Spain Telephones, Telefonica & Cheap Calls from Spain

26 January 2021

Phones in Spain

Information on both local calling and cheap calls internationally. Telefonica, Re-seller phone services, phone cards, and long distance calling from cellular/mobile phones.

Note that only 900 numbers are toll-free; 90x numbers are not."

(We recently change our pages, please see VoIP Services in Spain, call home for free. for VoIP information.)

Spain’s country code is 34.

Telephones in Spain, Local Calling and Land Lines

To make a call from within Spain to another Spanish number you just dial the listed number without the country code or anything else. Numbers that start with a are landlines and numbers that begin with a are mobile phones. Other numbers will be special numbers for, in general, pay services. Note that only 900 numbers are toll-free; 90x numbers are not.

When you get your telephone installed, expect an installation fee of 150€ (250€ for nonresidents). By all means, try to just change the name on the existing account where you’re moving to (if there is one)—that’s free. (Moving the address of an existing account is 60€.)


If you’re new to Spain, be prepared. You’ll soon acquire ‘Telefónica Rage’. Fortunately, new ways are springing up to compete with Telefónica, which is finally forcing them to cut their rates and possibly improve their service. Rates for UK/USA are 12 cents€ fixed fee, plus 12 cents€/minute. (My previous beef with Telefónica is their aging cables: these days you may receive a ‘sobrecarga en la red’ message when you try to make a call—this tends to last a whole day or more. Now, I’m more surprised when trying to get a new line: I was told on 11/2004 that it would take 20 days.)

Note: You can now get local phone service with other companies, such as Auna or Jazztel. We don’t recommend Auna: I recently called their support line, and was passed to 7 different people without resolution. Beware: if, for example, you move local service from Telefonica to Auna, don’t like their service and want to switch to Jazztel, you must first switch back to Telefonica and then to Jazztel. Here’s the hitch: Telefonica charges you 75 euros to go back to their phone service, as if you were reinstalling the line. Sound illegal? That’s second nature to Telefonica.

We have now setup a Telefonica Rage support group. Go join in the discussion now.

Fundamentally however, getting a Telefonica, Jazztel, ONO/Auna, etc landline is the cheapest way to make local calls. Local calling is usually about 2 cents/min. When I first arrived in Spain I remember being told that it’s considered rude to ask to borrow someone’s phone - even if it was to make a local call - and this was why. There were no free calling periods of the day nor cheaper regions to call, as making a call across the country was the same price as calling your neighbour across the street. For North Americans this seems bizarre.

Fast forward a few years and things have changed, slightly. I recently ordered a new Telefonica line (against my will!), and while I’m currently waiting for the installation (“between 7 and 20 days wait”), I picked up one of their new plans that offers free national calling with ADSL, all for 40€ /month. I won’t kid myself and believe for one second that it will be even close to this cheap, as my fellow expat friends recently mentioned their bill for these same services came to over 110€ /month, which is ridiculous. As well, supposedly I’ll receive the first three months of service for free. I further requested information on how to cancel service and or transfer the account to someone else and was given a phone number (which I’ve lost now, sorry!) to call in either case. Canceling the line is no problem as I’m free from a contract (unlike ONO and Wanadoo) and I’m able to transfer the line to another resident of the house without penalty. We’ll see. You can track my adventures in getting my Telefonica line at the Telefonica Rage Support Group.

...get the IP phone and a USA phone number for free (this number is virtual -- it doesn't matter where in the world you are calling from)."
Options for making international phone calls:

