Internet, telephone and postal services in France

Cell phone calls, hotspots, mobile Wi-Fi: all you need to know to keep in touch during your stay in Paris.

Making phone calls

Smartphone applications © Saulo Mohana via Unsplash

How to call from France

All French numbers have 10 digits and begin with 0.

France is divided into 5 geographical zones corresponding to five separate telephone codes: 01(Paris and the Paris region), 02 (north-west France, Reunion Islands and Mayotte), 03 (north-east France), 04 (south-east France) and 05 (south-west France and the Atlantic Ocean overseas territories).

Mobile numbers start with 06 or 07.

Other special telephone numbers have specific tariffs from land lines. _ The price per minute must be indicated (€0.12/min; €0.15 /min or €0.30/min including taxes (TTC)).

0 800 and 0 804, 0 805, 30 00, 31 44, 36 55 all denote a free service (N° Vert®).

There are also certain 4-digit numbers for emergencies or the speaking clock (3699) but, in general, these are trade numbers with surcharges.

How to call from abroad

Dial the international code 00 followed by 33 for France, then the number without the first 0.

Example for a Paris number: 00 33 1 40 00 00 00.

How to call from France to another country

Dial the international code 00, the code of the country, then the number without the first 0. Examples: 49 for Germany, 44 for UK, 39 for Italy, 34 for Spain, 11 (AT&T) or 19 (MCII) for US, 16 for Canada (0 800 99 30 16 AT&T Canada).

Mobiles

Contact your mobile phone operator who will confirm whether or not your mobile is compatible with the French network and also explain how you will be charged for calls received from your own country or that you make while abroad (local and international calls).

Note: To connect to the Internet and send multimedia messages from your smartphone, you have to turn on data roaming (unless you are on a Wi-Fi network). Data roaming can be switched on from the network settings of your phone, but you may incur additional charges.

As of June 2017, you do not have to pay additional roaming charges when travelling in any EU country. This means all EU citizens can use their mobile phone to make calls, send text messages and surf the Internet at no additional cost.

Connection with the French network

Some mobiles from other countries don’t automatically connect with the French networks. All you need to do is choose the option “network selection” on your mobile to manually make the connection.

You can also purchase a prepaid SIM card to use the French cell phone network: you’ll know exactly how much you spend.

Adapter

Don’t forget that you’ll probably need a plug adapter in order to be able to charge up your mobile phone.

 More info “Electrical/video norms

Internet

Ordinateur internet table © Fabian Irsara via Unsplash

Cyber cafés

Rendezvous in a cyber café or a cyber-space to check and send your e-mails. Often open late, they are usually reasonably-priced. Some offer student tariffs and others even offer keyboards compatible with the Japanese system.

Free Internet access

The City of Paris has set up free Wi-Fi zones in a number of public spaces like libraries, gardens and parks to make it easy to get online.

Post

Boîte aux lettres, Paris © Thinkstock

A postcard or a letter to send? You can post them in one of the yellow letter boxes found on most street corners. Stamps can be bought in post offices or tobacconists.

If you don’t have a set postal address you can always receive your mail by “poste restante”, at the Louvre central post office. The post office is recognizable by its yellow and blue chevron sign.

Most post offices are open from 8am to 7pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to midday on Saturday. Closed on public holidays.

Good to know :

You don’t have to queue at the counters; automatic machines are available in post offices to weigh and frank your mail.

The concierge services of the larger hotels can also post stamped mail for you.

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