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Shopping in Spain, Living in Spain, working in Spain, and more!! All the information on living in Spain you could want.
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Living in Spain - Key Information

Shopping in Spain

Shopping in Spain remains a personal, rather than impersonal, experience. The majority of Spanish stores are small family run affairs although many more hypermarkets and supermarkets have begun to spring up. The hypermarkets tend to lie in the rapidly expanding Spanish suburbs, while the older city neighborhoods hold fast to traditional shopping patterns.

The Spanish often don't seem to believe in queuing and people often push and shove their way to the front. Shop assistants will not always serve customers in order; so if it is your turn - speak up! The last person in line is called ¨la ultima,¨ and you may ask or be asked who is La Ultima. Some foreigners complain that Spanish service people can be surly, but we have found the great majority of them to be friendly and pleasant.

Shopping hours:
These can vary considerably between region, city, town and type of shop.

Small shops open from between 0830 and 0930 (or earlier for food shops) until between 1300 and 1400 and from around 1700 until between 1930 and 2100, Monday to Friday, then from 0930 until 1400 on Saturdays. In some areas shops are closed on Monday mornings. In south Spain, the siesta lasts from 1330 or 1400 until 1700. Department stores, hypermarkets and many supermarkets are open without a break for a siesta from around 0930 or 1000, until between 2000 and 2200 from Monday to Saturday. Most stores are closed on Sunday.

You have indoor markets, called mercados, permanent street markets and traveling open-air street markets that move from area to area. Often prices can be 20% lower than in shops! Markets usually operate from 0900 until 1400 and sell a variety of goods such as: food, flowers, clothes, shoes, crockery, , cookware, linen, ceramics, cassettes/CDs, arts and crafts, household wares, carpets, jewelry, etc. Watch out for well name brands though, as they are usually fakes.

Spanish specialities:
The best products to buy in Spain are handmade items such as ceramics, pottery, woodwork, embroidery and paintings. Spanish leather goods are also good quality and good value for money but not cheap. Arts and crafts have survived better in Spain than in other Western European countries and this is reflected in their goods.



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