Moving in : Madrid

Mail, Post office in Madrid

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The web site of the postal service in Spain is:

In addition to the usual post office services, a limited range of other services are provided including telegrams, fax , online documents( burofax) that allows urgent mailing with recorded delivery, and telex transmissions, and domestic and international giro money orders. The post office also operates a savings bank (Caja Postal), which may be located in a separate building to a post office. Telephones aren't available in most Spanish post offices.

Unlike almost all other European post offices, the Spanish post office produces few leaflets and brochures and you may even have difficulty obtaining a tariff.

It's advisable to send all international mail by air mail (por correo aéreo). There's a cheaper surface mail (por barco or correo ordinario) service outside Europe but it takes eons, e.g. six weeks or more to North America. Although letters posted in Spain often arrive at European destinations in two to four days, it's advisable to allow around seven days. Airmail letters between Spain and North America usually take five to 10 days, although you should allow up to two weeks. Sending letters by express (exprés or urgente) post isn't the answer as there's no guarantee they will arrive earlier than ordinary post.

Open hours depend on each branch and vary between 8.30am and 10am until 2pm or 10pm, you can find some offices open on Sunday and bank holidays (at the Madrid Barajas airport); check on the website by clicking on "oficinas" to find the open hours of each post office in Spain.

If you want your mail to be redirected (reexpedir) by the post office, you must present your local post office with your name and your old and new addresses. This service redirect national and international mail for 1 to 6 months, depending on your subscription. There's no official form and you shouldn't rely on any mail being redirected, but should give all your correspondents your new address and make private arrangements for mail sent to your old address to be redirected.

If you want to buy stamps only, it's quicker to buy them from a tobacconist's (estanco - big brown-and-yellow "tabaco" signs), although they don't always have postal scales, and they usually know the cost of international mails for each countries.

Post boxes (buzones) in Spain are bright yellow and are usually free standing. In cities, post boxes may have two slots, one for local mail (ciudad or localidad) and the other for other provinces and international mail (provincias y extranjero). There may also be separate boxes for Madrid (Madrid Capital), local province or provinces (provincias), the rest of Spain (resto España) and international (extranjero) mail. Post boxes can sometimes be scarce and difficult to locate, although there's always one outside a post office or railway station.

Update 5/11/2005


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