I'm going to France, Italy, and Spain in two weeks and I want to know how to avoid coming of as an ignorant American. But how do I do that?
Most Helpful Guy
I'm from Spain and I'm gonna tell you what to avoid doing there:
Avoid any stereotypes. Don't go around the city in just a swimsuit. It's ok if you're around the beach area, but when you're in the heart of the city, please, don't. I know it's hot af during summer, but just because you're a tourist doesn't mean you can't act like the rest. Oh, and Spain is full of churches you should visit some of the most famous, so do not enter a church in a swimsuit. I'm not religious, but you'll most likely get kicked out.
Talking about being a tourist, please, respect the city. Alcohol in Spain is pretty cheap so tourists usually get drunk night after night and they make a mess in the city. We love the fact you're enjoying your time here, but we hate when you leave the streets full of trash, vomit, or you're singing out loud your national anthem at 3 am (British people are usually the worst when it comes to behavior; sorry British people xD).
Do not pressure Spanish people. We're lazy and we take our time, that's why we're known for being a laid back country, so even though you're right, don't demand the service to be faster or more efficient, cause you won't achieve anything but an angry waiter/waitress. by the way, you don't have to tip, it's appreciated, but it's not something you have to do like in America, we usually just give 1 or 2 euros and that's if the service was great, usually 10 cents will be enough.
Topics to avoid: Patriotism. DO NOT talk about anything related to Spain's patriotism. Spain is only patriotic during soccer's world cup or Eurocup, besides this, you'll get into a political debate about fascism and blah blah blah. A Spanish person with a flag in their house, like in America, would be called a fascist. So just avoid this topic to avoid a heated discussion.
Also avoid soccer. Soccer is religion, so if you want, just do some small talk about it, but don't get too deep into it cause again, you'll get into a heated discussion.
If you go to Barcelona, don't call them Spanish, cause they don't identify as someone from Spain, they'll be offended since they want to gain independence.
These are a few things, but you're still gonna offend people cause you're more "civilized" than Spanish people, I mean, you have more manners, you're more respectful, so you'll be seen as a snob most likely.
P. S.: Save a huge load of money for food, cause the best thing in Spain is food. Try lots of different stuff, especially Paella, that's a must.0