MAIL & DELIVERIES

Everything about Portuguese mailing service CTT and student mail delivery


CTT (Correios e Telecomunicações) is the national state-owned Portuguese postal service.

There are over 1,000 post offices (correios) in Portugal with varying opening hours. In main cities and touristic areas, the post offices are open on weekdays from 08:30-18:00 (some are closed for lunch) and on Saturday mornings until 12:30. In some rural areas delivery services are fairly infrequent and people often find it more convenient to rent a post office box (apartado) and collect their mail themselves from the nearest post office.

To find a post office and more details on their opening hours, click here

  • Post Offices
    Weekdays: 09h00 – 18h00 (generally)
    Weekends: only on central train stations and at the airport

For information on CTT products and services:

Phone: +351 800 206 868 (free call)

Portuguese Postal Codes

Portuguese postal codes (código postal) are written as a sequence of seven digits, for example 1002-345. The first digit represents one of the nine postal regions, followed by two digits for the postal distribution centers. If the post code is for a capital of a municipality the fourth digit is either a zero or a five. In the case of a designated address it is any other digit. The last three numbers of the postal code sort specific addresses and buildings.

Find a Portuguese address or post code

Search for a postal code, or find an address with a postal code, clicking here

Sending Domestic Mail and Parcels

When sending mail in Portugal, the standard envelope shape is rectangle. Different shapes may cost more to send. A standard envelope should not exceed 5mm in thickness and should be sealed without the use of staples or clips.

  • Addressing mail and parcels

All envelopes and parcels should be addressed using an ink pen or a pre-printed white label. The sender’s address should be included on the front of the envelope or parcel in the upper left-hand corner. The recipient’s address must be written on the front in the centre/down right-hand of the envelope.

The addresses should be written in capital letters, with a maximum of six lines per address and should have the following style:

NAME OR COMPANY

STREET NAME, BUILDING NAME (if applicable), NUMBER

FLOOR NUMBER OR FLAT LOCATION (front, left, A, B)

POSTBOX NUMBER/CCI (if applicable)

POST CODE, CITY

For example:

JOSE CARLOS

ERASMUS LIFE LISBOA

TRAVESSA DA CARA, 14  1200-019 LISBOA

If the address is for an apartment or an office the line for the address will look like this:

A/C JOSE CARLOS

ERASMUS LIFE LISBOA

TRAVESSA DA CARA, 14, 1º D  1200-019 LISBOA

This means that the apartment or office is on the first floor, right (Dir, or D, is short for direita and Esq, or E, is short for esquerda) of number 14 in Travessa da Cara.

  • Weight Limits

The maximum weight limit for correspondence is 2 Kg, for books it’s 5 Kg and for parcels it’s 20 Kg.

  • Postage and delivery times

Regular and Priority Mail letters can be sent using postage-paid envelopes, stamps or franking machines located at post offices. Domestic postage-paid envelopes are available for:

  • Regular mail: Letters and parcels sent within Portugal via ordinary service should be delivered within three business days in mainland Portugal and within five business days to Madeira.
  • Priority mail: Letters and parcels sent using the Priority Mail service will be delivered within one business day on mainland Portugal.
  • Registered mail: Many options are available for domestic registered mail in Portugal.
  • EMS 9: guaranteed delivery in mainland Portugal by 09:00 the following business day, with tracking service via Internet or phone;
  • EMS 12: guaranteed delivery in mainland Portugal by 12:00 the following business day, with tracking service via Internet or phone. Saturday delivery possible for an extra charge;
  • EMS 18: guaranteed delivery in mainland Portugal by 18:00 the following business day, with tracking service via Internet or phone. Saturday delivery possible for an extra charge;
  • EMS Advantage: pre-paid vouchers for delivery in mainland Portugal by 18:00 the following day, with tracking service via Internet or phone. It offers a flat rate for packages weighing up to 5kg;
  • EMS Pronto: a pre-paid envelope for documents offering delivery in mainland Portugal by 12:00 the following business day, with a tracking service via Internet or phone. It offers a flat rate for packages weighing up to 500g;
  • QUICK National: guaranteed, insured and traceable delivery in mainland Portugal within 3 business days (5 business days for Madeira and 7-15 business days for the Azores). Saturday delivery possible for an extra charge;
  • Same-day delivery: Two same-day delivery services are available to postal customers in the Lisbon, Porto and Braga metropolitan areas.
  • Today 1 is a delivery service for documents and small parcels that offers an average delivery time of 1 hour from the time of the pickup request. Items must be under 1.5 meters in length and the length plus the perimeter of the longest edge perpendicular can be no longer than 3 meters
  • Today 2 is a delivery service for documents and small parcels that offers an average delivery time of 2 hours from the time of the pickup request. Items must be under 1.5 meters in length and the length plus the perimeter of the longest edge perpendicular can be no longer than 3 meters

