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10 Things You MUST Know Before Coming to Spain 🇪🇸

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14:23   |   Jul 09, 2018

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10 Things You MUST Know Before Coming to Spain 🇪🇸
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  • - Hey Spain lovers, you're coming to Spain
  • and you want to understand how this country works.
  • What are the opening hours?
  • When do the locals eat?
  • How does tipping work?
  • Is the siesta a thing or is it a myth
  • and is it Barcelona or BarTHelona?
  • Stick with me, in this video,
  • I'm gonna answer all of your burning questions about Spain.
  • (acoustic music)
  • I'm James Blick, co-founder of Devour Tours
  • and this channel is all about how we eat, drink,
  • live, and love in this wonderful country, Spain.
  • Now when I first came here eight years ago,
  • I was completely lost.
  • If I had known then what I know now,
  • I would have had a much richer experience
  • right off the get go.
  • So the first tip I'm gonna give you
  • is that this is a really varied country
  • so you have to think about when you're planning a trip here
  • which parts you're going to, what do you want,
  • what experience do you want?
  • I'm standing here beside Madrid's beautiful Royal Palace
  • and yeah, there's one Royal Palace in this country
  • but this is like a bunch of different countries
  • thrust together with really different languages,
  • different cuisines, different cultures,
  • different traditional drinks, different climates,
  • different everything.
  • So the north of Spain is called Green Spain
  • and up there it looks like New Zealand, where I'm from,
  • it looks like Ireland, strong Celtic influences.
  • It's cooler, it rains a bit more,
  • they drink cider and they play the bag pipes.
  • And when you go south, you jump on a train and head south,
  • it changes dramatically.
  • That's where the palm trees are
  • and that's where parts of it
  • could almost look like North Africa.
  • There's a strong influence from the Moors
  • who invaded in the eighth century.
  • 'Course the east coast,
  • you've got Barcelona and Valencia for paella
  • and in the center we've got Madrid
  • which is kind of the melting pot of all of it.
  • So be really conscious of where you're going
  • and plan your trip thinking of regions, thinking of climate.
  • Keep in mind that it's cooler in the north,
  • it's hotter in the south
  • but if you come in winter,
  • it's pretty cool all over the entire country
  • so plan for that.
  • Okay, next tip, opening hours.
  • When do the shops and restaurants open in this country?
  • Okay, so tip two.
  • What are the opening hours of shops?
  • Well it depends a little bit.
  • I'm here in the Antón Martín Market in Madrid,
  • a traditional market, and in traditional markets,
  • traditional shops in the neighborhoods or in smaller towns,
  • they'll open for the morning about nine or so
  • until 2:00 p.m. and then they'll close between two and five
  • and then open again at five until 8:00 p.m.
  • So that's like smaller businesses and in smaller places.
  • You don't want to get caught
  • between that two and five period
  • 'cause everything will shut down
  • and that's when it gets really hot often too in summer.
  • But of course if you're in the center of the big cities,
  • there's department stores, there's supermarkets
  • that are open all the time, you know,
  • a little like back home.
  • So it really depends on the kind of business
  • but of course the traditional establishments and the markets
  • are the ones you really want to discover
  • 'cause those are the ones that are so unique to this country
  • and have so much cultural importance.
  • Another thing to remember, often the traditional places
  • don't open on Saturday afternoons,
  • just in the morning and never on Sundays, that's sacred.
  • Okay, that's shops, what about bars and restaurants?
  • Okay, we're only on the second tip
  • and I'm already having my first drink, typical,
  • but what about bars and restaurants?
  • So we're here at La Esperanza, a fantastic new tapas bar
  • here in the Lavapiés neighborhood.
  • And now tapas bars will open from about midday or so
  • to about 4:00 p.m. for lunch
  • and then about 8:00 p.m. onward
  • so they will close or the kitchen at least will close
  • between about four and eight
  • and then restaurants,
  • which are places where you don't stand at a bar,
  • where you just sit down at a table,
  • those will open from about maybe nine or even 9:30 onwards
  • so really late.
  • So these really, really late eating times
  • begs the question of when the hell do we eat in Spain?
  • What is their timetable for eating?
  • So this is the next tip, number three.
  • Well it depends a little bit
  • but generally breakfast is not a big deal in this country,
