Vital tips on how to survive abroad in Spain
Spaniards give two kisses on the cheeks when they greet you
When you are greeting Spaniards they will surely give you two kisses on the cheeks.
Don’t be scared! It is normal in Spain. This is how two girls or a boy and a girl greet, however two boys usually would shake hands. Even it is the first time that you meet a person.
When you decide to go shopping it is better to avoid lunch time
The time period between 2pm and 4dpm is lunch time in Spain. The working hours in Spain are a bit different to most parts of the world. So if you are thinking to go shopping be aware that shops are normally open from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 2pm and from 4pm to 8pm.
Dinner in a restaurant at 6pm is too early
It won’t be possible to have dinner before the sun is down, probably you won’t find any place open to eat dinner before 8pm. Spaniards usually eat five times a day (breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner). Breakfast is around 8am, mid-morning snack is around 11am, lunch is around 2pm, afternoon snack time is around 5pm and dinner time is around 9pm. Therefore, they go to bed later than any European country and most countries worldwide.
It is very unusual to eat a paella for a dinner
Spanish love paella in any form: seafood paella, Valencian paella (this is the traditional one), vegetable paella… But they eat paella for lunch and normally on Sundays with family. Of course, you can order it in a restaurant, but it will look a bit strange for Spanish people to see someone ordering paella for dinner.
Do not expect to see bullfighting or a flamenco show in the street
In fact, many Spanish people don’t even like bullfighting’s and flamenco music is well recognised but not very popular amongst the millennial. But if you have the chance to attend a flamenco night, do not hesitate, it’s a must see show that will make you clap and imitate the dancers.
Do not wear shorts and flip flops until summer
Nobody does that in Spain. And certainly do not wear sandals and socks (white or any color) together! Spanish people are really surprised when seeing foreigners in these summer clothes during spring time. To wear these kind of clothes, they wait until June or even July, when summer approaches and it gets really hot.
Do not start a party at ten o’clock at night
Spanish people usually start partying at twelve or one o’clock at night. And it can be normal to come back home around 4 in the morning after parting. So just enjoy the Spanish night! By the way, most Spanish people don’t drink a lot of sangria, usually they drink beer or wine. Another common drink, especially during summer, is tinto de verano (mixture of wine and a soft drink). Legal drinking age in Spain – as in the rest of Europe – is 18 years old. Drink responsibly and enjoy these refreshing drinks.
Learn and practice your Spanish
It is the best way to get to know the culture and Spanish people. Language exchanges are one of the best activities anyone can experience during their time in Spain. By meeting new people and improving your Spanish you will be able to communicate with a lot of locals, which is awesome because they know the best places to eat traditional food!
If you’re planning to study or gain work experience in Spain get in touch with us. You will have a blast!