Sales periods in Europe

The sales periods vary in every European country. In Germany, the official period for winter and summer sales ended a long time ago.

Since 2004, merchants in Germany have the right to decide themselves when they want to offer discounts or sales.

We are giving you an overview of the sales periods, currency, VAT and opening hours in each European country. Please click on the country to get more information.

No set periods for sales. 

Winter sales:

Usually shortly after Christmas till February

Summer sales:

Usually from July till August

Currency: Euro

VAT: 20%

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

  • Monday-Friday: 9.00/9.30am - 7.00pm
  • Saturday: 9.00/9.30am - 6pm
  • Sunday: closed

Tourist information:

Winter sales:

January 3rd - January 31st (If January 3rd is a Sunday, the winter sales start on Saturday, January 2nd)

Summer sales:

July 1st - July 31st (If July 1st is a Sunday, the summer sales start on Saturday, June 30th)

Currency: Euro

VAT: 21%

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

- Monday - Friday: 9.30am/10am - 6pm/6.30pm; Shopping Malls: 10am - 8pm

- Saturday: 9.30am/10am - 6pm/6.30pm; Shopping Malls: 10am - 8pm

- Sunday: closed; exception touristic areas

Tourist information: visitbelgium.com

No set periods for sale.

Winter sales:

Usually from January till February

Summer sales:

Usually from July till August

Currency: Bulgarian lev (BGN)

VAT: 20%

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

- Monday - Friday: 10am - 9pm;

- Saturday: 10pm - 5pm; Shopping Malls: 10am - 9pm

- Sunday: closed, except Shopping Malls: 10am - 9pm

Note: Opening hours may vary for some local shops. 
 

Tourist information: bulgariatravel.org

No set periods for sales. The Retail Shops are permitted to carry out their sale periods at any point throughout the year at their discretion. The two sale periods being in February and August no longer apply.

Currency: Euro

VAT: 19% on goods and services. On some products and services VAT varies between 5% and 9%

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

From November 1st - March 31st:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: between 7am & 9am - 7.30pm
  • Wednesday: 7am & 9am - 3pm
  • Saturday: 9am - 7pm
  • Sunday: 11am - 7pm; Exception: Opening hours for shops in tourist areas until late in the evening

From April 1st - October 31st:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: between 7am & 9am - 8pm
  • Wednesday: 7am & 9am - 3pm
  • Saturday: 9am - 7.30pm
  • Sunday: 11am - 7pm; Exception: Opening hours for shops in tourist areas until late in the evening

Tourist information: visitcyprus.org.cy

Winter sales:

From December 27th (can last maximum 60 days)

Summer sales:

From July 1st (can last maximum 60 days)

Currency: Croatian kuna

VAT: 25%

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

  • Monday - Friday: 9am - 7pm
  • Saturday: 9am - 3pm
  • Sunday: closed; except for large shopping centers: 9am - 9pm or 10pm

Tourist information:

No set periods for sales.The Retail Shops are permitted to carry out their sale periods at any point throughout the year at their discretion. Winter sales begin usually after Christmas.

Currency: Czech crown (CZK)

VAT: 21%

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

  • Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm (in Prague downtown shops close later)
  • Saturday: 8am - 11am (in Prague downtown shops can be open all day)
  • Sunday: closed, except for Prague downtown

Generally Shopping Malls and chain stores are open 7 days a week from morning to evening (surely from 9am - 8pm). Since 2018 shops larger than 200 m2 are closed on eight public holidays.

Tourist information: czechtourism.com

Winter sales:

From December 27th or beginning of January till February

Summer sales:

From beginning of June till end of August

Currency: Danish crown (DKR)

VAT: 25%

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday: 9am/10am - 5.30pm/6pm
  • Friday: 9am/10am - 7pm/8pm
  • Saturday: 9am/10am - 1pm/2pm; Major cities: 9am/10am - 5pm
  • Sunday: closed; Exception: Larger stores and department stores are open on Sundays

Tourist information: visitdenmark.com

No fixed dates for sales.

Winter sales:

Usually after Christmas until February.

Summer sales:

Usually from the end of June until the end of summer.

Currency: Euro

VAT: 20%

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

  • Monday - Friday: 10am - 7pm; Shopping Malls: 9am - 9pm
  • Saturday: 10am - 4pm; Shopping Malls: 9am - 9pm
  • Sunday: closed; Shopping Malls: 9am - 9pm

Tourist information: visitestonia.com

No set periods for sales.

