Assessment: ¿Why Siesta?

¡Hola mis amigos!

After 5 weeks of travelling around Spain, I have become reasonably familiar with the culture and way of life here, and how it differs from back home. One of the biggest shocks, and something that took a while for me to get used to, is how Spanish people seemingly live in their own time zone. On my first morning in Andalucía, I was confused as to why the streets were pretty much dead at 8am, when back in Australia most people would have already been well awake by this time. It wasn’t until a few hours later that people were starting to get up and begin their day.


It soon became obvious to me that Spanish people have a unique relationship with time. Put simply, Spaniards are living in the wrong time zone; Spain goes by Central European Time (CET) rather than Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which explains why it is in a different time zone to countries sitting along the same line of longitude.

Being an hour behind the correct time zone means the sun rises and sets an hour later, which explains the slower mornings and later nights. Whilst I normally find myself in bed at around 10:00pm on weeknights, since coming to Spain I’ve had to change up my sleeping pattern in order to get the most out of my day. This did take a bit to get used to, however I’ve grown to love the late summer nights, and the vibrant streets still filled with people at 10:30pm.

However, I think my favourite thing about living in Spanish time would have to be the afternoon siestas, one of Spain’s biggest traditions!  The hottest time of the day here is around 4-5pm, and a quick afternoon nap means Spanish people can avoid the heat, as well as rest up and enjoy the late night lifestyle.


If you’re interested in reading more about the unique Spanish lifestyle, I highly recommend this blog post: Living on Spanish Time .





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