Making telephone calls from the U.S. to most overseas destinations is easy, once you have the numbers right. But the numbers keep changing.

Telephoning Overseas

The Epicerie, in Amboise, France, doesn't have email. You can make reservations over the Internet to most parts of the world. But you'll miss some great spots if you restrict yourself to those with email. Many of our favorite restaurants and hotels have retained much of their charm and character precisely because they have not rushed to modernize.

Other gay travel sites of interest:

Venturing Out, a gay travel column, offers advice on getting the most from your vacation time.

The Gay Dive site provides advice about where to go.

Whitewater rafting in the Grand Canyon, with a friendly gay group, gives you a unique perspective on one of America's natural wonders.


The boom in faxes, cell phones, and modems has overloaded telephone systems around the world. In the U.S., we're adding new area codes. Other countries are adding one or two digits to each phone number.

Here's what you do if you want to dial overseas. This site is maintained primarily to help travelers with Alyson Adventures, so we focus on countries where we sponsor trips, but the general information will apply for everyone.

What to Dial. There are three components to the number you dial:

  • The international direct dialing prefix (IDD). This is the code to show that you're making an international call. In the U.S., this code is "011". (Canada, and many Caribbean islands, use the same country code as the U.S. -- 1. For these locations, dial as you would a long-distance U.S. number, and do not enter the 011 code.)
  • The country code. This is a number of 1, 2, or 3 digits (see below).
  • The phone number, including area code if applicable. Here's where it can get tricky. You may not know whether you have the area code or not. (In the U.S., for example, someone might not include the area code when giving out their number.)

Troubleshooting. If you don't get through, try addressing these possible problems.

  • The area code is missing. Use the web to search out a few other businesses in the same country or, better, the same city. Compare their phone numbers with the one you've got. If the others are longer, you may be able to figure out what the area code is.
  • You may need to drop a leading zero. In France, for example, all numbers are expressed as 10 digits, beginning with a zero. Dialing within France, you dial all 10 digits. From abroad, you drop the leading zero.
  • It's an old number. If the number is more than a year or two old, there's a good chance it's changed. You'll have to track down a new number.

* * *

Some Specific Countries: 


Australia: Country code is 61. This is followed by the area code (typically a single digit -- drop any leading 0), then the remaining number (typically 8 digits). We say "typically" because Australian numbers are changing faster than in the US, and even the number of digits is changing for many regions. Currently the pattern is:
Sydney: 011 61 2 9### #### Port Douglas: 011 61 7 4### #### Leura: 011 61 2 4### ####

France: Country code is 33. French phone numbers are usually expressed as a 2-digit area code (the first digit is always 0), followed by the 8-digit local number. To dial from abroad, drop this initial zero and use the single remaining digit as the area code. To call France from the U.S. you would dial something like: 011-33-# #### ####.

Italy: Country code is 39. The length of area codes varies; Rome is 06, Florence is 055. In Italy, the leading zero does not get dropped when you dial from abroad.

Mexico: Country code is 52. The country code is presently followed by 8 digits, repesenting the regional code and number; plans call for this to increase to a 10-digit number eventually.

New Zealand: Country code is 64. Then dial a one-digit regional code (the entire South Island is 3) and 7-digit number.

Saba: Country code is 599-4. All phone numbers on Saba have 5 digits, beginning with a 6. To call from the U.S. you would dial: 011-599-4-6####.

Switzerland: Country code is 41. Many area codes changed in 1996 and 1997. (The Zermatt area code changed from 28 to 279, but the 9 is often separated, and made into part of the following number.)  That's followed (at this writing) by 6 digits. A typical call from the U.S. to Zermatt would be: 011 41 27 9## ## ##.

Thailand: Country code is 66. This is followed by an area or city code (1 or 2 digits) and a local number (length may vary). Within the country, the area code often starts with a zero; this is dropped when you dial from abroad. Bangkok area/city code is 2; Chiang-Mai is 53; Phuket is 76. To call Bangkok from the U.S. you would dial something like: 011 6 2 ### ####.




And some spots don't even have telephones. Our trek into the remote hills of northern Thailand takes us into villages with no phones, electricity, or running water.


Travel with us!

Alyson Adventures specializes in active vacations for gay men, lesbians, and friends. Here are some of the trips we offer:

Biking in Provence

Hiking in Italy

Rock climbing in the Tetons

Scuba diving in the Caribbean

Whitewater rafting on the Colorado River


Selected Country Codes:

Australia, 61

Austria, 43

Belgium, 32

Brazil, 55

Canada, 1 (dial like for USA)

Chile, 56

China (PRC), 86

Costa Rica, 506

Cuba, 53

Czech Republic, 420

Denmark, 45

Dominica, 1 (dial like for USA)

Dominican Republic, 1 (dial like for USA)

Ecuador, 593

Egypt, 20

El Salvador, 503

France, 33

Germany, 49

Greece, 30

Hong Kong, 852

Hungary, 36

Iceland, 354

India, 91

Indonesia, 62

Ireland, 353

Israel, 972

Italy, 39

Jamaica, 1 (dial like for USA)

Japan, 81

Kenya, 254

Laos, 856

Lithuania, 370

Luxembourg, 352

Mexico, 52

Monaco, 377

Morocco, 212

Mozambique, 258

Nepal, 977

Netherlands, 31

Netherlands Antilles, 599

New Zealand, 64

Nicaragua, 505

North Korea, 850

Norway, 47

Pakistan, 92

Paraguay, 595

Peru, 51

Philippines, 63

Poland, 48

Portugal, 351

Puerto Rico, 1 (dial like for USA)

Romania, 40


Russia, 7

St. Kitts & Nevis, 1 (dial like for USA)

St. Lucia, 1 (dial like for USA)

Saudi Arabia, 966

Singapore, 65

Slovakia, 421

South Africa, 27

South Korea, 82

Spain, 34

Sri Lanka, 94

Sweden, 46

Switzerland, 41

Taiwan, 886

Tanzania, 255

Thailand, 66

Turkey, 90

Uganda, 256

Ukraine, 380

United Arab Emirates, 971

United Kingdom, 44

Uruguay, 598

Venezuela, 58

Vietnam, 84

Virgin Islands, U.S. or British, 1 (dial like for USA)

Yugoslavia, 381