Information about the Dutch postal service
The official postal service in the Netherlands is PostNL. PostNL delivers both letters and parcels, though there are other, private parcel delivery services in the Netherlands such as DHL, GLS, Sandd, and UPS. Though most post offices in the Netherlands have been closed, PostNL services are available at many newsagents, supermarkets, and other shops. These services are advertised with a PostNL sign on the shopfront. PostNL has a locator service that will help you find the postal services you need in your area.
How to Write a Dutch Address
Sending and receiving mail relies a lot on getting the mailing address format right. Format your Dutch address in the following way:
- Name of addressee (or business)
- Street name, followed by the house number (plus suffix, if needed),
- or PO box (postbus),
- or business ‘freepost’ number (antwoordnummer)
- Postcode and city/town
Dutch postboxes are easily recognisable by their bright red or orange colour. They have two slots: one for nearby postcodes and one for everywhere else. Mail is generally collected in the late afternoon, except on weekends and holidays. If you post your letter before the collection time, it will usually arrive the next day if sent to somewhere else in the Netherlands. Mail sent on Saturdays, Sundays, or Mondays is posted out on the following Tuesday.
Parcels, Packages, and Delivery
Mail is delivered from Tuesdays to Saturdays. If you’re receiving a parcel but are not at home when it is delivered, it will either be left at the nearest pick-up point, with a neighbour, or there will be an attempt to deliver it the next day. In any case, you will receive a note informing you where your package is.
Mail is a necessary way to communicate with many services such as the IND. But getting a phone with a Dutch number will also make things easier. Learn everything you need to know about how to get a phone in the Netherlands.