The French Postal Service

Written by on November 29, 2011 in Post
French post

La Poste, Le Touquet’s art deco post office

French postal service: La Poste is the national postal service of France.  You’ll see their distinctive yellow post boxes (there are 125,000 in France) and delivery vans everywhere you go, in fact the sheer size of their presence may account for why La Poste is one of the most subsidised postal services in the world!

La Poste’s website has a very helpful English language section providing information to suit all your mailing needs, their online services and their banking service http://www.laposte.com/

French post codes consist of a five digit number. The first two numbers denote the département number (eg 62 for Pas de Calais) and the last three the area.

In Paris, the last two numbers specify the arrondissement number.   If you want to find a post code on line for a French address you can use this helpful English language website http://www.france-codepostal.fr/en/france/

Not all post offices open at the same times – in rural areas for instance  post offices may be very small and open only one or two days or even one or two hours a week!

Queues are often long in post offices – they are well used in France and the staffs usually like to chat while they’re helping a customer.

A high number of bank accounts are held at the post office as the services are cheaper than other banking services available (see banks).

Stamps (timbres) are available at the post office, and tobacconist (tabac) – postage costs vary according to the weight of the mail and its destination – you can go online to find more details at http://www.laposte.com/Moving-to-France/E-Tools/Weigh-a-letter but we always go into the post office to make sure we get it right and to catch up with the local gossip with the lovely lady who works there 4 hours a week!

If you’re sending a letter by airmail write Par Avion on the face of the envelop or ask the post office staff for a sticker and always right your address on the back in case the letter needs to be returned.

Photography flickr/lemezza (front page)

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