5 Events That Happen If You Spend Too Long In Spain

Spain is by far one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. Famed for its luscious sandy beaches, perfect climate and vibrant nightlife, it attracts visitors from across the globe.

Even for those who aren’t interested in its notorious beaches, bar crawls, and booze cruises, you can still find cultural spectacles in the many beautiful and historic cities.

However, no matter where you go or what type of traveling you enjoy, there are a few universal events that seem to happen everywhere. Particularly once you’ve been in the country for any length of time.

Here are five of the many examples, which you are guaranteed to experience during your time there. 

1. You Will Try And Buy Something During Siesta 


Spain’s famed Siesta is a key part of the country’s personality; many make claims about how much they’d like to adopt this tradition and invest in a few hours sleep at midday. It’s a wonderful theory, but not one that the majority of us overworked and over-stressed Americans and western Europeans can readily get our head around.

So, if you’re visiting Spain in the near future, I will place a bet right now. At some point during your trip, you’ll realize you’re out of water, cigarettes or another moderately essential item. You’ll then wander around the local area for a significant amount of time, wondering why no-where is open, before it clicks – it’s Siesta time.

Similarly, it’s also likely that you’ll try and have a meal at, y’know, regular meal times. Well, good luck trying to find an open restaurant at midday or during the early evening! At around 8 pm the locals will appear and give scathing looks to all the pitiful naïve foreigners who still haven’t got their head around native timings. 

2. An Old Lady Will Talk To You Incessantly In A Stairwell 

Spanish old people are great: they’re friendly, lively eventsinspain7and always up to stop for a chat. The problem I’ve found with this is, time and time again, it happens with very little regard to whether your not you have any idea what they’re talking about.

Every time I’ve visited this crazy country, I’ve found myself minding my own business,
heading out or waiting for someone in a stairwell. An elderly resident has appeared from one of the adjacent apartments and jumped at the opportunity to bombard me verbally.

Regardless of my pleas of ‘No entiendo,’ ‘Soy Ingles’ and ‘No hablo Español,’ they have continued their tirade relentlessly. Sometimes they’re cheery; sometimes they’re indescribably annoyed about something – something you’ve done? Who knows

Either way, I’ve learned to nod along appropriately and appreciate the charm of the situation! 

3. Someone Will Try To Sell You Something In The Street

 Let’s get real for a second. Spain’s economy is not in a good way. Guaranteed, the world is not so financially steady at the moment, but Spain is feeling the pinch particularly badly. Unemployment is an ongoing problem and, while it’s paradise for visitors, it’s a hard slog if you live there.

When I first worked in Spain, I didn’t really appreciate the problem. I knew well the Pakistani beer men and other hawkers selling tat on the beach as, in the eyes of the law, I was basically on the same level as a club promoter. However, I never once considered the depth of their problem.

It wasn’t till a few years later in Seville that the same phenomenon really tugged as my heart strings. A shy but certain local accosted my group as we ate a restaurant and, in frantic Spanish, explained that he and other fathers were trying to sell bracelets to make money to feed their children. I was stunned; they’re entire existence rested on this simple string and bead business.

I bought the bracelet and made a mental note always to offer support in the future, when I could.

4. Your Tummy Will Turn Against You

Spain in not exactly India, so it was a little surprising that all of my club promotion team and I seemed to have a continuous case of what can only be labeled as ‘Barcelona belly.’ I initially put it down to increased alcohol intake, but it had also been a very prevalent element of all my other visits.


It wasn’t till I got to Seville that I began to develop a theory. Seville is basically Spain on steroids, and the food it no different. After tucking into my third day of ‘salad’ made from potato and tuna, I began to note the ridiculous amount of olive oil we were consuming. Every meal was quite literally drowning in the stuff.



I can’t know for sure if that’s why all trips to Spain seem to come with a dodgy tummy at some point, but it’s the only idea I’ve got so far! Either way – don’t forget the Imodium!

5. You Won’t Want To Leave

 Despite the many nuances of the country, the main thing that will most definitely occur if you spend any amount of time there is that you won’t want to leave. It’s impossible not to fall in love with the thriving late night and lazy middays; the scorching cobbles and animated locals; rich food and fruity cocktails.

Spain is in your face; it’s bolshie and unapologetic, but somewhere within its madness it becomes impossible not to fall in love. Once you’ve spent enough time there to move past the resorts and tourist attractions, the beat of this country – like flamenco shoes on floorboards – is as infectious and vibrant as some of the world’s most exotic locations.


If you haven’t experienced its glory first hand, then why delay any longer? However, I thoroughly recommend moving past the famed Barcelona and the notorious Spanish party islands. Take a trip down to Andalucia or visit the Basque region for a real taste of authentic culture!


If you’ve had a particularly memorable Spanish trip or have another typical event that you feel should be on this list, be sure to leave a comment below – I’d love to hear your stories!





36 thoughts on “5 Events That Happen If You Spend Too Long In Spain

  1. Yeah Spain is a great country! We’ve been caught out a few times trying to buy stuff when it’s siesta! My all time favourite place is Granada, I’ve been there 3 times!


  2. I totally agree with the point with “you don’t want to leave”. Spain has a way of wrapping around my hear, the joy, the real (chatty) people, the sangre cliente thing. I do love that they respect their Siesta time, even though it caught me unprepared as well.


  3. The best thing about Spain is siesta – I can do a 2 hours siesta every day while I am there. It never happened to me the “don’t want to leave”, probably because I used to go every year for 2-3 months.


  4. Great post. They do love their olive oil, and love the section about the old ladies in the stair well! We are back in Spain in June and looking forward to that! #feetdotravel


  5. Even with all that it looks like a great place to visit. Would love to try the food there of course. I would enjoy taking to the locals best way to find out where to eat and what to see!


  6. I always go out during siesta when it’s super hot! A good place to go is the local Carrefour mini, these don’t close for siesta and have cool AC. Food is a problem if you want to eat at 6-7 pm. The burgers in TGB are open at this time and are the best burgers in Spain!


  7. I totally agree with you on most of these points you make. I used to live near Alicante for a year and a half and I have wowed myself that I will return and when I do, I’ll buy a villa and never leave ha! This just put me straight back to Spain and I miss it so much.


  8. So true, this happens all the time. And you are right as a traveler one should dive deep beneath the surface for an immersive and authentic experience. One needs to look beyond the standard itinerary.


  9. I haven’t been to Spain yet but I can see all of these things happening especially trying to buy something during the siesta break!


  10. I’ve wanted to visit Spain ever since I was a little kid and yet I’ve somehow managed not to do it yet. Maybe I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to make it as perfect a trip as possible. I really need to work on my Spanish so I can have conversations with the little old ladies!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s