Even in today’s digital world, you might want to send a few postcards home to friends and family. Get your stamps in Vienna from the Trafik (newsagents) and the Post (post offices).
- Newsagents sell basic stamps
- Spot post offices by the bright yellow colouring
- Stamps for postcards cost €1 for Europe and €1.80 for the rest of the world
- See also: Souvenirs from Vienna
Your options for buying stamps
The first option is the Trafik, equivalent to a tobacconist or newsagent. They typically sell a few stamps and not a lot else as far as postal services go – see the Trafik article for information.
The second option is the Austrian postal service (German: Die Post, with the Po pronounced as in pot, so the word rhymes with flossed).
You’ll find post offices all over the place, clearly identifiable by the bold yellow colour on signs and displays.
Opening times vary, but are typically from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Larger post offices open later and on Saturdays. If you’re very keen to get your mail away urgently, the post offices in the main railway stations and airport open much longer.
Inside the post office, the general counters will take your mail, frank it, and send it away. Or they will sell you stamps, if you want something pretty on the postcard or envelope.
Only one international tariff applies to postcards and “standard” letters, which are those letters up to 20g with maximum dimensions of 235mm (length) x 62mm (width) x 5mm (height) and minimum dimensions of 140mm by 90mm. At the time of writing, you need a €1 stamp for Europe and a €1.80 stamp for the rest of the world.
With bigger envelopes, you can choose between two tariffs: priority and economy. Always use the priority tariff if you can. The price difference is relatively small, but the difference in delivery times can be quite large.
If you hand your mail over for franking, be sure to ask for the priority tariff if you want it (they usually ask, anyway).
If you buy priority-tariff stamps for later, you need to put a “priority” sticker on the envelope or package. The Trafik or post office will give you these for free. Deposit your mail in the yellow post boxes dotted around the city. Note that these usually get emptied once every weekday at around 4pm.
When you write the address on your postcard or envelope, you can normally get away with using English for the country name. But if you’d like to use German, here are some of the common translations…
- UK / GROSSBRITANNIEN
- USA / USA
- Canada / KANADA
- Japan / JAPAN
- New Zealand / NEUSEELAND
- Australia / AUSTRALIEN
- Ireland / IRLAND
- India / INDIEN
- France / FRANKREICH
- Russia / RUSSLAND
- China / CHINA