You may have the impression that a typical day in Spain may be comprised of fiestas and siestas, but this is not always the case. Yes, there will be fiestas, and, more importantly, there will be siestas, but this isn’t what makes up an entire Spanish day. In fact, you will probably have to contend more with mealtimes and worktimes than fiestas and siestas during an ordinary day in Spain. So what do you have to know when it comes to a typical day in Spain if you are thinking of living there? Let’s find out.
A normal day in Spain
Many foreigners who come to Spain for the first time may complain that the local hours for lunch or supper are too late. And yes, if you are used to having lunch at noon and supper at 7 in the evening, a late lunch at around 2pm and a late supper at around 10pm may not suit you at first. Also, in Spain, take note that most people have a total of five meals a day instead of just the usual three (and this is also where the love for tapas come in). The typical schedule of a Spanish day is indeed something that you will have to get used to, so it’s better if you already have an idea of what that kind of day entails.
The schedule of a typical day in Spain is as follows: at 8am, there is breakfast or el desayuno in Spanish. From 9am to around 11am, most people will be working. But from 11 to approximately 11:30 in the morning, there is the mid-morning snack or el almuerzo. After the mid-morning snack, from 11:30 to 2 in the afternoon, people will continue working, and at 2pm to 4pm, people will have lunch, or la comida. From 4 to 7pm, work continues, although there is often a break at 6 in the evening for a mid-afternoon snack, called merienda. Dinner or supper usually starts at 9 in the evening, and this is called la cena.
Of course, the schedule and routine can vary from one person to another and one job or company to another, since there are some jobs which can start early (around 8am) and end early, and there are some jobs in shops which only open at 10am.
Lunch, which consists of two whole hours, isn’t just because of the siesta, either. Most Spanish people tend to eat lunch at home, so they need a longer time to get home from work for lunch.
How it’s done
Breakfast isn’t too heavy in Spain (no English breakfasts for them), so the mid-morning snack serves to tide them over until it’s lunchtime. Many workers often go out for their mid-morning snack and visit a local tapas bar or get a sandwich (bocadillo). The mid-afternoon snack, or merienda, however, is more for children, and you will often see parents and grandparents lined up at a bakery between 5 to 6pm to buy sweet baked treats. Starting from 6 to 7pm, once work ends, you will often see many Spaniards drinking a beer or having tapas with beer with colleagues or friends.
Life can be quite wonderful in Spain, and although it is different from what you may know, it’s easy for anyone to adjust to it. Just relax, take it easy, and enjoy your new home – whether it’s a studio apartment in Barcelona, one of the many villas for sale in Moraira, or a two-bedroom flat in Seville.