Before coming to Spain, I researched a few things about the culture for my International Business class. While in Spain, I observed both some consistencies and inconsistencies with what I had learned.
Completely Conservative Dress Code: Myth!
First, I read that Spanish people have a very traditional and conservative dress code. They always dress as if they are going to church. Wearing shorts is a huge no-no, even if it’s summertime, from what I read prior to visiting Spain. I have seen some locals wear jeans in 80-degree weather. However, I have also seen younger locals wearing crop tops, tank tops, short dresses, and very short shorts. Maybe it’s a generational thing! Either way, if you are coming to Barcelona anytime soon, don’t be afraid to wear your shorts and sleeveless dresses (unless you are visiting a cathedral, where you may need to cover your shoulders and wear pants). Wearing shorts and short dresses is more popular than I thought.
Shorts? No problem! This is a picture of me in Parc Güell.
Long Lunch Breaks: Fact!
As I learned before my international experience, Spanish lunch breaks are a lot longer than those in the United States. From what I have experienced in the United States, workers receive a 30-minute lunch break if their shift is at least 4 hours. At my internship, my shift was six hours long and I took an hour-long lunch break just like my Spanish coworkers. While locals in Barcelona don’t really participate in the siesta anymore, the hour-long lunch break is almost as refreshing and rejuvenating!
One of the best lunches I've had in Barcelona. The taco variety plate from La Rosa Negra.
Late Dinners: Fact!
I was worried about how late dinners are in Spain, prior to my arrival. I read that dinners are between 9 and 10 at night. However, I've found that they are easy to adjust to. All you need to do is have a couple of snacks or light meals throughout the day. Trust me, in Barcelona, there are tons of options! You can go out for tapas in the middle of the day or pick up some snacks at one of the hundreds of supermarkets in Barcelona!
Starving in the middle of the day? 365 Cafe has amazing coffee and bakery items!