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Telephony

Emergency Numbers in France

  • Medical Emergency SAMU 15
  • Police 17
  • Fire 18
  • Directory Enquiries 118 118 or 118 218

From mobile phones

  • Emergency Services 112

Dialling into France

Dial 00 and then the international code 33, drop the first 0 on the area code number.

Dialling Home from France

Dial 00, then the international code (44 for UK, 34 for Spain etc.). Drop the first 0 on the area code number.

Off-peak Hours

Off-peak rates apply on weekdays between 19.00 and 08.00, all day Saturday, Sunday and national holidays.
Note: If dialing from a hotel phone they usually add a mark-up to the rates which can be significant.

Useful Numbers

  • Time 36 99
  • Train Services 36 35
  • International Operator 31 23
    Use this service to make a reverse-charge, or collect call, known in French as ‘téléphoner en PCV’

Save on International Calls

You can make substantial savings on international calls by using the cheap dial-up service Telerabais. From their listing simply punch in the number of the country you want to call, wait to be connected, then add the country code and proceed as normal, dropping the 0. Press the hash-key and you will be put through. There is a different call-up number for fixed lines and mobiles.
So, to a fixed line in the USA you dial 0811 312 020 then country code 001 then the number of the person you wish to call, for example 202 456 1414 without the 0.
Instructions are in English on the site and you can call from any phone, and no subscription is needed. Voilà! www.telerabais.com

Mobile Phones

French mobile phones operate on the European GSM standard so US mobiles won’t work in France unless you have a tri-band phone. Be warned, call charges are pretty exhorbitant and if you are going to be in France for any length of time, investigate buying a French SIM card which will give you a local phone number and pre-paid recharge cards (mobicartes). SIM cards are available from France Télècom-Orange outlets and SFR in main towns. You can buy Mobicartes in supermarkets and tabacs.

Phone Cards

Explore all the possibilities of phone cards for ease and economy.
To make and receive calls from call boxes you will most probably need a phone card (télécarte) available from post offices, tabacs, newsagents and railway stations. You can also use credit cards in many call boxes.

Pre-paid phone cards (cartes à codes) are on sale at tabacs, newsagents and post offices and can be used on any public or private telephone.