Public phone booths

The network of public phone booths (operated by France Telecom) is very large in France, although it's been reduced as more people are using mobile phones. Nearly all public phones only accept telephone cards (no coins). You can buy a card in many places, such as newspaper and tobacco kiosks, exchange offices, post offices, etc. There are two sizes: 50-unit cards for around €6 and 120-unit cards for around €15. In many phones you can also use a credit card (such as a Visa or MasterCard). This costs more than a France Telecom phone card (or a card from another provider), but is useful for a quick call. In most public telephone boxes, you can be called back at the number displayed.
To make an international call from France, dial 00, followed by the country code (New York, 1), the area code (minus the first zero) and the telephone number of the person you are trying to reach. For any other information about telephone in France (and a comparison of operators):

Mobile phones

If your phone is GSM-compatible, it will probably work in France. If you want to use your GSM-compatible phone in France, you have two options:

1.Keep your service provider from your home country. Check first with your provider that you can use the phone in France (roaming). This is not a cheap solution as you pay for all of the calls you receive at international rates, in addition to being on expensive prices for calls from France.

2.Buy a new SIM card. This will give you a French phone number, so you can call on normal mobile rates and not pay anything for receiving calls. You need to check whether your phone is unlocked (some phones are specific to only one network). Even if your phone is locked, it is easy to unlock it (ask in a specialist telecom shop, unlocking your phone might cost €10-30).


If you want to send a letter or pack from France to US, they costs you €0,98 up to 20g (max 2kg) for a letter, €24,90 up to 1kg for a pack. Parcel deliveries through La Poste can either be made by the main service, called Colissimo, or by an express service called Chronopost. They offer a national as well as an international service. Parcels can be delivered by either service up to 30kg in weight and 2 metre in length, breadth, or height. Indicative dates for international delivery using their Colis International service are 4 to 8 days.
Stamps are sold in local newsagents and tabacs, as well as in La Poste branch offices. As there are often queues in small post-offices it pays to buy a book (carnet) or roll of stamps.