What is the country code for the UK – Complete A-Z Guide

Expat life
11 Jun 2024
11 mins read
Written by pranit

The UK’s country code is +44.


The United Kingdom is like a melting pot for people from different nationalities. Most people move here for work and education purposes. This also means that you may need to contact your family, friends, or potential prospects in the UK. 


While making international calls is not very different from making local calls, certain rules and formats must be followed. In this blog, we will discuss how to call the UK and other aspects to keep in mind when making international calls. Read on!


  • The UK’s country code is +44.
  • The UK’s country abbreviation is UK. 
  • The UK’s 2-digit country code is GB. 
  • The UK’s 3-digit code is GBR. 

UK country code: What are country codes?

Country phone codes, or simply country codes, refer to 2 or 3-digit numeric codes assigned to each country. They are used as prefixes for dialling an international phone number. Country codes play a vital role in the global communication landscape. They help identify the caller’s destination country and route calls and messages to the right location. 


Apart from this, there are many other purposes of country codes. Let’s take a look at them:

Purpose of country dialling codes
  • Identification of the destination country: The primary objective of assigning country codes was to help the telecommunication service providers identify the destination country of the caller. Putting a country code also tells the service provider that you are trying to make an international call to a specific country. 
  • Standardisation of global communication format: Country codes also serve to standardise international communication format. Simply put, they allow all countries worldwide to follow the same dialling format. 
  • Elimination of ambiguity: Another purpose of international dialling codes is to remove ambiguity from the dialling process. 


By specifying the country and city a caller is trying to reach, country codes ensure that the directed calls and messages are routed accurately. 

What are UK area codes?

As we have discussed, country codes help the network service operators identify the country you are trying to call. But how do they identify the specific city or region you want to call within that country? By using area codes.


Area codes are numeric codes assigned to different areas or cities within the country. They are used after country codes in the international calling format. Let’s understand this with an example. 


Suppose you want to call your friend in London from India. For this, you will have to use the country code of the UK to specify that you are trying to reach out to a number based in the United Kingdom. 


After which you need to use the area code of London to specify that you are trying to connect with the person in London. 


Below is the international calling format for the UK:



Here, +44 is the country code for the United Kingdom, and 20 is the area code for London. 


Following are the area codes for the UK for other common cities/regions:



UK city codes





Northern Ireland
























Fort William


Kings Lynn







01384, 01386, 01562

How to call the UK from a landline?

To call the UK from a landline, you need to follow the below process:


  • Step 1: Enter the UK international code, +44 or 0044 on your dial pad. Here, ‘+’ can be used as an alternative to ‘00’ as the international exit code. 
  • Step 2: Enter the UK city code depending on your target location. For instance, enter 20 for London, 161 for Manchester, and so on. Refer to the above table for common area phone codes for the UK. 
  • Step 3: Enter the correct phone number for the UK. If the number has a preceding zero ‘0’, remove it. 
  • Step 4: Press the dial button. 

How to call the UK from a cell phone?

Calling a phone number in the UK from a cell phone is no different than using a landline phone. Here are the simple steps you need to follow:


  • Step 1: Enter the country phone code for the UK, i.e., +44. 
  • Step 2: Enter the area code for the specific city you want to call. 
  • Step 3: Next, dial in the UK phone number. Make sure to remove the first zero from the number if there is any. 
  • Step 4: Cross-check the dialling format and tap the call icon. 

How to call the UK for free?

Most individuals are sceptical about making international calls because of expensive international calling plans. If you are among those, here is good news for you. You can call the UK or any other nation for free, thanks to VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). 


A wide array of mobile applications allow you to call anywhere in the world over the Internet. All you need is an uninterrupted internet connection. 


Below are the best VoIP applications you can use to call your near and dear ones in the UK for free:


  • WhatsApp: Whether you want to make a free video or voice call or simply audio chat with your friends or colleagues abroad, WhatsApp is the most reliable application you can use. Since it is a commonly used application worldwide, you can use it to connect with other WhatsApp users. 
  • Skype: Skype is another efficient free-calling solution for abroad. It can be used for video and audio calls with other Skype users worldwide. You can even conduct group calls with up to 10 people for zero charges. 
  • Google Meet: Google Meet is a great solution for those who want to connect with overseas business partners and clients. This wonderful Google Suite application allows you to conduct virtual meetings smoothly and cost-effectively. 
  • FaceTime: Given the increasing number of Apple users, FaceTime is a great free-calling solution for iPhone, Mac, iPad, and other Apple devices. This video telephony application enables users to engage in high-quality video calls regardless of their physical location. 
  • Viber: Viber is a highly versatile VoIP application that lets you connect the Viber users abroad via audio and video calls. It is suitable for both formal and informal calls. In addition, it also allows you to call non-Viber users and landline numbers at cost-effective charges. 

Why did my call to the UK not work?

