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Post & Mail in Germany

Post & Mail in Germany

Post & Mail in Germany

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

Post offices in Germany

The number of dedicated post offices is declining rapidly in Germany; far more common nowadays are outlets, DHL Packet Shops and sale points in kiosks that offer postal services. Consequently, opening hours vary enormously, depending on your location. In Berlin and Bonn, there are even some 24-hour post office services. You can find your nearest post service here.

Post boxes

Post boxes 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 local postcodes / zip codes (PLZ) and the one on the right is for other mail (andere PLZ / Orte).

Post boxes are usually emptied several times per day; the last collection is usually around 5:30pm but can be as late as 10:00pm. The collection times will be printed on the front of the post box. You can find your closest post box here.

Receiving post

If you have have only just moved in or have changed address, it is worth noting that, in Germany, individual apartments and their respective letter boxes rarely have numbers. Instead, they are signified by the occupant’s name. The name on your letter must match the name on your doorbell and letter box, otherwise you might not receive it.

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

Buying postage stamps & Paying for postage

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

Alternatively, you can use Handyporto, an on-the-go service which allows you to pay for postage using your mobile phone. Just send a text and, within a few moments, you will receive a unique code to write on the front of your envelope.

How to send a letter in Germany

You can send your letter by putting it in a post box or handing it in at your local post office.

German address

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 post code comes before the city. 

German address format

German addresses are therefore written in the following format:

  • Name of recipient
  • Street name, number
  • Post code, city

So, the direction on a typical letter in Germany would read like this: 

  • Max Mustermann
  • Deutschlandstr. 89
  • 10785 Berlin

Note that Str. is the abbreviation for the German word Straße (street).

Mailing cost for a letter or postcard (within Germany)

Format Max dimensions (cm) Max weight (g) Price (euros)
Postcard 23,5 x 12,5 500 0,60
Standard 23,5 x 12,5 x 0,5 20 0,80
Kompakt 23,5 x 12,5 x 1 50 0,95
Groß 35,3 x 25 x 2 500 1,55
Maxi 35,3 x 25 x 5 1.000 2,70
Maxi 35,3 x 25 x 5 2.000 4,90

Mailing cost for a letter or postcard (international)

Format Max dimensions (cm) Max weight (g) Price (euros)
Postcard 23,5 x 12,5 500 0,95
Standard 23,5 x 12,5 x 0,5 20 1,10
Kompakt 23,5 x 12,5 x 1 50 1,70
Groß 90 500 3,70
Maxi 90 1.000 7,20
Maxi 90 2.000 17,20

Sending parcels in Germany

DHL is the parcel sending service of the Deutsche Post. The cost of sending a package varies according to its size and weight. It is normally cheaper to pay for postage online than at your local DHL shop (Paketshop). You can also pay extra to have DHL collect the parcel directly from your house.

Cost of sending a parcel (within Germany)

Format Max dimensions (cm) Max weight (kg) Price (euros)
Small packet (Päckchen) S 35 x 25 x 10 2 3,79
Small packet (Päckchen) M 60 x 30 x 15 2 4,50
DHL Packet (Paket) 120 x 60 x 60 5 7,49
DHL Packet (Paket) 120 x 60 x 60 10 9,49
DHL Packet (Paket) 120 x 60 x 60 31,5 16,49

Cost of sending a parcel (EU)

Format Max dimensions (cm) Max weight (kg) Price (euros)
Small packet (Päckchen) 90 2 9,00
DHL Packet (Paket) 120 x 60 x 60 5 17,99
DHL Packet (Paket) 120 x 60 x 60 10 22,99
DHL Packet (Paket) 120 x 60 x 60 20 33,99
DHL Packet (Paket) 120 x 60 x 60 31,5 44,99

Cost of sending a parcel (worldwide)

Format Max dimensions (cm) Max weight (kg) Price (euros)
Small packet (Päckchen) 90 2 16,00
DHL Packet (Paket) 120 x 60 x 60 5 46,99
DHL Packet (Paket) 120 x 60 x 60 10 62,99
DHL Packet (Paket) 120 x 60 x 60 20 101,99
DHL Packet (Paket) 120 x 60 x 60 31,5 131,99

* Price may vary according to country

Postage calculator

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

Customs clearance tax

Parcels sent to Germany from outside the EU may incur an additional customs clearance tax, including VAT and customs duties. This applies to parcels:

  • Worth more than 22 euros
  • Containing gifts worth more than 45 euros

Registered mail

For an additional fee, you can also choose to send your post via recorded delivery (Einschreiben). Once you have posted your item, you can track its progress using the Deutsche Post tracking feature (Sendungsverfolgung).

Packstation pickup points

In certain cases, your package may be delivered to a local pickup point for you to collect, rather than to your home address. If you know you are not going to be home to accept the package, you can also opt to have it sent to a Packstation. These are automated lockers, run by DHL, where you can collect parcels at your own convenience. You can also drop off your own parcels for shipping.

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