ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Understanding the Spanish Schedule

Updated on February 2, 2014

Breakfast (El desayuno)

Most Spaniards wake up around 7:30 a.m. At this time they will have a very light breakfast, probably consisting of café con leche (coffee with milk), as well as tostada (toast) with olive oil, jam, or tomato paste.

Morning Snack (Almuerzo)

Although "Almuerzo" literally translates as lunch, in Spain this is more like a second breakfast. This happens some time around 10:00 a.m. Spaniards will often refer to this as a morning snack, although it often times ends up being bigger than their breakfast. They might have another café con leche (coffee with milk) as well as another piece of tostada (toast) with olive oil, jam, tomato paste, or possibly even jamón (ham). It is also very common for them to consume some type of small pastry for this meal in place of their tostada (toast).

In Spain everyone goes to the market to purchase their groceries. All of this food is fresh and (at least to me) tastes a lot better than the packaged and altered produce you would purchase at Walmart in the U.S.


Lunch (La comida)

Lunch is by far the biggest meal of the day. Spaniards typically eat lunch sometime between 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. It may often vary from something consisting of lentil soup, chicken or fish, with sides of salad and fruit. One very popular Spanish lunch dish is paella. It consists of rice, traditionally fish (but often chicken is used), vegetables and sauce. I must say from experience that this is probably my favorite food that I have ever tasted!

Paella, a common Spanish lunch.
Paella, a common Spanish lunch. | Source

Although many Spaniards still take their siestas, the actual sleeping part of this break is fading as Spain gradually adapts to the modern business world. Most Spaniards use this time only as a short break before they return to work. Today, those who do take their siestas on a daily basis are typically young children and the elderly.

Nap Time (La siesta)

Right after lunch is when Spaniards take their siestas (naps). This originated because Spain is a very hot country and most people worked in the fields. The sun rays in Spain are typically the hottest right after the lunch period, between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.. For this reason, the workers would eat lunch and then take their siestas. They would return to work afterwards when it had cooled off a bit. Today the siesta is still around. Mothers will prepare a very large lunch (as mentioned above) and everyone will come home to eat it (the father will come home from work but so will the son, even if he is older and has moved out of the house!). After consuming such a heavy meal, the Spaniards will cherish their time to relax and digest it by taking a siesta, then return to work after quite a lengthy nap (anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours!).

Although this is right around the time you would find yourself eating dinner in the United States, this is not the case in Spain. In Spain this is the time in which most businesses and restaurants shut down (between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.). This break allows those businesses and restaurants to relax and stay open much later into the night, something very important for the Spanish lifestyle.

Afternoon Snack (La merienda)

Spaniards typically have an afternoon snack sometime between 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Expect yet another café con leche (coffee with milk), along with a pastry and possibly a fruit or yogurt.


Jamón (ham) is very popular in Spain and expect to encounter it often, whether it be on a breakfast sandwich, for lunch or on your bocadillo for dinner!

Dinner (La cena)

Finally, we have reached dinner. This is eaten any time between 9:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. In other words, Spaniards eat dinner extremely late! However, Spanish dinners are a lighter meal. Many times they will consist of a bocadillo (sandwich) or some type of seafood with rice, a salad, and a fruit.


After Dinner Nightlife

After dinner, many Spaniards will go out with friends or family. This does not necessarily mean to discotecas (clubs) as that is usually left to the weekends, but often times to a sit down café or a pub. This can last for a few hours, and on a typical workday expect a Spaniard to go to bed sometime between 12:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Interesting as we are here right now and trying to adjust to this schedule. On our first week, we often find places closed but now we are getting more adjusted.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)