French telephone numbers have 10 digits and need no area code; those starting with the digits 06 or 07 are mobile-phone numbers. Telephone numbers in Monaco have eight digits and likewise need no area code.

France and Monaco have separate telephone systems (so dialling from one to the other is considered an international call). Most modern mobile phones will work in both countries, but check roaming rates before you travel.

Mobile Phones

  • French mobile-phone numbers begin with 06 or 07.
  • Most modern smartphones will be able to pick up a signal from one of France's main carriers: Bouygues (www.bouyguestelecom.fr), Orange (www.orange.fr) and SFR (www.sfr.com).
  • For EU travellers, roaming charges are now standardised across the EU area, meaning you can use your calls, texts and data package as you would back home for no extra cost. You'll probably receive a text message reminding you when you first switch on your phone.
  • For non-EU travellers, phone and data roaming is likely to be more expensive (often substantially more expensive), although many providers now offer contracts that include certain overseas destinations; check before you travel.
  • Some providers offer call and data packages that cover travel in other European countries for a fixed daily fee; check before you leave.
  • If you are a pay-as-you-go user, or your provider doesn't offer overseas roaming packages, then it may be cheaper to buy a French SIM card or a French pay-as-you-go handset than to use your own phone. If so, buy when you land in Paris, where more salespeople speak English than in Provence.
  • Remember that SMS texting is always cheaper than making a call – and using wi-fi in a cafe or tourist office combined with a message or calling service such as WhatsApp is completely free.
  • For help in English with all Orange services, see www.orange.com or call 09 69 36 39 00.

Dialing Codes

  • Calling France (or Monaco) from home Dial your country's international-access code, then 33 for France (or 377 for Monaco), then the 10-digit number, without the initial zero.
  • Calling abroad from France Dial 00 for international access, then the country code (1 for US, 44 UK, 16 Australia), then the area code and local number, minus any initial zeros.

Useful Numbers & Codes

  • Emergency numbers Free from payphones and mobiles.
  • International access code 00
  • France country code 33
  • Monaco country code 377
  • Directory enquiries 12 or 11 87 12 (€1, plus €0.23 per minute). Not all operators speak English.
  • International directory enquiries 11 87 00

Phonecards & Payphones

Public payphones are becoming rarer by the day, but assuming you can find one, it's almost certain to only accept credit cards or phonecards (available at tobacconists and supermarkets). Rates are likely to be very high for both.