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Guide to Calling in France

young woman talking on a mobile phone

New in France? Learn all about making calls in France in this guide.

How to Dial from Within France

French numbers have 10 digits, starting with 0, and are listed in the following format:

0X XX XX XX XX

French people usually state phone numbers as a sequence of five double-digit numbers (e.g. 09 42 53 84 06 = "zero neuf, quarante deux, cinquante-trois, quatre vingt-quatre, zero six"). There are no long-distance charges for calling numbers within France from a French phone number (though some customer service numbers are paying numbers). Numbers that start with 06 or 07 indicate cellphones, and numbers starting with 01 through 05 indicate different regions in France. Customer service numbers often start with 08, but watch out, as some are paying numbers. Numbers starting with 09 indicate VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) numbers, and are not geographically assigned. The area code for Corsica is 495.

French phone number map
Summary of Phone Numbers in France
01 Ile-de-France
02 Northwest France (Brest, Cherbourg, Le Havre, Nantes, Orleans, Rouen)
03 Northeast of France (Boulogne, Calais, Dijon, Lille, Nancy, Strasbourg, Reims, Troyes)
04 Southeast France (Cannes, Grenoble, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, St. Etienne, Toulon, Valence)
05 Southwest of France (Bordeaux, Limoges, Lourdes, Toulouse)
06 / 07 Mobile phone
08 Customer service numbers
09 VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) numbers

How to Dial France from Abroad

The international country code for France is 33. To call France from abroad, dial your country's exit code + 33 + the 9-digit number (does not include 0).

For example, to call France from the US or Canada, dial 011 33X XX XX XX XX. To call France from the UK, dial 00 33X XX XX XX XX.

Living Abroad?Find out how to call important French helplines from abroad

Important Numbers to Know in France

Emergency Numbers in France

The European Emergency number is 112 (114 for hearing-assisted). Dial this number for any emergency service (ambulance, fire brigade, police) anywhere throughout Europe. Specially-trained operators will pick up the call, and in France are guaranteed to speak English and French. This number is free of charge and can be dialed from a fixed line or a mobile phone - even if the mobile phone is out of credit or locked. It exists alongside French national emergency numbers, which are:

The European Emergency number is 112
  • 15: Medical help/SAMU
  • 17: Police/Police Nationale (Gendarmerie)
  • 18: Fire department & accidents/Sapeurs Pompiers

Other important/emergency numbers include:

  • 115: Emergency shelter/SAMU Sociale
  • 119: Child protection/Enfance en danger
  • 116 000: Missing child/Enfants disparus
  • 112 / 196: Emergency at sea/lake when calling from land
  • VHF Channel 16 / 112: When calling from sea

When reporting an emergency, don't forget to indicate the following information:

  • Your name and contact information (phone number)
  • The location (and directions, if necessary)
  • What happened, and whether it is still happening
  • How many people need help
  • Whether any weapons were involved

Dial 39 15 if you are looking for a pharmacist that is open outside of regular hours (i.e. late at night or on a Sunday).

English Speaking Helplines in France

Find a full list of English-speaking helplines in our guide

Along with the European Emergency Number 112, here are some other helplines that are available in English:

SOS Help

This is is an English-language emotional support line for the international community in France, run by the non-profit association SOS Help (which is affiliated with the Samaritans). It is available at 01 46 21 46 46 seven days a week, from 3 to 11 pm. Volunteer listeners are trained by psychologists to provide empathatic and non-judgemental listening support to anyone experiencing difficult or painful life experiences.

Healthcare Insurance/Carte Vitale Questions

The state health insurance social security system is managed by l'Assurance Malade, or "Ameli". You also may hear about the CPAM (Caisse primaire d'assurance maladie), which is the French administrative body that manages healthcare in France. The number for Ameli's English-speaking service is 36 46. You can also try 08 11 36 36 46. Calls cost 0.06 €/min + any applicable operator call charges. To call from abroad, dial +33 811 70 36 46 (calls cost 0.06 €/min + long distance charges).

Utilities

EDF is currently the only electricity supplier to offer an English-speaking customer service phone number, available at 09 69 36 63 83 (+339 69 36 63 83 when calling from abroad). While EDF (Electricité de France) is the largest energy supplier in France, other suppliers offer lower rates. Find out more.

Moving to France?Call Selectra's English-speaking customer service helpline at 09 87 67 37 93 (Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 8 pm, Saturdays from 9.30 am to 6 pm) to open an account and find a supplier and plan that meets your needs.

Telephone

Orange (formerly France Telecom), the historic telecommunications provider in France, operates an English-speaking customer helpline available at 09 69 36 39 00 (+339 69 36 39 00 when dialed from abroad). While other telecommunications providers have limited English-language support, you can often find better prices when you shop around.

Looking for a Mobile Phone in France?Call Selectra's English-speaking customer service helpline at 09 77 55 72 27 (Monday to Friday from 9:30 am - 7:30 pm) to find a supplier and plan that meets your needs.

Train

The national train company in France is the SNCF (Société nationale des chemins de fer français). The customer service number for SNCF is 36 35. To access English-speaking customer help, dial 1 as soon as the call goes through. Calls cost 0.40 €/min including tax, plus any fees charged by your telephone provider. To book a train ticket from outside of France, call 00 338 92 35 35 35. You will be charged the cost of an international call, plus any applicable operator charges.

Dialing Customer Service Numbers in France

Many customer service numbers in France par pay-per-call/pay-per-minute services. Watch out for the following types of numbers, as they tend to be paying numbers:

  • 4-digit numbers starting with 3 or 10
  • 6-digit numbers starting with 118
  • 10-digit numbers starting with 08

Prix d'un appel local or numéro non-surtaxé both mean that the call should be free when dialed from a French landline

How to Call for Free in France

Here are a few ideas for talking on the phone for free in France:

  • It is free to receive calls on your French fixed line or mobile phone
  • Calling from fixed line to fixed line is usually free in France
  • Skype, Whatsapp, and FaceTime Audio are three possibilities of making free calls, though you will need to have a Wifi connection
  • Many mobile phone plans in France offer unlimited calling time to numbers in France, and some even include free calls to Europe/North America/Asia. Find out more about your mobile phone plan options