You Haven’t Experienced Spain ‘Till You Meet the Spanish’ La Siesta


You are invited to have a perfect siesta (Taken from source)

I have told my bestfriend, Martha, about this ice cream bar I fell in love with in Seville. So when she arrived a day after in Sevilla, I brought her directly to the bar after lunch. Little we knew that the bar was closed…for the Spanish’ La Siesta. La Siesta – the Spanish’ Siesta stands for the traditional nap time for about 15-30′ in the afternoon. In fact, this afternoon (nap+lunch) break takes 3h time from 2pm till 5pm. The history said that this traditional nap habit was started to cope up with the peak-heat during midday.

Another case was when I was in Girona, a small town at the Catalunya side of Spain. I found myself wandering an empty street because the stalls and shops were closed. I made a mistake on planning my day in Girona. I came out late from my friend’s apartment only to find the places were empty. I completely forgot if I had to consider Siesta on my itinerary, especially when it comes to a smaller-not-so-touristy city.

Can you spot the siesta? (Taken from source)

While in my conversation with a friend who has been working in Spain, Siesta is taken to have a rest after the heaviest meal of the day (known as la comida in Spanish) — also written in this source. La comida consists of appetiser, main meal, dessert, and drink. Well, you know those sweet-savory desserts we always crave for.  Usually some restaurants offer the whole La Comida package in a cheaper price rather than buying ala carte. Afterwards, we commonly start yawning after having our stomach fulfilled, especially when the sun is shining and after doing some activities.

Unfortunately, I read on several news if Siesta is threaten to be banned because the country itself has been in an economic crisis. Meanwhile, many companies want to have more working hours from their employees. By doing Siesta, it takes almost half of the 9-to-5 working period. Some sources I read mentioned if the Spanish workers usually start to work earlier or finish work late around 8PM. Despite the news to ban Siesta, an article here wrote that a Valencian town of Ador mandates the 3h midday nap as compulsory to preserve the old culture.

During La Comida in Espanã

So what should you do when you meet the Spanish’ La Siesta?

  • No worry. Most of the big cities in Spain (you name it: Barcelona and Madrid) still have several places open. At least you don’t have to worry to be kicked out of stores (politely) because they are about to close for a moment (read: 3 hours). Some areas near touristy spots in several cities usually aren’t closed during Siesta.
  • Find a cafe or restaurant and enjoy lunch or we name it La Comida. La Comida in Spain, like almost at the rest of Southern Europe countries, is as crowded as it is. Crowded not because of the number of people having lunch, but because of the loud voices of people who are quite enthusiastic (and expressive) in talking.
  • You can also have a Siesta! Why don’t you enjoy an afternoon off by laying on the park, getting under your tiny blanket, eating ice cream, and resting. Then set your alarm to wake up around 6PM, get out, buy a drink, then wait for sunset. You’ll meet more locals in the evening with louder voices talking and singing and talking and singing.
  • Still continue with your strolling? Since most places are usually empty (locals go inside their house), you know it is a perfect time to take pictures as many as possible without having so many cameos behind.

Midday stroll in Cordoba, Andalucia, Southern Spain

OMG! Keep Calm and Drink Wine

What do you think of this Siesta habit?

Come to Spain, look for Siesta in preferably small cities, and enjoy!



“La Siesta” in other news

An Age-Old Tradition in the Face of Global Pressure

Do the Spanish really sleep during the siesta and why?

End of the siesta! Cash-strapped Spanish workers forced to abandon the traditional afternoon nap

Siesta: The Little Nap with a Big History

Spanish town makes 3-hour siesta compulsory

Spanish town brings in compulsory siesta law





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