How to Convert String to Date Time in Scala?

In Scala, handling date and time is a crucial aspect of many applications. Often, data comes in the form of strings, and converting these strings into DateTime objects is a common task. While Scala provides robust libraries for DateTime manipulation, understanding how to convert strings to DateTime objects effectively is essential for developers. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into various techniques and best practices for converting strings to DateTime in Scala.

Understanding DateTime Formats:

Before diving into conversion techniques, it's vital to grasp the different DateTime formats commonly encountered. DateTime strings can vary significantly based on locale, conventions, and requirements. Some common DateTime formats include:

  1. ISO 8601 format: YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SSZ
  2. Custom formats: DD-MM-YYYY HH:MM:SS, MM/DD/YYYY HH:MM AM/PM
  3. Unix timestamp: Represented as the number of seconds since the Unix epoch (January 1, 1970)

Each format requires a specific approach for conversion, and Scala provides libraries to handle these conversions seamlessly.

Using java.time.LocalDateTime:

Scala leverages Java's powerful `java.time` package for DateTime manipulation. The `LocalDateTime` class provides methods to parse strings into DateTime objects.

import java.time.LocalDateTime
import java.time.format.DateTimeFormatter

val dateString = "2024-04-20T12:30:45"
val formatter = DateTimeFormatter.ISO_LOCAL_DATE_TIME
val dateTime = LocalDateTime.parse(dateString, formatter)

println(dateTime) // Output: 2024-04-20T12:30:45

Here, we utilize the `parse` method of `LocalDateTime` along with a `DateTimeFormatter` to convert the string into a DateTime object.

Handling Custom Formats:
When dealing with non-standard DateTime formats, we can create custom `DateTimeFormatter` instances to parse the strings accordingly.

val customFormat = DateTimeFormatter.ofPattern("dd-MM-yyyy HH:mm:ss")
val customDateString = "20-04-2024 14:45:30"
val customDateTime = LocalDateTime.parse(customDateString, customFormat)

println(customDateTime) // Output: 2024-04-20T14:45:30

By defining a pattern using `DateTimeFormatter.ofPattern`, we instruct Scala on how to interpret the DateTime string.

Converting Unix Timestamps:

Unix timestamps are represented as the number of seconds since the Unix epoch. Scala provides methods to convert these timestamps into DateTime objects.

import java.time.Instant

val unixTimestamp = 1618923665L
val dateTimeFromTimestamp = Instant.ofEpochSecond(unixTimestamp).atZone(ZoneId.systemDefault()).toLocalDateTime()

println(dateTimeFromTimestamp) // Output: 2021-04-20T10:21:05

Using `Instant.ofEpochSecond`, we convert the Unix timestamp to an `Instant` object, then convert it to the local DateTime using `atZone` and `toLocalDateTime` methods.

Handling Timezones:

When dealing with DateTime conversions, accounting for timezones is crucial to ensure accurate representations of DateTime objects. Scala provides utilities to handle timezone conversions seamlessly.

import java.time.ZoneId

val dateTimeWithZone ="America/New_York"))

println(dateTimeWithZone) // Output: 2024-04-20T09:30:45

In this example, we obtain the current DateTime in the specified timezone "America/New_York".

Error Handling:

Handling errors during DateTime conversion is essential to ensure robustness in our applications. Scala provides mechanisms to catch and handle parsing errors gracefully.

import scala.util.{Try, Success, Failure}

val invalidDateString = "2024-04-20 12:30:45"

val result = Try(LocalDateTime.parse(invalidDateString, formatter))

result match {
  case Success(dateTime) => println(dateTime)
  case Failure(exception) => println(s"Error parsing DateTime: ${exception.getMessage}")

By wrapping the parsing operation in a `Try` block, we can handle both successful conversions and parsing failures effectively.


In Scala, converting strings to DateTime objects is a fundamental task in many applications. By leveraging the rich functionality provided by Java's `java.time` package and Scala's robust error-handling mechanisms, developers can efficiently manage DateTime conversions. Understanding the various DateTime formats, handling custom conversions, accounting for timezones, and implementing error handling are key aspects of mastering string to DateTime conversion in Scala. Armed with this knowledge, developers can confidently tackle DateTime manipulation challenges in their Scala projects.