  • it's really light.
  • So in Madrid in the mornings
  • we'll have something sweet with a cup of coffee.
  • In Catalonia, we'll have maybe pancho tomate
  • which is bread with tomato on it, delicious.
  • And in the south, you might have bread
  • with almost like a pork spread pate on it.
  • So remember I told you Spain is regional,
  • the breakfasts change a lot all over the country.
  • And then lunch, that's an important meal.
  • That is the big meal and we'll have that
  • between about two and 4:00 p.m.
  • Now look, some of us work in offices,
  • we don't eat for two hours
  • but that's kind of your range of time, two till four
  • when people will be eating a lot of lunch.
  • And on the weekend, we will have a long lunch
  • so that's a heavy meal.
  • And you'll see, here at La Esperanza, for example,
  • they have a menu del dia
  • and that's a fixed price menu or a fixed price lunch thing,
  • three courses and a glass of wine that's included
  • for about 15 euros.
  • So that's a great way to enjoy lunch in these places,
  • a really reasonable cost.
  • And what about dinner?
  • Well that's from about 9:00, 9:30 onwards.
  • Even in the south, they can get really late,
  • 10:00 p.m., 10:30 onwards.
  • We eat dinner late but it's lighter.
  • Keep that in mind.
  • Ah, and I mentioned breakfast before,
  • I should say also that coffee can sometimes be
  • a little bit bad in some of the traditional places in Spain.
  • It's getting better but be ready for a,
  • I actually wrote an article about that, torrefacto,
  • I'll put a link down below.
  • Now we're talking about food, we're talking about tapas,
  • so let's go to another tapas bar
  • where I can tell you a little bit
  • about how the hell tapas works in this country.
  • Guys, number four, tapas.
  • It's such a confusing concept
  • but it's something you really need to understand
  • when you're coming to Spain
  • because it's such an integral part
  • of the experience of being here and enjoying this country,
  • at least gastronomically.
  • So what are tapas?
  • Well, I've come here to La Berenjena,
  • a fantastic tapas bar in the Lavapiés neighborhood,
  • one of my favorites.
  • They do a fantastic modern tapas, super delicious,
  • great wines, to explain a few things.
  • Well first of all, are tapas an imperative,
  • is it lunch, is it dinner, is it instead of dinner?
  • So confusing and I think if you go down that track,
  • it's just a road to pain.
  • What you gotta think is tapas is an activity.
  • We actually have a verb, (speaking in foreign language),
  • which means to go out for tapas, to do tapas.
  • So tapas is something you actually do
  • and if you think about it like that,
  • you will understand it.
  • You bar hop, you try different things here,
  • you might meet people along the way
  • and it's just such a dynamic activity.
  • I suggest a couple things.
  • First of all, watch my video, I'll link to it below,
  • another video I have all about how we do tapas here
  • and that will help you understand
  • and then go and do it yourself and you'll learn.
  • And it's no holds barred, don't be afraid, don't be timid.
  • And the other thing is, you could also try taking
  • a Devour tour but I'll leave that up to you.
  • The other thing I wanted to say
  • was that about a few food myths while I'm here
  • and we're talking about food.
  • Paella, churros, you know, when do we eat these things?
  • Do we eat eat these things?
  • Sangria.
  • Do we drink it?
  • Look, Paella is kind of a national dish
  • in a way that you can get it all over the country
  • but it's actually a regional dish from Valencia
  • and a lot of it's really bad.
  • So, again, I've got a video called Five Spanish Food Myths
  • that you need to watch that deals with that.
  • It also deals with churros.
  • Churros are not for dessert.
  • Chocolate is not for dessert here.
  • It's for breakfast, morning tea or afternoon tea,
  • and the last one's Sangria.
  • Look, we don't drink much Sangria here.
  • It's a bit of a tourist trick.
  • There's another option you can drink
  • so check out that video.
  • There's number five.
  • Tipping.
  • Do you tip in Spain?
  • How much do you tip in Spain?
  • I understand it's such a confusing concept.
  • You know, whenever I go to the States,
  • I'm totally bamboozled by the whole tipping thing.
  • Look, here in Spain, it's a little bit simpler.
  • In bars and restaurants, we tip, but not a lot.
  • And it's not a calculation like you might do in the States.
  • You know, the bars and waiters , the salaries are built.
  • They don't rely on tips there.
  • So they earn a full salary
  • but it might not be that that much.
  • So how it works here.
  • Look, if you're standing at the bar
  • and you just have a cup of coffee, you know,
  • spend a couple of Euros, you probably won't leave a tip.
