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Communications Making Phone Calls To, From and Within Europe

Phones, computers, internet.
Phone Number Basics
  • A phone number consists three parts; the international direct dialing number, the country code and the local phone number.
  • A phone number may show + at the start. 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.


Italian public phone from 2003

Use + Instead of International Direct Dialing Number
On a cell phone (also called a mobile phone) 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 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 for both the US and Canada), then the phone number. For example: 00-1-505-999-1212.

Time Change
The United Kingdom is 5 hours later than US Eastern Time. The rest of Western Europe is 6 hours later. In Europe Daylight Saving Time starts on the last Sunday in March and ends on the last Sunday in October (different from the start and end dates 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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It's Daylight Saving (not Savings) Time, and it's observed in Europe consistently from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October.
Also, depending what the scope of the topic includes, one can bring up ways of calling other than using local phone signals. I'm most familiar with Skype, where if the party you're calling has Skype, the call is free, or you can buy a certain amount of credit and make calls at a few cents per minute from that credit. There's also FaceTime between iOS devices, or Google Voice or Hangouts, or WhatsApp. With some of these some people may be just as or more comfortable having text rather than voice chats.

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Booking.com Hotels in Europe
AutoEurope.com Car Rentals

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