Cheap International Calling from Spain - Telephone Alternatives

To make a long distance call from any phone in general, dial 00, then the country code (1 for USA, Canada for example), then your number with area code. You'll see numbers posted like this: +1 403 555 5555, in which the '+' takes the place of the '00'. From mobile/cellular phones you can actually dial '+' then the number as noted, or from any phone replace the + with 00. Collect Calls from Spain We received the following two bits of advice from fellow expats:
  1. Making collect calls (by Bobby)
    • Dial 1008 for the international operator for Europe, Algiers, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey.
    • Dial 1005 for the international operator for all other countries.
    Then request "Una llamada a cobro revertido" followed by the country code, area code and telephone number and the operator does the rest!! If you want to know how much the call has cost you must inform the operator before the call is placed.
  2. Making collect calls (by Kenneth) To make collect calls from Madrid to the U.S.: Dial 005, tell the operator you want to place a collect call ("a cobro revertido"). The AT&T Direct lines are available by dialing 900-99-00-11 on any telephone in Spain. An AT&T operator in the U.S. will answer and put your call through by charging your AT&T card or by reversing the charges. MCI and Sprint have similar services.
If you try either of these methods for making collect calls from Spain, feel free to post your experience/success/failure/frustrations below in the comments box for Expat Talkback. Cheap Calls with "Re-seller" Telephone Services Re-sellers are companies that buy calling bandwidth at wholesale prices from the big companies that own the network. To use, you either prefix your calls with a 4-digit code, or sign up to use them as your default phone service (at which point, Telefónica men with dark suits and brass knuckles are dispatched to your house -- OK, OK, that's not totally true). See Tele2 or Aló. Tele2 offers 8 cents€/minute for calls to Europe, USA, and Canada, 3 cents€/minute within Spain, and 1 (0.5 non-peak) cent€/minute for local calls (now that the monopoly on local calls has ended too). The downside with Tele2 is it's difficult to get an itemized list of your calls. A reseller variant is Dial Abroad, which clocks in at an excellent 4 cents€/minute for offpeak times and 7 cents€/minute for peak (plus 8 cents€ connection). You dial 902 902 952, then dial the number you want. The charge listed is only Telefónica's 902 costs; no other charges and no sign up. The number must be a geographic landline (as opposed to, say, a USA 800 number). Another reseller variant providing cheap calls from Spain is [url=][/url] at 902 055 187. Same deal as Dial Abroad, just call the 902 number, then call your long distance number at 0.08 € for establishing the call, 0.07 €/min during normal hours and 0.04 €/min during reduced rate hours. USA:For calls from the USA to Spain, see ABTolls for a comparative list of re-sellers. The best is now 5 cents/minute, plus $1/month. Phone Cards in Spain See 1st4phonecards with rates to UK or USA listed at around 8 cents€/minute. When you purchase a phone card, you will find several numbers listed including: a free (gratis) number, a mobile number and a normal number. The free line is good if you're stuck without change at a payphone, but if you can feed the pay phone or call from a landline it's much cheaper so you'll get significantly more minutes (from 2 cents/minute to North America). You can call the mobile number and it won't charge against your mobile's minutes... but you'll only get about 18 min calling time for a 10€ calling card. Or you can call the local number provided and you'll get your mobile's current per minute rate plus the card's cheap per minute charge. Mobile Telephones Obvious convenience, but calls are not cheap. Amena offers a 3 cent/minute special for 5 frequently called numbers. In our experience, vodafone gives better service. In any case, see above, and get a calling card if at all possible. Calling other countries in Europe ranges between 0.60cents/minute to 1.10€/minute. Calling overseas is around 1.40€/minute and up. Callback Services I'm told the rates aren't particularly cheap. UK: For £10 a month, UKDivert provides a UK telephone number that diverts calls from the UK to Spain. Locutorios Locutorios are like Internet cafes back home, but usually split the space evenly between computer desks and phone booths. This can be a good backup option if you have no landline, Internet phone or phone cards (although you can buy phone cards there too). Calls are relatively cheap coming in between 0.10 - 0.20 €/minute calling the US/Canada/Australia. I've called mobile phones in England from a locutorio at 0.36€/minute however... avoid this. Try the cheaper options above. When you find one, just walk in and say "una llamada?" at which point they'll direct you to a booth. Privacy not guaranteed, but it beats standing in the rain at a payphone punching in your calling card pin code over and over.
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