1. The Siesta and Business Hours
Although few Spaniards actually take a nap, the siesta period of the day is still observed across Spain. Most businesses, family run or not, close between 2-ish and 5-ish for lunch and a rest. Businesses will then reopen for another three or more hours.
Spaniards eat at odd times, compared to the rest of the world.
Most cafés and hotels do not start their breakfast service until 8 am; lunch at home and at restaurants is never before 1pm, and usually after 2pm; and dinner at home and at restaurants is never before 8pm and usually after 9pm.
3. Bars & Cafés
In Spain, Bars are the same as Cafés, except that the latter do not usually serve alcohol. Most towns and villages will only have a bar (or two).
Both serve food and tapas, and both are family friendly.
Everyone’s heard of Spanish tapas, but do you know what they actually are?
The answer is simple: it’s free food, usually bite-sized, that is given with your drink and that you DID NOT order. So, remember, if you are given food that you did not order, enjoy it, it’s free!
Be warned that free tapas do not happen everywhere in Spain (it goes by regions), many regions (eg. Cataluña) will offer tapas but only if you pay for them.
5. Tipping at Cafés & Restaurants
It’s OK not to tip, but it’s also nice to tip if the service was good.
At a café we tend to leave the small change.
At a restaurant, rule of thumb is to leave between 5% and 10% (depending on how good the service was), and only if ‘service’ is not included in the bill.
Although waiters and waitresses work long, hard hours, they are also paid (at least) minimum wages and have paid leave.
6. Bussing tables
7. The Bidet
Still a common feature in many hotels and homes.
Don’t use it to brush your teeth.