Winter sales:

Before Christmas - early February

Summer sales:

Mid-June - Mid-July

Currency: Euro

VAT: 24%

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

  • Monday-Friday: 9am - 9pm
  • Saturday: 9am - 6pm
  • Sunday: Shopping centers are usually open from 12am - 9pm

Grocery stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets are open seven days a week and may be open at 7am and at least until 9pm or even 11pm. There are also some large 24-hour convenience stores and grocery stores.

Tourist information: visitfinland.com

No set periods for sales.

Winter sales:

The winter sales usually begin at the end of January / beginning of February.

Summer sales:

The summer sales usually start at the end of July / beginning of August.

Currency: Euro

VAT: 19% (from 1 July to 31 December 2020 VAT on goods and services will be reduced from 19% to 16%). From January 2021 the regular rate of 19% will apply again.

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

  • Monday - Saturday: Normal opening hours approximately from 9am to 7pm. In the individual federal states, however, other times are legally permitted: e.g. 12am - 12pm (Baden-Wuerttemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Berlin); 6am - 8pm (Bavaria); 6am - 10pm (Saxony) etc.
  • Sunday: closed; in some states the shops can be open a certain number of Sundays: e.g. 8 Sundays (North Rhine-Westphalia)

Tourist information: Germany-Travel.de

Winter sales: 

Winter sales start on the 2nd Monday in January and end at the end of February.

Spring sales: 

May 1st - May 10th

Summer sales:

Summer sales start on the 2nd Monday in July and end at the end of August. (As a result of the Covid 19 crisis, the dealer associations have requested that the start of the 2020 summer sales be postponed by 15 days to 1 August. Still to be confirmed by the government).

Autumn sales:

November 1st - November 10th

Currency: Euro

VAT: 24% (with the exception of tourism services, which account for 13% VAT.)

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

  • Monday - Friday: 9am - 9pm
  • Saturday: 9am - 8pm
  • Sunday: closed. 7 Sundays/year from 11am - 8pm
  • 1st Sunday of each of the above 4 sale periods
  • the two Sundays before Christmas
  • one Sunday before Easter

Tourist information: 

No set periods for sales. Winter sales usually start in January.

Currency: Forint (HUF)

Vat: 27%

Opening Hours:

  • Monday - Friday: 10am - 6pm; Shopping Malls: 10am - 8pm
  • Saturday: 9am - 1pm or 10am - 2pm; Shopping Malls: 10am - 8pm
  • Sunday: 9am - 1pm or 10am - 2pm; Shopping Malls: 10am - 6pm

Tourist information:

No set periods for sales.

Winter sales

Winter sales start usually in January.

Summer sales

Summer sales begin usually in July.

Currency: Icelandic Crown (ISK)

VAT: 24% on most products (lower on food, books and so on)

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

  • Monday - Friday: 10am/11am - 6.30pm/7pm; Shopping Malls: 10am/11am - 9pm (On Thursdays many grocery stores and petrol stations open 24/7)
  • Saturday: 10am/11am - 6pm
  • Sunday: Downtown: most stores are closed; Shopping Malls: 12pm - 5pm

Tourist information: iceland.is

No set periods for sales. Retailers are free to offer sales at any time of the year.

Winter sales:

Winter sales are usually after Christmas until the end of January.

Summer sales:

Summer sales are usually from June to August. (When shops reopen after the COVID-19 in June 2020, retailers will be able to offer continuous discounts throughout the year on all items from the previous season).

Currency: Euro

VAT:

  • 23% is standard rate
  • 13,5% special reduced rate for tourist related activities including restaurants and hotels.
  • 0% rate for books, children's clothes and shoes.

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday: 8am/9am/10am - 5pm/6pm/7pm; Shopping Malls: 9am - 9pm/10pm
  • Thursday: 8am/9am/10am - 8pm/9pm/10pm; Shopping Malls: 9am - 9pm/10pm
  • Saturday: 8am/9am/10am - 5pm/6pm/7pm; Shopping Malls: 9am - 7pm
  • Sunday: 8am/9am/10am - 5pm/6pm/7pm; Shopping Malls: 10am - 7pm

Tourist information:

Winter sales:

Sales are regulated by regions, from

  • 2nd of January in Basilicata
  • 3rd of January in Valle D'Aosta
  • 6th of January in Sicily
  • 5th of January in the other regions
  • to the end of February - end of March

Due to the corona crisis, the winter sale in 2021 starts between 12 January and 30 January, depending on the region. It lasts 60 days, until the middle/end of March.
 

