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29.07.2014 - Adapting to the holiday destination
Category: Vacation || Leave a comment?

Spain is a popular tourist destination. But how should one behave to not step on somebody’s toes? Here you can find some advice for your trip to the beautiful south of Europe.

A peck on the right cheek, a peck on the left cheek. This is how men and women greet when they know each other. If you don’t want to seem cold and impersonal you should participate in this behaviour. Men normally greet each other by handshake.

Spaniards may seem rough due to the rhythm of their language and they love to speak loudly. However, they mean no harm and you should take no offense. Apropos sound level: festivals can be quite loud until late at night. There’s no need in complaining, Spanish people won’t understand your problem. On the contrary they will be amazed to see you participating. ;)

In conversation with Spanish people you should avoid certain topics. The Franco regime, Portugal and criticism against the beloved bullfights are taboo. The topic football can lead to heated debates as well. Spaniards like to hand out advice even if you didn’t ask for it. Just accept it without defence, it may prove useful later. If you are invited by Spanish people to their homes you obviously did well, because this doesn’t happen too often. Normally you will get invited to a restaurant. There’s no need to be there on time! You can’t go wrong with being half an hour late. Tips are not common in all restaurants, but you don’t offend someone with them. If you consider to bring a little present, don’t choose sweet maries. They are said to be cemeterial flowers in Spain.

Another faux pas is calling Basques or Catalans just “Spaniards”! People in Spain tend to identify more strongly with the region they live in instead of the whole country.

Many Spaniards don’t like speaking foreign languages or are not good at it. In tourist areas you won’t get any problems, but in the hinterlands you won’t get out of speaking some Spanish. If you want to practice your Spanish skills, visit a bar. Here social life takes place and you can experience the mentality of the Spaniards at first hand.


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