In an increasingly globalized world, international communication has never been more important. For business, travel, or personal reasons, you might need to call Spain from the United States.
The process probably seems a bit daunting if you're not familiar with international dialing procedures. However, this comprehensive guide aims to demystify that process, making it as easy as picking up the phone and dialing a local number.
Understanding the technicalities of making international calls is essential, especially if you have friends, family, or business contacts overseas. This article will take you step-by-step through the process of calling Spain from the U.S., providing clear instructions and practical examples.
We will cover everything from the international exit code you need to dial out of the U.S. to Spain's country code, regional codes, and the differences in dialing landline and mobile numbers. With this information at your fingertips, you will be well-equipped to maintain seamless, hassle-free communication across any borders.
The US-Spain Connection: A Transatlantic Bond
The relationship between the United States and Spain is steeped in centuries of shared history. Ties between the two nations date back to the 18th century when Spain was a colonial power in America. Over the years, this relationship has evolved through diplomacy, trade, cultural exchange, and migration, shaping a rich and multifaceted bond that still holds strong today.
Spain played a significant role in the United States' path to independence. During the Revolutionary War, Spain provided support to the colonists, supplying funds and resources that helped tip the balance in the 13 colony’s favor. This early assistance hasn’t been forgotten and laid a strong foundation for the diplomatic relations between the two nations.
In the modern context, the U.S. and Spain share robust and dynamic ties across a range of sectors. The two nations cooperate extensively on defense and security matters, with Spain hosting U.S. military bases and actively participating in NATO operations.
Bilateral trade is robust, with goods and services flowing both ways across the Atlantic, contributing to mutual prosperity. Both countries also engage in a vibrant cultural exchange, with thousands of Americans choosing to study in Spain each year and tourism thriving in both directions.
Furthermore, Spain is home to a substantial American expatriate community, and vice versa. This human connection further strengthens the bond between the two nations and increases the need for efficient and affordable communication channels.
The connection between the U.S. and Spain is not merely historical or diplomatic; it's personal. Whether it's a friend studying abroad in Barcelona, a relative living in Madrid, or a business associate in Valencia, the need to make an international call can arise at any time. And with the steps laid out in this guide, you'll be ready when it does.
What Are the Basics of International Dialing?
At the heart of it, an international call is simply a phone call made from one country to another. While the concept itself is straightforward, the execution requires an understanding of certain codes specific to each country. Knowing these codes and how to use them properly will enable your call to reach its intended recipient, no matter where they are.
The standard procedure for making an international call involves several steps:
First, you dial your country's exit code, also known as the international direct dialing (IDD) code. This code signals your intention to dial a number outside your country. For the United States, this exit code is 011.
The next step involves dialing the country code of the country that you're trying to call. Every country has its own unique code, which ensures that your call is directed to the right place. For instance, if you're calling Spain, the country code is 34.
Once you've dialed the exit code and country code, the next step is to dial the region's area code in the country you're calling. This will direct your call to the right city or region within the country. Following the area code, you dial the local phone number of the person or institution you're trying to reach.
What Are the Area Codes in Spain?
In Spain, area codes are integrated into the overall telephone number structure, just like they are in the United States and Canada. These area codes, also known as geographic codes, indicate the city or region for the phone number you're dialing.
Here are some of the primary area codes for major cities and regions in Spain:
- Madrid: The area code for Madrid, the capital city of Spain, is 91. So if you're calling a number in Madrid, after dialing the US exit code and Spain's country code, you would dial 91, followed by the local phone number.
- Barcelona: If you're calling Barcelona (the second largest city in Spain), the area code is 93.
- Valencia: The area code for Valencia, known for its Arts and Sciences City, is 96.
- Seville: For Seville, the artistic, cultural, and financial capital of Southern Spain, the area code is 95.
- Bilbao: If you're reaching out to someone in Bilbao, a major city in Northern Spain, the area code is 94.
Each local phone number in Spain is nine digits long, including the area code. By familiarizing yourself with these area codes, you can ensure your call gets to the right place in Spain. Knowing these codes can be especially handy for business calls or if you have friends or family living in different parts of the country.
Step-by-Step Guide to Calling Spain From the US
Making an international call can seem complicated, but once you understand the process, it becomes quite simple. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to call Spain from the United States.
