Arrow Python Library Cheatsheet

Python has become a powerhouse in the world of data science and analysis, and as the volume of data continues to grow, so does the need for efficient tools to handle it. Arrow, a powerful Python library, has emerged as a go-to solution for working with dates and times in a more intuitive and efficient manner. In this comprehensive cheatsheet, we’ll explore the key features of Arrow and provide handy snippets for mastering its capabilities.

What is Arrow?

Arrow is a Python library that simplifies the handling of dates, times, and timestamps. It builds on top of the standard datetime module and provides a more user-friendly and feature-rich interface. Some of the key benefits of Arrow include:

  • Improved syntax for creating and manipulating dates and times.
  • Support for time zones without the need for external dependencies.
  • Convenient formatting and parsing of date and time strings.
  • Enhanced functionality for working with time intervals and durations.

Now, let’s dive into the essentials of Arrow with a cheatsheet that covers various aspects of working with dates and times.


Before you start using Arrow, you need to install it. Use the following command:

pip install arrow

Getting Started

Importing Arrow

import arrow

Creating Arrow Objects

# Current UTC time
now_utc = arrow.utcnow()

# Current local time
now_local =

# Specific date and time
specific_dt = arrow.get('2023-01-15T12:30:45')

Formatting and Parsing

Formatting Arrow Objects

formatted = now_local.format('YYYY-MM-DD HH:mm:ss')
# Output: 2023-01-15 12:30:45

Parsing Strings to Arrow Objects

parsed_dt = arrow.get('2023-01-15 12:30:45', 'YYYY-MM-DD HH:mm:ss')

Manipulating Dates and Times

Shifting Time

# Add 3 days
future_dt = now_local.shift(days=3)

# Subtract 1 hour
past_dt = now_local.shift(hours=-1)

Human-Readable Time Difference

# Time difference in seconds
diff_seconds = (future_dt - now_local).total_seconds()

# Human-readable format
human_readable_diff = arrow.humanize(diff_seconds)
# Output: in 3 days

Time Zones

Converting Time Zones

# Convert to a specific time zone
paris_time ='Europe/Paris')

Listing Available Time Zones

all_time_zones = arrow.get_tzinfo('all_timezones')

Working with Intervals and Durations

Creating Intervals

start = arrow.get('2023-01-15 12:30:00')
end = arrow.get('2023-01-15 14:45:00')

# Interval between two dates
interval = arrow.Interval(start, end)

Calculating Duration

# Duration between two dates
duration = end - start
# Output: 2:15:00

Arrow is a versatile and powerful library for working with dates and times in Python. This cheatsheet covers the fundamental aspects of using Arrow, from basic operations like creating objects and formatting strings to more advanced tasks like dealing with time zones and calculating durations. By incorporating Arrow into your Python projects, you can streamline date and time handling, making your code more readable and maintainable. Refer official documentation for in-depth information.


1. Why use Arrow instead of the built-in datetime module?

Arrow provides a more intuitive and convenient syntax for working with dates and times compared to the datetime module. It simplifies common operations, handles time zones more effectively, and offers enhanced formatting options, making it a preferred choice for many developers working with time-related data.

2. How can I handle time zones with Arrow?

Arrow simplifies time zone handling by allowing easy conversion between different time zones. You can use the to method to convert Arrow objects to a specific time zone, and the library also provides a list of all available time zones through the get_tzinfo('all_timezones') function.

3. What’s the advantage of using Arrow for calculating time differences?

Arrow provides a human-readable format for expressing time differences, making it easier to understand and display durations. The humanize function allows you to present time differences in a more user-friendly manner, such as “in 3 days” instead of providing a raw time delta.

4. Can Arrow handle time intervals and durations?

Yes, Arrow excels in handling intervals and durations. You can create intervals between two Arrow objects using the arrow.Interval class, and calculating the duration between two dates is as simple as subtracting one Arrow object from another. This functionality is particularly useful when dealing with time-based calculations.

5. How do I format Arrow objects into strings?

Arrow makes formatting easy with the format method. You can specify the desired format using tokens like ‘YYYY’ for the year, ‘MM’ for the month, and ‘HH’ for the hour. This allows you to represent Arrow objects as strings in a human-readable format or as required by your application.