Get Central European Time essential facts below. View Videos or join the Central European Time discussion. Add Central European Time to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
pale colours indicate where standard time is observed all year; dark colours indicate where a summer time is observed
Central European Time (CET) is a standard time which is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
The time offset from UTC can be written as UTC+01:00.
It is used in most parts of Europe and in a few North African countries.
CET is also known as Middle European Time (MET, German: MEZ) and by colloquial names such as Amsterdam Time, Berlin Time, Brussels Time, Madrid Time, Paris Time, Rome Time, and Warsaw Time.
In 1968 there was a three-year experiment called British Standard Time, when the UK and Ireland experimentally employed British Summer Time (GMT+1) all year round; clocks were put forward in March 1968 and not put back until October 1971.
Discrepancies between official CET and geographical CET
Legal time vs local mean time
1 h ± 30 m behind
0 h ± 30 m
1 h ± 30 m ahead
2 h ± 30 m ahead
3 h ± 30 m ahead
Legal, political and economic, as well as physical or geographical criteria are used in the drawing of time zones so official time zones rarely adhere to meridian lines. The CET time zone, were it drawn by purely geographical terms, would consist of exactly the area between meridians 7°30? E and 22°30? E. As a result, there are European locales that despite lying in an area with a "physical" or "nominal" UTC+01:00 time, actually use another time zone (UTC+02:00 in particular - there are no "physical" UTC+01:00 areas that employ UTC+00:00). Conversely, there are European areas that have gone for UTC+01:00, even though their "physical" time zone is UTC (typically), UTC-01:00 (westernmost Spain), or UTC+02:00 (e.g. the very easternmost parts of Norway, Sweden, Poland and Serbia). On the other hand, the people in Spain still have all work and meal hours one hour later than France and Germany even if they have the same time zone. Following is a list of such "incongruences":
Historically Gibraltar maintained UTC+01:00 all year until the opening of the land frontier with Spain in 1982 when it followed its neighbour and introduced CEST.
Areas located within UTC+01:00 longitudes using other time zones
These areas are located between 7°30? E and 22°30? E ("physical" UTC+1)
France, with the small exception of two separate easternmost parts of the mainland, one along eastern Alsace, incl. Strasbourg and the other in parts of the Alpes-Maritimes department, as well as the island of Corsica. Overseas departments of France use local times.
The northeast of Norway, lying north of Finland, roughly coinciding with the county of Finnmark. The easternmost town in Norway, Vardø, lies at 30°51? E, which is so far east, so as to be east even of the central meridian of EET (UTC+02:00), i.e. east of Istanbul and Alexandria. The sun reaches its highest point at 10:56 (when not DST), although the sun does not vary so much in height at the latitude 70°N. The Norwegian-Russian and the Polish-Belarussian border are the only places where CET (UTC+1/+2) borders Moscow time (UTC+03:00), resulting in a two hours time change (or one hour in summer) for the travellers crossing that border.