The Do’s and Don’t of Living in Spain – Make the Move with ELYS Relocations

If you are thinking of moving to Spain, take note of these tips from ELYS Relocations: 

Madrid, Spain


Moving to Spain is the dream of many people around the world, as it is one of the western countries with the most daylight hours. Eurosender’s international removals to Spain are trusted by thousands of expatriates to help you save on the cost of moving, providing an economical and reliable way to move furniture or other belongings.

It’s vital that before you move to Spain, you research the do’s and don´ts. Living in Spain can be wonderful, and respecting the rules and culture is the key to a happy life in your new home, so take note of the following: 


1. Get Used to Spanish Timetables 

If you have visited or even lived in any other EU country, forget about the timetables there. Spain works completely differently.

Shops and shopping centres are open late, usually closing at 9 pm.

People eat lunch at 2 pm and dinner at 9-10 pm. Mid-morning snacks are a must, and some people even take a quick nap after lunch.


2. Learn the Lingo 

Yes, it is true that more than 10% of the Spanish population is made up of foreigners. And yes, that number is growing all the time. More than likely, you’ll find hundreds of ex-pat communities in your situation with whom you can speak English or even your native language.

However, learning to speak Spanish can have enormous benefits, and will make your life in the country much easier. Spaniards may not be the best English speakers in the world. Especially if you move to smaller towns or villages, English is even non-existent.

In addition, and especially for the initial procedures you will have to go through, such as getting your residence card, Spanish can be essential. It’s very likely that workers in the banks or tax office won’t speak a drop of English. So showing up with a minimum level of Spanish can be a lifesaver. 


3. Spanish People Love to Nap

The Spanish are famous for taking naps. It’s true, they love a little snooze after lunch. But be careful! On the working days, they don’t practice this habit in Spain. When duty calls, it’s back to work. 


4. How to Properly Greet

When you meet someone, you give each other two kisses on the cheeks. Left and right. It’s something you do when you meet someone new or when you’re leaving. You’ll give out and receive a lot of kisses, as it’s considered rude not to do so. 

It’s a common way of greeting someone also in Italy and France, but in Spain even giving someone a hug can be considered “too much” in many cases. 

Of course, in pandemic times, it might be more appropriate to do an elbow bump, at least until things go a bit back to normal. 

5. Get to Know its Excellent Gastronomy 

One of the most remarkable things about Spain is the good habits we have when it comes to food: a good tapas with a cool beer or a glass of wine on a terrace, eating a plate of cocido madrileño or paella Valenciana on a Sunday or enjoying a bocata de calamares or a ración de tortilla española in good company.  The Spanish have a fine palate and foreigners always praise our traditional dishes.

6. Forget About “Normal” Social Norms

Ask any Spaniard their impressions of visiting countries like the UK, you’ll always find a common answer. Ex-pats in Spain are very polite and respectful in social situations. We’re certainly not claiming that Spaniards are rude. It’s just that they are much more flexible when it comes to social norms.

You’ll find that people in Spain don’t particularly like to form an orderly queue, and someone you don’t know is seen as a friend even if you have never spoken to them before.

You’ll also notice that Spanish people use please and thank you a lot less than English speakers. It’s just because they’re a lot more direct when asking for things, and see it as unnecessary to be so polite all time. 


7. Don’t Arrive on Time for Social Occasions

It’s fashionable to arrive late. In general, people in Spain like to go out late at night, so if you decide to meet up at 11 pm it’s a perfectly normal time. It’s also normal to stay at the club until 4 am or to party until the metro is running again so you don’t have to take a night bus.

If you have decided to meet at 11 o’clock for an aperitivo for example, it’s normal to arrive 10 minutes earlier as you don’t want to be late. In that case, you’ll be waiting up to an hour for the Spanish people to show up. That would be a very common case for people who are not used to the schedule here. In general, people usually arrive up to half an hour late although that time can easily extend to two hours.

How to Make the Move

Emigrating to Spain can be a difficult task for many. But with the advice from ELYS Relocations, it shouldn’t be. Elys Relocations is there to guide you through the whole process, whether you’re in need of logistic, financial, or even holistic assistance. 

To enjoy all the wonders of the country, the first thing to do is to achieve legal status. And that means obtaining a residence and/or work permit.

As you may not know where to start or still have a lot of doubts, we have put together the top tips that will make this whole process much easier for you and your family.



Phone number: +33 637155404



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