Summer sales:

Sales are regulated by regions, usually from the first week of July until mid/end of August. In Puglia and Sicily the summer sales will end on 15 September.

Currency: Euro

VAT: 22%

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

- Monday - Friday: 9.30am - 1pm & 3.30pm - 7.30pm

- Saturday: 9.30am - 1.30pm & 3.30pm - 7.30pm

- Sunday: closed; open in tourist areas: 10am - 7.30pm; Shopping Malls: 10am - 10pm

Tourist information: enit.it

No set periods for sales. The sales period usually begins in the middle or at the end of the season.

Currency: Euro

VAT: 21%

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

  • Monday - Friday: 10am - 9pm
  • Saturday: 10am - 9pm
  • Sunday: 10am - 8pm

Tourist information: latvia.travel

No set periods for sales. 

Winter sales:

Usually from 1 to 31 January, but can be extended until the end of winter.

Summer sales: 

Usually from 1 to 31 July. But the regulations are not strict and can be extended until the end of the summer. Mid-season sales are also allowed.

Currency: Euro

VAT: 21%

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

  • Monday - Friday: 10am - 7pm; Shopping Malls: 10am - 10pm
  • Saturday: 10am - 6pm; Shopping Malls: 10am - 10pm
  • Sunday: Shopping centres 10am - 6pm; Shopping Malls: 10am - 10pm

Tourist information:

The law foresees two sales periods per year which are annually fixed. One period cannot be longer than one month.

Winter sales:

The winter sale usually begins in late December / early January.

Summer Sales:

The summer sale usually starts at the end of June / beginning of July. (2020: 25/06 - 25/07/2020).

Currency: Euro

VAT: 17%

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

- Monday - Friday: 9am - 6pm; Shopping Malls: 8am - 8pm

- Saturday: 9am - 6pm; Shopping Malls: 8am - 6pm

- Sunday: closed; but it becomes more and more common that shops are, for instance during sales periods, but not only, open on Sundays (“ouvertures dominicales”, exact dates can be found on the internet).

Tourist information: lcto.lu

No set periods for sales. Seasonal reductions can be found throughout the year.

Winter sales:

Winter sales start usually after Christmas till February.

Summer sales:

Summer sales begin usually Mid-July till the end of August/September.

Currency: Euro

VAT: 18%

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

- Monday - Friday: 9am - 1pm & 4pm - 7pm; certain shops and larger shopping centres remain open during the afternoon: 10 am - 7pm/10pm

- Saturday: 9am - 1pm & 4pm - 7pm; certain shops and larger shopping centres remain open during the afternoon: 10am - 7pm/10pm

- Sunday: closed; except in tourist areas during summer and Christmas period/public holidays

Tourist information: visitmalta.com

No set periods for sales.

Winter sales:

Usually in January

Summer sales:

Usually in July and August

Currency: Euro

VAT: 21%

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

  • Monday - Friday: 9am - 6pm; Thursday or Friday: larger cities: 9am - 9pm
  • Saturday: 9am - 5pm
  • Sunday: 12pm - 5pm in larger cities; some city centres are open on just one Sunday per month

Tourist information: holland.com

No set periods for sales.

Winter sales:

Winter sales start usually December 27th or in January.

Summer sales:

Summer sales start late June until the end of July.

Currency: Norwegian Crown  (NOK)

VAT: 25%

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

  • Monday - Friday: 9am/10am - 5pm; Shopping Malls: 10am - 9pm/10pm
  • Saturday: 9am - 3pm/5pm; Shopping Malls: 10am - 6pm
  • Sunday: closed; except Shopping Malls at Christmas time

Tourist information: visitnorway.com

Winter sales:

Usually from the beginning of January to the middle of February.

Summer sales:

Summer sales usually start at the end of June (the hottest time to buy is July & August, then you can buy things even 70%-90% cheaper).

Due to the corona crisis it is possible that the summer sales in 2020 will last longer.  

Currency: Polish Zloty (PLN)

VAT: 23%

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

  • Monday - Friday: 11am - 7pm; Shopping Malls: 10am - 10pm
  • Saturday: 10am - 3pm; Shopping Malls: 10am - 10pm
  • Sunday: normally closed, except on 28.06, 30.08, 13.12 and 20.12

Tourist information: poland.travel

No set periods for sales. Actually the law only sets a maximum of four months of duration per year. Sales usually take place after summer and winter seasons.

