Post & Mail in Germany | Sending letters & parcels

Germany’s most widely used postal service, Deutsche Post, delivers over 61 million letters every day! Although originally a public company, Deutsche Post was privatized in 1995; In 2002, it merged with DHL to become the world’s largest international postal courier service. This page contains all the information expats need to know about sending and receiving letters and packages in Germany.

post offices in germany

the number of dedicated post offices is rapidly declining in germany; Much more common today are outlets, DHL parcel shops, and kiosk outlets that offer postal services. consequently, opening hours vary greatly, depending on your location. In Berlin and Bonn, there are even some 24-hour post services. you can find your nearest postal service here.

mailboxes

mailboxes in germany are bright yellow and often bear the deutsche post logo. they usually have two separate slots: the one on the left is for postcodes/local postcodes (please) and the one on the right is for other mail (walk please/send).

mailboxes are usually emptied several times a day; the last pickup is usually around 5:30 p.m. m., but can be until 10:00 p.m. m. Pickup times will be printed on the front of the mailbox. you can find your nearest post office box here.

receiving message

If you’ve just moved or changed your address, it’s worth noting that individual apartments and their respective mailboxes rarely have numbers in Germany. instead, they are represented by the name of the occupant. the name on your letter must match the name on your stamp and mailbox, or you may not receive it.

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Ask the landlord to add your name to the mailbox, or alternatively, ask the sender to write “bei” (care of) and the name on your doorbell on the front of the envelope.

buy postage stamps & pay the postage

Stamps can be bought in the traditional way at a post office or at a newsstand displaying the deutsche post logo. It is also possible to buy stamps online directly from the German Post website.

Alternatively, you can use #porto, an on-the-go service that allows you to pay postage via post & dhl app – no additional cost. simply open the app, select the appropriate postal service, enter “code for labeling” (code zum beschriften) and pay with paypal. You will immediately receive a code to write on the front of your envelope. the code is valid for 14 days and can only be used to send mail to German addresses.

how to send a letter in germany

You can send your letter by leaving it in a mailbox or by delivering it to your local post office.

german direction

an address in germany differs from addresses in other parts of the world in two ways: the house number is always written after the street name and the postal code comes before the city.

german address format

Therefore, German addresses are written in the following format:

  • recipient’s name
  • street name, number
  • zip code, city
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so, the address on a typical letter in germany would look like this:

  • max mustermann
  • deutschlandstr. 89
  • 10785 berlin

note that str. is short for the German word straße (street).

shipping costs for a letter or postcard (within germany)

cost of sending a letter or postcard (international)

ship parcels in germany

dhl is the parcel delivery service of the German Post. the cost of sending a package varies according to its size and weight. It is usually cheaper to pay for postage online than at your local DHL store (Paketshop). You can also pay extra to have the parcel picked up by DHL directly from your home.

cost of shipping a parcel (within germany)

cost of sending a package (eu)

cost of shipping a package (worldwide)

* price may vary by country

postage calculator

You can calculate the cost of your letter or package using this postage cost calculator.

customs clearance tax

Packages sent to Germany from outside the EU may incur an additional customs clearance tax, including VAT and customs duties. this applies to packages:

  • value of more than 22 euros
  • containing gifts worth more than 45 euros

certified mail

for an additional fee, you can also choose to send your publication via certified mail (einschreiben). once you’ve published your item, you can track its progress using the german post tracking feature (sendungsverfolgung).

charging station collection points

In certain cases, your package may be delivered to a local collection point for you to collect, rather than your home address. If you know you won’t be home to accept the package, you can also choose to send it to a parcel station. These are automated lockers, run by DHL, where you can pick up packages at your convenience. you can also drop off your own packages for shipping.

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