Timetables and public holidays
- When are the shops open?
The most usual business hours are from Monday-Saturday, from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm, and 4:30 to 8 pm.Major shopping centres and department stores are open all day from 10 am to 9 or 10 pm. The main department stores and shopping centres also open their doors to the public on some Sundays in the year. Establishments usually stay open until after 10 pm in the high season in coastal areas. What's more, in a number of cities opening hours are unregulated, and shoppers thus have a wider range of opening hours.
Chemists are usually open from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm and from 4:30-8 pm, although in major cities some chemists stay open round the clock. There is a rota of duty chemists for night-time and weekend services which displayed in each establishment and published in the newspapers.
- When are the national public holidays in Spain?
Certain dates are public holidays in Spain, and they can be national, regional or local.
The following are the national public holidays for 2014:
• 1 January, New Year's Day.
• 6 January, Epiphany.
• 17 April, Maundy Thursday (throughout Spain, except in Catalonia and the Region of Valencia).
• 18 April, Good Friday.
• 1 May, Labour Day.
• 15 August, the Assumption.
• 1 November, All Saints' Day.
• 6 December, Spanish Constitution Day.
• 8 December, Festivity of the Inmaculada Concepción.
• 25 December, Christmas Day.
- At what time are meals served in Spain?
Breakfast is usually served from eight to ten in the morning. Lunch, at restaurants, is served between 13.00 to 15.30 h. Dinner is served from 20.30 to 23.00 h. Many establishments are open continuously throughout the day, especially bars and cafeterias; there you can have "tapas", appetisers, and combo meals.
Cinemas usually have flexible hours, starting around 16.30 to 17.00 h. The last showing is around 22.00, although there are cinemas with midnight shows in all major cities. Theatres usually have a single show, which normally starts around 20.00 h.
Night time in Spain has a very special meaning, specially from Thursday to Sunday. Pubs, bars, and nightclubs usually stay open until three or four in the morning. In all major cities you can find places that are open until dawn.
- What’s the time in Spain?
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. On the Canary Islands, it is GMT, or GMT + 1 hour in summer, i.e. always 1 hour less than the time on the mainland and in the Balearics.
Spain changes its time between summer and winter for daylight saving. This means that the last weekend in October the clocks go back 1 hour (at 3am it is 2am) and the last weekend in March they go forward 1 hour (at 2am it is 3am).