Fancy a vacation in Spain? It’s one of the more popular destinations over in Europe, and it’s clear to see why. It’s the perfect place to top up your tan and discover a new and exciting culture. However, whenever you venture somewhere new, you have to be mindful of the way things are done. Spain has its own way of doing things, and ignoring these could cause offense or worse. To avoid getting on the wrong side of the locals, there are several things you should never do.
Don’t be in a rush
Many visitors to Spain travel to the country for a relaxing vacation. With that in mind, you shouldn’t be bothered by the carefree way that everything is run. The people of Spain aren’t in a rush, so you shouldn’t be either. That can be difficult to adapt to, especially if you enjoy eating your meals early. Plenty of restaurants don’t serve lunch before 1 pm, and dinner before 9 pm. That’s a long time to wait if you’re used to doing things whenever you want.
Don’t lose your patience with someone if they’re not serving food when you want it, or they’re taking time to get your meal to you. Adopt the local’s appreciation for relaxation and enjoy yourself, rather than making a scene.
Don’t disrespect the food
Speaking of food, there are certain things you should remember before you start dining in Spain. Firstly, don’t try to add anything to your meals, such as pepper or ketchup. Servers won’t appreciate you changing their food, and if it’s home-cooked, they may even be insulted.
Secondly, meals are supposed to be something that you enjoy, rather than a necessity to prevent starvation. That means you should never casually eat in public, whether on the street or public transportation. Wait until it’s meal time and fill up, so you’re not snacking later on. In Spain, people tend to make lunch their biggest meal, so follow tradition and stuff yourself silly in the middle of the day.
Lastly, don’t forget that Spanish people are incredibly passionate about food. Even if you’ve eaten something better elsewhere, keep that to yourself. You don’t want to cause an uproar.
Don’t dress down on the streets
When you’re visiting somewhere hot like Spain, you want to wear as little as possible. Clothes are not your friend in that intense heat. However, be careful about how many clothes you take off. While lounging around in bikinis and board shorts is perfectly acceptable on the country’s many beaches, it’s considered inappropriate to wear that stuff anywhere else. Walking around town in a bikini will get you a lot of negative looks from people on the street, and it could even land you a fine.
It’s not just beachwear that you should avoid wearing out in public. There are other fashion regulations to keep in mind, such as wearing respectful clothes if you’re visiting somewhere sacred like a monastery or church. More importantly, though, never wear a soccer shirt that doesn’t match the city you’re visiting. The people of Spain are hugely passionate about the sport, and they won’t appreciate seeing you walk around in a rival team’s uniform.
Don’t get caught out
If a supposed plainclothes police officer ever approaches you, always proceed with caution. Ask to see someone in uniform to verify what they’re saying. Do this politely, in case the person you’re talking to is an authentic police officer, but keep your guard up. Although crime rates in Spain aren’t high, there are still people who try their luck with oblivious tourists. No-one wants to lose their belongings on their vacation.
With such great weather all year round, Spain makes an ideal vacation whenever you’re looking for some sunshine. Just remember not to step out of line while you’re there and you’ll have a fantastic time. Also, be sure to explore during your trip. There’s more to see in the country than just sandy beaches.