I know that the emergency services can be called FREE in the UK by dialing 999 and in the US by dialing 911.

What I don't know is the number to call in other countries and if there is a cost involved. This is something I think most people should find out before travelling but many don't (including me). Hopefully this will help me and other people.

  • I'm not sure why should find this out beforehand. I don't think your thinking about the costs of a call if you have to do an emergency call. Apr 26, 2012 at 9:51
  • I try not to carry much cash with me when travelling but I was meaning the numbers to call. You're never worried about such things until you need them urgently. Apr 26, 2012 at 9:54
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    In the UK, you can dial either 999 or 112 - both work and go to the same place. 999 is the long standing emergency services number (chosen I believe as it's very hard to dial accidentally with a rotary pulse dial phone), while 112 is more recent but works everywhere in Europe
    – Gagravarr
    Apr 26, 2012 at 10:57
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    @RoflcoptrException you shouldn't be thinking about the monetary cost of a call in an emergency, but you should be thinking about time. Knowing the right number to call can save time.
    – phoog
    Nov 12, 2017 at 17:48

4 Answers 4


If you have a GSM phone (with a SIM-card), 112 is likely to work in many places (see the list in the link). Note that it will work whether you're roaming, or don't have a SIM in the phone at all and the phone is locked. That's basically the only number you're guaranteed by the GSM standard to always be able to dial, and the mobile operators are required to redirect it to whatever it locally should be.

  • Thanks, This means I can get away with knowing just one number :D Apr 26, 2012 at 10:12
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    @RobertWhitley yeah, but keep in mind that on CDMA phones (like US Sprint or Verizon) this might not work, and while the GSM requires it, there are countries where it is not yet implemented. Newer 3G networks (and I expect 4G as well) also have this feature.
    – littleadv
    Apr 26, 2012 at 10:14
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    112 does indeed dial "911" on Verizon phones in the US. Don't try this at home, kids. Oct 26, 2013 at 10:09

You can find the list of phones in the Wikipedia: Emergency_telephone_number

For most countries in Europe is 112


This answer was posted in 2012, it is out of date now. Also in Belgium 112 has been the official emergency number for years now.

(In Belgium the number is suppose to be 112. Recently there was actually a message in the newspaper that you better not call this number yet. The Belgian emergency services can't come to an agreement how to manage such a number. As the newspaper quotes an official, the Belgian government instated 112 to communicatie to foreigners, but locals are advised to call the old emergency numbers (101 for the police and 100 for other services). Currently you can call 112, but you might be caught in an queue losing precious time.

I guess this might apply to other countries as well. So if you really want to know the emergency numbers of a country, the Wikipedia article mentioned by @SERPRO is a good starting point, but you might prefer the numbers mentioned in the Notes.


If you have an iPhone, I believe you can make an emergency call from the lock screen without needing to know a number.

Some other phones may also have a similar feature, though I wasn't able to find one on my Android phone.

  • On an android phone, the screen that asks for your pin gives the option for emergency calls instead. At least the three I used do.
    – Willeke
    Aug 21, 2019 at 4:37
  • Ah, that explains it. I don't use the pin code on mine, just swipe to unlock.
    – Chromatix
    Aug 21, 2019 at 17:05

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