Spain is a diverse and vibrant country with different languages and cultures that helped shape it into what it is now. From a lively fiesta to a relaxing siesta, everything in Spain continues to capture the hearts of many.

And if you choose to study and live in this country, you are expected to abide by its social norms. Following the proper etiquette will help you experience Spain at its best. So, make sure to take note of this guide for you not to offend a Spain local, a Spaniard.


It is customary for you to shake hands with someone that is introduced to you. A kiss on the cheek can be done if a woman offers you her cheek. Just remember to kiss her first on her right cheek, then the left cheek. Do not let your skin touch, it is only a kiss to the air. However, a man exchanging kisses to a woman is more common in social gatherings than in business.

Hugs are also appreciated. When you are a male, and you hugged a male friend or touched his arms, or even kiss him, you will not be seen as gay. But only do this, of course, if you have a good friendship.

If you will be leaving, shake hands again.


When you will be dining in a restaurant in Spain, it is not required to tip, unlike in other countries that expect you to give some extra money. It is also not usual to tip in bars and taxis. But if someone chooses to tip, they usually give small change.

However, in fancy restaurants that provide excellent service, at least 5% tip is already a generous manner.

Personal Space

In Spain, the personal space is quite small compared to the Westerner’s. Normally, Spaniards talk closely to someone, and you should know that this is normal in Spain. You should not misinterpret this and back out as this may be offensive for them. The locals also talk a lot with their hands.


If you are invited to a gathering at a Spaniard’s home, take note that dinner is usually 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. Also, it is a tradition that you bring even a small well-wrapped gift to the host.

For gift suggestions, you can give something handy, some pastries and cakes, some good chocolate, or the best wine that you can get. Another appropriate gift is flowers. But do not give chrysanthemums (white or yellow) as this flower symbolizes death.

And if you received a gift, you must open it right away and comment about it on how you appreciate the gift.

Only begin eating once the host starts. You should also keep both of your wrists at the table’s edge. And when you are done, lay down your knife and fork side by side, at the plate’s right side.

Spain is a wonderful country for your study. Discover about the different Spanish institutions when you read our articles here at MSM Unify.