Does the Spanish siesta still exist?
Does the siesta – an extensive lunch break – still exist in Spain? The short answer is yes, but with exeptions! Almost all local and smaller shops are closing in the afternoon. Normally between 14:00 and 16:00 o’clock, some even until 17:00.
However things are changing and all big comercial chains open during these hours. Supermarkets like Alcampo, Mercadona, Carrefour etc. are opened every day from 9:00 – 21:30 (or even longer), with the only exception being Sunday. But no need to worry,because you will find planty of corner shops and kiosks, which open even on Sundays. Here you can find basically everthing you will need to “survive” until the other shops reopen.
Furthermore all other big chains like Zara, H&M, McDonalds, MediaMarkt and so forth also do not close for siesta. So if your planing some nice afternoon shopping in Granada, Málaga or Motril, then go for it! And don’t forget to enjoy some tasty icecream or frozen yoghurt!
The good news is, since the local shops close in the afternoon, they open much longer in the evening. And honestly when the weather is perfect and the sun burns, isn’t it a great idea to spend the day in your villa’s private pool, in your air-contioned house, under palm trees at the beach or simply have some cold drinks on a shady restaurant terrace and do your shopping a bit later?
Well, to sum it up, you don’t have worry about closed shops, but you certainly will be able to recognize how a nice siesta rest could recover your energies and help you to fully relax. This is not only our opinion, but also scientific studies prove the benefits of a short nap in the afternoon. Maybe one good reason why
Spain has one of highest life expactencies in the whole world! (79,4 years for men and 85,5 years for women!)
So there a many reasons for keeping alive this tradition.