Munich is a wonderful city, but it (and Bavaria as a whole) is regrettably regressive when opening hours are concerned: For a large part of the 20th century, Germany had outrageous laws on opening hours, for decades forcing stores to close as early as 6 p.m. on weekdays, even earlier on Saturdays, and allowing no opening hours at all on Sundays (with some minor exceptions, e.g. bakeries). The contrast to Sweden with its generous opening hours, including Sundays, was enormous as I first came to Germany—as were the practical hindrances. As time has gone by, the laws have have been continually softened and as of a few years ago, regrettably still excepting the “closed” Sundays, opening hours are pretty much up to the discretion of the stores. The hitch: Concurrent changes have moved opening hours from federal law to state law—and two of the sixteen have opted to keep an entirely outdated limit of 8 p.m. Bavaria is one of the two.
To make a minor contribution to the betterment of this situation, I extend the temporary section of my blog roll with
This site is dedicated to removing the arbitrary limit on opening hours in Bavaria too.
For the sake of precision: In my first working year, when opening hours really became relevant to me, the laws had already been softened to 8 p.m. weekdays/4 p.m. Saturdays. However, I had landed in a comparatively small town with mostly small stores, and with the inertia of the system, most of them still closed around 6 p.m. weekdays/2 p.m (or even earlier) Saturdays. Buying groceries often meant that I had to leave work early—and if I wanted to give Saturday a leisurely start, with a long sleep-in and a few hours of relaxation, then I had to finish my shopping on Friday.