Opening hours of shops over Christmas and New Year
In Germany, laws regulate the opening hours for shops. This is why supermarkets are closed on Sundays and you cannot buy anything. Especially at the end of the year you have to consider special opening hours around Christmas and New Year's Eve. Otherwise it is possible that your fridge stays empty during an official holiday 😉
In German, people often say "zwischen den Jahren" ("between the years") when talking about the days between Christmas and New Year's Eve. Supermarkets and shops in Mannheim, Heidelberg, Ludwigshafen and the rest of the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region are open during these times:
- 24th December (Christmas Eve): Shops are open until 2 pm
- 25th and 26th December (Christmas Day and Boxing Day): All shops are closed
- 27th to 30th December: Normal opening hours apply on these days
- 31st December (New Year's Eve): Shops are open until 2 pm
- 1st January (New Year): All shops are closed
Important to know: Do the 24th and 31st December or any of the other days of the old year fall on a Sunday? Then there are no special opening hours and the shops remain closed because Sunday is a day of rest.
From 2nd January, everything is back to normal.
Also good to know if you really forgot to shop before the holidays and you don't have anything in your fridge: Gas station shops and train station stores are usually your saviours in times of need. Because here, because of an exception, the owners can decide for themselves whether they want to sell something on the holiday or not.