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
NB: At the time of writing, the post offices have always remained open during any period of lockdown since the start of COVID.
Your options for buying stamps
One alternative 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 alternative 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 and those at railway stations may open later and on Saturdays.
(If you’re very keen to get your mail away urgently, the postal centre at Vienna airport includes a 24/7 automated service where you can pay using your credit card, for example.)
Needless to say, today’s post office sells a whole lot more than just stamps and envelopes, but the general counters will take your mail, frank it, and send it off. Or they’ll sell you stamps, if you want something pretty on the postcard or envelope.
At the time of writing, you need a €1 stamp for Europe and a €1.80 stamp for the rest of the world to send a postcard or standard letter. A letter counts as standard if it weighs up to 20g and has maximum dimensions of 235mm x 162mm x 5mm.
With bigger envelopes, you 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).
Should you buy priority-tariff stamps for later, then you need to put a “priority” sticker on the envelope or package. The 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