  • You might leave 10 cents or something like that.
  • If you sit down and have lunch,
  • my wife and I sit down and have lunch or dinner,
  • 30, 40 Euros, you know, we'll leave a couple Euros.
  • One, two, three Euros depending on the amount.
  • You leave a little bit of change.
  • That's the idea but it's not a calculation
  • you do in your head.
  • So it's a little bit simpler.
  • Now we need to have a sleep.
  • We're gonna deal with a big myth here.
  • The siesta.
  • Okay guys, number six.
  • The siesta.
  • Is it a thing?
  • Do people do it?
  • Is it cliche?
  • Is it real?
  • Is it a myth?
  • Let me explain.
  • Look, this is like the rest of the world.
  • A lot of people work in offices,
  • they can't go home and have a sleep
  • or sleep under their desks so, you know, let's be realistic.
  • Like you, back home, you just can't have a sleep
  • after lunch all the time.
  • But when I go on holiday with my Spanish friends, you know,
  • I, much more than in New Zealand,
  • people are more likely, I think,
  • to have a short little nap after lunch, if possible.
  • So there's still something there in the culture.
  • But of course this is a country where it's hot often.
  • Particularly when you're on holiday.
  • And lunch is big, so that's some of the key drivers
  • for the whole siesta thing.
  • Here's the confusion.
  • A lot of people say to me that they think the siesta
  • is the time between two and five
  • when the traditional markets or the shops close.
  • Got a fly in my face.
  • But, no, that is not the name,
  • that is not called a siesta,
  • that's just a traditional hours that places used to close
  • so people could go home and have lunch.
  • Look, siesta, the best translation I've found is power nap.
  • It's literally the 20 to 30 minute sleep
  • that you'll have after lunch.
  • Here are my three tips for having the best siesta.
  • First, never in your pajamas.
  • Second, never in bed.
  • And third, never longer than 20 or 30 minutes.
  • Because if you sleep longer you will wake up in a bad mood.
  • So the best siesta is the one
  • you never really realize you had.
  • If you wake up and you're like, oh my God.
  • Was I asleep?
  • I often do that,
  • then that's how you know it was a great one.
  • If you know you slept, well you're in trouble.
  • You slept too long and you're gonna be in a bad mood
  • for the rest of the day.
  • You'll never recover.
  • Now we gotta deal with another cliche in Spain
  • and that's bullfighting.
  • So, let's head up to a bullfighting bar
  • and I'll tell you all about it.
  • Does bullfighting still happen in Spain
  • and should you see a bullfight?
  • This is a question I've had a lot over the years
  • and I understand the confusion
  • 'cause there's a lot of change happening in Spain
  • around bullfighting as well.
  • Look, here's my take on it.
  • Is that, yeah, bullfighting still happens in Spain.
  • Particularly, in certain parts of the country.
  • But you can understand this country perfectly well
  • and have a wonderful experience
  • without going to a bullfight.
  • Here's what's going on is that in certain regions,
  • it's either been banned or isn't really practiced anymore.
  • You know, you won't see bullfights
  • in the Canary Islands or Catalonia.
  • But here in Madrid, for example of the South,
  • you will still see them during the season,
  • which starts in about Spring.
  • So I'm in a bar here in Madrid at Casa Toni
  • and they have a bullfighting paraphernalia on the walls
  • because this was a place where bullfighting fans
  • would hang out.
  • So you will still see parts of
  • and vestiges of it in Lucia and in Madrid.
  • Look, my wife, who's right behind the camera there,
  • has never been to a bullfight.
  • She was born and bred in Madrid.
  • So the younger generation is moving away from it,
  • because it just doesn't fit their morality anymore.
  • So in that sense it is on the wane.
  • I have been to a bullfight before.
  • I was curious when I first got here
  • but I didn't like it and I won't go again.
  • So, make up your mind
  • but, yep, you can still see them here and there.
  • Okay so, tip number eight.
  • Do people speak Spanish in Spain?
  • Well in the last tip I was just mentioning my wife
  • about bullfighting so I thought,
  • she's an expert on this,
  • so I should bring her in.
  • So here she is.
  • Yoly. - Hey, how are you?
  • - Flamenco expert and wonderful English speaker
  • as well as Spanglish speaker.
  • - Thank you very much. - Spanish speaker.
  • So, Yoly, do Spaniards speak English?
  • - Well, I'm speaking English
  • so, yeah, some Spaniards do speak English.
  • It's true the older generation, older people, not so much,
  • they don't speak great English.
  • Then, you know, the younger people,
  • of course, more and more.
  • So definitely there's like a lot of bilingual schools
