Myths about Spain: Busted

Spain has a lot of stereotypes, rumours and myths which are not all true. When I say to you ‘Spain’ you might think about hot weather, sangria, siestas and flamenco but there’s a lot more to Spain than that. I’m going to share with you some of the common myths about Spain and the real truth behind them.

“Spanish people take siestas”


Siestas exist here in Spain of course, but only in the same way we would go to take a ‘nap’. In Spain lunch time is a much bigger deal than the evening meal: filled with more food, alcohol and talking, causing you to feel a little sleepy afterwards. It’s definitely a thing here to have a little rest after lunch before going out again in the evening. But to be honest, most people DON’T sleep every afternoon. Especially on a weekday when people have to work, there’s no time for a siesta!

“Sangria is the main drink of Spain”

sangria palma

Sangria is basically a drink for tourists rather than the locals. There’s a traditional recipe which includes rum, fruit and wine which is sometimes drank by the locals here but there are other preferred options, such as wine or cocktails. There’s a similar drink to Sangria, also very cheap called tinto de verano which basically red wine and lemonade.

“Spain is always hot”

Living in Madrid

No. Spain is not always hot. Spain can actually get pretty cold. Did you know you can go skiing in Spain? Try visiting the north of Spain where it rains just as much as the UK and the landscape is greener than an Irish shamrock. Of course, there are regions which are a lot warmer throughout the year, but it STILL gets cold. The warmest part of Spain are the Canary islands as these are hanging out next to Africa, but if you go to mainland Spain they will have a winter. The Mediterranean coast and Balearic islands don’t get as cold as northern or central Spain as the sea keeps them a bit warmer. But if you’re planning a trip in winter, best bring a coat!

“Bullfighting is the national sport in Spain”

bull fighting

Bullfighting isn’t even really a sport it’s more of a performance. Some regions in Spain still perform bullfighting but many people disagree with the idea. It was very popular when Franco was in power but it’s getting less common nowadays. If you talk to Spaniards about it you’ll probably get some very mixed reactions, some are very against it and other keeps more to the traditions. Generally the younger generation are starting to think out of the box. The national sport in Spain would be football!

“La Sagrada Familia is Barcelona’s Cathedral”

sagrada familia

Many people (even me in the past) assume that the Sagrada Familia is a cathedral. It’s NOT, it’s a church. The Cathedral in Barcelona is located in the gothic quarter and looks rather different to the Sagrada Familia. If I was going to recommend you to visit one of the two, I would however choose Sagrada Familia, much more breathtaking and enormous!

“In Spain they speak Spanish”

spanish flag spain

They do certainly speak Spanish, but did you know there are also 3 other official languages in Spain? They consist of:

Catalan: spoken in Catalonia, Valencia, Balearic islands (and also parts of France). The language is known to be a mixture of French, Spanish and Italian.

Basque: spoken in the Basque country of course. This language is a little strange and not known to be similar to any other language, some say it has relations to Hungarian…

Galician: spoken in the northern region of Galicia and a little similar to Portuguese. You can also find people speaking it in parts of Asturias and Castile and Leon regions.

What else have you learnt about Spain? There are plenty of myths which are simply not true about Spain. I’d love to hear your stories.

You might like to read the following posts about Spain:

6 things I’ve learned living in Spain

5 things I love about Spanish culture


2 thoughts on “Myths about Spain: Busted

  1. My parents are Mexican, but their parents are Basque. Growing up, I was called “La Vasca.” I would say the national sport is fútbol, and it’s really, really cold in the Basque Country. So glad I found your blog. Looking forward to reading more. Saludos. 🙂


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