Need advice for first trip to Spain

Jun 24th, 2002, 04:54 PM
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Need advice for first trip to Spain

We are going with a group to Spain in July. Would like to know the appropriate attire (ie. jeans, shorts) and any particular customs and coutesies. Will visit Barcelona, Madrid, Torremolinos (Costa del Sol), Granada and a day trip to Tangers,Morocco. an and all advise would be greatly appreciated. What type of weather should we expect? Foods-Are there 'must try' dishes? Would hate to be the ignorant American. Help.
Jun 24th, 2002, 09:18 PM
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We were in Spain in March and it was beautiful and warm most of the time. I imagine it's going to be hot in July. As far as dress, I too was concerned and basically wore all black with different scarfs, but in July you'd probably be miserable dressed like that. I tried to avoid tennis shoes--wore comfortable low-heeled walking shoes and my husband also didn't wear tennis shoes. Europeans, especially in cities, tend to dress up a bit more than us (especially compared to Seattle). What was strange is everywhere we went, people came up and spoke to us in Spanish, so I guess you really can't tell anymore. Try to avoid t-shirts with slogans and tennis shoes and jeans and you should be just fine. Most important, try to speak a few words of Spanish--people seemed to apreciate the effort--and have a great time.
Jun 25th, 2002, 11:32 AM
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Paula is right on the mark as to how to dress. Speaking a little Espanol is also a nice thing to do. One thing our friends from Barcelona taught us is that the c is pronounced as th sound, which actually was quite a shock to me! ie; Barcelona is pronounced Barthelona and gracias is pronounced grathias. As far as what to eat you will no doubt enjoy wonderful seafood in Barcelona and the calamari is out of this world (I actually find myself craving it!). Also, they say that Madrid is the place to have Paella but I had the best ever in Barcelona up the street from the Customs House at a place called 7 Portes. Also, the fresh bread with tomato and anchiovy.....I've got to go I'm so hungry!!!

Jun 26th, 2002, 10:16 AM
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Just back from the Barcelona area for 11 days. It was already very warm(85F and sunny everyday) so I would definitely bring light clothes. In terms of the level of dress, I had read everywhere about how everyone in Barcelona is dressed perfectly and I did not find that to be true. I found it to be much more casual(I am sure probably because it is tourist season) but a bit nicer for the evening. So we brought all nicer clothes and didn't have enough more comfortable outfits(remember you will be walking a lot). I wore nicer shorts each afternoon and never felt out of place.

We knew minimal Spanish and was able to get by except a few times in taxis. We had a tiny dictionary and it helped tremendously in some situations. I typically tried speaking spanish first then asked "Hablas ingles?" and most of the time they said yes or immediately knew I was american and spoke in english (while laughing at me trying to speak Spanish)!

Have fun and Spain is a beautiful country! You must try the paella!

Jun 26th, 2002, 11:47 AM
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We went on a similar trip twp years ago excpet we did not visit Barcelona and we stayed in Marbella. had a great time. Just a few tips.

1. Tangiers is not worth the trip. It is dirty and you will be harrassed all the time. Also it makes for a long day and you really see nothing.
2. The Alhambra is glorious. Try for both the day and evening visits. The evening visit is surreal. Make reservations.
3. Avoid visiting Mijas, if you go, by car. It is impossible to drive in that town.

We loved the area. My wife and I both wore jeans and/or shorts all of the time and had no problems at all
Jun 26th, 2002, 07:33 PM
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Since you are going with a group your itinerary might be set but if not I agree with David's assessment of Tangier and think your time might be better spent somewhere else in the area. Tangier is one of the few places I've been that I really disliked-dirty and really not that interesting (at least not where the day tours take you). If you have an option to go to Seville or Ronda or Gibraltar instead I think it's a better use of your time.

Be sure to try tapas-small appetizer portions of Spanish food. There are several places near Las Ramblas in Barcelona. Tapa Tapa on Passeig de Gracia just north of Las Ramblas is my favorite.

We also wore shorts/jeans and didn't feel out of place. I recall most of the younger Spanish women wearing tight black clothing but I imagine it will be quite hot in July so if you're not comfortable in shorts, maybe a sundress might be a better option.
Jun 29th, 2002, 12:37 AM
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Barb, as soon as you stated that you "would hate to be the ignorant american", that is exactly how you represented yourself. Now you look like a horses ass! You should look into building up your poor self-esteem and stop embarassing yourself & your countrymen. And, do dress-up when traveling!
Jun 29th, 2002, 06:47 AM
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A long comfortable dress might be your best choice of dress. Dresses are more comfortable then pants and look a lot better then shorts. A couple of nice sun dresses would be my choice.
Jul 6th, 2002, 07:40 PM
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Well, here's my deal. Obviously if you're as non-Spanish looking and sounding as I am, you're going to look like a tourist. It's great that you'd like to blend in and I encourage you to listen to the other posters as far as what to wear. From my experience, I think that you have to be comfortable before you worry about what other people think of. I mean, those Spanish girls can truck through those uneven streets in Stilettos. I just can't and I found that a combination of comfort and style was just fine for travel in Spain. As far as food? I'm lucky enough to have friends in Madrid who had my mother and I over for a great dinner of tortilla de patata and fish with fruit for dessert. It's kind of refreshing if you've had lots of elaborate meals. Good luck and enjoy the trip!

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