So many things in Spain are different and in Andalucia they are extremely different
This is one of the first pages we put up on this website back in 2002
that we thought were strange and before
becoming acclimatised and accustomed to them
Andalucia is a trip hazard
market_stall In Andalucia the builders who construct  outside steps are under instructions to make sure that at least one step is a different height to all the others

wheelchairIn Andalucia the same workmen who do the steps build wheelchair ramps - which it appears must not be wider than 2ft 6in or less than 45 degrees steep
impatientAndalucian punctuality demands that you arrive at least 20 minutes late

1. The real siesta takes place in bed and in pyjamas, but a comfortable sofa is also fine if a bed is not available.
2. Timing is very important. A siesta should last between 15-30 minutes, no more.
3. Don't let anything disturb you. The siesta is a very serious business. Some people can't enjoy a siesta unless the TV or radio is on. If these kind of things help you to fall asleep, use them.
4. The best way to wake up from a siesta is to hear a delicate human voice. If you don't have anybody near, remember to use an alarm clock.

Right after the siesta, a glass of water and a piece of chocolate will make your life easier.
Disconnect all telephones!

Perhaps because of the benign climate and the long hours of sunshine in Spain, Spaniards tend to get up later in the morning and stay out later at night than the rest of their European neighbours. Shops and businesses are usually opened from 9 or 9:30 am to 1:30pm and from 4:30 or 5pm to 8 or 8:30pm though it has become more and more common for businesses to stay open through the traditional "siesta" hours.

Business establishments are usually closed for a day and half per week, most often Saturday afternoon and Sunday, while many shops close only on Sunday. In tourist areas, in summer, business hours are often expanded to 10 or 11pm with stores open 7 days a week.

Restaurant hours are quite varied, with the norm being from 1:30 to 3:30pm for lunch and from 8:30 to 11 or 11:30pm for dinner. In summer, these hours are often expanded, with many establishments offering continuous service and still other serving food into the small hours.  Bars are usually open all day and close late at night.

In general, the nightlife in Spain is quite intense, and the bars and discotheques stay open long past midnight. In summer, they often stay open past 3 or 4 am. In big cities like Madrid and Barcelona, for example, there are many places that stay open until dawn, even in winter.


Pharmacy hours are established by each Town Hall, though such establishments are generally open from 9.30am to 2pm and from 4:30 to 8:00pm.

Besides this set schedule, however, a series of pharmacies are required to remain open on an "on call" basis as well. All pharmaceutical dispensaries provide a list of addresses of the establishments that are "on call" with the nearest ones clearly indicated. This list is also printed in the daily newspapers.


Bank offices are open for business from 8.30am to 2:30pm Monday through Saturday, except in the summer months when they are closed on Saturday. Some branch offices are open in the afternoon.

Tipping is a great tradition in Spain. While practically all establishments currently include a surcharge for service it is still common to leave something of a tip. This custom, common in bars and restaurants, has extended to hotel porters, theatre ushers and taxi drivers, though in none of these cases is it obligatory nor will anyone recriminate a client for not tipping