Here are ten things you should know before visiting Spain to help you get to know the real Spain and separate fact from fiction. But before you travel to Spain, make sure you stay safe while traveling.
People eat late at night.
Spaniards eat late all over the country; lunch is around 2 p.m., and dinner is around 9 p.m. or even 10 p.m. When you visit, you’ll need to adjust your meal times because most restaurants don’t open or begin serving meals until at least 8 p.m. or later. Don’t worry, tapas is usually available all day long, so you won’t go hungry.
The majority of people do not sleep during siesta time.
The siesta has long been regarded as a part of Spanish culture that the rest of the world admires, but this is not the case. Although most shops and businesses close between 2 and 4 p.m., this does not mean that people sleep. They usually return home for lunch and to spend time with their families. If you’re a toddler or an elderly person, you might be “allowed” sleep. When the shops reopen, the Spaniards are back at work until 8 or 9 p.m., which means that most people here work much longer hours as well.
Things don’t always start on time
Things will start on time, but if you’ve planned a get-together with friends or been invited to a party, don’t be surprised if you’re the first one there. You might have to wait for events to start as well, so pack your patience along with your swimsuit in your suitcase.
The public transportation system is fantastic.
Although many things in Spain are late, public transportation is not. Trains and buses are almost always punctual. In comparison to other countries, such as the United Kingdom, public transportation is very affordable, and you can travel long distances without breaking the bank. The AVE – Spain’s fast train – allows you to travel around the country at breakneck speed. Traveling by high-speed train from Valencia to Madrid takes just one hour and 40 minutes, or two and a half hours from Madrid to Malaga.
In Spain, Spanish isn’t the only official language.
The Spanish speak a variety of languages and will appreciate it if you learn a few phrases in their native tongue before you travel. Catalan is widely spoken in Catalonia, and it can be found on almost all signs and menus. Various dialects of Catalan are also considered official languages in Valencia and the Balearic Islands. Basque is spoken in northern Spain’s Basque Country, while Galician, which has many similarities to Portuguese, is spoken in Galicia.
In Spain, there are so many festivals that you could go to one every day of the year.
Some might argue that Spain is the world’s festival capital; there are so many that it’s difficult to keep track of them all. There’s a good chance that at least one festival will coincide with your visit to Spain. Las Fallas in Valencia, La Mercè in Barcelona, and Seville’s Feria de Abril are just a few of the best Spanish festivals.
August isn’t the best month to go.
Despite the fact that August falls in the middle of the summer vacation season and is when most families take their vacations, August is not a good month to visit Spain. Many businesses, including restaurants and cafes, close for the month of August as the majority of Spain goes on vacation to the beach or to summer homes in the countryside. Major tourist attractions will remain open, but if you want to see the country from a more local perspective, choose a different month. August is, without a doubt, the hottest month in Spain. Temperatures in cities such as Granada, Seville, and Cordoba regularly exceed 40 degrees Celsius, making walking and sightseeing difficult.