Spanish Etiquette

It is not uncommon that each country has its own customs and traditions as well as unwritten rules. It may be sometimes difficult for foreigners though as they are not quite familiar with all the rules of this or that country. Spain is not an exception.  In order not to get in an uncomfortable situation here are the set of etiquette rules you want to know before visiting this country.

In Spain it is common to shake hands for social meetings and to hug female friends lightly. Males can also hug or kiss each other, it is not considered gay here. But never try to embrace or back slap a person you don’t know well enough, it is considered impolite. When leaving you should also shake hands.

Greeting a friend don’t forget to ask about his health and the health of his parents as the most favorite topic in Spain is family as family is extremely important for them. Spaniards seem to be keen on talking. They don’t seem to get tired, not even for a second. 

When talking to Spaniards don’t get surprised that they simply do not shut up and interrupt each other constantly. These are not bad manners; it is just common here and shows the interest in topic.  If you were interrupted, don’t get offended; just interrupt someone else and keep talking – that’s how it works here.

If you are in the company of friends and it happens that you don’t feel like talking, everyone will think that you have some serious issues and will ask numerous questions, so you better talk!

In each country there are topics you don’t want to start talking about. In Spain they are: religion, politics and Civil War. It was quite a tragic period and many families lost at least someone in this fight. And you never know which wound you might be still open.

If you are a woman men will always compliment you on your appearance and beauty. It is considered polite to compliment them back. It is just common here to make compliments; it doesn’t mean that he wants something from you.

Spanish people love to gesticulate a lot and practically don’t leave you any personal space. Do not back out as it will be misunderstood. 

Being invited to someone’s house always bring a present. Chocolate or flowers will do. If the hostess has children it will be appropriate to bring them gifts as well. 

Never start eating until the hostess does otherwise it will be very impolite. Everything is eaten with a knife and a fork even fruits. When you are finished eating cross the knife and a fork on your plate so the hostess knows that you are done. As Spanish people never waste food do not put on your plate more than you can eat as well as in the restaurants in Spain do not order huge portions. Here are top 10 restaurants where you will enjoy the food.

And the most important thing you need to know is always to make eye contact!

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