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Europe Time Zones

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Europe Time Zones
Europe Map with Time Zones

Europe is a very wide continent, so the sun rises and sets at different times in different places. This is why Europe needs several time zones to make sure that the local time matches when it is actually sunny or dark outside, depending on where you are. In this article, we will learn about Europe’s Time Zones, how many are there and more.

How Many Time Zones are in Europe?

Europe has seven main time zones, from the Western European Time Zone that includes countries like Portugal, to the Further-eastern European Time in places like Belarus. Central European Time is used in big cities like Paris and Berlin, Turkey, on the other hand, uses Turkey Time all year long. If you want to know what time is it in Europe, click on: Time in Europe.

Time Zones in Europe

  • Western European Time (WET)

    This time zone is mainly used in Portugal, Ireland, United Kingdom (mainland).

    This is the basic time used in the westernmost parts of Europe. When daylight saving time comes into effect, it changes to Western European Summer Time (WEST), moving one hour ahead to UTC+1.

  • Central European Time (CET)

    This time zone is used in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France (except overseas regions), Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (except Canary Islands), Sweden, Switzerland.

    Central European Time is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. When daylight saving time starts, it moves to Central European Time (CET), which is UTC+2.

  • Eastern European Time (EET)

    It is used in countries like Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Ukraine (since 2014), Moldova.

    This time zone is used in eastern European countries and is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). During the summer, it changes to Eastern European Time (EET), which is three hours ahead of GMT, UTC+3.

  • Further-eastern European Time (FET)

    This time zone is followed by Belarus, parts of western Russia (including the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg).

    This time zone is three hours ahead of GMT and is mainly used by countries located far to the east of Europe. Its UTC offset is UTC+3.

  • Kaliningrad Time

    This time zone is used in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, sandwiched between Lithuania and Poland. It is UTC+2.

  • Turkey Time (TRT)

    Turkey uses its own standard time, staying fixed at UTC+3 throughout the year and does not observe daylight saving.

  • Azores Time

    In the Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal located in the Atlantic Ocean, this time zone is used. It is UTC-1.

  • Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

    During the winter months, countries that switch to daylight saving time, such as the United Kingdom and Ireland, use it. It is UTC+0.

Interesting Facts

  • The Spanish leader, Francisco Franco, changed Spain’s clocks to match Germany’s during World War II to show support for the Axis powers. Because of this, people in Spain eat meals and work later in the day compared to other countries.
  • In northern Norway, the sun stays up all day for about 76 days in the summer, creating the Midnight Sun. In the winter, the sun doesn’t rise at all for about 76 days, leading to the Polar Night.
  • The Azores, a region of Portugal in the Atlantic Ocean, uses a time zone that is one hour behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-1). This is rare because most places in Europe are in time zones that are the same as UTC or ahead of it.
  • Although Finland and Estonia are located closer to Sweden and Norway, they follow Eastern European Time which is the same as countries further east. This is because of their historical connections and practical reasons like strong business dealings with Eastern European countries.

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