  • that we call, so all those young people, yes, of course.
  • So you know, more and more.
  • In bigger cities, of course, you're gonna find
  • the people have a better level of English.
  • Smaller towns, yeah, you know a little more rough.
  • - But I think what you'll find
  • is that you know, waiters, generally, you'll get by.
  • You will survive. - They'll make the effort
  • and you know where there's a will, there's a way.
  • - Exactly.
  • Perfectly said.
  • Now, there's a couple of things
  • I want to point out that often happen when people
  • are speaking English, speaking Spanish,
  • Spanish people speaking English,
  • English people speaking Spanish.
  • Is is Barcelona or Barcelona?
  • Is it Seville or Seville?
  • Okay, so here's the deal.
  • It's Barcelona if you're speaking English.
  • It's BarTHelona if you're speaking Spanish.
  • That's just how we say it in Spanish.
  • It's sa-vey-a if you're speaking Spanish.
  • It's Seville if you're speaking English.
  • It's like saying Paris.
  • You say Paris if you're a French person.
  • You say Paris if you're an English speaker.
  • And remember, Barca is the football team.
  • Barna is the city.
  • Barca is not the city.
  • It's not short for the city.
  • And the last one, the famous dance, it's Flamenco.
  • Not flamingo.
  • - Please! - Alright.
  • Yoly loves Flamenco.
  • I don't know what you think about flamingos.
  • But, we'll find out later.
  • Okay, tip number nine, nine.
  • No, I am not in the jungle.
  • I'm in the Atocha train station
  • here in the center of Madrid.
  • And this is the perfect place to talk about
  • how you should travel around this country.
  • Planes, trains, car, walking, I don't know.
  • Look, planes we all love in a way.
  • They get us places fast.
  • But it's not the best way to travel around Spain
  • if you can avoid it because, as we all know,
  • planes have massive security lines in airports
  • and they always leave you in airports
  • so they're way away from the center of the city.
  • So, if you can take the fast train
  • when you're moving around this country,
  • that is so much better.
  • Look, the AVE here, the fast train,
  • travels at 300 kilometers an hour.
  • I've no idea what that is in miles per hour
  • for the Americans out there but it's fast.
  • It will get you from Madrid to Barcelona in a few hours.
  • Madrid to Seville in a few hours
  • and there's a lot of connections all over the country.
  • And the beauty of the train is the doors close
  • only two minutes before the train leaves.
  • So you don't have to like get there four hours before hand.
  • And the security is much lighter than a plane.
  • Plus, the train stations are in the center.
  • This Atocha train station.
  • This jungle like place is literally
  • right in the center of Madrid
  • so you can walk to your hotel.
  • That's the beauty of it.
  • So take the train.
  • Now, should you rent a car?
  • If you're gonna be going really off the beaten path
  • and going to villages and things like that,
  • it might be handy to rent a car
  • or at certain points of your trip.
  • So do keep that in mind if you wanna
  • go really off the beaten path.
  • And the other thing.
  • One tip, when you're in Madrid and Barcelona,
  • specifically, you can move around so easily
  • on public transport, on the metro.
  • Never rent a car for driving around these cities.
  • And you probably don't even need to take taxis.
  • You can just move around on the subway
  • and that way you get to rub shoulders with the locals.
  • Which of course, makes you feel, you know,
  • like you're having a more authentic experience.
  • Number 10.
  • A really, really important one.
  • How do we greet people in this country?
  • Look, in formal situations, in business or, you know,
  • when you're meeting the king, everybody shakes hands.
  • That's how it works.
  • But in informal situations, it's a little bit different.
  • In informal situations, meeting friends, et cetera.
  • Men shake mens; hands.
  • And women kiss everybody.
  • So women kiss men and women kiss women.
  • And when I say kiss, I mean a kiss on two cheeks.
  • That's how we do it.
  • Now, sometimes men kiss men
  • when they're greeting and saying goodbye.
  • But that's if you're really close friends or family.
  • So I kiss my brother or my father-in-law, Yoly's parents.
  • Took a while to get there.
  • I remember the first day I did it I was a bit nervous.
  • But now we do it every time we see each other.
  • So that's kinda how it works.
  • And, of course, how do we say cheers in Spain?
  • Salud.
  • Really important word.
  • Guys, I would love to hear your tips.
  • What did I miss?
  • What could you recommend to people coming to Spain?
  • Put it in the comments below.
  • Share your knowledge with other Spain lovers
  • who are on this channel.
  • It's really valuable for them.
  • Thanks for watching.
  • Hasta luego.

