Telephones

To call France:

1. Dial the international access code: 011 from the U.S. and Canada; 00 from the U.K., Ireland, or New Zealand; or 0011 from Australia.

2. Dial the country code 33.

3. Dial the city code and then the number. Most of the numbers in this guide are prefaced with the city code of 04, which must be dialed.

For information on calling Monaco,

To make international calls: To make international calls from France, first dial 00 and then the country code (U.S. or Canada 1, U.K. 44, Ireland 353, Australia 61, New Zealand 64). Next you dial the area code and number. For example, if you wanted to call the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., you would dial 00-1-202/588-7800.

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For directory and operator assistance: Dial 12 for assistance in French; in English, dial 0-800/364-775. For international inquiries, dial 08-36-59-32-12. This will link you with a bilingual (French and English) phone operator. You are allowed to request only two numbers for which you pay a service charge of 3€. However, if you wish to use an operator to call your home country, you dial the toll-free number of tel. 08-00-99-00 plus the following 10 digits of your country code: 08-00-99-00-11 for the U.S. and Canada, and 08-00-99-00-44 for the U.K., or 08-00-99-00-61 for Australia.

Toll-free numbers: For France, numbers beginning with 08 and followed by 00 are toll-free. But be careful. Numbers that begin with 08 followed by 36 carry a surcharge per minute.

Mobile Phones

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The three letters that define much of the world's wireless capabilities are GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications), a big, seamless network that makes for easy cross-border cellphone use throughout Europe and dozens of other countries worldwide. GSM phones function with a removable plastic SIM card, encoded with your phone number and account information. If your cellphone is on a GSM system and you have a world-capable multiband phone, you can make and receive calls across much of the globe. Just call your wireless operator and ask for "international roaming" to be activated on your account. Unfortunately, per-minute charges can be high.

Using your phone or mobile device abroad can be very expensive, and you usually have to pay to receive calls or use the internet. Check with your phone supplier to see if you can buy a data package for overseas use. It's also a good idea to get your phone "unlocked" before you leave for France. This means you can buy a SIM card from one of the three French providers -- Bouygues Télécom (www.bouygestelecom.fr), Orange (www.orange.fr), or SFR (www.sfr.fr) -- and simply insert it into your phone. A SIM card with 5€ call credit costs about 10€. Alternatively, if your phone isn't unlocked, you could buy a cheap mobile phone. To top up your phone credit, buy a Mobicarte from tabacs, supermarkets, and mobile phone outlets. Prices range from 5€ to 100€.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.