Spanish culture and tradition can be defined as living life to the fullest, but with patience. The daily life of a Spaniard sees a lot of dualisms; it’s both relaxed and intense, fast-paced and laid-back, and both vibrant and calming.
Due to the plethora of activities that can be done, you often find the Spanish people wearing multiple different outfits throughout the day, depending on what they’re doing. This adds to their energetic and spirited perspective, and shows evidence of their love of life outlook.
All of these aspects make daily life absolutely unique and refined in Spain, with tourists falling in love with this way of life, and never wanting to leave.
What a Typical Day in Spain Looks Like
The Spanish usually have their breakfast earliest at 7am, but more often around 8 or 8:30. Spain’s food is predominantly Mediterranean, so you can expect a lot of olive oil, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, onions, and of course the most essential breakfast item- coffee. Pastries are often bought and eaten too, and can be almost sold out by 10:00am, as breakfast time for people is never past that.
After the hearty but light breakfast, people go to their jobs, which usually have one of two schedules, 8am-3pm, or 10am-2pm with a break, then 5pm-8pm to finish the rest of the shift. You won’t find much of a traditional “9-5” schedule in Spain. Notice that in both work schedules, there is a break after 2pm, this is because one of the most famous activities in Spain, is called a Siesta, which occurs at around this time.
The famous Spanish Siesta, is an afternoon break that occurs right before or right after Spain’s main meal: lunch. A Siesta, is a short nap that the country takes between 2-5pm, it’s very common during this time to find that the streets are emptier than usual, and that stores are closed for these hours.
The Siesta is treasured in Spain as a time of rest, especially during the hottest days of the year, where cooling off and resting are absolutely essential.
Lunch is the main meal of the day. This meal is usually eaten around 2-3pm, but can also be delayed until after a short Siesta. You can often find people either eating Tapas for a light lunch, or the more popular approach of full, fulfilling meal.
Tapas are incredibly popular at any point during the day, they are varying small dishes that are served all throughout Spain. There are hundreds of different types of Tapas, including potato omelets, seafood dishes such as prawns, different vegetable dishes, pastries, and even heavier dishes such as lamb, beef, or pork, but the main idea of Tapas, is that they’re smaller dishes than an average meal. When people say that they’re going for Tapas, it means that they’re essentially bar-hopping, where they order a different tapa at each location.
As for the more popular full lunch meals, you can find dishes such as Paella, various seafood and meat dishes, or Bocadillos (different types of sandwiches).
5. After Lunch Activities
After lunch is where the fun and freedom begin, with countless activities that can be done. The famous and eternal musical tradition of Flamenco is always a hotspot for locals and tourists alike. Flamenco music is played all over the country, while entertaining and unique Flamenco shows can be found wherever you are.
Another famous activity is sight-seeing, as Spain has the second most world heritage sights in the world, due to its rich history and many different cultural influences over time. Sight-seeing can vary because there are so many choices, people often go to different parks, check out historical buildings and cathedrals, or visit world-renowned museums, theaters, or aquariums.
It must be mentioned that Fútbol, or soccer, is incredibly popular in Spain, as they have some of the best teams in the world, with the biggest fan bases around. Popular teams of course include Real Madrid, and Barcelona. The Spanish are very passionate about this sport, with game attendance and live viewings being a complete norm all over the country.
There’s really so much to do in Spain that you can find a different and unique activity for every day of the year!
6. A (Very) Late Dinner
After a day of work, sight-seeing, relaxing siestas, and bar-hopping, it should be almost time for dinner. In Spain, dinner is eaten very late, with it being very normal to occur at 9 or 10pm.
Dinner is significantly lighter than lunch, with the dishes themselves being much simpler too. An omlette for dinner with a side of vegetables is quite common, as is smaller portions of seafood, or different types of meat.
Many people instead of sitting down for dinner, will have various tapas too, to give them energy for the upcoming nightlife that’s ahead.
s too, to give them energy for the upcoming nightlife that’s ahead.
7. The Spanish Nightlife
If anything can be said about Spaniards, it’s that they’re night owls, with the majority of people not turning in for bed before midnight. It’s very common to see entire families on outings until around 3am on holidays or weekends.
Spanish people will continue socializing in cafes or bars until late in the night, or head to nightclubs, go for churros, or go to watch a movie at the cinema. Even museums can be found open late in the evenings, offering guided tours that are often accompanied by live music.
The Spanish nightlife typically lasts until around 3am, and can last a bit longer in the bigger cities, so if you’re the type to not call it a night early, you’d be right in exactly the right place.
The full-of-life Spanish experience provides a little bit of everything for everyone, no matter what someone enjoys doing. In Spain, you can find a different unique activity every day that’s tailored to your desires, and you can experience varying environments wherever you go.
Spain can both be easy-going, or rapid, depending on what you like, and the fact that there’s something there for everyone, is surely one of the reasons why the Spanish people often both live longer, and happier.