How to Call France from the US

France and the US share a rich and colorful history of cultural exchange. Whether it’s through familial ties, close friendships, or bustling business connections, there’s no denying the enduring bond that connects these two nations across the vast Atlantic. And while modern technology offers us many communication channels, from email to social media to instant messaging, the humble telephone call still reigns supreme as the ultimate tool for human connection. Of course, making international calling can be a bit tricky, so it’s important to keep a few key factors in mind. From time zones to dialing codes, there are some nuances to be aware of.

Things to Consider when Calling France from the US

Before you pick up the phone, there are a few things you should consider.

Before picking up the phone and dialing your French contact, it’s essential to take into account the time zone disparities between the US and France. Depending on your location and the season, the time gap could range from six to nine hours. Unless you’re trying to channel your inner night owl, you wouldn’t want to unwittingly rouse your French colleague from a peaceful slumber.

Another factor to bear in mind is the potential international call charges that might sneak up on you. If you’re not careful, your phone provider could tag on a hefty fee for calling overseas. To avoid this unpleasant surprise, do some homework and inquire about your phone plan’s rates. Or, if you’re feeling tech-savvy, take advantage of cost-effective alternatives such as Skype or Google Voice’s VoIP services.

But wait, there’s more! If you want to make a lasting impression and avoid cultural blunders, familiarize yourself with French phone etiquette. In France, it’s customary to address individuals you’re not well acquainted with using formal titles such as Monsieur or Madame. Begin the conversation with a friendly greeting such as “Bonjour” (good day) or “Bonsoir” (good evening) to set the right tone.

With these tips, you might even earn yourself some bonus points for cultural sensitivity.

The Format of French Phone Numbers

French phone numbers are composed of 10 digits, with the first digit indicating the type of phone line. The most common first digits are 0, 1, and 2. Mobile numbers start with 06 or 07, and landline numbers start with 01 through 05. Numbers starting with 09 are VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) numbers, and are not geographically assigned. The second digit indicates the geographic area of the phone number. For example, all phone numbers starting with 01 are in the Paris region. The international country code for France is 33.

French phone numbers are usually written as: five double-digit numbers separated by spaces or periods (e.g. 09 42 53 84 06 or

Common Area Codes in France

Here are some of the most common area codes in France:

  • Paris and the surrounding region: 01
  • Northwest France, including cities such as Nantes and Rouen: 02
  • Northeast France, including cities such as Strasbourg and Nancy: 03
  • Southeast France, including cities such as Lyon and Marseille: 04
  • Southwest France, including cities such as Bordeaux and Toulouse: 05

How to Dial French Phone Numbers

To dial a French phone number from the US, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  1. Dial the international access code, which is 011 in the US.
  2. Dial the country code for France, which is 33.
  3. Dial the area code (without the leading 0).
  4. Dial the local phone number.

For example, if you wanted to call a phone number in Paris with the area code 01 and the local number 23 45 67 89, you would dial 011 33 1 23 45 67 89.

How to Make Cheap Calls to France

If you want to make cheap calls to France, there are a few options to consider. One is to use a VoIP service, such as Dingtone. VoIP services allow you to make calls over the internet instead of using your regular phone line. The internation calling rate of Dingtone to call France is only 0.9 credits/minute, which is almost $0.015/minute.

Another is to use an international calling card. These cards allow you to make international calls at a lower rate than your regular phone plan. You can often find them at convenience stores or online.

Besides,many carriers offer international calling plans for calling France. These plans often include a certain number of minutes or unlimited calling to France, as well as other international destinations, for a flat monthly fee. Depending on your carrier and plan, international calling rates to France may be relatively cheap compared to pay-as-you-go rates.

Basic International RateInternational Plan
AT&T$3.00/minuteAT&T International Calling Plan: $15/month, Unlimited
T-Mobile$3.00/minuteStateside International Talk: $15/month, Unlimited
Verzion$1.99 /minuteGlobal Choice France: $10/month, 300 minutes
Global Calling Plus: $15/month, Unlimited
Global Calling: $5/month, Landline- $0.07/minute, Mobile – $0.17/minute
Sprint$3.00/minuteSprint International Connect: $15/month, Unlimited


Calling France from the US may seem daunting at first, but with a little preparation and knowledge of the format of French phone numbers, it can be a breeze. Remember to consider the time difference, cost, and call etiquette, and you’ll be able to have a pleasant conversation with your French contact. And if you want to save money on your calls, consider using a VoIP service, international calling card, or mobile app. Bonne chance!

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