Moving in : Paris

Landline phone in Paris

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To Call Internationally from France

France uses a direct-dial system, meaning you may dial the same number whether you're calling across the country or across the street. To call internationally, begin by dialing the international access code which is 00. After that you enter the country code, then enter the area code of the number you're trying to dial followed by the actual number. If the area code normally begins with a 0, you drop this zero when making an international call from France.

    First digit(s) for largest French cities:
  • Paris area: 1
  • Brest, Cherbourg, Le Havre, Nantes, Orleans, Rouen: 2
  • Boulogne, Calais, Dijon, Lille, Nancy, Strasbourg, Reims, Troyes: 3
  • Cannes, Grenoble, Lyon, Marseille, Monaco, Nice, St. Etienne, Toulon, Valence: 4
  • Bordeaux, Limoges, Lourdes, Toulouse: 5
  • Corsica: 495

To Call France Internationally

Many countries require you dial an exit code to dial internationally (for example 011 is the US or Canadian exit code)
Dial France's Country Code: 33
Dial the individual phone number - 9 digits

For example: US to France international dialing format : 011 + 33 + ?? ??? ????


Numbers that start 0800, 00800, 0804, 0805, 0809 are considered numéros verts and calls to these numbers are free from a fixed phone line. Numbers beginning with 0810, 0811, 0819, and 0860 are called numéros azur and are the price of a local call. Other numbers beginning with 08 may be called for a fee. Charges are progressive with minimum charges of €0.12 per minute, or a flat fee of €1.34 per call plus 0.34 € per minute. Time on hold is free.


In most cases, a telephone line is already installed and you will just have to pay a connection fee to start service. To do this, you will need to pick a provider and sign a contract. Make an appointment at least a week in advance to ensure service. If you do not have a phone line already installed, you can contact a provider and a technician will establish a line. Opening a new line costs around €50. To open an existing line costs around €35. Monthly charge is about €12 and the bill is sent every two months.


Many operators offer different plans, free trials, bonuses and discounts, so shop around before deciding.

Public Phones

Public phones are becoming much less available as they are commonly vandalized and many people have mobile phones. Most public telephones can sometimes be found in post offices, supermarkets, train or bus stations. Almost all telephone booths require a phone card (télécarte), with some booths taking credit cards with an embedded computer chip (many European issued credit cards are compatible).

Prepaid Cards

Calling cards (Télécartes) are a convenient way to use pay phones and offer lower rates on making international calls. Different cards offer many different tariffs and conditions and can be complicated to understand. The card with the lowest rate per minute might not be the most efficient card for you.

Cards can be purchased from most small tobacco shops (recognizable by their uniform red "Tabac" signs) or newspaper stands. Cards from France Telecom are available in 50 and 100 unit cards and cost between €8 to 16.

    When choosing a card, take into account:
  • The tariffs for the country(ies) you call
  • The length of your calls - Some cards have a small connection charge which is a disadvantage if you make lots of short calls, but no problem if you talk for an hour at a time to family and friends.
  • How much you call - All cards expire (usually 30-90 days from the first time you use it to call). Some cards also have cards have a daily maintenance charge

How to Use

Different prepaid calling cards may have different procedures, but most follow a similar format.

  1. Dial the access number
  2. Enter your PIN-number
  3. Dial your destination

After dialing a number, cards tell you how many minutes you have left. Some cards give your remaining balance after entering your PIN.

Skype & Chatting

Various sites offer the ability to "chat" with other users. Originally this meant typed messages that would instantly pop up on each others screens. In recent years, this has expanded to being able to voice and video chat. With service through the internet, it is cheap, easy, and even better then a phone call.

Skype is far and away the best technology as users can message, talk, or video chat with other internet users for free. Users can also call land lines and mobile phones for a fee. Other useful services include google talk, windows live messenger, meebo, and more.

Phone directory:

Related article: Mobile Phone in France

Update 13/02/2013


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