Making phone calls from Germany

Calling Military Locations

Each base has a different DSN and Civilian prefix to call. Visit The Find-It Guide for a list of DSN numbers and prefixes.

Calling the U.S.

Long distance rates vary by service company, so check which service fits your needs. There are four types of service: calling cards, callback, direct dial and direct dial call-by-call. A calling card gives you access to a company network via a toll-free access number.

For callback, dial a normal U.S. number that hooks into a computer in the United States. Let the phone ring one time and hang up. The computer calls you back and gives you a U.S. dial tone. Dial the area code and number you want. Most callback companies bill your credit card directly in dollars and send you a list of calls you made.

Direct dial charges are made per unit and may vary according to time, day or special offers available.  Since the German telecommunications industry was de-regulated, telephone rates have dropped considerably and may be competitive with those of U.S. companies.

“Call-by-Call” can be used from any residential or business phone, but not from public phones or cell phones. Providers’ rates vary, there is no prior registration required and you don’t have to change your current long distance carrier. Just dial the special prefix (010xx) of the provider chosen. The charges incurred will appear on your regular phone bill.

To call outside Germany, you have to dial an access and a country code before you dial the area code and local number.

  • Dial 00 (the international access code from Germany)
  • Dial country code (visit The Find-It Guide for our Country Codes chart)
  • Dial area (or city) code (in most countries you should “drop” the first 0 of the number)
  • Dial the local number

Local Phone Numbers

Each community has a local prefix called a “Vorwahl” starting with ‘0.’

People may assume you know the prefix and give only the last digits of their phone number. If you are unsure, ask for the “Vorwahl” – phone numbers are different lengths.

Use The Find-It Guide phone directory to find restaurants, shops, attractions, and other phone numbers for your area.

Pay Phones

Pay phones may be coin- or card-operated, although coin-operated phones are getting more difficult to find. You need 10-cent, 1-Euro and 2-Euro coins to make a call at a coin-operated phone.

Minimum cost for a local call is about 20 cents, and you won’t get change if you use 1 or 2 Euro. A beep sounds when the money is running out.

You can buy phone cards (Telefonkarten) at the German post office, train stations, gas stations, and some shops. When you slide the card into the slot, the display shows how much money you have left. Credit card phones are available in a few places. Many public phones have instructions in English: just press the button under the British flag.

Categories: Family Life

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