Winter sales:

Usually take place after winter season and can last until the end of February.

Summer sales:

Usually take place after summer season and last until first week of September.

Currency: Euro

VAT: 23%

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

Traditionally, shops are open from

  • Monday - Friday: 9am/10am - 7pm (some shops close for lunch "siesta": 1pm - 3pm)
  • Saturday: 10am - 1am (from January - November). In December, the shops are usually open on Saturday afternoons and sometimes Sundays.
  • Sunday: closed; there are plenty of shopping malls inside and outside the cities that are usually open from 10am - 12pm every day of the week.

Tourist information: visitportugal.com

Winter sales:

January 15th - April 15th

Summer sales:

August 1st - October 15th

Currency: RON

VAT: 19%

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

  • Monday - Friday: 9am - 10pm
  • Saturday: 9am - 10pm
  • Sunday: 9am - 10pm

Tourist information:

No set periods for sales.

Winter sales:

Winter sales usually start after Christmas.

Summer sales:

Summer sales usually start after the summer season.

Currency: Euro

VAT: 20% (10% for selected food products, e. g. milk, butter, meat & bread)

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

  • Monday - Friday: 8am - 6pm; Shopping Malls: 9am/10am - 9pm
  • Saturday: 6am - 12pm; Shopping Malls: 9am/10am - 9pm
  • Sunday: closed; Supermarkets: 8am - 8pm; Shopping Malls: 9am/10am - 9pm

Tourist information: slovakia.travel

No set periods for sales.

In 2021, the summer sale will start in mid-June. The sale will last about three weeks, in some cases a month.

Currency: Euro

VAT: 22%

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

  • Monday - Friday: 8am - 9pm (shopping centres/supermarkets)
  • Saturday: 8am - 9pm (shopping centres/supermarkets); 8am -1pm (smaller shops)
     
  • Sunday: If opened than usually 8am - 12pm; Shopping Malls 9am - 3pm

Due to the Corona crisis, shops must remain closed on Sundays. Only shops with a sales area of up to 200 square metres are allowed to open on Sunday.

Tourist information: slovenia.info

Winter sales: The starting date is usually 7 January, although it is possible that in certain cities, such as Madrid, winter sales may begin on 1 January. Depending on the region of Spain, the length varies and can even last until the end of March.

Summer sales: Usually from 1 July until the end of September. Depending on the region, the summer sales may be extended by a few days.

In both cases (Winter and Summer sales): According to current legislation (article 25 of Law 7/1996, on the organization of retail trade), each establishment is free to choose the period and duration of the sales throughout the year. The period of sales must be displayed in the shop in a location visible to the public, even if the shop is closed.

Midseason Sales: There may be interesting mid-season discounts from March to June.

Currency: Euro

VAT: 21%
 

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

  • Monday to Friday: 9.30am - 1:30pm & 4.30pm - 8.00pm
  • Saturday: 9.30am - 1.30pm & 5pm - 8.30pm

In tourist regions and in the high season, shops are usually open until 22:00.

Shopping Malls: From Monday to Sunday 10am- 10pm (depending on autonomous community)

The Spanish legislation establishes that businesses may develop their activity - at least 90 hours during the working days of the week and a minimum of 16 Sundays and holidays per year.

Tourist information: tourspain.es

No set periods for sales.

Winter sales:

Winter sales ("Mellandagsrea") start usually on December 25th.

Summer sales:

Summer sales start usually the week before Midsummer until the first half of July (depends mostly on the economic sector and the geographical region).

Currency: Swedish Crown (SEK)

VAT: 25%

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

  • Monday - Friday: 9.30am - 6pm
  • Saturday: 9.30am - 2pm/4pm
  • Sunday: closed; Department Stores remain open until 7.00 pm or longer (larger towns only). Some are also open on Sundays: 12pm - 4pm.

Shops usually close earlier on the day before a public holiday.

Tourist information: visit-sweden.com

No set periods for sales.You can find them at most times of the year. For example, winter sales often start on December 26th, bank holiday called "Boxing Day".

Currency: Pound Sterling

VAT: 20%

SHOPS' OPENING HOURS:

  • Monday - Friday: 9am/9.30am - 5.30pm
  • Saturday: 9am/9.30am - 5.30pm
  • Sunday: 10.30am - 4.30pm

Tourist information: visitbritain.com

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