¡Hola amigos! Welcome to sunny Spain! Visiting this lively country is a vibrant and fun experience, as this is the land of flamenco, siestas, and, of course, mouth-watering paella. But for you to enjoy it to its fullest, there are some golden rules you should always keep in mind.
We have gathered 10 helpful tips to help you blend in with the locals and make the most of your Spanish trip!
Try to eat dinner before 9pm
First and foremost, eating dinner before 9pm in Spain is practically an offence against the culinary gods. So be prepared to embrace the local rhythm of life, especially when it comes to dining! Spaniards have a unique relationship with time and dinner is no exception. Trying to eat before 9pm might leave you feeling like an early bird in a land of night owls. But fear not, for this is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant Spanish culture.
The late dinner tradition allows locals to savour their evenings, enjoying leisurely strolls, socializing with friends and relishing the magical twilight hours. So simply embrace the chance to try different routines and live like a true Spanish. Use the extra time to explore the enchanting streets, indulge in aperitivos and experience the true essence of Spain.
Expect everyone to speak English
While you will encounter English speakers in tourist hubs and major cities, it is not the norm throughout the country. Embrace the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and language, even if it means using a few basic Spanish phrases. The genuine effort to communicate in the native language will be warmly received by locals and you might even discover the joy of learning. We promise you will leave Spain knowing a couple more sentences other than ¿hola, que tal? (“hello, how are you?”)
When travelling to Spain, trying the culinary wonder that is tapas is a must! These delectable small plates are not just appetizers; they are the heart and soul of Spanish gastronomy. From the bustling streets of Barcelona to the charming alleys of Seville, tapas offer a delightful journey through the country's diverse flavours. So, fellow adventurers, prepare your taste buds for a fiesta of tastes and textures! Do not be afraid to explore beyond the familiar: order a medley of tapas and let your palate dance with joy. Whether it is the succulent patatas bravas, the savoury jamón ibérico, or the refreshing gazpacho, each bite is a revelation of Spain's culinary artistry.
So, raise a glass of sangria, share laughter with friends and immerse yourself in the tapas culture that brings people together one bite at a time. ¡Buen provecho!
Visit only Madrid and Barcelona
Madrid and Barcelona are undeniably captivating cities, but there is a lot more culture and cities beyond them – a whole smorgasbord of Spanish wonders await to be explored beyond their borders! Picture this: rolling vineyards in La Rioja, the ancient architectural marvels of Seville, the breathtaking beaches of the Balearic Islands and the charming cobblestone streets of Toledo. Spain is like a delightful tapestry, each region offering a unique piece of its rich cultural heritage.
Venture beyond the bustling metropolises, hop on a train or rent a car and uncover the hidden gems scattered throughout this vibrant country. Embrace the local traditions, indulge in regional delicacies and create memories that go beyond the ordinary tourist trail.
Drink hot chocolate (with churros!)
While the tradition of enjoying churros with hot chocolate is cherished in Spain, it is essential to approach this indulgent treat with moderation. The combination of warm, crispy churros dipped into thick, rich hot chocolate can be incredibly tempting. However, it is worth noting that this delightful pairing is not for those seeking a light snack. The sweetness can be overwhelming for some – even for all who consider themselves a sweet tooth! - and the richness might be a bit much.
If you do decide to try this classic Spanish delight, consider sharing it with a friend to savour the experience without overindulging. Remember, Spain offers a wide array of culinary delights, so feel free to explore other local delicacies during your visit!
Enjoy your gastronomic journey in Spain!
Use flip-flops outside the beach
Though flip-flops are the go-to footwear for a day at the beach, and rightfully so, we advise you to reconsider wearing them outside this sandy realm. They may not be the most practical choice for urban adventures or extended walks, as they are slippery and lack proper support and protection, leaving your feet vulnerable to discomfort, injuries and fatigue. Spanish streets are filled with charming cobblestone alleys, bustling markets and picturesque avenues, which might not be the friendliest terrain for flip-flops.
For a more comfortable and safe experience while exploring Spain's charming cities and towns, consider opting for sturdier footwear that provides better support for your feet. With the right shoes, you are ready to fully enjoy your Spanish escapades!
Ignore the regions and their differences
Overlooking the regional distinctions within Spain would mean missing out on the true essence of this diverse and captivating country. Each region boasts its own unique culture, history, traditions, and even culinary delights. From the passionate flamenco in Andalusia to the distinctive architecture of Catalonia, and the rich Basque culinary scene, every part of Spain offers a remarkable and enriching experience.
Embracing the regional differences allows you to delve deeper into the country's multifaceted identity and appreciate the vibrant tapestry of Spain's people and their way of life. So, dear travelers, open your heart to Spain's rich diversity and you will discover a lot more than what meets the eye!
Order paella for dinner
While paella is undoubtedly a delicious and iconic Spanish dish, it is essential to know that locals traditionally enjoy it during lunchtime rather than dinner. Ordering paella for dinner might raise a few eyebrows and mark you as a tourist. In Spain, dinner tends to be a lighter and more casual affair, whereas lunchtime is the main event for a hearty and leisurely meal.
Thus, when in Spain, follow the local customs and indulge in paella during lunch to experience it at its finest. The rich flavours of saffron-infused rice, fresh seafood and savoury meats come together in this culinary masterpiece, making it a must-try highlight of your midday dining experience.
Tip just because
In Spain, tipping is not as customary as it might be in other countries, and there is no need to feel obliged to leave a tip just because. However, if you feel that the service exceeded your expectations or if you genuinely want to show appreciation, leaving a small tip as a kind gesture will always be welcomed and appreciated.
Ultimately, the decision to tip or not should be based on your own satisfaction with the service rather than feeling obligated by cultural norms. Embrace the relaxed and laid-back atmosphere of Spain's dining experiences, and let your gratitude shine through with a smile and a heartfelt "thank you."
Get into football arguments
When in Spanish territory, it is important to tread lightly when it comes to football discussions. The passion for this sports game runs deep in the country’s culture and football rivalries can be fierce. Engaging in heated arguments as a visitor might unintentionally offend locals and put you in a difficult position.
Whether you find yourself in a bustling bar or an atmospheric stadium, enjoy the electrifying atmosphere without getting too entangled in team rivalries. Remember, football is a shared love in Spain, so let the spirit of the game unite everyone, while celebrating this universal language of passion.