Confused by the endless numbers we need to dial when calling internationally? Here's how to get through to Greece - and FROM Greece!
- Make sure you have the area code - it is now necessary for all calls, including local ones. See below for useful links.
- Deposit your coins if the phone accepts them (increasingly rare) or insert your previously-purchased phone card. Make sure your phone card matches the logo on the booth you're using.
- Listen for the 'dial tone' - a series of beeps. This won't be the tone you're used to and sounds like an interrupted busy signal. It's not.
- Dial the number. Constant beeps indicate it's busy.
- For calls from Athens to another Greek city, add the area code of the city you're calling. You will need to precede this with 2 - in effect making a three-digit area code.
- For calls from Athens to another country, first, count your money - it's expensive! Beware of hotel surcharges, often equal to the cost of the phone call itself.
- Find a modern phone booth, or go to the OTE (Greek Telephone Company) office located in all substantial towns.
- Dial the International Direct Dial code - from all of Greece, it's 00.
- Then dial the country code (see tips below).
- Finally, dial the number, including the area code (but omitting the '1' sometimes dialed for long-distance before the area code). You should hear a normal ring and connect.
- If using a phone card from your own country, follow the instructions provided by the issuer.
- Calling a ship? Contact the ship-to-shore operator at 158.
- Since January 2003, calls to mobile phones require a "6". The previous code was 093, 097, and so on. The new code is 693, 697, etc. Some old printed materials may still have the zero codes instead; if you can't get through, try switching the zero to a six.
- Hint: Buy your first phone card at the airport when you arrive. Try to call your hotel using it. If you have a problem with using the card, ask the clerk you bought it from what you are doing wrong.
- Read through the official instructions at the link below. The average phone number dialing protocol changed three times between 2000 and 2003. Printed materials, posted signs, and outdated resources may include old-format numbers.
- To call the US or Canada from Greece, begin with 001 followed by the country code, area code, and number. The UK is 0044, Canada is 011, Ireland 353, Australia 61.
- Long distance calls made FROM Greece are expensive. Check with your provider first or be prepared for a big bill no matter how you pay or where you call from.
- Some phone booths may not handle international calls. Ones with more up-to-date looking equipment are more likely to do so.
- Mobile cell phone users may actually pay less in some cases than hardwired callers, but will still pay more than they are accustomed to at home.
What You Need
- Phone card or
- Coins or
- Int'l calling card