1. Do not be scared, everyone speaks very loudly in Spain. You have to get used to it. Spaniards speak very loudly, especially if they are with friends or in a bar. For sure, when you are at your first party in Spain or your first visit to the bar you will think that all Spanish people are crazy or angry. But don’t worry, after some time it will look normal and you will get used to this.
2. 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. Thus, take your time when greeting everyone, because usually it takes time.
3. When you decide to go shopping it is better to avoid the time period between 2 pm and 4 pm. The working hours in Spain are a bit different from the rest of the world. Shops are normally open from Monday to Saturday from 9:30 to 13:30 and from 16:30 to 20:00.
4. Also, if you want to have dinner in a restaurant around 6pm, it might not be possible, because probably you won’t find any place open. 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 11:30am, lunch is around 3pm, afternoon snack time is around 5pm and dinner time is around 10pm. Therefore, we go to the bed very late.
5. It is very unusual to eat a paella for a dinner. We eat paella for a lunch and normally on Sundays with family. Of course, you can order it in a restaurant, but it will look a bit strange for a Spaniard.
6. 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 not very popular. Neither we drink a lot of sangria, usually we drink beer or wine. Another common drink is kalimotxo or tinto de verano (mixture of wine and a soft drink). I am sure you will like these refreshing drinks too.
7. Do not wear shorts and flip flops in May. Nobody does that in Spain. And certainly do not put sandals and socks together! Spaniards are really surprised when seeing foreigners in these summer clothes during spring time. To wear these kind of clothes, we wait untill June or even July.
8. Do not start a party at ten o’clock at night. We usually start partying at twelve or one o’clock at night. And it’s normal thing to come back home around 4 in the morning after parting. So just enjoy Spanish nights!
9. Do not fuss if you meet a Spaniard and they are late. Spanish people are definately not famous for punctuality. Take it easy. In Spain being ten minutes late is really not that important.
10. Learn and practice Spanish. It is the best way to get to know the culture and Spanish people.
After these tips, you are ready to survive in our country. Would you like to come and try it? We offer Spanish lessons in Valencia! Have 10% off on your inscription just by posting your own tip of survival in Spain in the comment area below and then sharing this post on Facebook. For more information, visit our Spanish school in Valencia website.