5 interesting facts you should know before moving to Spain (I)

19 June 2017 0 Comments Category: Just Landed

Culturally, Spain is one of the richest countries in the European Union. It has characteristics which make it very special and which differentiate it from its neighbours. Therefore, if you are considering either moving here for a long period of time or retiring to the land of sun and good weather, you need to be aware of these five topics that will help you, time and again, to understand and enjoy Spain.

Languages

Spanish is the official language in Spain but don’t be surprised to hear a different language if you decide to live in Catalonia or Galicia. The fact is that Spain is divided into 17 autonomous communities so we will find significant linguistic differences. To be specific, alongside Spanish you will find Catalan in Catalonia, Galician in Galicia, Basque in the Basque Country, Valencian in Valencian Community and a variety of Catalan in the Balearic Islands. But don’t worry, Spanish is spoken by everyone and you won’t have to learn these other languages.

Mealtimes

As the saying goes “Spain is different” and this is particularly noticeable in relation to mealtimes. Breakfast is between 9 and 10 in the morning. Lunch is around 2.30 and the evening meal about 9 at night. You should bear in mind that lunch is the most important meal of the day and the evening meal tends to be light, except at the weekends when the times of meals are dictated by social life.

Public transport, your best friend

The metro, bus and train are excellent methods of transport in Spain and can take you anywhere. The metro is a good example of this, it is the most extensive transport network in Spain and covers over 290 km in the Spanish capital.

Get used to olive oil

It is the essence of Spanish cuisine, its flavour and taste make it a vital ingredient in Spanish gastronomy, whether breakfast, lunch and tea. An interesting piece of information is that Spain is the largest producer of olive oil in the world and olive oil is present in all its dishes.

Personal space

One of the things that most surprises visitors arriving in Spain is how friendly and approachable Spanish people are and how close they like to stand. So don’t be surprised if when you are talking to a Spaniard he stands really close and touches you often during the conversation or puts his arm around your shoulder. Don’t worry, he’s not trying anything on, it’s just the Spanish way.

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