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Area Code Switzerland: All Prefixes and Area Codes for Calling Swiss numbers

Swiss Phone Prefixes

Want to make a call to a Swiss area code? 


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Telephone prefixes are numerical codes used to identify specific areas, regions, or cantons within a country, including Switzerland. For each landline and mobile phone number in Switzerland, it's still possible to identify a prefix that was once used by switchboards to route calls to the correct recipient.


In March 2000, the Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) decided to standardize all phone and fax numbers in Switzerland to enable number portability. This made the mobile or landline telephone market more competitive, and individuals who decided to cancel mobile contracts and to switch to a new phone carrier could keep their number and avoid losing their contacts. Today, it's not certain whether a specific cantonal prefix is actually associated with a phone line in the corresponding area or if a certain mobile prefix corresponds to a contract with specific Swiss mobile operators.

Swiss Phone Prefixes

Swiss Area Code +41: How to Call a Swiss Number Abroad?

When abroad and in need of calling a Swiss phone number, the crucial prefix to remember is 0041 or, in abbreviated form, +41. The +41 prefix is the Swiss international prefix and must be dialed before the landline or mobile number to connect to the international network.

 

Following international standards, every local numbering, whether phone or fax, must consist of the international prefix and 10 digits. To adhere to this rule, you'll need to remove the initial 0 and dial the remaining 10 digits of your number.

 

This international standard led to the abolition in 2007 of the area code 01 for the city of Zurich, replaced by the code 044. As reported by ComCom, someone wanting to call a contact in Zurich would need to dial a number like 044 XXX XX XX if in Switzerland or +41 44 XXX XX XX if abroad.

 

It's important to distinguish the phone prefix from the dialing code. The dialing code refers to the digits an caller must input before the recipient's number when in another country, while the phone prefix simply refers to certain digits that can be attributed to an area, operator, or country according to certain local or international standards.

Swiss Cantonal Prefixes: Complete List of Cantonal Prefixes and Area Codes

Before the new federal regulation came into effect, it was possible to identify the origin of a landline call with extreme precision within a certain canton or metropolitan area. Today, this is no longer possible, but it's still interesting to know the historical origin of Swiss landline prefixes.

 

Here is a list of Swiss cantons with their respective prefixes and area codes, ranked in descending order of population:

  • Zurich (ZH): Prefix 044 and Prefix 043 (until 2007, Prefix 051 and Prefix 01)

  • Bern (BE): Prefix 031

  • Vaud (VD): Prefix 021

  • Aargau (AG): Prefix 062

  • St. Gallen (SG), Appenzell Innerrhoden (AI), and Appenzell Ausserrhoden (AR): Prefix 071

  • Geneva (GE): Prefix 022

  • Lucerne (LU), Schwyz (SZ), Nidwalden (NW), Uri (UR), and Zug (ZG): Prefix 041

  • Ticino (TI): Prefix 091

  • Valais (VS): Prefix 027

  • Fribourg (FR): Prefix 026

  • Basel-Landschaft (BL) and Basel-City (BS): Prefix 061

  • Solothurn (SO): Prefix 032

  • Thurgau (TG): Prefix 052

  • Grisons (GR): Prefix 081

  • Neuchâtel (NE) and Jura (JU): Prefix 032

  • Glarus (GL): Prefix 055

 

Remember: For a long time, the local phone prefix was a reliable indicator of the caller's residence. However, nowadays, many people choose to keep their landline number when moving to another region.

This means they transfer their landline number and local prefix to the new place of residence. Consequently, it's no longer possible to determine with certainty the origin of the call based on the landline number.

Phone Prefixes of Swiss Operators

In the past, the prefix of a mobile number allowed identification of the Swiss telecom operator to which a phone number belonged. For instance, the prefix 079 was associated with Swisscom, 078 with Orange (now Salt Mobile), 077 with M-Budget, 076 with Sunrise, and so on. Nowadays, with the increasing practice of number portability, it's no longer certain which telecom operator a specific phone contact belongs to.

 

Here are the phone prefixes that were associated with various telecom operators in the past:

075
Swisscom, Wingo
076
Sunrise, Lebara, TalkTalk, Quickline, yallo, swype, SAK digital
077
M-Budget Mobile, Lycamobile
078
Salt, Coop Mobile, GoMo
079
Swisscom, Wingo

Remember that when changing your telecom provider, you have the option to transfer your mobile number to avoid losing all your contacts. Almost all Swiss telecom providers offer a free support service. If you're planning to change your subscription, take a look at the mobile phone offers on our comparison platform.

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International Phone Codes for Calling Abroad

To call phone numbers worldwide from Switzerland, you need to dial an international code before the destination country's phone number. International phone codes were assigned by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) following the E.164 standard, the international phone numbering standard.

Here are some of the main international codes for European, American, and Asian countries:

Europe:

  • Germany: +49

  • France: +33

  • Italy: +39

  • United Kingdom: +44

  • Spain: +34

  • Switzerland (international): +41

 

Americas:

  • United States: +1

  • Canada: +1

  • Brazil: +55

  • Argentina: +54

  • Mexico: +52

 

Asia:

  • China: +86

  • Japan: +81

  • India: +91

  • South Korea: +82

  • Singapore: +65

  • Australia: +61

 

Remember to add the correct international prefix before the phone number of the country you wish to call to successfully complete the international call. Additionally, check with your phone operator if international calls are allowed in your subscription or if you need to activate an additional Switzerland roaming package to make calls abroad.

Other Swiss Prefixes: 0800 Toll-Free Numbers and 0900 Premium Rate Numbers

In addition to specific location prefixes, operator prefixes, and international prefixes, there are other prefixes with specific features in Switzerland. These Swiss prefixes are divided into two categories: numbers starting with 0800 are free for the caller and are usually intended for customer support, while numbers starting with 0900 are premium-rate and typically have high charges, so they should only be called if absolutely necessary.

 

ComCom (Federal Communications Commission) classifies these special prefixes into the following categories: free toll-free numbers like those offered by the customer support of many operators (0800), paid business helplines (0900), paid adult hotlines (0906).

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Mobile Phone Prefixes
Prefissi internazionali

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Author: Lapo Zarina

Published: August 2023 | Last updated: January 2024

Sources: Wikipedia (Swiss prefix page, Swiss cantons page, standard ITU prefix page), ComCom (admin.ch) | Images: Wix, proprietary reworking of creative commons images by Wikimedia

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