Telephone etiquette:
The main difference between making and receiving calls between Germany and the U.S. is that Germans do not answer the phone by saying “Hello”. Instead, they offer their last name. Likewise, the caller is also expected to give their last name upon making a connection. When the phone call is finished, it is common to hear either Tschüss” or “Auf Wiederhören” in place of “Good-bye”.

Local telephone calls:

Germany, like the U.S. has area codes. The rule is, if you are calling within the same area code, you don’t have to dial the area code. If you are calling to another area code, then you must dial “0”, and then the area coda and number. There is no one way to write a phone number in Germany, and the length of the phone number depends on the size of the city. However, a dash usually indicates an extension.

International telephone calls:

To make an international call, you must dial “00” first, and then the country code, area code, and phone number.

Pay phones:

Pay phones are still widely found throughout Germany, but most of them today can only be used with a phone card. These cards may be purchased for different amounts at post offices, gas stations, T-Punkt stores, Telekom stores, Vodafone stores, and also at some supermarkets and newsstands.

Special Prefixes:

016 – Mobile phones
017 – Mobile phones
0137 – Voting by telephone, usually associated with TV shows
0180 – The caller and the receiver split the cost of the call.
0190 – Used for customer hotlines as well as erotic entertainment
0800 – Free call - there is no charge for the caller
0900 – Used for customer hotlines as well as erotic entertainment

Automated messages:

* Kein Anschluss unter dieser Nummer = This number is unavailable
* Dieser Anschluss ist vorübergehend nicht erreichbar = This number is temporarily unavailable
* Diese Rufnummer hat sich geändert = This number has been changed
* Bitte warten Sie, sie werden in Kürze verbunden = Please wait, you will be connected shortly
* Bitte versuchen Sie es später noch einmal = Please try again later

Emergency Numbers:

Police 110
Fire Brigade 112
Ambulance 115
Operator (0180) 2001033
National Directory Enquiries 11833
National Directory Enquiries (in English) 11837
International Directory Enquiries 11834

Other Important Numbers

Airborne Rescue Club (0711) 70 10 70
Emergency Poison Help Line (0761) 192 40
Disabled Travelers (0511) 56 70
Goethe Institute (089) 15 92 10

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