How To Call Germany From the US

How To Call Germany From the US
Table Of Contents

Keeping in touch with your German friends, family, and colleagues is more important than ever in our increasingly connected world. No matter if you're using a landline or a mobile phone in the USA, knowing the ins and outs of calling Germany is key to preserving those precious connections. 

In this guide, we’ll provide you with a thorough rundown of the dialing process, tips for seamless international calls, and a variety of budget-friendly calling options. So, let's get started and make sure you're ready to chat with your German contacts!

A Brief Glimpse at German History and Culture

Germany is a treasure trove of history and culture that goes back centuries. Boasting picturesque landscapes, buzzing cities, and a plethora of historical sites, Germany offers a vibrant mix of experiences for visitors and residents alike. Iconic cities like Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, and Stuttgart represent a perfect blend of old-world charm and modern flair.

When chatting with your German friends, family, or colleagues over the phone, it's essential to be mindful of local customs and culture. Being aware of the time difference between the USA and Germany, and familiarizing yourself with German area codes, will set you up for a smooth calling experience.

How Do You Call Germany From the US?

Making a call to Germany isn’t much different than making a call to another phone in the US. The main difference is that you’ll need to dial several more numbers during the process. For example, you’ll need to enter the US exit code and German country code before the area code and local number. 

Here is a breakdown of each step:

Step One: The US Exit Code (011)

To call Germany from the USA, start by dialing the exit code, which is 011. This prefix is required for making international calls from the USA to any country, including Germany.

Step Two: Germany’s Country Code (49)

Next up, dial Germany's country code, which is 49. This calling code is crucial to connect your call to the German phone network.

Step Three: The German Area Code

After the country code, enter the German area code specific to the region or city you're calling. Area codes can range from two to five digits in length. You can find the complete list of German area codes here, but these are a few examples of the area codes for the major cities and regions: 

  • Aachen - 241
  • Berlin - 30
  • Braunschweig - 531
  • Cologne (Köln) - 221
  • Dortmund - 231
  • Dresden - 351
  • Duisburg - 203
  • Düsseldorf - 211
  • Erfurt - 361
  • Essen - 201
  • Frankfurt - 69
  • Freiburg - 761
  • Halle - 345
  • Hamburg - 40
  • Munich (München) - 89
  • Münster - 251
  • Nuremberg (Nürnberg) - 911
  • Osnabrück - 541
  • Trier - 651
  • Wuppertal - 202

Step Four: The Local Phone Number

Lastly, dial the local German landline or mobile number, which usually spans between three and 11 digits. German landline numbers tend to be shorter than cell phone numbers. When calling a mobile phone, you may notice a unique prefix, like 15x, 16x, or 17x, before the local number.

3 Tips for Seamless International Calls

As you can see, it isn’t particularly difficult to call Germany from the US. However, there are a few things that you’ll want to keep in mind when trying to do so. 

These are a few tips that will help your call to Germany go as smoothly as possible:

Double-Check the Phone Number

Before dialing, check that you have the correct German phone number, including the area code and local number. This extra step helps prevent misdialing and guarantees you connect with the right person.

Be Mindful of Time Zones

Remember the time difference between the USA and Germany. With Germany typically six to nine hours ahead of the US (depending on your time zone), calling during appropriate hours shows respect for your contact's time and increases your chances of connecting.

Overcoming Language Barriers

When calling Germany, language barriers might crop up. If you don't speak German, try learning basic phrases or using a translation app to help bridge the gap. Alternatively, enlist someone who speaks both English and German to aid in the conversation.

How To Dodge Steep Calling Costs

With the dialing format down, keep in mind that calling rates differ based on the call type (landline or mobile) and your phone service provider. The reality is that international calls can be very pricey, especially to German cell phone numbers. Even calling a country like Mexico can be expensive, and they share a nearly 2,000-mile border with the US.

To cut costs, perhaps explore various calling options like VoIP services or international calling cards. Knowing your phone service provider's international rates is also a good idea for making informed choices and avoiding surprise charges. 

Here is a list of the best option for saving money while calling Germany:

VoIP Services

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services like Skype, WhatsApp, and Viber provide affordable and user-friendly alternatives for international phone calls. These platforms leverage your internet connection or Wi-Fi, allowing you to chat with German contacts without fretting about high calling expenses. 

There’s no denying that VoIP services offer several perks, such as low-cost or free calls, video calling capabilities, and user-friendliness. However, they come with drawbacks, like reliance on stable internet connections, potential call quality issues, and privacy concerns. Don't hesitate to check the FAQ sections of these services for more details on their offerings.

