Skip to Content

13 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Spain and How to Avoid Them

13 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Spain and How to Avoid Them

Our full guide on the most common Mistakes to Avoid in Spain for your next trip.

Spain is a diverse and vibrant country with a rich cultural heritage, beautiful landscapes, and delicious cuisine. To make the most of your visit, it’s important to be aware of common travel mistakes and how to avoid them. Here’s a guide to help you navigate your Spanish adventure smoothly.

Traveling in Spain can be an unforgettable experience if you avoid these common mistakes. By planning ahead, respecting local customs, and staying vigilant, you can enjoy a smooth and enriching journey.

Whether you’re exploring bustling cities, relaxing on beautiful beaches, or savoring delicious cuisine, these tips will help you make the most of your Spanish adventure.

Read here best things to know before visiting Spain, Planning an Itinerary in Spain: 3 Days Madrid Itinerary and 4 Days Barcelona Itinerary

Mistakes to Avoid in Spain

1. Not Adjusting to the Local Schedule

13 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Spain and How to Avoid Them, 10 Incredible Beautiful Cheap Destinations in Europe - Best Tips For Budgeting in Europe, Spanish Omelette - Breakfast in Spain - Spanish breakfast

Mistake: Expecting to eat meals or find shops open at the same times as in your home country.

How to Avoid:

Follow Local Meal Times: Lunch is typically served from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM, and dinner is usually from 8:30 PM to 10:30 PM.

Siesta Time: Be aware that many shops and businesses close for a few hours in the afternoon (usually from 2 PM to 5 PM). Plan your activities accordingly.

Read here best Spanish food, and best breakfast in Spain

2. Neglecting Public Transportation

Mistake: Relying solely on taxis or renting a car without considering the efficiency of public transportation.

How to Avoid:

Use Public Transport: Spain has excellent public transportation, including metros, buses, and trains. It’s often more convenient and cheaper than taxis.

Get a Travel Card: Purchase travel cards for unlimited rides on public transport within a city.

3. Skipping Reservations for Popular Attractions

13 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Spain and How to Avoid Them, How To Get From Granada Airport To Alhambra - All Possible Ways

Mistake: Assuming you can buy tickets on the spot for major attractions, leading to long waits or sold-out experiences.

How to Avoid:

Book in Advance: Reserve tickets for popular sites like the Sagrada Familia, Alhambra, and Prado Museum online in advance.

Use Skip-the-Line Options: Consider passes that allow you to skip the lines and save time.

4. Overlooking Safety Precautions

Mistake: Being careless with personal belongings and safety, leading to theft or loss.

How to Avoid:

Stay Vigilant: Be mindful of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas like markets and public transportation.

Secure Your Valuables: Use a money belt or crossbody bag to keep your valuables secure. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.

Be Cautious at ATMs: Use ATMs inside banks rather than on the street.

5. Not Learning Basic Spanish Phrases

13 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Spain and How to Avoid Them

Mistake: Relying solely on English and expecting everyone to understand you.

How to Avoid:

Learn Basic Phrases: Know essential Spanish phrases like greetings, thank you, and how to ask for help.

Use Translation Apps: Apps like Google Translate can be very helpful for communication.

6. Ignoring the Siesta Tradition

Mistake: Planning activities or shopping during siesta hours when many businesses are closed.

How to Avoid:

Plan Around Siesta: Use siesta time to relax, visit major tourist attractions that remain open, or enjoy a leisurely meal at a restaurant.

Check Business Hours: Verify the operating hours of shops and attractions to avoid inconveniences.

7. Dressing Inappropriately

Mistake: Wearing inappropriate attire for different settings, such as visiting religious sites or upscale restaurants.

How to Avoid:

Dress Modestly for Churches: When visiting churches and religious sites, ensure your shoulders and knees are covered.

Smart Casual for Dining: For upscale dining, opt for smart casual attire.

8. Overlooking Local Cuisine

13 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Spain and How to Avoid Them, 5 Most Popular Recipes in Spain To Try (Recipe Guide) Tips And Calories, How to Make Spanish Churros with Hot Chocolate - Authentic Churros (Recipe Guide)

Mistake: Sticking to familiar foods and missing out on the local culinary experience.

How to Avoid:

Try Local Dishes: Don’t miss out on Spanish specialties like paella, tapas, jamón ibérico, and churros.

Visit Local Markets: Explore local markets like La Boqueria in Barcelona or Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid for fresh and authentic foods.

9. Not Carrying Cash

Mistake: Assuming you can use credit cards everywhere, which might not always be the case.

How to Avoid:

Carry Some Cash: Have some euros on hand for small purchases, tips, and places that don’t accept cards.

Use ATMs Wisely: Withdraw cash from ATMs as needed but be aware of any foreign transaction fees.

10. Ignoring Travel Insurance

Mistake: Traveling without insurance, risking high costs in case of emergencies.

How to Avoid:

Purchase Travel Insurance: Get comprehensive travel insurance that covers health, accidents, theft, and cancellations.

Know Your Coverage: Understand what is and isn’t covered by your insurance policy.

Two of our favorite travel insurance: Heymondo Vs Safetwing cheapest travel Insurance. You can get for $135 USD your Heymondo Travel Insurance with Heymondo discount code valid for 90 days. Read our full comparison of Genki vs Safetywing Travel Insurance Review and the comparison Heymondo vs Genki

11. Not Understanding Cultural Differences

Mistake: Failing to respect local customs and traditions, leading to misunderstandings or offense.

How to Avoid:

Research Local Customs: Learn about Spanish customs and social norms, such as the importance of greetings and dining etiquette.

Be Respectful: Show respect for local traditions and be open to cultural differences.

12. Relying on Taxis

Mistake: Using taxis for all your transportation needs, which can be expensive and less efficient.

How to Avoid:

Use Public Transport: Take advantage of Spain’s excellent public transport systems, including metros, buses, and trains.

Walk When Possible: Many Spanish cities are walkable, allowing you to explore neighborhoods at a leisurely pace.

13. Not Checking Local Holidays

13 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Spain and How to Avoid Them, Las Fallas, 10 Most Unbelievable Festivals In Spain

Mistake: Planning your trip without considering local holidays and festivals, which can affect your travel plans.

How to Avoid:

Check Holiday Schedules: Be aware of local holidays and festivals, as some attractions and services may be closed or crowded.

Join the Celebrations: If your visit coincides with a local festival, embrace the opportunity to experience Spanish culture firsthand.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on these links and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Please note that we only recommend products and services that we have personally used or believe will add value to our readers. Your support through these links helps us to continue creating informative and engaging content. Thank you for your support!