Even though the Netherlands is an amazing country and we all love spending our holidays there and get to enjoy this cute Northern country, moving there, like moving anywhere else, can be a little stressful and bring some questions about daily life that you need someone to answer, such as: How can I send my mail in the Netherlands?
In order to send mail in the Netherlands, you can go to any PostNL for regular national mail. You can find your closest PostNL point online since they tend to be part of other stores such as tobacco stores, supermarkets, stationery stores and others. There are also private mail companies.
Either if you live in the Netherlands or if you just need to send over some postcards for your friends and family while you are away, it is very useful to know a little bit of how the Dutch Mail System works. If you want to know more about it and find out how to send a postcard, keep reading!
Sending Mail in the Netherlands
First of all, a useful piece of information is to know that the Dutch National Post is orange (very Dutch, right?) and that it is very unlikely that you are going to find a proper post office. Normally, what you will find is a little section inside a shop where they will send or deliver things for you or from you as a normal post office.
After living over a decade in Spain and post offices being almost like an institution and as important as banks and other things, the new Dutch way of doing it, getting rid of the offices and applying it to our local shops, really surprised me. Besides, like everything in the Netherlands, you can always do everything online, even getting your stamp for sending over a parcel.
In any case, either to find your closest PostNL point or to get a tag or stamp for the parcel you wish to deliver, you need to enter their website.
How does it work?
- Choose between: Tracking your item, Find a Postcode or Find your PostNL point. We want the last one.
- You enter your postcode or the name of the city.
- You select one of the different options that they have: Send or Return a parcel, register a vehicle, post a letter or buy stamps, etc. It is important to know what you want because not all the points offer exactly the same things. The bigger they are the more likely they are to.
These are some of the most common places where you can post your mail with PosNL:
This is one of the easiest and one of my favourite PostNL points. It is very convenient to go to the supermarket and do groceries and drop by your parcel or letter.
Most AH supermarkets have a section where you can buy lottery tickets, cigarettes and other bits and bobs, and of course, send your mail. These are located at the entrance or exit of the supermarkets and it is very convenient to just drop by.
In most of them, you can buy individual stamps, send postcards, get stamps for your future postcards and return things you have bought online and so on. You can also purchase envelopes, boxes and other common post office goods.
For tourists, one of the most conveniently located AHs is the one in Museumplein, very close to the museums so that after you are done buying your favourite postcards you can go and get stamps there.
It is important to know: when you are getting the stamp, you can ask them to drop the letter for you. In some supermarkets they will be able to do it for you, in some other, they are not. Therefore, you will have to find a mailbox to drop your letters around you, which brings us back to my instructions and to checking PostNL’s website to see where is the closest one.
ALSO: Some other supermarkets in other cities also offer this type of service. It is all about checking online. You can find PostNL in Kruidvat and Plus in Utrecht, Gelderland and some parts of Amsterdam.
In the Netherlands it is easy to associate tobacco with the post since almost everywhere where they sell one, they offer the other service. In any case, if you find a tobacco shop, anywhere in the Netherlands, they are going to have stamps. Some of them may offer other services such as sending parcels and selling your boxes and so on. However, most of them will offer to send your letter.
Be careful, always check online what PostNL point offers the service you are looking for, because I have been in the position of going to a tobacco shop and them being able to only return my parcel, send parcels or certified letter, that cost a lot but no stamps to send a simple single letter or postcard.
If you are into getting the newspaper, you love stationery like me and you are into books and pens, going to the stationery shops to send your mail can be a good idea or dangerous for your pocket. In any case, it is very convenient if you need to send a letter or a card for someone on the spot, you need to send a parcel or a gift of some sort.
Some of the most normal shop chains are: Vivant, Brugman and Primera.
It is important to know that in all of them you will also be able to handle, send or get any of your parcels, of any shape and form, get information about prices and all the things you can normally do at a post office in other countries.
Souvenir shops sometimes also have stamps. When you are getting your postcards, most of the times you are going to be asked by the employee if you need stamps for them. This is definitely a great opportunity to get the exact amount you want according to the number of postcards you are getting.
Getting your stamps at a souvenir shop is definitely one of the most convenient options for tourists. It is also true that they are not going to charge you more for them because they are selling it there. It is the Dutch Government who stays how much post is in this country and shops are not allowed to change it.
As strange as it can sound, there are many things one can say about the Dutch post system. Some extra pieces of information that you need to know are:
- Mailboxes are orange: if you know you want to send some postcards or letter when you are visiting Amsterdam, or you just moved to a new neighbourhood, I would recommend you to keep your eyes open when you are walking around to find the big orange mailboxes around your area. Another good way is asking, either the staff at the hotel where you are staying or some of your neighbours. These orange mailboxes are very easily eyed but at the same time, they can be very close to you and very hidden. Don’t miss them!
- Mailboxes have two slots: one for the local postcode and one for all of the rest.
- Each Mailbox indicates the time when letters are picked up: Mailboxes are normally emptied every weekday at 5 pm, except for holidays. This changes a lot depending on where you are sending it from. It is very hard to calculate a date without knowing where you are or when you drop your letter. What I can personally say is that Dutch post is very very quick. It always depends on the country where you are sending it to is as well.
- There are also some private companies working in the Netherlands that you will also be able to find online to get your tags to return things, plan to pick up your parcel or that also work in the same tobacco shops and stationery shops where you can find PostNL: UPS, DHL, Eurosender and more.
- Stamps are not always easy to find if you just want one: some stores are only allowed to sell you a whole bunch, a book or plate of a minimum of 6 international stamps and 9 national stamps. If you are looking forward to sending a postcard to your whole family or you live in the Netherlands, don’t worry, you will end up using them. However, if you are only looking for one, it will end up being very expensive.
- Price: a single Dutch stamp costs 0,91 euros, whereas an international mark will cost you 1,50 euros. This is for a standard postcard, but the same stamps will indicate you how many you need according to the weight of your letter or postcard. If you need to send another type of letter os parcels, on the PostNL website they offer all the information according to the weight, the type of delivery and all the information you need. Check it here.
How Much Does it Cost To Send an International Mail?
|International Mail||0 – 20 g||Internationaal||1 x Internationaal 1||€ 1,50|
|20 – 50 g||Internationaal||2 x Internationaal 1||€ 3,00|
|50 – 100 g||Internationaal||3 x Internationaal 1||€ 4,50|
|100 – 350 g||Internationaal||6 x Internationaal 1||€ 7,50|
|350 g – 2 kg||EUR 1||7 x Internationaal 1||€ 9,00|
|350 g – 2 kg||EUR 2||9 x Internationaal 1||€ 9,00|
|350 g – 2 kg||Wereld||11 x Internationaal 1||€ 9,00|
How Much Does it Cost To Send a Mail in the Netherlands?
|Domestic Mail||0 – 20 g||1 x Nederland 1||€ 0,91|
|20 – 50 g||2 x Nederland 1 or 1 x Nederland 2||€ 1,82|
|50 – 100 g||3 x Nederland 1||€ 2,73|
|100 – 350 g||4 x Nederland 1 of 2 x Nederland 2||€ 3,64|
|350 g – 2 kg||1 x XL-zegel or 5 x Nederland 1 or 2 x Nederland 2 and 1 x Nederland 1||€ 4,40|
The above price tables come from the Post.nl website.