Who doesn’t LOVE to feel welcomed and received in a new country!? Exactly. We all do.
After living abroad in many different countries (ones with extreme winter weather, some others with a sweet warm climate) I can assure you that Spanish people are very nice and friendly.
Are all of them friendly? Of course not, like in any other country. This is why I want to share with you the things that made me fall in love with the spaniards. Most of them are well-known Spanish Stereotypes and I’m ready to show you the truth behind them.
The bright and the dark side of the Spanish Culture that make them friendly people to me! (Even if that means randomly chatting with a lady on the bus wondering how you got here in the first place) But that’s a story for later, so listen up!
1. Spanish people are warm, kind and smiley people!
When you first meet a Spaniard, if you have the same luck as I did, your first impression could be that they are very welcoming people! They behave in a kind way that makes other people naturally drawn to them. In general, they have warm and friendly personalities.
They are smiling, and very polite. Spanish people always greet each other when they meet. With two kisses on the cheeks, which is something that’s definitely not done in the rest of Europe! So it’s basically part of the culture showing some respect when someone enters the room. To me, I feel very appreciated when they do that.
Spanish people *in general* have good mannersso next time you go to Spain don’t forget to practice your:
“Good morning!” “How are you?”
Which will definitely blend you through the locals! (or make you seem even more tourist but whatever. They’ll see your intention)
Unless they’re shy, they typically make friends wherever they go. They smile often, are polite and have good manners. They listen to others in a sincere way and are not rude. They appreciate the good characteristics of a person, making everyone they talk to feel heard and seen.
Spaniards prefer to enjoy company rather than simply witness a conversation or watch it through a screen.
2. Spaniards talk A LOT
I thought I was the most talkative person on earth but then I met Spanish people. It’s so random how there’s always room for saying something when talking to a spaniard.
The funniest thing to me was talking on the phone with a Spanish lady I had met at my University and when we were about to finish the conversation it somehow buckled into something like this
– Come on, goodbye!
– See you later!
– Also, happy afternoon!
– Thanks the same!
– Come on a kiss.
– Bye, see you later!
And it felt ENDLESS! It seemed so awkward but then it kept happening to me quite a lot and then it just began to be something to laugh about with my friends.
You’ll definitely enjoy having a conversation with a Spaniard. Trust me, you’ll never feel bored. (not even a minute)
If they’re not shy or very introverted, they’ll break the awkward silence gaps for you and there’s always going to be something to talk about. Everytime.
Almost forgot -be prepared because the conversation might continue in a bar grabbing some pinchos or tapas which could easily be the start of a new friendship!
3. FREE FOOD!!!
Talking about pinchos and tapas… One of the things that surprised me the most was getting free snacks while ordering something to drink.
In Spain it is very common that people gather together with friends and colleagues to chat. Spending a nice afternoon at a local bar or restaurant is something that Spaniards usually do, even on workdays!
Back to the point: Free food comes to you after you order a beer or a glass of wine. They usually bring pinchos or tapas to your table without you asking for them as a sign of courtesy. (it depends on the establishment of course) but it’s a very common practice that’s worth knowing!
4. Very social people – Take every opportunity to meet new people
Spanish take every opportunity they have to get to know more people and to click with them. It is normal that someone approaches you if you are taking dance classes, or in a sports club with group activities. Spanish are very relatable people and also easy to talk to.
So… don’t worry if you want to make friends here and don’t know how. If you don’t come to them chances are very high that they’ll come to you! (not if you stay at your place just saying)
I really encourage you to go out and next time you find someone that kinda feels your vibe just talk to them without overthinking! I’m sure that they’ll be nice to you, or at least won’t be rude and just pass over you.
5. Offer help every time someone needs it
Packing bags, carrying heavy luggage, hopping on a train with thousands of suitcases with everyone looking at you and not caring at all? pretty much sounds like a nightmare to me… Doesn’t it?
Well… I’m happy to tell you that it is mostly not like that in Spain, over all of the places I’ve been to, including Northern Europe, in Spain they’ve always helped me to carry heavy luggageoffered extra help when needed, and some people even tried to make sure that I was heading to the right place.
I was on the train from Madrid to Soria, (a Small town in the east of the Autonomous Community of Castilla y León) when an old little grandpa approached me, we had a small talk in which I told him I was heading to university near Soria. He proceeded to give me his niece’s phone number in case I needed help while arriving in Spain. It was the sweetest moment ever! My heart melted and made me realize how special most Spanish people can be. (I never called her tho, sad ik)
6. Sincere and honest communication
Spanish people love giving compliments! They are very confident while talking to others so don’t get confused if someone at a local bar that has seen you many times comes up with telling you how nice you are or any other type of compliment.
They are also very honest so don’t start overthinking if they are telling you the truth or not. Either they like something or they don’t. -In general- most Spanish people tend to speak their minds. Unlike in many other cultures which are more reserved, it is normal to speak with a Spaniard and listen to what they’ve done the entire day and even see family holiday pictures.
However, Spanish people tend to ask for direct requests… meaning that if you’re in a small bar and hear someone say “I’ll take this’’, “put me that’’, without saying much don’t think they are being rude, it’s just how some people talk here. It seemed rude to me, but then I understood that this can be normal, especially at most informal places.
7. Spanish lack of punctuality… Ups
Of course they are not perfect. Being a friendly person could mean someone showing some respect to other’s time. But I wouldn’t say that Spanish people are unfriendly BECAUSE they lack punctuality. Do you get my point? I mean, they’ll arrive late (which is wrong and I do not approve) but that doesn’t mean they intentionally want to be rude to you… so that’s something they can totally improve!
8. Reputation for being hospitable
Spanish people are known for their hospitality. Which makes it the perfect place for tourists! There are as many activities and plans as you want and people are very welcoming. If you get to a Spanish house they’ll feed you up with food until your belly gives up, also… it is very common to hand gifts to others as a sign of care.
Most importantly, Spaniards are not rude if you don’t speak their language! I’ve seen so many times the effort Spanish people make to understand foreigners and help them with their needs. That is something I wish I had while traveling to other countries in Europe… I know you’ll appreciate the effort (Especially if you’re new in Spain by yourself) So don’t worry that a real Spaniard will even offer to give you some Spanish lessons without any problems.
9. Very gesticulating / physical touch
Some people say Spanish people talk with their whole body. And that might be true. They’re actually a lot of funny stereotypes I wish I knew before I arrived in Spain. But moving on, Spanish people tend to use their hands to speak, their eyes are very expressive, their body language is also very gesticulating. Which is good to know so you don’t arrive and think some people are crazy.
Also, don’t be surprised if someone puts their hand on your shoulder or feels very touchy. If it feels uncomfortable you can always respectfully ask them to stop and they will.
Here’s what Spanish people have to say about it:
10. Take care of their Family
Family is sacred. It is part of the tradition and culture. Spanish people have their friends and family in their top priorities. They are always making sure their family is being taken care of and are willing to do anything for them and will share their resources with each other.