Moving to another country with sandy beaches and a laid-back way of life is a dream for many people. This is a big reason why a whopping 15% of Spain’s population is foreign-born. Nowhere in the world is perfect but for ex-pats who choose to make Spain their home, it seems pretty close.

If you’re planning a move to the Iberian Peninsula there are some things you should know about the Spanish way of life. Read on to learn about some of the starkest cultural differences and idiosyncrasies of living in Spain.

1. The Siesta Is Sacred

You’ve probably heard of the concept of a siesta before. It’s a period of time during the day when Spanish people rest and take shelter from the sun.

It doesn’t exist in all Spanish locations but where it is observed it’s taken very seriously. Businesses and even schools are completely closed. This is something to be aware of when you’re choosing where to live.

2. You’ll Want to Learn the Language

It is possible to get by without speaking any Spanish in larger cities and tourist-oriented areas. But in smaller and less well-known locations you’ll find much of the population won’t be able to communicate with you. Less than 30% of people in Spain speak English.

3. Dining Times are Different

Spain is infamous for having late dinners. For most of the population, dinner doesn’t start until 9 pm at the earliest. This is something many foreigners find difficult to adjust to.

4. Consider the Climate

There are two things to know about the Spanish climate. In some areas, it does rain and get cold in winter so be sure to do your research before choosing where to move. Conversely, some locations will be much too hot in the summer with temperatures reaching up to the 90s.

5. It’s a Tourist Trap

Tourism in Spain is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it begets robust infrastructure and resources. But certain areas in the summer months can become overrun with tourists which can be uncomfortable for some.

6. It Matters Where You Move

Not everywhere in Spain is the same. As was mentioned, not everywhere observes traditions such as the siesta and some places are hotter than others. This is why it’s important to research anywhere you’re thinking of moving thoroughly.

7. The Market Can Be Competitive

Because it’s such a popular holiday and migration destination it can be tricky to find affordable and suitable housing in Spain. It’s a good idea to work with one agency that has insider knowledge of the market. Click here to see one such company selling apartments in Marbella.

Living in Spain: What You Need to Know

Moving to Spain is an exciting and amazing experience but it’s important to know what to expect. We hope this guide has shed some light on what living in Spain is really like.

If you’re on the hunt for more travel tips then don’t go anywhere. You’ll find lots of articles on travel and culture right here on the rest of this site.