Step One: Dial the US Exit Code (011)
As mentioned above, every international call begins with an exit code, also known as the International Direct Dialing (IDD) code. This code signals that your call is destined for a number outside of your own country. For the United States, the exit code is 011. Whether you're calling a landline or a mobile phone in Spain, you will always start by dialing 011.
Step Two: Dial Spain’s Country Code (34)
After dialing the US exit code, the next step is to dial the country code of the country you wish to reach. Spain's country code is 34. By dialing this number, you ensure that your call is routed to Spain as opposed to somewhere else, such as a UK phone number.
Step Three: Dial the Area Code
After dialing the country code, you then enter the area code and local number. For landline numbers, the area code will designate the city or region of Spain that you are calling. As mentioned previously, for Madrid, this is 91. For Barcelona, it's 93, and so on.
Step Four: Dial the Local Number
For the local number, dial the number as given, ensuring it's the correct length. In Spain, the local number (when combined with the area code) is nine digits.
Example of Calling a Landline and Mobile Number in Madrid
Whether you're calling a cell phone or a landline in Spain doesn't affect the initial steps of dialing. You still start with the US exit code (011) and then the country code for Spain (34). The difference will come when you dial the area code and local number.
For a landline, you will dial the area code followed by the local number. For a cell phone, the initial digit may vary, but the process remains the same: dial the number as given, following the country code.
Now, let's put all of these steps together using the example of calling a landline and a mobile number in Madrid.
Let’s say that the landline that you’re calling has a local number of 123-456-789:
- First, dial the US exit code 011.
- Then you would dial the Spain country code of 34.
- Next, dial the Madrid area code of 91.
- Finally, dial the local number of 123-456-789.
The final sequence would look like this: 011-34-91-123-456-789.
Now, let’s say that you’re trying to call a mobile number in Madrid. Mobile numbers in Spain generally start with a 6 or 7, so let’s say the local number is 612-345-678.
- First, you would dial the US exit code 011.
- Then you would dial the Spain country code of 34.
- Since Spanish mobile phones don’t have area codes, you would now dial the local number of 612-345-678.
The final dialing sequence would look like this: 011-34-612-345-678.
How Much Does It Cost To Call Spain From the US?
The cost of calling Spain from the US varies widely depending on the method and carrier you use to make the call. Traditionally, international calls were quite expensive due to the complex infrastructure required to connect calls between countries. However, advancements in technology have provided more affordable alternatives.
Let's compare some rates. AT&T offers the International Calling package for $15 per month, which includes unlimited calls to Spain. Verizon's Global Calling Plus plan also starts at $15 per month for unlimited calling to over 60 countries, including Spain. T-Mobile's international plan includes unlimited calls to more than 70 countries and also starts at $15 a month.
While these carrier plans can offer value if you make regular calls to Spain, they may not be the most cost-effective solution for everyone, particularly if you only need to make a few calls. If that’s the case, you may want to explore alternative options.
An increasingly popular alternative is to use a Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service, like Skype or Zoom. These services allow you to make calls over the Internet, often at a fraction of the cost of traditional carriers. For example, Skype’s rate to call a landline or mobile in Spain is currently 2.3 cents per minute with a connection fee of 4.9 cents.
What Is the Time Difference Between the US and Spain?
When making an international call, it's crucial to be mindful of the time difference. Spain is located in the Central European Time (CET) zone, which is six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST), seven hours ahead of Central Standard Time (CST), eight hours ahead of Mountain Standard Time (MST), and nine hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time (PST).
During daylight saving time, these differences decrease by one hour. Check the local time in Spain before dialing to avoid calling at inappropriate times and a grumpy person has freshly woken up on the other end because they forgot to set up a do not disturb feature on their phone.
Strengthening Transatlantic Communication
We have walked you through the key steps for calling Spain from the US, from understanding the dialing process to being aware of the time difference. Knowing how to navigate these factors helps strengthen communication ties across the Atlantic.
While making international calls, it's crucial to avoid unexpectedly high bills. Consider the cost of your calls carefully, and explore alternatives such as VOIP for more affordable options.
Another critical aspect to bear in mind is the protection of your private data. When you make international calls, your number is often displayed to the recipient, which might not always be ideal.
Burner, for instance, is an app that provides temporary phone numbers to protect your personal information. Although it can’t make international calls yet, it's an invaluable tool for safeguarding your privacy during domestic calls.
Start your free seven-day Burner App trial today, and experience enhanced privacy while communicating.