Sunday, June 15, 2014

Shop Hours

The time that stores are open is much different in Europe than back in the USA.  In America, stores have longer opening hours.   Heck, most big grocery stores are open 24/7.  Not so over here.

Stores in Czechland usually open between 7 or 8 AM and close by 6 PM, Monday to Friday.  It is not uncommon for small shops to close from 12 to 1 PM for lunch.  If small shops are open on the weekend then it is usually only on Saturdays and they will close by 12 or 1 PM.

Hypermarkets (shopping centers) are open seven days a week and usually close at 9 PM.  My local Albert is open from 7 AM to 9 PM.

A večerka is a small convenience type grocery store that is open late night.  Or if you're lucky there will be a local nonstop that is open 24/7.  In Brno, there's even one Tesco that is open 24 hours.

Czechs (and Slovaks), traditionally, tend to start work early in the morning and stop early enough to still make it to the local shops before they close.  It must come for the days of Franz Joseph and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Limited office hours are a leftover from the days of communism and make bureaucracy so much worse here.  Most government office are open to the public on Mondays and Wednesdays, and may have limited hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Don't even think about trying to renew your driver's license, visit city hall or go to the Foreign Ministry on a Friday.

Optician's opening hours M-F
I just don't get why shops aren't open longer here.  There's this very cool antique store in Brno which I would love to spend some money in.  Too bad  it's only open Tuesday - Thursday, from 10 AM to 1 PM.  It's like some stores are afraid to be open longer because then the employees would have to work more.

In the USA, the prime time to buy a car is on the weekend.  Not so over here because that's when the car dealerships are closed.

One of the great things that I like about Christmas time over here is that almost all shops stay open longer.  At least until 7 or 9 PM. 

As much as I may complain at times about limited shopping hours in Czechland or Slovakia, it's even more restrictive in Austria and Germany.  In Austria and Germany, Sundays are meant for family time so nothing is open on Sundays.  Not even the mall.  Unless you want to do your grocery shopping at a gas station mini-mart then you had better get your Sunday supplies on Saturday because nothing will be open on a Sunday.

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