There can be multiple reasons why your international calls are not working after multiple attempts. Some of the common issues are as follows:


  • Weak networks: The underlying reason behind your failed international calls can be as simple as a poor network connection. The best way to identify this issue is to run a manual network selection. If your signals are constantly showing poor strength, then it is best to contact your network service provider. 
  • Incorrect country code: Incorrect or incomplete country codes can be another cause behind your failed international calls. So, before dialling an international number, make sure to double-check the country code of your intended destination. 
  • Incorrect/invalid phone number: Sometimes, an incorrect or invalid phone number is the reason for call failure. There can be a missing digit, or the number you are dialling is not in service any more. 
  • International call barrier: To call an international number, the international calling feature must be enabled on your number. If this service is disabled on your number, then it can prevent you from establishing a telephone connection overseas.


Also Read: Average salary in the UK in 2024

+44 country code time: What Is the best time to call the UK?

The right time to call the UK depends on your location’s timezone and the person you are trying to contact.


  • Best time to make formal calls to the UK: The best time to make formal calls to the UK is during working or business hours, i.e., 9 am to 5 pm 
  • Best time to make informal calls to the UK: The best time to make informal calls to the UK is on weekends and public holidays. 


Other things to keep in mind when calling another country:


  • Avoid making informal calls during office hours as they can cause a lot of distraction to the callee. 
  • Avoid making formal calls during holidays and after working hours. 
  • Consider scheduling your call after making an appointment with the intended callee. 
  • Use time conversion tools to determine the time differences before calling.
  • Avoid calling anyone very early in the morning or late at night. 

Dialling code in the UK – Emergency Numbers

The main emergency number in the United Kingdom is 999. It can contact ambulances, fire brigades, and police services. However, it should only be used when you need immediate assistance, such as during a medical emergency, road accidents, reporting of crime, and so on.


Alternatively, the emergency number for Europe, 112, can also be used in emergencies. 


For police assistance during non-emergency situations, you can dial 101. It can be used in situations such as anti-social activities, minor accidents, etc. This number can also be used for general inquiries with the police. 


Also read: Moving to the UK? 5 challenges to conquer during your adventure.

Sending and receiving money in the UK

Sending and receiving money in the UK has become as easy as establishing global communication. Thanks to international fund transfer platforms like Instarem, you can transfer funds from United Kingdom in an affordable#, secure, and relatively faster** manner. 


With good exchange rates and nominal service fees, Instarem allows you to send money to more than 60+ countries worldwide. It is easy to use, reliable, and offers several rewards on frequent transactions. 


Also read: What makes sending money with Instarem simple.



Q. What is the UK’s 2-letter country code? 

The two-letter country code for the UK is GB. 


Q. How do I dial a +44 number?

The format for dialling a +44 number is as follows:

[International exit code] + [44] + [UK city code] + [UK phone number]

In the above format, the international exit code can be either ‘+’ or ‘00’ in most cases.


Q. What area code is 44 in the UK?

44 is not the area code. It is the UK country code for phones, which is used in conjunction with the international exit code and area code of the UK. 


Q. Can I call the UK on WhatsApp?

Yes. If the person you want to contact is available on WhatsApp, then you can surely use the app to conduct voice and video calls over data. 


Q. How can I call from India to the UK?

You can call the UK from India using the international country telephone code for the UK. Here is the format:

+44 + [UK city code] + [UK phone number]

Also, contact your network provider to make sure to enable international calling service on your number. 


Q. What app can I use to call the UK?

WhatsApp, FaceTime, Google Meets, Google Voice, and Viber are some great VoIP applications for making audio, video, and group calls to the UK. 


Q. How to write a UK mobile number with an area code?

To write a UK mobile phone number with an area code, you need to dial the area code before the number and after the country code. Here is how:

+44 – (area code) – (mobile number)

If the mobile number you are calling has a preceding zero, then make sure to delete it before dialling. For example, if the number is 0987654321 and it is based in Manchester, then dial:

+44 – 161 – 987654321

Here, 161 is the area code for Manchester. 



Other related blogs:

What is the Country Code for Australia

What is the Country Code for Singapore

What is the Country Code for the USA

What is the Country Code for Malaysia




This article is intended for informational purposes only. All details are accurate at the time of publishing. Instarem has no affiliation or relationship with products or vendors mentioned.

* Fast meaning 75% of our transactions are completed in 15 minutes. Depending on the funding method.

#When it comes to affordable exchange rates and fees, it’s worth noting that the cost will vary depending on how you choose to fund your transactions. Credit card funding and bank transfer fees can differ significantly.









About Instarem

Instarem stands at the forefront of international money transfer services, facilitating fast and secure transactions for both individuals and businesses. Our platform offers competitive exchange rates for popular currency pairs like USD to INR, SGD to INR, and AUD to INR. If you're looking to send money to India or transfer funds to any of 60+ global destinations, Instarem makes it easy for you. We are dedicated to simplifying cross-border payments, providing cutting-edge technology that support individuals and businesses alike in overcoming traditional fiscal barriers normally associated with banks. As a trusted and regulated brand under the umbrella of the Fintech Unicorn Nium Pte. Ltd., and its international subsidiaries, Instarem is your go-to for reliable global financial exchanges. Learn more about Instarem.