Updated: March 29, 2023Published: December 19, 2022
Hi there! Are you planning a Eurotrip soon? Or you may be curious about the differences between European countries.
Regardless of your reason for choosing this article, not knowing the difference between European countries can fire back a lot. Especially with people from capital cities, they get offended super quickly.
So, you are very wise to read the nine differences between England and Spain. After finishing this article, you will know what details to be careful with and bits of advice to apply throughout any possible visits.
I hope you enjoy it, and if you know any other difference, feel free to share it with us!
Table of Contents▼▶
1. Are Spain and England part of the European Union?
This is a very important difference between both European countries. Since February the 1st, 2020, England and the entire United Kingdom left the European Union, which made it the first sovereign country to separate from the supranational union. Because of their leave, Spain became the fourth largest contributor to the European Union’s budget. As obvious as it may seem, is worth repeating that Spain is and has been part of the European Union since 1986.
2. Do Spain and England have the same currency?
Spain and England do not share a currency, not even when the United Kingdom was part of the European Union. Before joining the EU, Spain used pesetas, but it has been working with euros for over thirty years. On the other hand, England never left their original currency and always refused to integrate the euro. Today British people keep using the pound, which has been their currency sin 1694, and introduced the schillings and pennies in 1971.
3. Is Spain more expensive than England?
It is more expensive to live and travel in England than to do the same in Spain. According to Numbeo, to live comfortably in England, someone would have to earn almost as twice as more as what they earn in Spain.
“You would need around 5,933.34€ (5,172.03£) in London to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with 3,600.00€ in Madrid.”
Let us have a simple example of this! A normal cappuccino in Madrid is between 2.12 and 2.30 euros, but coffee in London will be between 3,65 and 3,84 euros. This is almost 80% more than what we pay in Spain!!!
4. Why do the Spanish eat later than the British people?
Did you know that Spain is in the wrong time zone? It should be sharing the schedule with England, but instead, it shares it with Germany; do you know why? I will give you a clue; it has something to do with WWII.
If you want to know the reason for the Spanish eternal jetlag, check out this article!
The change in the daily schedule causes every activity to move down an hour. For example, if people used to make lunch at 13, they would have to move to 14:00. The same thing happens to every meal.
Like the other European countries, the English have their dinner or supper between 18:30 and 20:00. This is their main meal, and their dishes are usually composed of protein, two vegetables, and potatoes. On the other hand, the Spanish eat dinner late, between 21:00 and 23:00. Most people find this awful because it’s simply too late. But they don’t know that Spanish has six medium to big meals throughout the day, so when it comes to dinner, they opt for lighter options.
Coffee is a beverage that Spain has in common with Italy but not with England. I remember visiting Italy a few months ago and sitting in a coffee shop for a couple of hours. I noticed that the Italians did the same thing as the Spaniards in their neighborhood bars. Between 17:00 and 18:00, Italians would arrive at the shop, go straight to the bar, order an espresso, and drink it. The same thing happens in Spain; the only difference is that Spaniards order a café con leche, which would be considered an abomination for Italians to have milk in the afternoon.
Do you know why? Find out the difference between Italy’s and Spain’s coffee culture and more in the article below!
Coming back to England and Spain. The Spanish culture is more attached to coffee, while the British are known for their love for tea. I mean… who doesn’t know about their traditional “tea time.” In Spain, 87% of the population drinks coffee, and 61% drink more than two cups daily. Actually, Spaniards consume 3.5 kg of coffee per capita, while the British consume 2.5 kg per capita (Landgeist, 2019). So, even though coffee consumption between these two countries is only 10 kg apart, the English-to-go beverage is tea! They could drink up to four cups of tea a day!
So if you ever come to Spain, remember that tea is not the right solution to help them wake up after a siesta!
6. Do Spanish and British drive on the same side of the road?
Almost every country around the world, with some exceptions around the world, drive on the right side of the road.
This is a significant difference for those road-trip travelers that enjoy driving for hours. In Spain, the driver’s seat is on the left side of the car, and people drive on the right side of the road. In England is the complete opposite! The driver’s seat in the right side of the car, while people should ride on the left side of the road.
I remember when I visited London three years ago, I had to be extremely careful when crossing the road. I had this automatic reflex of only looking to my right, while cars always came from the left! I never got hurt, but I got pretty close! So, if you plan to visit Madrid after London, remember to change your inner country chip and remember this significant difference.
7. Spanish don’t pay for their TV.
I am sure you have read or watched something from the BBC at least once in your life. If you didn’t know what it stands for (just like me!), BBC means British Broadcasting Corporation, a national media communication company.
English citizens pay an annual fee of 159 pounds (192 dollars) to fund and access their national media. In Spain, people technically don’t pay for their TV, but taxes will support all the national channels, newspapers, or radio stations.
8. British people are known for their punctuality.
Let me put it this way, English and Spanish have their sense of time, and if a party is ever organized between these two nationalities, each invitation should have a different hour.
English people are known for their strict punctuality. It is considered extremely rude to be late, and if you know you will be, then the person needs to send a message letting the host or group of friends know about their delay.
On the other hand, the Spanish are completely different. There is no strict view on punctuality; time is relative! Spaniards are known for always being late. It does not matter where they are going; they will have a more relaxed view of the timings. For them what is important is to enjoy the present, doesn’t when they get to the place, once they are there they will make the most out of it.
There is more about Spanish natural delay in the article below!
9. What’s the time difference between Spain and United States?
Spain and England have 1 hour of difference, Spain being one hour ahead. Actually, we talked about this on fact number five; go check the story of why Spain is an hour ahead when it used to be in the same time zone as London.
You should remember these nine main cultural facts when visiting either of these countries! Coffee or tea, punctuality or delay, driving left or right; these are all details that can make you be ahead of others and feel more comfortable when traveling to these countries for the first time.
Inigo Navarro is a seasoned travel writer with a deep understanding of Spain's cities, culture, people and language. Born and raised in Spain, he has spent years exploring the country and is currently one of the most-read Travel Bloggers about Spain. Inigo is also an experienced digital marketer, a father to 4 beautiful children and a huge Real Madrid Fan. ¡Hala Madrid!