International Calling Cards

International calling cards are a cost-effective way to call Germany. When selecting a card, weigh factors like connection fees, per-minute rates, and expiration dates. Opt for cards with transparent pricing, no hidden fees, and positive customer feedback. Carefully read the terms and conditions to ensure the card is compatible with German landlines and mobile phones.

Carrier-Specific International Calling Plans

Many phone carriers offer international calling plans, helping you save on calls to Germany. For example, T-Mobile's Magenta plan covers unlimited calling to German landlines and mobile phones. Verizon's International Long Distance Value Plan also features discounted per-minute rates for calls to Germany.

When comparing carrier-specific plans, consider factors like monthly fees, per-minute rates, and included services (e.g., texting or data usage). Choose a plan that aligns with your calling needs and budget, ensuring the best bang for your buck. To avoid running up a large bill, make sure that you know exactly what you’re getting out of the plan that you select. 

Getting the Most Out of Your Calls to Germany

Making a call to Germany is going to cost you more money than making a call to someone in the US. As such, you should get your money’s worth by making sure that you get the most out of it. Here are a few things that you can do to help your call go as smoothly as possible: 

Be Mindful of Cultural Nuances

As mentioned earlier, being mindful of German customs and etiquette is important for paving the way for smoother phone conversations. Germans typically appreciate punctuality, so ensure you call at the agreed time. Address people formally (using "Herr" or "Frau" followed by their surname) until invited to use their first name. 

Building a Robust Connection

A solid connection is key for clear, uninterrupted calls to Germany. If using a landline or mobile phone, confirm you have a dependable phone service with good coverage. For VoIP services, ensure your internet connection is stable and offers sufficient bandwidth for voice calls. If possible, connect to Wi-Fi instead of mobile data for a more stable connection.

Enhancing Call Quality

To optimize call quality, use a high-quality headset or speakerphone to minimize background noise and boost audio clarity. If using VoIP services, close unnecessary applications or devices consuming internet bandwidth. In case of poor call quality, try restarting your device, resetting your modem or router, or relocating to a spot with better reception. 

By taking these measures, you help ensure top-notch call quality and maintain strong connections with your German contacts.

Resolving Common Issues During Calls to Germany

In most cases, the calls that you should make should be perfectly acceptable in terms of quality. However, there may be times when there is an issue that affects the overall phone call. After all, you are trying to speak with someone that’s more than 4,000 miles away. 

Here are a few ways that you can attempt to fix some of the more common issues that you may experience: 

Addressing Poor Call Quality

If faced with poor call quality, try relocating to an area with better signal reception, using a headset or speakerphone, or checking your internet connection if using VoIP services. Close any unnecessary applications or devices utilizing the internet to free up bandwidth.

Proper Dialing Procedure

Follow the correct dialing procedure:

  • US exit code (011)
  • Germany's country code (49)
  • German area code
  • The local phone number

Adhering to this sequence is vital for successfully connecting with your German contact. If you’ve double-checked each number in the sequence and it still doesn’t work, ensure your phone service provider permits international calls.

If the issues continue, reach out to your phone service provider for help or consider alternative communication methods like email, messaging apps, or video calls.

Discovering Alternative Communication Methods

The 21st century features a variety of communication methods. You are no longer limited to using a telephone to stay in touch with your friends, family, and colleagues in Germany. As long as you’re keeping your online data protected, these are a few alternative options that might be more efficient and cost-friendly than a phone call:

Email and Messaging Apps

Email and messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, or Signal offer convenient ways to stay in touch with German contacts without making phone calls.

Video Calls and Conferencing

Platforms like Skype, Zoom, or Google Meet enable video calls or conferences with multiple participants, creating a more interactive experience.

Social Media

Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn allow you to keep in touch, share updates, and engage with your German contacts through posts, comments, and direct messages.


Wrapping things up, remember that calling Germany from the US is a breeze when you have the right dialing sequence and cost-effective calling solutions in your arsenal. Don't forget to be culturally sensitive and focus on call quality to forge stronger bonds with your German friends, family, or colleagues. 

Although Burner is great for protecting your privacy and providing security during US phone calls, it’s not capable of making international calls at the moment. But don't worry! With the insights you've gained from this guide, you're now equipped to explore a variety of alternatives and stay connected with your contacts in Germany hassle-free.


German Culture: Facts, Customs, Traditions, and Things To Know | Study In Germany

International Calling Tip Sheet | Federal Communications Commission

Assigned Country Codes | International Telecommunication Union

Germany Area Codes | Area Phone Codes

Time in Germany and New York |

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) | Federal Communications Commission

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