Prior to sim cards, phone cards were what locals and travelers purchased to make phone calls both in and outside of the country. These days sim cards can be purchased at any “tabacs” store, or most supermarches (super markets). The “tabac” is a store that sells a variety of things such as newspapers, cigarettes, books, gum, and phone cards. They are a very common store in towns.
Old French phone cards are now collectibles. Many of the French phone cards are worth much more then there original price. Some were printed in limited quantity and like other collectibles such as coins and baseball cards, there value increased over the years.
The phone systems in France used to be among some of Europe’s worst several years ago, but France has made great strides lately in improving their phones. To call Chamonix or any other part of France except Paris, you will need to dial your countries’ international access code (this code in the United States is +1). Next you will dial 33 and you will ignore the first “0” in the phone number you are trying to call. Lastly proceed to type in the rest of the 9 digits of the French phone number. For example if the phone number in Chamonix you are trying to call is 04 53 76 45 32 and you were calling from the United States you would dial: 1 33 4 53 76 45 32. (Note omission of the first “0” in the 04.
To call someone who lives outside of France you would dial “00” which is the international access code, and then add the country code of the country you are trying to call (again in the United States this code is “1”), and lastly type in the area code and the local number.
Here is a helpful chart listing several countries “country codes”.
|Andorra 376||Australia 61||Canada 1|
|England 44||Germany 49||Hong Kong 852|
|India 91||Ireland 353||Japan 81|
|New Zealand 64||Singapore 65||South Africa 27|
|United States 1|
A common question that people ask if they have never traveled in Europe is, “are ATM’s easy to find in Europe and will my debit card work in these ATMs?”. There are numerous ATM’s in Europe, and just about all of them will accept the major symbols such as Star, Cirrus, Plus, or Explore. ATM’s are readily accessible in Chamonix. There are several scattered around the main street and among the tourist shops.
If you are exchanging currency there are also several places near the main street and shopping area that will do this for you. The commission rate ranges from 0 to 2 percent charged.
For historical reference only, in late 1998 the US dollar would purchase 6 French Francs. As of January 1, 2002 the Euro became the denomination used in France.
The hospital in Chamonix (The Centre Hospitalier) is located at Route des Pelerins, Les Favrands. They can be reached at PHONE NUMBER 04 50 53 84 00.