16 things you need to know before coming to Spain

Whether you’re planning an epic or a city break, learning a little about Spain before you reach the land can be helpful. From how to send parcel to Spain, eating habits to lingo learning, we review the most important things to know before visiting Spain to take advantage of your trip.

Learning about lingo is a good idea

Although many speak English, they are not as widespread as in some other European countries, so to learn a few key phrases in Spanish is a good idea before you arrive. Questions like ¿Dónde está? ("Where?")

It can seem very helpful when looking for an address, and the locals always appreciate simple greetings (hola, buenos días) and pleasures (gracias).

However, Spanish is not the only language

It is worth remembering that Spanish is not the only official language in Spain - some Autonomous Regions also have a second official language, such as Catalan in Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galician Galicia. Street signs can be these second languages, but almost everyone also speaks Spanish, so you don’t have to learn two additional languages.

Spanish people eat late

Spanish meal times differ from many other countries in how late they are. In general, Spaniards eat lunch from 2 to 4 p.m., and dinner at any time after 9 p.m. Eat meals while cleaning: In many areas, it can be difficult to find a restaurant open until 2pm or 8.30am. For dinner, and if you do, it could be a tourist trap.

Not everywhere is sunny

Spain has a reputation for sun, sea and sangria, but the north of the country is actually full of lush green landscapes and can be quite rainy. Galicia, located in northwestern Spain, is a Spanish rainy part of the country.

Public transport is good

Traveling around Spain is easy with the country’s extensive public transport network. From national budget airlines like Vueling and Iberia Express to the Renfe rail network, and a wide range of low-cost bus lines, traveling around the country is a few options. In the cities, the metro and buses are a good choice, and many places offer day or weekly tickets.

You can drink tap water

Even in big cities like Madrid and Barcelona, ​​tap water is safe and drinkable (in Madrid it’s fresh from the Guadarrama Mountains), so don’t worry about buying too many bottles of water.

Pickpockets can be a problem

Some areas of Spain, especially major cities such as Barcelona and Madrid, are known for their pockets, which often reach imperfect tourist destinations or the metro. Be sure to take care of your valuables by wearing a purse belt or making sure your wallet has a zipper and is worn by your body. Make sure you are vigilant when there are crowded areas and try not to make it too obvious that you are a tourist, especially if you don’t know where you are going.

Frustration is not a big deal

There is almost no abandoned culture in Spain, and most Spaniards do not come out with all or just a few coins. For sweet meals, a 10 percent tip can be left, but it’s by no means mandatory.

Expect a free bite with a drink

Spanish tapas culture means that when you order a drink at most places, it will come with a small bite to eat, perhaps a potato chip, an olive plate or a little ham or cheese sandwich. There is no charge for this, it is a free snack that you can enjoy with your drink.

Jamón is king

You should not leave Spain without choosing your specialty and your favorite food: jamón (brine ham). Jamón Ibérico is of the best quality and comes from black ungulate Iberian pigs fed only on acorns.

Paella is from Valencia

You may be happy to try paella in Spain, but it’s worth remembering that the most important dish is actually in Valencia, and its outlets in other countries may be less authentic. If your itinerary is Valencia, try the dish or look for an authentic Valencian restaurant that serves food in other parts of Spain. Another tip: Spaniards eat paella for lunch rather than dinner, which gives them more time to deal with heavy meals.

Shops may be closed in the middle of the day

Many shops and businesses close in Spain for about a couple of hours in the middle of the day, so you don’t want to do anything between about 1pm and 4pm, when many Spaniards (especially in smaller towns) take a long lunch break. These days, bigger stores and supermarkets will stay open in big cities, but you can never guarantee that an open store can be found in the middle of the day. However, the stores open later. Most clothing stores in major cities such as Madrid and Barcelona are open until 10 p.m.

No one has a siesta


The mythical siesta, a strong Spanish stereotype, quickly passes into the past when rural workers disappear into the fields for a long morning. Today, when most Spaniards work in offices in major cities, there is simply no time to return home in the middle.

Or sangria

Sangria is mainly a tourist drink in Spain. Locals enjoy tinto de verano or summer wine consisting of red wine and lemonade. Order tinto de verano if you want to mingle with the locals and you will probably avoid paying for an excessive sangria pile.

The Spaniards are witty

Spaniards usually want to take care of themselves and look smart, so to beat a pair of runners and calves, many areas of the country may have several raised eyebrows. Spaniards usually look in shorts other than the beach, as this makes it easy to recognize tourists in big cities.

The Spaniards are supervised

The Spanish people are very friendly and helpful - if you ever struggle, don’t be afraid to ask for local help. But they are also big fans, saying it is, and they have no doubt about their opinion proposal, even if you didn’t ask for it. Don’t be offended by what can sometimes seem like a rather abrupt way of speaking; In Spain, this is perfectly normal, and who knows, you could offer your opinion earlier.

In conclusion

After this article you should be fine in Spain. Enjoy your stay and be safe! And if you need to send parcel to Spain prior to your trip we advise to ship it via ecoparcel.eu

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