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Buying a Stamp in Spain & Sending a Postcard in Spain


As in every other civilization on earth, each town, city or village in Spain has a post office. However, if all you are after is a stamp, it isn't worth waiting in line when there is a simpler (although slightly illogical) alternative - a tobacconist.

Tobacconist are called 'estancos' and have a burgundy and yellow sign. Ask for a 'sello' (Spanish for stamp). It is best to write on your postcard the destination country in both Spanish and English (see below for translations) - showing the postcard to the assistant and pointing to the name of the country will guarantee you get the correct postage.

Mailboxes in Spain are yellow and they can be found all over the city. If you want to send an old-fashioned letter, envelopes and writing paper can be bought in a 'papeleria', or in El Corte Inglés (the big department store that can be found in every big city in Spain).

Useful Spanish

  • Stamp - sello (seh-yo)
  • Is there a tobacconist around here? ¿Hay un estanco por aquí? (Eye oon es-TANK-oh pour ack-EE)
  • Letter - Carta (CAR-tah)
  • Envelope - Sobre (SOB-reh)
  • Mailbox - Buzón (Bu-THON)
  • United States - Estados Unidos (Es-TAH-dos Oon-EE-doss)
  • United Kingdom - Reina Unido (Ray-EE-na Oon-EE-doh)
  • Australia - Australia (Ow-STRA-li-ah)
  • New Zealand - Nueva Zealanda (Noo-EVEH Zeh-LAND-ah)
  • South Africa - Sur Africa (Soor A-fri-ka)

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