How to call France from the UK

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In 2022 the UK made calls for 202 Billion minutes1, with 525 million of those minutes being international calls2.

Essentially, we like to talk over the phone, and whether you have family or friends in France or need to talk to someone there for any other reason, you’ll likely want to call at some point. So, here’s how to call France from the UK, made easy.

The best calling plans for calling France from the UK

Assuming you have your phone or landline ready, the first thing you’ll need is a provider that allows you to call from the UK to France.

Here are some of the UK’s biggest international call providers, their rates and key features.

Provider Pay-as-you-go rate Regular monthly rate Features Terms
Boss Revolution - special calling plan France - 5p / min
France Cellular - 9p / min
£9.99 Unlimited calls to landline and mobile phones in France, Germany, USA and many more.

Download the Boss Revolution App to buy a calling plan

There are no subscription fees. You can add credit only when you want to.
 

Vodafone3 21p / min4 £54 50 minutes of international calls per month to 65 countries Must be added to an existing Vodafone contract
BT5 23.62p / min6 £07 The International Freedom Add-on allows BT customers to make international calls to fixed landlines in 36 countries Does not include France as a mobile location, and must be added to a preexisting BT monthly contract
Sky8 19p / min9 £39 Provides a discount of 5p/min for international calls from the UK to 60 international locations International Saver Plan must be added to a preexisting Sky monthly plan
EE10 18p / min11 £13.0311 500 minutes of international calls to over 50 countries International add-on pack must be added to a preexisting EE contract
Three12 3p / min13 £1214 Unlimited minutes a month for landline and mobile calls abroad. Is an add-on for an existing Three mobile contract

How to use calling cards

Using international calling cards is a great way to make cost-effective and convenient calls from the United Kingdom to France.

Also known as phone cards, calling cards are prepaid cards that allow users to make long-distance calls at discounted rates, typically available at most supermarkets or online.

How do calling cards work?

  1. Purchase a calling card:

    • Buy a calling card from a nearby store or online - research competitors for the best price. Each card will come with a set number of minutes for international calls.

  2. Dial the access number:

    • Each calling card will have a unique access number - dial it to connect to the calling card service.

  3. Enter the PIN:

    • You will then be asked to enter the calling card’s PIN for verification.

  4. Dial the destination number:

    • Once the PIN is accepted, you can follow the voice prompts to enter the international dialling code for France (which is +33), and then input the specific phone number you wish to call.

International calling cards can make great options for short one-off calls, or if you only need to make a few calls. Just remember to keep track of your balance so you don’t get cut off mid-call.

One thing that can help with this is online account management, which some providers such as BOSS Revolution provide. This allows you to recharge your balance, view call history, and manage your account more easily.

What is the french country code?

Assigned by the International Telecommunication Union15, France’s country code is +33. 

This means if you want to know how to call France from the UK and you know you are calling into a French mobile, you would only need to call “33” plus the specific number.

However, many different regional calling codes are needed if you are calling a French landline.

All the french local area calling codes

Remember that if you are calling France from the United Kingdom, you only need to worry about regional calling codes if you are calling a landline. To call a French mobile, you only need to know the national calling code.

Here are all the local area calling codes you need to know:

Area name Area code Area name Area code
Alsace (0)369 Auvergne (0)463
Basse Normandie (0)250 Bourgogne (0)345
Bretagne (0)290 Champagne - Ardenne (0)351
Corsica (0)420 Côte d'Azur (0)489
Franche Comtè (0)363 Haute Normandie (0)276
Isère- Savoie- or Haute-Savoie (0)456 Languedoc Roussillon (0)434
Limousin (0)587 Lorraine (0)354
Northeast France (0)3 Northeast France (0)2
Paris Region (0)1 Poitou Charente (0)516
Southeast France and Corsica (0)4 Southwest France (0)5

To understand how this works, if you were calling a Parisian landline (Paris Region in the list above) you would need to dial “00 33 1” followed by the local number you are calling.

How do I dial France from the UK?

The actual process for dialling from the UK to France is relatively simple - you just need to know the process.

How to call a mobile phone in France from the UK

Here is a step-by-step guide to calling a French mobile phone, assuming you have a contract that allows for international calls:

  1. Pick up your device: First, unlock your cellphone or pick up the receiver (the phone) on your landline.

  2. The exit code: Start by dialling the international exit code for the UK, which is usually "00."

  3. The French country code: Next, input the country code for France which is "+33."

  4. Dial the number: make sure to skip the leading "0" in the mobile number, and dial the entire mobile number for your call.

  5. Press call: And you’re almost done - just hit the call button and start chatting.

How to Call a Landline in France From the UK

A very similar process, if you are calling a landline in France here are the steps you need to take:

  1. Pick up your device: First, pick up the receiver on your landline or unlock your cell phone.

  2. The exit code: Begin by dialling “00”, which is the international exit code for the UK.

  3. The French country code: Continue by inputting “+33” - the country code for France.

  4. Start dialling: make sure that you omit the leading "0" from the area code, and dial the landline number you are calling.

