Business and Services

Business and Services


How does it work?

  • Business hours are from 9am to 7pm from Mondays to Saturdays in most cases. Smaller shops may close at lunch time – between 12pm and 2pm - or on Mondays. 
  • Sundays and Holidays are the usual closing days, but there are exceptions. Some large department stores have a late opening called « nocturne » once a week, generally until 9pm. 
    Grocery stores are open every day, depending on the area, and may close at 8pm, 9pm or 10pm. Some may also be open Sunday morning. During the holidays throughout December, stores may open on Sundays.
  • In France, major sales (soldes) take place twice a year, in January and July, for a set number of days.

Services :

  • Post offices
    Most post offices are open from 8am to 7pm from Monday to Friday, and Saturday morning from  8 :30am to 12pm. There might be some variation in the regions and small towns. Closed on Sundays and Holidays.
    Mail boxes are yellow.

  • Banks
    Banks are usually open from 9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday, or from Tuesday to Saturday. Some may close at lunch time, generally between 12H30pm to 2pm. Closed on Sundays and Holidays.
    It’s always possible to withdraw money from the ATM, accessible 24/7.

  • Administrations
    Offices are generally open from 9am to 6pm, while administrations might close earlier, between 4 :30 and 5pm, or earlier on Friday afternoon. Some also close at lunch time. Always closed on Sundays and Holidays.

  • Restaurants
    Meals are usually served from 12pm to 1 :30pm and 7pm to 10 :30pm
    Outside this time frame, you can be served a light snack in most cafes and brasseries, and the sign « service continu » indicates you can order a meal any time of the day.
    Most cafes open around  6h30am, closing around 10pm, or later in the case they have a special derogation, while bars usually close at 2am and discotheques at 5am.  
    A service charge is usually included in the bill mentionning « service inclus », and tipping is given in sign of appreciation.

  • Tourist offices and « Syndicats d’initiatives »
    Most cities and towns in France have a tourist office or « syndicat d’initiative », usually located downtown and identified by a sign with the letter « i ». They provide vistors with all the information on local sites and services, as well as helping with travel arrangements: finding or booking accomodation.  The national federation has a website listing all the local tourist offices :