6 Things I Hate About Spanish Culture

Sometimes I just hate Spanish culture

Like anything else, there are pros and cons to culture. And, like I said before, there are a lot of things you can’t see in your own culture until you find a new one. Now there are tons of things I’ll appreciate way more when I come home, because there are just some reasons why I plain hate Spanish culture. Don’t worry, I’ve already mentioned what I love here and here!

Passive aggression

I’m incredibly confrontational. I don’t like meandering through life just kind of hoping I’m doing something right or dealing with a situation well. I’m a big fan of sticking my face in confusion and just getting it all worked out. The Spanish culture doesn’t like this. They won’t tell you how to fix a problem – they won’t even tell you there is a problem! You’re supposed to figure it out for yourself. I don’t mix well with this at all. I’ve unfortunately lost a couple Spanish friends because of this cultural difference. To be fair, I’m not really sure what the problem was, but I know they didn’t like it when I confronted them!

The slow walk

I’ve got long legs and all my strength is in my calves. Walking quickly is definitely part of the American culture – something along the lines of Americans are constantly working – and I still walk quickly for an American. That being said, nothing grinds my gears more than getting off the metro at a busy stop and having to weave my way around crowds of slow Spaniards. I know you’re a relaxed culture, but you’ve got to be kidding me!


In America, cigarette smoking is pretty frowned upon. You generally won’t see it outside of a bar or club. In Spain, however, it’s still pretty rampant. I’ve been told that the prevalence of smoking in Spain has decreased over the years, but if you’re planning a visit, be ready to walk into somebody’s cigarette smoke. It’s fairly common, for both adults and children of almost-adult age. It is still frowned upon in the Spanish culture, but less-so. After the recent economic crisis, many Spaniards can’t afford a smoking habit, but they still stick to their guns and roll their own cigarettes (which, to be fair, is pretty cool!).


I come from Tampa, where the traffic is absolutely atrocious and you’ll see a car accident more often than not. In Madrid, I’m dumb-founded as to why I have not seen a single car accident in 9 months. The Traveling Tom will vouch for me when I say Spanish drivers are absolutely insane. It’s not a huge problem for me, because I don’t drive in Spain, but pedestrian crosswalks are not for the faint of heart. Spanish drivers will wait until the very last minute to stop before a crosswalk, and if you were waiting for fear that they wouldn’t stop, they will look at you as if to say “what are you doing? Why aren’t you crossing? I stopped for you!”. I’ve found it helpful to think of it like this: Spain, as a part of Europe, is a pedestrian culture. A car will always stop for a crossing pedestrian. Always. Since I adopted this mindset, I haven’t had any problems!

The Spanish voice

The Spanish culture is full of people who speak loudly, quickly, and all at once. I’m told it’s a remnant of their Arabic roots. Whatever the reason, it’s pretty irksome on my introverted personality. You want to go home and spend a nice quiet evening in your bed? Think again, pal! If I have a hard time relaxing from a stressful culture shock experience, it’s definitely a reason to hate Spanish culture.

Dogs gotta go

Dogs are very very well-trained in Spain. You’ll usually find them without leashes, faithfully following their owner or waiting outside a store. You know what you’ll also find? Little presents all along the sidewalk. Watch your step, because in this culture it is perfectly acceptable to let your dog do its business right in the middle of a pathway and just…leave it there. I mean, it is biodegradable, which is more than I can say for a lot of things people like to leave on the ground. My shoes always gave me a reason to hate Spanish culture.

The list doesn’t end here! Check out 5 more things I don’t like.


  1. Very interesting! I know we can’t compare Spanish to Latinas in Florida, but I feel most Spanish speaking people I have come across (grouping as a whole) portray these traits. Rudeness in crowds is my #1 complaint though.

  2. Hehehe, as a Spaniard and an expat I understand the love/hate relation between things in one culture. Just a couple of things:1) if you live in Madrid and you think people walk slow, just don’t move to another city; 2) finding dog’s “business” al around, there are people with 0 consideration for others (and they are a national disgrace) and there are plenty of street dogs that you can’t control. Hope you enjoy the rest!

    • I’m working under the assumption that Americans walk faster than most other cultures, as that’s what I’ve been told, so I’m sure you’re right! It’s definitely culture shock to switch from the American go-go-go attitude to the Spanish “stop and smell the roses” walk!

      I hadn’t thought about street dogs! In my neighborhood there were plenty of stray cats, so that may have something to do with it, as well.

Leave a Reply