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Easily Retrieve Python Timestamp


How to Get and Use the Current Time in Python

Getting the current time in Python is a fundamental operation when working with time-related tasks. It is essential for creating timestamps and performing various time-related operations. In this tutorial, we will explore how to get, display, format, and manipulate the current time using the datetime module in Python.

How to Tell the Time in Python

The most straightforward way to obtain and print the current time in Python is by using the class method from the datetime module:

from datetime import datetime
now =

The method returns a datetime object representing the current date and time. When printed, the object is displayed in the following format: YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS.mmmmmm. For example, the output might look like: 2022-11-22 14:31:59.331225.

To further customize the format of the printed timestamp, you can use the isoformat() method:

The .isoformat() method returns a string representation of the datetime object in the ISO 8601 format, which is widely used for formatting time and dates. The format is YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SS.mmmmmm. For example, 2022-11-22T14:31:59.331225.

Format Timestamps for Readability

Python provides various options for formatting timestamps to make them more readable. One way is by using the strftime() method, which allows you to specify a custom format string:

from datetime import datetime
now =
formatted_time = now.strftime("%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S")

The strftime() method accepts a format string as its argument. The format string consists of different placeholders representing different components of the timestamp. For example, %Y represents the four-digit year, %m represents the two-digit month, %d represents the two-digit day, %H represents the two-digit hour in 24-hour format, %M represents the two-digit minute, and %S represents the two-digit second.

Get the Current Unix Time in Python

Unix time, also known as POSIX time, is a system for representing time as the number of seconds elapsed since January 1, 1970, at 00:00:00 UTC. In Python, you can obtain the current Unix time using the timestamp() method of the datetime object:

from datetime import datetime
now =
unix_time = now.timestamp()

The timestamp() method returns the Unix time as a floating-point number. You can further convert it to an integer if needed.

Get Time Zone–Aware Python Time and Date Objects

By default, the datetime objects in Python are not time zone aware. However, you can work with time zone information using the pytz library. Here is an example of creating a time zone-aware datetime object:

from datetime import datetime
import pytz
now ='America/New_York'))

In this example, we used the pytz.timezone() function to create a time zone object representing the desired time zone. We then passed this time zone object to the method to obtain a time zone-aware datetime object based on the current time in that time zone.


In this tutorial, we learned how to get the current time in Python using the datetime module. We explored different ways to display and format the timestamp for readability. Additionally, we discovered how to obtain the current Unix time and work with time zone-aware datetime objects. Having a solid understanding of these concepts will enable you to effectively utilize the current time in your Python applications.