Opening hours for banks, shops, museums and restaurants vary from country to country, so consult with your hotel receptionist upon arrival if you are in doubt.
Banks are generally open from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and may stay open until 5:30 p.m. on Thursdays in many countries, but they are closed Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Banks often close for an hour or two at lunchtime, especially outside the big cities.
Shop opening hours in Europe vary a great deal by country. Generally, most shops open between 9 and 10 a.m., other than bakeries and pharmacies; beyond that, the climate and local custom determine the rest! In some countries, shops other than large department stores close for an hour or two at midday, and reopen until 6- 8 p.m..
In Mediterranean countries where the afternoon can be sweltering and dining hours are later, shops often close at noon and reopen much later for evening shopping hours. On Saturdays opening hours are usually (but not always) shorter than during the week; common to most countries is very limited shopping on Sundays, and sometimes none at all, although in some places this is beginning to change. Hours outside of large cities tend to be more restricted. Bakeries and newsagents are generally exceptions; you can always find one open, regardless of the day of the week!
Museum opening hours vary from country to country and are often closed one weekday, usually Mondays or Tuesdays. Others may stay open very late one night a week, quite often on Thursday. Check Museum opening hours (available via the individual country pages) to avoid disappointment.
Restaurants in Europe tend to keep late hours--especially on weekends and in large towns and cities--often until after midnight. Those that serve breakfast open between 7 and 8 a.m.
In order to avoid disappointment, if there is a particular restaurant you are interested in visiting, call ahead and make a reservation. In the same way – and especially if you are on a tight schedule – before setting out check opening hours online or by phone for that particular museum or shop you don’t want to miss.