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Phone calls aren't going through while away?

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"What am I doing wrong? The call isn't going through," I was complaining to my husband when we were trying to make a restaurant reservation in London. Have you ever tried to phone a local number while in Europe and for some reason the call won't go through? Or perhaps trying to connect with someone on WhatsApp who has a long-distance cell number and it just won't work? This has happened to me on various trips and it took me a while to figure out how to do it.

Once you figure out the country code, area code and the phone number it is quite easy. The main trick is that you have to include a + in front of the number, instead of 0, 011 or 001 which is what you do when dialling from a landline.

In Europe and Israel city codes (area codes) usually start with a 0. For example, in Israel the city codes are: 03 for Tel Aviv; 02 for Jerusalem; or 052 for an Israeli cell number if you're calling locally between Israeli telephone numbers. But if you're calling from a Canadian or US cell phone you need to include the country code, followed by city code and the local number. You have to add the + sign in front of country code and eliminate the 0's in front of the country and city codes. Follow the steps below to dial the number:

Google the country code if you don't know it.

1. Dial +

2. Country code

3. Area/city code (eliminate 0 in front)

4. Phone number

Calling a number in Israel?

Country code is 972


Call a landline in Tel Aviv: +972-3-xxx-xxxx

Call a cell phone: +972-52-xxx-xxxx

Making a call in Portugal?

Country code is 351


Call a landline in Lisbon: +351-2-xxxx-xxxx

Call a cell phone: +351-9-xxxx-xxxx

Calling London, England?

Country code is 44

Area codes for land lines are between two and four digits (ignore the 0 at the beginning if you see it) followed by local number for a total of ten digits.

Area codes for cell phones are one digit followed by the local number for a total of ten digits.


Call a land line: +44-20-xxxx-xxxx

Call a cell phone: +44-7xxx-xxx-xxx

It's easy once you get the hang of it. Just eliminate the 0s preceding the country and city codes and include + at the beginning.

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