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Description

How does tipping work in Spain? What are tapas? What time to do shops open? What are the Spanish eating hours? Do Spaniards take siestas? I answer the top 10 Spain travel tips so you can explore Spain like a local!

1. WELCOME TO SPAIN REVEALED!
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▶ Get my FREE GUIDE to my favourite tapas bars in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville & San Sebastian http://bit.ly/2REk5KV

2. EXPLORE SPAIN LIKE A LOCAL!
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▶ Join a delicious food tour with my company Devour Tours http://bit.ly/2zsS2Wb

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3. ABOUT THIS VID!
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It was once said that "Spain is different." Well, it's no different from any other country, but like visiting any new country, when you don't know how the basic things work, it can be a challenge to get around and have a rich experience. So I decided to make a video which answers so many of the basic questions people have when they visit Spain. Here are some of the questions I answer:
- When do the shops open in Spain
- When do the tapas bars open in Spain
- When do the restaurants open in Spain
- What are tapas? How does tapas work?
- Do you tip in Spain?
- Do Spaniards take a siesta?
- Do people speak English in Spain?
- Is there bullfighting in Spain? Should I see a bullfight in Spain?
- How should I travel around Spain?
- How do people greet in Spain?

CHECK OUT THE VIDEOS I MENTION IN THIS VID
- What are tapas? 3 Secrets For Eating Tapas Like a Spaniard http://bit.ly/2KZnqoE
- Paella, sangria, churros: 5 Spanish Food Myths Busted! http://bit.ly/2KZnqoE
- And that article I mentioned about Spanish coffee: http://bit.ly/2J7sSkp

If you enjoyed the video, please do give it a and join our community of Spain lovers by subscribing! http://bit.ly/SubscribeJamesBlick

WHO IS JAMES BLICK?
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Hola! I’m James Blick. Spain is my passion! Its food, its culture, its history and its people. And I get a massive kick out of sharing everything I’ve learned with visitors to this country. My mission? To help you have a true, rich and delicious experience in Spain! If that sounds like something you’re into, then I’d love you to subscribe and join this community of Spain Lovers! http://bit.ly/SubscribeJamesBlick

*Some of the links above may be affiliate links. This means that by buying a product via the link you are supporting my ability to keep creating videos. You don't pay any more money for the product, but I earn a small percentage that I use to make more videos. Thanks for your support!

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