A post office in Germany (Postamt) is recognizable by the postal symbol, a black bugle on a yellow background. In some villages you will find one in the local supermarket. Stamps (Briefmarken) can also be bought at some news agencies and souvenir shops. Post offices are generally open weekdays 8–6, Saturday 8–noon.
Airmail letters and postcards to anywhere outside Germany, even to the United Kingdom and within Europe cost €0.80. These rates apply to standard-size envelopes and postcards. Letters take approximately 3–4 days to reach the United Kingdom, 5–7 days to the United States, and 7–10 days to Australia and New Zealand.
You can arrange to have mail (letters only) sent to you in care of any German post office; have the envelope marked "Postlagernd." This service is free, and the mail will be held for seven days. Or you can have mail sent to any American Express office in Germany. There's no charge to cardholders, holders of American Express traveler's checks, or anyone who has booked a vacation with American Express.
Most major stores that cater to tourists will also ship your purchases home. You should check your insurance for coverage of possible damage.
The Deutsche Post has an express international service that will deliver your letter or package the next day to countries within the EU, within one to two days to the United States, and slightly longer to Australia. A letter or package to the United States weighing less than 5 kg costs €99. You can drop off your mail at any post office, or it can be picked up for an extra fee. Deutsche Post works in cooperation with DHL. International carriers tend to be slightly cheaper (€35–€45 for the same letter) and provide more services.
Deutsche Post. 0228/1820; www.deutschepost.de.
DHL. 0800/225–5345; www.dhl.de.
FedEx. 0800/123–0800; www.fedex.com.
UPS. 0800/882–6630; www.ups.com.