Making international calls from the Netherlands: the best providers in 2024

Who you gonna call? 📞

It won’t be long after your big move until you have to make international calls from the Netherlands. 

Whether you’re craving a catch-up with your grandparents who haven’t figured out FaceTime yet or need to handle some bureaucratic business, it’s crucial to find the right provider that’s handy, clear, and won’t cost big bucks. 

So, whether you’re a seasoned expat or a complete newbie; an EU citizen or from outside of Europe, here’s all you need to know about international calls from the Netherlands. 

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Calling someone in a non-EEA country from the Netherlands

Unfortunately, making international phone calls from the Netherlands to countries outside of Europe can be a tricky (and pricey) endeavour — but there are some providers who are making things easier.

The best mobile providers for international calls from the Netherlands 

While most Dutch mobile providers don’t have options for calling numbers outside the EU cheaply, we’ve scouted out the few that do offer good deals and bundles.

LEBARA: The top choice


For just €5 per month (on top of your SIM-only subscription), LEBARA offers unlimited calling minutes to 44 different countries, including 18 outside of the EEA, such as the US, Canada, India, and China.

Prefer a prepaid option? Get an international bundle from just €15 for 500 minutes of international calling or €20 for unlimited international calling.

Lyca: The tailored offer


Lyca offer a range of prepaid international bundles priced between €10 and €30, giving you the flexibility to select either a single country or a bundle of countries to call to. 

Additionally, their standard SIM-only subscriptions include 100 international calling minutes, starting at just €6.50 per month.

Odido: The traditional provider


Though Odido doesn’t boast the most affordable options for calling outside of the EU, they are one of the biggest Dutch telecom companies.

Their Unlimited Plus (€37.50/month) and Unlimited Premium (€49.50/month) subscriptions offer international calling options to the EU, Switzerland, the United States, and Turkey.

Calling outside of the EU: getting the most bang for your buck

Which of these providers should you go for? Check out this table to help you decide.

SIM-only providerCost per monthMinutesCountries (outside of the EU)
LEBARAStarting from €9Unlimited18
LycaStarting from €6.5010011
OdidoStarting from €37.501203

Can I make calls outside of the EU with my regular Dutch phone plan?

You certainly can, but it will usually cost you a pretty penny.

While you’re easily able to make international calls with any Dutch or EU phone provider, it’s crucial to know that most providers handle notably higher per-minute rates for such calls — up to a casual €4.50 per minute. 😳

READ MORE | The best banks in the Netherlands for internationals in 2024

So yes, while you can always make calls beyond EU borders with your regular Dutch phone plan, it’s recommended that you verify the specific rates with your provider — or find a cheaper alternative. 

Other options for calls from the Netherlands outside the EU

If you’re looking for ways to chat with your friends or family from home without breaking the bank, there are other alternatives that you can consider.

Why not try video-calling with platforms like WhatsApp, FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype? Not only do these options offer a fun and interactive way to connect, but they also tend to be more wallet-friendly when calling across oceans. 

Video calling is a great way to connect face-to-face. Image: Freepik

Of course, there are some limitations to these platforms. For example, relying on these services requires a stable internet connection, meaning you’ll need access to Wi-Fi or a strong data connection (which also costs money). 

READ MORE | 12 of the best apps to have as an international in the Netherlands

To call landlines or government numbers, you can also make use of so-called VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services, which allow you to make voice calls using an internet connection instead of a regular phone line.

Some examples of popular VoIP providers are Skype’s mobile calling service, KeepCalling, Rebtel, and Viber.

Calling someone in an EEA country from the Netherlands

What about making calls from the Netherlands to other countries within the EEA? That’s pretty straightforward and usually much cheaper than calling outside of the EU.  

Countries that are part of the EEA

Using a Dutch mobile phone provider

If you live in the Netherlands and have a Dutch SIM-only plan, prepaid SIM, or eSIM, any call to another EEA country is either included in your plan or incurs the same charges as a local call would, that is, maximum €0.19 per minute (+VAT).

And that’s all there is to know — easy! Looking for a provider that can give you a good deal on your EEA calls? Besides the three already mentioned earlier, check these out. 👇

Roaming to the Netherlands with your existing EEA phone plan

Thanks to the EU’s “Roam like at Home” policy, calls between EEA member countries always cost the same as domestic calls within an EEA country.

This policy is meant to allow EEA citizens to use their normal phone subscription while travelling to other European countries without running up the bill. 

Now, if you’re an expat who moved to the Netherlands from another European country, you might think, “Oh, so I can just continue using my original phone plan at no extra cost then — right?”. Well, it’s not that easy. 

Roam like at Home comes with some ground rules. Image: Depositphotos

Roam like at Home, allows you to make use of the same fees you would in your home country. This means that if your current plan is limited to calls within your home country, then you will still be charged for any phone call you make outside of it. 

Let me give you an example to make this simpler. Let’s say I have a phone subscription from Luxembourg (my home country). It includes:

  • Unlimited calling and texts within Luxembourg (not internationally),
  • 20GB of data per month.

If I travel to the Netherlands, I can:

  • Call and text Dutch, Luxembourgish, or any other EEA number unlimited,
  • Use up to 20GB of internet while “roaming”,

However, if I make a new friend and return home to Luxembourg and want to call them, my Luxembourg provider can charge me for making an international call because I am no longer “roaming” or “travelling”. 

READ MORE | Mobile phones and SIM cards in the Netherlands: ultimate 2024 guide

Note: It is always most beneficial to have a phone plan in your actual country of residence. Why? Not only can your mobile operator cap your international usage under the fair use policy, but a local phone number also makes it easier to contact local authorities. 

How do I make an international call from the Netherlands?

Making international calls from the Netherlands is relatively straightforward, but it’s essential to know the correct dialling procedure to make sure your calls actually go through. 

It’s important to know your country codes. Image: Freepik

To dial an international number from the Netherlands, you typically start by entering the international access code, which is represented by a plus sign (or two zeros), followed by the country code of the destination you’re calling. 

READ MORE | Unlimited data SIM cards in the Netherlands: the ultimate guide

The country code specifies the country you’re trying to reach. For example, North America’s country code is +1, while Luxembourg’s is +352, and Australia’s is +61.

Once you’ve entered the international access code and the country code, you dial the phone number of the person or business you wish to reach. If you’re making a call to the US, for example, you’ll type either 001 – (phone number) or +1 – (phone number).

This process ensures that your call is routed correctly to its destination, whether it’s a neighbouring country or halfway around the world.

Whether you’re calling your long-distance bestie to hear the latest hometown gossip or need to schedule an appointment with the town hall for your next visit, the ease of international calls from the Netherlands makes it a breeze.

How do you stay in contact with your loved ones back home? Let us know in the comments.

Feature Image:Freepik
Lyna Meyrer 🇱🇺
Lyna Meyrer 🇱🇺
Say 'hoi' to Lyna, our Senior Writer at DutchReview! Fueled by a love for writing, social media, and all things Dutch, she joined the DR family in 2022. Since making the Netherlands her home in 2018, she has collected a BA in English Literature & Society (Hons.) and an RMA in Arts, Literature and Media (Hons.). Even though she grew up just a few hours away from the Netherlands, Lyna remains captivated by the guttural language, quirky culture, and questionable foods that make the Netherlands so wonderfully Dutch.

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