Home Living in Portugal House & Home The CTT in Portugal: a guide to the Portuguese postal service
Last update on June 25, 2020

This guide explains how CTT, the Portuguese postal service, works. Learn more about sending a parcel in Portugal, postage rates, parcel services, CTT tracking, Portuguese postal codes, and post office addresses.

Portugal created its national postal service in 1520 when King Manuel I first created the Correio Público. The Portuguese postal service has since undergone several organizational shifts and name changes. Today, it’s widely known as CTT or Correios de Portugal.

CTT serves the entire country of Portugal and offers a wide range of services, including post tracking, regular mail, CTT express post (or CTT Expresso), international post (CTT Internacional), mail forwarding, and postal boxes.

CTT logo
The current CTT logo features a postal worker sounding a bugle from horseback

The CTT logo is red and features a figure riding a horse and blowing a horn. The current logo was adopted in 1953 (although the most recent alteration came in 2004). It shows a traditional postman announcing his arrival by blowing on a bugle.

Portuguese post boxes for ordinary mail (correio normal) are bright red and are found across the country. There are also blue CTT post boxes (correio azul), which are for airmail or priority mail. Both post boxes are usually placed beside each other.

Portuguese postal services

CTT Portugal offers services for both domestic and international postage. Here are the more common types of post services in Portugal and their maximum delivery times:

  • Regular mail: Portugal (three days), Europe (three days), rest of the world (seven days)
  • Priority mail (green): Europe (five days), rest of the world (seven days)
  • Priority mail (blue): Europe (three days), rest of the world (five days)
  • Registered mail (signed for): Portugal (one day), Europe (three days), rest of the world (five days)
  • Express mail or CTT Express: Iberian Peninsula (same-day delivery) with varying delivery times elsewhere

Mail and parcels sent via the Portuguese postal service must be written in pen or printed on a white label. They must also follow certain specifications outlined by CTT.

Portuguese postal services
Portuguese postal services are available at conventional post offices as well as certain shops like newsagents.

CTT also offers fax services, certification of photocopies, plus mail collection (poste restante) for newcomers or visitors in Portugal who have yet to register with the government or acquire a local address.

The CTT also offers a tracking service for some items. You can check the location of your parcel by checking the CTT’s website.

Portuguese postage rates

As with national postal services across Europe, CTT has a mixed reputation. However, if you need to send anything of high value to another European country, a range of global courier companies are also available, including DHL and UPS. You can also use the same international services to send parcels to Portugal.

Prices of postal services in Portugal are typically below EU averages. They range from €4.50 to €20. You can also calculate Portuguese postage rates and postage costs to Portugal by using the CTT’s price calculator.

Where to buy stamps in Portugal

You can buy stamps (selos) in Portugal at any CTT post office, as well as in newsagents. Some small shops such as lottery shops (Casa da Sorte) offer basic postal services inside. You can also buy Portuguese stamps online directly from the CTT.

Portuguese postal codes

When sending mail within or to Portugal, you’ll need to know the Portuguese postal code (código postal) of the mailing address.

A typical Portuguese postal code has seven digits:

  • the first two digits represent one of the country’s nine postal regions
  • the following two digits stand for postal distribution centers within the regions
  • the last three numbers are for the home addresses and building number
Portuguese postal codes
Portuguese postal codes are necessary to deliver mail to an address within Portugal

For example: 1000-400 Lisboa

Portugal’s post also offers a postal code finding service to help consumers make sure their parcels arrive at the right location.

Portuguese post office hours and offices

If you need to reach the Portuguese postal service, the CTT has a contact form on their website. You can also call them at +351 707 26 26 26 (€0.10 per minute).

Portuguese post offices are generally open from 8:00 to 20:00 (Monday through Saturday).

Having trouble finding a post office in your area? Consult the CTT’s post office search. At the post office, you can ask questions, arrange mail pickup, and send mail or parcels.