Time Zones in France [Explained] | A Definitive Guide

Time Zones in France [Explained] | A Definitive Guide

France is one of the countries with the most time zones. And do you know what is strange? It ranges from UTC -10 to UTC +12.

But why does France have this much range? Even bigger countries have not!

France’s territories are dissipated. So dependencies of France, like French Polynesia, use the time zone offset UTC -10, UTC -9:30, and so.

Most of the time zones are incorporated by France’s dependencies. France’s major territory has only one-time zone CET (Central European Time) or CEST (Central European Summer Time). That’s because it lies in the central part of Europe. But why do many countries like France have multiple time zones? Find an answer in this blog.

Let’s look into time zone and territories.

Time Zones in France and Its Territories

As mentioned earlier, most of France uses CET (Central European Time), including its capital, Paris. But its dependencies use different time zones.

  • French Polynesia dependency uses three time zones: THAT (Tahiti Time : UTC -10), MART (Marquesas Time : UTC -09:30), and GAMT (Gambier Time : UTC -09:00).
  • Clipperton Island, which has only 6 square km area, uses EAST (Easter Island Standard Time : UTC-08:00).
  • Guadeloupe, which has six sub islands, uses AST (Atlantic Standard Time : UTC -04:00). Similarly, Martinique, Saint Barthélemy, and Saint Martin have incorporated the same AST time zone.
  • French Guiana, with a population of 2.94 lakhs, has GFT (French Guiana Time : UTC -03:00).
  • With less than 6000 populations, Saint Pierre and Miquelon incorporated PMT (Pierre & Miquelon Time). It also observes daylight saving time PMDT.
  • Mayotte comes under the overseas department of France. It has EAT (Eastern Africa Time : UTC +03:00).
  • Réunion (French), French Southern Territories, New Caledonia, and Wallis and Futuna respectively follow RET (Reunion Time), TFT (French Southern and Antarctic Time), NCT (New Caledonia Time), and WFT (Wallis and Futuna Time).
Are you getting confused with so much on words? Check out this time zone map for detailed information.

DST in France

Are you puzzled by so many time zones? Are you wondering why there are only two Daylight Saving Time? In this blog, I will answer all your questions.

The French government decided to introduce Daylight Saving Time (DST) to save energy and reduce pollution.

They were among the first countries to do so in the late nineteenth century. The idea was to create more daylight hours by moving clocks forward one hour during spring and back again during autumn. You can compare each time zone using this converting tool.

France is also one of the last European countries still using DST, with only a few exceptions.

Daylight Saving Time starts last Sunday in March and ends last Sunday in October. Want to explore the DST of every country? Go to this link.

Most dependencies of France don’t use DST. But WHY? That’s because of its geo-location. Also, the area covered are very small.

Traveling Advice

Are you a traveler? Are you planning to go to Paris? You don’t have to worry about these 12 time zones. That’s because major part of France only uses a single time zone. And that’s CET (Central European Time).

Some other tips are:

  • Learn basic French to avoid miscommunications.
  • Save emergency contact number 112.
  • Choose a good place to stay.
  • You must taste the food and wine of France.

Jaw-Dropping Facts About France’s Territories

france map with dependencies
Source: Wikipedia.org

As discussed earlier, France has many dependencies. And most of them are islands in distinct oceans. France’s territories are not only limited to its main territory.

The rest of the world often overlooks France’s overseas territories. In this blog we have seen its territories and respective time zones.

French Guiana: France’s mainland in South America is home to a population of 250,000 people with a GDP per capita that is three times higher than the rest of Brazil.

Guadeloupe: This Caribbean Island has been inhabited for over 400 years, and its inhabitants speak Creole French. It is also home to one of the world’s largest sugar plantations, which occupies over 4% of its landmass.

Martinique: The French Island in the Caribbean is home to some very special plants and animals – it has more than 3,500 plant species found nowhere else on earth!

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