  5. Press call: All that’s left to do is press call and start talking.

Is there any way to call France for free?

There are plenty of options to call France for free.

Although there are lots of options, the main way is through the power of WiFi - using the internet instead of direct calling is one of the best ways to communicate globally for free.

BOSS Revolution

Alongside some of the cheapest international calling rates, the BOSS Revolution app also allows you to call in-app with anyone else using the app in the world over WiFi.

Free to download and easy to use, the Boss Revolution app brings you all the calling options you could want, all in one place.

WhatsApp

The most popular messaging platform in the world with 2.4 Billion monthly users16, WhatsApp can be a great option for free international calls.

All you need is a phone number and the app downloaded to your phone.

Using WiFi or data, users can call anyone else with WhatsApp in the world, with the option to either voice call or video call. Just remember that if you are using data, video calls will use it up much more quickly.

Google Meet

Often used for more professional meetings, Google Meet boasts an impressive 300 million monthly users17, which is roughly double that of its closest competitor Microsoft Teams.

To use Google Meet, you just need a Google account.

More designed for laptops but equally available on mobile devices, Google Meet is a good option for professional calls, allowing you to schedule them into your calendar with integrated links.

Can I dial toll-free numbers in France from the UK?

Unfortunately no, you cannot dial toll-free numbers in France from the UK. France does have toll-free numbers, typically beginning with "0800" or "0805," however these are intended to be free for callers within France. 

When these numbers are dialled internationally from the UK you will likely have to pay your standard international calling rates. 

This is just another reason why using a cheap service provider for international calls such as BOSS Revolution is so important.

Top tips for making calls to France from a UK phone number

If you are calling France from the UK, there are a few simple things you can keep in mind to make your calling experience smoother:

  • Be punctual: Organise a specific time for your call and stick to it - people respect those who are on time.

  • Check your hardware: before joining a call, make sure your phone, microphone, or speakers work depending on how you are calling.

  • Be Respectful: If calling someone new, make sure to treat them with respect

  • Speak slowly and clearly: Whether someone is out in public, or the connection isn’t that stable, it can sometimes be difficult to hear people over the phone, so make sure to speak slowly and clearly to help people understand you

The best ways to call France from the UK

Calling France can be a simple process with the right guide. Whether you need to call France cheaply on your mobile, or want to call someone in France for free over WiFi, BOSS Revolution has multiple different options to help you call colleagues, friends, or loved ones.

To avoid stress, make sure to compare different service providers for the best international calling rates and deals, and don’t forget to double-check the correct area code and how to input it depending on whether you are calling a mobile or landline. 

Sources: all third party information obtained from applicable website as of January 31, 2024

  1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/271541/number-of-total-voice-call-minutes-in-the-united-kingdom-uk/#:~:text=A%20total%20of%20202%20billion,face%2Dto%2Dface%20contact.
  2. https://www.statista.com/statistics/288238/uk-residential-operators-market-share-of-international-call-volume/
  3. https://www.vodafone.co.uk/
  4. https://www.vodafone.co.uk/help-and-information/costs-and-charges/calling-abroad-from-the-uk
  5. https://www.bt.com/products/mobile
  6. https://www.bt.com/products/mobile/about/calling-charges
  7. https://www.bt.com/help/landline/getting-set-up/add-ons-and-calling-features/what-is-the-international-freedom-add-on-
  8. https://www.sky.com/shop/mobile
  9. https://static.skyassets.com/contentstack/assets/blt7f2b03fd02c7fe60/bltcb98da87765c6925/65a5369c41ec4815b3b7cab6/download?disposition=inline
  10. https://ee.co.uk/
  11. https://ee.co.uk/help/mobile/roaming/call-abroad/countries/france
  12. https://www.three.co.uk/
  13. https://www.three.co.uk/support/roaming-and-calling-abroad/calling-abroad/calling-abroad-destinations/calling-abroad-destinations-paym-banding-a.html#France
  14. https://www.three.co.uk/New_My3/Allowance/Add_ons
  15. https://www.itu.int/en/Pages/default.aspx
  16. https://explodingtopics.com/blog/messaging-apps-stats
  17. https://explodingtopics.com/blog/google-workspace-stats#:~:text=With%20over%20300%20million%20monthly,Teams%20(over%20145%20million).

This article is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to address every aspect of the matters discussed herein. The information in this article is not intended as specific personal advice. The information in this article does not constitute legal, tax, regulatory or other professional advice from IDT Payment Services, Inc. and its affiliates (collectively, “IDT”), and should not be taken or used as such by any individual. IDT makes no representation, warranty or guaranty, whether express or implied, that the content in this article is current, accurate, or complete. You should obtain professional or other substantive advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the information in this article.