The time difference between countries: important information

The time difference between countries usually generates confusion and some discomfort when we travel. Therefore, in this article we explain what time zones are and how to know what time it is in each country.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

Time zones

In 1884 the International Meridian Convention was organized in Washington D.C., United States. In this one it was decided to divide the planet into 24 meridians. The space between two meridians is the time zone, and between them there is an hour difference.

The meridians are imaginary lines or semicircles that go from the North Pole to the South Pole and divide the Earth into 24 different zones.

In addition, the zero meridian was chosen, which would serve as an international reference. Of several nominations, finally the selected one was the Greenwich meridian, located in the United Kingdom. Therefore, the measurement of time, known as GMT, was in relation to this point.

Later, in 1972, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) was defined, which is measured with atomic clocks and not because of the position of the sun, so it is something more exact. In addition, the UTC starts counting from midnight, unlike the GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), which I did since noon. However, it also takes as a reference the Greenwich meridian.

In the following map you can see the different time zones and how many hours you have to add or subtract in each of them with respect to the Greenwich meridian:


When talking about the time in each part of the world, it is common to use some abbreviations such as those already indicated above (GMT, UTC). These are other examples:

Eastern Time. Time on the east coast of the United States.
Japan Standard Time. Japan time.
Korea Standard Time. South Korea time.
Pacific Time. It is the UTC-8 time zone and is present in some areas of Canada, the United States and Mexico. In summer it is PDT (Pacific Daylight Time) and the rest of the year is PST (Pacific Standard Time).
San Luis Potosi. Exact time in this city of Mexico.
Venezuela Standard Time. Venezuela time.

In addition, much of the countries of Europe and North Africa have an hour longer than the UTC. At this time it is known as European Central Time (CET). However, some countries like Spain, advance the clock one hour in March, at which time they adopt the CEST (Central European Summer Time), which is two more hours (UTC + 2).

Time zone differences

This is the time difference between Spain and some cities and countries. Keep in mind that European summer time starts on the last Sunday of March and winter time on the last of October:

countrySummer scheduleWinter time
Brasila (Brazil)-5-4
Chiapas (Mexico)-7-6
Dubai (UAE)+2+3
Finland+1 0

New York (USA)

Sydney (Australia)+8+7

Taking this into account, for example, when it is summer in Spain, in Argentina there are five hours less. So if it was 12 noon in Spain, in Argentina it would be 7 in the morning.

Do not forget that it is possible that in other countries that do not belong to Europe also change the time at some time of the year, so it is convenient to consult each case in a particular way.

In Latin AmericaThis is the time difference between a part of these countries and the UTC, that is, the time taken as a reference and that we find, for example, in the United Kingdom:

  • Bolivia, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic (UTC-4)
  • Venezuela (UTC-4: 30)
  • Argentina, Antarctic and Uruguay (UTC-3)
  • Cuba, Easter Island, Panama and Peru (UTC-5)
  • Costa Rica, Mexico and Honduras (UTC-6)
  • Equatorial Guinea (UTC + 1)

Therefore, in the case of Bolivia and Paraguay, there are four hours less with respect to the territories through which the Greenwich meridian passes, such as the United Kingdom.

User Questions

How is the time difference between one country and another calculated?

The time zones between one territory and another must be counted. If, for example, two spindles are counted to the right, they are two more hours, while if done to the left, they are less.

Why in some countries there are several time zones?

Because its territory is so wide that it passes through several meridians. For example, this occurs in the United States, in Mexico and in Canada.

Is the meridian criteria strictly followed?

No, other economic and political aspects are also taken into account. In the case of Spain, it should have one hour less and, Argentina, four less.

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