You feel like having lunch at 3pm, visiting a museum or a monument after 8pm, or buying a CD at 11 on Sunday night…? In Paris everything is possible as long as you have the right information.
The majority of shops are open all day from 9am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday. Some smaller shops may close over lunchtime between midday and 2pm, or all day on Monday. Sunday and public holidays are the usual closing days, although there are some exceptions ... During the week, department stores all have one late-night opening day, known as a 'nocturne', until 9pm. Supermarkets are open at different times depending on the neighbourhood, every day except Sunday, until 8, 9 or 10pm.
During the sales or in December just before the holidays, most stores, both large and small, may also open on Sunday. During the remainder of the year, take a stroll through the Marais or along the Champs-Elysées, where shops are open 365 days a year, sometimes even until midnight. More and more shops are opening on Sunday and public holidays in other districts too.
It’s worth noting that many smaller shops close for their annual holidays from mid-July to end-August.
Museums and monuments
Museums open at 9 or 10am and close between 5 and 6pm. Usual closing days are Monday or Tuesday, with a few exceptions mentioned in our information pages. Some are even open 7 days a week, such as some of the major monuments which can even be visited as late as 11pm or midnight.
Many museums have a late-night opening once a week until 9 or 10pm.
On public holidays – in particular, 1 January, 1 May and 25 December – many museums and monuments are closed.
You’ll find all the details in our information pages.
Open 365 days a year:
- Eiffel Tower
- Tour Montparnasse
- Musée Jacquemart-André
- Espace Salvador Dali
Post offices, banks, offices and public services
Most post offices are open from 8am to 7pm, Monday to Friday, and from 8am to midday on Saturday. They are closed on public holidays.
Banks are generally open from 9am to 5pm, from Monday to Friday or from Tuesday to Saturday. Some branches may close over lunchtime, usually between 12.30pm and 2pm. For cash withdrawals, automatic cashpoints (ATMs) operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Banks are closed on public holidays.
As a rule, offices are open between 9am and 6pm.
Public services generally close at 4.30pm or 5pm (or earlier on Friday afternoons). They are closed at lunchtime and on public holidays.
As a general rule, Parisians go for lunch between midday and 1.30pm and dine between 8pm and 10.30pm. At other times, you’ll always be able to find a (cold) snack in most cafes and brasseries. If the restaurant has a sign saying service continu, this indicates that you can have a meal at any time of day.
The majority of bars and cafes open early, around 7 or 8 am and close around 10pm, or later if the establishment has a special dispensation (2am for the bars).
You are sure to find a metro or RER train every day between 6am and 1am, wherever you might be along the line. The majority of bus routes operate from 7am to 8.30pm, some lines continuing until 0.30am. Then the Noctilien bus operates from 0.30am to 5.30am. As regards taxis, you’ll find them 24 hours a day.
The Parisian transport network has rush hours: at the time when most residents of Paris and Ile-de-France set off for work,between 8am and 10am, and when they return home again, between 5pm and 8pm. Saturday is also a very busy day, as many Parisians go shopping then. Taxis are difficult to find on Saturday evening, particularly after midnight, because lots of Parisians are out for the evening.
Explanation of daylight saving time
GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)
In Paris the time is GMT + 1
E.g.: when it is midday GMT, it is 1pm in Paris.
In Paris the time is GMT + 2
E.g.: when it is midday GMT, it is 2pm in Paris.
In France, as in the UK and some other countries, we change to summer time on the last Sunday in March at 2am in the morning, so the clocks are put forward to 3am. Then in preparation for winter, the clocks are put back an hour on the last Sunday in October at 3am, which then becomes 2am.