There is no formally defined business hours in Brazil, thus working hours vary a lot between establishments. If you are not sure of the hours in which to reach a Brazilian company, this article might be useful.
Brazil is quite expansive, and while it has São Paulo, the biggest city in the southern hemisphere, it also has hundreds of other municipalities with less than 10,000 inhabitants. Stores open and close at varying hours, people go to work at different times.
Due to all of that, it is really hard to set a clearly defined standard for business hours in Brazil. Most of the cities adopt opening hours from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. However, do not get upset — and definitely not surprised — if you fail to get through to an office before 10:00 AM.
Private and Public Offices
Many offices follow the standard above, but this can vary according to the type of office, region in which it is located and even proximity to holidays, just to cite a few factors.
Advertising agencies, for example, are frequently opened only after 10:00 AM, but they often close a couple of hours after 6:00 PM.
It might also be harder to contact companies very early in the morning, depending on the State where it is located. If the office you are trying to reach is in Rio de Janeiro, Ceará or Bahia, for example, there might be a chance the phone will only be answered close to noon.
It is more usual to see public offices working according to the standard mentioned above, or even extending it a little bit, as seen with some units of the Federal Police, for example.
Another important factor is lunch time. In Brazil, companies usually have one hour in the middle of the day, but this hour usually last more than 60 minutes. It is safe to say that office desks will probably be empty from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM.
Opening hours of banks is one of the few that are really the same throughout the country. The financial services are offered by these establishments from 10:00 AM to 04:00 PM. Note that ATMs, even the ones located inside bank agencies, are available after this period, usually until 8:00 PM or even later.
Many factories have different shifts, with some employees commencing work late at night, for example. Nevertheless, business hours — where customers, investors, businessmen and other people are usually seen or heard — will start around 8:00 AM and go until 5:00 PM or 6:00 PM.
Malls and Stores
When it comes to shopping, it is possible to divide stores into two categories: the ones located in streets and the ones located inside malls.
Stores placed inside shopping centres follow the opening hours of the building, which is usually from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM, except for Sundays, when stores open around 2:00 PM and close 8:00 PM.
Stores in the streets are accustomed to the standard business hours, opening from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. With the change of working and living habits seen in the past years, however, several of them stay open until 8:00 PM or even later.
This category is probably the one with the biggest number of business hours’ variations. Establishments really adapt to their customers’ flow throughout the day and the week. So basically, restaurants can be opened until late, others located in business districts may not open during dinner or weekends, and some bars are closed during lunch. There is really no standard for this one.
This type of establishment usually stays open a little bit longer than the traditional retail stores. Many supermarkets open around 7:00 AM and close around 10:00 PM.
Some stores, located in specific places like shopping malls, for example, may have different working times. Also, some supermarkets in Brazil are 24/7.
Only 11 Brazilian cities currently have a subway system, but the tube is highly requested in the places where it is available. Opening hours vary from city to city, so we have listed the business hours of some of the main metros in the country.
- São Paulo: from 4:40 AM to 12:00 PM; on Saturdays it works until 01:00 AM
- Rio de Janeiro: from Mondays to Saturdays from 5:00 AM to 12:00 PM, and on Sundays from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM
- Brasília: from Mondays to Saturdays from 6:00 AM to 11:30 PM, and on Sundays from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM
- Belo Horizonte: from 5:15 AM to 11:00 PM, but tickets are sold in some stations only after 5:40 AM
Most hospitals located in big cities are open 24 hours for emergencies, but may provide a smaller period for clinical exams, results collection and visits. The best thing to do is to check, the hospital’s website, if it is open, or to call and check if the procedures needed are available at the desired time.
Parks & Museums
When it comes to opening hours, these establishments also do not have a standard. Each park and museum may operate at different times according to the city and region where they are located.
Parks usually open early in the morning, between 5:00 AM and 7:00 AM, so people can jog or walk before going to work. They usually close between 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
Museums sometimes follow the standard business hours, but many close on certain days of the week. Always check in advance to see if the desired building is open to the public.