Sending International Mail and Parcels

When sending mail from Portugal, the standard envelope shape is a rectangle. Different shapes may cost more to send. A standard envelope should not exceed 5mm in thickness and should be sealed without the use of staples or clips.

  • Addressing mail and parcels

All envelopes and parcels should be addressed using an ink pen or pre-printed white label. The sender’s address should be included on the front of the envelope or parcel in the upper left-hand corner. The recipient’s address must be written on the front in the centre of the envelope, slightly towards the right side.

  • Weight limits

The maximum weight limit for correspondence is 2 Kg, for books it’s 5 Kg and for parcels it’s 20 Kg.

  • Postage and delivery times

Items sent via ordinary mail to Europe should arrive within 10 business days. Mail to the rest of the world can take 7 to 20 business days. International letters can be sent using postage-paid envelopes, stamps or franking machines located at post offices. If sending a parcel to a country outside of the EU/EEA, a customs declaration is necessary. Obtain this form, which will be attached to the parcel, at the post office. International postage-paid envelopes are available for ordinary mail and priority mail

Receiving International Mail and Parcels

  • Items subject to customs control entering Portugal

All postal items entering the country from non-EU countries are subject to customs control. This includes items from the following countries:

Buesingen, located on the German-Swiss border; the Canary Islands; the Spanish territories of Ceuta and Melilla; Andorra; the French Territories of Martinique, French Guiana, Guadeloupe and Réunion; the Greek Territory of Mount Athos; the Italian Territories of San Marino and the Vatican; the United Kingdom Channel Islands and the United Kingdom Territories of the Isle of Man and Gibraltar.

  • Internet ordering

When ordering items via the Internet for delivery into Portugal it is important to always have proof of purchase value. It is also important to be aware of the country of origin of the shipment and not the country of buying. For example, an item may be purchased via a site in Germany, but if the origin of the shipment is the USA or another non-EU country, the item will be subject to customs control.

  • Banned articles

Banned items, when received by customs, will be held. If conditions cannot be met for approved import, the item(s) will be seized, destroyed or returned to origin.

For a general list of banned postal items click here

For a list of banned items from specific countries click here

  • Importing drugs and medications for personal use

When importing drugs for personal consumption, some procedures must be met.

Troubleshooting

If a package has not arrived within a specified amount of time, call CTT Customer Service (CTT Express) – 808 200 118.

Other Services Available at the Post Office

Post offices provide a mail collection (Poste Restante) service to visitors and newcomers not yet registered or settled with an address. Proof of identity must be provided when collecting mail and there is a fee payable per item.

Postal items should be addressed as follows:

Surname/Family name, First name

Poste Restante

(optional: “Correios” followed by the town name)

Postal code, Town name

Portugal

For example:

CARLOS, JOSE

POSTE RESTANTE

CORREIOS DE LISBOA

1000-999 LISBOA

PORTUGAL

  • Faxes

Many Portuguese post offices offer a fax service for sending and receiving faxes. Faxes can be sent to individuals who do not have a fax machine, in care of the recipient’s local post office. There are several options for delivery:

  • The fax can be picked up at the post office by the recipient;
  • The fax can be delivered via mail for next day delivery;
  • The fax can be delivered by hand to the recipient’s home/office on the same day (for faxes received before 16:00).

CTT also has agreements with some foreign post offices to offer similar services for recipients who are abroad. Pricing for the fax service varies depending on the number of pages sent and the delivery location and method.

  • Photocopy certification

Certification of photocopies, to attest that the photocopy is the same as the original, can be done at post offices.

Glossary of Postal Terms

ENGLISH PORTUGUESE
Post office box Apartado
Post office Correios
Express postal service Correio azul
Ordinary postal service Correio normal
On the right Dir (direita)
On the left Esq (esquerda)
Ground floor R/c (rés-do-chão)
Stamp Selo
Postal code Código postal
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