A Mini Travel Guide to Spain: Language, Customs & Etiquette

All of us need to spend some quality time away from our daily tough routines. While some prefer staying in their hometown, others relax by traveling to new places, exploring new things, and enjoying new experiences.

Every year, a big number of people around the world choose Spain as their travel destination. Although most of the tourists may not be into reading detailed information related to their travel spot, it is better if you do so.

Specifically, when it comes to language, customs, basic etiquettes, and things that are important to the natives, you should be polite enough as a tourist to learn some basics related to all of these before your flight lands in Spain. By doing so, you can enable yourself to appear more friendly and humble rather than a rude, ignorant tourist who doesn’t show a bit of respect to the Spanish culture.

Moreover, knowing some principle things regarding the language and customs would make the traveling process way too easier and simpler for you. You can move around the country comfortably without having to worry about getting lost or appearing like an idiot in the public. So, keep reading in order to learn about some basic Spanish customs and etiquettes, as well as some language related principles, such as when to use por vs para in Spanish?



Want to appear friendly and smart while moving around in Spain? Conversing in Spanish is the key! It does not really matter whether you are fluent in the language or not, all you need to do is learn and practice some common Spanish phrases. In this way, you would be able to try and be a part of the conversations going around you.

Below are the translations to some common phrases that could be of great help to you as a tourist:

  • Please – Por favor
  • Hello – Buenos días
  • Goodbye – Adios
  • Toilets – Los servicios
  • Thank you – Gracias
  • Can you speak English? – Hablainglés?
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Knowing such basic Spanish phrases would help you in carrying out basic tasks more easily. Moreover, it would make your traveling completely stress-free and you won’t have to face any kind of unnecessary issues. Transcribing services are invaluable if you need to convert an audio or video recording into usable text and further translate it into Spanish.

In addition to this, knowing the native tongue helps a lot in clearing any misunderstandings that might lead to big trouble in some cases. You can understand what the other person wants to stop you from doing because you surely don’t want to end up being behind the bars on your holiday just because of a minor misunderstanding.



There are numerous Spanish customs that you should know about for a better holiday experience. Knowing about everyday Spanish traditions would not only help you in staying away from trouble, but it would enable you to develop a better understanding of the Spanish culture.

Moreover, your direct exposure to Spanish customs would allow you to clear all your previous misunderstandings and misperceptions regarding the native Spanish traditions. Some of the common customs that you should know about are:


No Need To Give Extra Tip

In Spain, there is nearly no tipping culture. Which means you can save on money while traveling in Spain. However, if you really liked the service, you can leave a tip that is not more than 10 percent of what’s your total bill.


Expect Hospitality

Spanish are known to be naturally gracious and hospitable, so you can always expect an extra bite with each drink that you order.


Know The Daily Schedule

Shopkeepers in Spain usually take a quite long lunch break that lasts for as long as 3 hours (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm). So, make sure that you schedule each day of your trip accordingly, in order to save time and get the most out of your days in Spain.


Dress-Up Appropriately

When in Spain, avoid stepping out in the streets wearing those comfortable flip-flops of yours. You might end up raising quite a number of eyebrows if you do so. Why? Well, people in Spain are quite obsessed with dressing up smartly each day. So, make sure you follow the custom in order to save yourself from public embarrassment.

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While you are having fun visiting new places in Spain, make sure you don’t appear rude to the natives. In other words, it is increasingly important for you as a tourist to learn about some basic Spanish etiquettes and manners.

By doing so, you would be able to represent yourself as a person with good character and morality. Plus, it would help you in appearing approachable and making new alliances that could be of great help if you plan on visiting Spain again anytime soon. Below are some basic Spanish manners that you should learn before visiting Spain:


Greet Appropriately

When introduced to someone in Spain, you should know how to greet them according to the Spanish custom. That means you are required to shake hands with the person you are introduced to.

In case that person is a woman and she offers you her cheek, give her a kiss on each cheek, first on the right one and then on the left cheek. However, do remember that the kiss is not exactly a kiss; you just need to touch cheeks with the next person while you blow a kiss in the air.


Know How To Address Someone

You should know the translations to Mr and Mrs in Spanish so that you can address people appropriately when you meet them. When meeting a man, the alternative word for Mr. is Senor, while Senora is used for addressing women in Spain.


Always Bring A Gift

It is a custom among the Spanish to bring a gift if someone invites them at their home. So, if you ever get invited to someone’s place, remember to buy something that you can take there as a gift. It could be anything like flowers or pastries.

Now that you have read a travel guide to Spain, get ready to climb aboard. Adios!


About the Author:

Lara Smith has worked for Wall Street English for 20 years. After studying at Stanford University and subsequently doing a CELTA course, she began her career in teaching. She is obsessed with languages and currently writes blogs at https://www.mimicmethod.com/.

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