Business Hours — México
Méxicans have a more relaxed relationship to time than their neighbors to the north who consider punctuality a virtue. Store hours and meeting times, even when posted, are rough approximations at best. 1 In the spirit of a rough approximation is better than having no idea whatsoever, we list hours of operation when this information is publicly available or relayed to us by someone in an official capacity. Obviously, we cannot vouch for these times. As a general rule always show up late.
The siesta, a daily ritual where everything closes for a few hours during the midday heat (roughly 2 pm to 4 pm) and then reopens late in the afternoon, is still prevalent in many parts of México — especially in villages and rural areas and the hotter regions like the Gulf and Caribbean coasts and the far south. In the industrial north, Bajío, and central México standard business hours are usually kept and business generally do not even close for lunch.
Christmas & Easter holidays are strictly observed. During other major holidays most businesses are open in tourist areas, large towns, and cities.
Restaurants and cafés usually have long hours and are open from around 7 - 9 am until between 10 pm and midnight. Some restaurants are closed one day a week, usually Sunday, Monday or Tuesday.
Bars are normally open every evening. However, hours vary widely depending on their clientèle.
Museums and archaeological sites usually open daily from around 9 am to 10 am and close late in the afternoon around 5 pm or 6 pm. Some, but not all, are closed on Mondays or for lunch. Archaeological sites are usually open all day. On Sunday many are free or reduce their fees.
Churches tend to be always open. However, some are closed when there is no service going on, especially if they have valuable artifacts or art. Most churches, even if they're hundreds of years old, are actively used by worshipers. Try and remember to be respectful when visiting a church, especially if there is a service in progress. Even if a service is not in progress, it is not appropriate to speak while inside a Catholic church.
Banks are usually open during normal business hours Monday to Friday from around 9 am - 5 pm and some are open for part of the day Saturday, usually from around 10 am until 2 pm. They are never open on Sundays. Many ATMs are available 24 hours a day and are an excellent way to get pesos with credit and debit cards after normal hours.
Currency exchange businesses (casas de cambio) keep longer hours than banks, usually from around 9 am to 7 pm daily.
Small stores and shops tend to be open long hours, from around 9 am to 8 pm Monday to Saturday although some are close on Saturday afternoon. In villages and rural areas and the hotter regions like the Gulf and Caribbean coasts and the far south, the ritual siesta is adhered to and stores and shops close for the midday heat (from around 2 pm to 4 pm) and then reopen late in the afternoon.
Supermarkets and department stores are generally open from around 9 am to 10 am and close late around 10 pm daily.
Post offices Times differ depending on location, but Mexican post offices (oficinas de correos) are typically open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm.
Commercial offices hours tend to be standard, from 8 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday with a one hour lunch break.
Government offices are usually open from 9 am to 1 pm Monday to Friday and sometimes on Saturday if it is a tourist related agency.
- 1 The American writer Tony Cohan contemplates Méxicans relaxed relationship to time and other topics on living in México in his book, On Mexican Time: A New Life In San Miguel.