How to Call International US-UK

By Dane Gregos

Calling internationally can be frustrating if you don't understand how dialing codes work. But American and British phone systems are not that different; they just use different numbers. Once you get the hang of dialing internationally from the U.S. to the U.K., you'll have a better understanding of how to make an international call anywhere in the world.

Dialing to the U.K. from the U.S.

Step 1

Dial the U.S. code "011" for outgoing international calls. Every country has a code for calls going out of the country. In the United States, it's 011. Before you can make an international call from the U.S., you must dial 011. It is similar to dialing a "1" before making a U.S. long distance, domestic call from a landline.

Step 2

Dial the U.K. country code for incoming calls, 44.

Step 3

Dial the U.K. city area code. Like the United States, every city in the U.K. has an area code. For example, London's area code is 20 and Canterbury's is 1227. If there is a "0" at the beginning of the number you are dialing, remove it. The 0 is used when making domestic calls in the U.K.

Step 4

Dial the local number. Notice that there are more numbers in the local number than the typical American 7-digit phone number. Landlines in the U.K. have 8 digits and mobile phones have 9 digits in addition to the area code. The final dialing code should look like this: 011-44-area code-local number.

Dialing to the U.S. from the U.K.

Step 1

Dial the U.K. code 00, which is the code for outgoing international calls originating from the U.K. Whether you are calling the United States or any other country, you must dial 00 to get out.

Step 2

Dial the incoming country code for the United States, 1.

Step 3

Dial the U.S. area code. For example, you would dial 714 for Anaheim, California, or 212 for New York City.

Step 4

Dial the local U.S. number. The final dialing code should look like this: 00-1-area code-local number.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have never called the United Kingdom before, please note that British phones have two short rings in a row when a call is going through, rather than the long single ring of the United States. It sounds almost like a busy signal.
  • There are several websites that will help you dial international calls or give you local area code information. One of those websites is Countrycallingcodes.com, which gives you clear directions on how to make an international call, regardless of where you are or where you are calling. (see Resources)
  • If you are making the call from a mobile phone, it is possible to skip the outgoing country code by holding down the "0" key until a "+" sign appears. Use the + for the outgoing country code and then follow with Steps 2, 3 and 4. This does not apply to landlines.