French codes for other types of phone numbers

Aside from the typical fixed and mobile lines, you will also find other types of numbers, which can be identified by the second digit once again.

For instance, for customer service lines, the second number is often 8, and they will typically be presented like 08XX XXX XXX.

For the VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) numbers in France, the second digit will be 9 with these numbers looking like 09 XX XX XX XX.

To join a French utility service from the United Kingdom, such as energy or transport companies, check out this guide about how to call important French numbers from abroad.
You can also follow the information in this other guide on how to contact emergency numbers in France.

How much will I pay to call France from the UK?

Fortunately today, thanks to the roaming charges in the EU, you will not pay any extra for making calls from France to the UK and vice-versa (this also applies to texts and data). This is what is known as the Roam Like At Home measure.

This said if you are planning on calling France from the United Kingdom and vice versa, without the right phone plan you are bound to start getting expensive bills over time, and what's more the Roam Like At Home policy stops being effective after a few months of being away from your home country.

To prevent getting charged very high amounts for your calls from the UK to France and vice versa, you have a few interesting options:

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  • You can get hold of a pay-as-you-go phone, thanks to which you can stay in control of how much you pay for your communications.
  • Getting a French telephone number is also a good solution to call and text in France for relatively cheap, plus most of the providers have deals that specifically give you preferential rates to use your allowance 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.
  • A less known but still effective option is to get in touch with a travel concierge service, which can enable you to rent a phone while in France. Simply type "france phone rent" into your search engine learn more about these services and compare their rates.

You can also consider using a WiFi connexions to make calls and use data while in France - most cafes, restaurants, airports and train stations offer this service for free. Apps such as Skype, FaceTime or Viber are great, free VoIP services will allow you to use your allowance for Internet and calls via Wifi, from either side of the channel.

How to call the UK from France

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In the event that you need to do the reverse and call the United Kingdom from France, here is what to do:

  • First type 00 - which corresponds to the exit code for France.
    From a mobile phone, you can simply press the "+" key instead of the double zero.
  • Next, add the digits 44. This corresponds to the United Kingdom's country code.
  • Lastly, dial in the British phone number you are contacting, but like with the French numbers you need to cut out the zero at the beginning. As a result, you should have 10 digits to dial instead of 11 in this step.

And that's it!

For instance, in you are in France and you wish to get in contact with the British number 012-3456-7890, dial either 00-44-12-3456-7890 or +44-12-3456-7890.
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