Mastering German Mail: Perfect Formats (With Examples)

When I first moved to Germany, I was surprised by how different the address formats were from what I was used to back home. And, as I soon came to realize, it’s crucial to understand the German formats to ensure smooth communication when sending mail or parcels.

In this beginner-friendly guide, we’ll explore the German address format, provide detailed explanations and examples, and share some mini personal stories that will help make the new information easier to grasp.

This is not a fun subject. but I’ll try to make it as fun as I can.

Components of a German address

A. Name and title

  1. Usage of titles (Herr, Frau, Dr., Prof.):

    In Germany, it is common to include the recipient’s title in the address. For instance, Herr (Mr.) and Frau (Mrs./Ms.) are used for men and women, respectively, while Dr. and Prof. are used for individuals with doctorate and professorship titles.

    My neighbor, who is a professor, was once telling me that she appreciates it when people addressed her mail using “Prof.” in front of her name. She thinks it shows respect and acknowledgment of her achievements. Little by little, I was able to tell that most German people do appreciate it when you do that.
  1. Placement of titles in the address: The title should be placed before the recipient’s name on the first line of the address.

B. Street address

  1. Street name and number:
    The street address consists of the street name followed by the house number. Unlike in some countries, the house number comes after the street name in Germany.
  2. Abbreviations (Str., Pl., etc.):
    Some common abbreviations you may encounter include “Str.” for Straße (street) and “Pl.” for Platz (square).

C. Postal code and city

  1. German postal code system:
    Postal codes in Germany are five digits long and are used to identify a specific region or area. They are known as PLZ (Postleitzahl).
  2. Formatting postal code and city:
    The postal code should be followed by the city name on the same line.

D. Country (for international mail)

  1. Writing Germany in the local language:
    When sending mail to Germany from abroad, write “Germany” in the language of the country from which you are sending the mail. For example, write “Allemagne” if you are sending mail from France.
  2. Usage of ISO country codes:
    Alternatively, you can use the ISO country code “DE” for Germany.

Formatting German addresses

A. Order of components:

The typical order for a German address is: title and name, street address, postal code and city, and country (for international mail).

B. Line spacing and alignment:

German addresses should be left-aligned and written in separate lines without punctuation, except for abbreviations.

C. Punctuation and capitalization:

In general, avoid using punctuation in the address. All words and abbreviations should be capitalized.

Examples of German addresses

Note: the address examples provided in the article are fictional and created for illustrative purposes only. The names “Max Mustermann” and “Anna Müller” are common placeholder names in Germany, similar to “John Doe” or “Jane Smith” in English-speaking countries.

These examples are meant to help you understand the format and structure of German addresses without revealing any personal information about real individuals.

A. Domestic addresses

  1. Standard residential address:

Herr Max Mustermann
Musterstraße 12
12345 Musterstadt

  1. Addresses with apartment or unit numbers:

Frau Anna Müller
Beispielweg 8, Wohnung 3
23456 Beispielsdorf

  1. Business addresses:

ABC GmbH z. Hd.
Frau Dr. Lisa Schneider
Industriestraße 5
34567 Industriestadt

B. International addresses

  1. Sending mail from Germany to other countries:

Monsieur Pierre Dupont
12 Rue des Exemples
75001 Paris

  1. Sending mail to Germany from other countries:

Ms. Emily Brown
123 Example Street New York,
NY 10001

Additional address components

A. C/O (care of) usage:

If sending mail to someone who isn’t the main resident or if you’re unsure of the recipient’s exact address, you can use “c/o” followed by the name of the person or company at the same address.


Herr Max Mustermann
c/o ABC GmbH
Musterstraße 12
12345 Musterstadt

B. P.O. Box addresses:

Some individuals or businesses use P.O. Boxes instead of street addresses. In this case, use “Postfach” followed by the P.O. Box number.


Frau Dr. Lisa Schneider
Postfach 123
23456 Beispielsdorf

C. Special considerations for large cities (e.g., Berlin, Munich, Hamburg):

In some large cities like Berlin, the city district (Bezirk) might be included after the postal code. This helps in further narrowing down the location.


Herr Max Mustermann
Musterstraße 12
12345 Berlin-Mitte

12 Must-Know Tips For Becoming A Mail-Pro in Germany

Don’t miss out on my insider tips for addressing mail to Germany, which come straight from personal experience and lessons learned the hard way.

By diving into these valuable insights, you’ll save yourself from potential headaches and ensure your mail reaches its intended destination without a hitch!

1- Ensuring proper delivery:

Double-check the address for accuracy and completeness to avoid delays or mail being returned.

I once sent a birthday card to a friend, but I forgot to include her apartment number. It took weeks for the card to reach her, as the postal service had to figure out the correct recipient.

2- Include a return address:

Always include your return address on the back of the envelope or package. This ensures that, in case of incorrect or incomplete recipient information, the mail can be returned to you instead of being lost or discarded.

3- Use clear and legible handwriting or print:

To avoid any confusion or misinterpretation, always write or print addresses in clear and legible handwriting or use address labels. Avoid using any fancy fonts that may be difficult to read.

4- Check for local holidays or strikes:

Before sending time-sensitive mail, check for any local holidays or postal strikes in Germany that might affect the delivery time. This can help you plan better and avoid disappointments due to unforeseen delays. And I can tell you from experience, this happens. A lot.

5- Consider using registered mail or tracking services:

If you’re sending important documents or valuable items, consider using registered mail or a tracking service. This provides an added layer of security and allows you to monitor the progress of your mail.

6- Familiarize yourself with German customs regulations:

If you’re sending a package to Germany from another country, familiarize yourself with German customs regulations. Certain items may be prohibited or restricted, and failure to comply with these regulations can result in your package being seized or returned.

7- Be mindful of envelope and package sizes:

In Germany, the size and weight of envelopes and packages can affect the postage cost. Make sure you use an appropriately sized envelope or package to avoid paying extra for postage or risking damage to the contents.

8- Use the correct postage:

Ensure you have the correct postage amount for your mail or package. Underpaid mail may be subject to additional fees or delays in delivery. Check with your local postal service or online resources for accurate postage rates.

9- Avoid using red or dark-colored envelopes:

Postal machines have difficulty reading addresses on red or dark-colored envelopes. Stick to white or light-colored envelopes for better readability and fewer issues with processing.

10- Confirm address changes:

If you’re sending mail to someone who has recently moved, confirm their new address before sending mail. This can help prevent mail from being sent to the wrong address or being returned as undeliverable.

11- Don’t forget about additional services:

Depending on the nature of your mail or package, you may want to consider additional services such as insurance, signature confirmation, or express delivery. These services can provide added peace of mind and ensure the safe and timely arrival of your mail.

12- Utilize online resources for address verification:

Websites like Deutsche Post’s PLZ finder can help verify postal codes and addresses before sending mail.

Understanding the German address format is essential for effective communication and ensuring that your mail reaches its intended recipient.

By following the guidelines and examples provided in this beginner-friendly guide, and studying well the tips I shared with you, many of which were learned through challenging experiences., you’ll be well-prepared to address and send mails in Germany like a pro. Happy mailing!

Nabeel Kallas

Nabeel Kallas is the writer behind and founder of Calling Germany Home. He is a 26-year-old medical doctor, who decided to call Germany his and his career's new home. Nabeel's unique combination of medical expertise and keen cultural curiosity equips him with a distinctive perspective, enabling him to bring insights and experiences from Germany to the whole wide world.

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