There was a time when having a cell phone in Europe
meant renting a phone and paying very high per minute
charges. Not anymore. If you live in a major metropolitan
area of the US, chances are good and getting even better
that your present cell phone service offers tri-band
service. It may mean that you have to upgrade to a new
phone, but the end result is that people can call your
US cell phone number and get you most anywhere in Europe.
Cost? Between $1-2 a minute, depending upon your service
Update: In the year since the above was
written, GSM (tri-band) cell phones have become pretty
much commonplace. And the rates for calls to and from
your phone while in Europe have fell as well. Many plans
offer rates for around $.60 per minute. This further
underscores the suggestion to upgrade your present phone
rather than pay the high price of a rental.