From siestas to dining at 10pm, here are 10 things that you should know about Spain before you visit.
La siesta is important and shops are not always open
You will find that siestas are still a prominent tradition all across Spain. While we may look at a siesta like a cat-nap, it is one of the most important and famous aspects of the Spanish lifestyle. For example, in 2015 the mayor allowed citizens in the town of Ador to have the right to an afternoon nap. A siesta is divided into two periods. The first period is dedicated to small private businesses which is typically from 2pm until 5pm. The second is for bars and restaurants which usually lasts from 4pm until 8pm. However, timing often varies and depends on how long the owner wants to sleep for.
Some parts of Spain do not speak Spanish
San Sebastián is part of the Basque country which is not necessarily the first place you'd think about visiting when in Spain. However, it is one of the most beautiful cities that the country has to offer. Unique to the rest of Spain, the region has its own language which is nothing like Spanish. It also has its own foods such as pintxos as opposed to the typical Spanish tapas. The reason it is highly regarded by Spaniards is largely due to the special atmosphere provided by its three urban beaches on top of its unique cultural differences.
Barcelona has some of the world's most incredible architecture
The world famous Barcelona is always going to be on a traveler's bucket-list. A city which has everything your heart desires including hot weather, festivals, history, nightlife and some beautiful beaches. However, do not be too dazzled by the city life because the city offers a range of architectural wonders. The city offers mind-blowing Catalan Gothic designs such as the 14th century inspired Basilica of Santa María del Mar. Not to mention the important influence of the Byzantine cathedrals. They inspired Antoni Gaudí to create his immaculate plans to construct the Sagrada Familia which attracts thousands of new and old faces every day.
Madrid is a vibrant artistic city with plenty to do
The wonderful city of Madrid has often been overlooked because of Barcelona's coastal attraction. However, the city is still one of the most vibrant ones in Europe. It's full of beautiful places to visit and offers many things to do to its visitors. Home to Picasso, Madrid is an artistic and cultural city that offers plenty of museums, galleries, cinemas or theatres. From the San Isidro to the El Rastro flea market, traditions continue to thrive on the streets as well.
Dinner could be at 10pm
Spanish eating habits may take you by surprise and dinner can happen anytime between 8pm to midnight. It tends to be a lighter dish than one would eat in the United States or the UK since it is so close to bedtime. So do not expect your plate to be loaded with pasta, rice, lentils or heavy meats but rather something like the tortilla de patata - a very authentic and typical Spanish dish made of eggs, onions and potatoes.