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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 1.30 pm and from 4.30 or 5 pm to 8 or 8.30 pm 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 8.3' 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 of the night. 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's City 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 8.30 am to 2.30 pm 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.


There are no special norms in Spain with respect to dress. From a practical point of view, it is advisable for those who come from colder countries to remember than in many of the coastal areas the winter weather is characterised by its temperate nature. For this reason, it is always a good idea to consult the weather forecast pertaining to the respective area of interest beforehand. With the exception of specific places, very warm clothing is usually not necessary.

On a related matter, perhaps because the nightlife is such a great part of Spanish culture, it is not necessary to dress formally for dinner or the theatre, though tis naturally depends on specific cases and the variety of ambience's and personal circumstances involved.

Games of Chance

Games of chance are quite widespread in Spain: there are several types of lotteries and football pools.

There are casinos in the following places: Torrelodones (Madrid) Sant Pere de Ribes (Barcelona) Villajoyosa (Alicante) Puzol (Valencia) El Puerto de Santa Maria (Cadiz) Lloret de Mar (Girona) Benalmadena Costa (Malaga) Marbella (Malaga) Calvia (Mallorca, Alfajarin (Zaragoza) Isla de Toja (Pontevedra) Corunna Santander (Cantabria) Playa de San Agustin (South Gran Canaria) Puerto de la Cruz (Tenerife) Adeje (Tenerife) Ibiza (Isle of Ibiza) San Sebastian (Guipuzcoa) Peralada (Girona) La Manga (Murcia) Boecilla (Valladolid).

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