There are probably many you haven’t heard of at all. In this article, we let you in on some of the most useful ones to be aware of if you’re considering moving to Spain.
The first thing you may notice is that personal space is significantly reduced when you are in Spain. Many foreigners when coming to live in Spain are not used to this and it can make them feel uncomfortable at the beginning. For example, Spanish people greet women by giving them two kisses (unless the context is extremely formal). So, if you’re a girl you will greet people with two kisses whereas, if you’re a guy, you will usually shake hands with men and give two kisses to women. This can be awkward in some situations so we’ll give you a piece of advice: go to the left first!
The Spanish timetable differs from other European countries, especially in regard to meal times. They have breakfast first thing in the morning, like normal. Then, they have a second meal before lunch called “almuerzo”, which is normally eaten between 11am and 12pm. This means that they don’t usually eat lunch until 2 or 3pm, so if you’re looking to eat lunch at 12pm you may find they won’t be serving it yet! As well as a late lunch they also have a late dinner, usually around 9 or 10pm. They also have a snack or “merienda” during the late afternoon, around 5pm, between lunch and the evening meal.
This information is very important to be aware of as many shops, restaurants, businesses and banks will adapt their opening and closing times to fit this timetable (banks are usually only open between 8:30am and 2pm).
Last but not least, it’s advisable to keep in mind the different manners of different cultures. If you are ever in a cafe or restaurant, you’ll probably find that people talk very loud in Spain! It’s part of their way of life and it’s not seen to be rude, just a part of their culture and expressing their enjoyment!
What’s more, the sense of punctuality might not be as strict here in Spain as in other countries. Again, we’ll give you some advice: allow for 5 to 10 minutes of courtesy… or possibly more!
With these things in mind, it’s important to say that the Spanish culture as a whole is very open and people are approachable, so when it comes to asking for help or connecting with people, this won’t be a problem in Spain.