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texting from the US to France

We have a phone number for someone in France and she said we could text her when here in the US and then again when we're in Zurich. How do we do this? It starts out 00336 32 66 etc. with a few more numbers.

Do we need a special app to text from an android phone? If all else fails, can we make a phone call from a hotel?

Posted by
8889 posts

No, you don't need a special App. You can text people using the same number you call use for a normal phone call, and the same way wherever you are starting from, as long as you include the country code.

  • First you need to dial the prefix to signal it is international call. From Europe it is "00", that is why the number you were given starts "00". From the US the prefix is "011" (I think). From a mobile phone it is + (yes, the plus sign).
  • Then the country code for France: 33
  • There are no area codes in France, all numbers are 10 digits starting with a 0. When dialling from a different country, you drop the "0" and replace it with "+33".

So, from a mobile phone (anywhere): + 33 {9 digits}
From landline in most European countries: 00 33 {9 digits}
From landline in the USA: 011 33 {9 digits}

If you don't believe me, it is all in Wikipedia here:

Posted by
127 posts

I used an iPhone in France and texted regularly using a US number (she had a French number). I put 011 first, then the French # omitting the 00. Having T-Mobile, I had unlimited text too.

Posted by
3304 posts

I really like using WhatsApp for calls, texts, and video chat when I'm communicating with people within Europe or from another country. It's free and easy and works just with phone numbers.

Posted by
17 posts

Thanks for the detailed reply Chris. Still can't seem to connect with this person in France by text or voice, by cell or land line. Is there a certain number sequence for certain areas in France, like northeast France?

Posted by
8889 posts

Is there a certain number sequence for certain areas in France, like northeast France?

Yes, its in the Wikipedia article I linked to, including a map:
03 Northeast France
If you add the country code for France it becomes: + 33 3 xx xx xx xx
The number you quoted in your original post ("00336 32 66 etc. with a few more numbers."). Is a mobile number:
Full list:

  • 01 Île-de-France
  • 02 Northwest France
  • 03 Northeast France
  • 04 Southeast France
  • 05 Southwest France
  • 06 Mobile phone services
  • 07 Mobile phone services
  • 08 Special phone numbers: Freephone (numéro vert) and shared-cost services.
  • 09 Non-geographic number (used by Voice over IP services)
Posted by
1029 posts

For your cellphone service, are you sure your plan allows you to call/text to European mobile phones? Some plans may exclude calls and texts to mobile numbers due to the higher fees involved.

Posted by
4 posts

Take care if you turn on data services as I've read of many horror stories involving huge bills for data when the users gets back home.

Posted by
11677 posts

Assuming you posted the first part of the number as she gave it, did you try +33 632 66 xxxx?