Receiving letters and parcels in Spain

Mail addressed to you will be delivered directly to your house or apartment. The Spanish postal service (Correos) will attempt to deliver packages and parcels to your address; if you are not there, a notification will be left, "aviso de llegada", so that you can claim your package at the post office. Be sure to bring your passport when you go to make the pick-up. There is normally no charge for the service. Most post offices will keep mail for up to 15 days.

Mail can also be received at Spanish Post Offices. There is normally no charge for the service. Poste Restante letters should be addressed Lista de Correos, followed by the address of the post office (including the post code, town and province). Put your surname in capitals. An example Lista de Correos address is:

John SMITH
Lista de Correos
Pl. Rosa dels Vents 9
46730 Gandia
Valencia
Spain

To find the address of the Correos nearest to you check at www.correos.es. Click on the Oficinas link for the Localizador de Oficinas.

When collecting mail from the post office you will need to show some form of identification such as a passport or photo driving licence. Specify that you are collecting a Lista de Correos item as these are stored separately from the other stored mail. The Lista de Correos mail is filed alphabetically and it may be worth asking them to check if an expected package was filed under your first name if they cannot find it under your surname. Post offices vary in how long they will hold your mail. It is advisable to collect mail as soon as possible and preferably within 3 days of it arriving. However most post offices will keep mail for up to 15 days.

When addressing mail for Spain, always ensure there is a return address on the parcel or packet.

When you walk into any post office, you have to press a button to get a ticket. The number on the ticket is your place in the queue. Smaller post offices have one queueing system but larger offices have two: one for "Envíos" and one for "Recogidas". If you are sending something, press "Envíos". If you are collecting a package, press the "Recogidas" button. You will get a ticket with your turn number on it.

Vocabulary

Post office: Correos
Attempted delivery notification: aviso de llegada
Poste Restante: Lista de Correos
Sending (of mail): Envíos
Collection: Recogida
Location of offices: Localizador de Oficinas