What Are International Country Codes? How Do I Dial an International Call?

How to Make Calls with International Country Codes

Traveller calling
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Question: What are international country codes? How do I dial an international call?

Answer: International calling codes, or country codes, are digits that must be dialed to reach a telephone number in another country. If you're in France and want to call the U.S., for instance, you must dial the U.S. country code before dialing the U.S. phone number.

How to Dial an International Call With Country Code

For calls to other countries, dial the country code, city code (similar to an area code), and the local number.

For example:

In order to make a phone call to Cordoba, in Spain:

  • Dial 34 (the country code)
  • Dial 957 (the city code)
  • Dial the phone number

This should hook you up with most phones in the Western world; naturally, there are exceptions as well as other rules, depending on where (geographically) you're calling and the kind of telephone you're calling.

International Phone Call Tips

  • Jot down the calling code of each country you will be visiting and carry it with you -- your itinerary is a handy spot. Remember to drop the zero from the country code. Example:
    • UK—country code 44
    • France—country code 33
    • Turkey—country code 90
  • Write down the US calling code, too—you'll need it to call home:
    • US country code —+1 (seems easy, but believe it or not, I forget)—Remember to dial the US country code and then the area code before dialing the phone number
  • If you need to call abroad while you're traveling, find out how an unlocked phone and local SIM card can save you money. Local SIM cards are cheaper and have inexpensive data and phone call rates compared to paying roaming fees from your mobile provider at home.
  • Consider using communication mobile applications like WhatsApp or Skype. These services offer the option to make calls over wifi or internet data plan for calling internationally and locally for low or no cost. 
"An amazing invention - but who would ever want to use one?"
--President Rutherford B. Hayes on telephones, 1876

Edited by Lauren Juliff

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