The time zone on the Spanish mainland and the Balearic Islands is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) + 1 hour in Winter and + 2 hours in Summer (due to the daylight saving time change between Summer and Winter). On the Canary Islands is always 1 hour less than the time on the mainland and in the Balearics.
Regular business hours for shops are Monday through Saturday, from 9:30 to 13:30, and from 16:30 to 20:00. Large malls, chain stores and shoppings are usually stay open all through the day until 9:00 or 10:00 pm. As per public offices and banks, many of them do not reopen in the evenings, so it is advisable to check the hours of operation before going.
Regarding meal times, Spanish have habits pretty different to the majority of Europeans. Breakfast is light, just a coffee or tea with toasts or magdalenas (sweet muffins). It is common to go in midmorning for a “bocadillo” (a light snack such as a filled baguette or omelet with a glass of beer). Lunch is usually around 13:30 - 14:30 and in many cases (except in big cities where is not that common) is followed by a siesta (a short rest). Many restaurants are closed between lunch and dinner, but even being difficult, you can still find some café open in the afternoon. Dinner times are around 21:00 but this can be taken later like on holidays or in big cities such as Madrid, where people go for dinner around 22:30.
Pubs and bars are open until 3 – 3:30 a.m. Many people go out for some drinks at the pub and then go dancing to nightclubs which remain open until 7 or 8 a.m. Never try a club before 2 am because you will probably only find the security guard.
The main national holidays in Spain are:
- 1st January, New Year’s Day
- Good Friday (Friday prior to Easter)
- 1st May, Workers’ Day.
- 12th October (Columbus arrive to America)
- 1st November, All Saints' Day
- 6th December, Constitution Day.
- 8th December, the Immaculate Conception.
- 25th December, Christmas Day.
During these days public offices are closed and only a few shops will be open, while the public transport is reduced. It is important to check also for regional holidays of the town you are staying.
For more information about schedules or other Spain tips, contact us and we will gladly send you further material about any subject of your interest. We will e-mail this information at no cost within 72 hours and it will be specific to your requirements.
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