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Making Phone Calls To, From and Within Europe

by Pauline Kenny 2009, updated August 2015

Phone Number Basics

A phone number consists three parts; the international direct dialing number, followed by the country code and then the local phone number.

A phone number may show + at the start of the number. This means "dial the international direct dialing number for the country you are calling from". In the US/Canada this is 011. In Europe it is 00.

A phone number may have a number in brackets. This means you do not dial this number when calling it from outside the country.

Let's look at an example UK phone number: +44 (0)7403-999999. The + means dial your international direct dialing number. The brackets around the 0 indicate that this is dialled only if you are in the UK on a local phone. If calling from outside the country that zero is dropped.

Use + Instead of International Direct Dialing Number

On a cell phone (mobile) you can dial + instead of having to know the local international direct dialing number. The + is usually dialed by hitting the * twice, or holding the 0 button - consult your phone manual.

Using Your Cell Phone in Europe

When using your cell phone (mobile) outside of your country, always dial the international direct dialing number and country code before the phone number, even if you are calling a local number.

Phone TO Europe FROM the US/Canada

Dial the US/Canada international direct dialing number (011), the country code, then the phone number. Some countries have a leading zero on the phone number that is dialed only calling within the country. This number is usually within brackets to indicate it is only dialled locally.

Phone TO US/Canada FROM Europe

Dial the European international direct dialing number (00), then the country code (1), then the phone number. For example: 00-1-505-999-1212.

Time Change

The United Kingdom is 5 hours later than Eastern Time in the US. The rest of Western Europe is 6 hours later. Europe does not switch to Daylight Savings Time the same time as in the US/Canada. See the current time around the world on The World Clock - Time Zones.

Country Codes

Austria (43), Canada (1), Italy (39), France (33), Germany (49), Spain (34), Switzerland (41), United Kingdom (44), United States (1). Find all country codes at the World Telephone Numbering Guide.

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