Your steps might lead you to a post office sooner or later.
Be aware – clerks there do not speak English very well. However, if you prepare your inquiry in advance, you can manage just fine.
Queuing is usually done through a ticket system – when you walk in, get a ticket with a number and wait for a clerk (or the screen) to call your number. The ticket machine usually has several buttons to choose from. If you don’t know what they mean, just click on the one saying “post an item” (odeslat zásilku).
The most mailing in the CR is done by the Czech Post – a state-funded postal company. It primarily serves the Czech Republic but also delivers abroad. Among the various services the CP provides, the most important ones are posting and delivery of letters and parcels.
Their whole website is now available in English at postaonline.cz.
Posting a letter
When sending a letter you have several options.
Most of the time, you will do with either an ordinary mail (obyčejný dopis) or a registered mail (doporučený dopis). As the name suggests, ordinary letters do not require anything else than a stamp for CZK 19 (economy posting) or CZK 26 (priority posting). You can then hand them in at the nearest post office or post box.
With registered letters (doporučený dopis), though, you will have to fill in a submission form (podací lístek), which you then submit together with the letter at the post office. After handing in the letter you will get the submission form back with a stamp on it proving that the letter has been sent. The registered mail is used mainly when communicating with authorities or when you need a proof of having sent a letter.
You can also fill in the submission form online in advance, print it and take it with you to the post office. The link is here: podacilistek.cz. The form is in Czech, but all you need to fill in is:
- odesílatel = sender. Fill in your name and address
- adresát = the addressee – Fill in their address. You can also add their phone number and email, although that is not required.
Everything else will be filled in by the post office. The submission form is the same for sending parcels too.
Aside from ordinary and registered mail you can send a business letter (obchodní psaní, comes in handy when sending letters in bulk), insured letter (cenné psaní, used for sending valuables), and ordinary and registered mail for the blind (obyčejná a doporučená slepecká zásilka).
All these can be used for both within the Czech Republic and abroad.
Delivery of a letter
Delivery of a letter depends on the type of the delivered letter. Ordinary letters are usually dropped in your house postbox whilst registered letters and insured letters must be handed over by the letter carrier in person.
If you are not at home at the time of the delivery, you will find a notice in your postbox. With that notice, you need to go to a specific post office (you will find information about it on the notice) and pick your letter up. If you lose the notice you can instead show your ID which has to bear the same address as the one on the letter. You can even send someone else to pick up your letter, as long as they have an authenticated power of attorney or a special recipient card. The recipient card enables the authorised person to accept consignments and money order amounts on behalf of the addressee (the only exception being when the letter is to be delivered to the addressee only – ‘do vlastních rukou’). You can apply for the card at any post office or online.
A two-speed delivery system (priority and economy) applies to the following letter services: ordinary letter, registered letter, business letter, registered business letter. You can use your preferred option to get your letters delivered faster (priority) or at a lower price, but slower (economy). Priority letters will be usually delivered the next working day after posting. Economy letters will be usually delivered the day after the next working day after posting , always for CZK 7 less. See more information here.
Similar to sending letters, you have several options when posting a parcel. You can choose between an ordinary and registered parcel (used for sending smaller items), priority or economy speed of delivery, insured parcel, oversize parcel, delivery to the post office, delivery to hand, and express delivery (guaranteed same-day delivery if posted before 10 am in all regional capitals or between regional capitals and Prague).
It is important to pack the parcel correctly to prevent any damage. You can buy cardboard boxes and bubble wraps at any post office. When posting, you will be asked for the amount of money you want the parcel to be insured for. Be aware that higher insurance means a higher price for posting, so don’t overdo your estimation.
The Czech Post also provides tracking applications (including the often sought-after Track&Trace section) and contacts on all post offices.
Their whole website is now available in English at ceskaposta.cz/en. You can search for the details there.
Czech Post has been receiving rather negative feedback lately when it comes to their package delivery service. When you shop online, we suggest using different delivery services such as PPL or DPD – their delivery times seem to be more reliable and customer service more obliging and you can use the cheaper option of picking up your package at one of their branches. There is also another service of safe-boxes where you can pick up your parcel at any time of day or night.
- Chci to poslat doporučeně prioritně, prosím. (Priority posting, registered letter, please.)
- Chci to poslat doporučeně ekonomicky, prosím. (Economy posting, registered letter, please.)
- Chci to poslat obyčejně prioritně, prosím. (Priority posting, ordinary letter, please).
- Chci to poslat obyčejně ekonomicky, prosím. (Economy posting, ordinary letter, please).