Hours of Operation

Most offices are open between 9 and 6 on weekdays; most museums keep roughly the same hours six or seven days a week. Everything in China grinds to a halt for the first two or three days of Chinese New Year (sometime in mid-January through February, depending on the lunar calendar), and opening hours are often reduced for the rest of that season.

Banks and government offices are open weekdays 9 to 5, although some close for lunch (sometime between noon and 2). Bank branches and CTS tour desks in hotels often keep longer hours and are usually open Saturday (and occasionally even Sunday) mornings. Many hotel currency-exchange desks remain open 24 hours.

Pharmacies are open daily from 8:30 or 9 am to 6 or 7 pm. Some large pharmacies stay open until 9 pm or even later.

Shops and department stores are generally open daily 9 to 9; some stores in popular tourist areas stay open even later during peak season.


National holidays include New Year's Day (January 1); Chinese New Year (mid-January/through February); Tomb-Sweeping Day (April 5); International Labor Day (May 1); Dragon Boat Festival (late May/early June); anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (July 1); anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (August 1); Mid-Autumn Festival (mid- to late September), and National Day (October 1).

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