Spanish must knows

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Domanda Risposta
Tips at restaurants
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In Spain, you are not expected to leave a tip wherever you go. It is not customary. However, if you are really delighted with the service you can leave some tip, they will thank you!
Late dinner
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In Spain everything is a little more relaxed, so don't be surprised if you have dinner at 10 pm. Spaniards take time to socialize and create bonds. However, if you don't feel like staying up late, let them know. They'll definitely understand.
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Don't expect your Spanish friends to arrive on time. Most likely, if you agree on meeting at 9 pm, they will arrive at 9:15 or 9:30 pm. Don't wait longer than an hour without a good excuse! That would be disrespectful and only a rude person would do it.
Opening times
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The most usual is for shops to be open until late in Spain. However, small businesses usually close around 2 pm for lunchtime and reopen at 4 or 5 pm. The best thing to do is to check the store's opening times online.
Pro tip: always kiss the cheek on your left first (the person's right cheek).
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If you are both men the usual thing is that you do an informal handshake along with "¿Qué pasa, tío?" (What's up, dude?). In other cases, don't be surprised if some Spanish friend you just made gives you two kisses on each cheek to greet you.
Sensitive topics
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Spaniards love to talk and meet new people. But watch out for the subjects you bring up. The most normal thing is that you don't discuss religion and politics since it will tense the atmosphere.
Language barrier
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It is important to know that not everyone speaks English in Spain. However, everyone will for sure make an effort to be able to communicate and help you, even in sign language if needed.
Siesta time
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The idea of the Spanish siesta is a little misconceived. Whilst it is present in the culture, few actually have time for it due to work schedules. It tends to be more common in southern regions because it's a good way to escape the midday heat.
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Spaniards tend to have a relaxed and laid-back nature. But don't get it wrong, this doesn't mean they are lazy. With time you'll understand that it's more of a way of approaching life, an attitude.
Lively streets
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Spanish streets do not sleep during the night, especially in summer. They are always full of people out and about. This is especially the case in city centres, residential areas and rural areas tend to be quieter.
Dress code
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Keep beachwear off the beach! It's poorly regarded and even forbidden in cities such as Malaga, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca. Just leave your bikini top for those hot afternoons at the beach.
Cultural differences
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Not everything is flamenco and bullfighting. Spain is much more than that and steriotypes change depending on the region you're in.

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