Holidays in Spain: 10 Tips for a Traveler
Siesta – it is a tradition that gives some time to take a rest in the afternoon.
We do not know how many people between the ages of 21 and 60 actually sleep during siesta, most likely, it is not the entire population of the country. Nevertheless, the time of siesta is considered inviolable. If you do not go to sleep, and have some plans, for example, go shopping, you will be vexed with the fact that everything is closed.
At this time, NOTHING works in Spain, except for bars and restaurants. Fortunately, this does not apply to Barcelona and Madrid. In large cities, retail shops and souvenir shops can work, but this is more an exception than the rule.
Tip: plan lunch between 14:00 and 17:00, dinner after 21:00, and other non-food events for another time.
It is better to have cash and credit cards with you. Most taxis, restaurants, shops and cafes accept credit cards, while private shops often require cash.
If you need a bank, please note that they are open until 14:00. So do not forget to make all your exchange transactions on time.
If you need an ATM, look for the sign “Servable” or blue “Telebanco (4B)”. These ATMs will not charge you a large commission and are located throughout the country. Keep in mind, you may be asked to provide a document with a photo when paying by credit card. This can be a passport or driver’s license.
Advice: always have a small amount of cash, located in different pockets of clothing (for greater security), and a credit card.
In Spain, it is not customary to be polite on the sidewalk. Nobody will think of giving you a place or trying to politely pass each other. Therefore, use the bulldozer method to win back part of the road for movement.
A lot of noise
One of the Spain feature is the stormy life of the Spaniards in the open air. Hot or cold, rain or sun, city or village, you can always observe most of the population sitting on their terraces or on the street during the day and watching passers-by.
The grandchildren will go hand in hand with their 90-year-old grandmother at 23:30, the schoolgirls will giggle over the latest events in the early morning, improvised performances by musicians, boys rushing with screams on bicycles, laughter in the middle of the night. In restaurants, large companies communicate and talk over each other.
All this creates a great noise; silence here is a rare phenomenon. But very soon you get used to it.
Features of tapas bars
Not the fact that the bartender and the waiter will pay attention to you, if you wait patiently at the table. With the same success, you can write on the forehead “ignore me”, because this is exactly what will happen.
If you really want to place an order, get up, put your hand high and say loudly “Perdone!” Or just shout out your order “Dos tintos por favor!” This is expected and acceptable. Politeness is a relative term in Spain. Use “please” and “thank you” when appropriate, but do not let yourself be a botanist. Because botanists will not get a tasty tapas or a cold and refreshing drink
Technically, at every pedestrian crossing with traffic lights or zebra crossing, the pedestrian has the right of advantage. In Spain, this is taken very seriously, but do not expect that the driver will stop for you. Be careful. Going to the pedestrian crossing, make sure that the car slowed down before crossing the road.
It is more convenient to travel by train
Spaniards are fantastic in many things, but geography is not their strong point. If you ever decide to rent a car, then you may get lost in your journey many, many times. Signs are usually confusing, the streets are poorly marked (or not marked at all), and road traffic has little to do with logic (but with a navigator you still have a chance, try :)).
Public transport is very well developed In Spain, therefore, for travelling around the country, feel free to choose a train! Of course, this is not the cheapest option, but absolutely the most pleasant and least stressful. In addition, take a free card from Corte Ingles. These maps are by far the most useful and descriptive.
There are huge discounts for travel with a one-time ticket purchase for 7 or 14 days, as well as a trip on the high-speed train AVE when paying for 24 hours or less. Sometimes the reduction can reach up to 70%!
When booking, please note that the higher of the two prices is equivalent to the first class, called “preferente”. But the “turista” class has its own interesting advantages, among them a walk to the dining car and conversations with fellow travelers who can be from any country on the globe.
Toilet Room Protocol
If you travel to Spain, you risk at the most crucial moment to detect the lack of toilet paper. We do not know what it is connected with, but as a rule, the Spaniards do not follow the replenishment of toilet paper in the bathrooms of bars, gas stations, nightclubs, restaurants, etc.
Besides the need to carry the napkins you will be surprised to find out that the light switch in the toilet is in a very uncomfortable place, for example, in the corridor, at the entrance. If the switch is inside the toilet room, it usually does not work. In addition, most switches are on a timer, which means that you have about 1 minute to do your things. Therefore, do not be surprised if you find yourself in the darkness at the most inconvenient moment.
Tip: Carry a small package of napkins and a flashlight.
Menu of the day
How to eat delicious and inexpensive in Spain.
Firstly, we recommend visiting traditional bars or restaurants. Avoid chain tapas bars. Family establishments will be able to offer you homemade meals at a reasonable price.
Secondly, go to the “menu del dia”. These menus are displayed on the board near the front door. They include soup, main course, dessert or drink. These are usually traditional dishes and are offered at very reasonable prices.
What to avoid: if you see photos of paella or pizza on the board near the restaurant, run!
Smoking in public places
A few years ago, Spain passed a law requiring separate sections for non-smokers in restaurants with an area of more than 100 m². Unfortunately, there are less than 1% of such restaurants. But they do not always follow this rule. Therefore, if you do not smoke, then it’s better to find a restaurant with an open area. You may find a lot of such restaurants and cafes in Spain. And if you are a smoker, then do not hesitate, smoke.
Vacation in Spain in 2018 will be bright, colorful and the most budgetary together with Marino Yoga Fest! You will find inexpensive “all-inclusive” in one of the most interesting countries of Europe!