Getting On Spanish Time
Below are two scenarios that are typical of tourists in Spain - the first hasn't done enough research and is expecting everything to be like at home, the second has obviously visited this website!
- The Wrong Way... Arrive in the city, check in to your hotel and head out for dinner.
- The Right Way... Arrive in the city, check in to your hotel and have a leisurely walk around town to get your bearings.
- The Wrong Way... Find an empty restaurant that is just opening up, eat in silence, leave just as other customers start to come in.
- The Right Way... Continue walking around town perhaps checking out an art gallery or museum. Things are still open and you have all the time in the world!
- The Wrong Way... Go back to your hotel, shower and get ready to see the nightlife. Ask where the best nightlife is but arrive at the bars and find them all to be empty. Think that whoever told you this was a good area to go out was telling lies and move on to find another bar.
- The Right Way... Head out for dinner. 9pm is about the perfect time to find a restaurant starting to fill up . This is when the Spanish will be eating and it gives you the chance to peer at other people's tables to see what is worth eating! Read more about Evening Meals in Spain.
- The Wrong Way... Having exhausted all the bars in the centre and finding them all empty, you eventually find a bar with some people in. Have a couple of drinks, get bored, think Wed better not go anywhere else, its too difficult to find the good bars". Go back to the hotel before midnight.
- The Right Way... Ask where the best nightlife and head out at about 11.30pm, which is when the Spanish nightlife gets going. As this is the perfect time to go out, youll find all the bars full of people. Move from bar to bar and enjoy the Spanish nightlife.
- The Wrong Way... Go down to the hotel bar and pay far too much drinking a bad brand of Scotch that no Scotsman will have heard of. Eventually go to sleep, having channel surfed in the hotel for an hour and discovered that Spanish TV is garbage (I could have told you that!).
- The Right Way... Still going strong? Good. There will be bars open as long as you can stay awake. Different regions have different laws on drinking times, but most bars will be open till 3am, especially at weekends.
- The Wrong Way... Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
- The Right Way... This is when the bars close congratulations on making it this far. If your batteries still have some power in them, go on to a nightclub, which will be open until 6 or 7am. But dont forget to sleep!
- The Wrong Way... Sleep in and wake up regretting those Scotches in the hotel bar. Get up and spend an hour looking for a hearty breakfast like you get back home.
- The Right Way... Get up, even if you were up late the night before (you'll have a chance for a sleep later). Get something light for breakfast coffee and some churros (strips of donut) are a typical Spanish breakfast. You ate late the night before so you shouldnt be too hungry. Then head out to see the sights.
- The Wrong Way... Fail in finding a hearty breakfast like you get back home. Settle for something you didn't really want and then finally set out to see the sights.
- The Right Way... You could already be enjoying the sights by now.
- The Wrong Way... After having spent the morning in a big museum, head out to find lunch at about 2.30pm. Find that everything is closed for siesta. Youve been bitten by mosquitos, so look for a drugstore but its closed.
- The Right Way... Eat a big lunch, Spanish style. Take your time this is when the Spanish have their main meal of the day. Read about Lunch in Spain. Watch outside as tourists sweat in the rising temperatures.
- The Wrong Way... Fail in finding anywhere nice to eat lunch. Eat at McDonalds, its the only thing open. Go to an art gallery. Guess what? Thats right, it's closed.
- The Right Way... Head back to the hotel for a while and have a sleep. Its siesta time, so everything is closed and the heat will be unbearable anyway. But dont sleep for too long. Spanish scientists say 30 minutes is ideal for a siesta any more and youll wake up feeling worse. Read more about Siestas in Spain.
- The Wrong Way... Youve got heatstroke from being out in the harsh summer sun, so head back to the hostel to sleep. It'll be dinner time again at 7pm and you have the whole sorry episode to live through again!
- The Right Way... Head back out and see the rest of the sights its still four hours until dinner time! If you feel you can't wait that long until dinner, have a small bite to eat for merienda (tea time). Read about Light Bites in Spain.
So you see...
...Just by getting your timings right you can get far more out of your day in Spain!