Germany is already home to a healthy expat community and a thriving tourism industry. People from all over the world regularly visit or relocate to Germany, so the odds are good that you may someday find yourself needing to get in touch with someone there. So how do you do it? Read on to learn what you need to know about placing an international call to someone in Germany.
Every country in the world has a different country code that must be dialed before a local phone number. Without them, phone numbers would have to be far too long for people to memorize.
- Germany’s country code is +49.
Germany has a lot of two-, three- or four-digit area codes that are used to reach people depending on the city or suburban area that they live in. Some of the more common area codes you might see are:
- Berlin: 30
- Frankfurt: 69
- Hamburg: 40
- Munich: 89
For a complete list of German area codes, click here.
Mobile phones in Germany use the area codes 015, 016 and 017.
If you see: 69 1234 5678, you dial +49 69 1234 5678 if you’re calling from a mobile phone, or your international calling prefix, then 69 1234 5678 if you’re calling from a landline.
When calling a foreign country from a landline, you won’t be able to dial the “+” before the country code, so you use an international call prefix instead. These vary depending on where you’re calling from, but some of the most common are:
|UK, Italy, China||00|
|United States or Canada||011|
For a full list of international call prefixes, click here.
If your call to Germany doesn’t go through, try these tips to get it to work successfully:
- Make sure the local number you’re dialing is correct.
- If you’re calling on a mobile phone, make sure you use the “+” symbol before the country code, not the international call prefix.
- Make sure you’re using the correct dialing format (your country’s international call prefix, Germany’s country code, the area code, then the local number)
Another way to make a call to Germany is to use an app, like Whatsapp or Skype. Whatsapp offers free calls, and Skype allows you to pre-load the app with credits for making international calls (calls via the app to another Skype user are free).
Some people have voicemail boxes attached to their landline phones in Germany, but mobile phones are much more common nowadays than landlines. Germany is now home to more than twice as many mobile phones as landlines. Mobile phones usually come with built-in voicemail boxes, which may have generic greetings provided by the phone manufacturer or the mobile carrier, or may have personalized greetings recorded by the owner of the phone. It’s entirely up to the phone owner which option he or she wants to use.
If you live in the United States, Germany’s ringing tone will sound familiar to you. The ringing tone will be very similar to the dial tone you hear when you first pick up a landline phone, but instead of one continuous tone, it will be in bursts that are each several seconds long. This is the same ringing tone that’s used in much of Europe, so if you frequently call European countries, this will sound familiar to you.
You can hear Germany’s ringing tone by clicking here.
Do you spend a lot of time travelling abroad? Need to send money to friends or family who live in Germany, or another country? If you’re looking to move money across borders quickly, safely and cheaply, try TransferWise. TransferWise moves money internationally via a series of local bank transfers, which means money never physically crosses borders, and you don’t have to pay international or intermediary bank fees. You get the mid-market rate, or the exact exchange rate that you see on Google, and only pay a small, fair transfer fee that’s spelled out upfront.
TransferWise also offers borderless multi-currency accounts, which allow users to send, receive and manage money in several global currencies at once. By 2018, borderless account holders will also have access to consumer debit cards, which makes accessing your money while traveling even easier.
Now you can see that making international phone calls doesn’t need to be a daunting task. If you know the right steps, it can be a simple process. Good luck with your travels!