Siestas and paella are the most popular words visitors identify Spain with. But there is a lot more to this country than travelers may realize. While people mainly focus on finding the best accommodation, incredible food scene, transportation means, and tours when planning their trip to Spain, there are certain facts to know before visiting the country. Being a culturally diverse country, travelers should be careful about how they act while touring the country, as certain things are unacceptable. Learning locals' ways of life, from communication to festivals to dishes, is essential, and offers a fascinating experience, even with the locals. Here are the 10 facts about Spain you should know before visiting.
10 The Cheapest Way To Get Around Is By Bus
Spain has one of the most efficient public transportation systems, but it’s not always budget-friendly, especially when traveling to the countryside. A one-way trip on a train will cost about €110, and a bus utmost €30, making the bus the most affordable option. When visiting this country, finding out about its transportation system is essential. Not only does it help travelers get ready for their trip but also on a budget and save some money throughout their stay.
9 Siesta Doesn’t Always Mean People Sleep
Siesta is one part of Spanish culture that people around the world recognize and are envious of, but it's not always about taking a nap as people assume. Many of the businesses, including restaurants and bars indeed close between 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, but locals spend this time with their families. Only young children and senior citizens sleep at this time, and the locals get back to work until later in the night once their businesses re-open. So, yes, the Spaniards work for longer periods too!
8 You Will Not Have Meals As Early
Spaniards don't have their meals at the normal time, and one can eat lunch as late as 4:00 pm, with dinner starting at 9:00 pm. This means that travelers, especially those visiting from the United States will have to adjust their meal times because restaurants open late. But tapas are always available to get through the entire day. There are more spots to find some food, including from the street vendors and fast-food shops, so no need to stay hungry.
7 Tipping Is Not As Popular As In The U.S.
In the United States, tipping is a common thing, and not doing it would seem weird. The culture is almost non-existence in Spain, and some locals leave their tables with nothing offered to the waiters. Visitors are allowed to tip if they wish, but it's not mandatory, and waiters and waitresses don't always look forward to the tips. Very few locals are recognized leaving some change at the bars. Tipping in a restaurant is very unusual unless they are more luxurious ones. However, when one is more than satisfied with the food service, a five percent tip is necessary.
6 Paying For Services
Euro is the national currency. European Debit Cards, Visas, and Master Cards are widely accepted in larger shops and supermarkets. When going out, maybe for a coffee or to dine, however, travelers should have some cash. One doesn't have to exchange their money for Euro while still in their country, but once at the airport in Spain, it is advisable to do so. Small credit cards may be accepted, but it is unusual, so it is not recommended to depend on them.
5 Pickpocketing Is Common
Just as in other tourist destinations, pickpocketing is common in Spain, and travelers must be careful with their belongings. When visiting the country's bigger cities, like Barcelona, one must be vigilant, as the snatchers target travelers, and items like gadgets, bags, and purses are the most at risk. It might be hard figuring out who's a thief, as some of them hang out just like tourists in the metro. Avoid areas like Paseo del Prado, and Via, especially when going on a solo vacation. Be careful asking for help in the neighborhoods and narrow alleys since they are packed with thieves targeting visitors who have lost their way. It is advisable to visit the nearest police station to seek assistance in case one gets lost.
4 A Drink In One Of The Bars Always Come With Free Tapas
While Spain is recognized for the traditional paella, tapas are also very popular and are offered with drinks, free of charge. For those wondering what Tapas is, it is usually a complimentary snack, served alongside drinks, and mostly comprises a cheese sandwich or potato chips. For some of the country’s most amazing tapas, visit Granada. In the city, it is like a tradition, and every establishment honor it. Every drink comes with a free bite. But these snacks are available in almost every place in Spain, so visitors should not worry if Granada is not on their bucket lists.
3 Paella Is A Common Meal In Spain, But It’s Not Available Everywhere
While visiting and leaving this country without having a taste of the traditional paella is seen as a mistake, travelers won’t find the dish everywhere they go. This dish is very common, and almost everyone talks about it. It may have the same taste, as the locals use varying ingredients and methods of cooking. It is a delicious dish, comprising rice, seafood, and spices. The dish is from the Valencia region, and visitors can see it in the most touristy regions like Barcelona. However, it is not a typical meal everywhere, as places like Galicia and Basque Country have other dishes dominating their food scene.
2 Flamenco Is Andalusia’s Traditional Dance, Not Spain’s
Flamenco is a common dance in some places in the country, like Granada and Cordoba, but it actually, is Andalusia’s traditional dance! In Spain’s other regions, such as Galicia and Basque Country, this dance is not very popular. The dance is popular in Barcelona, and after Andalusia, it is the best spot to go and enjoy the entertainment. The dance is common in Barcelona because of the many entertainment shows held in the city, including flamenco tablaos.
1 Travelers Must Be Punctual When Buying Tickets
Spain is a top tourist destination, receiving over 75 million international visitors annually, most of the tickets for buses, trains, and attractions get sold out fast. Because of this, tourists must book these tickets in advance to not only save on costs but also avoid missing them. The country’s most famous attractions are always crowdy, and if one is looking to visit when there are fewer people around, then touring early is their best shot. Tickets are available to book online to help vacationers avoid standing for long periods in queues.