Are you thinking that Spain will be the same as your home country? You are clearly getting the wrong end of the sticks and here’s why:
Spain is home to many expats. The soothing weather, warm and friendly people, majestic architecture and lively music are some of the perks you will enjoy while living in Spain. But to fully assimilate with their culture, you need to change some of your habits. Otherwise, you will frequently find yourself in awkward or frustrating situations.
So, today we are going to talk about what NOT to do in Spain:
- Don’t Expect Shops to Open Between 2-4 pm
Spaniards still take their old Siesta concept too seriously. Although the purpose has changed, the businesses are still closed religiously during the afternoon to go out for lunch with friends or spend time at home. So, don’t flip out if you find your neighborhood shops closed during this period.
In case you are starving, head to a restaurant or order food online. But always follow the safe way to find online shops as poor restaurant service can spoil your siesta break in longing for the delivery man. Do remember to check the online reviews from customers on different platforms. Websites like OpinionesEspana grants access to customers’ feedback ensuring that your online shopping experience is never worsened.
- Respect Religious Differences
Spain is a culmination of 17 autonomous religions representing different languages, cultures, ideas and beliefs. Disrespecting any of them is not a trait of Spaniards and that’s what they expect from tourists.
You will find people at Alicante speaking Spanish in a different accent and vocabulary than Granda. In Barcelona and Madrid, you will find traditional indulgence and formal attires everywhere. Whereas in Galicia or Catalonia, regional languages are commonly spoken.
Spaniards also hold great esteem for religion. You will find a church in almost every second neighborhood. Wearing flip-flops, shorts, or women entering without shawls and head coverings is still considered disrespectful at some places.
- Don’t Be Too Punctual
Yes, you read it right. Unlike the UK, Spaniards don’t tend to follow a strict schedule, particularly for social events. However, we don’t recommend adopting this practice for work or studies. As most of them are pretty punctual when it comes to profession.
But if you are invited to a party at 9, take it as 9:30 or 10:00 otherwise you will be left waiting for everyone to arrive.
- Don’t Accept Invitations for Tomar Algo in Weeknights
Spaniards are quite friendly people and they love socializing. Chances are that you will be asked to go for a quick drink but don’t mistake this invitation as a one-hour meetup. You are not at all going back home before 3 am and if it’s a weekend then the night out can even extend till 6 am.
Nonetheless, the “quick drink” is not necessarily about drinking only. The main concern of a Spaniard is to spend some quality time and have conversations.
The Bottom Line
Lastly, don’t expect the country to sleep at any time. Their socializing habits signifies that they will be out and about around the clock. So, get used to the noises of TV, traffic, children playing outside and people chatting over any random topic.